Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Deals & Steals: Call the Dealer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2014 by Lightning Slim

snakes1

Now, the dealer in question might be to help with the pantload of stoner metal I just received. He might also deal in speed, sleaze, machinery or poisoned bibles by the looks of things. All prices $US.

High On Fire – Snakes For the Divine $5.59, Death Is This Communion $8.78, Blessed Black Wings $6.39, Surrounded By Thieves $6.39. I’m late to the party on these shirtless riffy wonders, so I pulled the trigger on the whole back catalogue. Awesome fun.

Destroy Destroy Destroy – Devour the Power $6.39. More side project silliness from the American core kids. I’m sure I’m meant to enjoy this Manowar parody stuff ironically, so, shhhhhhhh……

Lazarus A.D. – Onslaught $3.99. One of the finest young bands working in retrothrash today.

Scum of the Earth – Sleaze Freak $3.00. The Rob Zombie soundalikes actually made a second album. Not an original note on it, but kind of fun anyway.

KMFDM – XTORT $3.48. Because I’m a Chris Connelly fan. Also, this is a reissue that allows you to skip the stupid bonus track.

Anaal Nathrakh – Domine Non Es Dignus $6.99. Woah. Seriously nutty industrial black metal from the UK. Like Cradle mixed with old-school Earache Records.

Powerman 5000 – Transform $1.48. Can’t believe this radio-ready bit of nothing got released and Doomsday didn’t. Oh well, price was right.

And now for my new favourite thing:

index

Doomriders – Black Thunder $5.58 and Darkness Come Alive $6.39. This side project of Converge has a bit of everything good. At their best they sound like the entire back half of Iron Maiden’s Killers being performed by Danzig. If that description appeals to you, run don’t walk to see them.

doomriders-black_thunder

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Preview: Heavy MTL 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2013 by Lightning Slim

And so the pilgrimage is set to begin again. Heavy MTL 2013 will (hopefully) be a good time that will rinse out the bad taste of encroaching cheapness that has overtaken the show of late. Main sponsor has switched from Budweiser to Molson Canadian, which is a bit like telling a captive that flogging has been discontinued in favour of foot-sole beatings.

Also, remember these?

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The beautiful holographic VIP passes and lanyards that have been a cool feature of the MTL experience are now gone. Paper tickets only. Wonder how MUNG those are going to get when we have to show them to security every time we want to get into the seating area? Also likely gone is any sort of physical schedule, which was slowly eroded from a full magazine/brochure until last year it was a single flyer, inaccurate and delivered late in the day.

For the first time, MTL has offered its own dedicated accommodation package; a set of rooms at the New Residence of McGill University (the building itself is a former 4-star hotel). This could either be the best decision we’ve ever made or the worst, as it is inexpensive and convenient, and populated entirely with heavy metal maniacs. You see the double edge of the sword here, no?

LePalaceEnfer-logo-02

Now, for the schedule. Here’s Saturday:

Sat Schedule

 

Although I’m a little sad that A7X takes pride of place over Megadeth, I totally get it. Dudes are old and tired. Not as successful as Metallica or grass-roots respected as Testament. Plus, Dave Mustaine is like three seconds away from pulling his pants up to his armpits and turning into cranky old Republican Clint Eastwood. Thing is, Eastwood has always been a “good guy with a gun”, and never wrote “Hook In Mouth” or covered “Anarchy in the UK”.  My crew will be hanging with Wintersun anyways.

Why are we forced to decide between GWAR and Blackguard while Halestorm is in the free and clear? Grr. Ah well, I can’t resist seeing what the inconsistent Antarcticans* can come up with in a festival setting.

Similarly, it hurts me that I have to run from interesting proggers Baroness to see a few minutes of jaunty, parodic Steel Panther.

Sorry, Newsted. A reformed At The Gates takes it. And a possible train wreck reunion of Danzig and Doyle is way more fun than All Shall Perish.

