29 May 2009

Best Bands on Myspace

Why the Best Bands on Myspace?


Myspace has long lost its status as a safe haven for emo. Maybe hepatitis culled emo numbers a bit, but the Myspace target marget of late seems to be people in their late twenties who must like rap music, R & B and not so racy comedians. A lot.

myspace myspaz satire logo

The first thing you should do upon joining Myspace is to delete Tom Anderson as your friend. Who the fuck is that guy anyway? I don't want to be friends with someone who looks like he washed his mom's car with his shirt and then put it on as some kind of post modern fashion statement. He looks like he cut his own hair. With a lawn mower.

The second thing you should do on Myspace is to search for metal bands. The bands listed here are mostly unknown, unsigned and willing to give away free mp3s so you can form a good idea of their music. If you disagree with my opinion, I can't help that you have good taste, but feel free to rant about it in the comment section.

The third thing I did was look for busty porn stars and skanky hos, but you don't have to do that. Here are the best bands on Myspace in no particular alphabetical order:

Aesma Daeva


How they describe their sound
Aesma Daeva blends world instruments such as the bawu, a Chinese flute-like instrument, with a symphonic rock backdrop bringing a wealth of musical cultures together.

How I would describe them
I know what you are thinking: who needs another Nightwish? Only Aesma Daeva does not sound like Nightwish at all. They have more in common with Therion, if you kicked out the orchestra and had one decent looking singer with a more natural voice than Nightwish's Tarja. They sound more brooding, like gargoyles coming alive. Plus they gave me free shit for my birthday so I can't exclude them.

Stalk them

Architecture of Aggression


How they describe their sound
The wails from your local priest as his church is burning down around him. Also like your local priest being sodomized.

How I would describe them
I knew priests secretly liked that sort of thing. Copious amounts of tequila and buckets of blood. That's all I remember from last seeing them live.

Stalk them

Bile of Man


How they describe their sound
Reapers Ripping Caverns Through Your Mind.

How I would describe them
Rapists Ripping Caverns Through Your Doberman.

Stalk them

Bukkake Birth


How they describe their sound
Shit. No, really. They say they sound like shit.

How I would describe them
I have no idea what they sound like but with a name like that, it can't be shit.

Stalk them

Heart of Cygnus


How they describe their sound
Heart of Cygnus. Not a very imaginative description.

How I would describe them
Their latest release, Over Mountain, Under Hill, showcases their sound which is based on bands who are mostly over the hill and under the mountain by now. That's a good thing.

Stalk them


K.O.B.U.S


How they describe their sound
South African METAL is upon Thee!

How I would describe them
Lemmy from Motörhead on vocals, Mike Scaccia from Ministry on guitar, Johannes Kerkorrel writing lyrics.

Stalk them

Lesbian


How they describe their sound
Yep, the band's name is Lesbian. Why? Well, equally cool names like Black Sabbath, Venom and Pentagram were already taken. But also, the name Lesbian evokes pure, sexually charged freedom - and that's what rock music is all about.

How I would describe them
Freddy Kreuger teaching at a nursery school. This band is seriously impressive. They sound like Mastodon with less sludge and more intricate guitar. Let's put it this way: I am not a big Mastodon fan, but I can appreciate what they are trying to achieve. Lesbian sounds like they achieve what Mastodon is trying to achieve.

Stalk them

Mind Assault


How they describe their sound
Youtube, Jackson, Boss and Zildjian. Perhaps I am confused.

How I would describe them
A fairly interesting mix of genres that doesn't end up being gay the way Trivium does it. A potjiekos of modern metal, with a mix of Afrikaans songs too.

Stalk them

Neter


How they describe their sound
Atypical Spanish band.

How I would describe them
Initially, the band played a mixture of Swedish death metal and thrash. I really enjoyed that. Now, they are moving more towards an Opeth progressive rock vibe, which to my ears is less impressive although it is more technically demanding. Still a very accomplished band with an interesting sound.

Stalk them

Pegazus


How they describe their sound
Not many believed in what the boys were aiming for except themselves. Many critics would say "Classic metal was dead", and that playing traditional classic metal was a bad move and so out dated.

How I would describe them
Like a battle axe clefting a skull. If you like traditional metal, this is one seriously good band. I'm glad they found me on Myspace.

Stalk them

Pica Fierce


How they describe their sound
Pica Fierce brings you back to the heydays of thrash-metal. Thrash-metal without compromising in its original form - fast, technically, brutal and with no respect for trends.

How I would describe them
Mind blowing. Unfortunately, they seem to have split up.

Stalk them

Sathern


How they describe their sound
Established in late 2006, Sathern finally took form after 3 years of relentless auditioning and various lineup changes that saw the band grow from a one-man project to a fully fledged band, incorporating the energy of fast drums, dual guitars and aggressive bass with the atmosphere of keyboards and a furious vocal attack.


How I would describe them
Imagine the bastard child of Dimmu Borgir and Children of Bodom having sex with your mom. And her liking it.

Stalk them

Xerath


How they describe their sound
Film score metal.

How I would describe them
A very accessible kind of Meshuggah, mixed with atmospheric keyboards. They seem to have impressed the whole world in a very short amount of time. Film score metal is a very accurate description.

Stalk them


You may also stalk me on myspace if you wish. That's as extroverted as I'm willing to get.

24 May 2009

Human by Death review

Last year, I had a Month of Megadeth during May. May is my birthday month so I like to do something special. Something so special that I won't forget it during the inevitable bouts of drinking and debauchery. This year, I'm having a Death Month.

Conclusion


Chuck Schuldiner basically hires Cynic as his backing band and together they craft one of the most skin tearing albums of all time.

Death Human album cover

Review


The album opens with Sean Reinert's incredible drumming fading in. From there, the riffs exchanged between Chuck and Paul Masvidal are tighter than the fix Government Motors (er, General Motors) finds itself in. Widely regarded as Death's finest moment, I prefer Symbolic but Human is certainly just as flawless.

The lyrics are introspective to the point of becoming existential. They deal with euthanasia, masks people wear to project a desired, distorted image to the world and simply with being human. This prompts some questions about what it means to be human. Are we human because we do human things, or are we human because we are born this way? Alan Turing and John Searle are two bright minds who have answered this question in different ways.

The Turing Test


Alan Turing described his Turing test in his paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence.

The Turing test involved three participants: two humans and one computer. One human and one computer are locked in separate rooms. The remaining human poses questions to the inhabitants of each room by typing them into a terminal. The purpose of these questions is to find out which room hosts the human and which the machine. Turing suggests that when the computer can fool the player to think that its room hosts a human, the computer would have passed the Turing test.

The Turing test from Wikipedia

Turing seems to suggest that we are human because we do human things. Thus, if a computer were to do the same human things and can fool us into believing it is human, it would be as good as human. Basically, computers would be human when we say they are human and we can decide when and how they are to become human. Thus, computers would become human because Stone Cold says so.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Stone Cold Steve Austin. According to Turing, computers become human when Stone Cold says so.

This avoids the issue a little - something that Turing no doubt knew, but he probably avoided the issue in this way for the practical purposes of building imitation humans. Philosopher John Searle is not happy with this arrangement.

Searle's Chinese Room


John Searle presents his Chinese Room argument in his paper Minds, Brains, and Programs. Searle proposes a scenario whereby artificial intelligence has evolved to the point where one such system can be taught fluent Chinese. The system is hosted inside a room and comfortably passes the Turing test by conversing with a human Chinese speaker outside the room.

According to Searle, the machine merely did symbol manipulating according to algorithms. Some proponents of strong AI would reason that the computer passed the Turing test as it understands Chinese. However, Searle turns the experiment around by suggesting that he himself is in a room with all the tools he would need to translate Chinese - dictionaries, pencils, paper, etc. He would be able to translate any Chinese characters which came through the door without understanding a world of Chinese. Searle argues that since he clearly does not understand a word of Chinese, yet can translate Chinese into English with the appropriate algorithms and tools, we have to conclude that the Chinese computer does not necessarily understand Chinese either.

Yet failing the Turing test does not make us less human and more machine. Searle seems to suggest that we aren't human merely because we do human things and no amount of nurture can give machines human nature. Not even when Stone Cold says so.

Track listing


  1. Flattening of Emotions

  2. Suicide Machine

  3. Together as One

  4. Secret Face

  5. Lack of Comprehension

  6. See Through Dreams

  7. Cosmic Sea (Instrumental)

  8. Vacant Planets

Personnel



Rating


20 May 2009

Sound of Perseverance by Death review

Last year, I had a Month of Megadeth during May. May is my birthday month so I like to do something special. Something so special that I won't forget it during the inevitable bouts of drinking and debauchery. This year, I'm having a Death Month.

