Entry for August 02, 2006




Hell Awaits


The Dungeons Are Calling




Bonded By Blood


Vicious Attack

(all on Combat Records)


Rise Of The Mutants


HAL: OK, this is the first time we’ve tried a massive undertaking like this, if I’m not mistaken.

MARTIN: Perhaps you should explain exactly what the undertaking will be…

HAL: Why don’t you explain it, Martin? Uh, hey, Jesse’s just pulling up.

MARTIN: Fine, all right. There’s a record company called, uh, let me see, Important Records, they’re record distributors–and they actually distribute some great new heavy metal stuff. Uh, some of the labels they distribute are Combat, Torrid, and, uh, what else? Metal Blade and, uh, I guess other labels like that. The important thing is these records are all from one distributor and, basically–they’re all heavy metal.

JESSE: Aye, laddie, some feisty labels!

HAL: Where is this distributor located? Do you know?

MARTIN: Well, as a matter of fact, I do. They’re in New York somewhere. I wish I could be more specific–but I’m not going to be.

HAL: I’d like to ask Martin about the metal trip that he was on recently.

MARTIN: Thank you. You’ve got something in your eye.

HAL: While you were on that metal trip, you didn’t realize it, but Jesse was acting really weird. Starting to dress up like a girl!

MARTIN: Oh, not that again!

JESSE: I’m not doing this one … you guys go ahead. I have more important things to do than … (exits in a huff)

MARTIN: Well, there goes Jesse.

HAL: Jesse, get back here!

MARTIN: Well, if he doesn’t want to be here, we’ll have to do it all ourselves. I think Slayer is a band that I saw in an old METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, in which they had like, uh, they were all trying to eat a dead girl or something like that, it was really offensive. I know at my feminist meeting we all really got down on Slayer, and decided if we ever got the chance to promote them in any capacity, we wouldn’t. So, let’s say we listen to the new album … Slayer, and it’s called Hell Awaits. Are you ready there, Hal?

HAL: Yeah, pick out a track and let it spin.

MARTIN: OK, let’s try the first one, the title track, “Hell Awaits.” Oughta tell the story.

(“Hell Awaits” plays, Jesse returns enthusiastically)

MARTIN: OK, we’re back on, and I’d like to say right off that this was the best thing I ever heard in quite a while. It’s fantastic–we heard the first track, “Hell Awaits” and I was astounded.

HAL: You know what I really liked about that? There was a lot of, uh, rhythm guitar work, you know? It basically relied on rhythm guitar and real good drum mix. And even though I’m a Christian person myself, I sort of enjoyed, you know, the Satanic lyrics. These guys are hardcore.

JESSE: It sounds like hardcore–and if I was in a dark room late at night reading Stephen King or something scary, and I heard this coming from nowhere it would scare the shit out of me.

MARTIN: We should explain to our readers that as we listened to that first track, we heard some, uh, backwards masking. We thought it was that, ’cause it sounded like people were saying stuff backwards. So, uh, on our turntable we turned the record back to decipher what they said. And we couldn’t figure out if it was “join us” or “darkness.” But it was “Hell Awaits,” and I’m inclined to say that they were inviting us to “join us,” backwards.

HAL: Well, I think, you know, we’ve gotta give thumbs up to Slayer here. What they do, they do really well.

JESSE: I think the backwards masking is kinda stupid.

HAL: Well, no, you know? I think when you think of the history of backwards masking, I think you can put Slayer right up there now. As the number one backwards maskers.

MARTIN: I’d like to say, as well, that I’ve read stories about Slayer and I’ve always, deep down inside, been prejudiced and thought they were pretty dull and stupid. But, in fact, this record shows a keen intelligence, and, uh…

JESSE: What keen intelligence?

MARTIN: It does!

JESSE: A keen intelligence?

HAL: (looks at the lyric sheet) It says here that “Jesus knows your soul cannot be saved, Jesse Grace.” That’s one of the lyrics.

