Apr 072011

Liz is 25 years old. Two years ago, Liz had 40 songs on her iPod and “a graveyard of abandoned projects”. She found a book called 1001 Albums You Should Listen To Before You Die. The book starts with a Frank Sinatra album called In The Wee Small Hours from 1955 and goes up to 2007. On a day 516 days ago, Liz decided to start listening to all the albums in that book. She listens to one album each day, from start to finish, and then she writes her impressions in a blog. On May 6, 2012, if she keeps this up, she’ll have listened to someone’s idea of the best 1001 albums in history.

What caught my eye was that this list of 1001 albums includes some metal. I haven’t made my way through very many of Liz’s posts, but on April 2 (Day 513) she listened to The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden and on March 26 (Day 510) she listened to Black Metal by Venom. By her own admission, Liz was in a “tiny music bubble” when she started this project. Whatever music was in the bubble with her, it’s fair to say that it didn’t include anything like Iron Maiden or Venom.

I like imagining how non-metalheads react when they listen to metal. Reading Liz’s take on these albums, seeing them through the eyes of someone who is new to the genre but is clearly doing her best to keep an open mind, is kind of fun. Of course, she hasn’t been converted — yet. It would have been better if she had found a list of the 1001 best extreme metal albums of all time and forced herself to do that for 1001 days, though she might have been hospitalized before finishing. Also, I’m not sure there are 1001 great extreme metal albums.

After the jump, you can see what she wrote about The Number of the Beast and Black Metal. You can also hear a brand new track from the Swedish band called Shining (not the Norwegian one by the same name) from their next album. I’m wondering how Liz would react to this beast of a song (it’s a fucking killer).

Here’s Liz’s take on Black Metal:

Oh hey. Guess what these guys do….extreme heavy metal. Extreme? So heavy metal wasn’t crazy enough? Black metal, Venom’s cup of tea, is, and I quote, “It often uses fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming, raw recording, and unconventional song structure.” So, as you can imagine, I couldn’t get enough of it.

Oh I’m just kidding. Heavy metal…go sit with psychedelic music and jazz and think about what you’ve done.

I wanted to somehow get on board with these guys. I attempted to reason with heavy metal with The Birthday Party and get my head around the appeal. I still sort of get it and I see where it came from…people wanted to break with the conventions of rock and just go crazy.

I get it.

I just don’t like it.

I’m sorry boys.

Here’s a list of other manly things I don’t care for…let’s just get this out of the way:

1. Caddyshack…not funny.
2. I didn’t even get vaguely weepy over Field of Dreams.
3. Star Wars…overrated.
4. Clint Eastwood? No thanks.
5. Boxing…wrestling…don’t get it.

I’m sure there’s more. Don’t hate me…it’s just little princess ears can’t handle this kind of angsty loudness. I’m sure this is great heavy metal but I couldn’t wait until the album was over. 2 stars.

Now here’s what Liz had to say about The Number of the Beast:

Iron Maiden. You, my friends, are the perfect amount of bad-assery. Scary metal…meet Iron Maiden…these guys know how to rock out without giving me a cluster headache.

This album was just so much fun. Every ounce of it was so tremendously epic and I just wanted to be in a huge crowd screaming and jumping around while it was playing. “22 Acacia Avenue” has these crazy guitar solos, I mean crazy. This song was incredible, it got me all hopped

This album was definitely going for something. They had the whole intro to The Prisoner (love that show!) in the song “The Prisoner” which made me smile. “The Number of the Beast” had a quote from The Bible about 666. I couldn’t quite put the connection together…number theme…but it didn’t mater. It definitely gave this heavy metal album some interesting weight.

Overall, I was really into this album. It was heavy metal with a lot more emphasis on the rock and less on the scary crap. It really focused on the amazing guitar and drum work. It’s quite a listen. 5 stars.

So, 5 stars for The Number of the Beast shows that Liz’s mind isn’t closed. But 2 stars for Black Metal shows that it isn’t open quite wide enough yet. Still, there’s hope for Liz.