Conclusion


Unfortunately, due to Chuck Schuldiner's untimely demise, this album is the last Death album. Fortunately, it shows Death still at the height of their game.



Review


There's not much you can do after making a stellar skin tearing, eyeball boiling album like Symbolic. Except perhaps to intensify the skin tearing and eyeball boiling. Even after listening to a few prior Death albums non-stop for a few weeks and familiarising myself with them, this album still took me by surprise. Usually, I'm like a Ninja and not much takes me by surprise. Except surprise itself. Must be my raging caffeine addiction.

Despite all the sandal melting metal, there is also the painfully beautiful melancholy of Voice of the Soul, a guitar instrumental track. Simply ineffable.

Death must be one of the few metal bands from their era where you can hear and appreciate the bass guitar. I blame Metallica for the inaudible bass trend. I also blame them for the gay pride march.

Richard Christy versus Anne Lindfjeld


It has come to my attention that Richard Christy regularly peruses the fine scriptures of Vault of Horror. I've always had my suspicions that Richard is a man who appreciates the finer things in life. This judging by his choice of bands (Iced Earth and Death) and his encyclopaedic knowledge of pornography.

Richard Christy

So the fans of Vault of Horror may be pleasing to the ear, but are they as pleasing to the eye as the fans of The Necro Files?

Anne Lindfjeld

Anne Lindfjeld is a professional model and it's about time that she becomes a Playboy bunny. Just look at those awesome tats! You can find out more about Anne here:


This is what Anne had to say about The Necro Files:

"That's a good blog you've got going there."

In your FACE Vault of Mordor!

Track listing


  1. Scavenger of Human Sorrow

  2. Bite the Pain

  3. Spirit Crusher

  4. Story to Tell

  5. Flesh and the Power It Holds

  6. Voice of the Soul (Instrumental)

  7. To Forgive Is to Suffer

  8. A Moment of Clarity

  9. Painkiller (Judas Priest cover)

Personnel



Rating




And Anne Lindfjeld can get 5 rating skulls:

19 May 2009

Symbolic by Death review

Last year, I had a Month of Megadeth during May. May is my birthday month so I like to do something special. Something so special that I won't forget it during the inevitable bouts of drinking and debauchery. This year, I'm having a Death Month.


Conclusion


This is one of those desert island disks. If a time capsule of our time is ever discovered, I would like for whoever digs it up to find some Death albums in there to create the impression that this is the kind of quality we appreciated in our time. None of that Pop Idol shyte, although they are plastic enough not to be biodegradable so they'd probably outlast any time capsule.



Review


The legendary Chuck Schuldiner and the Atomic Clock Gene Hoglan. As if that's not enough to make with the metal horns, Kelly Conlon plays bass and Bobby Koelble trades some impressive Cockzilla monster cock size riffs with Chuck.

As is typical of Death, the album is as good as the musicians who play with Chuck. If they can keep up with Chuck's pure and simple genius, the album is a killer. They manage to do that here. There's not a single note that sounds out of place on this album. Symbolic reminds me of the cryogenic South African news reader Riaan Cruywagen's hairstyle:

Riaan Cruywagen

As you can clearly see, nothing out of place there. Symbolic also reminds me of Death cigarettes. Not because of the nearly identical name, but because both the band and the cigarette are lethal and brutally honest about it.

Death Cigarettes

Death cigarettes. I don't smoke, but if I did, that would be my brand.

To me, this is a very underrated album - even allmusic gives Symbolic a mediocre rating. Most people prefer Human or The Sound of Perseverance, but to me, Symbolic is as good as Death gets. Except maybe for an eternity spent in Valhalla.

Track listing


  1. Symbolic

  2. Zero Tolerance

  3. Empty Words

  4. Sacred Serenity

  5. 1000 Eyes

  6. Without Judgement

  7. Crystal Mountain

  8. Misanthrope

  9. Perennial Quest

Personnel



Rating


14 May 2009

Why Censorship is a Bad Idea

Look at what censorship could do to the famous I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat speech of Sir Winston Churchill:

Winston Churchill v sign censored

"We shall go on to the end, we shall CENSORED in France, we shall CENSORED on the seas and oceans, we shall CENSORED with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall CENSORED on the beaches, we shall CENSORED on the landing grounds, we shall CENSORED in the fields and in the streets, we shall CENSORED in the hills; we shall never surrender..!"

Somehow, getting the full story seems less shocking.