JESSE: Oh, fuck you.

MARTIN: I’d be inclined to say, now, this is a surprise. This record…

JESSE: It’s good, but I don’t see any intelligence there.

HAL: In fact, it reminded me of Motorhead, in a way.

MARTIN: Yeah! In fact, it did! It sounds so much like hardcore punk, in general I would say that…

JESSE: Are you trying to tell me that all hard-core punk is intelligent?


HAL: Yes! That’s a well-taken point.

MARTIN: Basically, I would say that, uh, this is the kind of band that should be signed to a major label at the expense of some of the crummier bands like, you know, say, White Wolf–(to Jesse) like the review you just wrote.

HAL: Yeah.

MARTIN: I think this is a surprising record–and I’d give it a total thumbs up, you know? And I think you guys agree.

HAL: I’d give it a 9.5, you know? And I’m usually a harsh critic, but I think this was a good metal record. This is good hardcore.

MARTIN: OK, the next record I’m gonna play is by a band called Savatage–it’s spelled like sabotage–except with “savage.” Uh, the record is called The Dungeons Are Calling and I think our readers would be interested to know that this is is a new album or EP–there’s three tracks on each side–but, simultaneously with this record’s release, Savatage have been signed to Atlantic Records and a newer record just came out a couple of days ago, so…

JESSE: How utterly fascinating!

HAL: So this might be a collector’s item, is what you’re saying.

MARTIN: It might be, ’cause it might not be as easy to get as the one on Atlantic. I have the feeling that my good friend–our good friend–Gary Graff, fellow record reviewer for METAL … he mentioned to me that, uh, he’s gonna be reviewing the newest Savatage album in the next issue of METAL. So for now, let’s listen to the first track off The Dungeons Are Calling.

(“The Dungeons Are Calling” plays.)

JESSE: Well, I’d just like to say that after listening to that one, it makes me appreciate Slayer more than I did before. I listened to it, and it put Slayer in a better context. It sucks!

MARTIN: I’d have to agree. It started off sounding like it might be a little classy, it had an acoustic intro. But like the guy had a sorta semi-Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath growl. Boy, this stuff dwells much too much on cliché–I mean, “the dungeons are calling”? Who cares about the dungeons?

HAL: And, is it 20 cents for a dungeon to call, or are they in an area where it’s still only a dime to call?

MARTIN: On the very bottom of the Savatage album here–besides the fact that it says “Do you feel you’re captured?”–which is a pretty arty move–there’s a “thank you” that I’d like to share with you all. “Thanks for the cooperation of the Dept. of Anthropology at Herbert H. Wayman college, City University of New York.”

HAL: Wow. That’s probably a pretty good college of anthropology, when it comes to such colleges.

MARTIN: Now that I look at this cover, there’s a big skull on it–you don’t suppose that that’s what they were thanking them for?

JESSE: Yeah, that’s what they were thanking them for. That’s a real skull.

HAL: Why don’t they thank the people that gave them that awl or whatever’s being punched through the skull?

JESSE: The guy’s got rotten teeth. You know, a lot of these bands are aspiring to be like Black Sabbath, but none of them are as good as Black Sabbath were right in the beginning. When they first started out. I mean, Black Sabbath was at least original and…

HAL: I think Slayer might actually be even better.

JESSE: Slayer isn’t aspiring to sound like Black Sabbath. This band is trying to sound like Black Sabbath. I don’t agree with you, by the way, but that’s OK.

MARTIN & HAL: (much laughter)

MARTIN: What I should mention is that there’s a certain ethos in the imagery of Slayer that’s appealing because–I mean in the sense, the hell imagery is cliched, but that’s at least kinda funny. But here, the concept of skulls and dungeons and songs called “By The Grace Of The Witch”…I think the title of the song’s a little sissified. I don’t know about you. Furthermore, “Savatage,” when you get right down to it, sounds almost French. It’s a fake word, and thus reinforces this sissified image. They don’t have a fighting name, like Slayer. Sav-a-tage–ooh-la-la, I wonder if they put accent marks over the “tage.”

