Month Without Metal Week 2: Riffdrawals

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In all of my wisdom I have elected to give up metal for the month of February. What follows below is a recap of life without my preferred genre and all of the discovery and suffering that entails. Oh, and playlists! There are playlists, too. Please, won’t you come join me so I don’t have to suffer alone?

Do you remember how I said that by the end of week one things were actually getting easier? New avenues were being explored! A whole world of new music was opened up! Life without my metal crutches was EXCITING! Well all of that lasted approximately 2 more days before I started to feel… anxious. I couldn’t tell you where, exactly, this change happened. It was as if I woke up and a switch had been flipped. I have a lust for RIFFAGE, and it is not being sated. Not even close. Perhaps it has been this week’s diet of movie soundtracks and rap, but I think it’s really just a need for some heavily distorted thrashing that will not accept any substitutes.

It did not help, then, that the local butt rock station mocked me mercilessly this week. The heaviest thing they played was “Headstrong” by Trapt, possibly the worst of all of the terrible butt rock that the aughts spawned. While I thought that this and that goddamn inescapable Zac Brown/Chris Cornell song would certainly be the death of me, it was actually a commercial that twisted the knife hardest. Apparently this past Saturday At the Gates played in Dallas with Decapitated, The Haunted and Harm’s Way, and as far as I can tell it was the first time this radio station had ever decided to advertise for a legit heavy metal show. Of course it was. The instantly recognizable opening riff to “Slaughter of the Soul” blasted through my car stereo as generic radio bro #5 rattled off band after band, my heart sinking with every one. I think Slaughter of the Soul is a great-but-overrated album, but I’ll be goddamned if I didn’t want to listen to it more than anything in the world the next several days.

The week wasn’t spent entirely writhing in agony from riffdrawals, though. I continued my adventure through the collected works of David Bowie, spending a lot of time split between Blackstar and The Man Who Sold the World. I also spent some quality time with last year’s Lost Themes by John Carpenter, an album I had oddly ignored even though the man has made many of my favorite soundtracks (and movies). Even when he isn’t scoring the apocalypse Carpenter can still write the hell out of a synth tune.

One area I consciously tried to explore was rap/hip hop. This week I listened to 2001, Doggystyle, Death Certificate and Return to the 36 Chambers for the first time. I had heard the singles from all these albums, but had never bothered to really explore them any further than that. I regret that so hard. Of all the aforementioned albums 2001 by Dr. Dre probably got the most plays with “The Watcher” never fully leaving my brain. I also managed to find plenty of time for my number one fallback while at the gym: DMX. Let a dog roam and he’ll find his way home, indeed.

That about wraps up week two. As I write this I plan on listening to Illmatic by Nas (I have no idea if that’s a good or bad idea) and will stare longingly at the Pig Destroyer LPs that showed up at my door the other day. Many apologies to the girl in the Slayer jacket. You’ll just have to wait, my love.

Why are radio stations so cruel? Will they ever be good again? Were they ever good in the first place? Why is that remix of Ruff Ryder’s Anthem so much better than the original?  These questions and more could possibly be answered in the comments section.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Leif you brave bastard. Nice to see you get into some classic hip hop gems, though. Listening to Illmatic is a wise decision.

  • Congratulations on persevering through your own self imposed torture.

    I on the other hand am listening to Gojira, be jelly.

    GL

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Gonna put this here, ’cause some of you might not see it if I post it in the news roundup.

    Shane Embury, AA “AK” Keurno of Brujeria, Roel Klomp, formerly of Born From Pain and Sofia Magalhaes formed a supergroup/band by the name o’ Hicks Kinison.
    https://hickskinison.bandcamp.com/album/hicks-kinison-devour-their-hearts

  • Sir Tapir The Based

    Some guud non-metal for you.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCfZvZp3axM

  • RustyShackleford

    GOOD SIR! Don’t hate on Zac Brown, those dudes are awesome and that song rocks. Although my local butt rock station (Syracuse/95X) also overplays the shit out of it, so I get that lol. I’ve been getting into way more hip-hop this year after Kendrick Lamar/Run the Jewels knocked me on my ass…highly recommend Illmatic, as I’m more of an east coast dude. If you don’t listen to Biggie this week you have FAILED! Yup!

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod
    • Sir Tapir The Based

      I posted an Anima Arctica band you did the same. Coincidence? I think NOT!

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Key, didn’t know they were on AA. First time hearing (of) them.

