Kingcrimsonprog

Jimmy Neeson
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 11 months ago

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886 reviews/ratings
MASTODON - The Hunter Progressive Metal | review permalink
MASTODON - Crack The Skye Sludge Metal | review permalink
MASTODON - Blood Mountain Sludge Metal | review permalink
MASTODON - Leviathan Sludge Metal | review permalink
MASTODON - Live At The Aragon Sludge Metal | review permalink
AMON AMARTH - With Oden on Our Side Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
AMON AMARTH - Twilight of the Thunder God Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
AMON AMARTH - Wrath of the Norsemen Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
AMON AMARTH - Surtur Rising Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
ANNIHILATOR - Live at Masters of Rock Thrash Metal | review permalink
ANTHRAX - Worship Music Thrash Metal | review permalink
ARCHITECTS - The Here and Now Metalcore | review permalink
BRING ME THE HORIZON - Suicide Season Metalcore | review permalink
CARPATHIAN FOREST - We're Going to Hollywood for This Black Metal | review permalink
CHIMAIRA - Chimaira Groove Metal | review permalink
CHIMAIRA - The Infection Groove Metal | review permalink
CHIMAIRA - The Dehumanizing Process Groove Metal | review permalink
CHIMAIRA - Coming Alive Groove Metal | review permalink
CLUTCH - Live in Flint, Michigan Stoner Rock | review permalink
CLUTCH - Blast Tyrant Stoner Rock | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Thrash Metal 113 4.19
2 Heavy Metal 103 4.01
3 Groove Metal 65 4.31
4 Hard Rock 63 3.66
5 Power Metal 61 4.12
6 Progressive Metal 41 4.15
7 Stoner Metal 41 4.18
8 Nu Metal 40 3.67
9 Stoner Rock 33 4.39
10 Metalcore 32 4.30
11 Death Metal 31 3.89
12 Alternative Metal 30 3.80
13 Metal Related 27 4.30
14 Melodic Metalcore 26 4.23
15 Industrial Metal 20 3.98
16 US Power Metal 20 3.83
17 NWoBHM 18 3.72
18 Heavy Alternative Rock 17 3.62
19 Sludge Metal 14 4.54
20 Melodic Death Metal 11 4.41
21 Hardcore Punk 8 4.06
22 Glam Metal 8 3.25
23 Gothic Metal 7 3.14
24 Non-Metal 7 4.07
25 Proto-Metal 6 4.00
26 Speed Metal 6 3.33
27 Rap Metal 5 3.70
28 Black Metal 5 3.90
29 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 4 3.38
30 Doom Metal 4 4.50
31 Symphonic Black Metal 4 3.00
32 Melodic Black Metal 3 3.67
33 Grindcore 3 1.83
34 Death 'n' Roll 2 4.50
35 Heavy Psych 2 3.75
36 Technical Thrash Metal 2 3.50
37 Funk Metal 1 3.50
38 Deathcore 1 3.50
39 Crossover Thrash 1 3.50
40 Technical Death Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

METALLICA 72 Seasons

Album · 2023 · Heavy Metal
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I am almost reticent to review Metallica albums. No other band is as singularly important to the genre’s fans, but nor is any so polarising. It is hard to find many honest, thought out and truthful reviews of the band, amidst the tide of “they can do no wrong, they are gods,” “this is the best album since 1990,” “they used to be good but they’ve sucked since they cut their hair” and “they are the worst band ever, so overrated, this is the worst garbage ever.”

Even the most respected and intelligent reviewers, both in print and online, seem to get bogged down in the same Metallica review tropes over and over again - and I don’t know about you, but I am getting very put off by the endless discussion of eyeliner in the '90s, trashcan snare-drum sound and no-solos on St. Anger, dodgy mixing/mastering on Death Magnetic, calling Lou Reed “Grandpa Simpson” on Lulu, jokes about money/wah-wah pedals/Napster, calling Lars and Kirk bad at their instruments and basically all the same repetitive insults being brought up every time Metallica does anything at all. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I think it is absolutely 100% fair to say that they’ve struggled to have a good production sound over the years, that their albums are usually too long for the relative amount of ideas, and they have made some questionable creative decisions that not all of the core fanbase approve of. But the sheer volume and extensive hyperbole blowing things so far out of proportion is getting so tiring that reading about Metallica has become a rather unpleasant experience over the years.