HAL: Yeah, well it’s effete, there’s no doubt about it. Let’s get on to the next record, and hopefully it’ll be a better one.

MARTIN: I have every hope that the next record will be spectacular. It’s by Venom. Who have been known to, uh–I believe that Sylvie Simmons called one of their records one of the best metal albums of the ’80s. They’re from England. The record’s called Possessed. There’s three members in it, one’s called Abaddon. One is called Cronos. And one is called Mantas.

HAL: Sounds like they’re all from Marvel comics.

MARTIN: And what’s interesting as well here is that Abaddon is credited with playing “World War III,” Cronos is credited with playing “Volcanic Vibrations and Death Breath.” And Mantas, “Marshall Mayhem Massacre.” Sounds pretty good. We’re gonna go into the first track, which is called “Power Drive,” and hopefully we’ll have a respectable opinion for you in just a minute.

HAL: Let’s enjoy it.

(“Power Drive” plays)

MARTIN: Opinions, guys?

HAL: Uh, as the editors of CREEM would say, “By cracky, that a good one.”

JESSE: There’s actually some melody in that.

HAL: A real nice quirky chord change.

JESSE: A nice riff. I can’t stand the guy’s voice, though.

HAL: Well, I think you’re wrong. They remind me a lot of the Raw Power album by the Stooges.


HAL: What do you mean? It did remind me of that. Why do you refute that?

JESSE: Well, it might remind you of it, but I say–no, it didn’t remind me of that.

HAL: Well, what do you say, Martin?

MARTIN: Well, I don’t know. I like it. I like it 10 times more than I liked Savatage–those gay fags. But, I have to admit, it didn’t strike me anywhere near like Slayer did. I think there’s two reasons. One reason is the production wasn’t all consuming, like Slayer’s production. I didn’t think the guitar was mixed as strongly as it could’ve been. It wasn’t devastating. It kept going up and down, doing sort of Eddie Van Halenish stuff.

HAL: I agree with you. I didn’t like the lead part, but I think that riff itself was real, real strong. ‘Cause it was such a quirky, cumbersome riff, it proves these guys are probably metal geniuses and also hardcore, much like ourselves.

JESSE: I think what should be stressed here–there’s really becoming a thin line between what constitutes hardcore punk and heavy metal.

HAL: You’ve got a point. And only Belfegore can really answer that.

MARTIN: Well, I’ve got a point to make: “She was going around the mountain doing 90, when the chain on her motorcycle broke. She landed in the grass with a muffler up her ass, and the chain was wrapped around her throat.”

HAL: Let’s listen to the next one. This is gettin’ real good.

MARTIN: What’s the next one? Well, I think we’re all going to enjoy this one. This is by a band called Exodus. The album is called Bonded By Blood, and it’s got an interesting picture on the front. Apparently it’s Siamese twins–in which one of the babies looks like it’s desperately trying to escape from the other. The other has pointed teeth and looks very Satanic. Uh, it’s a grizzly cover, but it’s a little childish, I don’t know…

HAL: It’s a little cartoonish…

MARTIN: I think this is really funny–they thank “The Bay Area Thrashers for the Violence & to all we have played, partied and puked & pillaged with!”

HAL: They do a lot of “P” things. P-type activities.

MARTIN: What do you think their favorite vegetable is?

HAL: (laughs) Well, let’s put it on and let’s let it roll. See, we’re enjoying this now, and we reckon the readers are too, let’s…

JESSE: I’ll betcha they’re a bunch of potato-heads.

MARTIN: I’ll betcha of all the people that are thanked–the most pleased would be the appropriately named “Andy Dick”…

(“Bonded By Blood” plays)

HAL: OK, well, what do you think about that one, Martin?

