Sounds of A Generation – Ann chats to Jon Rossi of Pilgrim

Much of what’s toted today as rock music leaves much to be desired in my eyes. Hair gel’d fringes and indie rock sounds aren’t what I consider even remotely close to what rock music is and what it’s about, though most of the youngsters of today seem to dig it. A lot.

Mainstream rock music, let alone heavy metal, has mutated into a different beast altogether, which – though (sadly) inevitable – seems to build up ideas in many young people’s minds of what these genres are and where they’ve come from.

(Happily) inevitable, is that there are and will always be exceptions to this pattern, such as the three youngsters in the heavy rock/doom metal band Pilgrim, signed to Poison Tongue Records (founded and managed by Primordial’s Alan Averill; a man whom mainstream media has begun to recognise as an established name in the heavy metal underground).

It was refreshing in more ways than one when I sat down to talk to singer/guitarist Jon Rossi, otherwise known as “The Wizard”. How often do you come across musicians emerging into their twenties these days, who still revere the legacy and history of their favourite music these days? Well, I haven’t.

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A Taste of What’s to Come

More or less!

Normally I would shy away from posting material that I’ve done for other people to Me(n)tal-Meltdown. However, this seemed as good a time as ever to give a taste of what’s to come next week.


I mentioned being in Oslo for four weeks between January and February; part of the task at hand was to gather up material for an individual, five minute radio piece about the topic of our choice. Since it was Oslo and it’s clear to everyone reading this bog where some of my main interests lie, I pocked an issue which had been on my mind for a while – why metal music seems to have more acceptance by the mainstream in Norway, than in the UK where it was born.


The feature owes part of its success to chance – before I went to the Inferno kick off party, I met with Lazare’s (Borknagar, Solefald) brother Sindre, who was kind enough to let me record him when our conversation turned to the local scene. He comes as the second voice in the interviews after Lazare, and also brought up an interesting issue that – despite not making the final cut for this piece – I intend to bring up again in future. It was pretty funny to hear!

Voices and Stories project – “Metal Norway”


Metalhead =/= Meathead

…or, “damn; that’s a lot of vegetarians or vegans out there.”

Episode 4 of Vegan Black Metal Chef

To be fair, many things are being written for the general public about the vegetarian lifestyle and veganism. Be it about the horrors of the meat industry, scientific articles against eating the flesh of other creatures and so on, it’s become increasingly difficult to avoid culinary lifestyle debates wherever one turns.

Of course, this extends to music and the various subcultures tied into it, including punk, hardcore and metal. Continue reading

When Cultures Collide – Is It All Folk Metal?

I hardly ever write about a topic that I’ve just read about somewhere else… okay, I guess that Baby Metal post contradicts that since I saw it in a post from a friend (to be fair he only linked to the videos and not much else). Either way, it didn’t change the fact that this recent post on Invisible Oranges set off a few questions in my head on the issue of regional influences and folk metal. Continue reading

Another year, another day?

Today should be a special day of sorts – after all, it’s August 25th, Rob Halford’s birthday. The man whose legacy as one of the Best Voices of Metal, due mainly to his role in one of the Best Bands Ever, has turned 60 years old today. From what I saw and heard back in July, as well as what I know about his other projects which include a Dio tribute album; he has no plans to slow down just yet.

At the same time, it’s forcing me to look again at that little bugbear of mine, mortality. Not just my own, as I turned 25 last week (hence my motives for praising 1986 as a pretty good year), but also that of music – namely metal. Continue reading

The Me(n)tal Meltdown show – Take ONE!

At long last, it’s the Me(n)tal-Meltdown show!

Starting this week, Me(n)tal Meltdown is no longer just a blog – it’s a radio show, too! K. Ann Sulaiman (Invisible Oranges, ex-Terrorizer Wretched Spawn) aims to bring together the best of the Metal World in about a half hour time slot every two weeks.

Tune in to discover bands from all over the world, and check out what else goes on in the underground! If you miss this week’s episode, you miss out – not only on Metalucifer, Anathema and Cruachan but also K. Ann herself! You’ll have to excuse her a bit – she’s caught some of that Royal Wedding fever and it shows.

Hear it for yourself and find out!

Home of Metal Open Day, at The Public; West Bromwich


Home of Metal, a project set up to celebrate the heritage of heavy metal music in the West Midlands region of England, began its 2011 campaign with an Open Day at The Public exhibition hall on March 26th. Continue reading