So that all being said and out of the way… 72 Seasons is the new Metallica album from 2023, their eleventh canonical studio album, third with Rob Trujillo on bass, third with Greg Fidelman involved in the production, and second on Blackened Recordings. It is neither their best album, their worst album, or anything else particular useful for a good soundbite. It has its strengths and its weaknesses. The hardest part about listening to, or trying to appreciate, or be objective about any Metallica album since 1990 is the uncanny valley in your own mind between the album you think they should have made, versus the album they actually chose to make, and all the seemingly wasted potential that this thought process highlights.

There are many positives to this album - lots of great little bits that will make you smile, a few songs many fans would probably like to see in the live set, and some strong guitar solos. Even the lyrics seem a little bit improved. However, it is not without some faults. As stated above, it will be no surprise to learn that the album also features a lot of the same flaws as every Metallica album since St. Anger, in as much as the band seem to be poor at self-editing, and don’t always know how/when to end a song and how much is enough repetition of a particular part. The album is 77 minutes long, just as the previous was, and just like its predecessor – it is quite arguable that not all 77 of those minutes are utterly necessary and the overall experience and quality would have been higher had someone taken a more discerning approach to serving the songs. This is just my personal taste – but I feel like if Metallica were given a 55-minute limit, this would make all of their albums better.

However, it is welcome that after so many years of unpalatable creative decisions and production jobs, this album, like its predecessor is well performed, sounds “normal” and follows the stylistic and creative directions Metallica are best at, rather than diverging too far into territories they aren’t as strong at. In short, with the exception of the length – Metallica appear to have written the exact album that all the magazines and websites have been saying they (and by implication we) wanted. I for one am quite pleased about that (even if very frustratingly, all the contrarians online are now having the gall to complain about that very fact and decry a lack of diversity and progression – you just can’t win with some people!).

Stylistically, as with its predecessors Death Magnetic and Hardwired… To Self Destruct, the musical direction incorporates large sections of ‘80s style Thrash Metal, with bits of the more melodic and groovy material they made in the ‘90s, and some of the bounce and unpolished feel they developed on the critically panned St. Anger album (although that particular bit has lessened with each album since then). For the most part we get similar material to the best parts of the last two Metallica records, opener “72 seasons” is a lengthy Thrasher, just as the opener to Death Magnetic was (and the closer to Hardwired was). There is a short, quick nostalgia Thrash tune (just like the title track to Hardwired was, and album closer to Death Magnetic was). There are some mid paced songs, often with rolling floor toms, that evoke bits of The Black Album (in a similar way to “Now That We’re All Dead” and “Here Comes Revenge” were from the previous record, or “Broken, Beaten, Scarred” from Death Magnetic was). A few songs towards the back half of the record have some slightly Load/Reload era vocals, just like “The Day That Never Comes” did, or several songs on the second disc of Hardwired.

I don’t think it would be too unfair to call this album a continuation and natural evolution of what Hardwired was. Hardwired was flawed in that some songs on it really didn’t fit and probably should have been kept off for B-sides, and there was one track which I genuinely dislike and wish was never included at all (“Murder One”) – however the highs were very high, in that tracks like “Spit Out The Bone,” in particular, but also “Moth Into Flame,” “Atlas Rise” and a few others are genuinely some of my favourite Metallica songs, period, no qualification. 72 Seasons differs slightly in that no individual song is quite as magic, memorable or instantaneously “classic quality” as the very best moments of Hardwired, but neither is any song out of place, boring, or poor quality. A much more even listening experience overall. I am not sure what is better; 77 good minutes? or a mixture of 30 great minutes, some good minutes, some ok and some poor minutes?

Highlights for me so far are "Chasing Light" which sounds like a mixture of all the different styles mentioned above, as well as the catchy "Too Far Gone?" (great chorus!) and "Room Of Mirrors" (great guitars!). I also really like the title track in principal for its style, although it could use a bit of a trim in the editing room if I am being honest.  