MARTIN: I’ll tell you what I thought–I thought that next to Slayer that was the best thing I heard.

HAL: I don’t know–I’d put Venom ahead of that, but…

JESSE: I’m with Hal. I’d put Venom ahead of that. I didn’t like that at all.

HAL: You didn’t like that? I like the first lead guitar part.

MARTIN: Yeah. The first solo, especially, was really hot. I like it because the production was much better than Venom’s.

JESSE: Did you hear any melody in that? Or riffs?

MARTIN: Well, that’s like listening to classical music and saying, “Did you hear any amplifiers feeding back?” I mean, if you’re…

JESSE: No, it was…

MARTIN: Excuse me, I’m speaking…

JESSE: Not in Slayer, but in Venom there was riffs and there was melody. Here, I mean, there was noise, but it wasn’t good noise.

MARTIN: OK, did we first explain that the song was called “Bonded By Blood”–which was again the title track of the album? The chorus–there’s a sort of pause, when they say “Bonded By Blood… rather than melody, they’ve got some dynamics going on here, which is certainly a vital part of heavy metal. I think the guy, the first guitarist–what’s his name–Gary Holt, I think he’s a fine guitarist.

HAL: I think he is, too. I think we should mention, “Gary, that was a real fine piece of work, real, real excellent, and we certainly enjoyed it.” I agree with you, Martin, that the “bonded by blood” part was really–it makes the song really stand out. I feel it was a little weak, otherwise. But, certainly, a band worth listening to, and surprisingly so. ‘Cause, I would’ve rejected the band on the basis of the cover–I think with a little better artwork–you guys should have photos of yourselves or something, unless you’re queer.

JESSE: I don’t like it, I’m sorry.

HAL: Well, Jesse, you’re sort of like the conservative one of this triangle.

JESSE: Yeah, but I gotta bigger weenie than you do.

MARTIN: I notice you didn’t mention me. Incidentally, we were talking about whether these guys were pansies, I doubt they are. Because they look very masculine and manly…

JESSE: Aye, laddie! If it’s manly boys you be wantin’–this be the band.

MARTIN: But I should mention that there’s a photo collage inside, not of highest caliber, art-wise. There’s an interesting picture of two of the members of Exodus by a barbeque grill, maybe cooking steaks. (looks at Jesse) … Um, Jesse, it would be really neat while we’re doing this if you’d listen and participate, rather than read every magazine there is, using your checkbook, and writing checks…

JESSE: (picks up Hit Parader) Look! Motley Crue is on the cover of this fucking magazine, and you guys didn’t even tell me it was here yet! If we’re gonna review metal…

MARTIN: Maybe when we’re finished with these reviews you can look at it. After all, I’m sure you know Hal and I have lots of better things to do than sit around.

HAL: Let’s get back to … In fact, that’s a good point–we shouldn’t be talking about Motley Crue, because this stuff is better than Motley Crue.

MARTIN: It really is better.

HAL: This is the real metal, and we’re the real guys to talk about metal. Jesse, you’ve got to take your responsibilities seriously. God gave you a certain gift for judging metal, and now I want you to use it.

MARTIN: You know, I’ve noticed that Jesse has a tendency to like Hit Parader a little too much. And he especially likes reading about Motley Crue!

HAL: He’s really into the serious metal, not the hardcore metal like…

JESSE: You fuckers tore out part of the magazine!

HAL: I didn’t tear it out. Unless it was about Belfegore.

JESSE: It was about Dokken.

MARTIN: I think there was a reason that was taken out. There was a full-page ad for the “Mule Song,” now out on a 12-inch.

JESSE & HAL: (laugh)

HAL: OK, we’re into some good stuff here. What’s next?

