Now during the early 90´s i was getting into the whole indie music scene and slavishly buying NME (and the odd copy of melody maker). Sure it was all great listening to Madchester and early techno and tall that guff. But i was about to enter that stage of my teenage years when everything just had to be FUCKING LOUD!
Though not everyone is a metal fan, it is an inescapable law of nature that when a child reaches 15, quiet jangly music about being too shy to speak that girl you saw at that Smiths concert, or pop tunes about being smiley and shit are just not going to cut it. Even my wife who is not the worlds biggest music fan was into a bit of Iron Maiden and Metallica, thanks to her metal loving friend. To be honest, If you have a child and they do not start listening to loud metallic music by the time they turn 15, i suggest you seek professional help as they may be a secret bedwetter or worse, a tory supporter.
Now for me my first REAL introduction to hardcore metal music was partially by accident. On a whim, i bought a tape titled “Virus 100: a Tribute to the Dead Kennedys” where, in celebration of the 100th release from their record album alternative tentacles, invited artists recorded covers of their favourite dead Kennedys song. They had many delightful gems from the likes of Faith no more, L7, Neurosis and Alice Donut, but in particular there were 2 tracks, “Drug me” by Sepultura and “Nazi Punks fuck off” by Napalm death, which is still to this day, one of my favourite cover songs ever…
Listening to these for the first time was akin to having to have two jackhammers inserted into my ears while having a live electrical cable juffed up my arse. Sure i´d been aware of hardcore metal, but this was the first time i´d really listened to it properly. And for a while i was hooked. That week i bought Sepulturas “Arise” album and Napalm Deaths “From Enslavement to Obliteration”
Now i would be lying if i said that i became a consistent and ardent metal fan right up to this very day. My initial burst into metal music only lasted for a couple of years, before i drifted back into Grunge music and the indie rock of the day. But during that time i do remember my reading tastes changing considerably. I started buying Kerrang magazine for a while, although a lot of the bands they featured didn´t necessarily make me praise the heavens (There was a lot of Dio and Thunder). I also remember watching a metal music programme called “Raw Power” that used to be shown on British TV VERY late on a friday night (think 3-4am in the morning. I used to watch it when i came home from a night of…errr… partying) that would show some rather grisly heavy stuff.
And as for the music? Well i listened to the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Motörhead and Pantera (remember their song “Fucking Hostile”? God that was such a good song). I do also remember getting into the more hardcore industrial/metal bands such as Extreme Noise Terror (especially after their show with the KLF at the 1992 Brit awards) and Ministry. (I had to buy another copy of their “psalm 69” album as i had worn my tape out through overuse).
Out of all this molten metal, there was one album from that time that has remained my favourite from the lot. And that would be “Angel Dust” by Faith No More. Now i liked FNM and had their breakthrough album “the real Thing”, although i found it rather unsatisfying (i preferred their live album “Live at Brixton” instead). But when “Angel Dust” came out, it just sounded like nothing i´d ever heard before. Angel Dust saw singer Mike Patton be more assertive in his singing voice, one minute death metal screaming, the next opera tenor yodeling. Plus they ramped up the style of music from being a mix of skate metal, thrash and funk to a kind of Grand Guignol operatic bastard metal from Satan’s arse that was both exhilarating at the same time. From the funked organ ode to gay oral sex on “Be aggressive”, the cracked schizoid lyrics of “Jizzlobber”, to the icy screams and pounding riffs on “caffeine”, it´s the album that makes the likes of Dr. Spock shed tears of bilious envy that they could make something as great.
Also i do remember the fact that Mike Patton having a pierced eyebrow as one the major factors in myself getting my eyebrow pierced at the time as well. On top of that i also tried to get my haird more “metal” by having the sides and back of my head shaved while my crown was thinned and allowed to grow. God i looked such a knob at the time!
You can try “Virus 100: A Tribute to the Dead Kennedys” Here
You can also try Faith No More´s “Angel Dust” Here