(In this post, Dane Prokofiev returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he interviews metal writers — and now branches out to provide an in-depth look at the inner workings of metal’s most comprehensive single resource of knowledge. We are also indebted to Azmodes for the time he devoted to this fascinating discussion.)
Comprised of a large number of dedicated staff members and innumerable ordinary members, the non-profit cyber encyclopedia of metal bands is a project that requires a huge amount of constant effort in order to stay online and remain relevant and useful to metal music writers, fans, and researchers alike.
If you have ever wondered about the internal workings of Metal-Archives.com, here’s an inside look. A fairly new administrator of the site discusses a multitude of issues ranging from the hierarchy system to the controversial topic of what makes a band “metal” enough to be officially recognized and registered in the database.
(In this post, Dane Prokofiev [formerly known as Rev. Will around these parts] returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he interviews metal writers. I swear this one was his own idea.)
I know what you’re thinking. But no, featuring an interview about you on your own blog is not an egotistical thing to do at all! It’s just like mailing a Valentine’s Day card addressed to you on Valentine’s Day; it serves to expedite one’s noble quest for attaining self-actualization. C’mon, everyone does that… right?
Nearly 3½ years into metal blogging, the laborious machine behind NO CLEAN SINGING has built a name for itself. Surely, achieving this feat is something that it could not have foreseen back when it took to the human World Wide Web and registered the NCS web domain just to have an online outlet to type about the type of music it loves.
Mysteriously named The Great And Glorious Supreme Leader of the Eternal Heavens (otherwise known more succinctly as “Islander”), the father of all decapitated T-800s entertains Yours Truly by answering a second round of questions.
(photo credit: Nick Palmiretto)
(In this post, Dane Prokofiev [formerly known as Rev. Will around these parts] returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he interviews well-known metal writers. Today’s subject is the thoroughly awesome “Grim” Kim Kelly.)
The name “Grim” Kim is, surely, not unknown to denizens of the metal blogosphere and physical print media.
Starting at the tender age of 15, the New York-based female metal writer worked her way up from underground fanzines to bigger outlets, and she has been at the craft for nearly a decade since. Her career as a metal writer seems to be one of the most successful cases around, as evident from her perennially expanding portfolio (she recently became a staff member of Pitchfork Media), and so it is only natural to inquire: what were the unique life experiences that shaped her to be who she is today?
Of course, that is not all that perks the interest of the body modification enthusiast’s admirers and peers. In this interview, No Clean Singing delves into certain iffy metal issues with the seasoned metal scribe as well.
Hello Kim, it’s time to start talking about yourself again! Were you christened (or satanized) “Grim” Kim by a good metal pal, or did you come up with it yourself?
It’s a nickname given to me by my friend Curran Reynolds. He runs Precious Metal, a weekly metal night at Lit Lounge in Manhattan, and when I was in college in Philly, I’d often come up to catch the show and hang out. I eventually started DJ-ing there upon occasion, and he decided that “Grim Kim” was to be my DJ name. When I started writing for MetalSucks I used it as my pen name ‘cause everyone else there had a quirky nom de plume, and from there, I guess it just stuck. People like rhymes.
(Rev. Will continues with his Keyboard Warriors interview series, and today’s victims subjects are the creators and operators of Metal Injection.)
Before the well-known MetalSucks, there was and still is Metal Injection, a behemoth of a metal website that offers a cornucopia of metal-related content in a variety of formats. It’s like a virtual Swiss Army Knife of fixes for one’s metal cravings!
Metal Injection is more a Web TV site than a blog even though they do have an active blog section, and the main perpetrators behind this multimedia website are none other than Robert Pasbani and Frank Godla. Robert is generally the Pikachu of the site while Frank is generally the dude behind the scenes (literally) holding the camera filming Robert on-site covering insanely cool events such as the annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards show. But one most definitely wonders: how did they get to where they are today?
From across the cyber-void, Robert and Frank thought-spoke into the neural transcriptor and discussed the origins and workings of Metal Injection at the speed of a quark on steroids. By the time you see this, they are already light-years ahead in their busy schedules working on the next big thing for their little baby.
Rev. Will: Let’s start from the beginning. Was the name “Metal Injection” thought up like that to give off the feeling that metal music can be as addictive as drugs?
Robert Pasbani: That’s certainly part of it. I just tried to come up with a name that had the term “metal” in it and sounded cool, and including “Injection” evoked so much imagery that I thought it would be perfect.
Frank Godla: Well if you think about it, isn’t metal appreciation very much like a drug? Aren’t the metalheads you know absolutely hooked and passionate about it? Most people find metal through a gateway rock band, and before you know it, you’ve moved on to way harder and faster stuff even your friends don’t understand. You don’t often meet metalheads who drop it like a bad habit either, it’s just something that sticks with you. I can tell you metal music is the most important thing in my life, and because it’s a 25-year-old habit that isn’t going away, I really don’t mind referring to myself as a metal junkie.
