Look for the Punks This Weekend, New York's Alright 2014 Gets Underway Thursday

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Courtesy of New York's Alright. Photo by Tod Seelie
Crazy Spirit at 285 Kent during New York's Alright 2013.
For the second year running, and this year maybe to fill the void left by now-finished Chaos in Tejas festival in Austin, the New York's Alright punk/hardcore festival is here. From Thursday through Sunday, various spots throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan will be drenched in feedback, d-beats, leather, bristles, studs and acne.*

The big draw to fests of these sorts is the appearance of international bands and rare-ish appearances or reunions. This year, New York's Alright has both: Bands from Sweden, Japan and England round-out the overseas offerings; while NYC's Crazy Spirit are due to perform for the first time in a while, and non-touring Cleveland maniacs Inmates are set to play. (Odds of fireworks going off during the band's set are still being set.)

See also: The Oral History of NYC's Metal/Hardcore Crossover

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How Facing Manslaughter Charges Saved Randy Blythe of Lamb of God's Life

Categories: Interview, Metal

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Image provided by SpectiCast and 9.14 Pictures
Randy Blythe in film As the Palaces Burn, directed by Don Argott
In 2012, filmmaker Don Argott thought he had finished shooting his documentary on Virginia metal band Lamb of God when he got the call that lead singer Randy Blythe had been arrested while the band was on tour in the Czech Republic. Blythe was being held on charges of manslaughter for an incident that had occurred two years prior and was facing up to 10 years in prison. Argott's film was far from over.

As the Palaces Burn has its NYC premiere Monday, March 3, at the Highline Ballroom. It chronicles the first leg of the 2012 tour and the dark turn of events that followed, including Blythe's trial. We discussed this unique rock documentary with both Argott and Blythe.

See also: Lamb of God Discuss Life After Manslaughter Charges

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A Pale Horse Named Death: Type O Negative Guitar Mixed With Too Much Perspective

Categories: Metal

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A Pale Horse Named Death
Is Sal Abruscato the Dave Grohl of NY metal? He was only 21 when Type O Negative, the band he helped form, put out their Roadrunner Records debut. He drummed with the NYC goth-metallers for three records and tour cycles before joining Life of Agony in 1993, staying until their 2011 demise. Then, much like Grohl, Abruscato boldly emerged from behind the drums to lead his own lineup, A Pale Horse Named Death. He proved to be an adept singer and guitarist, even though, the Brooklyn-born musician quips, "I'm not as successful as Dave Grohl."

See also: The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2013

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Six Things You Learn Being Addicted to Metal

Categories: Metal

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Robert Bejil, Flickr
Most people regard metal music as an anti-intellectual, chest-beating, noisy fit for cavemen. Despite this being 100 percent true, there are a few positive things that result from having an intense dedication toward one of the most juvenile forms of music out there. While listening to metal may still sentence you to a life in your parents' basement, at least you'll have learned a few things on the way to sleeping on a pile of empty potato chip bags. Here are six things you learn being addicted to metal.

See also: The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2013

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Luc Lemay of Gorguts Talks Tibet and Intellectual Death Metal

Categories: Interview, Metal

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photo by Tom Couture

Gorguts' 2013 album Colored Sands has in recent weeks landed on many best-of-the-year lists -- and not just lists limited to metal. The record is a masterpiece, composed by French-Canadian guitarist and vocalist Luc Lemay, the only consistent member of the band he co-founded in 1989.

Tonight, Gorguts closes their tour at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, and back on Halloween, Lemay spoke to us from his home in Montreal. He explained how a toddler's coloring book inspired a death metal album, how Buddhism can be metal, and how metal can be academic.

See also: Eight (More) Great 2013 Metal Albums That Deserve Your Attention

Did you know that the history of Tibet was going to be the concept for Colored Sands when you wrote the music?

I knew even before I wrote a single song that I was going to talk about it. It's a very funny story. I'll tell you how I got the idea for that. One day, my girlfriend came home, and she had just visited a friend of hers, and this friend had a little youngster, maybe a three- or four- or five-year-old, and this kid had just colored a mandala from a coloring book. And he or she offered the mandala [picture] as a gift to my girlfriend. So my girlfriend came home, and she told me about this little story: "The kid colored a mandala in a book and offered it to me." And I said, "What? A what?" And she said, "A mandala." And that just caught my attention. The word.

So, from there, by reading on mandalas, [I saw] the Dalai Lama was mentioned many times. I got interested in knowing about this character, how he was found as a kid...Every story led to another one, up to the Chinese invasion of 1950.


