Concert review: Slayer

Slayer-2013-hi-copy-1-jpg

also appearing: Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, Testament
Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio – June 7, 2018

It can be distressingly easy to take Slayer for granted. Can be, has been, continues to be. The band is both force of nature and fact of life, and has stood a silent, menacing vigil as the unofficially understood gatekeeper of extreme metal for well over three decades. If ever a metal band this side of, let’s say, Black Sabbath, could be said to have projected a palpable aura, it was Slayer, though not quite in a way they probably ever intended, despite the over-the-top illustrated deviltry that, blaring from both their garish album artwork and overpriced t-shirts beyond count, is the hallmark of their image. I sometimes picture them – or, more to the point, bald, bearded, stern, stocky, tattooed and temperamental guitarist Kerry King – as bouncers at some dingy club, or as symbolic hired muscle working a neighborhood poker game made up of aspiring metal bands and fans – stentorian, intimidating, unbending – ensuring only the worthy are ever dealt in. Continue reading “Concert review: Slayer”

My Top 20 Albums of 2016 + supplemental lists

2016-year-end

Introduction

Oh, I definitely know I’m late. Believe me when I say that I have no wish to belabor the foul memory of 2016 any further than is absolutely necessary. Truly, it was a vile year, brimming with breathtaking, heartbreaking upheaval on both a political and societal level, and a cavalcade, practically a mocking, extended holiday parade, of unfortunate mortal departures from the worlds of art and film and music, such that I’d never before quite experienced in my own four+ decades on this rock. Eventually, of course, you grow old enough that your heroes die. It’s as incontrovertible as the sunrise. 2016, then, was the year that stated that truism for the record unequivocally, then restated it, reinforced it, and underlined it like an unbalanced grade school teacher a thousand times in neon ink. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2016 + supplemental lists”

Post No. 75: Unlimited Mileage

mileage

Every 25th post, darkadaptedeye takes a planned break from normal business to plumb the shallow depths of its author’s psyche and/or overtly explore the locked attic of memories it only ever really dabbles in otherwise. You might think of it as a pit stop, or maybe a soft reboot. In “Danse Macabre”, Stephen King termed his own such digression “An Annoying Autobiographical Pause”, which I choose to think was kind of charming. Please know I take seriously the challenge of making patent self-indulgence interesting – actual results be damned – and I appreciate you being game. We’ll return to our irregularly scheduled programming shortly…

I traveled to my first ever concert, even if that only involved driving twenty minutes to a neighboring town. I was twelve at the time, eyes wide and overwhelmed, senses primed for meltdown, attention seemingly focused everywhere at once and dutifully lip-synching along to the “hits” even as I struggled to pick words out of the all-encompassing sonic wash. The act in question – whose identity, assuming you don’t already know it, you will only learn from my deathbed – hardly warranted such excitement, but I was content with what I had to work with. That wouldn’t always be the case. Continue reading “Post No. 75: Unlimited Mileage”