(Rev. Will continues on his mission of interviewing every metal blogger and journalist in creation with an actual personality, though this one runs the risk of making all the others seem dull by comparison. As one of Rev’s previous subjects, I just want to say, thanks a fucking lot, dude, what did I ever see in you?)
Perhaps the most greatly misunderstood metal e-zine out there on the Internet is Teufel’s Tomb. Style-wise, it is like the metal equivalent of Tucker Max (that Texan lawyer-by-profession and self-proclaimed asshole who shot to infamy in 2006 with his debut ‘fratire’, “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell”); disgustingly hilarious and exuding a personality protected by such a thick layer of concrete-coated skin that the two words “shame” and “remorse” do not exist in the mastermind’s music reviewing dictionary (obscene words are a dime a dozen though!).
Many people got and still are getting offended by the mastermind’s highly satirical and offensive writing style, which probably explains its low number of ‘Like’s’ on Facebook even though Teufel’s Tomb has been in existence since 1996, but that is actually the whole point! And from an objective point of view, the dude and his cronies actually consistently cover many of the latest album releases on time, so labels and bands especially should not be complaining. You know what they say about any publicity being good publicity.
The mastermind in question is, obviously, also a self-proclaimed asshole called “Teufel”. On top of being an experienced web developer and graphic designer, Teufel once worked in the adult entertainment industry (or “smut biz” as he calls it), and his recollections are as funny as Tucker Max’s own wild escapades.
Who knows? If his interest in something as underground as extreme metal music didn’t exist in the first place, he might have gone down a different career path entirely and penned a book called “I Hope They Don’t Buttfuck In Hell” and shot to promiscuous notoriety!
(Rev. Will returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series. Today’s subjects are the creator of the Angry Metal Guy blog and his collaborator Steel Druhm.)
I. ANGRY METAL GUY IS THY WORD. THY WORD IS ANGRY METAL GUY.
II. THOU SHALT NOT BE HIPPIE IN THE PRESENCE OF ANGRY METAL GUY.
IV. HONOR THY DIGNITY AND INTEGRITY.
V. THOU SHALT NOT KISS ASS.
VI. THOU SHALT NOT ADVERTISE.
VII. THOU SHALT NOT SOLICIT MATERIAL TO REVIEW, MATERIAL TO REVIEW SOLICIT THOU.
VIII. THOU SHALT INTERVIEW ONLY IF SUBJECT GIVES THEE A MUSICAL BONER.
IX. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOUR’S WORLDWIDE SONG PREMIERE.
X. THOU SHALT NOT PARTAKE IN CELEBRITY GOSSIP.
XI. EMBRACE THY ELITIST SIDE AND HATH CYNICAL WORLDVIEW.
XII. MASTER THY HOLY PATH OF KEYBOARD WARRIOR.
Record Label: Deathgasm | Year: 2012 | Genre: Black Metal
By Willard Shrapnelspear
I always feel awkward reviewing an album sung and written in a language that is not English. Maybe it is because it makes me feel like I’m doing a half-assed job. Oh well, here I go again.
Apart from not being able to read a single word in the track titles (as they are all in Bohemian, the main language of the Czech Republic), obviously, I can’t figure out a single word vocalist and talented multi-instrumentalist Honza Kapák is spewing forth either. You might be thinking that that’s a pretty pointless statement, since who the hell can actually figure out harsh vocals. Well, seasoned listeners of extreme metal can actually make out a word or two from a set of harsh vocals even without first looking at the lyrics or track titles (but of course, some badasses like BadWolf can make out Carcass’ lyrics… wait wut?), and of course, I’m referring to extreme metal sung and written in English.
But guess what? When it comes to listening to foreign extreme metal and being so damn clueless as to what the vocalist is singing about and whatever the hell the lyrics are saying, it’s really not that bad a thing! It actually accentuates that feeling of exoticness found only in exotic metal, which is kind of like being lost in a random Vietnamese village (after watching a hungry village kid gobble up your tasty-looking map) and not having a clue as to what your next move should be.
In musical terms, your next logical move should be allowing the foreign music to wash over you and take you places; and boy does this fourth studio album from Avenger wash over you like a murky wave filled with bits of rotten leaves and soggy twigs, and carry you all the way to some twisted, paganized version of the Caribbean.
No Stvpid “Delvxe” Or “Limited” Editions!
