Is It Really Metal?

Recommendations, discussions, questions & debates regarding the godly Metal of olde...
User avatar
nightsblood
Posts: 2288

Is It Really Metal?

Post#1 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:53 pm

So we've all had this problem; you've spent 6 hours digging through 3,000 used vinyl records, having only found ten thousand Christmas albums, some Ray Stenes albums, and a box set of Pat Boone's greatest hits, when you finally spot something that MIGHT be a new metal gem.... but you're not sure. What to do? Do you spend some of your hard-earned cash and risk it turning out to be a Bay city Rollers clone? or do you pass it up only to find out later that it was a tour de force of head banging fury? Well, I'm here to help you out! I've spent 30 years digging through old reocrds, so I've learned a trick or two that should prove handy. When encountering an unknown album/single/tape/whatever, REAL metal heads tend to run through a checklist to decide whether or not the album is gonna be metal enough to buy.

IS IT WORTHY?

Step 1- Band picture. If more than one male member has a perm, put it down. If exactly one guy has a perm, proceed with caution. If no guys have perms, proceed to step 2. If it's an all-female band, skip straight to step 2.

Step 2-Cover art: does it feature a motorcycle, demon, medieval weapon, upside-down cross, skull or other human remains, and/or a sexy-looking female? If so, proceed to step 3. If it depicts a unicorn, dolphin, baby stroller, kitty cat, toy guns, hot air balloon, or a basketball, put it down.

Step 3-Band Name: is it metal sounding? is the logo hard to read? Is there at least one upside-down cross worked into the logo? Is more than one word deliberately misspelled? If so, proceed to step 4.

Step 4-Song titles: do some of the following words appear in some combination: wings, sword, killer, axe, blood, scream, metal, militia, death, nuclear, die, leather, kangaroo (not really; just seeing if you're really paying attention), hell, fire, shoot, lights, kill, rock, surrender, night. If so, proceed to step 5. If more than one title contains the words baby, sugar, honey, girl, wishing, missing, party, wombat, xylophone, carp, desperate, love, or star, either put it down or proceed with caution.

Step 5-Year of release: the closer to 1984, the better. If it is within +/- 5 years of 1984, proceed to step 6. If from 1978 or earlier, you can proceed with caution, but go back to step 1 and count the number of bell-bottoms you see; any number other than zero is unacceptable. If from after 1989, put it down immediately or lose all your hardcore true kvlt metal status forever.

Step 6- Country of origin: is the band from the US, UK, Canada, or Germany? If so, buy it; you're quest is done. If not but they're from Spain, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, somewhere in South America, Belgium, Italy, Australia, or France, proceed to step 7, but first go back to step 1 and count the number of guys wearing stripey spandex pants. Any number greater than one is unacceptable. If they're from Angora, any island in the Pacific, Guatemala, the People's Republic of the Congo, or something that used to be part of the Soviet Union, proceed at your own risk.

Step 7- Skip steps 1-6 and just listen to it on Youtube and decide for yourself if you like it rather than worrying about how 'metal' the bloody thing looks!

And that's how you decide what to buy!
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

User avatar
Herkus Monte
Posts: 473

Re: Is It Really Metal?

Post#2 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:36 am

I just wanted to say I hate bell bottoms.

On a less trolling note, there was at least one real metal album with a cover art depicting a unicorn made by a band that was actually named Unicorn. Not humankind's greatest achievement but still it'd be a shame if someone missed that! :evil:
I have a vague feeling there was a metal album with dolphins on its cover that'd be worth your penny. Or maybe that was only some nice sounding prog/art rock? Beats me, but I wouldn't bash dolphins that easily.
Other than that I wish read that guidance some 15-17 years ago when I started listening to metal and I am absolutely serious about that. Too much money and time wasted on modern abominations, lame sleeze/"hard" rock or some "intellectual" approach to heavy music. :(
"You say meh to god of black metal?"

User avatar
Levi
Posts: 344

Re: Is It Really Metal?

Post#3 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:13 am

Haha, funny checklist.

Definitely some truth in there!

User avatar
Northwinds
Posts: 163

Re: Is It Really Metal?