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The 10 Best Folk Metal Bands

Categories: Metal

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Korpiklaani
A distinct subgenre of heavy metal called "folk metal" has developed over the past few decades. Spawning from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the mid '80s in Europe, the harmonies and melodies of power metal, were combined with traditional instrumental folk music to create a visceral, nature-based sound. We use the term "folk metal" to describe several different offshoots of metal that are influenced by Celtic, Medieval, and even Nordic themes.

This type of extreme music is often inspired by Paganism, the elements, and folklore. Musically, one can hear traces of death metal, black metal, progressive, industrial, ambient, experimental and doom metal all within one song. Bands often take listeners on musical journeys that come to life with epic, thunderous and pulsating music, full of vivid descriptions and tales of evil creatures, pirates, Vikings, enchanted kingdoms, ancient mythology and warfare. What began in Europe has spread all over the globe, as folk metal bands come from nearly every country on the planet where there is heavy metal. We now present our list of the 10 Best Folk Metal Bands.

See also: The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2013

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The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2013

Categories: 2013, Metal

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Courtesy of Napalm Records
Inevitably, every "best of" list features some tiny--or not so tiny--bias from its compilers. Journalistic objectivity takes precedence, sure, but when even the definition of "metal" is subject to interpretation, there's no true one-size-fits-all best-of list. But that's often the best part of the entertainment for the reader/armchair critic--the "What the fuck is this deaf mother-effer thinking?!" And then weighing in with their own, much better list.

How to compare/choose between Lita Ford and Ishan? Between the Melvins and Toxic Holocaust? In short, it's impossible. By not including, for instance, Cali hipster metallers Deafheaven on the list, and by including Fates Warning, well, let's just say, "Let the lambasting begin!"

That said, overall, metal in 2013 was remarkably healthy, with progenitors Black Sabbath topping the Billboard chart for the first time in their long career, and many hundreds of worthy heavy music albums fomented in dark depths of metal minds. All art is valid, even if it's made by Monster Magnet in 2013. Let's do this.

See also: The Ten Best Metal Albums of 2012

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Six Nu-Metal Bands You Shouldn't Be Ashamed to Like

Categories: Lists, Metal

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It is OK to admit that you like System of a Down. Just admit it.
There's a lot of bad music out there, and at the end of the day, the most reviled and defenseless genre of all is nu-metal. Too whiny to be intimidating and too dumb to be complimented on its wimpiness, nu-metal is generally not much more than a relic of the '90s and early '00s that we're all still trying to forget. It's hard to get people to take you seriously when they find out that you genuinely enjoy the stylings of greaseballs with seven-string guitars. Believe it or not, though, some of these oft-maligned acts actually have some talent, and are worthy of a little appreciation. In keeping, we've produced a modest-size list to encourage people to get down with the sickness*.

*Note: Disturbed is not a nu-metal band you should ever admit to enjoying.

See also: Morrissey on His Hatred of "Cell Phone Nation," His Skin of "Perished Rubber," and Why He Loves System of a Down

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The 10 Worst Metal Bands of the '80s

Categories: Metal

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Photo by Groovehouse
If you look closely, you can pinpoint the exact moment Scott Ian realized people know him as "that guy on VH1 with the beard."
Look, the '80s are back in style in every way, and that's totally cool. It means pop music is more bearable than it's been in a long time.

But there's a disturbing trend happening right now in metal. It's not quite that some top acts are aping the decade's worst aspects, but they're definitely starting to verge into some of the less-flattering trends. For instance, much love to Dallas crossover thrash band Power Trip, but the reverb addiction has got to stop.

To give some helpful hints on what to avoid in the future, here are 10 metal bands from that decade who absolutely sucked, and you should avoid sounding like at all costs.

See also: The 10 Most Metal Deaths of Metal Musicians

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I Pissed Off Megadeth, My (Former) Favorite Band

Categories: Metal

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When I began interviewing bands eight years ago, my ultimate goal was to interview one person: Dave Mustaine from Megadeth, my favorite band since I was thirteen years old. Sitting in front of my parents' computer and ruining my ears through a pair of oversize headphones, I listened and loved Mustaine's snarling vocals and impossibly fast guitar solos. I sat in school and drew pictures of their strange skull mascot, which looked like it was wearing evil braces. I even bought some stupid-ass comic books that were based around the band.

See also: How to Determine if Something Is Metal as Fuck

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