March 25, 2017

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inside my headWhen it comes to the mental part of writing (which happens all the time; the physical writing part is maybe 10 percent of the process), one of the more effective ways of getting past writer’s block is to put some \,,/METAL\,,/ on and let my mind wander amidst the soundtrack drowning out the outside world. Sitting with big over-the-ears headphones, staring out to the distance is good, but the most effective use of this is driving around in the NEKRON-7, something cranking on the stereo, somehow the added busywork of driving combined with the music really brings out some fantastic brain droppings.

The trick is to translate what’s dancing around in my head onto the blank pages here in our dimension. And sometimes that translation process gets lost in the ether, resulting in something close to approximation of what I saw in my head, but not quite.

I am my own worst critic when it comes to my writing. I always have been, and always will be. Until the day I stop writing, I’ll keep trying. It’s the only way I can calm the voices, after all. That, and the \,,/METAL\,,/. Cheers.

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NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Mandatory March: BLOODGOOD

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Wrapping up this year’s Mandatory March with the legendary

BLOODGOOD

with cuts from:

From The \,,/METALCUTENESS\,,/ Files…

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I believe I may have found my new mascot:
deathmetalpanda
That there is Aggretsuko, a red panda that hates her office job and blows off steam with the help of death metal. This is from the same company that brought us Hello Kitty. It makes sense that it comes from Japan, really. They can take anything and make it into their own weird version, like some kind of pop culture alchemist.

::END TRANSMISSION::

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Well, here we are. The end of another year. And as a year, overall, I think it’s safe to say that the majority opinion is that the year of our Lord Twenty-Sixteen SUCKED on so many levels, I’m pretty sure its effects can be felt on alternate dimensions and frequencies. Yes, there were a lot of celebrity deaths this year; however, this being a personal bligity-blog of mine, I’m not going to focus on all of those (though I really could, there have been many childhood favorites that have fallen this year). Instead, to at least make an acknowledgment of the ones that have been an inspiration to me, I’m going to pepper this post with YouTube clips of some favorites of mine while I wax nostalgic for the past year. However ugly it was.

First, I would be remiss if I didn’t start off with perhaps one of the biggest losses my family had this year: In the very first week of June, my Grandmother Betty Strand passed away. She was always a constant anchor in my life, as she was a strong, tenacious and lively cornerstone of the family, raising three children on the farm and being active in the community and such. Her loss has left a void in the lives of many.

And as long as we’re on the subject, along with Grandma, two Great Aunts also passed away this year: Aunt Janice and Aunt Muriel. Aunt Janice was Grandma’s younger sister, and was also a presence in the family growing up. Aunt Muriel was Grandpa Strand’s sister, and was another presence in the family growing up. We have a big family, and for better or for worse, we’re still pretty tight as a unit. I’m thankful for that, and thankful for having known them.

In July, there was a massive shakeup at the church I was attending. I really don’t want to go into the details (as we’re still healing and moving on), but suffice to say, there was a split. And after much deliberation, I decided to go with the ones who left, in helping to be a part of the healing and moving on. A new church was birthed out of what essentially started as a Sunday morning therapy group for those who were hurt from the split. Fortunately, this wasn’t formed out of spite, but out of a genuine desire to continue to serve God and Christ Jesus despite of the circumstances. Almost immediately, we’ve been seeing the Holy Spirit work with us to that end. In case you’re morbidly curious, here’s the website to peruse.

Of course, no year-end blog post would be complete without mentioning all the wackiness that happened in the culture. And this was probably the wackiest of the wacky. As in, the world just threw up its collective hands and went, “Okay, we all go crazy, now.” Besides all the celebrity deaths (which, as of this writing, still hasn’t stopped, it seems), who could forget the year-long freak show that was this round of Presidential elections? To quote one of the best parts of the movie Resivuar Dogs, “Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right”. On the left of the Presidential ring, the Senator wife of a former President. To the right, a business mogul/former reality show producer-star/comb-over enthusiast with little to no political experience whatsoever. After months and months of mud-flinging, passive-aggressive public whining, really bad ideas and desperate character assassinations (among other things), at the end of the day, it turned out that we all collectively stepped in some Trumpy-Dumpy. Gads, that episode of MST3K is so endlessly quotable. And given the fallout and the various updates on how Trump is lining up his next four years…yeah, this might make 2016 seem like the Golden Years in comparison. We shall see, as always. The road to Idiocracy stretches out ever before us. Still, I’m trying to figure out why so many of my fellow professing Christians seemed to treat his election as the next best thing to the Second Coming of Jesus.