Maybe she’ll take a momentary break from Def Leppard‘s Pyromania (which appears to be what’s on her list for today) and have a listen to this next song. It’s called “Förtvivlan, Min Arvedel” (Despair, My Heritage) and it will be on the new album from Shining called VII / Född Förlorare, which in English means “Born Loser”. The album is scheduled for release on May 25 via Shining’s new label, Spinefarm.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/13140823″]

So Liz, what’d you think of that monster? It fucking slayed me. Give me more! May 25 will not come soon enough.

Liz’s blog is here.  Thanks to the incomparable Presurfer blog for writing about Liz and giving me the idea for this post. Cover art for the new Shining album is below:


  1. coincidentally i also love psychedelic music and jazz…

    but i hate wrestling, boxing, caddyshack, field of dreams and star wars as well…

    oh well, at least she gets maiden.

  2. I didn’t like her from the point she said Star Wars is overrated. Before I loved metal, I loved Star Wars, I still do, just not as much as metal.

    • She didn’t score any points with me by dissing Clint Eastwood either. 🙂 However, Field of Dreams IS schlock.

      • Isn’t that that one baseball movie that everyone likes?

        • Pretty much. I even liked it the first time I saw it, but then the glow faded and I realized it’s very sappy. Same thing happened with The Natural. Kind of sucked me in at first, but on reflection? Sappy. I prefer Eight Men Out, Bull Durham, and A League of Their Own. And gotta give props to Major League too. And Pride of the Yankees.

  3. Should mention that Liz’s reference to “The Birthday Party” in her Venom comments is about a “post-punk” band by that name which was active from ’76 to ’83 and included Nick Cave and Mick Harvey. Liz thought the album was “terrifying”. She has no idea. Liz, you want terrifying? Listen to one of these:



  4. I fucking LOATHE Star Wars…but I’m not entirely certain why. I think a large part of it is how many of the fans are just goddamn annoying. I like science fiction, but Star Wars just……I dunno.

    Caddyshack was pretty good and Clint Eastwood is fucking pimp, but…Field of Dreams? What guy likes that movie? Fuck baseball.

    I haven’t actually listened to Venom, but I’m not really a fan of black metal, so I guess I probably wouldn’t appreciate it too much more than her…

    But as long as she likes Mainden, there is hope for her! I was into Maiden before I got into extreme death metal. (Amon Amarth isn’t extreme, right? Melodeath should not be considered extreme death metal.)

    • Also, how does anyone in the western world not get the number of the beast?

      I’m an angry, militant atheist brought up in a completely nonreligious household, and I got it immediately…

    • Extremity is relative. First time I heard Amon Amarth, I thought they were pretty extreme, but as you go further down into the infernal realms, Amon Amarth begins to sound “accessible” — still fucking great, but yeah, I don’t consider them extreme anymore either.

      “Fuck baseball”? Now, you’re going too far. Yes, Field of Dreams was pablum, but baseball in general? Gotta disagree with you there bro. Even though it seems likely that my beloved Mariners are going to suck ass again this season, the game . . . the game is wonderful.

      • Hahahaha!

        Okay, sports, like everything, are relative. I simply cannot stand most sports (fucking soccer) that don’t involved the punching, kicking or choking of people constantly. (Pretty much I like kickboxing and mma.)

        That’s kind of what I mean though. Extremity is relative to the listener–but there should be some objective level at which to gauge the music as well. And my vote is that melo-anything is not extreme.
        It’s in the name! “Mellow”!!! (I’m not funny.)

        • Back in the good ol’ days, you could get some bench-clearing brawls in a baseball game that involved punching, kicking, and choking. Now, they just kind of pretend. Too many high salaries at stake. I would never claim that baseball is extreme, or metal. Chalk it up to being brainwashed to love the sport from an early age.

          • I don’t mind it not being metal.
            I like country, rap, rock, folk, and whatever the hell M.I.A. is, so I don’t hold that against you.
            It’s just not fun for me. If I’m hitting something with a sick, it better damn well break, you know?

