Vinyl Confessions Pt. 2: METAL UP YOUR…Something or Other…

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Continuing on with sharing my vinyl record collection, here’s where I let my \,,/METAL\,,/ flag fly freely…
metallica kill em all
METALLICA – Kill ‘Em All
…remastered, obviously, but essential to the collection. It still sounds great after all these years, raw and unbridled. If it sounds like I’m fanboy gushing, it’s because I am.
metallica ride the lightning
METALLICA – Ride The Lightning
…classic. Of course, had to be part of the collection. Also a remaster, came with a download link for the MP3…but, I already have that rip of the CD, so…moving on…
metallica master of puppets
METALLICA – Master Of Puppets
…like the first two albums in the Metallica discography, I’ve had this classic on pretty much all the formats: cassette, CD, MP3 download, and now vinyl record. Gads, I do need to get out and date more, don’t I?
metallica garage days re-revisited
METALLICA – Garage Days Re-Revisited
…this is the remastered version, which cost more than the actual sticker price printed on the sleeve, but it also comes on orange vinyl! But…the first song skips right at the beginning, right when Lars does the first opening drum fill on “Helpless”. Oh, well…and no, the speakers are nowhere near the player, so it’s not a bass vibration thing causing it…

…at this point, all I need now is the reissued …And Justice For All, and I will have all the Metallica I wouldst desire on vinyl. “What about the Black Album?”, you may be asking yourself? I’ll get to that in another blog post. But, for now…

megadeth killing is my business
MEGADETH – Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good!
…and this is how you do a remaster of a vinyl reissue: double disc, with the full album on one, and a bunch of rare live tracks from the 1980s and demo versions of a couple of the songs on the other. Also, unlike the CD version of the remaster, the version of “These Boots” does NOT have those annoying censor bleeps thrown in because the original writer of the song threw a hissy fit when he heard Dave’s version of it…also also, that new artwork is KILLER in the big format…
megadeth peace sells
MEGADETH – Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?
…I just got this recently from Amazon, and after giving it a spin while writing this, I don’t think this is one of the re-releases; for one, it’s not on the 180 gram vinyl the record companies seem to insist on releasing everything on nowadays (I still don’t detect that much of a quality difference), and there’s nothing on the packaging to indicate this was a remaster; also, I was actually listening to the remastered / re-released version on CD in the NEKRON-7 on the way home from work before listening to this one, and I could detect slight differences in the mix. So, is this an original master? I don’t know…but it would be cool if it was…

To be continued…

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Vinyl Confessions, part 1

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Record Player Old Retro Vinyl Records TurntableAbout a couple of years ago, I started collecting vinyl records again. I say “again”, because back when I started collecting albums, the only formats available were vinyl records and cassette tapes. Well, okay, the only affordable formats were records and cassettes. CDs were just beginning to come out, but being from a modest farming family, the Compact Disc format was a bit too pricy. But, again I digress. The point is, I’m not new to listening to this kind of format, and now that vinyl records have made a comeback, I can safely say that going back to buying and collecting them doesn’t make me a hipster wannabe.

Also, I want to point out that I really don’t hold to the pretentious notion that music sounds better on vinyl. For me, it’s more of a functional nostalgia thing, really. Obviously, the format isn’t exactly convenient; if I wanted the convenience along with the nostalgia factor in the analog music format, I would have started collecting cassette tapes again. Another old format that seems to be staging a comeback itself.

But again, I digress.

Recently, a friend of mine asked what I have in my vinyl record collection. I thought, rather than shoot off a list to her, this seemed ripe for a blog post. And thus, here we are, with the first of what may be many Vinyl Confessions posts on this bliggity-blog o’ mine. And yes, I lifted the title from the Kansas record. Brilliant bit of punning, that.

scaterd-few - sin disease
The first vinyl record I bought during this phase was the Burnt Toast Vinyl re-issue of the Scaterd-Few classic debut album Sin Disease. This album was something of an acquired taste for me, as the band never did conform to what was generally accepted and considered as “punk”, even when this was originally released. But, grow on me it did. This thing is gorgeous, with a gate-fold cover and extensive liner notes…