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          I believe there is a new Pyhä Kuolema album coming.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            That would be a good.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            It’s called Uusi panssaroitu Suomi, but there’s no release date yet.

  • pïgchop™

    For no particular reason at all…

  • Boss the Ross

    WU-TANG!
    You need to listen to Liquid Swords by GZA/Genius. It’s the best Wu solo album.
    Also, you need some Public Enemy in that rap list.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Boss knows what’s up.

      • Boss the Ross

        Edward! Thank you good sir.

    • RustyShackleford

      I second this Public Enemy suggestion. “It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back” is such a goddamn killer record.

    • Dubs

      Yo, if we’re making rap suggestions:

      Dead Prez – Let’s Get Free
      Geto Boys – The Resurrection
      TI – TI vs. TIP
      Outkast – Stankonia

      • RustyShackleford

        If we’re making rap suggestions, everything by Outkast! haha

        • Boss the Ross

          In that case all of PE!

          • Dubs
          • Boss the Ross

            Huh, this is pretty cool. Not quite as powerful as Chuck D, but he’s good.

          • Dubs

            Yah, but I think it’s a cool take.

          • Boss the Ross

            Most definitely.

          • more beer

            He has mad skills.

          • Boss the Ross

            In reference to Chuck D or Pharoahe?

          • more beer

            Pharoahe. Chuck D it goes without saying.

          • Boss the Ross

            Haha, this is the answer i was expecting.
            I’ll check this Pharoahe fellow out.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™
      • Boss the Ross

        I enjoy how you prefaced that with “yo”

        Also
        BDP – Criminally Minded
        Method Man – Tical
        Eric B & Rakim – Paid in Full

      • Beanie Sigel’s “The B. Coming” is criminally underrepresented whenever we talk about rap.

        • Dubs

          I haven’t heard that and should probs check it out.

        • Zeke

          Beanie has a verse on pusha t’s new album and pusha t just destroys him

          • Pusha T is just a way better rapper than Beanie. Just about every guest on The B. Coming is better than him too. For whatever reason, that album is killer.

          • Zeke

            I never heard that album, but good beats can make a good album even if the rapping isn’t great

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Pusha T’s solo stuff has all been killer.

        • OH, and Cam’ron’s “Purple Haze”. Two State-Property records that came out at pretty much the same time.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaIq-RAYK8M

        • more beer

          These guys are very under represented here too.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0eKb5YBxFg

      • Guacamole Jim

        Dead Prez >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • Zeke

      Best?! Best?!!!! Fucking Cuban linx – BOOM! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9pRHZm8LPZQ

      • Zeke
        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          The Infamous is still in my top 5 hip hop albums of all time.

          • Zeke

            I don’t listen to as much rap as when I was an angry young man, but the infamous has always been one of my favs

      • Boss the Ross

        I must respectfully disagree with you good sir.

        • Zeke

          This is my take- the rapping is the best on liquid swords, but I think rza’s best beats are on Cuban linx.

          • Boss the Ross

            Well played.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Leaving out ATCQ’s The Low End Theory is a bad idea.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvRp4Pjk8vU

      • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

        Good pick, but imho, Midnight Marauders will always be the best Tribe album, hands down.

      • Boss the Ross

        Indeed so!

      • Guacamole Jim

        This fucking album. One of the best hip hop records ever made.

    • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

      I highly recommend Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. :-p

      • Boss the Ross

        Bwahaha

    • tertius_decimus

      I wonder if rappers talk metal at their own rap-themed Toilets of Ghettoz.

      • Dubs

        SpaceGhostPurrp is a big fan of metal.

        • tertius_decimus

          Drummer Mike Smith too. But he’s famous as metal musician rather than rapper.

        • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

          Gah! I really tried to get into him since I’m a huge fan of 4AD, but gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah that shit was awful. How the fuck he even got on there is beyond me.

          • Dubs

            He’s honestly a poor rapper, but there was a lot of hype for his album when it dropped because there wasn’t a lot out there like it.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Still a very odd fit on a label like 4AD.

          • Makes sense to me. 4AD is like “Unnecessary Amounts of Reverb: The Record Label”.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Twin Shadow, Ariel Pink, Modern English, The National, Wolfgang Press, Deerhunter, Iron And Wine, Dead Can Dance and Tune-Yards use tons of reverb? Do tell!
            (though I’ll agree with most of the artists using shitloads of it)

      • Boss the Ross

        I’d like to think so.

      • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD
        • this is the fastest i’ve not hit play on a video, judging from the preview picture. should i watch? is there buried treasure?

          • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

            yes.

        • tertius_decimus

          Atilla as an example to represent the metal? THOUSAND FLUSHES!

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      I don’t often reveal my like of Biggie because rap fans call me a poser for liking entry level stuff.

      • Boss the Ross

        Fuck those guys. You listen to what you like and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • Leif, you can check…

    Wait, who cares? You will not pay attention to our recommendations, you selfish bear!

    Continue in your pain travelling. I’m out!

    On the real side, that John Carpenter’s album is a-good!

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Link you beautiful bastard.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Have been coming back to this for almost a couple o’ years now. Only now starting to like it, sg.7 of Horna and Kaarna of Tervahäät (which I posted below) making, uh… interesting music.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W240Z70FPJ8

    • five minutes in, this is really good. gonna keep it playing…

      • Sir Tapir The Based

        Feel the Finn.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Who’s a good boy, who’s a good boy…
        yes you are, oh yes you are.

    • This be good!

      GLLG

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        good, good
        The Covenant grows…

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Excellent non-metal. The fucking Strawbs…..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XlT1jlD-xU

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      Hi JJD!

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Good sir, do not mock me.

      • we’ve all got a little JJD in us. .. whoops

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          Are you saying you’re JJD?
          I KNEW IT I FUCKING KNEW IT THE TRUTH HAS BEEN REVEALED

          • ME GUNGA B.C.™

            WHY COME U THINK JIMMY EVERY TOILET COMMENT MAKE PERSON???????????

          • Dubs

            Probably because Jimmy has about 5 alt accounts.

          • ME GORAK B.C.™
          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            Nice work Jimmy

        • Where is JJD? I am sure he will be around in a bit…

  • Caveman Cult:

    “New LP “Savage War Is Destiny is finished.
    10 tracks, roughly 35 minutes.
    Production is even dirtier and more destructive than the demo.
    Label announcement and new track to be revealed this week.”

    Their demo was beyond savage. Looking forward to this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoUv2VZXvbo

    • ULTRA RARE BLACKBEARD

      good to see Goraks band is getting some love.

      this aint bad

  • Dubs

    To be honest, I dunno why we’re still sitting around talking about rap. It obviously reached its peak on “All in the Family”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPeCklY7n6Y

    • Sir Tapir The Based
      • Dubs

        This will be my last dong for the day on here. Don’t want to flood the market.

    • when i hear jonathan davis & fred durst dissing each other i’m always “no guys, set aside your differences and get along”

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      What about the song where Ice Cuba Libre was featured, Camelback or smth?

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Say what? Say what?

    • CyberneticOrganism

      *frosts hair, buys JNCOs, considers tongue piercing*

      • *regrets nothing*

    • Dang this is bad.

    • Guacamole Jim

      Of all the songs I dislike by Korn, which is almost all of them, I dislike this song the most.

  • JWEG

    I wish I could recommend some good recent Canadian hip-hop, but I find it all terrible.

    Some time in the early 2000’s everyone decided just to ape one particular American style, and the inevitable product was Drake. Yet, it gets worse.

    Some of my faves from the mid-to-late 90’s are still active, but a lot less so now for relatively obvious reasons (age, families, some being deceased). I’d make suggestions, but YouTube is being very stingy with stuff that isn’t really terrible audio and video quality rips from 2007…

  • Zeke

    I don’t know if you’ve ever heard minus the bear, but they’re an indie band from the old guitarist from botch. The guitars get pretty wild, so it can scratch the same itch as metal sometimes. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wWNFeEJwIbU

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I remember checking out Minus the Bear back in the day because of the Botch connection!

      • Zeke

        They’ve fallen off with their newer stuff, but their old albums are all great

  • IronLawnmower

    The fact you haven’t shot yourself yet is really rather startling.

  • Sir Tapir The Based
  • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

    Hip hop, you say?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDRPf8KHawY

    It’s a couple of the guys from Digable Planets, if you remember them.

  • Poseur Diposeur

    Geto Boys and Jedi Mind Tricks are both awesome rap groups that satisfy the same needs that metal does (at least for me)

  • Boss the Ross

    Dirty Version is my second favorite Wu solo album.

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas
  • Dental Damnation!

    GL

  • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

    Some more good non-metal, and pretty chill to boot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDjFLT-KaUg

  • Óðinn
    • Boss the Ross

      That’s good music.