MARTIN: Abattoir. Well, I gotta tell you–automatically, they’re handicapped because I suppose the name of the band is Aba-twoi, or something like that. Or it could be Aba-toir if you’re, uh … The name of the album is Vicious Attack and, not only is the band’s name kinda hazy, but the cover itself–I mean, of course it’s the new offensiveness. We’ve got a picture of a muscular guy with his hands around the torso of a voluptuous young lady, apparently, and he’s putting a meathook into her right breast. And he’s got a knife in the other. And the album’s called Vicious Attack. I suppose that’s neat, and par for the course these days, uh…

JESSE: That’s so funny, ha, ha, ha.

HAL: You’re not amused by any of this?


HAL: Well, maybe they’re making a statement. Let’s put it on and hear what they’ve got to say musically. Let’s see if they can back it up.

MARTIN: Wait a minute, let me read you the titles. “Screams From The Grave,” “Vicious Attack (Maniac),” “The Enemy,” “Living And The Dead,” “Stronger Than Evil,” “Don’t Walk Alone” “Game Of Death.” Now, I didn’t mention one song, because it’s called “Ace Of Spades,” and there’s no credit underneath that. I think it’s time we checked that out. Who wrote it? (looks at the record label) Uh-huh, it was written by Motorhead.

HAL: Let’s listen. But is it fair to listen to their version of one of Motorhead’s finest songs?

JESSE: Well, we could listen to that or we could listen to that “Vicious Attack” song.

HAL: Let’s listen to “Ace Of Spades.”


HAL: Because they recorded it. Now, if they are taking on Motorhead mano a mano, I think it’s important for us to know where their metal credentials lie. I think this is the way to find out.

MARTIN: OK, here we go. We’re going to play “Ace Of Spades” by Abattoir.

(“Ace Of Spades” then “Screams From The Grave” play)

MARTIN: We gotta take this off.

HAL: That was bad. I guess first we should explain that we listened to “Ace Of Spades,” and that it’s such a fine song it sounded OK. But we went back and put on the first song, like we’ve done with all these other albums,and it was really, really terrible. It was God-awful.

MARTIN: OK, the song was “Screams From The Grave” and the first thing I noticed was the lead singer has, uh, the horribly retrogressive concept of singing with a high falsetto. And it just sounds bad, it’s outdated.

HAL: I think that’s the worst we’ve heard yet. I think it’s no coincidence that their name is such an odd one.

JESSE: They gotta put a picture like that on the cover to sell it.

HAL: Again, then, here we can say with confidence that we’re dealing with homosexuals.

JESSE: I think they should shave their heads now.

MARTIN: Well, shall we agree on something? Do these guys really stink?

HAL: Yes.

JESSE: They’re the worst.

HAL: So say we all.

MARTIN: OK, the last record is the one I’ve been saving, because it has the best cover. (holds album up)


MARTIN: It’s called Rise Of The Mutants, which is a pretty funny name, I suppose, because I remember once there was a band once called the Mutants.

HAL: Fine, fine band. The stuff of legends, I think it would it be safe to say.

MARTIN: Well, something about “stuff” is in there, I don’t know about the rest. But, nonetheless, with that title alone it’s compelling enough to wanna listen to it.

HAL: And the band is called?

MARTIN: The band is called Impaler. And I supose this review will be accompanied by a picture of the album cover. But, in case it’s too little for you readers to see, the “P” in Impaler is a big dagger with blood on it, and the lead singer looks a little too much like Blackie Lawless for comfort. He’s got what I think is a piece of liver in his mouth.

JESSE: That Blackie be an influential guy!

MARTIN: And, he’s also got what apparently is supposed to be a woman’s arm that he’s holding in his other hand. So, what we’re supposed to infer here is that this guy is a savage, he’s eating a woman.

JESSE: Literally.

HAL: There’s only four songs here, though.

MARTIN: Yeah, only four songs. That’s right.

HAL: Only a quatrain of songs.

