Monday, May 31, 2010

Heavy Metal Remembers A Legend

Ronnie James Dio's memorial service was held yesterday.  Over 1200 people were at the Liberty Hall in Forest Lawn Memorial Park with hundreds more outside, watching the event on giant screens.  The event was hosted by Eddie Trunk, who, on top of being a famous rock radio deejay, is a host on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show (he was the one who hugged Dio during the black carpet interview at the Golden Gods).  The city of Los Angeles even declared that May 30 shall be known as "Ronnie James Dio Day."  There are a couple of articles about the event already released.  Roadrunner Records' metal news site, Blabbermouth, posted some videos of speeches and performances from the service.  They're not the best quality, but they were the first videos posted.  Check them out here.  The Associated Press also wrote a very nice article about the event (I love the headline they used).

(Sigh...) Of course, a few worthless pieces of shit, who are aligned with the Westboro Baptist Church, or the "Redneck Nazi Party," as I like to call them, showed up to be completely ignored by the scores of metal fans, chanting "Dio, Dio, Dio..."
...only long enough to kick Satan's ass, fuckface.
Nice bib, BTW, for sucking your own cock.

Basically, the WBC just proved they're a bunch of dickweeds that no one should even pay attention to.  Fuck them.

The memorial service isn't the only place where the Metal community paid tribute to Dio.  Manowar, being as fucking awesome as they are, announced a new album, Magic - A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio, which will feature groups from Manowar's Magic Circle label, as well as others.  No release date has been announced, yet, but you can keep up to date with the album on their website.

Oh, one more thing.  At the memorial service, people were crowding in line to score one of these beautiful RJD memorial t-shirts, which were available to those who donated to the "Stand Up and Shout" cancer fund.  If you couldn't make it to the service, don't worry.  Later on this week, they'll be available when you make a donation to the cancer fund online.  More details can be found on Dio's website, so go there, make a difference, and show your support for Dio's legacy.

(Update: It seems that SPIN magazine has somewhat atoned for the derogatory and, overall, shitty article that David Dickcheese fucked up.  Chirs Martins wrote an appropriate article for RJD's memorial service, which reflected Dio's impact in music and the emotions felt by those who loved him.  Plus, there's a photo of that fucking WBC cocksucker shown above that's pretty funny.)

Kaiser out

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grieving A Legend (Day 7)

Here we are, at the destination of a long, despondent journey.  My wish is to honor Dio's life and music, but I can't help but express my sorrow.  I do not cry for him.  I know he is beyond all Earthly concern.  He travels the breadth of creation at the speed of thought.  He has ascended.  Instead, I cry for us, for life will not be the same without his magnificent presence in our world.  Every fan who attended his shows, every person who bought his albums, every human being he touched with his music and his genuine heart feels the emptiness that has been left behind in his absence.  It will not be a void quickly filled, nor a heart easily mended.

His last public appearance was at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, which was broadcast last night on VH1 Classic (why is it that all the repulsive shows that VH1 does - the reality shows, the constant retread of the top one-hit wonders, etc., are on their basic channel, but all the awesome stuff that really matters, that's on the premium channel that you have to pay extra for?  Fucking bullshit!).  I'm sure that those who watched Dio accept his award for "Best Vocalist" on the showing feel like they witnessed a ghost.  It must be heartbreaking to see that, mostly because Dio had expressed so much hope for the future.  He remained strong and let his fans know that they were loved.  Well, I happen to have some footage of Dio accepting his award and talking with people at the award show.  So if you missed it, just like I did, worry no more.

Someone was kind enough to put up their "inside footage" of Ronnie James Dio accepting his award.  Hearing the fans chanting his name, it seemed like he was poised for victory; not just for the award, but for the fact that he was getting the recognition he deserved.  David Marchese from SPIN may be a douche for writing his mocking article, but it brings up a point that Dio remained true to himself, instead of selling out, like so many people in the music industry, even in Metal.  He didn't appeal to those who listen to shitty music to try to be cool - as the guys in Manowar would say, the False Metal.  Dio was well liked because of his dedication to his fans and to his music and it's about fucking time that other people started to realize that.

This next video has the guys from VH1 Classic's That Metal Show talking to Dio again on the "Black" Carpet.  The guys were, obviously, concerned with Dio's health and were genuinely worried about him, to which Dio assures them it's okay.  Despite it being his last appearance before his death, he didn't want everyone to give up hope.  He fought his illness valiantly and let us know that he would beat it or die trying.  Though it claimed his life, it did not claim his will.  When Dio hugged the one guy, I could see the love, admiration, and camaraderie that was between these guys.  It was very touching.

One last video... Ronnie James Dio and Yngwie Malmsteen did a cover of "Dream On" for an Aerosmith tribute album.  Somehow, I find it appropriate as a final parting moment.

And so, my painful tribute concludes.  I still wish I didn't have to acknowledge the death of a man who still had so much to give to his fans.  Everyone he came into contact with were made greater, thanks to his presence.  Though we have never met, he has given me purpose and changed my life.

