Agony Shorthand

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

It’s always tempting to try and get excited about metal, isn’t it? I mean, it’s likely every one of us has at least some sorta yen for supremely amped guitars and a little antisocial, parent-upsetting behavior – not to mention reverence for early heavyweights like Sabbath, AC/DC, and Motorhead, of course, – so it would stand to reason that the seemingly endless waves of up-and-coming, swashbuckling young metalers might provide a few diamonds in the rough. At least that’s what I keep thinking – and the names! Oh my, the names get better every year. These young men continue to find excellent ways of mashing words or suffixes like “cannibal”, “lord”, “satan”, “corpse”, “demon”, “-icide”, “throne” etc. into newer and more exciting combinations. The deceptive pull of the metal temptation has been so overwhelming at times that my pal DP and I threatened for about 4 years to get righteously loaded and attend the Covered Wagon Saloon’s weekly “Lucifer’s Hammer” metal show – maybe the CorpseVomit / Infestation / Vernicious Kind bill? Hey DP, I’m a little tired this week – if not that one, there’s always next week, right? For four years this went on until the whole thing went kaput and both the metal nite and the Covered Wagon went under. I guess the children, the wives and the Tuesday night TV lineup were ultimately more engaging.

But therein lies the harsh truth. For at least 25 years, heavy metal has been a one-note joke. The galloping guitars, the crypto-gothic lettering, the horrific names – it’s all very funny for about five minutes. The sorts of folks who take it any more seriously than that – well, there aren’t very many of them, and they’re usually about 15 years old and just a wee bit on the alienated (and alienating) side. Ask around, maybe this weekend – metal has virtually zero staying power beyond the heavyweight originators mentioned earlier, and the odd METALLICA and VOIVOD album. This brings us to Load Records’ entry into extreme metal brutality : VINCEBUS ERUPTUM!!! To their credit, these guys give you two jokes for the price of one. Unfortunately, that joke is “Who Farted?”, track #2. The rest of the CD is dull as dishwater, and about as evil and terrifying. Now maybe I’ll get strung up and crucified on an upside-down cross for my heresy, but I did some math on this one:

Name of band (Vincebus Eruptum) = Funny
Gothic lettering on sleeve = Funny
Galloping guitars = Funny
The pain of listening to the actual CD = Unfunny
Sell to used CD store ASAP