            But if there were more brawls, I might be inclined.

            And I’m not suggesting it’s an unmanly sport either. Just…boring.

            It’s the worst thing about Japan, too. They fucking love baseball over here!!!

            • But they love sumo, too, right? What’s up with that?

              • Not really.

                Actually sumo is more infested with graft and shit than baseball in the states. They called off the grand champion tournament or something this year because of all the gambling and “secret” associations with the yakuza and the police’s ongoing investigation.

                It’s super racist, too. For a really, REALLY long time they refused to let foreigners join, but now, since all the young people are bored of sumo (like I am of baseball), no one but old people watch it. So all the best wrestlers are non-Japanese.

                I’m pretty sure quite a few people are pissed off about that.

                Also, part of the investigation showed that they were fixing the bouts…
                So maybe it’s just the audience who’s pissed about the foreigners??

                • One thing though:
                  Sumo is tied in with Shinto, so it has a historical and religious background waaaaaaaaaaay longer than baseball. Though I doubt most people who watch sumo care about that aspect.

        • When you said militant you meant militant…

    • My respect for you dwindled. Loathe Star Wars. Your killing me Smalls!

      • I had to look up the quote, but then I realized: “AHHHHH! SANDLOT!!!”

        What can I do to win back your respect!?! I can’t start liking star wars, but with your respect my heart may stop beating!!!

        (I am known for hyperbole…)

  5. I’ll try and have my list of 1001 Extreme Metal albums ready for when you’re away then…

  6. Hey all, Liz just sent me a very nice e-mail and actually asked for some metal recommendations. Straight off the top of my head, here’s what I sent her (trying to stay on the melodic end of things), but I bet you readers can do better. Remember . . . be gentle. 🙂



    In Flames



  7. Oh, come on, everyone knows that Venom is crap. Perhaps the worst originators of a recognizable musical genre ever. Just about anything that came after them in the same vein is better.

    In short, this woman has taste.

  8. I’m looking through the list of 1001 albums and there are some good albums on here. She has already been through Sabbath, Priest, 2 Maiden albums, Motorhead and is coming up on Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Napalm Death, Sepultura, Ministry and Pantera, so that’s not too shaby an introduction to metal.

    That is one diverse fuckin’ list though. I don’t think I’d have the patience and self-discipline to ever do this list, although, I have heard a great many of the albums. Much respect to her for stickin’ with it.

    Caddyshack is ok, I don’t like baseball or movies about it, I enjoy Star Wars but not as much as Lord of the Rings, Clint Eastwood should be worshipped as a god and boxing and wrestling in the context of MMA are acceptable.

    That Shining song is fuckin’ sweet.

  9. I’m a hockey fan. Can’t get much more metal than hockey. One game I saw a dude get some teeth knocked out, and he just spit them out and kept playing. Brutal sport.

    • No argument there man. My problem is I grew up in Texas and therefore hockey is as mystifying to watch as soccer. What are all those people doing? And why are they doing it? And I can’t see the little puck-ey thing on TV. Clearly it’s a sport meant to be seen in person.

    • Well, I’ve seen MMA fighters have to have teeth removed from their mouthguards between rounds(alot of good the damn thing did for them) and some have won fights with broken bones in their arms or hands, not to mention the ones who’ve lost but fought multiple rounds in a similar condition. No disrespect to hockey or it’s fans, like Islander I’m from the south and………

      • That’s kind of what I was thinking…
        Hockey just means there’s something pucks happening between the fighting….

        • Fighting in hockey is awesome, but seeing dudes that are 6’4″ and weigh 230 throwing their bodies around with abandon while skating at breakneck speed is a thing of beauty. The fact that there is a vulcanized piece of rubber flying around at speeds that can reach over 100mph makes it chaos. Then you get guys that voluntarily drop to the ice to block those pucks with their face; that’s fucking metal. Open ice hits at full speed are like NASCAR wrecks, especially if the guy getting hit has his head down and doesn’t see it coming. Hockey players routinely skate on broken feet, play with broken noses, jaws, fingers, ribs, orbital sockets and hands. During the Stanley Cup, the only time you don’t play is if you have a concussion or an injury that prevents you from standing.