It does seem like a bit of a grower, and gets better with each listen, but it doesn’t have any moment I would call absolutely essential. It is another Metallica album. A good one, throughout, but not a truly great one. To summarise the whole review: Its exactly the right style, sound and production – it picks up where the last ones left off and gives more of the same, (only more cohesive and consistent throughout, however with less of the magic of the absolute best tracks from them). I doubt in 20 years time it will be many people’s favourite Metallica album, but it won’t go down in history as a mistake either.

RIVERSIDE ID.Entity

Album · 2023 · Metal Related
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January 2023 saw the magnificent Polish Progressive Rock band Riverside release their eight full-length studio album on InsideOut records, ID Entity. It is their second album since the passing of late guitarist Piotr Grudziński and first with Maciej Meller as an official band member.

Sonically, the album is a delight. The production is superb. Crystal clear, brilliantly balanced, perfectly recorded.

Lyrically, the album seems to either be a concept album or at least heavily themed about modern society in the age of questionable truth in the media, social media enraging the public, and a divided society. The lyrics are very blunt, direct and barbed compared to most previous Riverside albums (not to dissimilar to Pain Of Salvation’s Scarsick album). They could come across as a too bit on the nose if you just read the lyrics, but when you hear it with the vocal delivery and over the excellent music it seems almost profound (eg. “unsubscribe the ones who make us hostile” doesn’t seem particularly epic when written down here, but the part of that song when this lyric gets repeated is absolutely massive!).

Stylistically, the album is varied. There are moments that remind me of the more note dense 70’s prog influenced parts of the previous album Wasteland, mixed with the more ‘80s influenced parts of Love Fear And The Time Machine but it is also in many ways unlike any of the band’s previous material most of the time.

Therein lies the charm. Riverside are the most consistent band in music, and yet never make the same album twice. Constant evolution and change, but unshakable quality-control. A few days ago I tried to make a “Riverside Albums Ranked” list, and I really couldn’t do it, all albums were equal, all joined first… and I don’t mean that hyperbolically. I mean that stone cold literally. In terms of full-length studio albums at least, the band have a perfect discography to date, including this new record).

I usually make a list of standout songs in my reviews, but this album is such a brilliant journey from start to finish, and such a great album experience, that I almost don’t want to mention individual tracks. There is also absolutely no filler. Even the songs themselves have no weak parts. There is nothing skippable on the whole album.

In summary; as if you can’t tell already from all this gushing praise, I wholeheartedly recommend this album (and band if you aren’t into the band yet).

LAMB OF GOD Omens

Album · 2022 · Groove Metal
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2022’s Omens is the Richmond Virginia Metal stars, Lamb Of God’s ninth full-length studio album (not counting releases under the Burn The Priest moniker). Much like their previous record, it was released on Nuclear Blast, Produced by Josh Wilbur and features Art Cruz on the drums.  

Going into the album, a lot of fans online, on podcasts and in print seemed a bit disinterested in the band, and there was a bit of talk about how the band were past their best, which I didn’t personally get, because I felt their previous album was quite good, they’ve still been good live and they are mostly beloved personalities in the metal media. Anyway, many people are going to talk about going into this with low expectations and being pleasantly surprised… I just say its good, period, just like I expected.

The musical direction and the production style is quite similar to the previous album, sort of leaning into the more groovey and accessible parts of their sound, rather than being technical or angular or abrasive like the early days. If your favourite Lamb Of God song is “ODHGABFE” or “Blood Junkie” this album might be a bit tame for your tastes, but for everyone who fell in live with the band for the likes of “Redneck” and “Set To Fail” this will be right up your street.

Highlights include the catchy “To The Grave,” the speedy “Denial Mechanism” the memorable closer “September Song” and the grower of a title track, which I initially didn’t gel with the very first time I heard it, but you can’t deny that chorus and now its become one of my favourites upon repeat listening.

Is this the single greatest achievement Lamb Of God have ever made? Of course not, but is it some kind of lesser album or boring late career filler with only a few good songs? Not at all! This is a worthy edition to the LOG cannon, solid all the way through, nothing I’d skip, nothing I’d remove from a playlist and nothing I wouldn’t want to see live. Better even than the previous record, much better than the one before that, overall another enjoyable and entertaining southern groover made for big stages. Recommended.

