Monday, May 30, 2011

Filth Covered Visions #3: Mordant Red

Number 3 of the Filth Covered Visions zine is now available. This third installment, Mordant Red, follows the tradition of the sickened short story format.

“She grimaced in pain as her body was being mutilated by the sick man’s mouth.”

Mr. Sholder is a man with problems. He has a damaged mind from twisted events past. Drinking away his failures is a hobby he is quite fond of. However this particular night out will take him on a sickened journey that will question both morality and sanity. A chance encounter with a couple of patrons will constrict his inner being and drag him through a fragile underpinning. His nondescript existence will soon come face to face with an obscene chain of events. Mutilation and violence take center stage in this fast-paced, filth covered vision.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Big 4 DVD

“The Big 4: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax” DVD

I was skeptical about buying this. Over the years my interest has declined for some of these bands. Well except Slayer, they have always remained a reliable source for releasing great music. Actually Anthrax has remained pretty good as well. As for the other two bands, besides their classic albums, I stopped following them.
All in all, I must admit this is a pretty cool release. Combined in a 2-disc format, it is packed with over 5 hours of footage. So basically I rotted away on a windy Saturday watching the bulk of this. Normally I am not one to lie around for hours watching television. Usually after watching one 2 hour movie I get stir crazy with the need to do something else. So I planned to watch one set (Slayer’s), then finish the rest of it over a period of days. That idea fell apart because I watched and watched and before I realized the end credits were rolling.

First up, Anthrax put forth as always, an energetic youthful spectacle. The majority of the material performed was taken of the Belladonna albums. “Only” is the only “newer” song played. Belladonna sounded ok singing it, but I prefer John Bush on that track. Just as on the older tracks, Belladonna sounds much better than Bush on those. To me Anthrax has become two different bands: the Belladonna era and Bush era. I like both for their own unique sounds, but this night Anthrax was all about the thrash. A job well done.

Ok I did not watch the entire Megadeth set. Some of the classics were there, but also was the more recent stuff. It is not that I hate modern Megadeth, but the burning interest is just not there. At a later date I will go back to watch in its entirety. What can I say?
Slayer, ah WHAT can I say? With them you always get what is expected. The set was nothing short of intense. Starting off they stormed through the newer track “World Painted Blood”. With the exception of “Show No Mercy” and “Hell Awaits”, music from their entire career was presented. I would prefer to hear some material off those first two albums, but still I was satisfied with what was provided. “Chemical Warfare” was the oldest track played. With all the nostalgia going on, I honestly would have been ok if they performed more off the “World Painted Blood” album.

Lastly was Metallica. The first thing I noticed on the DVD box was Metallica’s set was double in length compared to the others. Honestly, I originally did not pick this up just for that reason. I did not care to hear any of that “Load crap”. I think the general opinion of those into heavy music is that Metallica has not released a decent record since “..And Justice for All”. I still remember the day when rushing out to buy the “Black” album the week it was released. The “Enter Sandman” video had already debuted on MTV, which I did not care for. Still I figured the rest of the album would be better. I put on the cassette and was not impressed. I can appreciate it a little bit more now in the present, but at the time I wanted to hear another “Ride the Lightning” type album. Suffice to say, after buying the “Black” album I never picked another item with the name Metallica on it, until now.
I found their performance to be extremely entertaining. The majority of their set was taken from the classic albums. I must admit the few newer era songs actually sounded pretty good. A thought was conjured of thinking these songs are really not that bad….but still not good enough to make me go back and purchase the rest of their catalogue. Although the performance was 2 hours long, the time went by rather quickly. I never found myself getting bored during the viewing. To top it off was a conglomeration of all the bands on the same stage performing a rendition of Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil”.
My only complaint is the close ups of Lars Ulrich’s ugly face. I felt nauseated each time when he made these childlike facial expressions while hanging his tongue out. Maybe before the show he was bitten by a rabid dog.

Other than the aforementioned aggravation, the Metallica part was top notch. The members gave of an aura of pure excitement of the event which was felt by the viewer. As you can see the passage on Metallica is much longer than the other bands. Not because I like them any better, it is mainly because I did not expect much and was pleasantly surprised. Expect less and get more.
The bonus feature is a 45 minute, behind the scenes documentary. Behind the scenes is definitely the best way to describe it. Mostly it consisted of following different band members around the stadium as they provide commentary on the event and its importance. The camera also captures intimate footage of different members talking amongst themselves about different topics. Each band’s intensity is on display before taking the stage for their respected sets. In finishing it is rehearsal footage for the big “Am I Evil” finale, which I found it to be pretty interesting.
So my final opinion is an extremely positive one. I paid $20 for it, which was well spent.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cleaning out the Attic

As the title suggests, I was going through some old things up in the attic. I came across everything from 80’s action figures to stacks of old magazines: Famous Monsters of Filmland, Metal Maniacs, The Wild Rag (remember that underground label Wild Rags?), Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Ring. What I thought would be a 30-minute job transformed into a two hour journey of reminiscing.
The gray plastic bin towards the back wall was a Pandora’s Box of memories. Inside, it was compacted with lots of old Houston metal/punk show fliers and issues of both Public News and Riveted. Back in the early 90s the Public News was the go to Houston publication for listings of all the show venues at that time: The Vatican/The Abyss, Backstage, After Dark, The Axiom/Catal Huyuk, Goat’s Head Soup, The Asylum, Emos and more. Riveted was a newsprint paper that focused mainly on metal. Too bad it is out of print. So anyway, below I posted a small portion of the stuff that was saved. Many good times were had back then.