I think I've been having one of those quarter-life crises that people are talking about these days. I think it used to just be a mid-life crisis, but with the speed at which information travels these days (because of Internets), more and more of us fresh-faced fellows are becoming aware of the fact that we've disappointed ourselves at an earlier and earlier age. Did I ever think that I'd be doing what I'm doing, running both the shipping department for a successful networking hardware reseller AND an unsuccessful blog? Unfortunately, I did think that, but it was more in a jokey "Yeah, right, one day I'll be the shipping manager where I work and I'll write dick jokes in unsolicited record reviews just to get attention."
And here I am. Whoops.
It really could be a lot worse, I know. I'm employed and my boss seems to like me, at least enough to ignore the myriad complaints about the music that I listen to. And when I'm trying to play something accessible that nobody could ever disagree with, like the Red Chord, or Today is the Day.
Incidentally, I have no idea what kind of music normal people listen to anymore.
So my quarter-life crisis is in full effect, and it doesn't take much to send me into what I call a "perpetual motion mope spiral." You see, information is disseminated so quickly over the internet now that we can be aware of our own imminent demise within minutes of Kim Jong Il's insane speech about America's War Against the Hamburger, wherein he vows to vanquish any and all foes of the charbroiled meat sandwich with great vigor and prejudice. It didn't used to be so easy to be frightened and despondent. And the worst thing about the Interbung is the memes. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but about 95% of memes seem to be constructed for the sole purpose of making fun of me personally. Look:
Stop judging me, penguin!
It's disheartening to learn that there's a joke penguin out there that makes fun of the things that you do.
But I remember a time when there was hope, when I was in my own death metal band. We could have been great, and I wanted to make it work so badly, even though our drummer lived in San Antonio and the bass player wore pooka shell necklaces. It was obviously doomed from the start. But such fun we had playing crushing metal tunes in the soundproofed rooms of yore; we would hold hands and talk about music and skip through fields filled with sunflowers, but not in a gay way. It was totally br00tal and crushing, especially the hand holding.
So what's the point of bringing all of this up? Aside from my need to be noticed while I sulk, I've been told that, if my band had more time to progress, we would have ended up sounding like Exhumed.
I was intrigued by this comparison, mostly because I had never listened to Exhumed before their latest release, this summer's All Guts, No Glory. I have always wanted to be able to look into a crystal ball and see what something I might have done would sound like if I had the follow through and the resources to actually complete a project even once in my life. I had to know what we would have sounded like! The results astounded me; though I hadn't listened to Exhumed before, it turns out that I'm a huge Exhumed fan and was heavily influenced by them.
All Guts, No Glory far, far better than anything I've ever written, for sure. Exhumed has melded the primitivist sound of ye olde schoole, br00tal death metal with modern recording techniques to make an album that slams and grinds with crystal clear fury. The riffs are impeccable; guitarists Matt Harvey and Wes Caley careening between iron fisted brutality and fleet-fingered shred at the drop of a hat. Standout tracks like "Your Funeral, My Feast," and "Necrotized," show the band's versatility, showing you that their sound doesn't just disembowel, that sometimes it merely delivers a merciless beating with a heavy shovel. Either way, this is death metal at its very peak of awesomeness, and if you have any doubts about whether or not Exhumed are br00tal enough for you, just reference the album cover.
They eat guts! Groaty!
2011 is a great year for metal, quarter-life crisis be damned, and I'm excited to have discovered Exhumed. I could never hope to actually write and maintain a band of Exhumed quality, but it's fun to think about if I could. We'd all drive around in our tour bus and solve crimes using our super powers, which is what I imagine Exhumed do (when they aren't on an extended hiatus, anyway). Pro tip: It's always the amusement park owner. Or the butler. Sometimes the butler did it.
It looks like there's another contender for my coveted Top 10 Albums of the Year slot, and with All Guts, No Glory, they've made a compelling case. Go find it; it's easy to steal, or if you're on Spotify, it's right there for the plucking. Viva Exhumed!