devil years

The years 2004 and 2005 were metal years for me. I got involved in NU 107’s Metal Madness (now history, but the noisiest shit on Philippine radio back then), and was frequenting those smoky Malate hellholes with then girlfriend Charmaine for our live metal fix. Except for our marriage and the birth of Raven Lee, none of the things that happened to us in the succeeding years can be compared to what transpired in those 24 months of beer-soaked heavy metal abandon. The only weird thing was my hair.


at the record bar

H.I.M.’s Dark Light album was the last thing I expected to see when I went to Landmark in Makati last Friday on my way to Charmaine’s office, but there it was, staring back at me, enigmatic cover and all, promising late night “Vampire Heart” soundtrip.

I texted Charmaine about it. “Guess what . . .” In two minutes she was standing beside me going, “Oh my!” My wife, big Ville Vallo fan, not believing the H.I.M. album in front of her. “Santa’s a metalhead!,” she said. And my collection became one CD richer.

Addendum: Saw some interesting local releases from 3 Inches of Blood, Down, Cavalera Conspiracy, Still Remains, Dragonforce, Machine Head, Airborne, Cradle of Filth, etc . . . But at Php650 each I find them too outrageously priced for my malnourished wallet. I’m licking my lips at Slayer’s World Painted Blood, though, which is only Php390.

april 17

Mark your calendar. This one will hurt.

Click photos for details.

metal art

The heavy metal world is not free of narcissists who love plastering their faces on the covers of their albums. But every once in a while I bump into something like this, a cover art I want to enlarge and post on the wall and hope the lady in the house will compliment me for my, uhurm, aesthetic sense.


I’m waiting for the Pitriff guys to come up with their annual Top 10 Metal/Hard Rock Albums of the Year list for 2009. I’ve a feeling Alice in Chains’ Black Gives Way to Blue will occupy a decent place in it. (They kind of hinted it in past articles.) So far all they have is a readers’ poll — What New Album Lived Up To The Hype This Year? — which, as of Sunday night, has AinC on third spot after Megadeth’s Endgame and Kiss’ Sonic Boom.

But why wait for the bastards to get their acts together to see if their list matches mine? I’ll bare my own album list now, and then some – best book and movie of 2009. A weird yearly habit of mine, but not entirely pointless. I’ll expound some other time.

Anyway, even in my own list, AinC had to slug it out with the other great albums I had the pleasure of listening to this year. But after careful assessment, which means drinking beer while listening to the album at piss-your-neighbor volume, I’ve to give it to these Seattle hard rock nuts. Black Gives Way to Blue, though bleak at best, provided the necessary diversion in this year of insane personal issues and grisly national events.

For my best read I’ve just elevated William Kennedy’s Ironweed to the level of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood (2008), TC Boyle’s The Inner Circle (2007), Kerouac’s Desolation Angels (2006), Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities and James Lee Burke’s The Lost Get-Back Boogie (2005), and Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary (2004). Seth Morgan’s Homeboy was a close contender.

For best movie, which I started considering only last year, the 2005 French flick Angel-A took home the cake and the cake-maker’s wife. More about it here.

I also have my fantasy fuck-mate of the year, but that’s too controversial and she may not like the recognition.

Meanwhile, my article on the Top 10 Sex Scandals of 2009 has been posted here. It is a watered down — not to mention verbose — version of what I had originally written, wine-drunk, on the wee hours of Christmas 2009. For what it’s worth, here is the original shit.

he said breast

As I type this, I’m downloading Atrocity’s Hallucinations. The little rectangular box at the bottom of the screen says only 2% of the album have so far been downloaded. It’s still a long trek, so I might as well write something here.

Let me start by saying that I’m such music geek these days. The urge to download one album after the other is as strong as the urge to urinate on Andal Ampatuan Jr’s face. Perhaps it comes with the season. December, after all, is not a month for the clinically depressed. Next to cardiologists, corrupt journalists and Henry Sy, shrinks — the strangers you pay to tell you you’re either depressed or cuckoo — earn the biggest during the holidays.

