Whiff o’ the Week (12/14/14)
She’d brooded on her loss, misery had brewed
In her heart, that female horror, Grendel’s
Mother, living in the murky cold lake
Assigned her since Cain had killed his only
Brother, slain his father’s son
With an angry sword.
It is time now for the festering worm of vengeance brooding deep within your heart to be unfettered. Unleash your fury against the greatest of all grievances in 2014. This is Whiff o’ the
Last week I asked you which whiff spoiled your appetite. Interestingly, there was a three-way split between Mariah Carey‘s Christmas kerfuffle, All That Remains’ transcendence, and whatever the hell “My Town” is. Therefore, let your adulation fall upon the rank Cerberus that is Joe/Jack Bauer/Brock Samson.
Next week, we have a very special topic. Your objective: Present the weakest song by a band on your top 10 list of 2014. What was that one dud on an otherwise stellar effort? Choose! Just a reminder though: don’t forget to give me a SONG and a BLURB.
All week we have celebrated the heights of glory achieved by metal in 2014. However, today is not a day for merrymaking. Today is a day of mourning as we lament the greatest atrocities committed in 2014. Today we decide the the single worst song of 2014. Let the stone-throwing begin.
I try to avoid bad metal like the plague, so I had to do some digging/soul-searching to find a suitable blunder. But my exploration yielded putrid fruit. As it turns out, The Amity Affliction released a song called “F.M.L.” Apparently FML in this circumstance stands for “Find My Light,” but it might as well mean “Flush My Life” with how awful this song is. That title alone is sufficiently cringeworthy itself for a nomination, but then I listened to the actual song. There isn’t a single noteworthy or interesting or original element here. This band should be ashamed of releasing something so trite and boring in 2014. FML indeed.
My Whiff of the Year (WotY™) goes squarely to Godsmack for having the gall to still exist. J/K, everyone has to make their paper somehow, and I don’t begrudge any motherfucker his success for doing his thing. Unless that thing is making paint by numbers bullshit that is designed to give lowest common denominator rednecks a soundtrack for drunk driving. Let’s give it up for “F.M.L.” by Godsmack who somehow thought it was a fresh idea to put out a song called “Fuck My Life” in the year of our lord two thousand and fourteen. Did Sully Erna finally get around to catching a 2007 Judd Apatow film? Is he just now discovering ancient memes? Will he release a song next year about planking? Hopefully, but regardless it will sound exactly like this song, which is to say it will sound exactly like every other Godsmack song. You know when the clean guitar lines and chunky power chords will give way to a shitty wah solo. Quit buying Godsmack records America/shittier parts of Canada.
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Within one minute it goes from the world’s most generic core-of-the-week, to nu metal, to the alt rock stylings of acoustic Nickelback, and then into some truly awful pop metal chorus. Oh, and did I mention the speedy rap section in the middle? If this isn’t the worst thing you’ve heard all year, you’re a fucking liar.
Nordling Rites ov Karhu
I didn’t want to choose an easy whiff. Not too easy anyways. So I thought of all the albums and songs that sucked this year and chose all that were not condemned to do so from the beginning. Iced Earth‘s Plagues of Babylon stood as one such album. Gone are the striking thrashy riffs and powerful, soaring melodies that once dominated this battlefield. In fact they have been gone for a while and it certainly isn’t because Schaffer is missing; he just ain’t that good anymore (or ever). These songs are bland and powerless metal that don’t exactly know what kind of songs they want to be. And among these songs one particularly bad one stands out. “Among The Living Dead.” Hansi Kursch is supposed to be singing on this one, but he has been buried so deep he’s practically undetectable. Is he doing the woo-oo’s? Backing the chorus ooh’s? I can’t tell, and it’s a crime against humanity to do that to Hansi Kursch.
Fun Fact: Ill Niño is still making music. Sad Fact: They made this song. The whole thing is a big ol’ pile of meh, an earnest pump up song that’s as life-affirming as cleaning your teeth. @2:57 they decide to breakdown like it’s 2004, before returning to the chorus that’s so bland, you truly believe Cristian Machado when he shouts “Let’s get high, we don’t give a fuck.”
Unlike most of you toilet dwellers, I’m a fan of Steel Panther. My intro to metal as a youngster was the likes of Mötley Crüe, Poison, Bon Jovi, Gunners, etc. so I could appreciate SP for their musical ability; their misogynistic lyrics and toilet humour were just a bonus. Also, they’re tonnes of fun live. All You Can Eat on the other hand saw an album that failed for the most part to capture the humour and the rockin’ music of the first two, and it’s songs like this one that made AYCE more flush than crush.
This is too advanced to try to comment on. Bravo, Ronnie Radke, bravo.
I listened to the entire album Black Widow. It was painful, but A) I had to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, B) I had to Soundcloud a “lolbuttz” into every track, and C) I wanted to find the perfect whiff for best-of 2014.
“Even in these chains, you can’t stahp me.”
