Skip to main content


After many years (and chances) to see Slayer, I finally saw them on Friday, along with Megadeth and Anthrax. You can read what I thought of the show over on DC9, but I wanted to point out something a little more personal here.

You see, when I was a teenager, saying you liked Slayer was like saying you really enjoyed reading Mein Kampf. While other metal bands sang about gruesome things and Satan, Slayer was the pinnacle of all of that to those who were easily scared by that kind of stuff. It was one thing to be a fan of Metallica, but Slayer? That was super-hardcore.

Maybe it was the bad reputation metal had with Tipper Gore and her fellow housewife friends. Maybe it was exactly what your parents didn't want you listening to based on sheer sonics. For its various reasons, Slayer was dangerous.

Or so people claimed.

I can definitely say I was creeped out when I heard stuff like "Dead Skin Mask" and "213" when I was a teenager. I can now definitely say that I am not creeped out by that stuff. As a matter of fact, as I stood there watching Slayer blast through Seasons in the Abyss, I thought their music was about as harmful as watching a horror movie. If you can tolerate Night of the Living Dead and know that's it not real, it's a drama, it's a metaphor for critics to write essays and books on . . . then Slayer is nothing you should lock your children away from.

I understand that this music is not for everybody. Claiming this music is of the devil is really fear personified into something else. How I choose to take in this stuff does not make me some masochist or sub-human. Instead, I understand how it can a form of entertainment. And a completely harmless kind of entertainment, if you like your music fast, dirty, and unrelenting.


Richard of DM said…
I am glad you got to see Anthrax, especially with that lineup. I can't stress how much they meant to me during my youth. That rocks.

Slayer was amazing but not nearly as important to me. Oddly enough, when I heard them for the first time, I had no preconceived notions about them at all. I had seen their t-shirts around but the satanic imagery was either over my head or totally old hat by then thanks to Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast (which sounds like ABBA compared to most of Slayer's stuff).

What really impressed me about Slayer (and what I was not prepared for) was the sheer insanity of the music, the freaky lyrics, and of course, the scary shit scattered around Seasons in the Abyss. I was 14 and full of abstract teen angst and Slayer was just another step along the way towards my metalheadedness.

Popular posts from this blog

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American air

I ain't got no crystal ball

I've never been a big fan of Sublime's reggae-punk-ska, but I feel bad for their hardcore fans. Billboard reports that a four-disc box set featuring previously released and unreleased material is on the way. How is this a bad thing? Well, the number of posthumous vault-raiding collections greatly outnumber the band's proper releases. That usually isn't a problem, but the quality of them is very suspect. When they were together, the band recorded three proper albums, Robbin' the Hood , 40 Oz. to Freedom and Sublime . Sublime would be the band's breakthrough record with the mainstream, but that success was very bittersweet. Shortly before its release, frontman/guitarist/songwriter Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose. In the following years, the effects of apparently a bad record deal have yielded compilation after compilation. Here's the rundown so far: Second Hand Smoke (1997) Stand By Your Van -- Sublime Live in Concert (1998) Sublime Acoustic: Br

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J