English playwright William Congreve once said, music has the charms to soothe a savage breast. Obviously he was not talking about Slayer, who wants you to go out there and shoot someone. Or Black Label Society, who wants you to drink, fuck, and start a barroom brawl like a true “berzerker.”

35%. So far, so good.

Indeed: Slayer, BLS . . . these are just some of the “music” that have been “soothing” my “savage breast” these days. Chip in some classic Motorhead, Atheist, Ozzy, and some relatively new ones from Avenged Sevenfold, the Black Stone Cherry, and W.A.S.P., and Santa will be pissing on his pants in fear when he passes by our house on the 25th. 

It has always been my trick to load up my MP3 player and just let the sound carry my thoughts wherever I go. I find this useful every time I’m in an FX taxi sharing a long ride with yuppies yakking about last night’s PBB episode. Useful to drown the brainless cackle of FM deejays from the vehicle’s radio, too.

57%. Nice.

Of course, a good pair of earphones is a must. None of those cheap colorful Chinese-made jobs you can score on sidewalks from the same scarfed scowling vendor who also sells brick games, no-name batteries, and suyod. Those items diminish the quality of music. You might as well listen to a talentless high school garage band trying to do justice to a Dream Theater masterpiece . . . and failing miserably.

Personally, I prefer earphones with XBass capability. It’s louder, the sound more intact, and at the right volume I can feel my brain bouncing off the walls of my skull. This is exactly the reason why I abhor soundtripping on a computer, with its crummy built-in speakers and all. Frankly, I can’t see how music can be enjoyed that way. Even if I’m listening to something like “Sound of Silence” or “Enjoy the Silence,” I still prefer high decibels.

When it comes to earphones, I highly recommend the Maxell brand. They’re slick, loud, durable, and priced less than Php400. Throw me a bone if you’ve a better suggestion. Maxell isn’t paying me shit for the plug, anyway.

87%. Can’t wait to listen to “When the Fire Burns Over the Sea” and “Blue Blood.”

Not all I downloaded were under the heavy metal genre. For variety — and for late-night bus/FX rides — I threw in some alternative shit too, like Hum, Hole, Soundgarden, and Dishwalla. I’ve to move out of the box from time to time, I know. I draw the line with “Fliphop” (Filipino hiphop) and RnB, though. Techno, too, doesn’t yank my crank. But a little bit of pop every now and then doesn’t hurt.

95%. I can almost hear Alexander Krull growling, “Lying there in my small crib/Naked and innocent…”

For kick-ass, whole-album downloads, check out this site. This motherfucker has anything from the Doors to those devil-worshiping Norwegian malcontents with weird-sounding band names. Check it out quick, before that nut Lars Ulrich gets wind of it.

100%! Happy holidays, freaks.

god updates

lamb-of-god-copyHanging out with Marben Romero of Badburn last night at Ten02 Bar, I got the following info:

* The Lamb of God gig in next year’s Pulp SummerSlam – to be called Slam of God, how cool is that? – is already a done deal. The necessary papers had been signed, the proper arrangements made. All the band has to do is come here and blow our brains out;

* Talks are still ongoing with the Testament camp, but things are looking positive;

* Trivium will perform early 2010, probably in February, if things pan out according to plan;

* Four of the five Archenemy members are vegans. In the meet-and-greet after the band’s  Oct. 20 concert at WTC, only bassist Sharlee D’Angelo, the sole meat-eater in the group, showed up. So much for paying P2,000 to see Angela Gossow’s ass up close;

* Slayer was supposed to co-headline with Archenemy, but the Swedes, for some reason, wanted all the attention; and

* Shadows Fall enjoyed a week in Boracay early this year screwing whores (and, if I am to believe Marben, a female employee of a local magazine).

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