Monthly Archives: May 2011

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound

World-class metal monsters Gojira will release their long-awaited Sea Shepherd EP soon (no official date yet), and have teased us with the phenomenal track below. It’s called “Of Blood and Salt”, featuring guest turns from Meshuggah’s  Fredrik Thordendal and the inimitable Devin Townsend. All proceeds from the EP will go to The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. You know:  the Whale Wars people. In return, they named their new vessel after the band. Sweet deal.

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Oh, I’m sorry Ray. Is this a bad time?

On Wednesday Kirk Cameron’s BFF and fellow creationist numbskull, Ray Comfort, posted this on his blog:

*“My Mother died last night. I will be taking a few days break from posting. Thanks for your understanding.”

There’s a whole lotta prayin’ goin’ on in the comments, of course, but there are also atheists who point out that Ray’s mother is an unconverted Jew, who therefore—if we’re to believe what Ray preaches—is now being tormented in the pits of Hell:

“The Million-Dollar Question:  Ray, can you worship a Being whom you believe is presently torturing your mother and can never be swayed to cease despite all your prayers? That level of cognitive dissonance seems unbearable. Hopefully this tragic event will cause you to reconsider the insane theology to which you’ve subscribed thus far. ”

This has a lot of people upset, as you might imagine. Xtians and atheists alike are clutching their pearls:

 “My fellow atheists:  please show some respect for a man who just lost a love one. I think if there’s any time that is appropriate for setting aside our goals of winning an argument, it’s when one is grieving the loss of a family member.”

But let’s remember that Ray has no problem telling others that their loved ones are roasting on Satan’s spit, in agony forever because they weren’t believers or didn’t believe properly. It’s a standard part of his evangelical repertoire. Here’s a man who’s made his life about telling you you’re a bad, inadequate person, and that some of the most beloved people in your life were bad, inadequate people. That they’re in Hell and that you’ll be next if you don’t believe exactly as Ray does. No one here’s being so hurtful and insensitive as to suggest such a thing about his dearly departed. Most are kind enough to point out that along with no Heaven or Hell, there’s likely no suffering after death either. And while it may be uncomfortable, I think there’s probably no better time for them to shine a light on the cruelty of what Ray’s made a living harping on.

To Hell with him.

Update 5-31-11:  Ray recently posted that he has “assurance” of his mother’s salvation. Praise Jebus.

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Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me…

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Memories…

In memory of the brave ones and the rare battles rooted in justice… In memory of the scared kids who found themselves in foreign lands, staring into the maw of doom…  In memory of wasted lives, greasing the cogs of the American machine with their blood…  In memory of the myriad lies and propaganda which lure our young to their demise…  In memory of the civilians who must crawl out from the smoldering rubble and bury their dead…  The horror and tears, the broken families, the endless slaughter…

Happy (?) Memorial Day.

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The top 10 metal albums of 2011 (so far)

We’re not even halfway through the year and the quality releases are piling up like peach fuzz in Gacy’s crawlspace. Here are ten of the most crushing, neck-snapping albums so far. If what’s yanking your chain at the moment isn’t on the list, feel free to set me straight in the comments. I probably left it out because my metal tastes are superior to yours, but the stream of great stuff’s been relentless, so maybe it just slipped my radar. At any rate, here they are in random order:

* Noisear  –  Subvert The Dominant Paradigm
Full-on, face-ripping American grindcore. Like a riff worm has burrowed into your ear and its speedy, buzzing offspring are hatching violently in your brain. 
Listen:  Global Warning
 
* Belphegor  –  Blood Magick Necromance
Blackened death metal. Majestic evil. Gorgeous. 
Listen:  Impaled Upon The Tongue Of Satan
 
* Vreid  –  V
Norwegian black metal/black & roll with tons of great, adrenaline-pumping riffs and solos. 
Listen:  Wolverine Bastards
 
* Assaulter  –  Boundless
Superb modern thrash from Australia. 
Listen:  Slave to King
 
* Destruction  –  Day Of Reckoning
This is the 10th album from these German speed metal pioneers and they’re just as balls-to-the-wall as they’ve ever been. 
Listen:  Armageddonizer
 
* Svart Crown  –  Witnessing the Fall
A megaton bomb of really creative, French death metal. 
Listen:  An Eternal Descent
 
* Anaal Nathrakh  –  Passion
Innovative, British black metal.
See my recent review.
 
* Despise You / Agoraphobic Nosebleed (split)  –  And On And On…
The Despise You side is some pretty heavy-duty powerviolence. Not bad. But the Agoraphobic Nosebleed side is where it’s at. American grindcore at it’s finest. I love these guys. Can’t wait for another full-length. 
Listen:  Possession
 
* Amon Amarth  –  Surtur Rising
The Viking melodeath kings hit another home run. 
Listen:  Destroyer of The Universe
 
* Eastern Front  –  Blood On Snow
Blackened war metal from the UK. The sound of soldiers being ground into the Siberian tundra by German panzers, with nice acoustic and orchestral bits thrown in for good measure. 
Listen:  Blood on Snow

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R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron (1949 – 2011)

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Single-payer healthcare comes to America

Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin has signed a new law that puts his state on track to realizing our country’s first example of publicly funded healthcare. Hopefully we’re seeing a precedent being set that finally leads to a sensible, compassionate healthcare policy for all of America. I found the last paragraph of this article particularly interesting:

“The state will need as many as eight separate waivers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services before implementing the system – though President Barack Obama indicated in a February speech that his administration would help states get the needed waivers if they’re working to set up their own comprehensive healthcare systems.”

Maybe I’m reading too much into it (and I probably am), but perhaps Obama will transform healthcare in this country after all. The windfall for insurance companies at the core of “Obamacare” had me feeling pretty cynical about that, but this makes me feel like maybe there’s more going on behind the scenes—groundwork being laid for the viral spread of single-payer systems throughout the states. It would be awfully hard for righties and libertarians to scream about state’s rights then.

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