Marilyn Manson, Live: The Pale Emperor Reigns at Terminal 5

Manson as he appears on the cover for The Pale Emperor, released on January 15
Better Than: Visiting a Hot Topic store on a Saturday afternoon.

Is The Pale Emperor album/persona Marilyn Manson's version of David Bowie's Thin White Duke? Both are elegantly dressed gents and doers of bountiful drugs. And like Bowie's Station to Station album (of the Duke era), Manson's latest opus references mythology and religion — and onstage he quoted "Moonage Daydream." But Manson, as his name implies, is a rabid consumer of — as well as product of — the darker side of pop culture.

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Twenty Great Metal Albums That Turn 25 in 2015

Categories: Lists, Metal

Danzig II: Lucifuge
Twenty-five years ago the Gulf War started, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Jennifer Lawrence was born, and that's about all we can think of without referring to Wikipedia or one of our older colleagues who still has a functioning long-term memory. 1990 also saw the release of several excellent metal records. Here's the twenty we like best.

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Wrekmeister Harmonies Drape Bushwick in Pastoral Doom - 12/14/14

Categories: Concerts, Metal

Wrekmeister Harmonies
Better Than: That Scott Walker + SunnO))) record. Yeah, I said it.

"I was nervous. I didn't know if anybody was gonna show."

J.R. Robinson a/k/a Wrekmeister Harmonies is enjoying a post-show cigarette and breathing a helluva sigh of relief. The "pastoral doom" overlord needn't have pondered that nightmarish scenario, because a shit-ton of his doom-and-drone-seeking worshippers did in fact flock to DIY art hub Signal Gallery in Bushwick, where the Chicago-based, ink-
covered WrekHarm architect -- in all his bearded glory -- presented a rare local performance of Then It All Came Down, his second long-form mammoth composition.

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The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2014: Our List Goes to 11

Categories: Metal

Paolo Girardi
Here it is, metalheads: our take on the best metal albums of 2014. It's been a righteous year in metal, and 10 picks weren't quite enough. So in the spirit of the genre, our list goes to 11.

We listened for albums with a unique musical point of view, for fresh ideas that stand out from a crowd of trends. We looked for superior skill tempered by musicality. We listened to many, many hours of heavy metal. Without further ado, here's the best of the best.

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Gwar Love New York City, Still Want to Kill All the Humans

Categories: Interview, Metal

Ed Steele/Dallas Observer
Vulvatron's breasts that spray blood
Earlier this year, the death of David Brockie, also known as Oderus Urungus, shook the rock world and left fans of Gwar wondering who would fill his large, claw-toed shoes.

Enter Vulvatron.

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Obituary's Donald Tardy on the Power of Not Borrowing Money From a Record Label

Categories: Metal

Photo by Ester Segarra /
Obituary's John Tardy (far left) and his brother Donald Tardy (second from right)

Super-long hair? ✔
Bushy beards? ✔
Gory song titles? ("Internal Bleeding," "Slowly We Rot") ✔
Gruesome band names? (Xecutioner, then Obituary) ✔ ✔
Decapitated bloody body artwork? ✔
Rescuing tiny adorable kitties? ✔

Donald Tardy, drummer of death metal pioneers Obituary, founded Metal Meowlisha, and when not executing blast-beats and growling lyrics, the band helps trap, neuter, and release ("TNR" is the shorthand) fuzzy four-footed friends in Florida, caring for 28 feral colonies totaling more than 200 cats.

Tardy, who formed Obituary with his brother John, spoke with the Voice from the band's Las Vegas soundcheck, revealing the kinder, gentler side of death metal, and recalled Obituary's first show in New York, ahead of its November 30 return with Death, Massacre, and Rivers of Nihil at the Best Buy Theater.

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Alex Skolnick's Planetary Coalition Breaks All the Rules

Categories: Jazz, Metal

Photo by Tom Couture
Brooklynite Alex Skolnick is best known as the lead guitarist of thrash outfit Testament and the jazz group Alex Skolnick Trio. But his latest project, Planetary Coalition, represents a radically new direction, as it unites 27 musicians from around the globe onto an album of world music. Tuesday night, over a dozen of these musicians will perform with Skolnick at Meridian23 for the official record release show.

"You're not supposed to do a project like this," says Skolnick of industry expectations for chart-toppers like himself. "I'm supposed to be the guy from Testament."

See also: Testament's Alex Skolnick Went From Geek to Guitar God

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Let Brooklyn's Mortals Punish You

Categories: Metal

Photo courtesy of Relapse Records
One of the most striking features of Mortals, a blackened metal trio from Brooklyn, is also one of the things they're most reticent to discuss. They are three women in extreme music, a genre dominated by men, but they see this fact as secondary to their band's identity.

"We try not to make it an issue," bass player and vocalist Lesley Wolf says about the topic of gender. "People can think whatever they want."

See also: The 10 Best Male Rappers of All Time

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What Do Deathcore Quintet Born of Osiris Have in Common With the Lumineers and Lorde?

Categories: Metal

A weird thing happened in 2013. Chicago-area deathcore quintet Born of Osiris smashed into the Billboard Top 200 charts with their Tomorrow We Die Alive album, coming in above the Lumineers and Lorde, bands distinctly unlike the ultra-heavy and underground metal assault of BOO.

Vocalist Ronnie Canizaro, a 25-year-old whose speaking voice sounds like he's 17 (his growled vocals in the band are ageless), was surprised, to say the least. Calling from outside the evening's venue, Atlanta's Masquerade club, he recalls, "I didn't expect that, I was very happy. There are more people that are appreciating metal now. There are always fads...I mean, nu metal is what got me into all this: Korn, Slipknot, who are still going strong. I think our band, we never follow the trend or fad, we've been on this slow rise with each album, growing, gaining more fans, playing bigger shows. It's cool to see the progress."

See also: Ten Metal Albums to Hear Before You Die

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"Wonder Woman Would Hang Out at Saint Vitus": Comics Creators on NYC Hero Haunts

Categories: Metal

Rob Menzer
Saint Vitus in Greenpoint: This is where Wonder Woman would hang out.
Making the most of New York Comic Con can be exhausting, and navigating the crowds can be as taxing as fighting Skrulls or thwarting Brainiac. So where in the city do comics heroes unwind or cut loose?

Some of the top creators at NYCC shared their heroes' favorite New York hangouts.

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