Anyway, here it is, for your lack of enjoyment.
A VERY METAL CHRISTMAS
This has been the Year of Metal -- ask anybody. Well, ask me. Especially when I've had about five glasses of eggnog. With bands like Meshuggah garnering critical raves all over the place, local acts like Pelican putting Chicago's metal scene on the national radar, and prominent performers like the Mars Volta blurring the lines between metal, prog, and punk, there's never been a better time to unleash your inner 14-year-old boy. Here's a few tracks to get you started up the stairway to headbanger heaven this Christmas.
Best Ironic Title in a Non-Ironic Context: "I'm Charming", The Black Dahlia Murder
Whatever you call the combo of high-pitched Donald Duck shrieks and slab-of-concrete mechanical growls that makes up the BDM's vocal attack, it ain't charming; but it is damned effective, making them sound like a band from the frigid wastes of Norway instead of the more prosaic surroundings of Detroit. (Available on Miasma, Metal Blade Records)
Best Song to Relax Your Colored Friends At Parties: "To the Fallen Hero", God Forbid
Even leaving aside some of the more, er, stridently Nordic strains coming from Scandinavia, metal has a bit of an image problem: it's widely percieved as the whitest of white-boy music. But the crushing New Jersey quintet God Forbid bring a new meaning to 'black metal' by being, well, black; mammoth, dreadlocked frontman Byron Davis is doing for metal what Bad Brains did for punk 25 years ago. (Available on IV: Constitution of Treason, Century Media)
Best Way to Convince Your Annoying Hipster Friends That Metal Isn't Stupid: "The Face of Oblivion", High On Fire
If you like metal and you're sick of your hipper-than-thou friends turning up their surgically perfected noses whenever you put something heavy on the deck, wipe that ironic smile off their faces by spinning the new album by ex-Sleep bossman Matt Pike's new bad. Not only is it showing up on many a critic's top ten list this year, but it's produced by Chicago's own uber-hip Steve Albini, whose indie cred is unimpeachable. That'll learn 'em! (Available on Blessed Black Wings, Relapse Records)
Best Way to Clear the Room When the Party's Over: "OV", Orthrelm
The brandy's all gone and the presents are all unwrapped, but your mooching relatives still won't leave. Easy solution: just put on this disc. It's one of the best records of the year, but very few people have the intestinal fortitude to stick around through a 45-minute-long track, especially a punishing free-jazz/doom-metal workout like this. Happy New Year! (Available on OV, Ipecac)