Side note: I also picked up one of those Cosley suitcase style portable record players that they’re manufacturing now, just to have something to play the record on. I do NOT recommend buying those things, as they’re cheap for a reason.

horde - hellig usvart
Of course, black metal should be experienced on vinyl whenever possible. This is a classic album that I’ve owned on CD as well as MP3 download, but now I have it on vinyl. Fun Fact: the package arrived with a second empty cover for the record, so I went ahead and framed the duplicate cover. It’s hanging on my wall at the Haunted Victorian…

mortification - break the curse
Originally a Light Force cassette demo when Steve Rowe took over and made the band more of a thrash-based death metal band before changing the name to Mortification. The copy I have is on silver colored vinyl, because it’s the 25th Anniversary of the release of this album. The Silver Anniversary. This has been a message from Captain Obvious. Moving on…

recon - behind enemy lines
To be completely forthright, Recon was never my all-time favorite band in the heavy melodic metal category, but it has its moments. This one came with a sticker of the album artwork. I still haven’t found the perfect spot to stick that sucker on, yet…

demon hunter - the triptyct
This is maybe my all-time favorite Demon Hunter album, and thus I nabbed this on the vinyl format. However, I specifically ordered the red vinyl, but got the mustard yellow vinyl. Regardless, this is a two-disc set, with the album on the three sides, and the fourth side with acoustic renditions of some of the songs on the album…

To Be Continued…

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Book Review: MY LIFE WITH DETH

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my life with 'dethDavid Ellefson / Joel McIver
Howard Books
2013

I really shouldn’t need to point this out, but in the interest of this blog post’s subject matter, I am a big Megadeth fan. Ever since getting my face sand-blasted off after purchasing Rust In Peace at the tender age of 17 — my first proper taste of the band, and it was a doozy — they’ve been very consistent with continually doing so, even during their low periods, more so than the Venom that spawned Megadeth’s Carnage, Metallica, ever did.

I think I popped something reaching for that mixed metaphor. Yeah, I’ll be feeling that for a few days.

Anyway, of the two Daves associated with the band, I’ve already read the biography for main man Dave Mustaine, and reviewed it quite a few years ago on my previous blog (it’s been moved here on this one, in case you were morbidly curious). A few months ago, while perusing the ebook selection on my Google Plus account, I came across the autobiography of the other Dave in the group, bassist and co-founder David Ellefson. I was rather jazzed to read this one; finally, we get the viewpoint of someone who had been with Megadeth and all the wackiness involved since the very beginning, save for a stretch where he wasn’t part of the band for…reasons.

Right at the start, Dave Ellefson writes in My Life With Deth that this was a book he really didn’t want to write. As he points out early on, these kind of biographies are a dime a dozen, and all contain the same tragic story. You read one, you’ve read them all. It’s the same kind of pattern you get with the VH1 Behind The Music series, really. Fine, understood. But, this book itself is only 256 pages long; 188 if you discount the final pages being a discography, an index (?) and the obligatory thanks section. That’s not a lot of pages to go into detail on a career that spanned three decades not only founding and playing in one of the legendary Big Four of thrash metal bands, inspiring generations to pick up the bass, but also the in-between times where he was broke and had to get a 9-5 type job just to get by. Mind you, this was with Peavey, so he didn’t exactly go back to slinging fries at a burger joint after he was first booted out of Megadeth. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, here…

In My Life With Deth, Ellefson takes us through his upbringing in rural Minnesota, first getting interested in music, and working up to playing gigs in and around the surrounding Midwest area; moving to LA and befriending some guy named Dave Mustaine, forming Megadeth, getting into drugs and the struggle to break free from his addictions, his career with Megadeth to his leaving the band, his post-Megadeth ventures and careers, his resulting fued with Mustaine and eventual patching up of the relationship. Oh, he also touches on his Christian faith.

Oh, yeah. Dave Ellefson’s a professing Christian. As such, not only does he talk about this, but each chapter ends with a brief “what I’ve learned from all this” takeaway. It’s definitely not something yo see in your standard rock n’ roll biography, here.

