ARTICLE: Metal’s Sense Of Humor Pt. 1

In order to get away from all the grimness and death and violence and melancholy and Satanism and a whole host of other nasties which can permeate the metal scene, I thought I’d kick off another new series for In Angel’s Headphones. This time, I’m focusing on some of the funnier aspects of metal. This can be in the form of established acts joking around, parody bands joking around or individuals joking around. Noticing a trend here?

These fun moments have no real categorizing going on, I’m just highlighting them at random. But the general theme for this one is ESTABLISHED ACTS.

1. Jaldaboath
First up, we have an absolutely hilarious medieval metal band from the UK called Jaldaboath. They take their inspiration from “the Knights Templars, the crusades of the medieval period, the tradition of the troubadours and screen classics Blackadder and Monty Python.” Should give you a fair idea of the insanity that is to come. They have one EP and one album out so far, I’ll provide you with a track from the album The Rise of the Heraldic Beasts, which features tracks such as “Axe-Wielding Nuns” and “Bring Me The Head Of Metatron”. For now, enjoy this fantastic little track, “Bash The Bishop”.
Thanks are due to Ben for introducing them to me.

2. Dethklok
Anybody who keeps up with metal comedy will probably have watched or at least heard of Metalocalypse, an animated TV series broadcast by Adult Swim, which follows a fictional death metal band who are exceedingly popular in the series (“ranking as the seventh largest economy on Earth by the end of the second season”, quoth Wikipedia). The series itself plays a lot on metal stereotypes, and is well worth checking out, I’ve been told (I have yet to watch it, but it’s on my list to get).
Anyway, this is a song from Dethklok, which should be played at every metalhead’s birthday. It’s entitled, “Birthday Dethday”, enjoy.

3. Austrian Death Machine
Those who follow As I Lay Dying will know all about ADD, but for those that don’t: Arnold Schwarzenegger-themed metal. That is all. It’s run by AILD vocalist Tim Lambesis, who records most of the music aside from the solos, provided by guest musicians, and the Ahhnold voiceovers, done by Destroy The Runner vocalist Chad Ackerman. They’ve got two albums out already, with a third on the way. Enjoy the song provided, “Get To The Choppa”!

Those who know ADD already can check out ArnoCorps.

4. Nightmare Cinema
Fans of Dream Theater may recognize the line-up of this band: it’s Dream Theater. A few years ago, they used to switch instrumental positions during a concert and play a couple of covers. The new line-up would be: Mike Portnoy – bass (originally drums), John Petrucci – drums (originally guitar), John Myung – Keyboard (originally bass) and Derek Sherinian – guitar (originally keyboard). James LaBrie would remain as vocalist, and the band would perform a cover song (usually “Perfect Strangers” by Deep Purple). Here’s a video of such an event taking place.

5. Korpiklaani
Although not strictly a comedy act, I know of very few people who don’t end up with a manic grin on their faces when a ‘Laani track is put on. The band have been around for a fair while (since ’03), so you can choose between their 7 albums of happy folk metal, most of which are littered with drinking songs like the one below, “Happy Little Boozer”. Now start a moshpit-jig!

6. Killswitch Engage fool around
KsE’s guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz is no stranger to looking a fool onstage, which can provide some amusement to say the least. Check one example here.
Also, one of the bonus tracks on the Killswitch Engage album Alive Or Just Breathing (the 2CD version) is this hilarious one-minute series of outtakes from the album.
An excerpt of this has been made into a video-game mockery as well, enjoy that below and try to find the full track if you can!

Thus concludes round one of the sense of humor to be found in metal, tune in next time for more hilarity!

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