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Caught In A Mosh: April 2012

| March 30, 2012

The giveaway — apart from the byline and absence of Super Troopers references — that Trevor Fisher has been taking some deserved time off from IE has been zero babbling on one of three fronts: High On Fire, Superchrist, or Bible Of The Devil. Well, bonds of holy moly — Spaceballs, bee-yotch — have we a ding-dong-dilly of a dinger in “Mosh” this month!

Fisher, for those of you who’ve never met nor stolen glances of him at his monthly “Metal Up Your Tap” nights at Red Line Tap in Rogers Park (or now the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, as well), isn’t physically imposing. His politics, fast-food choices, and geographically indifferent sports allegiances cast little shadow on his varied tastes in metal, though his obsessions all froth over the same goblet.

Bible Of The Devil return next month with their sixth album, and it may as well be their first. For The Love Of Thugs And Fools (Cruz Del Sur) rolls up its denim sleeves and throws in some pelvic thrusts that nod more to ’70s arena rock than bludgeoning black and death metal. Could they throw in a couple acknowledgements toward the last 30 or so years of human achievement? Yes. Would it behoove them? Nope. BOTD are exactly the kind of argument you make to people who stick to nostalgia acts: without them, there’s not much that’s current to make your memories worthwhile.

We’d like to think that Fisher’s imprimatur for Superchrist — another MUYT alum — reflects BOTD, but it’s probably more to do with his mancrush on frontman Chris Black. Black also fronts High Spirits, drums for Pharaoh, writes for Nachtmystium, and runs Planet Metal, which ticks all the boxes some columnists look for in a mate. Now that the band have joined “Mosh”-friendly record label Hells Headbangers for the new Holy Shit — well, let’s just say they’re dancing in the Fisher house tonight. (And, Superchrist release the album on April 28th at Ultra Lounge playing with Bible Of The Devil!) Disentangling this mess could take days (not to mention hours of therapy), but then we’d never get to a certain hairy-chested thunder-harbinger du jour.

Lemme first digress to mention that another IE scribe once misinterpreted a song title “Diet Of Worms” to mean a surreal dinner. It was actually an historical event, though it has nothing to do with the name of High On Fire‘s new record, Mysteries Of The Worm. Despite his fondness for schlock and shit, Fisher quite adroitly preceded (in fandom) the rise of both Mastodon and HOF. High On Fire, the scion of Sleep mastermind (and Matthew McConaughey wannabe) Matt Pike, has outgrown Relapse for De Vermis Mysteriis (“mysteries of the worm”), which sees light via EOne on the 3rd. The whole release wraps its arms around a number of items with which “Mosh”‘s normal author wouldn’t be comfortable: the track “Fertile Green” first debuted at Pitchfork, and the title explicitly honors HP Lovecraft, and we’ve never seen Fisher read a sci-fi novel since we’ve known him. But love them still he will. High On Fire join Slayer, Anthrax, and Slipknot on the 2012 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Tour that hits First Midwest on July 21st.

Though I hesitate to advance you toward fun offered by something called Wassup Xtra Magazine, we assure you that the missing “E” hasn’t been sacrificed in the name of effort. Their “Hell On Earth Metal Fest II” features Fashion Bomb, A Born Plague, Skinwalker, Impale, Orion Nine, Bleed For The Fallen, and Miles From Exile and also boasts some giveaways — all of which goes down on the 15th at Reggies Rock Club.

Despite having neither the time nor the inclination for a comprehensive overview, I feel confident in declaring that the offshoots of classic British metal bands (Fight, GZR, Bruce Dickinson, etc.) have a shoddy history. So consider my trepidation peaking when I was first approached about Primal Rock Rebellion, the unfortunately named collaboration between Iron Maiden‘s Adrian Smith and vocalist Mikee Goodman from Sikth. Smith’s checkered past already includes the daft decision to leave Maiden in 1990, which he then followed with an unheralded solo outing as ASAP (Adrian Smith And Project, which featured Zak Starkey). To his credit, Smith keeps Goodman in check on Awoken Broken (Spinefarm), and moves freely without a power-metal crutch. He clearly grew fond of Korn in the ’90s, and layers the tracks with thick, dissonant chords and overtones though has trouble distinguishing himself. What’s strange is how Goodman channels Sebastian Bach in parts, which further lends a post-grunge pop-metal feel to “I See Lights” and more, until he starts losing control and begins to rave. Congratulations on avoiding embarrassment, even if it feels every bit the one-off as ASAP.

Trevor Fisher is taking some time off.

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Caught In A Mosh, Columns, Monthly

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