Overall, My Life With ‘Deth is rather brief, and quite frankly seems to be missing a bit of meat. This may be Ellefson’s design, as he tells his tale less as an excuse to dish dirt and cause controversy, and as more of a “these were the mistakes I’ve made, let’s learn from this” kind of story. If you’re looking for something like Motley Crue’s biography The Dirt, you’re going to be sorely disappointed, I’m afraid. If you’re looking for a rather detailed, point-by-point analysis of one of the greatest metal bands to ever have existed…well, again, you may be less than satisfied with this. But, if you’re looking for some light reading and have some time to kill, My Life With ‘Deth is a good way to fill the time.

This Is My Shocked And Appalled Face…

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Hey, everyone! Stryper is set to release a new album this April! Here’s the album title and artwork!

stryper - god damn evil

It’s the follow-up to 2015’s excellent Fallen, and is the first to feature their new bass player, former Firehouse member Perry Richardson (that hair, man).

Yeah…nobody cares about that part. What seems to have everyone talking is that title they went with. Lots and lots of people within the various Christian rock and metal pages on Facebook are up in arms, loosing their minds over this album title. They’ve gone too far! seems to be the rallying cry.

Seriously, you are all acting like Stryper’s never courted controversy before.

Now, let’s just say, for sake of argument, all of these people flipping out over the album title (that’s some rather awesome artwork, I want to point out) have just came into being Stryper fans in the last decade or so, and aren’t familiar with their work from the first decade of Stryper’s existence. You know, pulling the ol’ “It was from before I was born” excuse. So, let’s review, shall we? History lesson time, kiddos…

Let’s start with their very first release, The Yellow And Black Attack

yellow and black attack 86

No no no, not that one. That’s the 1986 re-released version Enigma put out after realizing Stryper could make them money. No, I’m talking about the original 1984 release…

yellow and black attack

You see that? A mysterious, glowing blue hand guiding a bunch of ballistic missiles toward a shiny blue, yellow and black Earth. Presumably, that’s the hand of God, pointing thataway, with the warheads bearing the band members’ initials. As controversy goes, this isn’t really that big, but I’m sure it raised its share of eyebrows once it hit the record shops.

But, that’s merely peanuts compared to the big controversy surrounding this album…

to hell with the devil 2

That’s actually the censored version of the album, as the original artwork caused conservative Christians everywhere to loose their collective heads and demand the cover be changed to a black finish with just the band logo and title. Do you know what that original artwork was? Brace yourself, for the offensive original cover art was this…

to hell with the devil

Yep. Four ripped and swole angels, presumably modeled after the band members, tossing the Devil into the abyss of Hell. Yeah, I don’t get what the problem was, either. And frankly, even as I wasn’t a Christian when this came out, I was a bit more dubious about an alleged Christian band using that kind of album title to begin with.

But, then again, nothing could prepare anyone for what was to come a few years later…

against the law

Hoo, boy, was this the one that kicked the proverbial hornet nest. Where to begin? Well, there’s the title, Against The Law, which made everyone assume they were in rebellion now; then there was the modified band logo, which did away with the Bible reference, that seemed to reinforce the assumption that the band was now GOING SECULAR and TURNING AWAY FROM THE FAITH! As if that wasn’t enough, the band photos showed them wearing more black and — *gasp* — growing facial hair and toning down the big hair! They were just one step away from joining the Church of Satan by now.

In the end, these were all merely knee-jerk reactions to superficial surface-level judgments. Personally, my only question to Stryper about their new release is this:

Will it come with a vinyl edition?

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Uncle NecRo Listens To: LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN (Poison)

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So, here’s the first in what should be a new series of articles that will be called, for lack of a better one, “Uncle NecRo Listens To…” This has been percolating in my brain matter for quite some time; where I go through the albums I once owned and listened to back in the day, and see if they still hold up.

There are some basic rules I’ve made for this series: 1) they must be albums that I’ve actually owned, and 2) the years involved would be between when I was in grade school and began listening and collecting albums, through to the end of High School. Also, these won’t be in order of when I owned them, just as they come to mind. As such, let’s get started with this first one, shall we?

poison look what the cat dragged in

The Band: POISON
The Album: Look What The Cat Dragged In
My History: This debut release from the band Poison came out in my Seventh Grade year, in 1986. I remember coming across the album at department stores, and thinking, “wow, those chicks are hot.” Which was immediately followed by a bit of confusion while reading the band member roster, because I was 12 and living in rural Eastern Nebraska in the mid-1980s. I’ve never heard of the term “glam metal” before, let alone come across anything like this before. Anyway, while several in my class had this album, it wasn’t until the summer of 1988 when I finally acquired my own copy.

