HomeMusic11-11-11: National Heavy Metal Day Tribute

11-11-11: National Heavy Metal Day Tribute

the staff of pop-break throws the horns up …

Today is the day you turn it up to 11. Today is the day you throw the horns in the air. Today is the day that it’s cool to wear a black concert T-shirt. Today is the day when the Sandman should enter, when divers should be holy and when we all run til the hills like war pigs.

Yes, today is National Heavy Metal Day. A day when we remember and glorify the gods thunder … the men who were hellbent for leather with vocals that soared to the heights of heaven and growled from the depths of hell. We pump our fist in the air to the crunchy riffs, the driving bass, the bombasticity of the drums, and of course, we hold in the highest regards the guitar gods whose fingers flew over the frets faster than a Ferrari.

As a longtime fan of heavy metal, my heart swells with pride as we have an unofficial day to celebrate my favorite musical genre. While some might complain that metal “all sounds the same,” “is too loud” or “it sounds like someone’s getting their hemorrhoids taken off with a power drill,” to me this genre of music is the epitome of brilliance. Listening to the soaring vocals of Bruce Dickinson or Ronnie James Dio, you marvel at how the human vocal chord could reach those heights. You listen to the guitar solos of Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoads, Kirk Hammet, etc., and you’re blown away at how fingers could move that fast to create such complex guitar solos. And just try and figure out how Charlie Benante of Anthrax does a double-kick bass or Mike Portnoy composes his odd time signatures on the drums and you could actually hurt your brain.

So in honor of heavy metal the staff of Pop-Break.com will present to you some of their all-time favorite heavy songs. We’ll look at This Is Spinal Tap — the film that inspired 11-11-11, with its amp that goes one higher than 10. And we’ll leave you some links of our heavy metal coverage from the past two years.

Yes, we know this will no way encompass all the great things about metal … there’s just too much awesomeness. m/
— Bill Bodkin

P.S.: Don’t forget some of our more metal interviews. Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine, Anthrax, Anvil, Life of Agony, Mike Portnoy of Adrenaline Mob and AnAkA.


My Metal Song — “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath
By “Metal” Maxwell Barna

So in celebration of 11-11-11, the staff here at Pop-Break is listing their all-time favorite metal songs. It’s unfortunate for a person like me, who really doesn’t consider himself a “metal kinda guy.” At first, I wanted to make a joke of my post, picking the metal version of Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” which is now a YouTube sensation.

Then I realized that albeit not my favorite genre of music, there are SO many different types of music that fall under the metal genre — and that’s something I can respect. So on the long car ride home from some photo shoot, I decided I’d use this as an excuse to pay homage to a brand of music I don’t often subscribe to.

But who would I pick? For some reason, the first REAL pick that came into my head was Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills,” which is a hip little diddy about the horrors of America’s imperialistic past. Unfortunately, it’s just not me. The premise is great, but the tune is off. After some careful contemplation, I realized that Iron Maiden was nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to a genre that I know little about. So again, I thought…

The next track that popped into my head was Zepp’s “Black Dog.” Now, some of you folks are thinkin’, “Led Zeppelin ain’t no metal band!” Well, I’ve got news for you — Zeppelin is everything. The band took a little piece of every genre and made it their own. From reggae to hard rock, they made it theirs and didn’t discriminate along the way. That, in and of itself, is a characteristic I have a tremendous amount of admiration for. But, while “Black Dog” is heavy, it isn’t necessarily metal. It’s hard rock.

So onward I searched, until a radio station I was listening to played this song …

It was some of the heaviest shit I’ve ever heard, and I have no idea why I didn’t think of this band sooner, being as they are often regarded as the fathers of the genre. Since I was a wee boy, every time I hear that piercing lick about a minute into this song, I get goosebumps. The song has, for as long as I can remember, given me a certain kind of energy … A certain funk I can never really shake, or for that matter, explain.

Not only is this song regarded as heavy metal royalty, but it is perhaps one of the most inspirational anti-war songs ever written. In fact, the band wanted to name their record after it, but their label didn’t think it was politically correct enough.

This song speaks to me in so many ways. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present:



My Metal Song: “46 & 2” by Tool
By Logan “Jaymz” Fowler

While there is important underlying psychological messages in this song, the real reason I love 4″6 & 2″ so much is it’s ability to provide me some form of adrenaline. Whenever the tune comes on my iPod at the gym, it’s not one to be skipped, as the quiet steady bass line leads into a heavier (although not too heavy) sound is the perfect form of build up to send a shock to my ears and flow through my muscles. Lyrically, “46 & 2” describes a state of one’s evolution to become something better in a spiritual and mental sense, but for me, it’s more of an improvement of one’s self physically and self-esteem wise. Above all else, “46 & 2” speaks of a finer respect for one’s self, as the words “Change is coming; now is my time” can appeal to anyone, and I relate. While you must do the research to understand the psychological text behind the band’s incredibly amazing song, “46 & 2” is my favorite heavy metal song because it gets me thinking positive things, even in my own personal states of disarray when I encounter them. I’ll never have the correct chromosome count as simply put in the song’s title, but with the right frame of mind and the song blasting in my ear drums, for 6 minutes and 5 seconds, I feel frigging unstoppable.



My Metal Song — “Heaven & Hell” by Black Sabbath
By Jason “Jaysonic” Stives

Its an undisputed fact that Black Sabbath might be the best metal band of all time. I mean, they did practically invent it (although Steppenwolf aptly coined the term in 1968). Personally, they were my first metal band and still my favorite, and although Ozzy is forever the true Sabbath frontman, Dio deserves far more credit than he is given. Ronnie James Dio, the proveyer of the devil horns, gets a bit of flack and sometimes is riddled with laughter in certain contexts. However, more comparatively to Mr. Osbourne, who sold his soul in the early 2000s for a TV show, Dio never stopped being metal through a career of highs and lows.

Even though he didn’t have the most metal lifestyle, his voice spoke volumes over his predecessor. He recorded only two albums under the Black Sabbath name (the band would record as Heaven And Hell in 2009), but their first outing as Sabbath, 1980’s Heaven And Hell is a masterpiece of dark metal folklore. The title track is incredibly heavy in composition and production against the latter-day Ozzy Sabbath records, but the dark demonic feel to the song coupled with Tony Iommis uproarious guitar playing and Dio’s operatic voice made for quite an amazing debut and still one of the best metal songs of all time.



My Metal Song: — “Vicarious” by Tool
By Ann”ihilation” Hale

I fell in love with this song, off Tool’s 10,000 Days album. It is all about being addicted to the violence and death on TV and how those deaths make you feel more alive, that we “vicariously live while the whole world dies.” People judge you for watching certain types of TV shows or movies while they soak up the news stories and magazine articles that are just as violent. Maynard James Keenan eloquently says that we “need to watch things die from a good safe distance” — and we do. The world thrives on the tragedies of others but doesn’t want anything to happen to them. The truth is, there are a billion different love songs in the world, but this song shows another side of humans and I LOVE it.



My Metal Songs
By Bill Bodkin

Since I’m the resident metal head of the site I will give you some of my favorites, some hidden gems and songs that changed my metal perspective.

“Blur The Technicolor” by White Zombie
I heard this thunderous track in the film Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls. It was my gateway drug to heavy metal. Never before had I heard something so heavy, menacing and fearsome. This song changed my music world from “Whoomp There It Is” and White Zombie.


“Enter Sandman” by Metallica
I saw Metallica perform this at the Grammys in 1992, I believe. I remember falling in love with the song then, but for some reason it faded from my consciousness. Then I heard it again on the radio when I became a metal fan, and my love for this song came rushing back.

“Inside Out” by Anthrax
My first taste of one of my all-time favorite bands. The opening of this song always gives me goosebumps. I just can’t get over how heavy this song is. And John Bush’s vocals are some of the most underrated in metal history.

“Slave To The Grind” by Skid Row
Forget “18 & Life.” Forget “Youth Gone Wild.” This is Skid Row at its best. This song is brutal and in your face. Couple that with Sebastian Bach’s glorious vocals, and you’ve got a forgotten piece of bad-assery.


“War Machine” by Kiss
As Peter Griffin says, “Kiss freakin’ rules!” And that they do. However, beyond all their radio hits lies supremely metal song they co-wrote with none other than Bryan Adams. I first head this on an old Extreme Championship Wrestling tape as the theme music for the wrestler Taz. It is so menacing, so epic — it freakin’ rocks!


“Holy Diver” by Dio
No description needed. Simply amazing.


“Raining in Blood” by Slayer
I never knew guitars could be played this fast and music could be this evil.


“Walk” by Pantera
One of the most memorable sing-a-long choruses. Fists in the air. Metal at its finest.




Armadillos In Our Trousers: A Tribute to ‘This Is Spinal Tap’
By Brent Johnson

This Is Spinal Tap spends 82 minutes poking fun at heavy metal music. But I can’t imagine a single metal fan being offended by it. That’s the beauty of the movie’s brilliance.

The 1984 film was one of pop-culture’s first mockumentaries — a pre-cursor to The Office, only with British men in mustaches and leather pants. It was Rob Reiner’s directorial debut, staring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer as an aging hard rock band called Spinal Tap that revels in clueless excess.

Does the volume on their guitar amp stop at 10? Hell no. When they play a song about Stonehenge, do they simply stand there and sing it? No way — they have dwarfs dance on stage. And is one of their songs lovingly called ‘Sex Farm.’ Of course it is.

Music fans can find nods to Black Sabbath, Kiss, Jethro Tull and any other group that dabbled in devil-horned grandiosity. And nearly every moment of is instantly memorable and endlessly quotable.

But the true genius of the comedy is how Reiner and his cast never belittle the characters. They wear deadpan faces as they survey how seriously some people take such ridiculous music. It’s hilarious for sure — but it’s also endearing. Even though I’m not a metal head, I often have the same thought every time I watch This Is Spinal Tap: Metal may be easy to mock, but it’s hard to hate.

I also have to admit: The music is killer. The film traces how Spinal Tap evolves as a band, from the early 1960s to the mid-’80s. That means the actors — who wrote and played all the music themselves — hop from British Invasion blues-rock to psychedelic pop to mystical metal, and they do it so convincingly that it’s hard to believe these songs weren’t actual Top 20 singles.

Oh, and one song — ‘Big Bottom’ — features not one, not two, but three bass guitars. With lyrics about the roundest part of your lady’s anatomy. Rock. On.


Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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