Goodbye, Ronnie James Dio.

I will always miss you.

I will never forget you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Grieving A Legend (Day 6)

Okay, let's get to know Dio through some of his interviews.  Many people have said Ronnie James Dio was a great guy to talk to.  He was honest, humble, laid back, and very welcoming.  Of course, I've said this all before, so let's take a look at Dio's rapport firsthand.

First, here's a short summary of Dio's music carreer, up to his eponymous band, from the mouths of those involved, including Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, and, obviously, Dio, himself.

Next, an interview from the Dutch Arrow Rock Festival in 2006, where he talks about getting back together with Black Sabbath, how America never really considered Metal part of the mainstream, why popularity is nothing more than a marketing ploy, and the loyalty of fans abroad.

If you thought that was controversial, check out Top Secret magazine's interview with him, where he airs his beliefs that there is other intelligent life out in the universe and his own experience with the unexplained.

When Heaven and Hell released their final album, The Devil You Know, Dio and Geezer did a round of interviews with many Metal outlets.  This is part of a great interview on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show.

You know what's great? Watching Dio and Lemmy Kilmister shoot the shit. Lemmy's just so damn funny.

You know what's even better? Throwing Manowar's Joey DeMaio in the mix. Man, Joey seems like a great guy, too. I would love to hang out with these guys.

BTW, what the fuck happened to Lemmy's 'stache?  Did it just fall off?

Anyway, tune back in, tomorrow, for one last heartfelt goodbye to such a great guy.

My Response to the Hateful Fuckfaces (This Won't Be Pretty)!

Okay, a lot of people have paid tribute to Ronnie James Dio.  There's a pretty good list of musicians who commemorated his passing.  The website of the local rock station here, KSHE 95, posted an article summarizing the comments made on various websites.  Even Ozzy, who never seemed to get along with Dio, posted something (though I'm not entirely sure how sincere the sentiment is).  Check out the article here.

Other musicians have paid tribute than were mentioned on the article.  Mike Portnoy and Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater mourned his passing on Twitter, as I'm sure the rest of the band did, too.  At, Duff McKagan, formerly of Guns 'n' Roses and presently in Velvet Revolver and Jane's Addiction, and Nirvana's Krist Novoselic paid tribute.  Even Marc Storace of Krokus reminisced about meeting Dio every time he came to Switzerland.  The list of tributes goes on for miles.  Most touching is the one done by Vinny Appice, a drummer that played in both Dio and Sabbath/Heaven and Hell for many years.  Vinny recalled Dio taking him under his wing and being a great inspiration.

If you have VH1 Classic, they will be doing a special tribute, featuring music videos and rare interviews, this Saturday after That Metal Show (which would put it at 11:30 eastern time).

On top of that, the Angry Video Game Nerd expressed his sorrow of Dio's passing on his website.

But that's not what I really want to talk about.  I want to talk about the other people.  You know, the ones who are too fucking stupid to live, yet they still manage, somehow.  I'm referring to those rancid assholes who either, A) think Dio is for dorks who are too busy playing Dungeons & Dragons to get laid, or B) mistake retardation for righteousness and think that everything that isn't considered part of their homogenous, white bullshit values is evil.  Of course, these people looked at the news articles, proclaiming the ascension of a master, and said, "Woo, boy, let's have ourselves a big douchebag hoedown on his grave."

In column A, we have Spin magazine, which published a "tribute" article to Dio on their website (go ahead, read it.)  A so-called journalist named David Marchese (more like David Dickcheese) thought it would be appropriate to basically pretend to laud Dio's legacy, when, in reality, he resorted to mocking him.  I, of course, felt it was my duty to give these people and their propaganda shit mag a piece of my mind.  What follows is my comment, which I submitted, anonymously, on the article:

David, you are an insult, not only to fans of metal music, but to journalism as a whole. If this is your idea of a joke, then none of Dio's real fans, a community you seem to be estranged from, are laughing. Ronnie James Dio was a fantastic gentleman. He was kind, honest, and down to earth. He connected with his fans, not because he was, as you might try to characterize, some loser who couldn't get laid. He loved them and they love him.

This is not even to speak of his undeniably astounding voice and his talent for penning inspiring, imaginative songs, which didn't stop at "Holy Diver". Many of his later albums beautifully captured the soul of metal music. Legions of metal fans still get chills listening to his soaring vocals and uplifting lyrics. For some reason, all you can seem to say, between your mocking remarks, is that he, vaguely, "kicks ass." Your tribute is nothing short of profanity.

Oh, and just because you throw in some high brow language (there are far better synonyms for "really loud" than Stentorian) that you got from your English 201 class, that doesn't make you a writer of quality. Any person with half a brain can go to, it doesn't mean they deserve a job writing for a magazine.

By the way, did you seriously refer to Mick Jagger as "good looking?" Not only are you a hack journalist, you're goddamn blind, too.

Next time, SPIN, let a real Ronnie James Dio fan do the tribute.