It’s been literally decades since I’ve listened to this one front-to-back. Let’s see how this holds up, shall we?

Track One: “Cry Tough”
Nice opening rhythm, seems to build up to something awesome…then the power chord…seems to miss something to really push this over the edge as a lead-in song, though. Not a bad introduction, though…

Track Two: “I Want Action”
Now, this is more like it, heavy crunchy guitar and a fun rhythm. Typical “skin” song…the part where Bret sings “If I can’t have her, I’ll take her and make her” seems rather disturbing, there. And that bridge, yeesh.

Track Three: “I Won’t Forget You”
In the mid-1990s, I had a roommate who was a pretty accomplished guitar player in his spare time. He was obsessed with getting this song right, and was demonstrating how the lead was played. That was impressive, yes. That said, this is your typical unremarkable power ballad that only is marginally better than the other power ballad that Poison is known for (you know the one) if only for the fact that it isn’t as overplayed and over-saturated on rock radio stations everywhere. PASS.

Track Four: “Play Dirty”
Good riff, nice n’ heavy. “Act tough”…huh. Got’cha, Bret. Anyway, good basic hard rock tune. You get the sense, though, that the lyrics were written by someone who has never been in a bar altercation, but imagines this is what it would be like. Like they watched Roadhouse and wrote a song about it. Wait, checking to see when Roadhouse came out…never mind, it was released three years after this album.

Track Five: “Look What The Cat Dragged In”
Title track. Rather good guitar riff hook, there. Bit grittier, going for less sparkly and more sleaze. Nifty ode to 1980s Sunset Strip hedonism. Yawn. And did Bret just purr in the microphone? I believe he did. Gads. Right after boasting of his sexual prowess. Stay classy, there.

Track Six: “Talk Dirty To Me”
Full disclosure: I owned the 45 single of this song. It’s a great rock guitar riff, one of the first actual riffs I learned to play on the guitar. Surprisingly easy, once you see how it’s done. Anyway, groan-worthy juvenile lyrics aside, one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Track Seven: “Want Some, Need Some”
Yeah, okay, great opening hook and riff, here. Good crunch, I have to admit. Again, with the whole longing for a lover of nondescript. Still, way more substance than your average Limp Bizquick song. Interesting chime ending.

Track Eight: “Blame It On You”
Again, a pretty good boogie rock tune…immediately given the eeew factor with lyrics that seemed to have been written by a horny middle school boy. Though, your average rock song normally doesn’t use the words “pizazz” and “razzmatazz”…

Track Nine: “#1 Bad Boy”
Look, the 80s were a weird time. It was a time when heterosexual men put on makeup, hairspray and adorned themselves with the finest Cosmo looks, and still were considered the pinnacle of masculinity by women. That’s why Poison could get away with writing a song about being “bad boys” without batting a heavily mascaraed eyelash. Also, this song is, musically, rather heavy and rocks my face off.

Track Ten: “Let Me Go To The Show”
Nice up-beat rocker where Bret begs his parental units to allow him to go to a rock show of nondescript to end the album off. Dig them “bad boys” playin’ that rock n’ roll, indeed.

Does It Hold Up: Musically, yeah, this is a pretty good, near-solid hard rock release from a band that would later be known as the poster boys for why Grunge took over in the 1990s. Compared to their other releases, this one is the more raw sounding, leaning more towards rocking rather than the pop formula they grew into later. Lyric-wise, you can’t get much more juvenile than this. The songs are either about sex, being rock n’ roll bad boys, or…well, more sex. Which may have appealed to my hormone-addled young teenage self back in the day. Now, though, I found myself face-palming more than once.

Overall: I give Look What The Cat Dragged In a 6.5 out of 10. The guitar-driven heaviness still retained its kick, but the lyrics killed off a goodly amount of enjoyment.