MARTIN: Yes, there’s a quatrain, a good way of putting it. In a way, it’s metal haiku–uh, we’ve got “Shock Rock,” “Crack That Whip,” “Impaler,” and “Heaven’s Force.” I don’t know really what to play, but I think I’d to play “Shock Rock”–’cause I, for one, always feel that the band puts its most impressive song up front, to grab your attention.

HAL: Let’s face it, especially, a band like this that’s trying to make it to a little bigger label–they’re trying to grab you right away, you know? And we’ve the ears to grab, too, by Gumbo!

MARTIN: By cracky! Incidentally, there’s a picture of the drummer in this band, “Meaty” Bob Johnson, and “Meaty” is in quotes. It’s a tremendous amount of meat. What he’s got in his hand is, he’s got two crucifixes that are bound together, so it sorta looks like a letter ” H. “

JESSE: Let me ask you a question. Do you think these guys–I’m not really religious or anything–but when these guys die, do you think they’ll go to hell? ‘Cause I mean, some of this stuff is sacrilegious. Even if it is a joke, even if it’s all tongue-in-cheek or not, this is…

HAL: Well, yes, they surely are going to hell, but that’s not our business. Maybe they want to go to hell. Maybe they’d be more comfortable there.

MARTIN: Again, from a philosophical point of view–which we always have to talk about, when we discuss such matters of whether these people are really going to go to hell–I mean, what if Satanism and the devil really is the way? And we’re just misguided?

JESSE: Aye, laddie them be sorry people!

MARTIN: The first song on their album is “Shock Rock.” Let’s give it a listen.

(“Shock Rock” plays)

HAL: Not the best.

MARTIN: It was OK. It was a little too derivative. I think that it’s good to play this speed-metal stuff, because it’s so much better than that horrible Abattoir stuff. But there’s nothing super distinguished about it.

JESSE: There’s two good bands in this whole bunch–Slayer and Venom. The rest of them, you might as well use as Frisbees. And why don’t you just say that?

MARTIN: Hold it. First of all, we’re not giving Impaler a fair shake. Let’s talk about them for a minute, then we’ll close up with a review of all the records.

HAL: OK, I’ll tell you the truth. I thought it was a little plodding compared to what we’ve been listening to. Comment?

MARTIN: I think that it was in the middle…it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t Abattoir.

HAL: Why don’t we give it a wrap? I think we all agreed that Slayer was a real stand out.

MARTIN: Let’s take it from the very beginning.

JESSE: Slayer was a stand-out.

MARTIN: OK, Slayer, Hell Awaits. I think all three of us, as well-respected rock critics, would like to say that if you’re gonna buy one of these records, make it a point to get Slayer’s Hell Awaits, because it offers much more than any of the others.

HAL: Make it a cherished part of your collection. Believe us, the triumvirate of metal wisdom.

JESSE: Of course, you should mention that we only listened to one track.

HAL: That doesn’t matter. We can tell. We gave all these bands a fair shake.

JESSE: Yeah, but I wonder if the second track’s shitty.

HAL: Yeah, well look–it’s raining outside. I wonder if it’s gonna rain again tomorrow. We don’t know.

MARTIN: You know, I’m proud to make a judgment on the basis of that first track. I don’t really see the point in having this option where maybe another cut is not as good. I think that’s kinda like the dumb way out.

HAL: Yeah, it is dumb.

MARTIN: I don’t respect it.

HAL: I don’t respect it, either. Jesse’s on shaky ground. But, that’s another question. I’d like to say that Venom was second best. Now, you might have an argument there.

MARTIN: Yeah, but before we get to Venom, we’re still talking about other bands. Now here’s Savatage. Didn’t like that one at all.

HAL: Naw, I’d give it a 4.

JESSE: That guy had rotten teeth on the cover. I don’t have any respect for rotten teeth.

HAL: But the man’s been dead for a century.

MARTIN: Savatage, I hope your Atlantic record’s better than that one, ’cause you have some things to do. And next up, we listened to Venom, that was real good.

