(In this post NCS writer BadWolf reviews a live show by A Life Once Lost, Author and Punisher, and Encrust last month, and Nicholas Vechery provides some killer pics.)
I was walking through JC Penny with a friend the other day—he had a gift certificate and wanted to spend it, which proved harder than we anticipated. Because fuck JC Penny. He decided to look through clearance dress shoes. He tried a pair on, put it back and said:
‘It fits alright but I don’t like that metal band on the top.’
To which I said.
‘I don’t think I’ve heard anyone use those two words literally like that in years.’
It’s easy to take the origin of metal, as a genre-describing-word, out of context. It’s become self-referential. Suppose your friend took a spill while skateboarding and cut his forehead open—you might see the blood streaming over his eye and say ‘that’s so metal,’ like the genre’s content. But really that’s not metal at all. Metal cannot bleed.
Metal is machine-music. It’s hard as industry. I cannot conceive of an acoustic metal band—unlike rock and roll, we need electricity and amplification to make metal. Though not necessarily guitars, but I’ll get back to that in a moment.
The Man Machine Tour, featuring A Life Once Lost, Author and Punisher, and Encrust, was an inspired lineup: not only did each band have its own distinct flavor, but each, in its own way, embodied those mechanical, industrial aspects of the genre.