It's been about six months since the first Corporatus Metallus column for reasons that I will shortly go into so let me refresh your memories; I'm what the hippies would refer to as a cog in the corporate machine. I'm also a total metalhead, and as such, am somewhat a specimen of interest to my co-workers who quiz me regularly on the behaviour and activities of us metal warriors. So I thought it would be interesting to take one of my uber-corporate amigos and introduce them to the metal way.
After my first article leaked out into the office, I got a surprising amount of interest from people who wanted to be involved, including those who want to come to a gig to be part of a 'death wall' (close enough). However, I wanted to make sure whoever it was would take things seriously (well, seriously-ish). Enter our subject, who we shall simply refer to as Mr. X. A bit of background;
Mr. X is the 37-year-old sales director of a business to business publishing house based in London. He's got three kids, earns a chunky wedge (that's 'good money' to those of you unfamiliar with London vernacular), has a big house and drives a top of the range people carrier. He is impeccably smart, is currently training for the London Marathon and is a lover of red wine. Mr. X is also a passionate music fan although the savagery of the metal word doesn't get a say on his generic MP3 player, although he is open to new things. Fucking perfect for this experiment, in other words. At least he'd be likely to give the music a chance as opposed to simply saying "it's all just shouting, innit?" before donning an England football shirt and beating me to death with an Oasis CD.
Now to get the metal flowing. I decided that, as an introduction, rather than going to see Whitechapel or Gorgoroth, I should make a mix tape of some pretty mainstream metal...I say "mix tape" but has anyone actually done that in the last decade? What I mean is, I put some files onto a USB key for Mr. X to download and enjoy during his daily 5am 15km run.
A number of weeks went by and despite assuring me that he would get around to listening to the tracks, I began to feel somewhat disillusioned with Mr. X's initial interest and thought there was a good chance that Corporatus Metallus would become little more than a waste of time. But alas, he came good, and dutifully provided me with blow by blow feedback on each track which I thought I should share with you here:
Arch Enemy - Rise Of The Tyrant: 'Shouty voice doesn't really suit the song'
Carcass - Keep On Rotting In The Free World: 'A bit shit'
Napalm Death - Breed To Breathe: 'Love the music, hate the singing'
Devildriver - Hold Back The Day: 'Sinister; made me feel like someone was following me when I was out running'
Cradle Of Filth - Gilded Cunt: 'Going to play it to my nan for a laugh'
Lamb Of God - Laid To Rest: 'Meh, boring'
Children Of Bodom - Are You Dead Yet: 'Yes, this one fucking rocks'
Sonata Arctica - Wolf and the Raven: 'Shite'
Slipknot - Eeyore (Live): 'A shot of adrenalin, gave me a taste of what the gigs would be like; I can believe the hype'
Slayer - Black Magic: 'I actually had Reign In Blood when I was younger. Could have gone that way but chose the hip hop route instead'
Municipal Waste - Headbanger Face Rip: 'Easilly forgotten'
Iron Maiden - The Trooper: 'I have Live After Death [unconfirmed by this scribe], love this track'
N.B. If anyone feels compelled to comment with anything along the lines of "Slipknot aren't metal", etc. please rest assured I shall be round your house to shit through the letter box.
Iron Maiden was a gimme, as anyone who isn't a fan should have their arteries pulled out of their feet and used to garotte them. But Children of Bodom was a bit of a surprise, and a welcome one at that. It seems Mr. X, although being a stalwart of hip hop and contempary rubbish indie music has an ear for quality, which inspires me somewhat. Could a man with no interest in metal other than for humour's sake be susceptible to embracing the genre?
"But where do you go from here?" I hear some of you scream in confusion and bewilderment. Quite simple; now we get drunk. Allow me to embellish.
The industry in which Mr. X and I work is very corporate but very sociable, and involves a lot of drinking in shit neon-lit pubs and bars where you can't get a decent pint, it costs £36 for someone to hang your coat up and buying a round of drinks involves selling at least 2 major organs. However, if you're me, i.e. a broke, fat, ale-drinking metaller, there are alternatives. So rather than going somewhere that serves drinks with six lumps of fruit in that tastes like bubble bath, we're going to head to one of London's dens of metallic iniquity to drink cheap whisky, eat pork scratchings and listen to AC/DC on the jukebox.
Mr. X's metal experience continues...