JESSE: That was good.

HAL: Yeah.

MARTIN: I didn’t like it as much as you other guvs. But I certainly respect your opinions. I think they could’ve used a little more excess. It didn’t quite have enough.

HAL: I personally like what I perceived to be their minimalist stumbling, and I hope they keep it up. They might get it down to a real art form.

MARTIN: I’ll respect that.

JESSE: The two bands I liked the best are pretty close to hardcore.

MARTIN: Um, next up was Exodus. Which I liked a lot. I thought that was the second best of all.

HAL: I thought that was the third best. It was pretty good. It was certainly head-and-shoulders above Abattoir. Or whatever that was.

MARTIN: Oh yeah. I thought the album cover was stupid, but “Bonded By Blood” was good; it had some dynamics that most metal-speed-metal or regular metal-otherwise lacks. I hope these guys do get signed, and keep up the same energy and force.

HAL: Yeah, good work guys. That was at least a 7-and-a-half.

JESSE: You should be an A&R man. You both are smarter than most.

MARTIN: You haven’t really displayed much; in fact, you’ve been sitting here reading the newspaper.

HAL: You’ve been reading about new music bands. I think I can say this now for our readers–you, Jesse Grace, have been reading about new music bands in the local newspaper while we’ve been listening to this hardcore metal.

MARTIN: Doing our jobs.

JESSE: I’ve been listening to it, and making as many comments as you.

HAL: Yeah, but you haven’t shown much insight, a general hand on the pulse of metal. One that we have. And that’s just gotta come out. There may be another by-line on this next month, readers.

MARTIN: Now the next one–Abattoir–which we all decided was the worst one of the bunch–

JESSE: I don’t think it was any worse than the other two that you said were good.

MARTIN: Well, we’re a little more in tune with slight variations in metal, from the worst to the best. In other words, it doesn’t all sound the same to me.

HAL: Yeah, this was a bad one. These guys should pack it in. They’re the worst.

MARTIN: Abattoir–goodbye to you. OK, I think the last one was Impaler.

JESSE: That one sucked, too.

HAL: Well, no–they showed some wit with their title, no question about that.

MARTIN: I think they have some way to go yet, like Hal said, but they’re OK.

HAL: They’re not a lost cause; I wouldn’t say that.

JESSE: I hate the cover.

HAL: Well, again, your perception is…

MARTIN: … Based on everything but music.

HAL: That’s right.

JESSE: The music sucked!

HAL: The music wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst. I’ll give it a 5-and-a-half. Or a 6, and I think with a little work the guys could be on a major label and make a lot of money.

JESSE: Out of the bunch you played there, there were two good ones. The rest of them sucked.

HAL: Well, your judgments are often arbitrary, and I think you can’t argue that. In fact, I hope you die.

JESSE: My judgments are often arbitrary?

HAL: Yeah.


MARTIN: “No”? Well argued! In closing, let’s make a statement about the status of all these Important Records.

HAL: I’ll tell you one thing, I’m pleased that these records are available. And that Important Records is really doing a service for the metal fan–I’m pleased with that. And I think the fan will have to be discriminating; there’s bad and there’s good.

MARTIN: And the one way they can discern this sort of thing is to follow the metal fanzines–and, of course, the greatest metal magazine of all–METAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

HAL: And, in fact, when you get right down to it, the best part of METAL ROCK’N’ ROLL is our column–if you will–which is in the record review section.

JESSE: That’s bullshit!

MARTIN: Well, that about wraps it up. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m late for the ballet tonight. Would you care to join me?

HAL: Uh, no, as a matter of fact tonight I’ll be at the opera. And you, Jesse?

JESSE: I’ve got a meeting for EST.

MARTIN: Well, I guess that about wraps it up. Bye-bye, metallers. We’ll see you again!

–Hal Jordan, Martin Dio & Jesse Grace



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