Things That Peeve Me off in Metal

Listen -I love metal. I grew up on metal and have listened to metal for the better part of 25 years. I live, breath, eat, shit and ejaculate (much to my wife’s chagrin) metal. It’s part of my being, part of my personality and part of my soul and never in a million years could I see myself listening to any other music as I grow even older. Nope – I’m going to be in the old person’s home, drooling and shitting all over myself, listening to Deicide on headphones while on my death bed. When I do croak, my hands will be stuck in the shape of the ol’ horns.

That being said, there are some things about metal and all of its many sub genres that annoy the ever loving shit out of me. Things that grate my nerves, mildly irritate me, some things I just flat out hate and few I’m even embarrassed to be associated with. So I thought I would share a few of them in no real order. And as always feel free to add your own or comment on mine.

Of course, please remember this is for mild entertainment and very weak humor purposes only….. Don’t get all butt hurt.

by Erik T

Deathcore Fans.

Boy – this could (and has) get its own blog. Technically I’m actually in the this group, but there is a difference between liking the actual music of deathcore and being a deathcore fanboy – it’s like I like Star Wars, but I’m not a Star Wars fan, capiche? Anyhoo, I’m sure grizzled rock fans looked down at me and my fellow mulleted, denim wearing, rowdy mosh pit starters when I was a kid at metal shows as they stood around armed crossed, bobbing their heads. But this new flock of teenage, a-sexual, wigger (yes I said it), attention seeking trend whores have butchered an otherwise OK genre of music and made the genre the laughing stock of all metal. Where ‘s the comradery? Where’s the fellowship and fun of an actual mosh pit? Since when was kicking each other in the face fun? Since when was spending an entire show trying to not get kicked in the face by a stranger been any fun? Listen, I’m all for metal generally being the music of choice for lowlife, anti-social outcasts …it always has been. But, since when has metal been basketball shorts, sideways caps, flip flops and back backs? Some of the deathcore shows I’ve been too have been more like a High School fashion show than a metal show. Then inevitably, the venue clears out once the final breakdown has ended leaving the few bearded, smelly older fellows to enjoy a band that has been around for 20 years. Will we be saying that about Oceano or Whitechapel in 2028? I doubt it. I don’t mean to judge these kids or be all high and mighty, but in my line of work I know a douche bag instantly – and most deathcore fans are the very epitome of douchebaggery. Anyway, I could go on for about another 10 pages, but I digress….


Bad Clean Vocals



Listen, I don’t mind clean vocals. I don’t mind a whole album of clean or sung vocals as typically those are hardly messed up. And a lot of folks can pull it off (e.g. Akerfeldt) . It’s when front man Infernivus B Devil Felcher suddenly decides he wants to sing at some point in a song. OK…I can feel the need to spread your band’s artistic wings and develop, but for fucks sake – if you can’t sing, don’t sing. Hey – I know for a fact I suck at hammering nails, and you know what? I’m sure as hell not going to try and build a 5 tier gun cabinet. I know my limits and vocalists should know theirs. If you want clean vocals on your album cough up for the case of PBR to have Paul Unicornsbane from the local power metal act to come in a help out. Hell, get some random busty lass from the local choir to come and belt out a few notes. Trust me, it won’t ruin the album as badly as crap sung clean vocals will. 


Self Titled Albums



Nothing reeks more of a creative block than a self titled album. Call me old fashioned but don’t all the truly classic metal have cool titles? Reign in Blood, Altars of Madness, Effigy of the Forgotten, Baby One More Time. All classics. A self titled album either tells me the band was too lazy to come up with a kickass name or the album sucks and is a harbinger of things even more awful to come. Remember when Metallica’s self titled album came out? Shit cover, even shittier album name. It was so bad people started calling it “The Black Album” to erase its very taint like taste after the awesome.. And Justice For All. Even great bands have problems with this phenomenon . Would you rather listen to Suffocation or Pierced From Fucking Within? Dismember or Indecent and Obscene? I guarantee if you consciously think about it, you give the self titled albums less attention that the others, even in a great bands catalog. I would bet my left nut that if Slayer or Morbid Angel ever made a self titled album, it would instantly be their worst album. I want cool album titles. I like telling my in-laws about albums with killer names like Eaten Back to Life and Panzer Division Marduk. The day My Dying Bride has a self titled album, I will go on a shooting spree. 