And lest the Presidential elections overshadow the other bits of wackiness of the year: Britan decided to leave the European Union, citing “It’s not you, it’s me” and further stating “We can still be friends, though,” before deleting them from their Facebook lists; a cartoon frog is now declared a “hate symbol” because…reasons, I guess; the President of the Philippines threatened to burn down the UN; for several months, the entire country freaked out over clowns (well, moreso than usual); and last but certainly not least, there was that Dakota Access Pipeline protest that got rather ugly before an agreement could be made, only to have the protester’s point made for them by the pipeline itself. Delicious irony.

Okay, on to some more pleasant stuff. For all the downers, at least there were some really really good \,,/METAL\,,/ that was released: Megadeth came back in form with Dystopia in January, and then Anthrax released the melodic-yet-heavy For All Kings in February. Babymetal released Metal Resistance in March, which was more of the mutated J-Pop/Metal hybrid I somehow find irresistible. Death Requisite released some rather good death metal with their Revisitation release, while I found myself disappointed with the debut release from Becoming Saints, Oh The Suffering. Ricky Puckett unleashed his In Darkest Dreams project with The Vanishing, a much-needed injection of dark and brutal for my earholes. And then Hell apparently froze over, as Klayton dropped a surprise brand-new Circle Of Dust album, Machines Of Our Disgrace. And finally*, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Metallica releasing Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, which turned out to be quite decent.

On the movie front, this year started off strong with the most excellent Deadpool. The year had some decent ones, like 10 Cloverfield Lane (a lot better than what I expected), the new Ghostbusters, the Magnificent Seven remake, the Pete’s Dragon remake, Suicide Squad (surprisingly decent), and Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them (sorry, no review posted yet). The rather good movies this year were Captain America: Civil War, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Star Trek Beyond, Doctor Strange, and of course, the year’s capper, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Of course, there were some stinkers in this year’s mix, which for me were Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Independence Day: Resurgence, and the surprisingly “meh” X-Men: Apocalypse.

And last, but certainly not least, in the more happier aspects of my personal life this year: This last Spring both my Nephew/Godson Christoper Rinas and one of my cousin’s eldest son Trevor Donahey graduated High School. Gads, I’m old.

So, that’s my year in a nutshell. To quote from one of my favorite episodes of M*A*S*H: “Here’s to the new year. May it be a damn sight better than the last one, and may we all go home before it’s over.”** Take that as you will. Whatever you do, celebrate heartily, but also somberly. Don’t be stupid. Me, I’m going to be doing my yearly Haunted New Years horror movie marathon whilst deciding what part of the clutter in my domicile is going to get the heave-ho. And there may be a bacon pizza in the mix, somewhere. Until next year (see what I did there?), I remain your humble servant Uncle NecRo. God bless, my wonderful freaks.

::END TRANSMISSION::

*– While I did review the new Klank album, the official release isn’t until January 13th, so that’s actually one to look forward to.

**– Season 9, Episode 6: “A War For All Seasons”

Uncle NecRo’s XMAS SPECIAL 2016

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Featuring Cuts From:

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Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 5: 20-1

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Here we are, arrived at Part 5, the final ten in this little mini-series on the blog. Hope it was good for you. I know you’re just itching with curiosity to know what the rest are, so without further adieu:

mortification-mortification20 – Mortification (Mortification)
…this was my first exposure to this new fangled style of metal that was Death Metal. Back in the tail end of 1992, on the trip back from a national youth group convention in Texas, someone in the van I was riding in lent me his copy of this album, because he saw the Destruction Comes cassette in my collection. I’ve been hooked ever since.

crashdog-mudangels19 – Mud Angels (Crashdog)
…what do you know, actual legit punk rawk, at a time when “punk” consisted of the radio-friendly pop styles of Green Day, MxPx and…some other bands, I don’t really know much about all of that. But this, nothing slick about this rawness.

circle-of-dust-disengage18 – Disengage (Circle Of Dust)
…dark, electronic goodness that goes great with brooding.

