Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Failure’s Fantastic Planet Inducted Into The Hall of Fame!
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
I have a terrible history trying to assemble Decibel Hall of Fames, which has been recounted elsewhere—probably even in this space—but everyone loves to roll their eyes at a good sob story, so here we go again. I usually get our “alt-metal” assignments, for lack of a better term, since that’s what I grew up with (that and the C+C Music Factory canon), which has led to me failing to accomplish exhaustive oral histories of the following: Helmet’s Meantime (nobody except Page Hamilton wants to talk about it, which must mean there’s some real juicy acrimony that I’m not privy to); Today Is the Day’s Temple of the Morning Star (I just couldn’t find Chris Reeser, the bassist/sample guy, although I haven’t looked into it lately, and he’s probably on LinkedIn or Google+ or something); Nine Inch Nails’ Broken EP (which would admittedly be kinda boring since Trent’s the only interview, although his publicists are more interested in prioritizing recurring Kerrang! interviews than Hall of Fames, despite the fact that Decibel is a Beats Music “tastemaker”). Quicksand’s Slip was the only one that worked out, and that was awesome, but I’d rather fixate on the fish that got away.
Failure’s Fantastic Planet was almost too easy. Which may not be super-relevant to you if you’re thought-ballooning none of their records are metal, dickhead, but tell that to the members of Cave In, Pig Destroyer, Plague Bringer and Woe who sing its influential praises in the sidebar. As to the task’s relative simplicity, Failure’s wonderful publicist Monica arranged three consecutive hour-long interviews in one day, and bam: Hall of Fame in the house. They should all be that easy. Well, for me. I don’t care about anybody else’s adversity.
For the uninitiated, Failure were one of those tough-to-categorize mid-’90s major label oddities that never got anywhere, despite touring their asses off with a bunch of bands (other than Tool) that rarely made sense. A lot of space-rock, a little alt-metal, enormous and encompassing tones, disarmingly catchy clean vocals about very adult subject matter. If you’ve opened your mind to the full breadth of extreme music’s umbrella, you’ll notice their influence permeating a variety of substantially heavier bands. I’m glad this HOF is part of the Triptykon issue—Failure’s another band who follow their own idiosyncratic muse and tap into the rollercoaster of depression and euphoria so many of us want from heavy music.