I decided to take the high road, this time.  Sure, I could have told the pretentious douche that he will soon find himself afflicted by hemorrhoids that will sprout ravenous fire beetles, but I figure I'd let that be a pleasant surprise.

Then, there's column B.  Any fan of metal knows exactly who I'm talking about, here.  These are the people who like to say they "follow the teachings of Jesus", except for the fact that they gloat their supposed righteousness over others and falsely condemn people to damnation.  Um, I may not be a Christian, but isn't there a quote in the Bible pertaining to this?  Oh, let me think, around John 8:7 - "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."  Oh, wait, I guess you don't think that applies to you guys, because you're way too righteous to be considered impure.

Fucking retards.

Let me get one thing straight, before I continue.  While I am not a Christian, I do ascribe that every living being is free to find their own spirituality, regardless of what that creed is.  You into Jesus?  I'm down with that.  Buddha more your speed?  That's cool.  Going skyclad in the woods tickles your fancy?  More power to you, just don't let me see your "fancy," if you catch my drift.  I'm not bashing Christianity, as a whole...

I'm bashing all the stupid people in Christianity.

And you should too, even if you are a Christian.  Hell, be upfront about it.  If some guy comes up to you and asks you, "Are you a Christian?"  You say, "Yes."  Then he asks, "Are you a real Christian?" or, "Are you sure you're going to Heaven?"  Tell them, "If going to Heaven means I have to be as big of an asshole as you, then forget it."

Of course, they'll launch into their favorite taunt, "You're going to Hell!  I'm going to watch and laugh, from Heaven, as Satan burns your flesh in the pits of flame."  They do this every time you don't conform to their bullshit ways.  "Metal music will devour your soul.  Dungeons & Dragons teaches you to sacrifice babies.  Only the damned eat 'deviled' eggs."

You know what I say to that?  "Good.  I hope I do go to Hell.  You want to know why?  Because I figure that Lucifer is way less powerful than your God, considering Lucifer was defeated when he tried to overthrow Heaven.  So, my chances of defeating Lucifer and taking over Hell are significantly better than usurping Heaven."

Actually, I don't even believe in that kind of afterlife, so it makes no difference where people think I'm going.

Why is this relevant?  Because that's what a few people are saying about Ronnie James Dio.  I've read comments on heavy metal websites, HEAVY... METAL... WEBSITES, where people have plastered this self-righteous fuckspeak.  "Ha, ha, Dio's going to Hell!  Burn in Hell, Dio!  He's walking, hand-in-hand, with Satan!"  Of course, other people have said similar things, except that Hell is not the torment of the eternally damned, but a place with all the cool stuff.  "Keep on rocking out in Hell!  I heard Astaroth has a bitchin' sound system!  Kick Satan's ass for me, Dio!"  It's their way of saying that, wherever Dio is, he's kicking ass and taking names.  That's okay.  But when you think that you have the authority to proclaim that someone, anyone, who just died, is going to Hell, you're a special kind of fucking evil douchebag.  When you say those things about Dio, though, you just earned your inbred ass a spot in Kaiser's "Palace of Pain."

It gets worse.  I found out that the abominable cult that calls itself the Westboro Baptist Church are going down to LA to picket... that's right, picket Dio's funeral.  What kind of disrespectful piece of shit do you have to be to condemn someone as warm, kind, and honest as Ronnie James Dio at their funeral?  If you've never heard of these guys, they are a fringe group in Topeka, KS.  Formed by Fred Phelps (mostly from his large family), they go across the US, holding up their picketing signs and, generally, being completely offensive and despicable.  They set up protests against soldiers who died in combat, saying they deserved to die for fighting for a country that tolerates gay people.  These fucktards want to kill gay people for God!  According to Phelps, God hates:
  • Gay people
  • Black people
  • Swedish people
  • Irish people
  • Jews (who, by the way, were the first people to worship him)
  • The United States
  • US Soldiers
  • Heavy Metal music
  • Other Christians
  • Al Gore (Even though Phelps supported Gore at an earlier point in time)
  • Anyone who is reasonable
  • Anyone who is cool
  • Anyone who is not out of their fucking mind
  • Anyone who doesn't regularly beat the shit out of their wife, children, or grandchildren, or great-grandchildren
  • Anyone who doesn't have an addiction to amphetamines
  • Pickles
  • The number 4
  • John Stamos (Have mercy!)
  • Kool Aid (unfortunately)
  • Anything else that doesn't suck
Then, of course, there's the list of all the people who hate the Westboro Baptist Church:
  • Everyone on the planet who is not a part of the Westboro Baptist Church
Fred Phelps is a hateful God.

Now, I'm not going to tell you fans who are going to RJD's funeral to go beat the fuck out of "God's Nazis."  The reason why is because I'm pretty sure someone is going to beat the fuck out of them, and I don't want to get in trouble for encouraging it.  Granted, I am a powerful demigod who can wipe out any and all opposition, but the time is not right.  I am not ready to play my hand and bring the Earth under my control.  Therefore, I will bide my time.  However, when the inevitable Mythic Age of Metal descends upon the Earth, these people better pray to their hateful, sick, depraved god that there is a Hell.  Because Hell will feel like an exotic vacation in comparison to the unimaginable suffering I have planned for them.



