Saturday, July 27, 2013


How does one make a political metal mix for someone who already has "War Pigs," "Peace Sells," "Cult of Personality" and "Bring the Noise?"

  1. Metallica, "Blackened"
  2. System of a Down, "B.Y.O.B."
  3. Faith No More, "We Care a Lot"
  4. Living Colour, "Pride"
  5. Guns N' Roses, "Civil War"
  6. Suicidal Tendencies, "Send Me Your Money"
  7. Marilyn Manson, "The Love Song"
  8. Saul Williams, "List of Demands (Reparations)"
  9. Lamb of God, "As the Palaces Burn"
  10. Revocation, "Pestilence Reigns"
  11. Megadeth, "Symphony of Destruction"
  12. Ministry, "Thieves"
  13. Gojira, "Vacuity"
  14. Motörhead, "God Save the Queen"
  15. Sepultura, "Kaiowas"
  16. Rage Against the Machine, "Wake Up"
  17. Body Count, "Cop Killer"
  18. Misery Index, "Traitors"
Answer: It's hard, but not for lack of songs. How to pick just one selection from Rage Against the Machine or System of a Down? Is Tool's "Ænima" political enough? Is Saul Williams' "List of Demands (Reparations)" metal enough? There are already enough political metal mixes, with names like Psalm 69 and As the Palaces Burn. How can anything compete with those?

I ended up pulling up a little from everything. This is for someone who probably agrees with Cattle Decapitation philosophically if not melodically, so I'm throwing down the biggest metal trump cards. I picked "Blackened" over the other ...And Justice for All contenders by virtue of the fact that it rocks the hardest, and "Symphony of Destruction" for not having a verse about the Punisher, plus being still sadly relevant in an era of Morsis and Putins. Sepultura's "Kaiowas" landed here for proving that a metal band didn't need amps, or even lyrics, to send a message about forced evictions of natives in Brazil. I also dug up "We Care a Lot" from Faith No More's pre-Mike Patton days, a gleefully incisive takedown of the Live Aid and "We Are the World" celebrities which I'd still pit against anything Bono and Bob Geldof are doing today. I'll add that "We Care a Lot" predated The Book of Mormon ("I am Africa") and Get Him to the Greek ("African Child (Trapped in Me)") by at least 20 years.

More recently, the Political Metal flag has been raised by French progressive environmetalists (sic) Gojira and relentlessly confrontational deathgrinders Misery Index, the latter of whom earn the Thomas Paine and John Brown references on "Traitors" by being one of the only metal bands to put as much care into their lyrics as their music. But my favorite is Revocation, whom match their politically-charged lyrics (they recently debuted a song called "Fracked") with the most sophisticated metal that these ears have found over the past few years. "Pestilence Reigns," a chilling depiction of air raids, solves all of my problems with neo-thrash and technical death metal, giving the former a death metal makeover and the later a sense of songwriting direction.

Finally, I couldn't put together a political metal mix without including the most controversial metal single of all time. If you haven't heard it, that's because it's been banned from CD release since 1992.

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