Feb 232014

It’s been about six weeks since the last time I assembled one of these THAT’S METAL! posts, so the list of potential items I keep as I see things around the interhole has grown to gargantuan proportions. Because I’ve waited so long to prepare a new installment, this will be a jumbo edition, with 10 items. If you’re new to this series, I collect images, videos, and occasional news items that I think are metal, even though they’re not musical.


The first item begins with the image at the top of this post. It’s a photograph of flesh yielding to the pressure of grasping hands. But it’s not real flesh and those aren’t human hands. It’s a detail of a sculpture carved in marble.

The artist was only 23 years old when he completed the sculpture. His name was Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and he created the sculpture between 1621 and 1622 in Rome, where it is still located today. Its name is “The Rape of Proserpina” and it depicts the abduction of Proserpina by Pluto, the god of the underworld.  The statue also includes Pluto’s three-headed dog Cerberus. Phenomenal. You can see more photos below.




Works of art can be made to appear lifelike in more than one way. Here, for example, is an edited version of a video entitled Beauty made by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, who has used an animation effect to bring to life a series of paintings from Caravaggio to Rubens. Awfully cool. (credit to Shannon Void for the link to this.)

B E A U T Y – dir. Rino Stefano Tagliafierro from Rino Stefano Tagliafierro on Vimeo.




Okay, let’s turn now from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I saw this next item and I thought, “well shit, why didn’t I think of that!” It’s such a beautifully simple concept: Take a three-ton 1957 Chevy truck cab, strap on two Pratt & Whitney J-34-48 jet engines, add a parachute for braking purposes, and then punch it!

That’s basically the concept behind a jet-powered truck named “SHOCKWAVE”. Those engines generate 36,000 horsepower and the truck can cover a quarter mile in just 6-and-a-half seconds, reaching speeds of over 375 mph. That’s metal. Punch it!





On a three-mile stretch of shoreline between Ynys-las and Borth in Wales, a forest of oak, pine, alder, and birch lies buried in the water. Carbon dating suggests that the trees died between 4,500 and 6,000 years ago. Climate change and rising sea levels buried it under layers of peat, sand, and saltwater. The forest’s existence is not a secret, but recent ferocious storms in Cardigan Bay have stripped thousands of tons of sand from beaches, revealing the tops of the skeletal trees, permitting photos such as the one you see above.

The skeletal trees are said to have given rise to the local legend of a lost kingdom, Cantre’r Gwaelod, drowned beneath the waves. “The Forest of Borth” would be a great title and concept for a pagan metal album, don’t you think?

One more photo is below, and additional info and images are available at this location and this one.





While we’re on the subject of the eeriness of the natural world, let’s visit The Door to Hell. That’s the popular name given to a crater in a natural gas field near the village of Derweze in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan. The photo above shows a natural gas fire that has been burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet petrochemical scientists in 1971. Why did they do this? Here’s the explanation from The Font of All Human Knowledge:

“The scientists set up a drilling rig and camp nearby, and started drilling operations to assess the quantity of gas reserve available at the site…. The ground beneath the drilling rig and camp collapsed into a wide crater and disappeared. No lives were lost in the incident. Large quantities of methane gas were released, however, creating an environmental problem and posing a potential danger to the people of the nearby villages.

“Fearing the further release of poisonous gases from the cavern, the scientists decided to burn it off. They thought that it would be safer to burn it than to extract it from underground through expensive methods…. At that time, expectations were that the gas would burn out within a few weeks, but has continued to burn more than four decades after it was set on fire.”

More photos are below and you can find an informative (and geeky) video about the phenomenon here. (credit to Booker for the tip on this one)




This is a squirrel trying to hide a nut in the fur of a Bernese mountain dog. The squirrel has obviously lost its mind, but that is one metal doge. (credit to Utmu for the link)




I don’t have much to say about these next two videos. About all I can think of, other than HOLY SHIT!, is that you don’t normally see this kind of behavior in a crow or a two-year-old (the boy’s name is Titus Ashby, aka “Trick Shot Titus”).