(Wonderfull... another reason for me to obliterate the state of Kansas.  The midwest will have a great inland sea in no time.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Grieving A Legend (Day 5)

Before I get to the Sabbath/Heaven and Hell stuff, I wanted to get some video game things out of the way.  Believe it or not, there's a video game called Holy Diver.  It was made for the Famicom in Japan and was almost brought to the States for the NES.  It's kind of a cross between Castlevania and Mega Man.  You play some sort of sorcerer, fighting demons, guys with executioner's hoods... the typical stuff you'd find in your standard horror action game or heavy metal video.  Here's a peek at the first stage.

Now you may be wondering if this game is, at all, based on Dio's song or album.  To that, I would say not likely.  It might have been inspired by the song, but that's probably as far as the similarities go.  However, that doesn't stop me from pretending that you play as Ronnie James Dio, fighting demons with your magic.  I mean, Holy Diver does have all the trappings of, what could be, a Dio video game.  The only thing missing is the music from the album.  Well, some people have already made 8-bit versions of Dio's classic songs.  Just insert them into the game and, shazam, instant Dio game.

Don't believe me?  Take a listen.

This version of "Holy Diver" comes from 8bitsbrothers, which, if you can't tell by the note they left on the video, you can download this song.

This 8-bit version of "Rainbow in the Dark" came from kylerpoo.  It's amazing how good these sound.

[Update: I did a little more digging and found some evidence that sheds more light on this video game.  Here's some screenshots of the ending of the Famicom Holy Diver.

Notice any references?  First off, there's mention of the prog rock band, King Crimson.  Then there's the hero's name.  It may look like "Ranay," which could be seen as a corruption of Ronnie, but it turns out that it's actually Randy.  At first, I wasn't sure what the reference was there (maybe they pronounced it "Ron-dy").

Then I looked at this image and everything became clear.  It mentions Zakk W. and Randy R., which points to two famous guitarists who played with Ozzy in his solo career: Zakk Wilde and the late Randy Rhoads.  So the game was not only inspired by metal musicians, such as Ronnie James Dio, but is also a tribute to their music.  The game depicted a world of heavy metal, something no other video game would do for another 20 years, when Brütal Legend was released.  Now, if only the music in the game was more appropriately metal.  That's one thing Brütal Legend definitely got right.

By the way, if you're interested in trying out the game, here's a link for it on the flash based NESCafe system.  It's kind of tough, but a pretty good Famicom game.]

Now that I've made you want to play a Dio video game, let's talk about Heaven and Hell.  In the late '70s, Black Sabbath had lost a lot of their luster.  Both Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die! were poorly received, as the albums were handicapped by Sabbath's myriad issues.  In between the two albums, Ozzy quit the group.  The rest of the band decided to carry on without him, working with different vocalists.  Eventually, Ozzy came back, asking to return to Sabbath, but refusing to sing the material that the rest of the band worked on while he was gone.  On top of that, rampant drug use had crippled their productivity in the studio.  Eventually, Ozzy wasn't contributing any ideas and the band was going nowhere, so they fired him in 1979.

While Ozzy eventually forged his own successful solo career, Sabbath took a suggestion from, what may now seem like, an unlikely source: Ozzy's future wife.  Sharon Arden told Tony Iommi to look up Ronnie James Dio as a replacement to Ozzy.  Dio joined the group and, in 1980, they released Heaven and Hell, which gave Sabbath a new lease on life.  It was around this time that Dio made the "metal horns" gesture a popular trope in the metal community.  Dio's creativity and input in Sabbath was a breath of fresh air that brought the band back into the spotlight after nearly crashing and burning.

Of course, both versions of Sabbath have reunited at some point.  When Dio got back together with Sabbath in 2007, they decided to differentiate themselves from their tenure with Ozzy and, instead, took the name of their first album together.  Heaven and Hell saw a resurgence in interest for the band's music with Dio.  Before Dio's death, the band was working on doing a European tour with Iron Maiden, which was cancelled, due to Dio's health issues.

Dio's time with Black Sabbath marked a distinctive era in Dio's career.  While Heaven and Hell still carried Dio's dark fantasy undertones that could be found in both Rainbow and Dio, it was the collaboration with Iommi and Butler that gave the music its own identity, just as collaborating with Ritchie Blackmore gave Rainbow its individual sound.  It's interesting to look at the major bands that Dio has been in and notice both the individual styles from these different bands and the consistent quality that Dio has infused into them.

But I'm talking too damn much.  Let's see some videos.

First, because I know my cousin-in-law would enjoy this, here's some "Neon Knights" from 1980.

Finally, some tour footage from 2007, with the band working some "Voodoo."

Tomorrow, we're going to get some insight from the man behind the microphone with some great interviews.