How about Sunday?

Schedule Sun

No interruptions to the silly fun of Huntress! Or Finntroll! Or the-real-reason-everyone-is-here Amon Amarth! Me likey.

Then there’s some time for a Dagwood sandwich, some people watching and a bit of a nap before Machine Head.

Thrash newcomers Havok would be in trouble if both Mastodon and Children of Bodom hadn’t played Canada 150 times in the past decade. I swear I’ve seen Mastodon more than the Dayglo Abortions, and it’s well-known the Dayglos will play your living room for $200 and a pizza if you can track them down. Looking forward to it, Havok!

While I actually enjoyed the mellow vibe Godsmack brought to their last appearance at MTL, I don’t need it again. Certainly not at the expense of missing Cryptopsy.

Zombie is never bad live – let’s hope he keeps his record strong.

 

Will report back afterwards, of course! Check my Twitter feed for on-the-day shenanigans!

 

* I love GWAR, but they can’t self-edit. Every record (excepting the first two) has at least one excruciatingly bad track on it. I made a “worst of” playlist and discovered they could play an hour long full set of filler.

Classic Album Review – Judas Priest “Point of Entry” 1981

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 20, 2013 by Lightning Slim

220px-JudaspriestpointofentryUSA  Poor old Point of Entry. This oft-overlooked and even more often maligned record gets a hard time for being the most un-metal of Priest’s efforts since Rocka Rolla. To be sure, the entirety of the album’s second half is filled with the Thin Lizzy style boogie rock that nobody wanted the band to prove they could still play.

But there’s so much more to the story. The opening track “Heading out to the Highway” has become a staple on both classic rock radio and the concert stage, and deservedly so. “Desert Plains”, while a bit of a sleeper, showcases the album’s excellent drum production, which often elevates the material. And let’s not forget “Solar Angels”, a wall of  Hawkwind-approved pedal-effect psychedelic riffage that really displays the good side of the experimentation that was happening in the studio at the time.

I will concede that “Don’t Go” is a strange single choice, and that “Turning Circles” is a piece of pure pop idiocy (which still manages to get airplay in my  home more often than I’d care to admit).

However, before we close the book on Point of Entry we must mention “Hot Rockin'”. Consider the video:

Come, on, people! It’s got cutty vests, air guitar and flames! It’s fast, ballsy and a little bit gay. Sounds like metal to me.

Maybe folks Stateside would have warmed to the album more if they hadn’t tampered with the original Brit cover:

 220px-Judas_priest_-_point_of_entry_a  Better, ain’t it? A perfect metaphor for the record itself, wrongly perceived and better than it appears.  7 out of 10

Mullet Evolution

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 31, 2013 by Lightning Slim

For your amusement, here are some old student cards and driver’s licenses showing the growth of the hesher ‘do. Love 1990; the smirk says I’d really found my balls.

And in the last snapshot, I’m twenty-threeish. Started balding thereafter and gave myself the dignity buzz at 30. Now, I compensate with ridiculous beards and muttonchops.

I miss headbanging with substance. I miss windmills. But the spirit lives on.

 

OldSkool 001

OldSkool

More Tickets from the Past

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by Lightning Slim

Hi all. More tickets to show off – of particular interest this time is an old stub from Operation Rock & Roll from 1991. That’s the Toronto show where Rob Halford beaned himself riding out on the Hog during “Hell Bent For Leather” and decided after the show to leave Priest. Teenaged me almost lost his mind!

Concert Tix 2

I Show You My Stubs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2013 by Lightning Slim

…from my concert tickets. A lot of metalheads save up their gig tix for trophy value. Especially in the days before cellphone cameras, they were a great way to say “I was there!” Back then, bands and venues would confiscate pocket cameras and recording devices; now of course everybody wants you to tweet their names far and wide.