          • That’s about as eloquent a description of the game as I’ve seen. But I get none of that on TV, and of course I never played since the only thing frozen in the part of Texas where I grew up was in the refrigerator. I guess I’m going to have to go to a game and just hope that my utter ignorance of the rules won’t be a hindrance. But I have a feeling Liz isn’t a hockey fan either.

            • I probably ought to do a hockey piece before the Stanley Cup playoffs. Playoff hockey is fucking awesome and the best time to pick up the sport.

              • Do it! Who is Stanley? 🙂

                • I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic. My meter is broken. Just in case you aren’t, the Stanley Cup is the trophy awarded to the teams that win the playoffs. It is named for a the Lord Stanley of Preston, Governor General of Canada, who donated it to the amateur league that later evolve into the NHL. It is the oldest sports trophy in North American. There are a bunch of traditions, myths and superstitions regarding the Stanley Cup. Those are a seperate post, or you can go here to read about them:

                  Each member of the winning team gets to spend one day with the trophy, usually in that member’s home town, although not always. Needless to say that trophy has traveled all over the fucking globe and back again. Each year the winning team’s members are engraved into the cup. There have been errors made engraving the cup dating back to the 1940’s but the first correction didn’t come unitl 1996.

                  • I was trying to be funny, but I also genuinely had no idea where the trophy got its name. Now I know, and that is quite a story. Thank you sir.

                    • Your welcome. When you start digging, hockey is a lot like metal. It’s an acquired taste and its beauty is difficult to appreciate, but once you do, a whole new world is opened before your eyes. And it’s worth every minute. Vancouver is in the playoffs this year. You ought to see if you can get tickets to one of the 1st round playoff games and head up there and check it out. You won’t regret it. I went to my first game in the old Spectrum in Philly to watch the Flyers when I was in like 6 or 7. A lot has happened since then and now, and to this day it is the best sporting event I have been to. I have been to every pro sport except basketball, and hands down, nothing comes close.

  10. I just have to say that I love it when the comments in a post take off. It’s totally unpredictable when it will happen, which I guess is part of what makes it fun.

  11. yeah here in Portugal the main sport is football (or soccer, whatever you want to call it), and i can say it, its 10000x more violent than any other sport in the world? why? the fans are the ones who get in fights, with each other, with the police, with the civilians, with themselves, yes its pretty metal, but also embarrassing,
    let me give you a recent example, there were some elections going on for the president of some big soccer team here in Portugal, the fans were not satisfied here is what happened http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br38ahZiNn4 the action starts at about the 2 minute mark.
    here is more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATP5mm0VLNo&feature=related
    yup this happens every time there is a soccer match, soccer fans here are just as aggressive or worse than the hooligans in the UK, really embarrassing, I’d rather mosh and headbang my head off than get in to a fight because of some sports team.

    by the way, any news on the girl who was getting introduced into metal? is she alive, or has she somehow teleported into another dimension due to the awesomeness that is extreme metal?

    • Holy shit! Now there’s a sport I think I’d be content to watch on TV if I lived where you live. Damn.

      As for Liz, I haven’t heard from her since I sent her a sample of melodic metal to check out. I believe she is still alive since her post on the Def Leppard album went up this morning. Or maybe she finished that before checking out all of our recommendations and is now lying unconscious with blood dripping from her ears.

  12. Dude, if you have satellite, check out the International sports channels sometime. I’ve watched a rugby game before, I had no idea what was going on, but it was fucking brutal. Dudes lose their ears, teeth, broken noses, bones, etc… No pads. Mad respect for Rugby players. They have some low hangers.

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  14. 5 for notb & 2 for black metal………….. sounds like me in 1998

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