(via The Presurfer)





Two years ago I included a video by ArcAttack in the 51st edition of this series. Now, thanks to an e-mail from Gorger, I’ve noticed a few more new ArcAttack goodies, one of which I’m including below.

This is a bit of a cheat, because this video does show people playing metal (AC/DC), but the music isn’t the reason why I’m including this item. It’s the stagecraft: ArcAttack use a Tesla Coil to fire up the festivities, with the guitar player using an iron guitar in the equivalent of a Faraday cage. This performance took place at the Maker Faire 2013 in San Mateo, CA.






I hear that there are some games going on in Sochi, Russia. I haven’t watched any of them, so you couldn’t prove it by me. But I have seen some Russians playing a world-class game in Shanghai, China, during December 2013. Their names are Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov.

Here is a description of what you’re about to see on Vadim’s’s blog:

“Hello all from the world’s biggest city – Shanghai. For about a month Raskalov Vitaliy and I are in China. I already have quite a bit stories to tell about where we have been and what we have seen, but you will read about it in my next post.

“I dreamed to visit Shanghai for a while. One of the main sights for us was Shanghai tower, a huge skyscraper in the city center, which currently is under construction. The height of it will be 632 meters. When the construction will be completed, the tower will become the highest building in China and world’s second high building after Burj Khalifa (if not to mention TV tower in Tokyo, which is only 2 meters higher).

“Ten days ago, during the celebration of Chinese New Year, the entire country was resting – all the people had vacations, so as the builders. Everybody was squibbing in their neighborhoods and enjoying the holidays. For us, it was perfect time to climb the tower and a crane jib above it (the highest point is about 650 meters). To see how it was, watch the video.”

I tried to watch the video. I had to give up after 2 minutes. Seriously. I have a slight fear of heights. These two dudes obviously have no fear. None. Zero. Nada.


  20 Responses to ““THAT’S METAL!” — BUT IT’S NOT MUSIC (NO. 86)”

  1. Goddamn, I would love to climb that tower. I can barely comprehend how something that tall even stays up, but I want to look down on the world like that.

  2. Those art things at the top remind me of going to the Pageant Of The Masters in Laguna Beach. Basically, imagine that video at the top, but acted out live, by real people. It’s positively amazing.


  3. Goddammit, Bernini! You’re making everyone who ever sculpted marble ever look bad!

  4. The Door to Hell reminds me of Centralia, Pennsylvania..theres a coal mine fire that started in 1962 and is thought to still be burning. The whole area was the inspiration for the town in the movie adaption of Silent Hill

  5. whoohooooo!!!!! i love “that’s metal but it’s not music” posts!!! 🙂
    Bernini’s sculpture is gorgeous, i’d love to be able to create something so breathtaking!
    holy shit, that truck is METAL!!!! how awesome would it be to drive that, just once?!
    you’re right, the “The Forest of Borth” would make a killer album title, and those photos would make great album covers, especially in grainy black and white 🙂
    the “Doorway to Hell” so awesome. do you think it would continue to burn if the earth experienced another ice age? hmmmm…
    that squirrel video is the cutest thing i’ve ever seen 🙂
    i think the crow video officially blew my mind. remarkable, indeed 🙂
    the Arcattack video is pretty sweet 🙂 have you seen the video from Metallica’s “Through the Never” of the four Tesla Coils blasting the electric chair over the stage? it’s pretty badass 🙂
    all i can say about the Shanghai Tower video is HELL NO…i’m feeling a little light headed…

    • Thanks for all these comments. And yes, that Metallica video is the first thing that came to mind after discovering this new ArcAttack stuff. Well, actually the second thing. The first thing was, “huh, these guys haven’t been fried like bacon yet.”

  6. I’ve seen that sculpture in person and it is wondrous. It’s at the Villa Borghese in Rome along with several other phenomenal Bernini works. It’s amazing that such large, intricate pieces have survived intact.

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