Shitty Album Artwork


Since the dawn of time metal has been associated with several things: the devil, bad hair, B.O. and cool album covers. It’s law. It’s the unwritten 11th commandment. ‘Thou salt have a kickass cover if thy release a metal album’. Heck, vinyl was invented just so metal could display its awesome artwork on awkward, giant, 12 inch pieces of cardboard. How many of you have bought an album solely based on the artwork? (Though 8 times out of 10 the album sucked). I hate to pick on Metallica, but “The Black Album” (as opposed to its real name – ‘that self titled piece of commercial shit’)…how many of you picked up that album and got instant, empathic visions of torture, feces and radio play suddenly rush into your mind, telepathic style? It was the artwork. All the classic albums have great artwork, artwork that completed the album, artwork that screamed out at you “I AM GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS AND YOUR PARENTS WILL HATE ME THEN SEND YOU TO MILITARY SCHOOL GODAMMIT!!!!!!” Not “Hey, this is a picture that the bassist’s mom took of us after graduation”. Albums featuring grossly exaggerated muscular versions of the band, casual photos of the band or some non sensical, acid trip geometry are not allowed. Buxom demon women, skulls, spikes, fire and buxom, skull headed demon women on fire dressed in spikes is acceptable. Zombies are cool too, but only if they are raping buxom, demon headed women on fire. 


Lame or No Title Tracks


This is a real nit picky pet peeve of mine. To me, going back to the very start of rock and metal, an album’s title track should be its center piece, its flagship. Its Peter North money shot. Manowar, Iron Maiden and Metallica were absolute kings of this, but it appears to be a lost art recently. Nothing makes me angrier than a title track that is a 2 minute instrumental or some sort of filler or even no title track at all. Remember when at shows, the vocalist would announce “This is the title track from our latest album” and the place went nuts? Kinda hard to do that when they announce it and it’s followed by 3 minutes of beeps and whirs or 5 minutes of awkward silence. Bring back the epic sweeping album defining title track that’ s broken down into 3 parts and the lyrics that read like a missing chapter of Revelations.


Crappy Production


Granted, this one isn’t as general, as production is in fact in the eye of the beholder and can in certain cases be album or genre specific. Some black metal sounds perfect with a grating, reedy production. Some death metal sounds good with a rough, natural sound but how many times has a production ruined an album? As great as it was, imagine how In the Nightside Eclipse would have sounded with a slightly better sound. Suffocation’s Breeding the Spawn? Sounds like canned assholes. Heck, I hate to break it to you guys, but Altars of Madness sounds god awful nearly 20 years later. I’m not even saying you need a great production, or a clean, polished production, but for Christ’s sake, have something that does not sound like it was recorded in a basement (unless it was I guess). I can understand the production issues in the days of analog, but today there’s no excuse not to have at least a passable production that does not sound like it was recorded inside Erik Rutan’s head. On the other end of the spectrum, metal can be overproduced. That 60,000 dollar, high end studio production with full orchestra and 14 track guitar tone on your new album might not sound so good from the back corner of Mrs. Miggins Bar and Grill when you are on tour in Akron, Ohio.


Lengthy Instrumental Tracks


If I want 20 minutes of inane, pointless noise, I’ll go talk to my wife. If I want a metal album, I want vocals and I want to be entertained and hooked within about 23 seconds of the song starting. Thanks to Metallica’s “Orion”, the rangy epic instrumental song has been very vogue for years now, even spawning instrumental metal and removing the very essence of metal – the vocals, and essentially castrating it. I understand the need to make the album have thoughtful, introspective moment and deliver a sprawling, self indulgent 15 minute instrumental number, but take that shit to a side project. I paid $15.99 to hear you growl, scream and roar about chicks, beer, death and the end of the world, not to hear your lead guitarist play the musical equivalent of a Nyquil overdose for ¼ of the album. Metal is a big cake, the vocals are the cherry. Leave the fucking cherry alone.


Hidden Songs After 18 Minutes of Silence


I can’t believe bands still do this. I can only imagine what happens in the studio to warrant this particular event:


Producer: Hey guys, you paid for 40 hours of studio time, you’ve still got 18 minutes left. Wanna pack up and head out early?

