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Friday 5: What’s Your ‘Extreme Metal Beginners Guide”

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Happy Friday, MetalSucks reader! Welcome to MetalSucks Friday 5, our awesome series that appears every Friday (duh) on MetalSucks (duhh) and involves the quantity of five (duhhh).

Here’s how it works: A list of best/worst/weirdest/whatever five somethings is posted by one of your beloved MetalSucks contributors or by one of our buds (like you!). Then you, our cherished reader, checks it out, has a chuckle, then chimes in with a list of the same. No sweat, just whatever springs to mind, k? (Just like that movie about those losers working at a Chicago record store!) After all, it’s Friday — the day dedicated by the gods to mindless, fun time-wasting. 

Here we go!

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THE FIVE

What five tracks define extreme metal to a curious non-metal person?

THE LISTER

Anso DF, MetalSucks Senior Editor

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“Children Of The Grave” by Black Sabbath
from Master Of Reality
1971 | Warner Bros.

Say, has this ever happened to you? You’re at a perfectly nice party with lovely people and as you are saying your goodbyes, an acquaintance grabs her coat, exits with a wave, and jumps in the car with you? You’re like, That makes sense, her neighborhood is between here and my place. I’ll drop her off. From the passenger seat, she watches you to see that you’ve figured that out but then throws you a curveball: She asks if you recall the moment at the party when you responded to a friend’s question about extreme metal. Well, she says, she was fascinated by your explanation of its meaning, its appeal, its function. She wants to hear the music that informed your interpretation.

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“Dead Embryonic Cells” by Sepultura
from Arise
1991 | Roadrunner

Your first thought is that extreme metal sounds like indecipherable noise to 99% of earth’s population. So you start with a jam whose moving parts are huge and easy to spot, and “Children Of The Grave” (above) is like five minutes of freight train lumbering by right in front of her face. From there, Sepultura can carry her halfway across the bridge between metal and extreme metal.

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“Body Bag” by Obituary
from Cause Of Death
1990 | Roadrunner

At this point, you offer your passenger your tin of sour mints or maybe pull into the latte drive-thru. You let her catch her breath and enjoy a treat because “DEC” (above) is the night’s last piece of music that resembles a comprehensible song at a reasonable volume. Yep, she’s now seconds away from experiencing what is perceived as “not for normal people.” To her, it shares a category with footage of beheadings and super dark porn.

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“Tides Of Oneiric Darkness” by Akhlys
from The Dreaming I
2015 | Debemur Morti

But she comes to see that extreme metal is closer to swimming, to sex, and to really fancy movies like Enter The Void. Each is total engagement of intellect and imagination but also a euphoric blankness, a blackout between two points in time. Total distraction so you can think and feel without calibration or design. And you laugh when she says you were right that extreme metal is like a daily vitamin.

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“Hell Envenom” by Hate Eternal
from Fury & Flames
2008 | Metal Blade

Finally, your vehicle approaches the edge of her neighborhood. The whole ride she’s listened blankly while slurping her coffee, unpatronizing and straight, and asked only occasional questions. Her last one makes you spit out laughing: Is there any extreme metal that sounds to you like all extreme metal sounds to her? So you find a jam at the very tip of the “insanity chaos metal” spear. One that even metal guys your age say is “just noise,” just like old rocker dudes used to deride Slayer and Testament. During this song’s final notes, you squeal to a stop outside her place; she hops out wearing a big showy frown as she kicks shut the passenger door. Though the open window, she says she appreciates the crash course and everything — thanks to you her world is bigger and richer — but as a result she’ll definitely have scary nightmares tonight. She watches your face as you figure out her meaning. You park the car.

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Your turn! Have a great wknd!

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