Welcome back! Last month saw the first edition of Tunes From the Crypt, which you can read here.
For those who remember, I left off at a pivotal moment in my developing musical landscape. While I was enjoying harder rock music, I hadn’t really moved into the realm of heavy metal.
Where I grew up, a small group of us used to get together pretty much every Friday and Saturday night to play roller hockey or floor hockey. When it was nice out we’d head to the school and play on the basketball court, otherwise we’d rent the community hall and play there.
Music was always on. We’d bring our CD player boom box (probably with Bass Boost, for optimal boosting of Bass) and we’d each bring three or four CD’s to cycle through while playing. At one point I ended up getting a 5-disc boom box, and that became our go-to for our sessions, because we could load up 5 discs and hit RANDOM.
We had a big variety of loves, but the standards were as follows;
Silverchair – Israel’s Son
Live – I Alone
Rage Against the Machine – Bombtrack
The Offspring – Nitro (Youth Energy)
We’d crank the albums associated with these tracks as well, but if we were forced to pick just a few songs, these would be it.
When I got to High School, I borrowed a friends (at that time) Walkman. Anders said I should check out the album “… And Justice For All,” by Metallica. At the time I hadn’t listened to much Metallica, but was blown away.
The opening track is ‘Blackened,’ and the start of that song decimated my ears on first listen. Presently, I’m not a fan of Metallica at all. Once in a while I’ll listen to “… And Justice For All,” but that’s about it. I struggle to enjoy anything newer that they’ve put out. Funny how our musical tastes change, but back then, that album opened the door to numerous other bands.
Metallica – Blackened
I also mentioned last month, that I’d discovered the magazine Metal Maniacs. That coupled with the discovery of Metallica had my brain running on high. One of the very first articles that I read was about Dave Mustaine being screwed over by Metallica (the more things change, eh?) and how he was getting revenge with his new band Megadeth. When I first listened to Megadeth, I knew I’d discovered another level of metal love. I had probably listened to “… And Justice,” a hundred times when I was finally able to get my hands on a Megadeth tape. This was courtesy of the good folks at Columbia House. Now, I’m not 100% sure who all had Columbia House growing up, but for those who didn’t; Columbia House was a music club you could join. You’d sign up and get like 30 tapes/cd’s for about $10 or so and then have to buy another number of tapes/cd’s to fulfill your membership duties. They would send you a “stamp” sheet with the album covers on it and you’d peel them apart and stick them on your order sheet and mail it away.
I found a few Megadeth releases in Columbia House, in the metal section. A section I had previously ignored, going straight to hard rock.
My first taste of Megadeth was their album “Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?” I didn’t know then that his name was Vic Rattlehead, but when I first saw the skeleton man on the cover I knew I was in for a treat.
Then the tape started, the first song being ‘Wake Up Dead.’ This is still one of my favourite songs ever and favourite albums ever. By the time track 3 kicked in with that famous bass-line I was hooked. And for me, Megadeth became a more sought after band than Metallica.
Megadeth – Wake Up Dead
Megadeth – Peace Sells
It was also at this time that I discovered a band that became a mainstay in my music life, even to this day. I was drawn in by the guitar tone and the back ground dancers in the video. When I discovered White Zombie, I was thrilled and loved the frequent nods to the Horror world.
White Zombie – Thunder Kiss ‘65
It was also around this time that I discovered my love for movie soundtracks. We used to have a house a few doors down, where Marilyn Scott would rent VHS’s in her garage. I discovered a lot of great horror movies through her garage bay entrance.
Nine Inch Nails – Dead Souls (The Crow Soundtrack)
White Zombie – Feed the Gods (Airheads Soundtrack)
Even though I was now reading Metal Maniacs, I was struggling to find some harder, heavier music that I enjoyed. My young brain hadn’t opened the door yet to death metal/black metal. It wasn’t ‘rocky’ enough wasn’t ‘groovy’ enough for me at that time.
But along came a band that wound its way into my heart and has stayed there ever since. The sad timing of this being written on the 9th anniversary of Peter’s passing isn’t lost on me.
I ordered “Bloody Kisses” by Type O Negative. The musical landscape was changed.
Type O Negative – Black No 1.
Type O Negative & White Zombie were my two gateway bands. Those two bands bridged the gap between hard rock and heavy metal. I’ll forever be grateful for discovering them and for the doors they opened for me.
Tune in for Episode #3 next month friends, where I wade into a territory of music many people won’t realize I dabbled. I discuss my enjoyment of rap back then before my descent into death metal and as the early 90’s hit, the nu metal scene exploded, in Episode #4!
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official Website here
The Girl Who Hid In The Trees
Something lurks just beyond.
Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.
Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.
Jason lost his brother when he was young. He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.
Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.
But something is waiting for them. She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.
She’s out there. And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.
From the dark mind of Steve Stred, the author of Wagon Buddy, YURI and Invisible comes this fast-paced, seat of your pants coming-of-age tale. A quick, violent, bleak read, The Girl Who Hid In The Trees will make you think twice about those sounds you hear far off in the woods.