[Feature] Steve Stred’s Tunes From The Crypt #7

Welcome back! I’m here again to yell at you about music I loved growing up! Today we’ll tackle a few bands who range from tried and true favourites to some who’ve come and gone in my library of music.

Up until now, I’ve left off one of my favourite bands. It wasn’t on purpose, it was more about the timeline. It took me a lot longer to find Pantera than most, but when I did, BOOM! My head was caved in. Pantera worked the fine balance between crushingly heavy but also decidedly groovy.

I sadly never got to see them live, which I’ll always regret.

Pantera – I’m Broken

Pantera – Goddamn Electric

I did end up seeing Down years later, at the Commodore Ballroom. Amazingly I was able to go backstage and meet Voivod, who was opening for them, as well as meet the members of Down.

The concert was amazing and Phil was in fine form. His vocals that night were outstanding and when I got a chance to meet him after, he was really friendly. He gave me a Housecore Frisbee, which I still have to this day. Down can be hit or miss for me with their songs, but overall they are a band I frequently enjoy listening to.

Down – Nothing in Return

Down – Ghosts Along the Mississippi

Of course, no discussion about Pantera and Down is complete without also mentioning Damageplan, the group Dimebag and Vinnie formed after Pantera broke up. I didn’t mind Damageplan. I wasn’t a big fan of Patrick’s vocals and I thought the production was now a bit low, not as heavy as the Pantera stuff.

Damageplan – Save Me

Damageplan – New Found Power

And yeah, I know there is also Hellyeah. Vinnie teaming up with Chad and Greg from Mudvayne sounded meh to me. I’ve enjoyed exactly two of their songs, mainly because I’m not a big fan of Chad’s vocals.

The first song I enjoy is the first Hellyeah song unleashed.

Hellyeah – You Wouldn’t Know

The second song is their latest.

Hellyeah – Welcome Home

One band who is frequently mentioned alongside Pantera as being some of the most popular and heavy bands out there is Slayer. Slayer is also a hit or miss band for me. I find Tom Araya’s voice irritating at best for most songs. This isn’t to say Slayer hasn’t created some of the most timeless, classic metal songs out there, but at times I’d rather listen to someone else than Slayer! I’ve seen them live five times and each time has been fantastic. I do recall seeing them on the Unholy Alliance Tour where they unveiled their upside-down Marshall Crosses amp set up. Two of our friends that came with us felt immediately offended as they were Christian and got up and left. Not sure what they expected to happen SEEING SLAYER, but their loss.

Slayer – South of Heaven

Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss

Around the time I was discovering Slayer and Pantera I was also discovering Cradle of Filth. Dani Filth and assorted band members have always brought the goods for me. I really enjoy the mix between the symphonic and the black/death metal. I remember when Dani Filth starred in the movie Cradle of Fear. I purchased the VHS and a few folks who were acquaintances of me in Castlegar at the time suddenly wanted to borrow it and be my friend. I lent it to them and for a bit they were refusing to give it back. I ended up getting it back by holding one of the group hostage in the gym one day by refusing to lift a weight off of him while spotting him until he promised to go get the movie once he was done and return it that night OR ELSE! Haha! I got the movie back and they never spoke to me again.

Cradle of Filth – Her Ghost in the Fog

Cradle of Filth – The Foetus of a New Day Kicking

One band that I always found to sound sinister and creepy was Nine Inch Nails. NIN and Trent always seemed to figure out a way to use sound to layer and create emotional depth in music. I’d first really discovered them when they were featured in The Crow soundtrack, but when The Downward Spiral was released, well things changed drastically. Suddenly everyone was singing the chorus of “Closer” and wanted to wear cut up pantyhose on their arms.

Nine Inch Nails – Gave Up

Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds

Through listening to Nine Inch Nails and by this time I’d also gotten a subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine, I soon discovered Trent Reznor’s prodigy at that time; Marilyn Manson. The first time I heard “Sweet Dreams,” the cover of The Eurythmics song I was hooked. My first Manson album was actually “Portrait of An American Family.” I dug the grimy, rocky sound but when “Antichrist Superstar” was released it was a game-changer for me. At the time, I was suffering from insomnia as well as severe depression. NIN and Manson really helped me get through some of the downtime and struggles. I listened to Antichrist and Downward Spiral back to back and make it a triple header by also playing Type O Negative’s album “October Rust.” I’ve said it before, but I believe a few times Antichrist saved my life. I was so mesmerized by the album and loved it from front to back that I needed to hear what came out next, what Manson’s next release would be, helping me make it to the next day, then the next, then the next.

I’ve always been a bigger fan of Manson’s more musical moments, the deeper cuts if you will. Manson also introduced me to Shirley Jackson, by having his video for “The Man That You Fear” be based on her short story “The Lottery.”

Marilyn Manson – The Man That You Fear

Marilyn Manson – The Speed of Pain

From my love of X-Files and NIN I also discovered Filter. Richard Patrick, the singer/songwriter played guitar in NIN before branching out and forming his own band. Their biggest hit of course is “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” but they’ve written a number of outstanding tunes. Filter featured on a few X-Files soundtracks as well, but in the oddest of occurrences, Richard’s brother Robert became an actor on the X-Files. Better known for his role in Terminator 2, Robert became a regular after David Duchovny left.

Filter – Where Do We From Here

Filter – Welcome to the Fold

Through my love of Filter and of course watching the show Much Loud, I was introduced to yet another great band; Sevendust. I listened to a lot of Sevendust back in the day, but I’ve now found that the older I get, the less I enjoy them. Their first album still has a few fun tunes but otherwise I’ve almost completely stopped listening to them.

Sevendust – Black

Sevendust – Denial

All right. I’ll finish off with two other bands who I discovered through other bands/Much Loud.

I discovered a band named Powerman 5000 through an old metal magazine. Which one, I can’t recall sadly. I dug their funk sound and their first song “Organizized” was fun. They appeared on Ozzfest and it was rad. Then I found out the singer was the brother of Rob Zombie and I was blown away!

I ended up seeing PM5K live with Korn and they were outstanding. It was promoting their “Tonight, the Stars Revolt!” album which is still a favourite of mine. These guys always put out top-notch albums.

I even ended up ordering their follow up in 2001 called “Anyone for Doomsday?” The album was scrapped by Spider, the lead singer two weeks before release due to legal issues and his belief it was too similar to TTSR. When it became available online through the PM5K website I snagged a copy in 2003, but again the album was not too be. It was only available for a short time before it was pulled due to legal reasons once again. The physical copies are now collector’s items. Glad I have one sitting in my collection at home!

Powerman 5000 – Nobody’s Real

Powerman 5000 – Free

To finish off this instalment of Tunes From the Crypt, I’ll end with a band that PM5K introduced me to. I really loved their dance-y vibe so I sought out other bands similar. I’ll touch on a few of them in upcoming instalments, but for this edition, I’ll end with The Union Underground.

In 2000, “… An Education in Rebellion,” exploded into my musical world. Featuring awesome grooves and great sing-a-long lyrics, The Union Underground was a fantastic band to discover. Sadly it was short-lived. Featuring three big singles, the band opened for Marilyn Manson and then had a slot on Ozzfest in 2001. They released a single for WWE and then that was it, gone. The bass player went on to join Disturbed while the other members have started other bands. In 2016 it was announced they were getting back together to record an EP and it was announced in 2017 that an EP was forthcoming, but since then nothing. Not sure if we’ll ever get more Union, I personally would hope so.

The Union Underground – Turn Me On Mr. Deadman

The Union Underground – Revolution Man

So there we go! Tunes Edition Number Seven in the bag!

Until next month!

Steve Stred

Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.

Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the TreesWagon BuddyYuri 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, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.

On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.

Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.

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

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