Heavy metal and Dungeons & Dragons were a match made in hell

Heavy metal and Dungeons & Dragons have an interconnected history that goes beyond just being targeted during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Over at Kerrang, John Reppion draws the links from Black Sabbath until today. From Kerrang:

The November 1987 edition of UK RPG magazine White Dwarf was advertised as a ‘Thrash Rock Special’. “Your eyes and minds have been devastated by White Dwarf for the past ten years, now it’s time for your ears to get it!” an ad in the back of the previous issue warned. The magazine came with a free flexidisc whose single track, Blood For The Blood God, was specially written and recorded by British thrashers Sabbat for WD. Printed on the disc are the words “Based on Games Workshop’s Warhammer fantasy roleplay game”, making Blood For The Blood God the first ever official RPG tie-in metal record.

Two years later, death-grind band Bolt Thrower released their second album, Realm Of Chaos: Slaves To Darkness, on Earache Records. The album’s cover art came courtesy of Nottingham-based RPG maker and retailer Games Workshop. Many of the song titles and lyrics related directly to the store’s own sci-fi fantasy RPG, Warhammer 40,000 – of which members of Bolt Thrower were dedicated players. Copies of the album were even sold in Games Workshop, alongside the usual miniatures and rulebooks....

Perhaps the most overtly RPG-inspired band of the moment are Gygax. Named in honour of D&D’s creator, the Californian four-piece play Thin Lizzy-esque hard rock with themes lifted directly from the players’ handbook.

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Inaugural Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship title goes to Japan's Giga Body Metal

The inaugural Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship were an unqualified success, with competitors from the US, Russia, Japan and beyond converging on Joensuu, Finland to thrash and knit: competitors such as Woolfumes, Bunny Bandit and 9" Needles thrashed to heavy metal music while knitting, for an audience of about 200. The winners were the five-person Japanese team Giga Body Metal. Scottish competitor Heather McLaren (a Ph.D candidate in engineering) told the AP, "When I saw there was a combination of heavy metal and knitting, I thought 'that’s my niche.'" Read the rest

'Metal from the Dirt' - Cool profile of Navajo metalheads, and Diné metal shows on the rez

There's a not-to-be missed profile in High Country News on Diné heavy metal bands on and around the Navajo Nation in Arizona, with incredible photos by Clarke Tolton, who also directed the video above. Read the rest

The Heaviest Banjo in the Universe: A hillbilly heavy metal cover of Gojira

Watch Leo Moracchioli and Rob Scallon perform a genre-bending cover of French heavy metal band Gojira's "The Heaviest Matter in the Universe," banjo, straw hats, and all.

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When birds sound like heavy metal and hardcore vocalists

TIL two things:

1. YouTube is home to the world's only heavy metal-themed talk show. It's called Two Minutes to Late Night.

2. Vocalists of all metal subgenres often shriek and squawk like birds. To prove it, the Two Minutes to Late Night host recently asked ornithologist Tom Stephenson of BirdGenie (an app that identifies birds by their sounds), "What Birds Do Metal Singers Sound Like?" He had no problem matching birds to their metal equivalent.

For instance, the (most-non-metal) bird expert (ever) identified the Northern Potoo as a close match to the screeching vocals of Converge's 2001 metalcore song "Concubine." Ok, sure.

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Music to poop by

A lot of terrible things go on inside of your average porta potty. This is one of them. Read the rest

Freaky drum set configurations that are totally metal

Jared Dines demonstrates several weird drum setups that not only sound good, but look pretty cool, too. Read the rest

When metal rocker Ronnie James Dio was a doo-wop artist

Before Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell, late metal legend Ronnie James Dio was a doo-wop artist. Read the rest

"Old man" headbanging to Metallica

For all I know, this guy could be younger than James Hetfield, but in any case, the fun he's having is infectious.

"Old man is having fun under metallica" (YouTube via DIGG)

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Bearded dragon rocks out

PikieOats posted a remix of a youtube classic. Read the rest

Understand the history of heavy metal by watching this single song

Ben Higgins takes us from blues rock through thrash, black metal, prog metal, and djent. You can even learn to play it yourself. Raise those horn hands high! (via Laughing Squid)

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Video for High on Fire's "The Black Plot" will melt your face off!

If this retro, psychedelic D&D/Masters of the Universe animation meets a crank-boosted acid trip doesn't blow your neck bolts, I don't know what will. This animated short film/music video for Oakland doomy metal legends, High on Fire, was put together by "psychedelic nightmare" painter, Skinner (also from Oakland) and New York design and animation house, Hey Beautiful Jerk.

For best results: View in the dark, on the widest possible screen, with the volume cranked up loud enough to rattle your neighbor's windows. Read the rest

Listen to heavy metal covers of iPhone ringtones

ToxicEternity plays a metal medley of iPhone ringtones.

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Hear rock music's secret satanic messages in this 1981 radio show

When I was ten, my friend and I got excited by the rumor that if you play Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" backwards, it says "Smoke marijuana." We tried it and it sounded clear as day! Then we played it for my dad who laughed and said that to him, it sounded like "Go to California." Of course, this was during the heyday of fantastic urban legends about the occult and backmasking in rock music. Evangelist Michael Mills fueled the insanity with this 1981 radio broadcast, featuring bits by Black Sabbath, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest who famously went to trial (and won) over bullshit accusations of backmasking.

!nataS liaH

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Headbangers caught in the moment

Danish photographer Jacob Erhbahn captured metalheads mid-headbang at music festivals around Europe. The result is Headbangers, a full-color book compiling the best of these unrestrained moments of metal bliss.

In this collection Ehrbahn’s camera stops time and captures the surprising and life-affirming moments when the headbangers abandon all semblance of vanity and surrender to the rhythm. Ehrbahn transports us to an intimate world disconnected from time and space—a universe where it’s possible to transcend the frenzy and enter an altered state that brings calm, joy, and relief.

Headbangers by Jacob Erhbahn (Amazon)

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Balloon Boy is in a metal band. Here's a song about his adventure

Falcon Heene, the "Balloon Boy," is now in a metal band, and he's written a song about his adventure.

Previously on Boing Boing. Read the rest

Young heavy metal shredder is also a screaming-fast texter

Her gates-of-hell texting is a marvel to behold.

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