Question of the Week




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Welcome to “Question of the Week,” a (sometimes) weekly debate amongst the MetalSucks staff regarding a recent hot button issue.

Last week we asked you, oh beloved readers, to suggest some QOTW, and there were actually a number of good queries posited. So we kinda just picked one at random, and then we’ll do some others in the coming weeks. In the meantime, this week’s question, from Tim, is:


The MS staff’s answers after the jump.

I’ve only mentioned this, like, a gajillion times before,  but I’ll say it for good measure: Appetite for Destruction was the gateway drug that hooked me. And if that’s not heavy enough for you, meet me on the playground after school and I’ll give you what fo’.

-Axl Rosenberg

In sixth-grade advanced choir, I was positioned next to the coolest kid in school, a mega-rich, effortlessly atheletic hunk nicknamed Fuzzy. Sometime around our thousandth run-through of “One Moment In Time,” a casual and secret alliance was struck between us, golden boy and scowling malcontent, cuz I coveted access to his limited but tantalizing library of “compact discs” and he needed safe haven to smoke cigarettes, swear at stuff, and generally escape the pressures of being King Shit in of one of our nation’s richest school systems. Before math one day, I taught him to get buzzed by smoking through cupped hands; once he looked good and dizzy, I finessed a loan of his then-month-old and positively awesome-looking “compact disc” of  …And Justice For All by Metallica. At home that afternoon, it was few layers of harmony guitars and 32 snare drum strokes later that I was balls-deep in metal for life. Sorry for breaking our unspoken pact to never publicly acknowledge our palship, but thanks for the Metallica, stud!

-Anso DF

Whitesnake, s/t (1987).

-Gary Suarez

Odd as it may sound, Nevermind. In fact, to be more specific, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” perhaps the most tired and clichéd candidate in the This Song Will Change Your Life category. That moment — literally everyone who’s been alive since 1992 knows it well — where the band kicks in after Kurt Cobain’s tinny guitar strumming woke something in me. I’d always been apathetic toward music up to that point, pretty much taking in whatever my parents were listening to (which was a bizarre combination of Broadway, Huey Lewis and the News, the Eurythmics, classical, James Taylor, and Paul Simon) and leaving it at that. But when the guitars barge in and Dave Grohl starts beating the shit out of his drums, suddenly music meant something to me. And not because of wry songcraft or provocative musicianship, but because it was fucking HEAVY (hilariously enough, I would describe the album’s production as airless and soulless if another band had put it out today). To 12 year old me, this was something that was profoundly new, and I wanted more. Nevermind provided some, but not enough. And my interest in metal has stemmed from that: wanting to hear the heaviest possible thing so that I could recreate that moment. And, predictably, while I’ve come close many, many times (Anaal Nathrakh’s “Castigation and Betrayal” is almost disturbingly brutal), the combination of wide-eyed innocence, general naivety, and the music climate at the time has made it impossible. So I suppose, by default, that makes me a metal fan for life, perhaps in some sort of tragic cosmic irony where I’m eternally searching for something that I’ll never find. But I’m cool with that, seeing as the metal world had a lot more to offer in the way of heaviness, a vast, complex universe of darkness and brutality. And almost 20 years later, it’s still the world in music in which I’m most interested. So whenever I hear music pundits talking about how Kurt Cobain “killed metal,” I’m always confused, seeing as how that’s where it started for me.

-Sammy O’Hagar

Iron Maiden, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. I saw the video for “Can I Play With Madness,” when I was 14-15 and basically flipped out. Then, when I calmed down enough, I went and bought the album, and that was that.

Technically, I guess I’ve been listening to hair metal since I was little (and went to a Bon Jovi concert on my seventh birthday), but I like the above explanation more.

-Leyla Ford

As soon as I figured out that I dug heavier fare than the Merle Haggard and Lynyrd Skynyrd records I was raised on (as the great David Allan Coe once said, “My long hair can’t cover up my red neck”), I instinctively reached for those two hallmarks of thrash metal mastery and pre-adolescent rage that launched so many of us into metaldom — Master of Puppets and Reign in Blood. I liked Metallica a lot, but I worshipped Slayer, and it was the latter’s evil aura and breakneck speed that led me to more extreme fare. I could write you a novel about my first black metal album and how that changed the entire course of my life (if it weren’t for Bathory’s Under the Sign of the Black Mark, I’d probably be in law school by now instead of a transient with neck tattoos) ,but it all boils down to Slayer, and those first few seconds of “Angel of Death.” I hardly ever listen to them anymore, and haven’t bought any of their albums since I was in high school, but owe them an eternal debt of gratitude for leading me down the left-hand path, away from salvation. FUCKIN’ SLAAAAAYERRRRR!

-“Grim” Kim Kelly

Strangely enough, it was Korn’s first self-titled album — the one that came out in 1994. Yeah, I was a nu-metal kid. There was something about the heaviness that was more attractive to me than the stuff I had been listening to previously, which was along the lines of really bad hardcore/post-hardcore. From there, it branched into Slipknot, which led me to bands like Lamb of God and In Flames, and which got me into Cannibal Corpse, Darkthrone, et al.


Okay, kiddies, now it’s your turn! Weigh in with your answer to the question of the week below.

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