Adult Swim posts all episodes of Metalocalypse online, for free

Adult Swim has released all episodes of their crazed, headbanger animated comedy, Metalocalypse, for free during the coronavirus pandemic.

Adult Swim has made all four seasons and the Klok Opera movie available for free streaming on their website and app.

You can watch all the episodes of Metalocalypse here.

Non-US fans of the dumb and the restless are reporting that they can't view the streams. But hey, that's what VPNs are for.

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The singer of a KISS cover band caught on fire in the middle of a show and kept playing

That's not actually Paul Stanley; it's Bobby Jensen playing the part of the Starchild in the Minneapolis-based classic rock tribute band Hairball in concert. But either way, it's still pretty badass (at least until you remember the tragic Great White fire of 2003, and start to wonder why the hell there weren't more contingencies in place to prevent this kind of accident).

After the incident, Jensen, who also performs in an Alice Cooper tribute act, spoke to Ultimate Classic Rock and said, "I live an Evil Knievel kind of life, so if I'm on fire a little bit, I don't care, that's just part of the fun. I knew I was on fire right away, and that wasn't a wig, that's my hair. It was really nice and foofy before the show, now I have a much better Alice Cooper cut."

(This insanely metal moment actually happened over Valentine's Day weekend in 2019, but the band returned to Sioux City again this year, making the video spread like fire all over again.) Read the rest

Witchy woman on the cover of Black Sabbath's eponymous first album finally identified

It is kind of hard to imagine that it's taken until 2020 for the identity of the woman on the cover of Black Sabbath's heavy metal masterpiece, Black Sabbath, to finally be known. The woman has been identified as Louisa Livingston. The image was shot by photographer and album designer, Keith "Keef" Macmillan.

The photographer opted for Oxfordshire's Mapledurham Watermill because it fit the band's sound in his opinion. Louisa told Rolling Stone:

"I remember it was freezing cold. I had to get up at about 4 o'clock in the morning. Keith was rushing around with dry ice, throwing it into the water. It didn't seem to be working very well, so he ended up using a smoke machine.

"It was just, 'Stand there and do that.' I'm sure he said it was for Black Sabbath, but I don't know if that meant anything much to me at the time."

As a teenage headbanger, I spent countless record-spinning hours poring over every inch of this haunting cover, completely enthralled by the creepy building and the beautiful green-skinned witch in front of it. It is probably a good thing that I (and every other pubescent teen listener) was ignorant of this fact:

"She wasn't wearing any clothes under that cloak because we were doing things that were slightly more risqué, but we decided none of that worked.

"Any kind of sexuality took away from the more foreboding mood. But she was a terrific model. She had amazing courage and understanding of what I was trying to do."

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“What is this that stands before me?" Fifty years ago when rock and roll turned seriously dark, heavy, and metallic

It's hard to wrap one's head around the fact that, this year, Black Sabbath's eponymous debut album turns 50. It's also hard to wrap one's head around the seismic impact this record and this band would have on modern music.

“We knew instantly that ‘Black Sabbath’ was very different to what was around at the time,” guitarist Tony Iommi says of the piece that gave the group its name.

“We always wanted to go heavier than any other band,” bassist Geezer Butler says.

“I thought the song would be a flop, but I also thought it was brilliant,” drummer Bill Ward says. “I still think it’s brilliant.”

“When we played that song for the first time, the crowd went nuts,” Butler says.

Half a century has passed since Black Sabbath first scared the bejesus out of rock fans with their eponymous anthem. The song opens with the sound of a powerful thunderstorm and ominous church chimes before crashing into its lumbering, iconic riff. The guitar chords lurch seismically, each one like a gut punch before quieting down just enough for Ozzy Osbourne to paint his own vivid portrait of fear — “What is this that stands before me/Figure in black which points at me?” It’s a scene so unnerving that he eventually pleads to the heavens, “Oh, no, NO, please God help me,” before the guitar riff and church bells come around again to strike him down. “Is this the end, my friend?” he wonders aloud. The six-minute horror vignette was spooky yet thrilling, and the song, “Black Sabbath,” would serve as the prototype for a genre poised to captivate the world.

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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.

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

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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