Into the Pit

Join the insanity or die as you fall,

Into the pit!

So I had an idea a couple weeks ago for a sleeve. I had been kicking myself in the ass because I knew that I wanted to work as many bands that I love into a full sleeve, I just didn’t know how to go about it. I didn’t want to do band logos because I wanted to be a little more original than that, so one day I was doodling when I was supposed to be hard at work and it hit me: make a bunch of simple doodles that represented the songs that I love from all of these bands! If you haven’t seen the pictures yet (they’re on my Instagram, Facebook, AND Twitter) when I say simple, I mean simple. I’m talking stick figures, simple line drawings, and as many colors as I can fit into the damn thing! I wanted to be original, fun, and a conversation starter because if some shitty stick figure tattoos on my arm get more people talking about metal then fuck what anyone else thinks about it! My piece would be done at least. I’m about halfway done with it, I’ve got a few more designs that I want to work in, time was a factor and I had to get outta there before we could finish everything. another 2 sessions or so and It should be done! While I was sitting in the chair getting worked on, I couldn’t help but think that all these songs would probably make a pretty badass playlist so I took the liberty of making it just to share with all of you. I broke it down based on the ones I already had put on and the ones I plan on gettign done in the next session and tried to pull from as many time periods during my life as I could to best represent my own evolution in metal!

 

CURRENTLY DONE

  • Metallica-Battery
  • Dethklok-Murmaider
  • Megadeth-Hangar 18
  • Slayer-Raining Blood
  • Van Halen-Eruption
  • Six Feet Under-Shadow of the Reaper
  • Anthrax-Indians
  • Exodus-A Lesson in Violence
  • Amon Amarth-Death in Fire
  • Cannibal Corpse-Hammer Smashed Face

 

COMING SOON

  • Trivium-Like Light to Flies
  • Children of Bodom-Halo of Blood
  • All That Remains-Two weeks
  • Testament-Into the Pit
  • Arch Enemy-Dead Eyes See No Future
  • Kreator-Flag of Hate
  • Hatebreed-Looking Down the Barrel of Today

 

So there it is in all it’s glory, I’m glad that I can finally get this underway and hopefully get a couple laughs out of it. Dave Mustaine got a little jab in and Chris Barnes seemed to like it so at least it’s getting some attention! 

Warriors Of The World

We alone are fighting, for metal that is true.
We only ride to live the fight, we’re here for all of you

     So the past few weeks have been awesome! I finally got into a groove with the whole recording process on the podcast and now that I have all the equipment I need, I can improve on the quality almost exponentially. It’s awesome when things are going right, I busted my ass and put in a bunch of work to be able to deliver quality entertainment to all of you metal parents! If even one of you gets some enjoyment out of this, I’m happy. Coming up with new content has proven to be a challenge, not for lack of things to write or speak about, but for an abundance of things to sift through. All in all, I think I’m taking some major steps in the right direction and that we together can build a stronger metal community.

Now swear the blood upon your steel, we’ll never try.

Stand and fight together, beneath a metal sky!

     So I think it’s funny how the first band I ended up talking about on my Youtube channel ended up being the first one I interviewed in person on the podcast. The strangest part is that I wasn’t the slightest bit nervous. As soon as Brian set foot in the studio, I handed him a beer and we carried on as if we were the best of friends. We conversed about the metal scene altogether, our influences, how the drive up was for him and for a couple minutes I completely forgot I was at work! after smoking a cigarette, and going over the game plan for the interview we just said fuck it and got started. I’d have to say it went well, he was incredibly responsive, articulate, and had a genuine passion for the message that he was trying to convey. It went so well in fact, that we were able to do the whole thing in one take and I only minimally sounded like a jackass. It feels good to be able to elevate people though, I know that the band didn’t need my help to get the word out about their upcoming shows and creative endeavors but it still feels amazing to be able to spread their listenership to a whole new audience. Such is the way in the metal community though, it doesn’t matter where we stand politically, morally, or spiritually. We take care of one another, and we have each other’s backs unconditionally for the most part. No other community that I have ever been a part of has been nearly as inclusive and fulfilling as this one.

Brothers everywhere, raise your hands into the air.

We’re warriors, warriors of the world!

