Otter Disaster Designs - Pop Culture Themed T-Shirts

Showing posts with label Heavy Metal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heavy Metal. Show all posts

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Heavy Metal Heritage: Metal as Religion? Part 2

I posted last week about British Metal fans trying to get 'Heavy Metal' recognized as a religion in the 2011 UK Census.


According to this article the UK census does not 'officially' recognize any religions and does not define what is or is not a religion, it only lists the percentages of respondents to a given religion, which is how Jedi Knight ended up 'recognized' in the 2001 Census.

The notion seems to be gaining steam though. There are almost 17,500 fans on the movement's Facebook page (as of this posting).

If any band embodies the notion of Heavy Metal as religion (or at least as lifestyle) it's the incomparable Manowar.  Here's Battle Hymn, from their 1982 debut album Battle Hymns:

I'd be willing to bet no other band has done as many metal songs about 'metal' than Manowar: Metal Daze, Gloves of Metal, Kings of Metal, Brothers of Metal, The Gods Made Heavy Metal, Metal Warriors, Die for Metal, and any number of songs about swords and steel.

 This blog post at the UK Guardian suggests some other musical forms that might also qualify.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Heavy Metal Heritage: Metal as Religion?

Via the always awesome Neatorama comes this item from the UK Telegraph:

Fans campaign for heavy metal to be recognised as religion
From the article:

They are being asked to officially register their faith as ''heavy metal'' while filling in the next Census questionnaire...Rock magazine Metal Hammer launched its campaign last week and has already attracted nearly 10,000 followers to a Facebook group...
It has even gained the backing of a metal figurehead, Saxon frontman Biff Byford, whom the magazine says will become the proposed faith's ''world metal peace ambassador'' if the campaign proves successful.

If you are unfamiliar with Saxon or Biff Byford here's the video for the 1981 New Wave of British Heavy Metal Anthem, Denim and Leather:

This movement is partly inspired by the recognition of Jedi as a religion by several English speaking nations in 2001.

Of course Metal has a long history of viewing itself in quasi-religious terms. A fine example is Judas Priest's 1984 album, Defenders of the Faith.

The album had this quote on the back cover:
"Rising from darkness where Hell hath no mercy and the screams for vengeance echo on forever. Only those who keep the faith shall escape the wrath of the Metallian... Master of all metal."
Sounds biblical, in a metal sort of way...

You also have the examples of bands with religous sounding names like Metal Church, Armored Saint, Iron Savior, and of course Black Sabbath. Sabbath is largely responsible for a lot of the religious imagery in metal. Ozzy Osbourne wore large crosses from the very earliest days of Black Sabbath.

There is also a metal obsession with angels, particularly fallen ones. You have bands like Death Angel and Angel Witch as well as albums like Angel of Retribution (Judas Priest), Angels Fall First (Nightwish) and Angel Down (Sebastian Bach). I'm sure there are literally hundreds of other examples of fallen angels in lyrics, song titles and artwork throughout the history of metal.

Here is a rather lengthy piece on heavy metal and it's similiarities to and odd relationship with religion.

If they're successful in their attempt to have metal officially recognized as a religion, maybe this could be the official uniform of the faith.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Heavy Metal Heritage: Hit Parader Magazine

As a high school headbanger I had no internet for keeping up with my favorite bands and the town I lived in was so small it didn't have MTV, so there were few ways to find out about new bands or even what was up with the bands I followed.  I actually used to bring videotapes when I visited my sister Traci in college because she had MTV, and I'd record Headbanger's Ball to see videos of my favorite bands.  I'd play those tapes over and over.


With no access to MTV, and living in a part of the country where the odds of hearing my kind of metal on the radio was impossible, I had two outlets remaining for learning more about 'my' bands.  The first was the very reliable 'word of mouth'.  If you had a buddy who liked a band you could always borrow the records and sample their music for yourself.  If a group was good, you could then go out and buy the cassette or you could fire up the dual cassette deck and do a little peer to peer music sharing, analog style.  The other information outlet I relied on lived on the racks of the local grocery and convenience stores, the heavy metal magazines.  They had names like Rip, Circus, Creem, Metal Edge and my rag of choice, Hit Parader.






I never subscribed to any of these mags, but I would pick them up off the newsstand at the grocery store or Stop 'N' Shop (later C-Mart), if one of the bands I liked appeared on the cover. Hit Parader was always on the stands, where Rip and Circus were only occasionally available, and Metal Edge was expensive if I recall.  I don't think I ever saw more than one or two issues of Creem in my life. So Hit Parader was usually it.


Hit Parader heavily focused on the 'hair bands' of the era, and I read the magazine in hair metal's heyday from about 1987-1991.  I think they were legally obligated to put Brett Michaels (of Poison), Jon Bon Jovi, or Vince Neil (of Motley Crue) on the cover 9 months out of 12.  When Iron Maiden or AC/DC made a cover you could bet I'd buy it.  In fact I specifically remember having this issue featuring Angus Young of AC/DC on the cover:





I loved the magazine for being the only source of music news I could get my hands on.  My sister Pam had a subscription to Rolling Stone, but it rarely featured metal even when metal was extemely popular, so it wasn't good for my needs.  In a addition to news, Hit Parader had lots of filler in the form of pinups.  My bedroom was plastered with pictures of AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Tesla, and of course the lovely ladies Doro Pesch, and Lita Ford.