Kaiser out

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Grieving A Legend (Day 4)

There have been a couple of announcements on RJD's Facebook.  First off, there will be a public memorial service for him on Sunday, May 30th in Los Angeles.  If any of you want to make it there, definitely check the Facebook link to find out more details on location, time, and hotel arrangements (some local hotels are giving discounts, but it's first come, first serve, so reserve now).  Second, for those of you who cannot make it (I wish I could, but I don't have the cash), but still want to show your support, Wendy Dio has set up the "Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund."  You can find the address for sending money to the fund on the Facebook page or you can go to his website (it's back up) and find the PayPal donate button.

Anyway, I thought I would go back to some of his Dio videos.  Let's start off with "The Last in Line."

Of course, how can you have a collection of Dio's videos without doing "Holy Diver."  Nothing says awesome like RJD stalking a demon haunted wasteland as a barbarian swordsman.

One more video - this time, we'll do some live "Dream Evil" from 1988.

By the way, I finally got Master of the Moon, the very last studio album from Dio (the band).  This album's only six years old.  It's amazing to see him be so involved in music for over 50 years, even longer, if you count the years before he joined his first band.  Even though he wasn't always in the spotlight, he was always making music.  You have to respect that.

Kaiser out

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grieving A Legend (Day 3)

Ronnie James Dio has been in quite a few bands in his lifetime.  He started a group with other musicians from his hometown of Cortland, NY, called the Vegas Kings.  At first, he was just the bassist, but, eventually, he took up a singing role as well.  The band did undergo a few name changes: Ronnie and the Rumblers, Ronnie and the Redcaps, and finally Ronnie Dio and The Prophets.  When that band split up, Dio formed the Electric Elves, which, eventually, just became Elf.

However, the first band that Dio would really make an impression with in the music world was Rainbow.  Back when Ritchie Blackmore was still in Deep Purple, Elf was one of the bands that opened for them.  Blackmore was so impressed with Dio's vocal talent that, when he quit Deep Purple, he took Dio and other members of Elf to form Rainbow.  Blackmore, being very much a stickler for how his music should be, fired the entire band after their first album except for Dio, who remained for two more studio albums and one live album while the rest of the band constantly changed.  Eventually, Dio left because Blackmore became interested in a more commercial sound for the band, something Dio didn't want to be a part of.

During the band's time with Dio, Rainbow's sound combined the mystique of Ritchie Blackmore's guitar with Dio's esoteric, sword & sorcery flavored lyrics, making for awe inspiring music that sent shivers down your spine.  After Dio's departure (and maybe even before that), their songs started being polarized.  In Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, a definite schism formed between Dio's songs and Blackmore's, as Blackmore pulled himself away from the mystical themes for something more radio friendly.  While Rainbow did produce some pretty good songs after Dio's departure, they didn't have the same hypnotic power that came from their previous albums and, in turn, weren't as successful.

Nonetheless, Dio's tenure with Rainbow was a time rife with great music.  These videos of my favorite Rainbow songs are evidence of that.

Of course, when most people think of songs by Rainbow, the classic "Man on the Silver Mountain" comes to mind.  This was their first song I heard from the group, even before I knew who they were, and what a great introduction to the band.

Then, there's my second favorite song, "Stargazer," a a piece of music that's highly evocative of the sword & sorcery that Dio would be known for after he left the band.

"So, Kaiser," you may ask, "what's your favorite Rainbow song?"  That would be "Gates of Babylon," with its shadow haunted melodies, arcane guitar solo, and foreboding lyrics.  In the video, it looks like Blackmore is in a trance, as if possessed by his own music.  Just listen to how great Dio's voice sounds.  Despite what you may think, he is actually singing in this video - no lip synching, ever.  That's why Dio is a fucking god.

If you've never picked up a Rainbow album, you owe it to yourself to check them out.  Remember, though, to stick with the first three albums.  While post-Dio Rainbow is okay, it can never match the power of the original.

Kaiser out

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grieving A Legend (Day 2)

Between the years of 1984-1985, musicians all over the world were reaching out to bring relief to the famine in Ethiopia.  Bob Geldof, who some people in the States may know from his role as Pink in Pink Floyd's movie, The Wall, formed Band Aid, uniting musicians from the UK and creating the way too depressing "Do They Know It's Christmas?"  Seeing the success of Band Aid, a couple of activists in the US got some musicians together to form USA for Africa, who sang "We Are the World," which was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie.

Seeing the success of these two groups, the guys in Dio noticed something:  All the musicians in those groups were strictly pop music.  There was no support from the rock/heavy metal genres.  So they got together their own group of musicians, Hear 'n Aid, and wrote a new song for the cause, "Stars."

Unfortunately, "Stars" did not become as successful as "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and was dwarfed by sales for "We Are the World," partially because contractual issues between the different artists' record labels delayed the release of the album almost a year after the fact.  Still, it's a good song and a significant part of Dio history.

