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Trying something new

In my continuing efforts to make The Arsies the best imaginary metal tournament on the planet, I’ve started work on a new scoring system, which feeds into the First Listens. Now, instead of coming up with an arbitrary rating (0 to 4 stars), I’m scoring an album on multiple criteria. This adds up to a star rating, which hopefully will influence the battles come next January.

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Before the Arsies Begin…

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Dear Arse & Ziggles:

As always, I can’t wait for the Arsies to begin. As the suspense builds, I thought I should point out something you may already have noticed: The Arsies is anti-establishment. And that’s not just an opinion statement, I can prove it. Nick Cusworth at Heavy Blog Is Heavy aggregated the best-of metal lists from major metal websites (Stereogum, Loudwire, Rolling Stone, Consequence of Sound, SPIN, Decibel, LA Weekly, Apple Music, Metalsucks, Metal Injection, Metal Hammer, and Pitchfork) to produce one mega list representing the views of the “metal establishment.” The following table compares the results of this list with the 6th Arsies.

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Metal?

I was listening to the new Haunted Shores EP today, and fact-checking myself on whether it was the side project of two members of Periphery. So I took a side trip to the excellent Encyclopaedia Metallum… and suddenly found myself reading a thread about the age-old question: are they metal?

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Metal Kitty

I’ve gotta give Mike Portnoy props for doing this even remotely well, and for seeming to know a whole lot of other band’s tunes. Also, I’m totally into forcing bands who want to promote their new albums… into playing on preposterously shitty gear.

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Sweet, sweet metal

Now here’s a labor of love that I can get behind: London-based musician Pete Cottrell has recorded a cover of Meshuggah’s “Straws Pulled At Random,” in which he’s replaced all the percussion with samples of British sweets.

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Go back to the shadow!

The Toast published a whimsical article about the most metal deaths in Tolkien’s universe. One of my favorite quotes is:

Gandalf died after he, “Threw down my enemy… and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin,” which is the most metal line in the entire trilogy, and possibly all of English literature.

See the rest here
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Metal = modern art

I’m heading out of town tonight, on a red eye for a series of meetings this week. This is my first flight out of San Francisco in a few months. Since I was last here, someone got the bright idea of setting up a mini exhibit that speaks to the region’s important cultural art movements.