(By Brian Halsey, Staff Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
[Editor’s Intro] Halsey had this idea… now, typically I enjoy the hell out of Halsey’s ideas, because he’s… well, because he’s a lunatic. This idea was a random, rabid brain purge of whatever Halsey had been listening to recently and decided to slap his opinion on. I said yes to his idea. Why? I enjoy and encourage creative lunacy and Halsey has some of the most articulate goddamned lunacy I’ve born witness to in recent years. In fact, I suggested his idea be a monthly column. without his having a word written. I was not disappointed. Here is the first of his ‘Rogue Reviews’ for May 2018. ~ Leanne
As a certified Literature teacher (deemed official by the horribly inefficient state of New Jersey) and a credentialed metal head (notarized by several bros who witnessed me help a 685 lb man crowd surf at a DOWN show), I know a lot about content and I know a lot about shredding.
Sadly, this specific skill set is almost never relevant in modern America. Until now. I’m making it relevant. And by that I mean, Leanne gives zero fucks about popular opinion and is allowing me to follow my gut. With that, I give you this advice on how to be more metal in the month of May 2018:
— DIMMU BORGIR – Eonian
What’s up with all the KVLTsh!t crybabies whining about the new DIMMU?! Listen, I’m gonna be honest, it’s not their best album… but it is very, very good. Black metal has managed to integrate its ugly and awesome spirit into almost every facet of heavy music these days. It’s only natural that the originators of something great push forward in a new direction. I get it, DIMMU BORGIR no longer sounds “evil.” In fact they sound down right triumphant; big orchestral arrangements and clean production. Fuck them for trying, right? Sorry, Eonian is in the top 3 or 4 of their catalog, and most likely the top 10 of 2018. It might not give you the same chills as Progenies of the Great Apocalypse, but what really does?
— TWITCHING TONGUES – Gaining Purpose Through Passionate Hatred
Ohhhh what’s this, a March album in the May column?! Don’t care! The month starts with the same letter and I’m the captain of this ship. The winds of shit are blowing strong and they’re telling me to tell you about TWITCHING TONGUES. Heavy groove metal is back, BIG TIME! Sadly, it doesn’t come with camo shorts and covered in tribal tattoos, but I digress… if you’re into bouncy, semi-rap metal hardcore, check this band A$AP.
— BABYMETAL – Distortion (single)
It’s not really in my nature to be a hater, but fuck babymetal and every single person who buys their music. What the shit is even happening in any of their songs? I genuinely don’t get it. I really don’t, man. For example, I also dislike Nickelback, but I’d never waste my time roasting Nickelback, because I understand many people have the desire to consume digestible verse-chorus-verse / rinse-repeat / radio rock. I don’t enjoy it, but I acknowledge there are many who desire its existence.
I don’t acknowledge a single thing about babymetal. Is it a joke? Is it a music meme? Am I that old? All I desire is the truth. Random buildings on fire. Asian dude flying through the air with deer skull mask. Indecipherable and annoying vocals tearing through your brain. I’m at a loss. And for what it’s worth, I’d typically never rip on an up and coming band, but bbymtl is established as fuck, so this won’t dent their astounding and weird volume of metal street cred. Feel free to comment with answers or an equally angry bout of confusion.
— GUNS N ROSES – Shadow of Your Love (single)
1986. My baby brother was born and broke the world record for fattest head, the mighty New York Giants won their first of several Super Bowls, it was a kick ass year. Additionally, GUNS N ROSES released an album you might be familiar with… Appetite for Destruction. The début went on to catapult GNR into the upper echelon of rock stardom and became one of the best-selling pieces of music of all time. It was a long fall from grace and as laughable as the band has become, they’ll always have the Use Your Illusion records, complimented by the ultimate leather pants wearing middle finger to the world that was Appetite for Destruction.
The release of their 4-disc, 51-song, megalodon of a cash grab exists, oozing with insincerity, but not without merit. With one spin of the cast off Shadow of Your Love, GUNS N ROSES is alive and wasted on Hollywood Blvd. for a glimmer of a moment. It’s a glitch in the Matrix. You get to listen to them at their apex just one more time. The way they were meant to be heard; absolutely on-fucking-fire. Before the fanfare. Before the MTV VMA’s. Before they felt compelled to swing for the fences on 10 minute piano driven anthems that would earn them an eternity of radio plays.
Shadow of Your Love is a 3 minute dick slinging competition. Axl VS Slash, with the rest of the band shredding for their lives to keep up. In 1986, this song wasn’t good enough to be on Appetite for Destruction. In 2018, it’s rightfully a chart topping single. Seriously, that’s real. That happened in real life. Memorize it, and feel free to reference it the next time some Tide Pod munching, Juul addict tells you the new Post Malone is a banger.
Links for all the music is streaming above. Some you’ll thank me for. One you might not.