This song is actually interesting because it features a pretty long guitar solo done by nine different guitarists while the two guys in Iron Maiden lay down the rhythm guitars.  In the video, you'll recognize quite a few people.  Obviously, Dio is in there, but there's also guys from Blue Öyster Cult, Quiet Riot (including the late Kevin DuBrow), Rob Halford, Geoff Tate from Queensrÿche (I'm glad he got rid of that hairstyle), and, if you pay attention, you'll even see David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls of Spıal Tap.  That's a lot of extraneous umlauts.

Anyway, enough backstory.  Just watch the video.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Grieving A Legend (Day 1)

Man, Ronnie James Dio's death still weighs heavy on me.  This has hit me harder than I can ever imagine.  While I felt my last post let me get out what I'm feeling right now, I don't find it enough to be a proper tribute to Dio's legacy.

That's why I'm devoting every day, every goddamn, motherfucking day this week, to the life and music of Ronnie James Dio by finding videos of his songs, interviews, whatever I can find; starting today, ending Sunday.  If you didn't know Dio before, you sure fucking will.  His genius must be shared with the world.

Today, I offer you a music video from Dio's Dream Evil album.  The video is pure vintage 80s and I love this song.  I'm not allowed to embed the video, but I'll put the link up.  Break out "the horns" and enjoy "I Could Have Been A Dreamer."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Metal Moment Update

The news I'm about to give you shook every fiber of my being to the core, especially since I expressed such high hopes yesterday.  The unthinkable has happened.  Ronnie James Dio passed away this morning.

I first caught wind of this on his official Facebook page.  I couldn't believe it.  I didn't want to believe it.  But the update was written by his own wife.  How could I refute that?

The thing that pissed me off was the disrespectful handling of this information.  Some websites were already reporting his death before it even happened, which Wendy responded by stating, on his Twitter, that he wasn't dead, but was not doing good.  Of course, when she did announce his passing, a lot of people were still calling it a hoax.  Even "news" websites said that the announcements of his death were fake.  I spent about two hours wondering if it was true or not.  It wasn't until I went back to his website, which, for a while, was down, that I saw the same announcement that was on his Facebook page.  It seems that most sites have finally caught up with what happened, but the way these rumors muddled the truth is just fucking pathetic.

But enough about that bullshit.  I want to honor the man, his music, and what it meant to me.  Out of all the metal groups I listen to, his singing and lyrics were the most inspiring.  When I heard his songs, I connected with them, as if he understood what I was going through.  From the interviews I've seen him in, he seemed like an honest, down to earth person, someone you could relate to.  I said to myself, "When he gets better, I would love to meet the guy, just hang out with him, even for only a few minutes."  I wanted to experience his presence.  Sadly, that day will never come.

Putting this into perspective, I feel that my previous post was so cruelly timed.  I was riding high on the hopes of him making a triumphant return.  Everything seemed to be pointing to a bright future with Heaven and Hell still going strong and Dio's own band making a return to the studio - a future that was cut unfairly short.

First, it was Frank Frazetta, and now this.  This has got to be the worst fucking week I've had in a long time.  Though I didn't post anything about Frazetta's death (I felt that some of my fellow brothers in blogging, especially CROM!, said it better than I ever could), I felt as if a legend had passed from this mortal realm.  Now, another legend leaves to join him.  I would like to believe that, even if they've never met before, they share a table in the hallowed halls of the immortals.  For their work and inspiration, I feel that there is no one who does not lift them, with their steelclad hearts, to the heavens.  Therein, lies their true immortality.

Death may claim life, but it cannot conquer the true soul of men.

Rest in peace and know that your life made the world richer.

Kaiser out

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kaiser's Metal Moment - New Dio!

A lot has been going on with the Holy One that is Ronnie James Dio; some good, some bad.  If you haven't already heard, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, but has been fighting, tooth and nail, to purge the offending aberration from his being.  From what I've read, the chemotherapy he's been undergoing seems to be very effective, but all the treatments have made it to where he cannot tour with Heaven and Hell this summer in Europe.

Despite the cancer and treatments, Dio is still nigh unstoppable.  He won "Best Vocalist of the Year" at the Revolver Golden Gods awards for his work on Heaven and Hell's The Devil You Know and is working on a new Dio album, Magica II & III.  Not only that, but before he went into his treatments, his band already recorded their first song for the album.  Of course, I found a video done by a YouTuber, so allow me to present you the future of Dio.  This is "Electra."

Hell, I'm feeling generous.  How about I throw in Heaven and Hell doing "Time Machine" from 2009 absolutely free?  Now, how much would you pay?

By the way, check out Dio's website and Facebook page for more updates on upcoming releases, including a new online store to get all the Dio shirts and accessories you need, and the status of his well being.  I hope to see Dio back to making the music I love.  Until then, get better, brother.

