A Rebuttal To Metal Injection’s Rebuttal To Our “United States Of Metal” Map
Hi, I’m Ethan Fixell.
Remember when, last week, I published that “definitive, objective, indisputable list of the best heavy metal band from every U.S. state”? Well, it turns out that if you make an “indisputable” proclamation, people will go ahead and dispute it anyway. How rude!
Over the weekend, Cody Davis of Metal Injection actually wrote a rebuttal to my Metal Map. While Davis and I seem to agree on the winners of about 20 states, he did have alternate picks for the rest of my selections. And though I appreciate the work he put into his piece (and think he’s a great metal writer in general, too) I couldn’t stop myself from responding to Mr. Davis, and explain why most of his amendments are, quite simply, wrong.
Kerrang!: Flotsam & Jetsam
Metal Injection: Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is undeniably one of the most essential American rock musicians / bands of all time – setting the stage for countless metal acts to come. But we can’t possibly categorize Alice Cooper as “metal.” Peerless and incredible, sure – but “proto-metal” at best.
Metal Injection: Rwake
True, Rwake is a solid band – one that influenced Pallbearer quite a bit, actually. But as Davis himself admits, “tenure doesn’t imply being the best.” Pallbearer would build upon Rwake’s sludgy, doomy sound and made something even better.
Kerrang!: Cephalic Carnage
Metal Injection: Primitive Man
As Davis also says, “Colorado offers a wealth of riches when it comes to metal bands.” And while Primitive Man is great, I would personally sooner give Colorado to Khemmis, Blood Incantation, or Allegaeon than I would to Primitive Man.
Metal Injection: Pelican
First of all, I reject the assertion that Ministry “hasn’t been good since 1992.” Filth Pig (1996) and The Last Sucker (2007) are among the best of Ministry’s discography. I, too, love Pelican, but they’re not even a shred as influential as Ministry has been — and the band has just as many weak spots in its discography, relatively speaking.
Metal Injection: Manilla Road
I’m almost willing to simply give this one to Davis. Manilla Road is unquestionably a more “important” band, with plenty of classic releases over the last 40 years. But I simply like Origin a hell of a lot more. Sue me!
Now, here’s where Davis starts to go off the reservation. Thou is “better” than Eyehategod? What’s next? Is he going to try to convince me that Falls of Rauros is better than Ogre?
Metal Injection: Falls of Rauros
Damn it! Let’s ask any Portlander to choose between the two. Not to take anything away from Falls, but Ogre is some legit, OG local shit that sounds like a crappy Portland bar at 1 in the morning (in the best possible way). Gotta give respect where it’s due.
Metal Injection: Dying Fetus
Okay, I’m gonna be honest here: I like Dying Fetus more than Clutch. And I do think they’re more metal. I only changed my pick because of how passionately some of the guys in the Kerrang! office disagreed with me about it. Can I come work with you, instead?
Repulsion live January 1991
Metal Injection: The Black Dahlia Murder
I TAKE THAT BACK! I’m staying at Kerrang! forever. I don’t care how many different riffs or time signature changes TBDM can fit into a song — Repulsion are goddamned LEGENDS NOT TO BE CHALLENGED (and they only needed one album to get there).
Metal Injection: Obsequiae
Obseq-what? Admittedly, I’d never even heard of this band before – but I checked them out and thought they were really cool. With that said, Powermad are still more badass, and guitarist Todd Haug was the longtime brewer for Minneapolis’ Surly, before recently leaving for 3 Floyds Brewing. That’s one metal-as-hell job.
Metal Injection: Jute Gyte
Here’s another one I’m not familiar with – and find far more offensive than the previous upset. Really, man? You’re gonna overturn Angelcorpse for a one-man black metal outfit that’s released 20 experimental noise records barely anyone has ever heard? If he can’t give this one to me, we have nothing else to discuss.
Metal Injection: Eneferens
I’m sensing a pattern here…. Davis is really pushing the obscure, underground black metal acts over more established, important (and in my opinion, better) bands — and it feels to me like it’s for the sake of being contrarian. You wanna go? Because I’ll go. I’ll fucking GO, bro!
Metal Injection: Garoted
Okay, Cody (can I call you Cody?), now I gotta ask: are you just making some of these bands up? I understand you’re not into power metal (?!), but to select an unknown death metal band over lyrics like “Life’s too short to sit and cry / One day you live, another you die” sung with heavy vibrato over ascending power chords that crescendo into an inspiring, anthemic chorus – well, that just proves you have no soul, sir.
