I just recently got back from Portland, Oregon, where I was visiting a couple of dear friends of mine and their young son. The trip was fantastic; I got to hang around in the Pacific Northwest, drink fancy beers with a bunch of jiu jitsu fighters, pass out on a futon, and alter my diet to eating roughly 50% vegan food and 50% cartoonish novelty foods. Seriously, I had a doughnut that had a strip of crispy bacon on the top of it:
Dear Voodoo Donuts: your doughnuts are hard to take good pictures of.
which was subsequent to my conquest of the cheeseburger that has TWO GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES WHERE THE BUN IS SUPPOSED TO BE:
Dear arteries: I didn't like you that much anyway.
Also, there was a Meatball Deathstar in the mix, which is exactly what it sounds like, except it's served on garlic bread.
There isn't anything there to really get a sense of scale, but it's comparable to a very fat baby.
It was a delight.
One of the odd things I hadn't taken into account when I left for Oregon was the hippies. Austin is pretty thick with the college age hipster with stupid haircuts and ironic t-shirts and fixies clogging the streets like that grilled cheese clogs my myriad blood vessels, but Portland stinks with hippies. It's insane. You know those girls they talk about who look like they have Buckwheat in a headlock? Like those old "Your Mama" jokes? Not only do they totally exist, but they live on a very homely commune in Portland, and you can't go to a vegan restaurant without having to listen to their windy, pretentious conversations about coffee.
AND EVERY RESTAURANT IS A VEGAN RESTAURANT.
I know this is starting to sound like a horror story, but it's really not that bad. It seems that the Austin scene actually prepared me for the much more extreme scene that I was about to immerse myself in, and for that I'm glad. Thank you, you stupid assholes with the handlebar mustaches! Your faggy liederhosen-wearing ways made the shock of hanging around with real hippies dull to the point of barely being shocking.
I just thanked the Austin hipster scene. You win, universe.
Much like the Austin hipsters, bands like Children of Bodom and Dream Theater prepared me for music that is much more extreme; things like Anaal Nathrakh would be perfectly and permanently inaccessible to me had I never inducted myself into the metal scene with the relatively sultry and laid back sounds of Dream Theater and the melodic Finnthrash attack of Children of Bodom. Oh, how I used to lament that nobody seemed to be able to meld the two bands into one superband, with major key, offtime guitar solos and thrashy hooks.
Oh, the pain of it all!
Then, last year, I discovered Revocation. Their previous effort, Existence is Futile, gave me hope for prog nerds like myself. Dave Davidson's shredding attack and penchant for the progressive gave me hope that the perfect hybrid of two bands I'm ashamed to admit that I love exists, like some kind of boner-inducing heavy metal Cerberus howling a blood red moon.
Also, there are skulls everywhere, like those flashforwards to the year 2029 in the original Terminator movie. And lasers!
But thankfully, no keyboards. Well, I guess I should say "less keyboards," which is good enough.
Revocation continue this shamefully delightful formula one step more extreme on their latest effort, Chaos of Forms. Not only do the guys in Revocation enjoy playing metal that is extremely extreme, but their signature version of progressive deathrash has grown so powerful that every time I listen to the album, flocks of birds fall dead from the sky. Since I don't drive a car, I think it's awesome, but my bosses have begun insisting that I listen to this album at work only during the late hours of operation, once their Porsches and BMW's are safely out of range of the bird genocide. Other entertaining effects of listening to Chaos of Forms include:
--spontaneous combustion of any adjacent flammable materials,
--sending the secretary into an unreasonable panic, and
--random appearances of pterodactyls.
Chaos of Forms is so epic that it'll make you bored of hearing stories of swashbuckling adventure on the high seas, even if they contain encounters with the mystical Kraken. It's so powerful that it makes your dad's midlife crisis car look like a broken bicycle and so frighteningly good that your dick will retreat into your abdominal cavity like a fleeing caveman. Don't believe me? Check out standout tracks like "Cradle Robber," "Dissolution Ritual," or the title track. See how your dick went away? Don't worry; it'll come back once it realizes that there is no immediate danger.
But you should maybe take those oily rags outside.