Kaiser out

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Through The Panther's Eyes - Weapon of Choice (Part 2)

When all else fails, sheer tenacity will be the difference between victory and defeat.  After listening to some fellow hunters and some lengthy contemplation, I could see no other way to defeat the Barroth than to upgrade my switch axe.  My colleagues made other suggestions: using a hammer, outfitting myself with a bowgun, etc.  None of them were right for me.  It was the switch axe or nothing.  So, I set out to obtain the materials needed, which proved easier than I first thought, once I knew where to find them.  I traveled to the humid wetlands of the Flooded Forest, fending off giant insects and hordes of savage Ludroth, to reap the bounty of ores from the depths of its marshes.  Once I had enough, the blacksmith in Moga Village worked his alchemical wizardry to give my switch axe the edge it needed.  One question remained: would it be enough to send the Barroth to its death?

I returned to the dry, brutal heat of the Sandy Plains, where the Barroth took refuge in its mudhole.  I soon drew the beast from its sanctuary into a struggle of life and death.  Fortunately, my switch axe was sharp enough to pierce through his hardened armor.  I had to be careful, though.  His head, which is the most hardened part of his body, dulled my blade too quickly.  I had to focus on his lower body, slashing away at its legs, cutting deeply into its flank and its underbelly.  Little by little, I whittled away at its defenses.  I finally found myself on equal footing with the beast.

For those who have never faced one, the Barroth has an impressive array of offensive and defensive capabilities.  At long range, the beast is prone to charging with the speed and force of a train at full steam (hurts like a bitch, too).  The Barroth doesn't charge blindly, either.  If you don't get well out of the way of its path, it will turn toward you to keep you in its sights.  Fortunately, the Barroth can't turn too sharply while charging, so just run away from the line of its projected path as fast as you can.

Even at close range, the Barroth can be dangerous.  Though not as deadly as its charge, it likes to use its head like a hammer and its tail like a flail to keep hunters from getting too close.  Should someone prove too much for it, the Barroth has one last line of defense: it cakes itself in mud, which not only protects the Barroth from some of the damage it takes, but also can be used to hamper an unwary hunter when it shakes off some of the earthen layers.  Only by continuously hacking into it does the mud seem to wear off.

Eventually, the Barroth was severely wounded by my onslaught.  At that point, the hunt became much more deadly.  When it wasn't constantly trying to evade me, either by burrowing in the mud or by facing toward me to keep me from its flank, it was stepping up its aggressiveness.  I may have broken a few ribs while fighting it.  I will give the Barroth credit, it refused to stay down.  Like I said before, this was a battle of tenacity to see who could last longer.

Both of us had taken a lot of punishment in this struggle, but it was my trusty switch axe that helped me deliver the finishing blow to the beast.  It fell in a violent convulsion before death stilled its body.  With a cry of victory and relief, I tore deep into the Barroth's body to claim its bounty.  In the end, I found my weapon of choice and it served me well.

Back in Moga Village, I asked the blacksmith to make a helmet for me out of the Barroth's armored plates.  I now wear the helm proudly as a testament to my victory over the beast and as a tribute to its strength.  I feel as if the soul of the Barroth has bled into me.  His tenacity feeds me as I continue to battle against even mightier foes.  With my deadly switch axe in hand, no beast is safe from my onslaught.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Deadliest Warrior - The Most Brutal Show on Television!

Okay, so I'm kind of late catching up to the bandwagon (I didn't have cable for a long time until now), but If you're not watching Deadliest Warrior on Spike, either you have the same problem of not being able to watch it (which I can understand) or you have the even worse problem that you don't want to, which, in that case, you suck.

Deadliest Warrior has got to be the most visceral, brutal, and fucking awesome show to come around in a long time.  I just caught my first taste of all the bloody action tonight, when they pitted the Aztec Jaguar Warrior against the Zande Warrior of Africa against each other to find out who will tear victory from the other's grisly corpse (I won't spoil it for you if you didn't catch it.  I'll just say it was a great battle.)

If you don't know about Deadliest Warrior, the basic premise is that they pick two of the most brutal warriors in history (typically those that are pretty much equal, no Navy SEALs against Roman gladiators, here), peruse their arsenals, and put them to the test.  They base the criteria for superiorty on each weapon's overall effectiveness, usually by carving up, shooting, and all around destroying a lot of ballistics gel manequins.  They compare the results and go through "simulations" to determine which warrior is more effective and, therefore, most likely to kill the other.  Of course, instead of just tell you the results, they provide a dramatization of the two warriors in a battle to the death, which definitely brings the hour long slaughterfest to a satisfying climax.

Also, the weapons experts they get for each episode can't help but trash talk each other throughout the entire episode.  "Yeah, your warrior's weapons are okay, if you like being a weak little piece of shit.  My weapons are so hardcore, they will put your balls in a blender and fuck your dead grandmother."  I get the feeling they're encouraged to do this, which is annoying.

Is it completely accurate?  I wouldn't bet on it.  It's mostly about translating weapon and armor effectiveness into statistics and using said statistics to come to a conclusion.  Martial prowess of each of the fighters sometimes doesn't get a lot of scrutiny, but I can forgive that because that's not always something they can really measure, due to the fact that some of the fighting styles of these warriors have been long forgotten.  They did do episodes where they tested the effectiveness of Shaolin Kung Fu, as well as the Bushi arts of Samurai, but those are still  living martial arts, unlike the fighting style of an Aztec Warrior.  Even if the science isn't 100%, it's still great entertainment.

