Tag: Doom Metal

Day 998: Crossing Abbey Road

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This Friday marks the 45th anniversary of what I believe to be the greatest album of all time.

Before you flick lint in my beer or pelt me with wads of Big League Chew for not designating this title to Pink Floyd’s Piper At The Gates of Dawn or Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Too-Rye-Ay, allow me to point out that there are many albums that are flawless – sometimes in spite of a number of actual flaws. Nary a wayward note blemishes Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key of Life, and Paul Simon’s Graceland is among the few utterly perfect slabs of 1980’s vinyl. For me, “the greatest” combines not only artistic and technical brilliance, but the subjective distinction of having served as the soundtrack to many of the most fantastic moments of my life. Your results may (and probably do) vary.

The story of Abbey Road is one of pure, primal mirth, flecked with auburn specks of encroaching melancholy. It is the last glorious and romantic trip to Maui for an otherwise doomed marriage. It marks the greatest rock band in history (an assertion I’ll stand by as wholly factual) producing one final brushstroke upon their legacy before heading their separate ways.

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This is not a happy group.

In January of 1969, the Beatles were moving in four different directions, and had been for over a year. Their plan was to return to the studio, record a back-to-their-roots album, perform their first concert since the summer of 1966 (the Pyramids in Egypt were a proposed locale, as was a barge adrift in the Atlantic), and film it all for posterity. This attempt to reconnect resulted in a cavalcade of arguments, the grandiose concert reduced to a noon-hour gig on the roof, and the temporary quitting of George Harrison. Read more…

Day 499: A Neophyte’s Morbid Spiral Into Doom Metal

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It occurred to me today as I was tidying up my kitchen and listening joyously to Michael McDonald and the Doobie Brothers sing “What A Fool Believes” that perhaps I should pen an article about doom metal.

To be clear, the sum total of doom metal CDs on my shelf is zero. While I respect the shredding musicianship of some of the masters of various genres around the metal spectrum, the style is simply not something I find myself in the mood for. Sure, I went through an “angry youth” phase, and leaned a little on the grunt of good grunge or the plucky plunk of punk, but I simply don’t get that angry anymore. And when I do, the music that balances my needle is usually something peppy from the ska closet.

I simply have no time for a genre of music whose entire thesis appears to be little more than “Life sucks. The world sucks. We’re all going to die. It’s going to be rather unpleasant.” It doesn’t interest me.

All the more reason I should slap my better judgment in its pimply little face and write about it.

Doom Metal bands are required to be able to stand spaced sporadically apart, looking miserable and "deep".

Doom Metal bands are required to be able to stand spaced sporadically apart, looking miserable and “deep”.

Doom metal is apparently played at a slower tempo, with thick, crunchy guitars and a lot of distortion. From what I can tell, doom metal is the stuff you’d play in a movie scene when the deranged, blood-splattered killer is stalking the hallways for his next victim, dragging his half-severed leg behind him and scraping his well-used machete along the plaster wall. Come to think of it, that scene might be decidedly more creepier somehow if you were to play the Monkees’ “Last Train To Clarkesville” instead. Read more…