Dale Huffman Tribute Special

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EpisodeDALE-620x326

Just a quick synopsis, Dale Huffman is a fellow \,,/METAL\,,/ slinger with Metal Pulse Radio, who recently is going through a tough fight with cancer. And thus, another one of the Brotherhood of Metal Podcasting–David Garrison of The Master’s Metal–got ahold of a bunch of us to contribute some bits for a special tribute to the man. It’s a special MM show, and by clicking the link you’ll get to listen to it, as well as be able to contribute to the fund set up to help him and his family with the medical bills. I’m passing this on here, because Uncle NecRo cares.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

CONTRIBUTE TO THE MEDICAL FUND HERE

The 101 Rules of Progressive Metal

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download1. Insist that your definition of prog metal is sacred and that the only progressive bands are the one you deem to be so.

2. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you regarding rule 1 of lacking musical intelligence and not being a true prog fan.

3. Have contempt for mainstream music.

4. Insist that most people listen not to the music, not to the lyrics but only the chorus and that is why prog metal is not mainstream.

5. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you regarding rule 4 of lacking musical intelligence and not being a true prog fan.

6. When showcasing a new prog metal band to a non-musician friend, put on the most technically difficult song, and skip directly to the solo part.

7. If your friend says that it is cool, tell him that he has grasped the grandeur of prog and shown that his intelligence is superior to that of the mainstream sheep.

8. If he doesn´t, accuse him of lacking musical intelligence and not being a true prog fan.

9. Renounce all contact with friend in rule 8. Racial purity isn´t all bad.

10. Make sure your drummer has a double bass pedal.

11. If he hasn´t, kick him out and get another one who has. Single pedal is NOT prog.

12. Own every side-project a member of Dream Theater has been involved in. Listen to approximately none of them regularly.

13. When a mainstream fool asks you what prog metal is, tell him something along the lines of “prog is the evolution of musical expression and experimentalism in rock.” In any case, make sure that the person in question is left with no idea of what prog metal is. He wouldn´t have understood anyway.

14. Insist that music should always progress, although as long as you write an album in the prog vein, you don’t necessarily have to.

15. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you regarding rule 14 of lacking musical intelligence and not being a true prog fan.

16. Refer to progressive metal as intelligent music for intelligent people, preferably at every occasion where a mainstream group or genre is mentioned.

17. Note that the above does not qualify as arrogance any more than pointing out that wine is drink for the more sophisticated.

18. A song under four minutes is NOT prog. If you are stuck with a song under four minutes, insert a phrygian solo trade-off between the guitarist and keyboardist as long as needed.

19. If a mainstream fool tells you that shredders are mindless wankers, tell him that “at least they can tune their guitars, har har”, and walk away defiantly.

20. Spocks Beard is NOT prog. If anyone disagrees, kill them.

21. Humming along with the melody to a prog metal song is forbidden. Burn all albums you own with hum-along melodies.

22. Loathe all music you used to like before you got into prog. This is not optional. When asked why, tell people that “I am into GOOD music now, why would I go back?”.

23. Accuse any prog metal musician that cuts his hair of selling out.

24. Often state that you don´t only listen to prog. Jazz is a good choice.

25. Yeah…like you have more than 3 jazz CDs in your collection…

26. Never accept ANY Berklee graduates. The drop-outs are so much better.

27. Riffs in 4/4 are not progressive. If you happen to come up with a cool riff in 4/4, alternate between 4/4 and progressive time signatures like 7/8 every other measure to ensure the musical complexity synonymous with prog metal.

28. Be able to mention 20 bands noone has heard of, not even true prog fans. Own no releases of these bands.

29. Get an Ibanez. This is not negotiable.

30. Spend 5 hours every day critiquing other musicians on forums.

31. Spend 5 minutes every other day actually practicing your instrument.

32. Yell at people who headbang at concerts: They`re not prog enough to get the music, what do they expect?

33. Sus4 is your friend. To ensure that your album is a true progressive release, include at least one part where the keyboard plays ascending sus4 chords over a single-note broken rhythm in 7/8.