QUEENSRŸCHE Digital Noise Alliance

Album · 2022 · Progressive Metal
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Digital Noise Alliance is the 16th full-length studio album by the Seattle Prog-Metal pioneers, Queensryche. It is their fourth album with Todd La Torre on vocals, and second without founding drummer Scott Rockenfeild in the band, last time (on 2019’s The Verdict) singer Todd La Torre also played drums, but this time Kamelot’s Casey Grillo is behind the drum kit. There has been much media drama about the band in the last decade, with various spats between current and ex-members, which can distract people from the music at times, but for my money the current four-album Todd-era run is the best continuous run of four albums the band has had since 1994. If you ignore all the distractions and concentrate on the music, you’ll discover some seriously good records.

Queensryche made their name by experimenting, changing constantly and never making the same album twice in the early days, and while this has resulted in a discography where not every album is to everyone’s tastes, the one thing you could also say is that each album sounded different to the last. However, since original singer Geoff Tate left the band, the run of three albums that followed do all sit in a fairly similar direction, and as good as that style is, sitting in one comfort zone isn’t something the band had ever done before.

With Digital Noise Alliance, Queensryche appear to be trying to test the edges of this comfort zone, broaden their horizons a little bit, expand the formula more and generally try a few new things. There’s a Promised Land style semi-acoustic ballad, (the kind they hadn’t been writing for the last few records), there’s a Billy Idol cover song, there’s some occasional new vocal styles Todd hasn’t used on record yet, there’s a different feel to the drumming, there’s a few riffs or chords or melodies you wouldn’t have heard on the last few albums and the guitar solos often take a different direcition to what listeners have been hearing for the last decade. Just enough variety to keep it fresh and not feel like they’ve fallen into a rut. However, the core of the album is the same core formula of the Todd era Queensryche albums, so it isn’t so different that it would scare away anyone who loved the previous ones, or a big enough departure that it would reach a totally new or different fanbase and win over anyone new. It’s the same sound; but broader, more diverse, ever so slightly more progressive, and most importantly fresh. A nice little grower of a record too, there’s an extra layer of depth and complexity here compared to the last few.

Highlights include: “Behind The Walls” “Tormentum” and “Hold On.”

If you like melodic guitar leads, gorgeous clean singing, clear bouncy bass lines and a slight prog edge without being ponderous or pretentious, then you’ll have a good time here. There’s always going to be a segment of the audience who just want the ‘80s sound or line-up, and I’m not even going to bother trying to convince you to try this if that is you, but for anyone who is still into the band nowadays but was just worrying if they might be over-relying on a formula or running out of ideas, I can reassure you this album is just as good as the last few, but not afraid to try new things and cover a bit more creative ground.

SLIPKNOT (IA) The End So Far

Album · 2022 · Nu Metal
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I’ve said it before, but Slipknot album releases aren’t just album releases, they are life events as memorable as major elections, weddings, funerals, graduations and the start of new jobs for me. They serve as a significant moment against which memories will be anchored and where eras start and end. They provoke large quantities of discussion with friends, and the sort of in-depth analysis on your own normally only seen with Metallica or Tool album releases.

Not counting their 1996 demo album; 2022’s The End So Far is Iowan metal band Slipknot’s seventh full-length studio album. It follows up 2019’s really excellent We Are Not Your Kind record, and compared to the band’s typical timeline of going on break for many years between records, does so fairly quickly.

In the media, the band had been talking previously about wanting to make a big departure in sound, however saving that for on the next album after this, so this album feels in part like a progression and also in parts like a nostalgic regression and farewell to their origins and legacy. That sort of oil and water contradictory set of aims (Hey, I guess getting nine people to agree to one vision involves a lot of compromise) basically summarizes the whole record for me. Its trying to do two quite opposite things at the same time. There are notable, blatant and really on-the-nose call-backs to the old days, moments deliberately written to please old fans and keep the band aligned with the (glorious) past, but there are also departures, progressions and evolutions designed to bring the band into the (different) future.