Not Black Metal, Bvt Pretty Kvlt
What’s vp, yov feeble-minded hvmans? Has everyone been listening to tr00 n’ kvlt black metal? Yov’ve got to be listening to tr00 n’ kvlt black metal, or yov ain’t welkome arovnd here. All ov yov scene kids and -kore kvnts can rvn back to yovr holy holey friends and bawl like a baby for all Rev. Will cares—ONLY TR00 N’ KVLT BLACK METAL SHALT BE TOVCHED VPON HERE.
By the keratin goodness ov Satan’s goat horns I swear, I shall khristian my anti-kore krvsade “The Lvciferian March Ov Diabolikal Radioaktive Yadabradabra Khristflakkin’ Volkanik Tortvre Ov Blasphemy” and embark on its virgin qvest ov desekration akross the kommercially-driven sovndskape ov the modern metal mvsik indvstry once I prokvre enovgh war fvnds from trvsty warriors ovt there.
I know, many ov yov are bvsy with yovr day jobs as meek data klerks and salesmen, and perhaps even the okkasional rich bvt vseless fat boy who jvst got grovnded by his bvsinessman dad, so I will extend the deadline to the seventh date ov Blvshreck, at exaktly, I repeat, exaktly 9 O’Klokk, 9 minvtes and 9 sekonds dvring daybreak. No more, no less.
Now that I have gotten that ovt ov my pagan system, let’s talk abovt one ov Rev. Will’s most hated phenomena in the realm ov kommercial mvsik—the “delvxe” or “limited” edition that yovr typikal Maiden and Metallika albvms are svre to have.
(Earlier this week, Metal Injection published a discourse on The 10 Most Lethal Weapons In Black Metal. In the introduction to the article, the author alluded to the reasons why certain kinds of weaponry have been associated with the genre. Now we get the author’s full explanation — a Part 1, if you will, to the Part 2 piece that appeared at Metal Injection. At NCS, you know the prolific author as Rev. Will. In the course of his research, he consulted members of Noctem, Sigh, and Edge of Paradise, as well as the Vegan Black Metal Chef.)
Funnily enough, whenever black metal weaponry floats to the surface of the perpetually random sea of thoughts slushing about in my head, the next thing that invariably comes to mind is the “bling-bling” of hip-hop culture. Before the elitists out there start coming down on me with the wrath of Satan’s cheeseburger, consider for a moment the following comparison.
Now, I am not insinuating that there is a musical similarity between both genres. What I would like to point out is that just as bling-bling is the Statue of Liberty of hip-hop, black metal weaponry is very much an iconic part of black metal that serves as the first graphic reference for most people’s memory banks when they try to recollect what they can of the grim metal sub-genre (someone ought to give it a catchy name too, maybe “cling-clang”). Just as many hip-hop artistes are famous within the mainstream music circle for their overly-flashy jewelry, black metal musicians are infamous within the underground music community for their ostentatious weapons as well.
Over time, both sets of accessories have evolved from merely being elements of sub-genre attire into cultural movements of their own. Bling-bling and cling-clang are both usually made of metal, but that’s where the similarity between both cultural movements stops. Unsurprisingly, for a sub-genre and cultural movement as pessimistic and misanthropic as black metal, its proliferation in the early ‘90s even had the occasional political motive—something much of hip-hop has left far behind since its early days.
(Rev. Will’s interview series focusing on metal bloggers and metal print journalists continues today with Chris Gonda, the founder of PureGrainAudio.)
So after cruising through a bunch of American subjects, I’m finally back on Canadian territory with the founder of multi-genre music website, PureGrainAudio. While not a physically-published metal journalist like his fellow countryman Adrien Begrand, Chris Gonda spends his day toiling away for BlackBerry and working his ass off on PureGrainAudio logistical and miscellaneous matters at night—all in a passionate bid to keep the already 7-year old project running so as to promote both Canadian and international music. Talk about keeping yourself busy.
Like Islander and Erik Thomas (of Hails And Horns, Teeth Of The Divine), I’m a cyborg survivor of the Artificial Intelligence Holocaust of 93,1349 Mars years ago back when Earth was dominated by T2’s sent back in time by Skynet and humans were learning how to make Coca Cola. Hence, it was mindless of me to have wanted to interview Chris in person initially, since I don’t have a head (and haven’t had one since the conclusion of the holocaust). Oh, I didn’t get the tattoos though. They didn’t have the Immortal cat design!
After my efforts to force Chris to reply over cyberspace while, ahem, persuading him with an animated .GIF file of Burger King blowing McDonald’s head off, the humorous Canadian gave in to my tyrannous request and shed light on the origins and workings of PureGrainAudio (and more, when I proceeded to show him the .GIF file of Burger King w-a-t-c-h-i-n-g ALL OF US!!!!!!). For example, the dude needs alcoholic rehabilitation.