     The offspring have been all kinds of excited with all the new changes! In order to record effectively, I have to constantly research current happenings such as the Kreator album release I discussed in episode 2 or the metal history section that I added in episode 3. What this means is that they are being exposed to new music and more importantly, it’s something that they can help me with! Being every bit as much a parenting show as a metal show, they relish the fact that I actually listen to their opinions. This also means that I get some quality memories as well such as my 5 year old trying to say “totalitarian terror” or my 2 year old asking to hear “fahl kins” (for all kings). and more importantly it’s been an excellent way to bond! I can’t help but feel proud when I catch them banging their head or randomly breaking out into air guitar solos. It’s the moments like that which make all the heartache,  sleeplessness, and stress associated with parenting worth it in the end!

 

                The song that inspired the post can be found here:                           

Children of The Grave

“Revolution in their minds, the children start to march, against the world in which they have to live and all the hate that’s in their hearts.”

It’s a familiar sight, but one that never ceases to amaze me. The sight of 60,000 fish net, studs, denim, worn-down concert T-shirt wearing, tried and true metal heads flooded the gates. The smell of burgers cooking in the parking lot and cheap weed lingered in the air, and it felt like home. Thousands upon thousands of people gathered for the same reason, METAL. The line moved quick an opened up into a boulevard of merchant stands, food trucks and ATM machines. The main stage was still being set up as myself and a close friend made our way across the field toward the lower stages. I talked to him about how much I was looking forward to seeing Brujeria play live, and he talked to me about how much he wanted to see Devil Driver.

Checking out the shops!

 We stopped by the Musician’s Institute/ ESP booth and got to demo a few guitars before I headed to the Nuclear Blast records tent and spent a small fortune on death metal merch. My buddy and I split up so that I was able to snag a spot up front at the nuclear blast stage. The crowd was still small during one of the local acts, a band called The Shrine out of Venice Beach, CA. It was an awesome show, they looked like something straight out of the 70’s. They were a three-member band wearing John Lennon glasses, epic sideburns, and beat to hell Marshall amps and did not fail to impress. Their music was reminiscent of bands like Deep Purple and AC/DC with a violent twist. Security had no idea what the hell to do when people started jumping off the barrier to crowd surf and had even less of an idea when the lead singer/guitarist jumped into the crowd during a solo, running a cabled guitar setup. He had some serious balls.

“The Shrine”

Afterwards the bands I came to see at that stage, Kataklysm and Brujeria came on. I managed to get some decent shots of Jean and Stephane from Kataklysm since they were pretty much staring me in the eyes through the whole act, but none of Juan Brujo like I had hoped. The crowd was
amazing, the circle pit was HUGE and everyone was pretty much on their best behavior (Other than the fuckhead that I punched in the kidney for groping on female crowd surfers). Pure head banging awesomeness was afoot when Brujeria played “Brujerismo” and “Matando Gueros” to a crowd that had grown considerably. As all things must, the show came to an end and I linked back up with my buddy to charge my phone for a while and interact with people. A charming young lady running the Rock N Roll industries tent was kind enough to let us hang out in the tent while it charged up, at the behest of what seemed to be her boss who came out of nowhere cussing, spitting and making a scene in front of hundreds of concert goers passing by over some incomprehensible slight. Seriously, fuck that guy. After he stormed off we made our way to the main stage and waited….

 

 

Jean Dagenais of Kataklysm
Stephane Barbe of Kataklysm

 

“They’re tired of being pushed around, and told just what to do. They’ll fight the world until they’ve won and love comes flowing through.”

I got a beer and pretzel from the concessions stand just in time to catch Black Label society as they started their show. Got to meet a bunch of awesome people in the field that was the general admission section all throughout the rest of the night. Megadeth started their act just as the sun was setting over the mountains and seemingly out of nowhere fires started erupting all over the field with hundreds of crazy fucks dancing around them to the tune of “Tornado of Souls” and persisting for the rest of the night. the crowd was illuminated by massive pyrotechnic displays and cellphone screens swaying to the rhythm. Before we knew it, Black Sabbath was getting ready to start their act for the last time in California. With the company of 3 strangers that we met in the beer line (One of which was an older man who had never missed an Ozzfest since it started with his son and daughter who were my age.) we watched history unfold before our eyes as though we were in the company of the best of friends. I summoned up what little was left of my voice as we all sang at the top of our lungs to Figure in Black, War Pigs, Children of the Grave, and Paranoid among others during their nearly 2 hour set. And then it was over. We walked the mile or so back to the car through the hoard of people. We were tired, sore, and hoarse from the 12 hours we had spent banging our heads and soaking it all in, but nothing came close to the feeling of satisfaction that we had for being there to bear witness to the events that unfolded before us that day. People say that all good things will come to an end, but when good things come to a GREAT end, it doesn’t sting as much. \m/CRB