So, speaking of harkening back to the late 90’s/early 00’s; there are a lot of moments on this record that are clearly meant to evoke the sound or spirit of great moments from the band’s early days; there’s a little vocal tail here that is clearly meant to remind you of “Purity” and a drum & bass thing that is overtly trying to remind people of “Eyeless” and you may notice for a second or two, a drum part trying to remind you of “The Blister Exists” or a breakdown that is clearly meant to imitate that 3:11 groove from “Three Nil.” There’s a moment of creepy tinkling additional percussion that exists specifically to remind people of the intro to “Scissors” for a second. There’s also creepy churning guitar parts here and there that evoke “Gently” or “Iowa” for a second, although more subtly than the aforementioned things. Its usually only a couple of seconds each, but it often feels like the have written a really modern record and then went “oh no, it needs to sound more like Slipknot…” and then just thrown in some extra cheeky nostalgic icing on the cake to stop it sounding too different. Many songs that aren’t even so specifically hinting directly at specific previous songs, sometimes its just some extra DJ-scratching here, or keg smashes there. to remind people of the old days. The biggest thing however, is probably the entire song “Yen” which seems designed to give people “Vermillion” vibes (although maybe that’s not fair, perhaps its just continuing the tradition of those type of songs, which “Killpop” also did). Although Corey has said in the media that it is about his wife, the disturbing obsessive lyrics seem to be more in the vein of “The Collector” influenced “Prosthetics.”

Apart from the aforementioned very clear nods towards the early days, which feel like garnish rather than the main course, the actual song-writing feels more like a mixture between their two previous records, .5 The Gray Chapter & WANYK, than anything they made their name on way back when. Now don’t come at me with a history lesson, I know Slipknot have been putting clean vocals into heavy songs ever since their debut self-titled album (eg. “Me Inside” and even before that if you count demos) but there was a notable switchover at some point (possibly “Sulfer” from All Hope Is Gone?) where a song with a good start and heavy verse would be dominated by a big radio chorus that somehow makes the whole song feel safer and smaller and less blistering. The guitar lines here would usually also feel less metallic and more alternative-rock. (Around the time everyone on the internet incorrectly decided to say “sounds too much like Stone Sour” every time Slipknot did anything). With a few notable exceptions (“Sarcastrophe,” “Custer,” “The Negative One”), 2014’s .5 The Gray Chapter album was perhaps the worst offender of this stylistic decision where a radio chorus off-balanced the rest of the song, but it is also present in part on WANYK and present quite a bit here on TESF. You could take that thing as one of the dividing lines which could be considered the difference between classic and modern Slipknot song writing.

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s all very interesting and everything, but the quality of an album always lives and dies on the strength of the tunes.” I agree. A direction you like, or a direction you aren’t keen on will generate discussion, but what will make you decide if you like it or not will usually just be how much you like the songs.

The songs have pros and cons. Cons: The lyrics aren’t great at times. It feels like it is missing one more fast song. It is probably their least heavy album to date overall. Some of the experimentation doesn’t work so well. If you can’t get over how pandering it feels, some of the fan-service feels distracting. It isn’t as instantly gratifying as most Slipknot albums. While many songs are quite satisfying when they’re on, few leave the sort of lasting impression that older Slipknot albums did and you get a bit of a sense that in a few albums time, the songs from this will be a bit forgotten. You can’t imagine much from this record overtaking classics from Joey’s era in the setlist live or on compilations and playlists.

Pros: It is concise and succinct compared to some of their previous albums. It features arguably the best lead guitar / guitar solos of any Slipknot record to date. Jay Weinberg’s drumming is unrestrained and much more confident than back in 2014. Some of the experimentation works well, and you certainly can’t say its devoid of ideas or creative spark. If you can get over how pandering it sometimes feels, on a gut level all the keg smashing/DJ scratching/double kick and blast beating stuff is just great fun. It gets better with repeat listens. With the exception of the opening track, the album sequencing works well so there are highlights throughout, so its not frontloaded and there’s no dip on the second half.