I’ve never been very organized, so I’ve lost a lot of my stubs over the years. Recently I was cleaning house and found a stack of them which were very faded, so I decided to throw them on the scanner before consigning them to the circular file. Check it out:

Concert Tix

A fun walk down memory lane. What do you do with your old stubs?

Wrap Up: Heavy MTL 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2012 by Lightning Slim

Getting True Strong and Free up in here.

Hey all, now that there’s snow on the ground here it’s probably time I got off my ass and shared some thoughts on this year’s edition of  Heavy MTL. You know, while it’s still the same year. The 2012 edition will likely be remembered as The Year It Finally Rained, and rain it did for much of the Saturday. That didn’t stop the bands, however, and it certainly didn’t stop me and my crew from getting down and especially dirty in the mud pits of Montreal.

Into the Pit! Wait no, too old, too scary! WHAA!

Big Hit: The word of the weekend was OldSkool, with both Overkill and Suicidal Tendencies absolutely laying waste to the place before a crowd that was eager to receive their 80’s thrash offering. Both bands seemed fresh and vital, with ST in particular back from the dead with a parade of rock-solid hits.

Still Cyco.

Big Miss: Marilyn Manson was an unmitigated disaster. Sloppy play, uninterested banter, poor singing. And this from a band with one of the prime stage slots, which makes it insulting,  considering there were so many small, more interesting bands working their asses off on the same weekend.  From what I’m hearing, this unprofessional behaviour has continued, as well. Slipknot was a bit auto-pilot as well, truth be told, presenting us with a lot of clown-goes-up, clown-goes-down and a distinct lack of the same chops that captivated folks back in the day.

No pictures of those loser bands. Here’s one of Overkill instead.

Great as Expected: Gojira, Kataklysm, Cannibal Corpse. Killswitch Engage had a powerful set with new/old frontman Jesse Leach, holding audience attention even at the height of the rainstorm.

Kataklysm rocks the MTL.

Pleasant Surprise: Who knew the NWOBHM was alive and well in suburban Quebec? 80’s rockers Sword put on a clinic on the third stage, putting me in mind of Grim Reaper and Mercyful Fate. Late on Saturday, Battlecross tore up the place in front a few in-the-know folks, making it feel like a private show. Very cool.

Sword. Spooky! Psychedelic! Wrinkly!

Mo’ Canada: In addition to Sword, we had more Canuck action than ever this year, with Voivod, The Agonist, Diemonds, battle of the bands winners Hollow and many more. Hell, even old chestnuts B.A.R.F. put foot to ass for our listening pleasure. The local scene is always one of my favourite things about Heavy MTL, and this year was stellar.

Hollow. Later spotted peeling off their elaborate corpse paint in the Jagermeister Hot Tub (not kidding).

Organization Bad: C’mon, guys. Let’s talk about line-up. Here are the headliners, year by year:

2008 – Iron Maiden + Motley Crue

2010 – Rob Zombie / Korn + Slayer / Megadeth

2011 – Godsmack / Disturbed + KISS / Motorhead

2012 – System of a Down / Five Finger Death Punch + Slipknot / Marilyn Manson

It’s not what I’d call a direct decline, but does show evidence of corner cutting, as did the late arriving, inaccurate, single-page “programme”. Let’s hope we can see them lure at least one Metal God here in 2013.

Organization Good: The nuts and bolts stuff seemed well in hand, with better access to drinking water,  and more (and more interesting) foods than years previous. It rained and they gave out raincoats, so that wasn’t too shabby. Heavy MTL remains the most consistently easy festival to enter in my experience, with the journey from the subway car, lining up, scanning tickets and searching bags all taking less than 15 minutes.

Mrs. Slim did say I should get outside more.

The Vibe: As always, the best in the biz. It’s what keeps us coming back. These are our people, gathered together in an easy-going place. The fact that we have such a place and that they offer a variety of bands to enjoy and complain about is something to be celebrated.

I like to think RJD sent this after the rain.

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