34. Make sure your bandname is either a
a) Oxymoron
-Silent Noise
-Tender Harshness
-Healing Gun
Some geeky sounding name ripped from some obscure book.
-Deitronus
-Tarakoch
-Fentaran
or
c) Random combination of at least 2 three-syllable words.
-Eternal Twilight Tranquility (Can`t get much progger than that)
-Redolent Arithmetic
-Evolution of Vernacular Domesticated

35. Don`t worry about if your band name makes any sense or not. Since 90% of your fanbase is from Brazil and Japan, you can safely ignore conventional English grammar and instead focus on what´s really important: The lyrics (see rule 36).

36. Write deep and ambiguous lyrics.

37. If unable to write deep and ambigous lyrics, include at least one of the following phrases to ensure recognition as lyrical genius in prog circles:
“I`m staring towards ascension divine, caught in my own revelation, a nightly mystery of soulburning apparition”
“Mornings` gentle caress, a ray of sunlight enveloping the spirit of the sleeper ventriloquist”
“A timid, palatable genocide, turn towards the decline of mankind, the festering wound of ages past changes into the soul-spirit of vestigial sentences.”

38. Use a non-standard instrument like violin, saxophone or kazoo, regardless of how idiosyncratic it turns out to be. This constitutes being prog.

39. Make sure your bass-player has as many strings as possible. Don`t worry if he uses approximately three of the 11 strings on his custom Carvin 30 kg bass regularly, just give him a bass solo in the middle of your mandatory instrumental tune(more on that later)where he can really show the extent of his instruments capabilities. Imagine the range of scales on an instrument like that!

40. Release a live-album called “Live in Tokyo”.

41. Change time signatures. Constantly.

42. Accuse anyone who does not do so of lacking musical intelligence and not being a true progressive musician.

43. Your amp MUST be a Mesa Boogie. If a friend of yours tries to convince you´re wrong and you should check out his Marshall tell him that his tone is thin and buzzy.

44. State that Metallica can´t properly tweak the boogies. They´re so… unprog!

45. Start a Dream Theater cover band with friends just starting out playing instruments. Spend half of the rehearsal talking shit about punk bands and how people don`t understand your music.

46. Play a shitty version of a humongously difficult DT song at a Battle of the Bands-type contest. Metropolis Part 1 or Dance of Eternity are both good choices, as is Erotomania.

47. When your band ends up last, shift all blame over to the judges; hey, they have no idea what good music is! Why else would they let that boring pop band win?

48. Talking about starting playing an instrument; always start with the most technically difficult song you know. Remember, this is a testament to your immense talent, so be sure to mention this on every internet community you happen to frequent.

49. When are you able to play something at half speed very sloppy, proudly state that you “nail” the song in question.

50. People are bound to ask for a recording of the feat mentioned in rule 49. However, you are not able to provide it to them, because a) your recording equipment got dissolved by digestive acid yesterday, you don`t need to prove anything to people. Your word should be good enough c) you don`t know anything about computers (even though you sit by one most of the day), as you spend most of your day practicing your instrument.

51. Tool is NOT prog. If anyone insists they are, kill them.

52. Hate Falling into Infinity. If the feeling that you actually enjoy FII(even the “proggier” songs like TOT)sneaks up on you during a glitch of concentration, remind yourself that DT sold out.

53. Actually, state that DT sold out on every good occasion. This means every time their name is mentioned.

54. Don´t be John Arch. Insist that any pre-Alder Fates is 100% not prog.

55. Do not move on stage. Don`t under any circumstances forget that nobody at prog concerts pays attention to the audience, including the band.

56. The best songs are those that are over 15 minutes, have multiple named sections, and have solos by everyone in the band INCLUDING the drummer.

57. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you regarding rule 56 of lacking musical inteli…Yeah, you`ve got it now, haven`t you?

58. Never ever under any circumstances say “Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence ruled.”

59. Never let anyone tell you that Dave Weckl is better than any prog metal drummer. If they still insist, don`t kill them, but rather put on the Mike Portnoy drum solo from 1993`s “Live in Tokyo” vid, which still today is the benchmark for good drumming, REGARDLESS of genre.

60. It would still be a good idea to have that gun ready, though.

61. Drummers: Huge kits are MANDATORY!!!! If all you have is a 4-piece with 3 crappy cymbals, then you don´t belong on stage. A 5-piece single bass drum kit is the bare minimum and even that´s on the edges of bare bones. If you have a tiny kit BUY MORE DRUMS AND CYMBALS!!!!!!!