While the show is great, I do have some gripes about how they show it.  Granted, I don't really have anything better to do on Tuesday nights, for the moment, but they only show Deadliest Warrior two times a week: 9:00 (central time) and then at 10:00, immediately after the first showing.  Why?  I mean, it's a good thing to have a show repeat later in the week, but most networks actually wait some time before showing it again.  It's ridiculous.  (Update: Looks like they started showing reruns of past shows on Tuesdays before the new episode, to keep fans happy.  I think I also caught an episode this past weekend.)

If you happen to miss the show on TV (which I can totally see happening), you can watch it on the Deadliest Warrior website.  Problem is that you have to wait two weeks after it aired to see it.  Again, why?  But once the wait is over, you get the opportunity to watch it online, but only for a week.  If you happen to miss it a second time, once that week is over, you'll have to wait a whole month before they start showing it indefinitely.

Who the fuck thought this was a good idea?  I mean, I like a good amount of the programing on Spike TV.  I love this show, TNA Wrestling is great, hell, their website even shows videos from, home of the Angry Video Game Nerd (though actually broadcasts that show, not, but this is just retarded.

Fortunately, they do have all the episodes from season one online, underneath all the Aftermath videos where they just talk about the episode (which I don't really care about that much).  Also, you can pick up the entire first season on DVD, should you not even have the internet (DVD players are cheap and easy to get in this day).  That's probably for the best, because the website isn't all that user friendly.

But if watching some of the most brutal warriors on Earth isn't enough for you, you can look forward to getting in on the action.  Last year, Spike announced a fighting game based on the show, where you can play your favorite historical warrior and bring death throughout time (hopefully, it'll be a lot better than Time Killers).  It's supposedly being made by Pipeworks, the same guys that made the Godzilla fighting games for the Gamecube, XBOX, and PS2 (which I enjoyed).  I hope this will be equal parts brutal and awesome, though I don't know if I should be optimistic just yet.

If you're a big war buff, be sure not to miss next week's episode (if you can help it), as the Third Reich and the Viet Cong go against each other to see which American adversary of the past had the more effective soldier.

Remember, if the title of the show contains the word "warrior" (such as this show or the equally awesome Ninja Warrior), you better damn well watch it.

Kaiser out

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Through The Panther's Eyes - Weapon of Choice

I am slowly beginning to understand the wit and cunning necessary to battle a beast at least five times your size without the aid of my near limitless power.  Though I have already killed a good number of Great Jaggi, capturing one is a completely different story.  I swore that I would take one of them alive or they would die trying (which they did, numerous times).  First, you have to wound it sufficiently without killing it.  Then, you must lay a trap in the area to catch it.  This requires getting into the head of the beast, as you'll have to anticipate where it will retreat to.  You can also lay the trap between you and the monster and use yourself as bait.  After the monster is struggling in the trap, you have to tranquilize it, using bombs of tranquilizer gas, darts, etc.

It took me days to finally capture my first Great Jaggi, but it was worth it.  After taking the beast back, I was given an opportunity to face the last monster I hunted with Ironbeard: the manipulative Quropeco.  The thing looked more like a bird, but was considered a wyvern, just like the others.  It's greatest strength is it's song, which can not only mimic the calls of other monsters to attract the, but can heal itself as well.

Killing it was no problem, since I was able to finally acquire the coveted switch axe, which I tend to prefer.  Wielding that weapon was like second nature to me.  After that and some other monsters, I got the chance to capture another Qurupeco.  Despite the hunt being treacherous, as it called the fierce Rathian, one of the largest monsters I've seen so far, I was able to use my new weapon and the knowledge I gained from trapping Great Jaggis to make short work of this hunt.  The Qurupeco barely got a chance to escape me.

Then, I came across something that made me rethink my strategy on weapons.  The mighty Barroth is a tower of mud and armor.  While hunting them, the kill has, so far, eluded me.  Its large size belies its speed and its armored carapace has proven to deflect all but the sharpest of weapons.  My switch axe was too dull to pierce its armor.  Only two weapons in my possession are sharp enough to slash the beast: one of my sword and shield combinations and my greatsword.

While the greatsword has plenty of power behind each swing, I found myself too slow to effectively attack the Barroth.  The sword and shield is much faster, but doesn't do a lot of damage, leaving me to constantly hack at the beast before doing any real damage.  With the sword and shield, I did have the Barroth weakened significantly, but it wasn't enough.  He has proven too powerful for me, at this time.

If only I could have the blacksmith improve my switch axe, but I don't have the right materials for it.  Even if I did, it still wouldn't be sharp enough to wound the creature.  I find myself frustrated, as he is the first monster I have failed to kill.  Despite this, I am not dissuaded by defeat.  By the blade in my hand and every muscle in my body, I will see the Barroth's blood taint the mud hole that is its home.  I will carve deep into its impenetrable flesh.  I will tear the spoils of battle from its bone.

This, I swear.