no-innocent-victim-1997-no-compromise17 – No Compromise (No Innocent Victim)
…one of the better of the so-called “Spirit-Filled Hardcore” bands I’ve come across, only slightly less pretentiously amusing than those Straight Edge bands.

one-bad-pig-i-scream-sunday16 – I Scream Sunday (One Bad Pig)
…while the inclusion of the duet with Johnny Cash on his song “Man In Black” is enough to warrant this as the best of One Bad Pig’s discography to date, there’s some seriously good cuts on this besides just that song.

leaderdogs-for-the-blind-lemonade15 – Lemonade (Leaderdogs For The Blind)
…since it was given to me by one of my alternative music snob friends, I was expecting just that. Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be pretty good industrialized rock.

pod-snuff-the-punk14 – Snuff The Punk [Rescue Records 1994 Version] (Payable On Death)
…yep, there’s Payable On Death in my collection. Yep, it’s been in there since long before they became youth group darlings. Yep, this original version is preferable to the post-fame remaster re-release version. Yep, I refuse to call the band “P-O-D”. Yep, even I want to punch myself in the face right now.

stryper-against-the-law13 – Against The Law (Stryper)
…like with the Bloodgood entry, this is the only studio album Stryper released in the 1990s, so I can’t include the previous releases. But, unlike the Bloodgood entry, this album is very good and should be listened to a whole bunch of times.

seventh-angel-lament-for-the-weary12 – Lament For The Weary (Seventh Angel)
…after only hearing a couple of their cuts on the Arise Skates compilation, I found this at a Camelot Records. Good find, methinks.

jesus-freaks-socially-unacceptable11 – Socially Unacceptable (Jesus Freaks)
…I remember this being the first legit thrash album I’ve heard from a Christian band, immediately comparing it to Metallica in their Ride The Lightning era. Oh, how adorable I was back then. Still, great little EP.

groms-ascension10 – Ascension (GROMS)
…pity these guys didn’t produces more than just this album. Great death metal, this one is.

seventh-angel-the-torment9 – The Torment (Seventh Angel)
…I like this debut album just slightly more than their second one, simply because it’s more straight-up thrash. They’re both excellent, though.

deliverance-what-a-joke8 – What A Joke! (Deliverance)
…my first Deliverance album, also my first exposure to the existence of Christians playing thrash metal. Which is why this one is the most-listened to album of their discography.

living-sacrifice-nonexistent7 – Nonexistent (Living Sacrifice)
…my first exposure to the band that is Living Sacrifice, I got this because of the cover art alone. I was thinking, “wow, they sell this at a Christian bookstore!” Fortunately, the death metal was fantastic to boot.

circle-of-dust-brainchild6 – Brainchild (Circle Of Dust)
…heavy industrial metal goodness. More in the vein of Ministry than Nine Inch Nails, and it still hasn’t gotten old over 20 years later.

klank-1997-still-suffering5 – Still Suffering (Klank)
…I cannot tell you how many speakers I’ve damaged cranking this thing. Or how many countless hours of darkness this helped me get through.

rackets-drapes-candyland4 – Candyland (Rackets & Drapes)
…I could write pages on how this album by this particular band was such a paradigm shift for me when I first discovered it, but that would defeat the purpose of a brief synopsis for this list. Maybe later.

vengeance-rising-destruction-comes3 – Destruction Comes (Vengeance Rising)
…you long time Vengeance Rising fans are probably wondering why I placed this one so high on the list. Well…it was the first Vengeance album I owned, and it was the first one to pop into my head when I was brainstorming. Also, sometimes you just need to sit back and GRIND.

tourniquet-pathogenic-ocular-disonance2 – Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance (Tourniquet)
…hmmm, what’s that? You’ve been wondering which Tourniquet album I deem to be better than Psycho Surgery? Why, it’s this one, silly. No, no, don’t feel bad. You’re not the only one who’s wrong.

mortification-scrolls-of-the-megilloth1 – Scrolls Of The Megilloth (Mortification)
…and the top spot goes to the greatest death metal album to ever be released, period.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 4: 40-21

