Question Of The Week: In The Cold October Rain
Stormy weather lends a backdrop to music, an extra texture and a new way of hearing a jam. But what about when a poetic sprinkling gives way to a wrecking ball like Hurricane Sandy? In that serious situation, perhaps u don’t listen to a song so much as hear one in your head as u checklist your food supplies and survival skills. Facing destruction, u might be reminded of a lyric that never before sounded so presciently accurate, and has now become a source of resolve. Or maybe, amid the post-shitstorm stillness, your brain may knot itself around a particular phrase and not let go until you’re driven mad and dancing with half-submerged parking meters while doffing your cap to downed streetlights. lol It kinda depends.
Along with our very best wishes and sympathies to everybody affected by the mega-storm, we present today’s MetalSucks Question Of The Week, a survey of our staff metalicians on today’s issues in metal.
Fearless. Controversial. Half-baked. We give it to you straight every Friday afternoon. Straight to wherever all the sewer rats end up. Here’s this week’s question:
Inspired by Metal Injection‘s Hurricane Sandy playlist, we asked our staff the following:
What song was running through your head as the Frankenstorm raged?
It probably wasn’t “It’s Raining Men.” The MS staff’s expert answers below!
Though the sky was shitting rain as opposed to fire, nothing fit the emo-ness of being trapped indoors during a raging storm better than Ulcerate‘s “Burning Skies,” off 2011’s excellent The Destroyers Of All. ‘Tis brutal-weather music at its finest.
“Rock You Like A Hurricane” is tired, tired, tired. My situation was better captured by Alice Cooper.
To those (like me) stupid enough to live north of the border in the slowly-freezing wasteland, the storm was not that notable. The good old igloo is still standing just like it did all summer! Plus, I’ve been deep in study for a major actuarial exam all month, so until my roof or other terrestrial belongings take flight, I am oblivious to the weather anyway. But if anyone else needs some hurricane-strength
I’m a million miles clear of Sandy and her wreckage-strewn snail trails, but of course I’m spending days handwringing for easterly budz and travelbound acquaintances. Echoing in my brain is Flotsam And Jetsam’s “Burned Device” — especially the line it shares with the title of their gray-but-funky 1990 masterpiece When The Storm Comes Down (here shhh). The jam’s theme is standard thrash metal stuff — world demise brought about by Earth’s ruin — but in 2012 it seems to directly address deniers of climate change, shock doctrine, and the grim reality that doom may await a society which allows its members unchecked free will. lol Bummer!
I moved to London a couple weeks ago, so the closest I got to Sandy was a few worried emails from my grandparents and the seemingly endless reel of photos, videos, and feverish news reports tracking its progress. The past days have been dominated by feelings of helplessness and overwhelming worry about my family — located in a very isolated, rural woodland area of South Jersey, about 20 minutes from the shore and surrounded by tall trees — as well as concern for all of my friends on the East Coast and in my adopted hometown, New York City. Now that the worst is over and everyone I love is at the very least safe and uninjured, I can finally sleep, even if I am thousands of miles away from the destruction. The song that summed it all up for me is, oddly enough, by Agnostic Front. I’ve never been much for NYHC, but when my boyfriend stuck “Gotta Go” on the other day, it struck a chord. United we stand, divided we fall — no matter what, New York Fuckin’ City will make it through, and for me, it will always be home.
Though nowhere near my locale of Austin, Texas (FYI: NOT “THE LIVE MUSICAL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD”), Sandy got me thinking about metal ballads again for some reason. No, not those songs in which heaven isn’t too far away, roses have thorns, and you are begged to not close your eyes; not those songs that, when listened to by a man and a women together, result in you telling me or Axl or Anso how much we suck. (More people shoulda sung their last lullabies.) Anyway, I mean the slow jams that allow a hesher to reflect on how life is sad but also really beautiful, man. What are the best metal ballads of all time? 1. Fates Warning – “Guardian.” 2. Mercyful Fate – “Melissa.” 3. Queensryche – “The Lady Wore Black.” Oh, you thought I was gonna say “Silent Lucidity,” right? Sure, I am in the middle of a Queensryche bender, but I’m not stupid. Please, sing your last lullaby.
Where I’m located, Sandy didn’t throw as nasty a tantrum compared to down at MetalSucks HQ. Still, it was still plenty dark, rainy, windy, and ominous. There was plenty of staring out the window listening to the new Neurosis, an album made for staring out at a hurricane. But my real doozy was Pantera‘s “Floods.” Even before the obvious rain effects in its outro, the whole song is damp and rotting. It sounds like its creators pieced it together in a mudslide; the doomy bridge evokes the four of them trying to fight their way out. Oh, and it has the greatest solo played by anyone ever in the history of anything and everything that’s ever been. Sometimes throwing on something a little too on-the-nose is awesome anyway.
It’s no coincidence that each of the above MS staffers observed Sandy from afar; some of us in the eye of the storm are now dealing with it, not writing about it. So we thank u for your concern and encouragement! Tell us your Hurricane Sandy theme song below and have an awesome wknd!