Who Invited Buzzkillington?
Hey there, truest of the trve and cultest of the kvlt metalhead. You, yes you. With the bullet-belt, corpse-paint, and pig’s blood soaked kerchief. Do you like having fun? Of course you don’t! You’re a dyed-in-the-wool misanthrope who loathes the sweet caress of human contact and forgot what sunlight feels like on your pale skin. You hate fun because it reminds you of that time your jimmies caught frostbite when you got dragged to your Uncle Frankie’s house in Wisconsin for that festive holiday that appropriated your cherished pagan traditions. You dwell in darkness and obscurity in your parents’ basement dungeon. This post isn’t for you.
But for the rest of you normal flushers, you like fun. To you, fun means eating lots of barbecue, getting your pasty body in gear for some ultimate frisbee, and maybe even working up the courage to actually talk to that cute girl in your Chem 1407 class rather than just creepily sniffing her hair when you sit behind her in the lecture hall. Yeah, you totally dig fun.
There’s just one problem, though. You’re a metalhead! You don’t exactly listen to fun music. You dig lo-fi, obscure war-metal and technical blackened death metal released on indie labels. What’s a flusher to do?
Enter the W. I’m here to present to you some solid collections of fun metal spanning the last few decades. These are some solid records that will get your blood pumping and your hips thrusting. Consider it a reward for surviving a hot hot summer of honest labor. Now, I’m not going to talk about recent releases by Destrage, Mastodon, and Killer Be Killed that many of us agree are pretty groovy tunes. Instead, I’m going to share some classic albums and potential low-fliers that should get your weekend started right. Enjoy and share your own fun metal jams in the comments.
Motörhead – Overkill (1979)
Did everyone hear about that recent case where that old guy caused himself to bleed from his brain at a Motörhead concert? I guarantee you he had fun. Everyone loves Motörhead, even the most jaded non-metal fans, and Lemmy is totally the master of having a good time. This is great party music for moshing with your bros (genuinely regarded as fun), so I suggest you start any weekend thrashers with this album.
Death Angel – The Ultraviolence (1987)
All metalheads know that thrash metal is the most fun of all subgenres because it leads to head-bangin’, moshin’, and partyin’. Although there are about a billion thrash metal bands that have written fun tunes, I’m going to stick with The Ultraviolence because of the raw testosterone that fueled it. Death Angel were just kids when they wrote this album, and everyone knows teenagers are super on-the-ball when it comes to partying. Death Angel mastered the riffs on their very first album, and they’ve been riding their own fun coat-tails since.
Corrosion of Conformity – Deliverance (1994)
This might be blasphemy, but I prefer the Pepper Keenan, southern-rock era of CoC. Those riffs! Those vocals! Albatross was pretty much the soundtrack to my summer years ago, and it reminds me of a party after which I upchucked a Monte Christo off of a bridge. This whole album is packed with winners, so if you’ve never heard it, repent now and responsibly enjoy some adult beverages with your buds.
Hammerfall – Legacy of Kings (1998)
I’m going to be honest. I have a love-hate relationship with Power Metal. I love the bombast, the soaring vocals, and the way songs of swords and sorcery touch my inner nerd. Unfortunately, the cheese often becomes unbearable for some bands. But not for Hammerfall. These pure Swedish templars know how to write blazing riffs, pummeling drums, and choruses sure to latch their claws in your medulla oblongata. I dare you to listen to “Heeding the Call” and not find yourself clad in armor and slaying posers who don’t love fun.
Orange Goblin – Healing through Fire (2007)
Here’s another blues-soaked, beer-guzzling southern metal album, but this one hails from jolly-ol’ England. Weird, right? But still, this album is a winner and makes a great soundtrack for launching off a rope-swing and catching some sweet wakes. Plus, that harmonica lead on the final track is killer. “Beginner’s Guide to Suicide” is like “Free Bird” written for metalheads.
The Monolith Deathcult – Tetragrammaton (2013)
Death metal? Fun? Are you nuts, W.? Yes, but just hear me out. Tetragrammaton flew under the radar of a lot of people last year, and that’s a crying shame. This album is fun because of the sheer ridiculousness involved. Between the searing guitar leads, blast beats, and guttural growls, there’s a significant amount of clever, tongue-in-cheek humor. You’ll start to seriously question your life decisions when Optimus Prime starts quoting Caligula to you over audio samples from Independence Day, but then the humor sets in, and you won’t even bat an eye when The Bible and MLK pop up in the next track. Everyone knows funny things are fun, so get in on the joke and enjoy this meta-satire of your favorite subgenere.
Tengger Cavalry – Ancient Call (2014)
Folk metal is often beloved by fun-loving pagans who wear hemp and don’t shower, and there isn’t much wrong with that. However, most folk metal goes too heavy-handed on the folk and too light on the metal, resulting in a big, smelly mess. I can’t say the same of Ancient Call, the newest album by China’s Tengger Cavalry. The thundering riffs and double-bass are led by soaring horse-head fiddle melodies that don’t steal from the pulse of the metal. These are fun, adventurous songs perfect for horseback riding, camping, and LARPing if you’re into that sort of thing. I love this album, and it’s sure to make your weekend fun.
Andrew W. K. – I Get Wet (2001)
This isn’t metal per se, but a list of fun albums wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Andrew W. K.’s “I Get Wet”. Mr. W. K. (or Steev Mike if you believe the conspiracy theories) is the single greatest authority on partying the world has ever known, and “I Get Wet” is the single greatest party album ever written. This album will have you dancing in front of your cat like a loon or till-hammering until you can’t feel anything, so put it on and party. As Andrew W. K. said in a recent Reddit AMA, “You should party as hard as you want. Then party a little harder.” Have a fun fun fun day.