62. No, 6 toms are not enough, MORE DRUMS AND CYMBALS!!!!

63. Reform with old members and release an album intended to make up for years of bad reception from fans (see Yes) or claim your next album will be a return to past glory (see Queensryche). If it flops, be sure to blame a producer or record company.

64. When someone asks you why prog metal isn`t more popular if it is so darned good, tell them that it is because “it is over the mainstream peoples heads”.

65. Talent = Technical skill. Hail any band with lightning-speed solos for their immense talent.

66. Publicly state that your band is non-religious, then make many religious and/or spiritual allusions in the lyrics.

67. Stress your openmindedness. State that you like all forms of music, except lower forms of music like pop, rock `n roll, blues, techno, trance, rap.

68. Accuse fans of the aforementioned genres of not being openminded.

69. Get a Kurzweil. As the undisputed <<>>, Jordan Rudess plays it, you have no choice but to get one yourself, no matter what synthezisers you actually like. ALL BOW TO THE MIGHTY 88-KEY <<>> KURZWEIL!!!

70. ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNO-KURZWEIL!!!!(Futuruma fans will know what I`m talking about)

71. Show off with your equipment. Show off with your playing/singing. Show off with your *ahem* length. Show off with your girlfriend. Show off with anything you can think of. Show off with your DOG for god´s sake.

72. Get a dog.

73. Play air-drums or air-guitar at concerts. This will make sure that other prog fans recognize your immense talent.

74. Stuck in song-writing? Insert a part with a slow single-note gallop rhythm where the singer yells “ENTER THE SUUUNNNNNNNN” several times.

75. Note that you can substitute “ENTER THE SUUUNNNNNNNNN” for either of the following: “FATHER, MY ADOLESCENCY IS AGONNNNNYYYYYYY” or “THE APPARITION DIVIIIIIINNNNEEEE”. All three are suitable choices.

76. What do you mean, you haven`t trigged your bassdrum?

77. Remember, faster=more progressive. Slow songs cannot be progressive, best example would be Pink Floyd.

78. If anyone says PF are prog, kindly refer them to rule 1 while you prepare to do a “Varg”, so to say.

79. During recording, make sure that you accuse the producer, the recording engineer and half of your band of not playing the song properly at least once.

80. Make sure your album cover contains either a psychedelic computer-drawn image, a lavish painting with mythological figures, or is illustrated by Travis Smith.

81. Write epics.

82. In case you didn`t know, epics must be about adolescence, concerning a legend, or a deep dystopian tale where a cheesy fictional city/world/pizza shop serves as a metaphor for this world.

83. Have racks with loads of equipment.

84. Have racks without equipment. Who is going to see them if you don`t display them?

85. No intro for your song? Insert a single-note broken rhythm accented on the snare, with shifting keyboard chords underneath.

86. Refuse to lend prog CDs to mainstream friends. When asked why, tell him/her that (s)he “will understand when (s)he matures”

87. When playing ANY gig, from the lowliest bar to the most gargantuan arena, be sure that no member of the audience will leave without having heard every lick you are able to play.

88. Have at least 5 solo spots during a concert.

89. In case you have forgotten while reading this, prog metal is intelligent music for intelligent people.

90. No, Marillion is not prog. I kindly refer you to rule 20.

91. BOOOM!!!

92. Buy new albums from past prog-greats.

93. When they turn out to be crap and nothing like the old albums, hit yourself in the head with a hammer until you like them.

94. Hold that there is no bad prog, only DIFFERENT.

95. Of course, that only applies to bands you like. See Rule 1.

96. In case you wondered, Dream Theater is and will always be the benchmark for prog metal. The more something sounds like Images and Words, the more progressive it is.

97. Proclaim Rule 96 to people with a straight face in all seriousness. This is not optional.

98. Have side-projects. Make sure that all side-projects consist of pointless jamming over endless repetitions of clichéd riffs.

99. Make sure that at least one of your side-projects feature Mike Portnoy on drums.

100. If you cannot get Mike Portnoy, get someone who sounds like him.

101. You mean you have been reading this when you could have been practicing along to Metropolis Part II or composing a sidelong epic? For shame!!!!

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