Tour Guides From Hell: Chris Pervelis of Internal Bleeding’s Five Essential “Vantastic” Driving Albums
Slam metal pioneers Internal Bleeding are getting ready to embark on a tour with Suffocation, Kataklysm, Jungle Rot and Pyrexia. That’s a helluva lineup for lovers of death metal, yeah? Get dates here.
In the meantime we’ve roped guitarist Chris Pervelis into listing out his five favorite driving albums for our Tour Guides From Hell feature. Enjoy!
As we prepare for the Carnival of Death Tour to support our new album Imperium (shameless plug: out September 30 on Unique Leader), I’m in the process of preparing my iPod with playlists for the long haul. One of the most crucial ones I put together is the Driving Playlist.
I suck at driving during a tour — I’m perpetually tired, my eyesight is awful and I’m prone to nodding off. To make my time at the wheel the best it can be I put together a playlist that keeps my mind and senses active and alert. The music varies greatly — from brutal death metal bands Defeated Sanity and Gorgasm to gothic/electronic music such as VAST, to jazz, classic metal, ’80s hardcore and other interesting stuff.
This playlist varies from tour to tour — depending on my mood — but there are five albums that are always included because they are just perfect driving albums.
1. Rollins Band – Weight
As the name implies, this album is heavier than the dinnertime line at your neighborhood all-you-can-eat buffet. Weight brims with power — it’s a record that is always on the verge of losing control, but remains composed, incredibly precise and relentlessly heavy.
It’s chock full of stellar guitar work from [the very underrated] Chris Haskett that dances around the fretboard, while an incredibly tight rhythm section maintains a deep and very powerful groove. Rollins’ voice is in fine shape on this too, and you can really feel the spit hitting the microphone on songs such as “Civilized” and “Icon.”
Weight never fails me. It’s like that first cup of coffee in the morning — rich, eye opening and very satisfying.
2. Black Sabbath – Live at Last
Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you — I’m a Black Sabbath freak. Every album with Ozzy (and the first two with Dio) are pretty much the greatest albums ever written in my opinion, and Live at Last stands out as Sabbath’s ultimate road tripping album for me.
The production values are what make it superior for driving — its slightly raw and unedited sound gives you the feeling of being at a Sabbath concert. I love that you can hear the playing mistakes, Ozzy chatting with Bill between songs, Tony tuning up and other candid moments throughout the recording. The energy of the crowd propels the Sabs to play most of their songs up-tempo, which is a real treat, and the long extended jam/solos that occur about halfway through the set are a big highlight as well.
Live at Last makes the miles melt away. And many a time I find myself snapping out of some sort of trance when the album finishes — 100 miles down, 200 more to go.
3. Frank Zappa – Overnite Sensation/Apostrophe
When Guy Marchais (Suffocation) was in Internal Bleeding he turned me on to the genius of Frank Zappa. I instantly fell in love with the crazy arrangements, bizarre lyrics and of course, those crazy xylophones.
There is no way any human being with a modicum of musical interest can go to sleep while Frank Zappa is playing — there’s just so much good shit going on musically and lyrically.
This double album is the best of the Zappa bunch when it comes to great tunes for driving the van. Wrap your ears around the hilarious ditty about Bromhidrosis in “Stinkfoot” and check out the amazing backing vocals in the six-plus minute paean to raising a bumper crop of dental floss in “Montana.” Zappa’s uncanny ability to be both hilarious and musically serious at the same time is simply mind-blowing.
Clocking in at just over an hour, Overnite Sensation/Apostropheis a great way to get through 70 boring miles with a smile.
4. Deicide – Deicide
This album is 33 minutes of mind-blistering hatred, and for me listening to it is akin to mainlining three shots of espresso. Sure, there are other bands that are faster and more technically adept, but Deicide just seethe with a hateful energy few can match.
The guitar tone on this album is what really does it for me — it’s ugly, cold and sounds like a corral full of angry pit bulls ready to pounce (the drumming and vocals are no slouches either). And even though the lyrics are on the simplistic side, I still find myself belting them out with glee as I’m flying down the road.
Deicide is a timeless death metal classic, a solid study in frenetic energy and undiluted hatred and the perfect way to prevent road hypnosis.
5. Mortal Decay – Sickening Erotic Fanaticism
Mortal Decay are probably my favorite death metal band of all time. Everything about their music strikes the right note with me.
The combination of John Hartman and Joe Gordon playing their twisted melodies, Anthony Ipri laying down his jazz-inspired beats, Ron Steinhauer’s great bass lines and Kelly Izquierdo’s tortured vocals all come together to create some of the darkest and most nauseating (in a good way) death metal I’ve ever heard.
I love all their releases, but Sickening Erotic Fanaticism contains my favorite MDK track, “Decomposed with Nitric Acid.” It’s a killer tune with a chorus that is so heavy and twisted you can’t help but stand up and take notice.
This is the perfect death metal album for when you’re close to the venue, because it pumps you up and gets you read to hit the stage with fury.
Finally, there are five runners up that make the playlist 95% of the time so I figured I would share them too:
6. Black Sabbath: Volume 4
7. Baphomet: The Dead Shall Inherit
8. Mahavishnu Orchestra: Inner Mounting Flame
9. Black Flag: Damaged
10. Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland