Archive for the ‘ Personal ’ Category

The Truth About Honesty

As most of you know, I recently instituted a new honesty policy In my life. At this point, I’ve only been at it for around three weeks, but I’ve already noticed a few things that I’d like to point out. I’m not going to be dishing out deep lessons here, but there’ve been certain things that have happened as a direct result of me being more truthful and open and I thought they were interesting enough for me to write about them. Sort of observations, if you will.

First off, being honest is a lot harder than I thought it would be. If movies or television or books were to be believed, it would be the easiest thing in the world. You’d just say whatever was on your mind, however you really felt, and it would all be good. But that’s some serious bullshit right there. Right off the start, if you’ve got a shred of decency in you, you’re always going to have to balance the truth with the harm it could do to people around you. If everybody told every person they knew how they truly felt about them, nobody would fucking talk to each other. We’d all have six friends, and everybody else would either hate us or not give a single fuck about us at all.

People lie for a reason, keep things to themselves for a reason. I think that reason can fall into three categories: they fear the reaction their truth would bring down on them, they fear the damage their truth could do to somebody else, or they’re trying to influence situations or events to favour themselves by withholding certain information.

Let’s talk about the first reason for a moment. Whether the extent of the backlash is as harsh as they think it will be or not, there are consequences for every action. And the fact of the matter is, when you’re talking about honesty and truth, you’re talking about people. People who think and feel and have fucking minds of their own. There is no way to really know how people are going to react to things. It’s like that saying ‘the truth will set you free’. Will it? Will it really? It might, or it might not. You don’t know. You can’t know. All you’ve got is your imagination, and that’s what made you lie or withhold in the first place.

Let’s say you did something that would undoubtedly piss one of your best friends off. So you lied about it, passed the blame or just tried to pull yourself out of the situation, and he or she bought your lie. For whatever reason, some time down the road, you decide you’re going to come clean. The truth will set you free. If it was a movie or whatever, your friend would forgive you. He or she would understand your position and that would be the end of it. Maybe a little resentment carries over, but that would get resolved near the end of the movie. In real life, yeah, that could happen. Or your friend could punch you in the mouth. Or burn your fucking house down. Or never speak to you again. Or just shrug and not give a fuck.

You can’t know how people are going to react, is what I’m driving at. It’s impossible, unless you develop the ability to read minds. So every time you tell the truth, it’s a crap-shoot. Because you don’t know how people will react, and you don’t even necessarily know that even though you believe what you’re saying is a good thing, that they’ll see it the same way. That’s the issue when you’re dealing with intelligence, man. You’ve got no way of knowing whether or not what you’re saying is going to bring nothing at all, or a goddamn shit storm of legendary proportions. So, use caution when telling the truth, I guess haha.

And that all leads into the bravery/cowardice aspect of truth-telling. It’s unavoidable, really. Being a good guy has always been tried to being honest, and being an evil scumbag always goes hand in hand with lying. That’s in our heads, man. Disney movies, kid’s book, and even stories our parents tell us as kids put that shit in there, and by the time we’re old enough to realize it’s not nearly that black and white, it’s so deeply ingrained it’s almost impossible to get it out.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently good about being honest, or inherently bad about lying. It’s all a judgement call, man. Every time somebody chooses to go one way or the other, they’re making that call based on some kind of internal system of judgement. Now, maybe that system is flawed in some way. That’s not the point. The point is just because somebody lies, it doesn’t mean they were trying to be an asshole or trying to be evil or bad. And just because somebody tells you the truth, it doesn’t mean they’re a good person, or are doing a good thing. They’re doing what they decided is the best thing to do in the situation, at that time. People need to remember that.

The final thing I’ve noted, and probably the most important, actually ties back into one of my earlier points. Just like you can’t know how people are going to react to the truth, you also can’t know if they really want the truth. You can’t know that, because they can’t know that. People can tell you they want the truth, but it’s one of those things where it’s really impossible to make that call without knowing all the factors. They can’t know if they really wanted the truth until it’s already been given to them. Until they know what that truth is, it’s just an abstract concept that can be seen as either desirable to know or not.

That’s part of why I found it so difficult to complete those honesty responses to the people who liked my status a little while back. Yes, they volunteered to hear the truth from me. They wanted to hear it. But what if I’d said something they didn’t like? Would they have still wanted it? I can’t answer that. That’s the point. There’s no way to know.

Either way, once you decide to say something, it’s out there, man. You can’t take it back. You could try, I suppose. You could come up with excuses, try to play it all off as a joke. But I’ve got a little more faith in the basic ability to see through bullshit most people seem to have. They will see through your lies and shit will be so much worse. That’s where the cowardice comes in for me. If you say something, whether you regret it or not, whether you want to take it back or not, you stick by it. If you thought it was important enough to say in the first place, you don’t back away from it. Don’t be a little bitch about it, essentially.

I guess the main thing I’m trying to get across with that last point is this: you need to figure out whether you really want the truth. Sometimes, you’re not going to have a choice. People are going to give it to you whether you ask for it or not. I’m going to do that, because I’ve told you all that I will, and I’m not a little bitch.

But I’m the exception, not the rule in this scenario. Most of the time, you’re going to have the opportunity to ask for the truth. You need to take some time right now and figure out whether you want the truth and all the good or bad it could bring with it, or if you’d rather just live and let people figure out for themselves what to tell you.

I made my choice. I’d rather have the truth, in every situation, regardless of how you think it would make me feel. I’m a grown-ass man and I’ll handle whatever people tell me, for better or worse. But not everybody is built like me, and you all should figure out what works for you. Don’t just think about it for ten seconds and say ‘yeah, this or that is the way for me’. Be malleable. Take everything into consideration. Be willing to change your position based on the situation. Accept that neither lying nor honesty are inherently one way or the other.

That’s all I got.

Later.

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Inside My Head – Part 2

Arrogance. I am an arrogant person. I’ve never tried to hide that. Most of the time, high self-confidence is what it comes off as, I think. But I can’t conceal the fact that most of the time, I think I’m better than most people, and people sometimes pick up on that. Maybe it hasn’t come across as clearly to the people on the internet. It’s a lot easier to appear humble on here. Especially since most people would just assume you were lying if you started bragging about something. Or maybe that’s just me.

To be clear, I don’t think I’m the nicest or most knowledgeable person in the world. I don’t think I’m the best writer, or the best at any given thing. But I do believe I could be better at any given thing than any given person. And I can’t not believe that. It’s automatic, a part of me. For instance, I can have a conversation with somebody on a topic that they clearly know more about than me. I would have no issue in admitting that they are more the expert than I am. But a big part of me knows—or believes—that given enough time, I would be better than them.

It’s not conscious. I don’t look at everybody and automatically think they’re an idiot or that what they do is easy or that the knowledge they possess was easy to obtain. I look at them, or listen to them, and a part of me just says “Yeah, I could do better. I could know more”.

Self-confidence isn’t a bad thing. Arrogance cannot, by definition, be a good thing. The line between them is razor thin. I like to think most of the time I’m just a really confident person. But I’ve offended people in the past with my words and actions, and that’s what pushes me out of one category and into the other.

I think what makes my high opinion of myself all the worse is that it’s not entirely devoid of a factual base. I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide everybody sucked but me. I am an intelligent person. I find learning new things incredibly easy. I’ve never scored lower than 170 on an IQ test, and routinely score much higher. I’ve never had the slightest issue when attempting to learn new material. School was so easy for me, it was laughable. I don’t think any of that is a good excuse for being an arrogant fuck, but it is an excuse. Or a reason. Take your pick.

There are some positives to it. Like I said, the difference between self-confidence and arrogance is tiny. Both have pushed me to put myself and my work out there in many situations and have absolutely no fear about what sort of reception I’m going to get. I’ve never thought twice about posting some of my writing. I am one hundred percent aware of what I’m capable of in that field, and self-doubt is just not something that ever creeps in.

Even that is a double-edged sword though. It’s difficult to accept criticism when you think you’re better than the people giving it. I think I’ve often been logical enough to realize when it would be in my best interest to accept that I was wrong. But not always. And I’ve probably suffered for it. I struggle often to see thing from other people’s perspective. It’s not like somebody criticizing me or offering advice makes me angry. I just have a hard time seeing how their way would be better than which way I originally chose. But I try to see their way, and if doing that allows me to see that they’re right, I’m willing to make changes. It’s just that initial aversion that’s a bitch to get past.

And to be clear, there are people who I respect and like whose opinion I will always take into consideration. It’s not as though I believe all people aside from myself are idiots. Just because you value your own opinions and ideas above those of others, doesn’t mean you think those people are stupid. Just not as good as you, in simple terms.

I mention this in another part of this series, but I always place a much higher value on the personalities and intelligence level of the people I consider my friends. I don’t know if it’s conscious or subconscious, but I try to surround myself with people I see to be a better class. Not necessarily smarter, but possessing qualities that, in my eyes, make them worth more or simply better than other people. It would be easy, I think, to surround myself with people I see as inferior, but I’ve never needed the confidence boost some people seem to crave. If a friend makes a suggestion to me, I’m much more likely to consider it than if it came from somebody I don’t know or am only casually acquainted with. My subconscious automatically accepts the suggestion as something at least worth considering because it came from somebody I deemed to be worth listening to. The same goes for the family members I’m closest to, and the women I’m attracted to. Through some mixture of conscious thought and subconscious awareness, I find you better than everybody else, in at least one way and almost certainly multiple ways.

I’m not sure how much of a surprise what I just wrote would be to the people I interact with daily/almost daily on the internet. Like I said, it’s a lot easier to conceal aspects of yourself on here. And I’m not even talking on purpose. I’ve never been one who needs other people’s acknowledgment to reinforce my opinion of myself. So I don’t say a lot of things I could say, the kind of shit that would make it very obvious how I think of myself and how I see others. It sounds bad, but I don’t really give a fuck what the majority of people think of me, so I don’t feel the need to say the things that would make me seem truly arrogant.

A great example of that is a person’s IQ. I don’t like to bring mine up in almost every situation, for several reasons. For one, it is not nearly as simple a matter as most people seem to think. Two, it’s very easy to lie. You can just pick a number, and nobody is going to be able to prove you’re lying. And three, just dropping your IQ into a conversation is a fucking dick move. It’s like that guy who prefaces every argument or debate by saying you should just stop right now because he knows more on the subject than you do. Go fuck yourself, shithead. You see it more often than you should if you frequent any kind of internet forum or site where people interact. There’s always that one jerk-off who likes to throw a high IQ around because he—or she—thinks it’ll impress everybody.

It doesn’t impress anybody who matters. You just end up looking like a fucking douche. Back up your words, motherfucker. Say something intelligent. Make me believe you. A fucking monkey can pick a number out of a book and throw it in people’s faces. That’s all you’re doing. Stop.

Touchy subject for me. I loathe false intellectuals and people who like to brag to every single person they meet about how fucking smart they are. If you’re truly intelligent, you shouldn’t need acknowledgement. You should know it, you should believe it. You shouldn’t need to have random fucking people telling you how great you are every second of every day.

That’s all I got today.

Later.

P.S. Thanks for commenting on Part 1, Fang. I appreciate it.

Inside My Head – Part 1

A few days ago, I wrote a piece about some of the aspects of my personality that make significant contributions to who I am as a person. I’ve decided to go a little deeper into each of the traits I mentioned (and a few I didn’t). But instead of lumping them all together, I’m going to try going one at a time. The following paragraphs are a mixture of what I originally wrote on the subject of fears and some new stuff.

***************

Fear of death. I’m not going to say I have no other fears, but if there was a test and I was asked what one thing I feared the most, the answer would be death. It’s not an uncommon fear, I think. People fear the unknown, and it doesn’t get much more unknown than death. I’ve never met anybody who’s truly comfortable discussing how bad their fear of death is, but for me, it was and still is extremely intense. I used to have mini panic attacks whenever I thought about it. It was mostly at night, but wasn’t exactly rare during the day either. I’d have to get up, regardless of the time, and distract myself with a book or TV or something until my heart rate went back to normal. It still happens from time to time, though I’ve definitely gotten a lot better over the last five years or so.

I don’t like thinking about death. It’s sort of ironic, actually, given the content of the majority of the fiction I write. People, I think, are fascinated by the things that frighten them. It’s why horror movies make money and monsters are such a huge part of many cultures. But I’ve noticed something very important in regards to death, through my own writing and society in general.

Death in and of itself doesn’t scare me. People die all the time, in peaceful and horrible ways. It’s essentially impossible to have any sort of exposure to a source of information and not get bombarded by the countless reports of people dying all over the world.

What scares me isn’t the broad concept of death. It’s the much more specific concept of my death. I don’t fear the unknown. I know there’s nothing waiting for me. When it comes down to it, what scares me is the idea of a world without me in it. One day, I’ll be gone, and regardless of how much I fight it, it’s inevitable. I’ll be dead, my body will decay, and I will be no more. I don’t believe in any sort of afterlife. I have no religious beliefs. One day, my body will simply shut down and everything I ever was will just be gone. That’s what scares me. That I can sit on my couch, watching a movie or playing a game, and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that no matter how healthy I am and no matter what I do with my life, fifty or sixty years from now, I’ll be gone. And the only way it goes down any different is if I die earlier. I don’t fear aging. I don’t fear pain. Whether I pass away in my sleep, get lung cancer, or get hit by a car when I’m twenty-five doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’ll die and there isn’t a fucking thing I can do to stop it.

I don’t think it’s hard to see the root cause of my biggest fear. Power. I don’t want to be powerless. Under the right circumstances, I have no problem allowing somebody else to have the power. Relationships, social interactions, group settings: I don’t have a problem stepping back and letting other people take charge. But that’s my choice. I don’t mind freely giving up power, but having it taken away from me is another story. I don’t like feeling powerless. And when it comes to death, it’s pretty much the definition of powerless. In the end, you lose, no matter what.

I’ve heard people talking about assisted suicide, or just suicide in general, as a way of taking back the power. The whole “If I have to go out, I’m going out on my own terms” thing. They think that swings the ball back into their court. They’re fucking idiots. Whether you die of old age, accident, disease, or your own design, you’re just as dead. You lose. You have no power.

That’s why I feel the way I do about suicide: I can never respect or feel anything but disgust towards anybody who kills themselves. It is weakness in its purest form, and no part of me can ever accept that. That’s why I never share my views on suicide. I know too many people who’ve considered it. While the logical part of my brain can see and even partially understand their reasoning, every other part of me loathes them for it. I’m not a hippie, or an optimist. I don’t look at the world and go “But how could you? Life is a gift. It’s so beautiful”. The world is a terrible, depressing pit of evil and bullshit. But in my view, suicide should not be a way to deal with that. It’s nothing but an admittance of personal failure and weakness on the grandest scale, and every fibre of my being refuses to accept it.

Interestingly enough, with the realization of the whole fear of being powerless came some insight into my writing. Anybody who’s read my work can already see where this is going. I write powerful characters because I can’t stand the thought of weakness. I don’t think it’s really wish fulfillment either. I don’t picture myself as these characters. I think it’s more a case of my aversion to weakness colouring everything I write. It’s not so much me wishing I could be in their shoes as me just being unwilling, whether consciously or subconsciously, to put them into mine.

Or maybe it is wish fulfillment. It doesn’t fucking matter. The point is still valid.

I guess the whole point of this delving into my fear of death revealed I don’t really fear death after all. I fear what it represents. Not an end, necessarily, but rather an inevitability. I don’t like the idea that I can struggle and fight all I want, but in the end, it’s not going to make a bit of difference.

From there, it’s fairly simple to look into other aspects of my life and see how that basic aversion to being powerless or weak has impacted them. I avoid almost all situations that could result in the power being taken out of my hands. I’m a control freak. I detest change, and by extension, the potential unknown that it brings. Obviously, awareness of those things makes it slightly easier to repress them, but still.

And that’s it. My greatest fear and how it has shaped me. Will I ever get over it? Probably not. Unless some kind of immortality pill shows up in the next fifty years, I’ll almost certainly have some fear of death. And the fear of being powerless will never go away.

I accept it. Nothing I can do about it anyways. And isn’t that just another kick in the fucking nuts?

Later.

Music Questionnaire – My Responses

General:

1. What music genre(s) do you listen to most frequently?
Metal. Specifically thrash metal.
2. Favourite band(s)/artist(s)?
Black Label Society, Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, Stone Sour, Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, and Motorhead.
3. What is it about your favourite genre(s) that makes it/them appeal to you?
The harshness of it. The chaos. That’s why I prefer thrash metal to everything else. And the power, with all metal in general. It’s all balls-out, go as hard as you can ‘til you collapse, man. It’s fucking awesome.
4. What is it about your favourite band(s)/artist(s) that make it/them appeal to you?
See previous answer. Listen to a band like Pantera, or Slayer, or Megadeth, and you can hear it. It makes you move, man.
5. What’s more important to you: lyrical content or musical content?
Lyrical. Don’t get me wrong; the music, the beat, the instruments all play a huge part. But I’m a writer. Words are what do it for me.
6. Is there a particular vocal style you prefer?
Rough, growly, throaty. My top three vocalists of all time are Lemmy, Phil Anselmo, and Dave Mustaine, and they’re pretty much the definition of those three things.
7. What music genre(s) do you avoid (if any)? Why?
I generally avoid pop music. Not really my style. I’ve got nothing against it, and I don’t care if others listen to it. It’s just not, on the whole, something that appeals to me, music or lyric-wise.

The Metal Section:
*If your answers for any of the above questions apply to the ones in this section, just leave them blank*

1. Do you listen to metal?
Yes. Yes I do.
2. If yes, which sub-genres do you prefer and which do you avoid?
I prefer thrash, speed, alternative, groove (to an extent), tech death, progressive, and traditional heavy metal. I usually tend to avoid power metal, glam, folk, and symphonic metal.
3. Have you ever been either shunned from or accepted into a group due to your liking/disliking of metal music?
Not really. There are some online communities who tend to look down on you if you don’t listen to exactly what they listen to, but I try to avoid them.
4. Do the stereotypes attached to metal and its listeners (Satanism, violence, etc) play any part in your liking/disliking of metal? Why or why not?
Yes and no. No in the sense that I would never dislike a form of metal because of the stereotypes associated with it. I’ll even listen to Norwegian Black Metal and those idiots are mostly known for burning down churches and worshipping their idea of Satan. But yes in the sense that a part of me likes the stereotypical rebellion that walks hand in hand with metal. I’m not much of a rebel, but when I’m singing Slayer at the top of my lungs, I fucking feel like one. And that’s really appealing.
5. Have you ever snubbed anyone because of the metal sub-genre they like? Why?
No. I don’t give a fuck what people listen to. If you want to listen to power metal, do it. It’s not my scene, but I’m not the one listening to it, am I?
6. If you had to defend metal to somebody (assuming they believed only the stereotypically bad things about it), what would you say?
Don’t be a fucking idiot. It’s music, man. As much as it can make you feel, it’s just music. It can’t force you to worship the Devil or do drugs or kill somebody. If you do that, that’s on you, man. If you don’t like the music, if it doesn’t appeal to you musically or lyrically, then don’t listen to it. But don’t let dumbass stereotypes make that decision for you.

Just Because I’m Curious:

1. Favourite vocalist?
Lemmy, from Motorhead. Phil Anselmo, Dave Mustaine, Corey Taylor, Chuck Schuldiner, and Zakk Wylde are all up there too though.
2. Favourite guitarist?
Zakk Wylde, with honourable mention going to Kerry King, Dave Mustaine, and Dimebag,
3. Favourite drummer?
Dave Lombardo.
4. Favourite bassist?
Rex Brown.

Other:
*Anything else relevant can go here. Anything you want to say? Anything the questions didn’t cover? Anything important you think could help me out? This is the place to say it.*

Just this: musical taste is so incredibly subjective, man. Not only does it differ from person to person, but also within genres and bands themselves. There are bands out there that fall into genres I love, and yet I don’t like them. I like thrash/groove metal, but I don’t like Lamb of God. I can’t stand bands like System of a Down, Rammstein, and I dislike Anthrax, even though I’m a fan of a lot of bands that are stylistically similar to them. Shit’s crazy like that. What I’m trying to say, essentially, is I think it’s ridiculous that some people find it necessary to act like assholes to people who don’t listen to the same shit they do. Everybody’s different, we all like different things, and unless somebody kidnaps you, ties you down and forces you to listen to a band you don’t like, you should just accept it and be cool. I know people who listen to the bands I don’t like, and we somehow manage to get along. Imagine that.

My Favourite Bands

I was bored, and it’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything on here, so I decided I’d write a little bit about my favourite bands. So I’m going to list my five favourite bands and talk a little bit about why I like them and why you should listen to them.

5. Stone Sour – What can I say about this band? They fucking rock. Definitely more alternative metal/hard rock than my usual thrash/heavy metal, but no less awesome. Corey Taylor is a talented singer and lyricist, which he never gets enough credit for in regards to his more well-known band. I’ve yet to hear a Stone Sour song I dislike; even the slower ones are great. Audio Secrecy was one of the best albums of 2010, by far. Very relatable lyrics, which is a big thing for me. But I could say that about all three of their albums. Come What(ever) May was a solid album, with a lot of quality tunes on it (not just ‘Through Glass’), and their self-titled album will always be a favourite of mine.

Favourite Songs: Orchids, Inhale, Bother, Tumult, Omega, The Wicked, Kill Everybody, Come What(ever) May, Hell & Consequences, Reborn, Socio, Suffer, Say You’ll Haunt Me, Dying, Unfinished, Hate Not Gone, Anna.

4. Megadeth – Despite being one of the Big 4 of thrash metal, Megadeth gets a lot of flak. There are too many metalheads who just dismiss them because of Risk and Cryptic Writings. I’ll agree that those albums were less than satisfying, from a thrash metal perspective. But that doesn’t take away from what they’ve done and some of the fucking great music they’ve given us. Killing Is My Business, Peace Sells, and Rust In Peace are three quintessential thrash albums. Not to mention their last four albums. The System Has Failed, United Abominations, and Endgame were all solid efforts, with a lot of kick-ass tunes on them. And then there’s 13. Top three, maybe top two among 2011 releases, in my opinion. If you’re one of the people who didn’t like it, I suggest listening to it again. And again. And again. Until the all the stupid is blasted out of you.

Aside from all that, the major kick a lot of people seem to have against Megadeth comes down to Dave Mustaine. People complain about his voice, his political and religious views, and his generally asshole-ish personality. To the people who talk about the politics and the douchiness, I say screw that. It’s the music, man. Fuck that other shit. I don’t care how much of a dick an artist is; if the music’s good, that’s all that matters. As for his voice, that’s all down to personal preference. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. I’m not forcing anybody to listen to Mustaine. In my opinion, however, his voice is perfect for metal. For me, metal, especially thrash metal, has always been about chaos. I want it to be rough-edged and guttural, not polished and melodic. There are other genres that provide that sound.

Favourite Songs: Rattlehead, These Boots, Wake Up Dead, Peace Sells, In My Darkest Hour, Five Magics, Poison Was the Cure, Symphony of Destruction, This Was My Life, A Tout le Monde, Blood of Heroes, Family Tree, I Thought I Knew It All, Victory, Trust, Almost Honest, I’ll Get Even, 1000 Times Goodbye, Dread and the Fugitive Mind, Die Dead Enough, The Scorpion, Something That I’m Not, Truth Be Told, Of Mice and Men, Washington Is Next!, Never Walk Alone… A Call to Arms, Play For Blood, 44 Minutes, Bodies, The Hardest Part of Letting Go… Seal With A Kiss, Head Crusher, How the Story Ends, The Right to Go Insane, Sudden Death, Public Enemy No. 1, We the People, Black Swan, Wrecker, Deadly Nightshade, 13.

3. Slayer – I don’t think I have to say much about Slayer. They’ve been one of the most consistently brutal bands over the last 30 years. They are thrash metal. Simple as that. Lyrically, musically, and everything else. Tom Araya is a brilliant singer, and Kerry King is possibly the most metal person who has ever existed. That’s it.

Favourite Songs: Die By the Sword, Show No Mercy, Hell Awaits, At Dawn They Sleep, Angel of Death, Criminally Insane, Raining Blood, South of Heaven, Behind the Crooked Cross, Mandatory Suicide, Spill the Blood, War Ensemble, Spirit In Black, Born of Fire, Seasons In the Abyss, Overt Enemy, Perversions of Pain, Scrum, Disciple, God Send Death, Exile, Here Comes the Pain, Addict, Payback, Eyes of the Insane, Jihad, World Painted Blood, Hate Worldwide, Playing With Dolls.

2. Pantera – And yes, I never thought I’d say that. Pantera has been my favourite band for the better part of a decade now. But they’ve recently been bumped down to number two. It’s only by a hair; more like one a and one b. But still.

Now, many of the reasons I stated with the previous bands ring true for why Pantera is near the top of my list. Lyrically, musically, and in the general attitude department, Pantera is metal. Phil Anselmo is the number one metal singer in my books. That will never change. Dimebag was one of the best guitarists of all time; the solo on Floods is damn near perfect. Rex Brown is one of the best bassists I’ve ever heard. And Vinnie Paul is a monster on the drums. I’m Broken is possibly my favourite song of all time (it’s in a fight with Cemetery Gates and Motorhead’s Ace of Spades).

Favourite Songs: Cowboys From Hell, Cemetery Gates, Domination, The Sleep, Mouth For War, Walk, Fucking Hostile, This Love, Regular People (Conceit), Hollow, Strength Beyond Strength, 5 Minutes Alone, I’m Broken, Good Friends and A Bottle of Pills, 25 Years, Shedding Skin, Drag the Waters, 10’s, 13 Steps to Nowhere, Suicide Note Pt. 1, Floods, Goddamn Electric, Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit, Revolution Is My Name, Death Rattle, I’ll Cast A Shadow.

1. Black Label Society – Great band. I don’t really have much else to say. Zakk Wylde’s credentials as a guitarist speak for themselves. There isn’t a BLS song I don’t like, and every album is better than the last. And considering how fucking awesome the first one was, that’s really saying something. This is a band I recommend everybody listen to. I don’t care what you listen to; Black Label Society should have a spot on your playlist.

Favourite Songs: Bored to Tears, Hey You (Batch of Lies), World of Trouble, All For You, 13 Years of Grief, Rust, Counterfeit God, Ain’t Life Grand, Just Killing Time, Stronger Than Death, Bleed For Me, Bridge to Cross, Graveyard Disciples, Lost Heaven, Stillborn, Funeral Bell, Destruction Overdrive, Blackened Waters, We Live No More, Dead Meadow, Crazy or High, Queen of Sorrow, Steppin’ Stone, Won’t Find It Here, Damage Is Done, Layne, No Other, Once More, Fear, What’s In You, In This River, Say What You Will, Been A Long Time, Dirt On the Grave, Blacked Out World, The Last Goodbye, Hell Is High, Sick of It All, Blood Is Thicker Than Water, Parade of the Dead, Godspeed Hellbound, Time Waits For No One.

So that’s it. My top five favourite bands. There are a shitton of other bands I think kick serious ass, but for this list, there could only be five. Check them out.

Later.