The magazine was also well known for intellectual debates, like 'Who Rules Heavy Metal?':





These debates often played out in Hit Parader's letter page where a metalhead would write in and explain in very passionate terms why Dio 'rules', and Ozzy 'sucks'.  The editor of said letters page would then usually make fun of the writer.  Poison vs. Motley Crue and Metallica vs. Megadeth were also extremely popular in these diatribes, and seemed to account for about half the letters published in the magazine in any given month.  


My other favorite thing about these metal mags were the ads for upcoming releases.  I'd often see some horrific image coupled with a scary band name, and a release date.  I bought at least a few albums based on these ads alone, music unheard.  One album I specifically remember buying was 'Another Return to Church Hill' by Artch.  I remember the ad being a black and white image of the albums cover, and I thought it looked totally cool, so when I saw the cassette shortly after seeing the ad I bought it immediately. It was a decent power metal record, and while I don't have it anymore I do have an MP3 of the title track.


I just learned today that Hit Parader  ceased publication a little over a year ago, Circus and Rip are also gone, but Metal Edge still seems to be in publication.  Maybe those high prices paid off after all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

T-Shirts from Otter Disaster Designs at Cafe Press

I've recently opened a Cafe Press Shop to sell original graphic T-Shirts.
I was doodling a few days ago and created a lovely little brain in a jar. I present to you the original doodle and the finished design (click picture for larger):



Here are links for Sci-Fi, Monsters, & Robots, Rock & Metal, and Comics & Humor themed T-Shirts. Their are permanent shop links below the Otter Disaster header at the top of the page. Check 'em out and if you like the designs buy one! If you think someone you know would like one of the designs, pass it on (or buy it for them, Christmas is coming). I'm hoping to post at least one new design a week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Maiden Bitstrips: The Flight of Icarus

Here's a Bitstrips version of the single artwork from Iron Maiden's Flight of Icarus:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Maiden Bitstrips: Two Minutes to Midnight

Two Minutes to Midnight was the second Iron Maiden Song I ever heard, and I own the 12 inch single.



Original art.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maiden Bitstrips: The Trooper



A link to the original art this is based on.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bitstrips: Iron Maiden's Eddie - Somwhere in Time & Aces High

I managed an OK Bitstrips version of Somewhere in Time:

and I'm very pleased with my rendition of Aces High:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bitstrips: Iron Maiden's Eddie Part II

So I've managed to do some more Eddie compositions at Bitstrips

My single most viewed strip)






I'm currently trying to figure out how to do 'Somewhere in Time'.

Otter Disaster #15: Rush to Judgement

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bitstrips: Iron Maiden's Eddie!

Just to see how it would turn out, I built Iron Maiden's Eddie in Bitstrips. I then decided to create a Bitstripped version of the Number of the Beast album cover. Then I did Piece of Mind, Killers and yesterday I did the cover for Iron Maiden's 1980 self titled release:









Those are the easy ones. With Bitstrips' somewhat limited props, and poses, I'm going to have to get super creative to do Powerslave, Somewhere in Time, 7th Son of a 7th Son and beyond. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Finntroll Friday: Final Edition

I started doing Finntroll Friday shortly after starting Otter Disaster, so that I would have an easy topic to post about at least once a week. It was really easy at first but as the weeks have worn on, this weekly post has become more and more work, just to keep it remotely interesting.

Finntroll is a really cool band, I love their music, and hope I've given you a reason to like them as well. I have a few new ideas that will likely replace Finntroll Friday on this blog. Here is a link to all 11(?) Fintroll Friday Posts.
It seemed like it was a lot more than that. . .

And here is a kid playing Trollhammaren on a violin:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Heavy Metal Heritage: Apocalypse Imminent!

In the 1980s it was a foregone conclusion that atomic war or a nuclear accident was going to plunge the world into apocalypse.
Iron Maiden's Two Minutes to Midnight tells the story of how it happened.

After the world as we know it ends, fascists were almost certainly going to try taking our heavy metal away from us, but not without a fight.
The struggle is detailed in
The Wild and the Young by Quiet Riot
The Right To Rock by Keel
Rock N Roll Children by Dio
And Tormentor by W.A.S.P.

Those that escaped the fascists would find themselves in strange worlds of mutants,freaks, assorted weirdos and Patty Smyth.
Stories like these are found in Dio's Last in Line
Lita Ford's Out For Blood
The Great Kat's Torture Chamber
And Alcatrazz's Island of the Sun


Once the metalheads emerged victorious, almost certainly led into battle by Manowar, we were going to spend lots of time in factories and warehouses with small fires burning everywhere.

Luckily there would be tons of scantily clad women(some of them in cages!) wearing animal print and leather. They would also wear lots of makeup(some Kabuki, some catlike, others demonic), and their hair would be teased to the moon.

See:
Bon Jovi's Runaway
The Scorpions' Rock You Like a Hurricane
Dokken's Into the Fire
And the Citizen Kane of post-apocalyptic metal videos:
Motley Crue's Looks that Kill


Nothing lasts forever though, and even the Free Metalheads of the Apocalypse could eventually find themselves enslaved by the Queen of the Reich.

There is a bright future ahead though, as we find out via Zebra, Who's Behind the Door.