The one song unarguably generating the most discussion on the whole record is the opener “Adderall” which stylistically is the most unique and un-Slipknot moment on the record, coming across as some sort of mixture between Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs with QOTSA’s “Autopilot” and The Beatles’ in general. It seems a very clearly political decision to make it track 1 on the record, in a deliberate attempt to make this album stand out in their discography. Quite interesting since some reviews had been saying this album isn’t so much its own entity as just “WANYK-Part-2,” and there is a prominent interview circulating at time of writing with a key band member suggesting that the album was rushed, and that Shawn had said just to get it over with and that it wasn’t a real album, just an extension of the WANYK touring cycle. Of course, I guess that interview could be a) incorrect, or b) Shawn could have changed his mind later, or c) it was just a passing comment out of context. Whatever the case, sticking the very out-of-character jangly prog-pop song first seems like an identity-creating decision. The song probably wouldn’t have generated such large volumes of discussion had it just been track 10 like “Spiders” was. The album might flow better though. Then again, maybe opening the album with “The Dying Song” would then have been too close to “Unsainted” and thus fueled more “WANYK-Part-2” critiscisms. Who knows?

As much as some diehard fans may feel otherwise; for me the album as a whole isn’t flawless, and not every song is utter timeless gold …but it isn’t a poor album either and there are some nice highlights. If you like the band at their heavier, then “Hivemind,” “Warranty” “Heirloom” and “Hell” are going to be enjoyable. I certainly enjoy them. If you like the band being moody and dark, you’ll enjoy “Medicine For The Dead,” “De Sade” and “Finale” (with its memorable choir section part). I’ve seen people online saying these are the finest moments on the album, and I don’t disagree.

Ok. I misspoke earlier. Its not always 100% all about the songs. While not as important; Little things like the artwork, the reputation/reviews and the production can play a part in your opinion and enjoyment of albums too, even if maybe they shouldn’t. The artwork is the same usual thing they’ve been doing since Vol. 3. Unremarkable really. Unlikely to affect your opinion one way or the other. The reviews have been mixed, there’s a lot of “bold new direction” comments and yet also a lot of “same old, same old” comments, and basically every song has been called out as the best or the worst one. Tough record to pin a consensus on. There’s as many different views of the record as there are listeners of it. I think the only thing people are in agreement on generally is that it isn’t as good as the first three records (but realistically “what is, right?”). The production job is ok. The previous album was produced by Greg Feldman with co-production credits for the band, whereas this album is produced by the band with coproduction credits from Joe Barresi. Part of that was due to the pandemic and the difficulty of getting a nine-person band and the production team in one room at the same time. It is better than the somewhat thin production of .5, but not as clear and well-balanced as WANYK which I feel set the standard of what modern mature Slipknot could and should sound like. The production job here really lets you know there are nine members, its quite layered and rewards repeat listens so you can figure out what Craig, Sid or Shawn are doing at any given moment, when last time you were only focusing on the drums and guitars, but it can be a bit cacophonous, messy and slightly overwhelming at points and could give a bad first impression.

The band are so incredibly important and popular that I don’t need to recommend you get this album, but my one recommendation would be not to trust any gut reaction or first impression, and give it some serious dedicated no-distractions time to get in multiple repeat listens before forming an opinion. I’ve been listening to it basically on repeat since it was released at time of writing, and my opinion of it has changed and evolved numerous times since then. This is a grower for sure, and its biggest charms aren’t necessarily readily apparent on first listen.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in MMA's Top Stoner Metal Albums
    Shit, that's hard. Three-way-tie for me between Welcome To Sky Valley, Blast Tyrant and Deliverance.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Helloween Albums (Updated 2016)
    Keeper 2, Then 1, Then Oath, Then 7 Sinners, Then God Given Right.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in People's reaction after finding out you like metal
    I got nothing but grief for it in high school. Constant teasing, people shouting in the street from moving cars, people squaring up and starting fights, always having people talk shit behind my back. I even remember going up to a bar once and the non metal guy at the bar just looked pure hatred into my eyes and said 'get out of my face you're making me fucking sick.' That was a small, backwards town full of racists, homophobes and general idiots anyway though. In university it was just a bit more like, oh, well, I'll not be your friend but I won't actively be a dick about it. Nowadays as an adult, people just look at me like 'Why?' My stock answer is either 'Some people like horror films, if music was film, metal would be horror.' Or 'Not everyone can eat really spicy food, but that doesn't mean no-one can.' I generally don't bring it up. Recently, one of my co-workers noticed a motorhead pin on my backpack, and decided to throw the horns at me instead of greeting me for the next month or so, but not in a mean spirited way. 

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