Foo Fighters aren’t the type of band you associate with breaking boundaries, but their career has seen them unleash eight studio albums that most of us will agree are pretty solid, with a couple that ascends to levels of greatness. Also, as far as modern rock acts go, they don’t come much bigger. Their prolific career has seen them rise to meteoric heights through the release of popular singles, hilarious music videos and a reputation for being some of the nicest dudes in the biz. We don’t just want to support these guys because they know how to appeal to our stadium-sized sensibilities with almighty, but easily digestible, melodic rock, but they’re genuinely likable and good poster boys for music in general. It’s also a testament to their talent that they were able to break out of the shadow of Nirvana and establish themselves as a huge deal in their own right, and at this point in time, you could argue that their legacy is just as magnificent.
These posts are written by: Kieran Fisher
When Sugar Ray released their breakthrough reggae-infused pop hit “Fly’’ in 1997, they were still very much a punk metal band for the most part. If you listen to any other song on Floored, then you’ll hear nothing else that resembles “Fly’’ in the slightest. The success of that single inspired the band to adopt the more mainstream approach they became known for after that, and while you could place all of their subsequent releases in the pop rock category, the truth is that no Sugar Ray album sounds the same. The beauty of Sugar Ray is that they were a band who just liked to make music, and even though their records catered for the masses during the height of their popularity, they were never without moments of unpredictability. However, before their rise to fame, they released Lemonade and Brownies in 1995, and it was pretty wild. A party-centric blend of funk metal, punk rock, soul and even a touch of country and western, with a front cover displaying a naked Nicole Eggert, the album is the very definition of mindless; however, it boasts such a carefree attitude and knack for memorable tunes that it’s pretty gosh darn irresistible as well.
For this edition of Heavy Movies, I want to talk about the magical experience that is Jason Lei Howden’s DEATHGASM (all caps because lower case is for pussies). You see, DEATHGASM isn’t just a fantastic Heavy Movie, folks; it’s also one of the greatest horror comedies ever made. Taking cues from the metal-infused Satanic hysteria horror of the ‘80s, coupled with practical FX-laden splatter fare, it has all the ingredients you need for some blood sprayin’ bad ass cinema with tunes to match. Couple that with demons and an impending apocalypse, and you have a heroic underdog story we can all get behind. Then, throw in endlessly witty dialogue and a romantic sub-plot that oscillates between genuinely sweet and hilariously mean-spirited, and what you have is a coming-of-age tale which hilariously, yet sincerely, captures the awkward perils of teenage life.
During the mid-2000s, the UK hardcore and metal scene underwent a re-energisation of sorts due to the emergence of several bands who have since spearheaded the genres to modern popularity. Bands like Enter Shikari and Bring Me the Horizon resonated with mainstream crowds since their inceptions and have since established themselves as global institutions. On the other hand, Architects instantly occupied the forefront of an underground charge and, over the years, have also crossed over into popular realms. However, bubbling underneath the surface was (and still is) a whole scene of innovative, vital artists whose records define the country’s musical output at its finest, with albums that will undoubtedly stand the test of time among aficionados of heavy music. One such act is Devil Sold His Soul who, in this writer’s humble opinion, are one of the best bands the UK has ever birthed.
One of the biggest misconceptions about rock and metal fans is that we’re all dreamer slackers with daydreams of musical superstardom. However, in the 90s, that didn’t stop Hollywood from churning out a slew of comedies which adhered to this notion. That said, the history of heavy movies is beleaguered by stereotypes anyway, so why should the 90s have been any different? The good news is that the decade did produce some hilarious efforts – a few of which went on to become cult classics – and that’s all that matters. Hollywood assumptions about subcultures aside, at least the cinema itself was entertaining.
Linkin Park are pop now. With their last three tracks – “Heavy,’’ “Battle Symphony’’ and “Good Goodbye’’ – they are one step closer to becoming an all-out boyband. Even for a band who are hated by a significant portion of metal circles, the new tracks have incurred the wrath and mockery of haters and fans alike. But it’s not that much of a grand departure either; Linkin Park has always been rooted in pop music to an extent. When they arrived on the scene during the apex of nu-metal, they brought a polished shine to the genre that was much more accessible than that of their peers. Hybrid Theory was a groundbreaking album in many ways, but it lacked the abrasiveness of Limp Bizkit and Korn records, offering a squeaky clean alternative to many of their peers. While pop elements can be found in the music of most popular nu-metal bands from the genre’s heyday, Linkin Park embraced them more on a grander scale from the get go.
As metal rose to prominence in the ‘80s, so did the metal movie. The decade saw the emergence of glam…
Heavy metal isn’t only for blasting out of the speakers to annoy your neighbours, or for sitting around listening in your basement wearing corpse paint as you plot a church burning or a night of smoking cigarettes in a cemetery. Throughout the years, cinema has given us some delightful gems featuring bands and fans of our beloved genre thrust into a variety of situations — often hilarious, horrifying, or both.
Limp Bizkit are far from the most unanimously loved band to ever grace the metal spectrum. Often derided as abrasive and angst-ridden rap metal for beer-swilling frat boys, it’s perfectly understandable why they’ve never found acclaim among the purists. However, there was a time when they were inescapable commercial juggernauts with a tendency to make headlines for the wrong reasons, as well as poster boys for the much maligned nu-metal subgenre.
When I started The Devil’s Roots, it was with the intention of exploring the myriad of Satanic belief systems metal encompasses in order to distinguish their differences and find out if there is anything that unifies them. Since then, I’ve discovered that even though each school does contain a specific set of individual ideas, most do share the common theme of valuing free thinking. Like the multiple branches of Satanism itself, for the most part the Dark Lord is a metaphor for autonomy and the rejection of religious establishment having any impact or influence on our lives. A few extreme right-wing interpretations aside, I think the Devil’s influence in metal has been a positive one; His name is used to inspire individuality and symbolic poetry which has made for some pretty stellar music. And the fact that artists have used it to rifle a few feathers has only added to metal’s irresistible rebellious allure.