What Should You Name Your Metal Band? [QUIZ]

Categories: Metal

Sorry, Thunder Tribe is taken.

In this week's feature story, our writer Ryan Wasoba explained that the metal scene in St. Louis is booming, with more and more local acts signing to big-name labels and touring Europe (Schlafly glasses in tow).

Feeling inspired? You've always been metal as fuck, right? Maybe it's time to jump on the trend and start a metal band of your own.

First thing's first -- you need a name. That's a tall order these days, as most of the best ones are already taken and it's not good enough to just put an umlaut on it.

Never fear. Take our quiz, "What Should You Name Your Metal Band?" and you'll be shredding in no time.

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St. Louis' Thriving Metal Scene is Catching International Attention

Categories: Longform, Metal

Illustration by Lauren Gornik

A crowd of roughly 100 people has gathered at the Fubar lounge in midtown to hear local metal band Fister debut its newest material — a single 44-minute composition entitled IV. No one in the band says a word before it launches into music that pulverizes the audience.

The volume is so menacing, you can feel the distorted down-tuned notes of bassist Kenny Snarzyk and guitarist Marcus Newstead rumbling your internal organs. Yet the tempos are slow enough for drummer Kirk Gatterer to occasionally pick up his PBR, take a sip and put it back down without missing a single cymbal smash.

The indecipherable screams emitted by Snarzyk and Newstead contain an intensity that recalls someone vomiting during a peyote trip, as if releasing the bad spirits from within in order to achieve transcendence. Heads in the crowd bang in slow motion, and after a few minutes, the relentless repetition becomes hypnotic and transformative. By the time the last chords cut off sharply, it feels like Fister has only been playing for five minutes — even though it also kind of feels like the audience just finished a marathon.

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The Lion's Daughter Signs with Season of Mist, Home of Mayhem, Morbid Angel, Saint Vitus

Categories: Metal

Adam Taylor
The Lion's Daughter
St. Louis' own Lions Daughter has inked a deal with France-based metal label Season of Mist, home to extreme metal acts including Mayhem, Morbid Angel, Saint Vitus and more. The band is slated to enter the studio this spring, aiming for a late 2015 release date for its debut with the label.

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20 Metal Albums Turning 25 This Year

Categories: List-O-Rama, Metal

Danzig II: Lucifuge
25 years ago the Gulf War started, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Jennifer Lawrence was born, and that's about all we can think of without referring to Wikipedia or one of our older colleagues who still has a functioning long-term memory.

1990 also saw the release of several excellent metal records. Here are twenty we like best.

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Revisiting Dio's First Two Albums, 30 Years Later

Categories: Metal

Photo by Badulake/Wikimedia Commons
Ronnie James Dio in his natural habitat -- in front of a microphone.
It's hard to believe that it has been almost five years since legendary metal frontman Ronnie James Dio passed away from cancer. His body of work and contributions to the metal world will never be forgotten, and that was hammered home recently when Foo Fighters released the Sonic Highways single "Something from Nothing," with a huge riff obviously culled from Dio's first solo hit, "Holy Diver."

Dave Grohl is a metal guy, so this very clearly isn't a coincidence. It's an obvious homage and tribute to the departed metal god, and it sticks out to those of us who have been Dio devotees for most of our lives. Hearing that song, as great as it is on its own, immediately made me want to bust out Holy Diver all over again, and it reminded me that 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of that album's follow-up, The Last In Line.

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The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2014

Categories: Metal

....And it doesn't get much more metal than that cover art.
Hey metalheads, here's yet another "best of the year" list for you to disagree with. After all, there were a ton of good records released this year, and even more bad ones. Your favorite might not be on here, which means it probably isn't that good. But here are ten even better records for you to check out. Remember, there's no crying in heavy metal!

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Carried By Styx: Pallbearer Incorporates Prog-Rock Influences Into Its Doom-Metal Sound

Categories: Interviews, Metal

Diana Lee Zadlo
Pallbearer loves Kansas.

Being the torchbearer of the modern American doom-metal movement can be a tough job, especially when you list Kansas as one of your favorite bands. But it makes sense, according to Pallbearer bass player and vocalist Joseph D. Rowland, who says the band's progressive tendencies are just as important as its metal roots.

"I think we are just as much a prog-rock band as we are doom-metal," says Rowland. "We're huge fans of King Crimson, Yes, Kansas -- bands that pushed the envelope. We like telling a story through the music as well as the lyrics."

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Black Fast Signs With eOne Music, Home of High On Fire, Overkill, Crowbar

Categories: Metal

Press photo
Black Fast, starving the light out of even its publicity photos.
St. Louis' Black Fast, which this publication named Best Metal Band in St. Louis in both 2011 and 2013, announced on Monday that it has signed a worldwide deal with eOne Music, home of top-tier metal acts including High On Fire, Overkill and Crowbar.

See also: The Ten Best St. Louis Metal Bands

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Rap-Metal Is Back...and It's Actually Good

Categories: Hip-Hop, Metal

Press photo
Body Count, who performed last night at Mayhem Fest, are a shining example of this unexpected phenomenon.
Metal is an ever-turning and twisting genre, following wormholes into subgenres and melding any and all techniques and sounds along the way in a constant struggle to create something new and original. It doesn't always work, and anyone who lived through the '90s can attest that the addition of hip-hop elements like rapping and turntables were a serious low point.

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Ice-T's Body Count Continues to Rise

Categories: Interviews, Metal

Courtesy of Sumerian Records
Body Count

It's been slightly more than eight years since Body Count's last speed/thrash-metal assault on the world's eardrums. The lengthy delay doesn't come from a lack of desire, but rather the day job that keeps founder and frontman Ice-T out of the recording studio and on the production set.

"I've been doing Law & Order," Ice-T explains during a phone interview from his East Coast home. "I was supposed to do four episodes, and it's been sixteen years. That's a five-day-a-week gig. My band's in LA. I'm in New York. It threw everything into a zone."

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