“Children of tomorrow live in tears that fall today. Will the sun rise up tomorrow, bringing peace in any way?”

The Gods Made Heavy Metal

In the beginning there was silence and darkness, all across the earth….

So, I’ve been slacking on the page lately. Haven’t recorded a new video in a month, haven’t been making new blog posts, and haven’t been engaging with the page as much as I could have been. It’s been a hell of a busy month nonetheless! If you guys and girls couldn’t tell from all the updates, I’ve picked up playing guitar again about a month ago after being without one for about six years. I can’t really point out what possessed me to pick one up, it just felt right. I went to one of the local pawn shops (the closest music shop worth a shit is about 80 miles from me) and among the wall adorned with Les Pauls, Stratocasters, and hollow bodies I saw a beat to shit BC Rich Trace Warbeast and knew that was the one for me. I know eventually people are going to catch on and flame me for buying what amounts to a warlock on steroids but fuck ‘em. It’s the perfect guitar for making metal, and I’ll tell you why. First off, just look at the fucking thing! The pointed body, the beveled edges, and the whole over the top nature that it portrays should scream to play songs about destruction, mayhem, and generally badass stuff. I see a lot of the same complaints: “The points hurt your leg when you sit down to play.” “BC Rich makes nothing but shit.” “Why buy one of these when I can get 2 Fender strats for the same price?” And I say, it’s supposed to hurt. You shouldn’t be comfortable playing fucking metal, you should treat your guitar as a beast that needs to be tamed! The body is heavy, the neck dives, the fret spacing is long but it’s perfect. If it could speak words it would only say “fuck you” and laugh. That is why I love it.

From Down below, fire melted the stone. The ground shook, and started to pound

Out of my time away, three weeks were spent relaxing away from work. Started building a guitar case, Saw an awesome local show (White knuckle riot, Dead horse trauma, and Chrysalis), took the family to the beach, and enjoyed the fact that I could spend some time with the wife and offspring and just chill. Came up with a bunch of material for the YouTube channel, which will get thrown up whenever I can get to it. Having time to record and edit has been nonexistent lately, but what I am most proud of accomplishing over the break was writing music. I’m finally back to the point with my playing where I can translate my ideas into song, and it has been awesome. The only thing my youngest likes hearing more than Amon Amarth for the time being is her daddy playing. It’s worth every late night that I’ve spent going over scales hundreds of times, playing riffs till my fingers bled, and calling myself a moron because my riffs sucked just to see her smile and start dancing when I pull Fenrir (my guitar) out of his case and get to work. It’s also worth it to see my oldest take her piano playing more seriously just for the fact that I told her if she kept at it, I’d get her a guitar of her own one day. It’s amazing to see their little minds work every time they watch me practice and want to come up and learn about what I’m doing and even make the occasional request for me to play holy diver (my oldest lost her mind the first time I played it for her). It made me realize that I can sit and play Slayer, Testament, Dio, Maiden, or classic Metallica songs on my phone for them to hear but playing the songs with my own two hands over the last month has brought them closer to the metal state of mind than any album I’ve played for them in their entire life. So I’ll keep at it.

The gods made heavy metal, and they saw that it was good. They said to play it louder than hell! We promised we would

Making songs is the way to keep them engaged so I am going to be putting some effort into keeping myself motivated enough to not only keep doing it for me, but to keep doing it for them. I’ve got a pretty decent home setup now, and plan on putting a couple singles on the page and on the channel for all of you that are reading this to enjoy or hate on as well. I’ve got three sets of lyrics done and am about halfway done with the guitar track on two of them so far, here’s to hoping I can have them done and on the interweb sometime soon. It’s nice to have another way to spread the message, and I plan on doing so in the loudest & most vulgar way possible! -CRB

When losers say it’s over with, you know that it’s a lie. The gods made heavy metal, and it’s NEVER GONNA DIE!