Metal Injection: Ronnie James Dio
Alright: if Dio was, indeed, born in New Hampshire, then Davis is finally 100% right about one of these, and I concede the state to him without question. (:: checks Wikipedia::) (:: bows head in shame ::)
Metal Injection: The Dillinger Escape Plan
Looks like we’re going to have to fight in the parking lot over this one, too. Dillinger are legends in their own right, and deserving of New Jersey’s silver medal. But to dismiss all “arguments” on this one is unfair. Overkill were thrashing in the Garden State when TDEP were still in diapers – and they’re still playing today! Can’t say the same for Dillinger….
Not really budging on this, sorry.
Kerrang!: Predatory Light
Metal Injection: Old Man Gloom
I honestly had no idea Old Man Gloom was formed in New Mexico, what with three quarters of its members having such strong New England ties (the band is even based in Massachusetts today). Turns out Aaron and drummer Santos Montano both hail from the state, where the band first got together – so I humbly overturn my decision and concede my second loss to Metal Injection.
Metal Injection: Type O Negative
Oh, for f’s sake, get out of here with this one. Possessing a giant penis and singing like a depressed Danzig doesn’t make you good. Meanwhile, Anthrax are thrash royalty. No contest.
Kerrang!: Corrosion of Conformity
Metal Injection: Between the Buried and Me
I’m glad that Davis appreciates CoC as “undoubtedly a great pick for North Carolina.” But I’m not sure that Between the Buried and Me are as consistent and important to best them. Still, seeing as BTBAM are great, and Davis hails from this lovely state, I’m willing to remain a bit flexible here. All the more reason for my New York pick to stand, too.
Metal Injection: Fistula
I’ve heard the case made for Ringworm, Nine Inch Nails (metal?), and even (shudder) Mushroomhead – but Fistula is a first. I’m not budging for Fistula.
Metal Injection: Idre
Had never heard of these guys, either. But I dig now, and respect the pick. Kind of a young band to take the crown, though, no?
Kerrang!: Red Fang
Metal Injection: YOB
Ah, Oregon is a tough one. I’d certainly considered YOB, but they came in third place behind Agalloch, which I personally prefer. I’d like to call this one a three-way tie?
Kerrang!: Code Orange
Metal Injection: Incantation
“How does one drop the ball so heavily?” Davis asks me over my Pennsylvania pick. I ask him the same question, when Incantation isn’t from Pennsylvania. The (undeniably stellar) death metal band was founded in New Jersey, and helped establish the New York City death metal scene in the early ‘90s. They relocated to Pennsylvania only much later. Also, Code Orange is awesome, fuck you.
Skeletonwitch - Unending, Everliving
Metal Injection: Absu
Texas was one of the most controversial states on social media, with many coming to Pantera’s defense, and others admonishing their inclusion. Notable suggested replacements included Powertrip (which I do truly adore) and Absu (another fantastic option). Still, despite Phil Anselmo’s questionable antics throughout the years, Pantera’s sheer popularity and influence on groove metal are impossible to ignore.
Metal Injection: SubRosa
I get it – the guy doesn’t like power metal. But hijacking my power metal picks for a personal distaste for the subgenre isn’t enough to make me budge here. The point for Visigoth stands!
Kerrang!: Lamb of God
Metal Injection: GWAR
Truthfully, this one killed me. GWAR is an all-time favorite of mine, and just as worthy of this award as Lamb of God is for entirely different reasons. I gave it to LoG for being the more commercially successful band, but would be entirely happy for GWAR to take it instead.
Metal Injection: Earth
The Melvins are the greatest metal band from Washington. The end.
Metal Injection: Byzantine
As the band told me on Twitter, it’s a “complicated history in terms of [Zao] being from West Virgnia or Pennsylvania,” so I’m willing to be flexible here. But Byzantine definitely isn’t better than Zao, and the notion that I “had too much metalcore” on my list is irrelevant and false. Zao stays.
Kerrang!: Misery Signals
Metal Injection: Northless
Davis had “forgotten Misery Signals was even a band.” Is that worse than the fact that no one has ever known that Northless is a band?
Metal Injection: Toby Knapp
Maybe Ea is from Russia. Everything I’ve read about them indicates they’re from Cody, Wyoming — but then again, they’re the most secretive, mysterious band on the planet, so who knows? What I do know, however, is that I like to argue, I love heavy metal, and it’s my right as an American to not back down on this final entry. You put up a good fight, Cody Davis, but you’re not taking Wyoming from me.
…Unless you wanna take it to the message boards?
Here’s the playlist for the original article, which we’ve refused to alter in any way: