Archive for the heavy noises Category

Choice selections of art from John Baizely

Posted in heavy noises with tags , , , , on April 24, 2012 by mickgirk

If you listen to heavy music and don’t know who John Baizely is, you need to get edumacated. Here’s an idea, drop your Metallica records and start listening to Baroness, for starters. Here, I even found something cool you might not have heard, even you do like Baroness. Thank me later:

Ok, you’ve listened to all of that? Great. Now, if you have paid any attention to metal album artwork, you may have noticed that a lot of it, while looking totally cool, looks awfully similar. That’s because it’s all done by Mr. Baizely. Feast your eyes:

Pig Destroyer- Phantom Limb

Baroness- Red Album

Baroness- Blue Record

Darkest Hour- Deliver Us

Kvelertak- s/t

Black Tusk- Taste The Sin

Word. Check out his full portfolio here. Baroness has a new record dropping this summer, perhaps you should check that out too.



You Fail Me

Posted in heavy noises with tags , , , on April 18, 2012 by jperahim

(Hi everyone, I’ll be posting some rants on here too, deal with it)

Last week, I went to see one of my favorite bands, Converge, play live at Kingdom (formerly Alley Katz) here in Richmond. This was my 4th time seeing them (2nd time that I didn’t get black out drunk during their set) and overall it was one of their best. Guitarist Kurt Ballou, bass player Nate Newton, and drummer Ben Koller are some of the tightest musicians in hardcore/metal/whatever. For playing as complicated music as they do, they nail it. Ever. Single. Time. Starting off the set with the 11+ minute title track from their landmark album “Jane Doe” set the stage for and incredible night of killer tunes.

All that being said, one thing kept nagging at me, and continues to nag at me a week afterwards: Jacob Bannon. Renowned as one of the great lyricists in hardcore with one of the most vicious voices, on record he is a show stopper. In a live setting, however, things get spotty. Not so much that his scream suffers live, far from it. He sounds just as pissed off as he does on the albums. The bigger problem is that he hardly screams at all during their performances. Aside from some newer songs, he screamed sporadically through their older material, opting to let the crowd scream most of the words.

Now, I don’t have a problem with crowd participation, especially when it’s a band whose lyrics are tattooed on a good portion of their fan base. It’s all well and good to acknowledge the fans and let them sing along to their favorite parts. However, Mr. Bannon uses this trope a little too often, and he comes off as a lazy singer who would rather let the crowd be the frontman and himself stagger around making dramatic gestures. My biggest peeve was the parts where he didn’t sing anything or let the crowd sing, just wandering around swinging the mic and flailing his arms. If I didn’t know he was straight-edge, I would have assumed he was on another planet of fucked up.

There could be a number of reasons why he chooses to do this. After all, he has been fronting Converge for the past 20 years, screaming his guts out and running around like a maniac. He can’t realistically be expected to be the same whirling dervish that he was when “Jane Doe” was released. However (and this may sound selfish, but fuck you, this is my rant), I’m paying money to see YOU and hear YOU perform YOUR songs. It feels like a cop out when you only scream over certain parts and leave the rest to the audience. Take care of your damn voice, dude. Haven’t you built up some stamina by now? You might as well have set up the mic pointing towards the crowd and walked off stage. It’s distracting and, frankly, really annoying.

I love seeing my favorite bands live because I want to see them play the songs I listen to on a regular basis. I don’t want to end up watching Converge karaoke where every single person in the front few rows gets a line to sing from every song. It’s OK to let the crowd chime in on a few parts but come on. You are the vocalist, so vocalize.
Other than that, the show ruled. The End.

How to dance to Meshuggah

Posted in heavy noises, watching videos on the internet is fun with tags , , on February 29, 2012 by mickgirk

There is a way. If Meshuggah plays in my general vicinity whilst touring for Koloss I will be sure to bring these moves with me:

By the way, did you know that Meshuggah made a movie trailer for their new record? You can hear some cool sections off of the new record, but what the hell is with the “COMING SOON” “IN 2012” stuff? What is this, Paranormal Activity 4? Dudes, don’t be lame.

Koloss comes out March 26th here in Amurricka. Get stoked.


1992 Documentary – Dream Deceivers – The Story Behind James Vance Vs. Judas Priest

Posted in heavy noises, watching videos on the internet is fun with tags , , , on February 26, 2012 by mickgirk

This is a well-done PBS documentary from the early-90’s, focusing on the story of the two kids (James Vance and Raymond Belknap) who were big fans of seminal metal band Judas Priest. Two days before Christmas 1985, the two acted on a suicide pact between them, using a host of substances and going out to a playground to shoot themselves in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun. Raymond Belknap died, but James Vance lived through the blast. Afterwards, it was claimed that Judas Priest influenced the two to commit such an extreme action, and the band was put on trial to defend their music.

Look, I know you know the story. I’m posting this because I’ve always seen screenshots from this doc, but never watched in full. What struck me is how little things have changed since this was released in 1992. This movie depicts a puritanical America that is not only terrified of metal bands like Priest, but is unwilling to accept responsibility for the failings of their own Christ-centered community to reach kids like Vance and Belknap. It’s a story that has not only played itself out before in American culture, but it has been repeated ad nauseum since the events of this doc. Remember the West Memphis 3? How about the events of Columbine in 1999?

But how about now? The YouTube description of this video says “Twenty years on the court case itself may seem absurd and yet the Christian fundamentalists are as powerful as ever and a new “moral panic” is just as likely now as it was twenty-odd years ago.”


When watching this, I can’t help but feel badly for them. These people are not perfect, and they lose their sons to suicide, which is a horrible thing. That is not lost in this movie.

That said, it is also clear that these people don’t necessarily want to acknowledge their mistakes. Vance’s mother, in particular, is practically refusing to acknowledge that her son chose to shoot himself because of his dissatisfaction with life, instead choosing to blame heavy metal culture for his injury- and subsequent death years later. Denial is a coping mechanism, but at the same time, this kind of denial should be put into perspective by society, instead of exploited for media glitz. I don’t think that problem has gone anywhere either. In fact, I think it may be worse in 2012 than in 1992.


So if you’ve got an hour, check this doc out. See what you think.


Maybe I spoke too soon…

Posted in heavy noises, Newz with tags , , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by mickgirk

As all five of you might recall, I really want to do a documentary about Limp Bizkit. It is my life’s work. I talked to the same god that Rick Santorum talks to, and that’s what he told me to do. So there.

But alas, I believe my timing is off of the mark. Considering that Limp Bizkit just signed with Cash Money Records.

Yeah, this Cash Money Records:

Just kidding. It’s this one:

So um, how’s that going work? Probably a little better than one might imagine, as I seem to recall that Lil Wayne likes the rock music these days. So at least they might have some fun together, and really, who can really begrudge that? I play in a shitty punk rock band, no one’s paying me to have fun writing terrible songs. So congrats to Limp Bizkit, now there’s an extra chapter to my inevitable documentary and this pairing will probably give me and every other metal blogger (I’m looking right at you MetalSucks) material for months to come.

So look for more of this, except it won’t be Method Man making something out of nothing. TICAAAL TICAAAL


What do Justin Bieber fans have in common with Slayer fans?

Posted in heavy noises with tags , , on February 12, 2012 by mickgirk


I give you Exhibit A:

Surely you’ve seen that before. But what about …

Exhibit B:

I never thought Justin Bieber could inspire the same level of fanatical devotion. Crazy, right?

Here’s this as a bonus:

Do I smell a Bieber/Slayer tour in the future? Why not, Slayer toured with Marilyn Manson once.

– McGirk

Wow, today I give no shits.

Posted in heavy noises with tags , , on February 11, 2012 by mickgirk

You know that feeling where last night’s booze is mixing with your stomach walls? Where you need to eat, but feel like shit and don’t feel like consuming a lot of food. Especially since puking it all back up is a likelihood anyhow?

Oh yes friends. Oh yes.



So the folks over at MetalSucks debuted the new Meshuggah song on Thursday. Since Thursday and Friday are my days off (read: Weekend,) I made no peeps on here about it.

Well now I am. Here’s the song. I no likey, I found it boring and regressive compared to Meshuggah’s previous work. It’s like the current crop of djent bands have taken the wind out of their elder’s sails. ¬†However, it’s only one song, so maybe the rest of Koloss is genius.

I do like the Whammy-pedal organlike sound in the middle. Perhaps that’s what this record is more about. Cool sounds besides “chung chung d-d-dj–djent djent djent.”

Koloss will be released March 27th by Nuclear Blast Records. Yeah buddy.

– McGirk