We often like to think of metal as more than just a style of music. The words brotherhood and community get tossed around a lot. If the unity that we as a listening community share is genuine, then no one of us listens to metal in a vacuum free of the influence of his or her peers. No metalhead is an island, as it were. Today we celebrate the albums and bands that your friends gave to you. Today we celebrate the way your buddies turned you on to one of your favorite bands.
#MetalBandcampGiftClub is still rocking. I’ve personally received a bunch of albums from you fine folks, and I treasure all of these. Again, I say thank you. However, as these are all technically items I wishlisted myself, none of them really fit the criteria of today’s post. Instead, I have to dig back a bit into my memory to find some records that I would not have discovered as quickly (and subsequently fallen in love with) or even discovered at all without the recommendation of my peers. After pondering the question for a bit, two things come to mind, one old and one new.
Old: Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction
Scene: I had just graduated from high school and was excited to soon join the collegiate world in a city far, far away from home. I wanted to try to connect with some folks from my future alma mater, so I joined a Myspace (lol) group for engineering students at my university. One particular fellow named Tom and I became friends, and after chatting for a while, we discovered a mutual interest in heavy metal.
Aside: At the time, I was into metal, but nothing very extreme. I liked Metallica and Pantera, but most of what I listened to back then (a decade ago) would fall under the umbrella of nu metal/metalcore (yes, we were all posers at one point).
So, after finding out I liked Metallica, dear old Tom besought me to explore the oeuvre of one of the other great thrash bands, Megadeth. I’m not entirely certain how I picked my entry point, but I guess Countdown to Extinction was as good a place as any to start. I was immediately enamored of that simple riff in “Symphony of Destruction” and soon came to love many of the other cuts on the record, particularly “Sweating Bullets.” A few months later I would plumb the depths of death metal, math metal, and prog metal, but for a brief time in my affections, Megadeth reigned, and I can thank ol’ Tom for that.
New: Blood Incantation – Interdimensional Extinction
“Hey Dubs, check out this sweet artwork. This band sounds like Timeghoul. Very rad.” These were the words (or something approximately like them) that my dear sweet Leif Bearikson used to seduce me into listening to Blood Incantation. As it turns out, he was not wrong. Our own Richter predicts the full length album from these death metal masters of the 4th dimension will be the Toilet’s darling this year, and if the sweet riffs and ghastly vocals keep coming in measured pace through well-crafted songs, he may very well be right. If you still haven’t heard it, get listening.
So now it’s your turn. Share with me your loves that your loves have helped you to love. Bring me your loves, my loves.