 

The Pursuit of Vikings

The heritage I share with my children is an odd one to say the least. In my veins runs Latin, Norse, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon blood carried over from civilizations as great and proud as any to have existed. Over the years I have tried to keep both of the offspring aware of their Panamanian heritage that I passed on to them. I have tried to teach them as much Spanish as I can remember, I have shared with them the handcrafted artwork of the Kuna people, and I have stressed the importance of knowing their roots and the lessons that can be learned from having a multicultural background. It did not occur to me until recently as I was binge listening to Amon Amarth’s “Fate of Norns” (as I do from time to time) that by nature of my wife they possess more Nordic heritage than Latin. So as any good dad would do, I sat with my oldest and taught her about Yggdrasil, Odin, Thor, Valhalla, and the Norns.

Odin! Guide our ships Our axes, spears and swords! Guide us through storms that whip, and in brutal war!

I did not stop at that. I explained that for every part of her that was graceful, elegant, and charming there was another part that was blunt, headstrong, and fiercely loyal. She is my princess, with a warrior’s heart. I taught her this not to forsake the culture that I was raised to know, love and respect; but to raise her with the knowledge that her roots spread wider than mine do. When my youngest reaches an age where she can discover and comprehend all that makes her unique, I intend to have the same conversations with her. I hope to share the stories of the explorers that navigated the Caribbean in search of new lands, as well as the influence the Norsemen spread across Europe in its infancy. Though I would rather not think of it yet, one day my girls may have children of their own who will also have roots that are unique to them and I pray my daughters will teach them as I have done and will continue to do. History in and of itself has always fascinated me. It is common knowledge that there were people who existed long before my generation, but the intrigue comes from a continued attempt to understand these cultures and apply the lessons learned from their triumphs and failures to my own life. The fact that there is a history behind every person, including myself and those near to me intrigues me even more so. In order for my children and me to understand the lessons others can teach more clearly, I place a great importance on understanding who we are and what makes us unique. I believe we will never benefit from the lessons of others until we have learned what we consist of, from the deepest part of our roots to the tallest part of our branches. \m/ CRB

 

Seasons in the Abyss

We all get lost in life at some point or another. Some choose to find a way out, some collapse under the weight of it all, and others choose to remain in the dark until they are ready to find their way. I tried to be the first type, but it seemed like the more I tried, the deeper I found myself buried. I never collapsed, as is evident by my being here writing this now. That leaves the last option. Once I learned patience, I found I had the strength to be able to embrace whatever situation life threw my way and ride out the storm until it was over. There have been ups and downs as can be expected, but when life was at its hardest I didn’t turn and run, I stood firm and faced the turmoil. I’m not writing this to set myself on a pedestal. I wrote this because I know someone, somewhere, is struggling to keep their head above water and I want them to know that if they just take a deep breath and focus on what is important they just might make it out before they drown. That is what metal is about. Nobody in this world is more important than you are. When you are down you don’t curl into a ball and give up, you stand up with your middle finger raised and knock the shit out of what put you down in the first place! That is what metal is about. When you are excluded and abandoned, you find pride in all that you have done for yourself and that which is dear to you. That is what metal is about. I sit here and I think of all the things I’ve gone through, the mistakes I’ve made, and how there were many obstacles in the road that led me to where I am today. If I had stopped to look for the light, I might have never made it. As a father, I think constantly about how I can prepare my children once they get to a point where they can decide to blaze trails of their own. I keep coming back to a set of lyrics:

Close your eyes, look deep in your soul, step outside yourself and let your mind go….

The conclusion I’ve drawn is that the only way to prepare them is to teach them to have value in themselves. No matter what the situation is, they need to know that they have the strength within themselves to withstand the test of time and that they do not need anybody to pick their path for them. This goes for you too. You are only worth as little or as much as you think that you are. You don’t have to spend the seasons in the abyss like I did, I’ve gone through it so that you don’t have to. \m/etal dad out.