Post#4 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:20 pm

Back when I was a teen in the early 80s, that was how you bought records, you gambled based on the cover art and how heavy the song titles sounded. There was no internet to look for YouTube vids and most of the stuff I listened to then was not stuff you would hear on the radio. It was a great time for mailorder through JEM

User avatar
bigfootkit
Posts: 2102
Contact:

Re: Is It Really Metal?

Post#5 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:00 am

As easy as it can sometimes be to romanticize the 'good old days', when it came to purchasing records it really was a perilous time.
I recall a particularly painful mistake i made around 1980/81 as a callow youth scouring the racks of my local record store for something vaguely metallic & cheap when i selected & purchased Amon Düül II's 'Phallus Dei'.
Guys with long hair on the back cover? Check. And the band's name has umlauts in it, like Motörhead? Cool.
My 11/12 year old self was thoroughly unprepared for the mindbending experimental Krautrock soundscapes that oozed out of my speakers later that day. This was not music as i knew it & it disturbed me greatly.
It was traded away soon thereafter, and for years i shuddered at the mere sight of any Amon Düül records in the shop racks.
Nowadays of course, having gained a wider appreciation of music in general i can appreciate what they did, although i'll probably never actually enjoy their stuff.
I just thank my lucky stars that Latin's a dead language, as if the 12 year old me had known that 'Phallus Dei' translated as 'God's Penis', he'd probably have thought that that was pretty cool and may well have persevered with the album.
Kids nowadays just don't know how good they have it.

I cannot, I shall not, I will not obey.

User avatar
nightsblood
Posts: 2288

Re: Is It Really Metal?

Post#6 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:42 am

Yes, all too often 'back in the day' we had to buy stuff without hearing a note of it beforehand.

I grew up in a small town, rural area- no one had jack for anything to listen to. Nearest shopping mall was over an hour's drive away. My one chance to hear things was on Headbangers Ball, which I'd sit up and watch every week. I'd instantly memorize anything that sounded interesting; I didn't care if the video sucked, I just wanted to know what was worth buying on my next pilgrimage to that far distant mall! I'd keep band names in my mind for years based off of one viewing of one video. I bought a used tape in a store in Texas about 7 years after seeing the video get one play on HBB b/c I still remembered adding it to my mental check list that night it was aired.

When I went to college I expected a vibrant music scene with lots of people into metal. Wrong-o. In four years, I met exactly one serious metal head, and we're still friends to this day. But the college radio station did have a late night Metal show on the weekends: 'Metal Storm'. Not only could I listen for hours to hear new stuff, but I could also call in and request things from bands I had heard of, but never actually heard. Those poor folks got so tired of me calling in requests. I taped stuff off the radio show; for years I had piles of 'Metal Storm Vol __" tapes. The only downside was that I started college right after the grunge explosion, so 80s metal was quickly falling out of favor, which meant more and more air time was given over to 90s 'not-metal' stuff such as Alice in Chains, Tool, Stone Temple Pilots, etc. And a lot of the remaining air time was devoted to death metal, which has never been my favorite. But that's when I'd call in and request some Overkill, Manowar, Saxon, Solitude Aeternus, etc- they had a surprisingly good selection for a small campus in the middle of the Rust Belt. Black metal started to get some spins by '94-'95; late by the rest of the world's standards, but the US overall was pretty slow to catch on to the Norwegian revival.

While I do have a certain nostalgia for those 'Metal Storm' days, in reality it was a lot of work and time to find out about bands back then. And yes, a lot of wasted dollars on things that were not worthy :-) But the difficulty did make one really appreciate it when they learned about something new or heard a really good track, and I think that's somewhat lost today. There's an old saying that you only value that which you have to work for, and nowadays we don't have to do jack squat to hear music from an unknown group. You hear something on YouTube or BandCamp and it's like, yeah, that's not bad, whatever, on to the next song- it's forgotten in a matter of days. The guys over at Worm Gear used to call it 'the disposable music phenomena' and they had a point. Compare that to having to special order 'Tales from the Thousand Lakes' or waiting three weeks for Jim over at Madhatter Music to track down a copy of 'Point Blank' on the foreign mail order lists. Took Jim over a month to find a Blind Guardian CD- any CD, we didn't care which album- for my friend and I. Those weren't just new albums, they were fucking Big Game trophies, they were 1st Prize in the Heavy Metal Conquest. How's a $4.99 emusic d/l gonna compare to that? Those discs got played for WEEKS, even when they didn't live up to expectations. D/ls these days get one, maybe two, chances to impress me before they're relegated to the darkest corners of my hard drive.