Band looking each other gormlessly: Errrrr. Nah – just hit ‘record’…we’ll just hang out here. We want to get out moneys worth. Oh! And can you break up the last 18 minutes into 180 separate 6 second tracks?

Bassist: Hey (snicker) After about 16 minutes, why don’t I fart?

 Drummer:(giggling) Oh yeah! Then I’ll sing a nursery rhyme in the voice of Grover.

Vocalist: (snorting coke) Or, about 30 seconds from the end, we do a blast beat then all laugh and yell! That will scare the crap out of the listener!

Seriously, other than total self indulgence and childish immaturity, what is the point of a silent/hidden track unless it ends with a cool, unexpected cover song or a real, actual bonus track? When I review an album with one of these, how would the band like it I leave 340 pages of blank space before my last








































































































































(faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart, beep, Whooooooooo!, HAHAHAHAHHA! Hi  Mom! Wibble! Boing!)



  1. Commented by: Overcow

    That, was AWESOME!

  2. Commented by: SerenityInFire

    “If I want 20 minutes of inane, pointless noise, I’ll go talk to my wife.”

    Haha! Best quote ever!

  3. Commented by: Shane

    LOL! Yes that was pretty damn funny, Erik. Your poor wife though.

  4. Commented by: corporatedemon

    Best blog I’ve read in ages. I think my favorite line is the one about the “Peter North Money Shot” – classic!

  5. Commented by: gabaghoul

    very entertaining! love that last, ahem, spoiler.

    although I have to disagree on the last point w/ one example in mind: the absolutely hysterical laughing and cackling hidden at the end of Sepultura’s Chaos AD. every time I hear it I can’t help but laugh along with it.

    anyway, good times.

  6. Commented by: vugelnox

    awesome blog but I can’t agree with the Altars of Madness comment, that album sounds completely perfect to me!

    granted I’m a strange cat when it comes to production though, I wouldn’t change a thing about In the Nightside Eclipse either. Although you are 100% about Breeding the Spawn, that album sounds awful! (good music though)

  7. Commented by: Kyle

    I never had the bad artwork issue due to my love of Slayer. Let’s not bullshit ourselves, their artwork is mostly awful. Hell Awaits, Divine Intervention and God Hates Us All are about it as far as good album covers from Slayer.

  8. Commented by: Dspang

    How about another peeve. Pointless introductions to albums. Almost every Metalcore and deathcore album is guilty of this. A lot of metal albums are have for a long time been doing this too. Use them unless they really do fit in the context of the album.

  9. Commented by: Chris Ayers

    Erik, your poor wife — I know, I know, a joke’s a joke, but still…

    The cover art point is a great one, seeing that we all used to buy albums with the wickedest art. Even if the music was terrible, at least you’d still have this cool cover with screaming demons wading in pools of burning blood or what not. Also, I like the classier instrumental tracks, but I do see your point. When it offers a tasteful respite from the growl/scream/roar cacophony, it rules…but sometimes they just don’t fit, or, worse, they derail the album’s continuity.

  10. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    the endless wait for the bonus track thing isn’t just limited to metal bands. I have an album by Ladytron that ends with like 15 minutes of silence. I was so fucking bummed out when I got to the end of that bastard and found out I’d been had. or the Nerve Agents’ Butterfly collection, which ends with some weird dungeon noises for 6 minutes. or Fantomas’ Delerium Cordia, which tacks on an extra 20 minutes of record-hiss and then ends with a DJ scratch. okay, dudes. we get it. you hate us.

    on the other hand, Propagandhi’s How To Clean Everything ends with a multitracked minute or so of hundreds of “fuck!”s. and it’s great.

  11. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Man- i really wish I had added Crappy Cover songs…..

  12. Commented by: Shawn Pelata

    The comment about your wife was classic…hope she has a good sense of humor of you’re screwed. LOL!

  13. Commented by: Brent K

    Awesome blog! Preach on brother Erik!

  14. Commented by: samthebrutal

    Right on dude, you hit the nail on the head!

  15. Commented by: faust666

    hahaha.. great write up.. !!

  16. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    I think “Black Sabbath” and “Iron Maiden” are fine examples of fantastic self titled albums…. but yes, usually they suck.

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