A Hellion Rises in Central America: Hirax Comes To Guatemala

For nearly 35 years Hirax have been plying their trade of sinister thrash metal with rotating lineups, and now, for the first time in their long career, they visited Guatemala. When considering the most metal-starved fanbases in the world, this small Central American nation is rarely recognized but this is a place where the fans are the embodiment of fanatics, gobbling up every note of music from other countries that comes in front of them.

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Into the Pit – Riffs vs. Melodies: A Conversation

This month, I thought I’d do something a little different. Eight months ago, I met the most wonderful woman. We’ll call her Hilldawg. She’s the best thing ever in so many ways. One of those myriad ways is not only does she support my work with Heavy Blog, but she’s also a metalhead herself. We’ve had great times just introducing each other to music we love. Some of it is slammin’ (like when she told me Roots Bloody Roots is her favorite record and I remembered Sepultura was a band), some of it is less so (I’ll never get her into Municipal Waste). But we appreciate each other’s particular tastes.

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High on Fire – Electric Messiah

If High on Fire’s newest—Electric Messiah—was, in fact, inspired by a dream Matt Pike had about Lemmy, then opener “Spewn from the Earth” is a statement of purpose. Pike has always reminded me of Lemmy as a vocalist and High on Fire always incorporated a bit more thrash than some…

Into the Pit – A Semi-Defense of Anthrax…Sort Of

Guys, I really tried with Anthrax. I fully intended to write a defense of Anthrax as a Big 4 band. Ask my girlfriend. Ask the editors. Ask anybody who lets me talk about the blog to them. I really wanted to do that. I had a great plan! I intentionally started the Testament column with “ANTHRAX SUX LOL” because I wanted to write, “And whoever that idiot was who said Anthrax sucks can go play in traffic!” It was going to be so great. Self-deprecating humor is disarming, even if total comment thread dopes can’t understand tongue-in-cheek humor via the written word.

I had listened to some Anthrax records before, so I had some idea of what I was in for. “Sure, there might be some stinkers here, but overall I’ll find what I need.” And then I started listening. And I kept listening. Fistful of Metal. Spreading the Disease. Among the Living. State of Euphoria. When I got to Persistence of Time, a thought occurred to me.

I still can’t defend Anthrax. I just can’t do it.

Sahon – Chanting for the Fallen

You just have to love the underground scene. It’s such a joy to find these small bands and hear what they’re doing. Sometimes it can be derivative of something else. Sometimes they can sound pretty rough. But there’s always a great energy around these bands. They work hard and struggle…