Of course, maybe we'd be in the same boat now even if digital music wasn't a thing. Once you do something long enough, there are fewer and fewer chances to experience new stuff. Sure, there's always some undiscovered gem out there, but there are fewer and fewer that you don't know about, and it takes more and more time and effort to find them. If I was still taping songs off 'Metal Storm' these days, how many new songs would they play that I'd never heard before? 25 years ago 'Metal Storm' could blow me away by letting me hear my first songs from Iced Earth ('Stormrider'), Paradise Lost ('mortals fear the day'), Manowar ('Wheels of Fire'), Dream Theater ('Metropolis Pt 1'), Samael ('Ceremony of Opposites'), Emperor (something from 'Nightside Eclipse'), and dozens more.... but those days passed on by long before blogspots and band camps became a thing.

Compilation albums suffered the same fate. I used to love them b/c they gave me a way to hear a bunch of new bands all at once. But as the years went by and I heard more and more groups, there was less and less reason for me to listen to most compilations. One of the greatest discoveries I made back in high school was a $5 tape bought at a truck stop called 'Thrash Metal'. It gave me my first listen to all of the following bands: Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Nuclear Assault, Death Angel, Savatage, Lizzy Borden, Helloween, Vinnie Vincent, and one more.... see? almost 30 fucking years later I can instantly recall 9 of the 10 bands off the top of my head, even though I haven't played that tape in probably 20+ years. By comparison, I probably can't tell you 5 albums I've downloaded this year. That comp was a treasure trove. I ended up eventually buying at least one album by every band on it except Lizzy Borden (and maybe the one band I'm forgetting). That tape literally dictated at least 8 album purchases I made soon after buying that tape (in no particular order, Persistence of Time, Peace Sells, South of Heaven, Game Over, Frolic Through the Park, Streets, All Systems Go, and what is still to this day my most favorite album ever, Keepers pt 1)- it was a huge part of my metal education at that time.

But today, I wouldn't even give a compilation like that a second glance.
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"

-Becky

User avatar
rumblefist
Posts: 824

Re: Is It Really Metal?

Post#7 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:54 am

sorry - double post
Last edited by rumblefist on Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Knowledge Is Power

User avatar
rumblefist
Posts: 824

Re: Is It Really Metal?

Post#8 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:57 am

rumblefist wrote:
Northwinds wrote:Back when I was a teen in the early 80s, that was how you bought records, you gambled based on the cover art and how heavy the song titles sounded. There was no internet to look for YouTube vids and most of the stuff I listened to then was not stuff you would hear on the radio. It was a great time for mailorder through JEM


Exactly !

Same story as me.
I also used the few infos i was finding on foreign mags.

On the early 80's i used to buy from COB Records and GEMA Records
As there wasn't any international mail orders on the post office near where i live i used to hide well the money (always english pounds after i switched it on a bank) and after i did correctly the aritmethics (the total money for the records + the mail costs of sending from the UK to Portugal) - as far as i talked with the very few older guys of the portuguese scene - i might have been the first here doing this.
I also bought on the local stores - mainly imported records
and i had a contact living in other city that used to travel 1 time a month to Spain from where he returned with no lesser then 20 records. Then he sold a lot of stuff to me and other 2 friends : mainly early Spanish metal, Venezuelan and some stuff that wasn't yet released here like early Ozzy,BOC,etc. That type of stuff...
Knowledge Is Power

User avatar
Avenger
Posts: 8097

Re: Is It Really Metal?

Post#9 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:14 pm

I had a couple of gripes with this until I read the last sentence. That should be the only step if there's any uncertainty in this day and age :lol:




Herkus Monte wrote:"intellectual" approach to heavy music. :(


This would put pretty much all prog metal on the "no" list...
bigfootkit wrote:"Your Steel Is Not True"

stormspell wrote:"I hate all my releases. I only listen to Korn and Limp Bizkit, don't you know..."

Return to “Into Battle”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Pestkrieg and 12 guests