11 May 2009

Twilight Review by Sally Partridge

Twilight film movie poster review
Sally Partridge is a popular South African writer of lewd teen fetish novels, which are not quite as explicit as those of Anne Rice. They aren't littered with that many adjectives and they don't take that long to get to the point. Her latest foray into this awkwardly popular genre, Fuse, will be released shortly despite the original publishing house burning down. Metal!

This is her guest post here on The Necro Files, because I am too busy procrastinating in the process of making the Herzbot facebook application right now to make any meaningful contribution to my blog.


Review


What do you get if you mix a lonely teenage emo starting out in a new school, a family of hungry vampires, a group of hungry nomad vampires and a horny werewolf?

The Twilight movie.

The film starts with Bella Swan (romantic, no?) saying goodbye to her old home, then pans dramatically over her new one and then pans some more. The cinematographer really wants you to take in how pretty Forks is, or else he might kick you in the pants.

Bella moves back to her childhood home, and immediately rouses the attention of the resident werewolf Jacob Black (whoops, did I just give that away?) and is given a rusty old truck to drive by her clueless father who looks like her older brother with a pasted-on moustache. (Is everyone in this movie beautiful?)

She starts school and is noticed by every male that falls within her eyeline, including the drop-dead gorgeous Edward Cullen, of the infamous Cullen family. (All adopted, all incestuous and all vampire)

In Biology, Edward takes one whiff of Bella and heads for the hills, leaving her thinking that she smells funny - she's half right.

He returns a week later and begins the he’s not that into you game that guys sometimes like to play, only to change his mind later on and declare his undying love and save her life, twice.

Bella discovers, through Google, that her wooer is a vampire, but doesn’t care because he’s just that hot.
  • They date.

  • They make out.

  • They play baseball.

Then the movie starts to get interesting when a gang of renegade vampires come along and start trouble. When the hot blonde one, James, wants to eat Bella, the Cullen family have to hide her because obviously those six against one odds just ain’t worth the risk.

Bella falls for the oldest trick in the book, leaves her super-strong protectors behind and walks right into danger. Predictably, Edward saves her.

Bad guy gets snuffed. Edward and Bella have an emo moment where they swear never to leave each other. They go to the prom.

Jacob the werewolf doesn’t get any.

The end.

Director


Catherine Hardwicke.

Cast


Some teenage starlets I don't care about because they smell like teen spirit. Some of them include Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, Robert Pattinson, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone.

Rating


rating skulls necro files top horror heavy metal reviews

08 May 2009

Emo Pinocchio

Pinocchio emo gimp art

How do you like emo Pinocchio?

06 May 2009

The Last.fm Straw

The Internet is a wonderful invention. Like the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, Gutenberg's printing press, fermentation, distillation, the Brazilian wax and XML, it revolutionised our lives. One of the reasons why the Internet has staying power is because everything you could possibly think of is available within a few clicks. Eel porn? Yip. Midgets mud wrestling? Probably. Rants against people who call midgets midgets instead of little people? Yes. Mothers Against Drunk Driving? Of course. Drunk Drivers Against Mad Mothers? Slayer be praised! Indeed. The Internet also has less educational side effects like Sparknotes and MIT's entire university course material. Free!

Why is this web of intrigue so damn intriguing? Everything is free! Until recently, you didn't have to sit through propaganda of adverts to see a streaming video on youtube. You certainly didn't have to worry about licensing rights to listen to a song on Last.fm. Now you do.

Last.fm Man Standing


Last.fm used to be a great site. From scrobblers to radio stations to plug-ins for virtually every music player available, sharing your passion for music has never been this convenient. They certainly had the slickest looking player available. Major labels picked up second rate half-baked punk bands who smell like teen spirit from Last.fm. These artists went on to sell millions of units of that stone age technology called compact disks. It seemed like a win-win all around. What went wrong?

The Last.fm Straw


Suddenly, you have to pay to listen to streaming audio. Now, this would not be such a big deal if Internet access outside of Germany, the UK and America were freely available. Only its not. In South Africa, we have the most expensive telecommunications in the world. Certainly, three odd Euros per month is not too much to pay to starving artists.

Only it's not going to starving artists. It's contributing towards Hannah Montana's training bra and Britney Spears's rehab. Not to mention the raise that some CEO who thinks that Josh Groban is the best thing since titty plugs will get for suing the dentures out of some old lady who doesn't even know what P2P is for downloading a rap artist she would kick in the balls if she even knew him or what he was saying about ladies like her in his nursery crimes.

The big 4 labels need to wake up and realise that you can't force your market to buy your product in a format in which you want to provide it. How would you feel if they stopped making coffee mugs with ears and you had to sip hot drinks out of a hot ceramic container without a handle? Simple. You'd stop buying those ceramic containers. How would you feel if the huffing and puffing badass lawyer of ceramic container companies came huffing and puffing down your neck, forcing you to drink hot drinks out of a ceramic container that you can't even hold in your hand? This is not free market capitalism. This is a cartel and it deserves to go bankrupt, just like that little syndicalist experiment called General Motors.

Yet there is more wrong with this than merely Mafia tactics. The big four can carry on syndicating to the likes of Last.fm and Myspace all they like, but they are missing the point. Like NIN, they should embrace this viral marketing medium - the kind of marketing that money can't buy - and cash in on it instead of trying to swim against the streaming. How do you do this?

Connect With Fans, Give Them a Reason to Buy


It's painfully simple. Connect with the fans and give them a reason to buy. Trent Reznor is rolling in the cash. It's not because of his fame - his status as a sex symbol has long since waned. It's because he connects with his fans and he gives them a reason to buy his music. He realises that music is a social phenomenon that is meant to be shared among all and sundry. You can't record the world's greatest album and keep it in a box. Led Zeppelin tried and tested this exact same model during their meteoric rise to fame. They never even released a single, they were loathed by critics and detested by radio, yet they are among the best selling artists of all time. Why? They connected with their fans in a big way and they gave them a reason to buy their records. Pearl Jam and Tool prove that you don't even have to be talented - just connect with your fans and be a little creative with your CD packaging, and it will sell - even if it leaks on P2P networks before being released.

Some Facts About Music


  • Music makes a shitload of money. Artists don't. Music publishing - selling your tunes to movie soundtracks or adverts - this makes money. For your record company. Artists are lucky to get a percentage.

  • Record companies will always be the bad guys.
    Nobody is going to buy an album merely because it has a SonyBMG logo on it. In fact, after their rootkit extortion fiasco, people will put it back and not buy it specifically because it has a SonyBMG logo on it. Record companies are obsolete, as artists no longer need to sell their souls for exposure. It takes a little bit of skill, it takes blood, sweat and tears, it takes a bit of getting the Internet sussed and you're the next big thing - whether the big 4 like it or not.

  • You can't stop P2P downloading. It doesn't matter what you do, P2P is here to stay. Copyright is by its nature not applicable to CDs or DVDS, since these are not originals, but copies to begin with. Besides, studies have shown that those who use P2P do discover new music end up buying lots of music. Why would you want to cut off your nose to spite your face?

  • Fans don't mind giving money to artists. Radiohead, NIN, you name it. Fans love their musical heroes, but they despise anything that stands between them and their heroes. Anything that could help you to connect with your musical heroes is good. This means P2P good. Anything that distances you from your musical heroes is bad. This means record company bad. This means P2P lawsuit bad. This means DRM bad.

  • If it aint broke, don't fix it! Napster didn't need fixing. Last.fm didn't need fixing. CD dynamic range did not need fixing. CDs did not need fixing to piss off the record buying public who could no longer rip their music to their MP3 players thanks to DRM. Smart move, assholes.

  • I want my MPfree! An album is by its nature a promotional item. Give it away with magazines, share it freely on P2P networks, allow fans to remix it, crap on it, play frisbee with it, snarf off it, whatever. The point of an album is to promote a band. Preferably a band with a badass live show that you can't replicate - no matter how high your resolution is or how many channels of stereo you want to add. If an 'artist' like Madonna or Britney can't keep a tune, then they should work on showing their tits or something, but they can't be expected to pay their rent with promotional items. They're entertainers, first and foremost. They have to entertain in the flesh and their albums are merely promotional items to promote their shows.

Between the low audio quality of CD to compensate for iPod listening, the lack of freely available good quality albums, the difficulties compared with the former convenient uses of existing infrastructure to share music and the dangerous, unconstitutional assaults that these clowns are conducting to try and force us to buy antique technology, there really is very little reason to still buy music. As a music passionate, I could endorse a live show and buying a t-shirt or even a CD directly from a band, but cut out the middle man whenever and however you can. Unless you really want to sit through more Pop Idols?

Please Pimp Me Out to Complete Strangers

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