Trend hoppers. Dez Fafara, Robb Flynn, Max Cavalera … Maria Brink? Nope, In This Moment has chosen to regress to what is arguably the stinkiest era of metal: nu-metal. Their most recent album Black Widow must have been recorded in 2001, and they’re just now releasing it to the world.
“Stay the fuck, stay the fuck, stay the fuck out of my head!”
Teenage angst. Simple, down-tuned chuggy riffs. Samples. The stuttering effect (is my Internet connection struggling? nope). Time for a guitar solo? Nah, let’s just repeat the main riff, but a little heavier, and sprinkle some spoken word over it. If this album WASN’T recorded in 2001, one has to wonder “what were they thinking?” Maybe they thought, “hey our fanbase is young enough to not have experienced nu-metal, so they’ll just eat this up!” Maybe they lost a bet, I don’t know! It hurts my head trying to rationalize this album.
“You see I am the wolf, And this dirty, little piggy lives inside of me.”
I had never heard King 810 prior to today, but I had heard plenty of hubbub over these guys on various blogs, and I already knew they were awful. I didn’t need to try a bunch of different songs to find the worst one, I knew that if I picked any King 810 song it would automatically be the worst song of the year. Between angsty garbage lyrics, a vocalist who very clearly is stretching himself for even the most basic scream, and music that first debuted on every Slipknot album ever, whatever song I just listened to is officially the worst song of the year.
But Simon, you say, this doesn’t sound so bad. Why are you picking this as your whiff of the year over songs from In Flames or Attila or Rings of Saturn or Emmure? The answer is simple. I fully expected all of the new releases from all of those bands to suck. This sack of hot wet garbage is from a band I actually enjoyed and still released decent material. This is not the band that made Bloody Vengeance or Anthropology or even Ratrace. That to me hurts far more than anything coming out of Frankie Palmeri or Anders or Chris Fronzak’s camp. And when you have fellow Brazilians Korzus and JackDevil putting out far better music this year, that leaves no excuse. I don’t expect anyone to vote for this, and that’s fine. But you are a fucking failure in MY eyes Vulcano. And that’s all that matters.
I love Zakk Wylde’s work with Ozzy and his early Black Label Society output, but now he needs to retire. Fuck this generic song and its generic shitty album.
I don’t expect bands to be groundbreaking to be good. Hell, I love generic music; I often jam to Charli XCX, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift (to mention but a few). But when I heard Arch Enemy‘s newest material, I thought to myself: “how could a band that was as boring as Arch Enemy to begin with get WORSE?” Magically, they did. And if their goal was to create the absolute pinnacle of what cliché metal music could be, then mission accomplished! Everything I’ve heard from War Eternal sounds pathetic. It’s uninspired heavy metal garbage. Paint-by-the numbers music should have some kind of redeeming individuality, but War Eternal could have been made by literally any other melodic death metal band (and probably would have been done better). On the title track, the most interesting thing that happens is the drummer playing 16th notes on the kick, through the entire song. And that is, by far, the most captivating aspect of this insipid compilation of musical banality — which goes to show you just how trite the rest of the song is. The saddest part of listening to any other song from this album is that the 16th note kick drum pattern is still more interesting than literally everything else everyone else has to offer. Which is not to say a steady 16th note kick drum pattern is interesting — because it’s really not — but it is trying to make a point about this album’s quality, much like saying: “I’m sure glad that when I got kicked in the nuts it didn’t rupture anything!” It’s a pretty piss poor silver lining.
FLAME SHIELD ON!
Anything Babymetal. Any of it!
This year saw a lot of turds dropped among all the great stuff, but this one floats at the top above all the others. The opening riff is a glorious fart, and it only gets worse from there. Pale, washed out retreads of past glories. And those vocals. Oh lord. I can hardly believe this is the same guy that used to be one of my favorite vocalists. Upon pressing play on this thing the unfortunate listener is subjected to an alternating assault of laughable and cringe worthy moments. It’s not that they changed style, it’s that they changed into something that sucks. This sounds like if U2 tried to be a metal band.
As if we all weren’t annoyed at iTunes enough for the U2 debacle, they have now chosen, over all the amazing albums that came out, this garbage, as their album of the year.
Oh man. I’m gonna get so much shit for this. But(t) fuck it. It’s 2014. I really don’t think it needs to be said, but apparently y’all love Slipknot (aka SlapKnuTs). This is a band who should be dead and forgotten like most of their nü metal brethren, but they’re still selling out stadiums, still headlining festivals, and still remaining relevant. Now here’s my question. WHY? Why the fuck do people give a shit still?!?! It’s 2014, guys, Slipknot is as relevant as- oh wait the 90’s are making a comeback I get it now. But of all the songs I could have chosen, I chose the closing track, because at least the rest of them know to clock it in before they hit the five minute mark, but the unforgivable 6:20 runtime makes it my absolute Whiff ov the Year.
Alright, flushalos. What was the biggest whiff of 2014?
Feel free to defend any of these choices in the comments section and tell me what a turd I am for my opinion. Also, if you hate something I love, send it to me for the next Whiff o’ the Week! All opinions here are strictly those of the writer in question, although most of them are correct.