Monday, September 1, 2008

Shall We Throw the Goat Once More, Chaps?

Ah yes, I have again entered the local music-selling boutique for the purpose of acquiring an electronically recorded disc of sufficiently metallic properties. With the intrepid help of a friend of mine and her sister, I was able to choose not only a new recording for my project, but find several additional albums worthy of note and mention in this log.

Without any further ado, allow me to present the winner: Lair of the Minotaur's "War Metal Battle Master."

It has proven especially difficult to decide on a single track title as being the best on this album, so please allow me to share instead the entire track list, with my comments:

Horde of Undead Vengeance (Generally agreed to be superior to regular vengeance in nearly every way)
War Metal Battle Master (With the word "metal" in the title right there, in case any would dare say this album is not metal)
When the Ice Giants Slayed All (Think of a boring anecdote you have had to listen to many times. Would it not be improved if it began thusly?)
Slaughter the Bestial Legion (About time, I say. They've been in need of a good slaughter for a while now.)
Black Viper Barbarian Clan (Cut at the last moment from Diablo II, they now finally have their time in the sun.)
Assassins of the Cursed Mist (I can only assume that the assassins come from the cursed mist, and are not attempting to assassinate the cursed mist itself, as that would be somewhat less metal.)
Doomtrooper (George Lucas's favorite track.)
Hades Unleashed (A solid, simple track title to end on)

The music itself combines throaty, growled vocals in somewhat staccato delivery with more screeched, though still somewhat throaty, parts. The guitars and drums are suitably metal, and the album as a whole solidly embraces its genre.

The cover is simplicity itself, focusing on a horned helmet so firmly rooted in the swords-and-sorcery fantasy genre that you can almost see its stat bonuses.

If any doubt remains in your mind that the band members have played their fair share of Dungeons and Dragons, please see this video. I must warn you that the video is unsafe for work in more ways than one.

This does not conclude my report. As you recall, there are several more albums that deserve mention! Let us begin, then, with "Effortless Regurgitation...", by Regurgitate.

That image should give you something to work with if you intend to attempt the activity named in this album's title.

This album, it turns out, is the band's previous album "Effortless Regurgitation of Bright Red Blood," with additional tracks.

Beyond the cover, what earned this album its place in this list was its truly inventive and gut-churning song titles. To those of you with delicate constitutions, I must recommend skipping this list and going straight to the next review.

The best (or possibly worst) song titles were:
Torsion of the Testicle
Worm Eaten Rectum
Purulent Discharge From the Urethra
Cloudy, Grayish Vomitus
Bulging Vaginal Septum
Phrenetic Chainsaw Slaughter of a Crippled Infant
Forced Abortion Through the Rectum
You can see the full track listing here.

My problems with this album are twofold. First of all, it seems to have completely abandoned the fun that comes with metal. Metal is supposed to make a good soundtrack for dragon-slaying, rather than simply being an overuse of a doubtless very embarrassed thesaurus. Secondly, I previewed some of the songs at the store, and they seem to have taken the idea of "Effortless Regurgitation" as a business model, as every song I listened to sounded exactly the same, with a slightly different lead-in.

Moving on, then, we come to "Of Beatings & the Silence In Between" by Chthonian.

Not much more to be said for this album, though. The title is brilliant, and there are some decent track names, especially "Weep Human, Weep," they do not show any real inventiveness.

Also, "Larvae, Nymph, Decay" is a good, though somewhat head-scratching, title for another song.

Unfortunately, the cover is far too classy to qualify.

Moving right along, then.

Here we have "Pro Patria Finlandia" by Impaled Nazarene. A good, play-it-safe name for a black metal band, with a confusing, potentially jingoistic title for the album.

The winning song title here was, without a doubt, "Goat Sodomy." In fact, looking at their other albums, we noticed that they had something of a goat theme going on. We chuckled a bit over this, but as I was working on this article I saw that the blog "Lugar de Obscuridad" lists goats as one of the band's lyrical themes.

So it's not just us, then.

Again, like Chthonian, the cover was just too classy to win. To paraphrase Ramgar from the sadly defunct web comic Chainmail Bikini, "This ain't no fine art workshop!"

So we move on once more to another band, Dead Raven Choir. Well, that's about all I have to say for them. There is a band called Dead Raven Choir. I am filled with awe and jealousy, having never been able to come up with a band name that awesome when playing Rock Band.

So we move on to Cattle Decapitation, with their album Homovore, featuring the song "Colostomy Jigsaw Puzzle." I challenge you to say that out loud without laughing.

Of course, this band seems to have once again gone the route of "create truly revolting pictures and titles" rather than "create something one can headbang to while playing D&D," so it really doesn't fit into the category of metal that I prefer.

That said, one of their albums is called "Humanure."

Its cover has to be seen to be believed.

Well, it essentially looks exactly as one would expect the cover to an album entitled "Humanure" would look. Needless to say, it is unsafe for work.

Maybe you are wondering what I would consider a good dragon-slaying, dice-rolling, head-banging cover to look like.

I give you: "Thrash Metal," by Blood Tsunami.

This was a very strong contender for the final purchase. I think the cover's similarity to one of the previous winners might have cost it the game, though.

That said, "Thrash Metal" does have "I Pledge Agrievance." Heh. The others aren't great, though "Dragon Pie" deserves a mention. It has the word "Dragon," after all, but the word "Pie" makes me think of little old aunties. I cannot imagine a group of wizards, warriors, and thieves celebrating their epic victory by cooking up a lovely dragon pie. Dragon burgers, sure. Dragon jerkey, wonderful. But dragon pie? Not so much.

Let's end strong. I give you Nomans Land and their album "Raven Flight."

I would be hard-pressed to find a better cover to an album. Also, the title "Raven Flight" is brilliant, and the band name, while hard to make out in that font, isn't bad, though I'm forced to wonder why they chose to break it up the way they did.

The song titles are all good and solid, like "To the Far Lands," "Mjolnir" and "Dragon's Grin." Unfortunately, there is no single song title that raises itself above the "good and solid" into the ranks of "quite inventive" or "definitely metal." After all, if I had a dollar for every time "Mjolnir" appeared in a metal song, well, I could probably buy many, many more of these albums.

So there you have it, my latest foray into the world of metallurgical electrogrammaphonic recordings. What do you think? Shall we throw the goat once more?

1 comment:

bluefish said...

\\_ _ _//

"Metal is supposed to make a good soundtrack for dragon-slaying, rather than simply being an overuse of a doubtless very embarrassed thesaurus." That is a great, great line, my friend.

And that is all that needs to be said.