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Hey hey, it’s Part 4 of this list! Hope I’m not giving anyone any antacid flasbacks with this. Anyway, here’s the next 20 in the list:

stavesacre-friction40 – Friction (Stavesacre)
…I remember someone from the church I was attending at the time giving me this CD, stating that it wasn’t Christian enough for him. So, it was good enough for me, is what you’re saying?

mortal-lusis39 – Lusis (Mortal)
…I remember having a friend in college play me this album, and then telling me to close my mouth as I was attracting flies. Behold my first taste of industrial music.

zao-all-else-failed38 – All Else Failed [1996 Steadfast version] (Zao)
…yes, I happen to be one of those people who prefer the pre-Solid State Zao release to their later output. This just seems more raw, more ferocious.

deliverance-learn37 – Learn (Deliverance)
…dark, introspective, and given to fits of artistic brilliance. That album cover, though. Needs to be re-released with artwork befitting the music.

mortal-fathom36 – Fathom (Mortal)
…while Lusis was groundbreaking, this second release of theirs was darker, heavier and much more diverse. The video to “Rift” still haunts me.

living-sacrifice-living-sacrifice35 – Living Sacrifice (Living Sacrifice)
…Deliverance may have been the Metallica rip-off, but the first release by Living Sacrifice was definitely the Slayer rip-off we all needed.

vengeance-rising-released-upon-the-earth34 – Released Upon The Earth (Vengeance Rising)
…it may have been made under very tumultuous circumstances, but this one is still a pretty good thrash/death release. Upon the Earth. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

klank-1999-numb33 – Numb (Klank)
…I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, this was released in 2000! This doesn’t count!” And you’d be right…for the re-release on some label that stiffed him and thus shall not be named. My copy was the 1999 version on Klank’s own SmokeDogg Productions, purchased at the band’s merch table at Cornerstone 1999. Hah.

mortification-post-momentary-affliction32 – Post Momentary Affliction (Mortification)
…my third-favorite Mortification album, a bit more progressive death metal style. And the last death metal album Mortification would release.

tourniquet-stop-the-bleeding31 – Stop The Bleeding (Tourniquet)
…blistering speed metal with a vocalist that could give King Diamond a run for his money. Mmmmm.

crimson-thorn-dissection30 – Dissection (Crimson Thorn)
…thick, heavy, innards-congealing DEATH METAL. That’s all you need to know. That, and their cover of Stryper’s “Loud N’ Clear”. It’s awesome.

living-sacrifice-inhabit29 – Inhabit (Living Sacrifice)
…third release from Living Sacrifice, and it’s a nice blend of thrash and death metal. The only complaint I have is that it’s too short, really. Also, the last to feature DJ on the vocals, and a switch to a Sepultura-inspired metalcore sound.

deliverance-stay-of-execution28 – Stay Of Execution (Deliverance)
…I remember getting this when it was first released in the late summer of 1992; I listened to the cassette so many times, it wore out within the year. Sure, it wasn’t speed metal; it was fantastic dark heavy metal.

argyle-park-misguided27 – Misguided (Argyle Park)
…another one I got from that guy who gave me the aforementioned Stavesacre CD, for the same reason. His loss. Sometimes knowing that one holier-than-thou person pays off.

tourniquet-psycho-surgery26 – Psycho Surgery (Tourniquet)
…many consider this release to be the bestest Tourniquet release, like, evah. They are wrong. But, it’s still a really good collection of technical thrash metal. Second best, easily.

bride-snakes-in-the-playground25 – Snakes In The Playground (Bride)
…my first introduction to the band that is Bride, and it was this particular one that took the gritty heaviness of Gn’R’s Appetite For Destruction and gave it a nice Southern glaze.

the-pillars-of-humanity24 – The Pillars Of Humanity (The Crucified)
…crossover thrash classic. Recently remastered and re-released with much better album artwork.

believer-sanity-obscure23 – Sanity Obscure (Believer)
…complex technical thrash metal that still rips it up after all this time.

vengeance-rising-once-dead22 – Once Dead (Vengeance Rising)
…quite a bit more honed than the debut, but still some tasty raw thrash metal here. Great cover of Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin'”, too.

deliverance-weapons-of-our-warfare21 – Weapons Of Our Warfare (Deliverance)
…this is the one everybody says is the ultimate classic Deliverance release. I disagree with it being the best of their releases, but it is a fantastic speed metal album.

::END TRANSMISSION::

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