Nov 012015

Dead Comet Flyby


Welcome to another edition of “THAT’S METAL!”… one installment away from the glorious 100th edition of this series. Which doesn’t mean that this edition isn’t glorious, too, because it is.

I have to begin with the obligatory and all-too-frequent apology for allowing so much time to pass in between episodes of this series. At this rate, No. 100 will arrive around New Year’s Day.  Of 2017.

Anyway, I have nine items for you today, all of them things I think are metal even though they’re not music. Since Samhain was last night, I couldn’t resist including a few items appropriate to that most metal of festivities.


Our first item, which was recommended to me by several people, is pictured above. It’s an image of asteroid 2015 TB145, generated using radar data collected by the National Science Foundation’s 1,000-foot (305-meter) Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

NASA posted it on their web site the day before Halloween because, duh, it looks like a skull AND because it flew by our planet “at just under 1.3 lunar distances, or about 302,000 miles (486,000 kilometers), on Halloween (Oct. 31) at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT, 17:00 UTC).” NASA refers to the object as a “dead comet”. Continue reading »

Aug 052015

Scott Kelly and Ben Manzella


(Ben Manzella had the chance to talk with Scott Kelly of Neurosis before the band’s show on August 2, 2015, in Madison, Wisconsin. Ben’s thoughts about the show will follow in a separate post later today.)


With this show being the third date, how has the start of the tour been?

They both went pretty good; we played Lawrence and Minneapolis. Crowds were good at both shows, people were attentive and into the music; really into it emotionally as well, which is really all we can hope for. The club last night wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for, just not the right vibe; but the people who ran the venue were nice to us.


I know it’s been about 10 years since doing a run like this. Is it similar to how you remember or different in any ways?

Well we’ve done a few runs in Europe, with the locations being closer together. You don’t have to get on a bus and drive 10 hours overnight, unlike you do in the states. We’ve been doing about 30 to 45 shows a year for a while now, so it’s not totally out of our realm; but give it another 10 days or so and we may be pretty pooped considering we’re not taking any days off. Hopefully we’ll survive relatively unscathed physically; mentally it’s always somewhat of a grind, but you know, tour is always easier than real life when you have responsibilities every day. Other than the show and sound check, you really don’t have much on your plate; so, for me, tour is much simpler than everyday life. Continue reading »

Jul 102015




(Grant Skelton compiled this unusual collection of music — a rare focus on acoustic music for our site.)

I love live acoustic performances and acoustic renditions of “heavy” songs. Maybe it’s because I’m a child of the ’90s. I remember MTV’s Unplugged show. Alice In Chains’ Unplugged is my absolute favorite of their discography. Days Of The New may never again release new material, but their first self-titled album is a timeless musical triumph.

There’s something almost fragile about acoustic performances. You hear the vocalist inhale before he utters a note. The squeal of the guitar strings. The hum of the bass and the click of the drumsticks as the drummer counts into the next song. While some bands may not perform acoustic sets of their studio material, they may record an occasional acoustic interlude or ballad. How many thrash and death metal albums have you heard that have an acoustic introduction on the first track? Continue reading »