Name: Samuel H. Becherer
Email address: samb (at) metal-observer.com
Function: Editor, Target of Nagging/Hate/Black Metal Fanboys
Compatible styles: Grind, (Proto) Death, (Blower/Not Gay) Black, Doom, Progressive, (not gay) Jazz, Classical.
Incompatible styles: Anything with –core (save Grindcore) in it, most Pop Music, the Alt. Rock movement.
Thoughts on the main Metal genres:
Black Metal: Ahh yes, the haven for Chatroom Warlords and Psychopaths. Black Metal is indeed a style I dig very much when it is done right. For example, BLODULV, PEST (Swe), PESTE NOIR, HORNED ALMIGHTY, DEATHSPELL OMEGA, OFERMOD, WATAIN, SARGEIST…that’s all Black Metal done right. Take the phrase “done right” as you will but it basically means that it’s not gay, it’s manly and it’s not afraid of The Rock Out. As for the bigger names, MARDUK is very mighty…as is of course DARKTHRONE. MAYHEM on the other hand….
Death Metal: I used to like everything in this genre, but now I have a much more refined palate. I still don’t mind the super technical Death Metal, but it all sounds the same after awhile, and the typewriter drums can be very trying on the nerves. Of course there are exceptions to the Technical aspect, as BEHEMOTH, CRYPTOPSY, GORGUTS are all a little more…noisy. Melodic Death Metal can be down extremely well when all the clichés are avoided, case in point RAINTIME, AMON AMARTH, DARK TRANQUILLTY. I much prefer good old Proto-Death Metal a la (the mightiest) BOLT THROWER, PENTACLE, MORBOSIDAD, and DEBAUCHERY (the list goes on).
Thrash Metal: Hmmm…I like the rusty underbelly side of Thrash Metal. SAURON (US) with their sublime “Thrash Assault” or TOXIC HOLOCAUST are prime examples of dirty raw Thrash Metal. Of course you can’t leave out DARK ANGEL.SODOM and the bands that got me into Metal (METALLICA, SLAYER, and MEGADETH).
Power Metal: I used to be quite into Power Metal. But after hearing so much of it the genre as a whole turned stale to me. I don’t know but there are really only a handful of Power Metal bands that can rock and not sound like a bunch of wankers. ANGRA, CELLADOR, ICED EARTH, and DRAGONLORD work well.
Progressive Metal: For the most part, no. There always this wall of banality between Prog Metal and me. It all seems so generic and everyone sounds the same. With the exceptions of SPASTIC INK, CHRIS CAFFERY, NEVERMORE, IQ,RUSH; I can’t think of many Progressive bands who really entertain me.
Doom Metal: Oh Lord, what a genre. There is no more emotional Metal than that of the Doom Variety. You have to be into it all the way to make fantastic Doom. I love the newer styles, Funeral Doom gives me my long-term fix and the classics, well they are classics for a reason. WITCHFINDER GENERAL, REVEREND BIZARRE, CANDLEMASS, ESOTERIC, DISEMBOWELMENT, THERGOTHON, TROUBLE, SLEEP…it’s all good.
Gothic Metal: TIAMAT and MOONSPELL are about it; although there is this band called AUTUMN from
Melodic/Heavy Metal: I’m afraid I do not listen to much “Classic” material. TWISTED SISTER, MANOWAR, DIO and IRON MAIDEN are about it.
Nicknames: Samael the Confessor, Beck or Ben
Time at TMO: June 2006
How came to TMO: I have been reading reviews here for awhile, and started writing some for other sites and I saw that they were looking for reviewers, I submitted and here I am
The best thing as a TMO writer: Being part the scene, interacting with the bands, fans.
The worst thing as a TMO writer: Fanboys….fanboys….fanboys…
Reviewing methods: Listen then write first while doing something ten just listening….then I’ll have the album playing in the background while I write the review to see if it truly deserves its pristine rating or to give it one final shot to prove itself.
Job: Student, Page at the Library
Languages: French, English, (studying) Hebrew, (more or less six words of) Spanish and a bit of Russian.
Hobbies: Video Games,
Pet peeves: When people try way too hard to be “grim” or “moody”, emo kids or guys who wear chicks pants then try to listen to Metal….I also dislike a lot of “kvlt kids” did any of you ever think that for one second it would be nice if a lot of people liked good music?
Phobia(s): Small places….
I, about myself: Religious, Mystic, Eccentric and Loud individual who happens to like a good book and a large pipe and the occasional debate.
Describe yourself in 5 words: Dorky, Religious, Opinionated, Broad and Funny.
Funny childhood story: I don’t think I ever was a child
How I came into Heavy Metal: METALLICA’s “Reload” which brought me into more METALLICA, followed by MEGADETH, which in turn got me into various record samples. Which led to my discovery of
First Metal CD ever bought: METALLICA’s “Reload”
Most embarrassing CD in your collection: hmmm……probably 50 Cent “Get Rich Or Die Tryin’” yeah….those were my experimental days.
First Metal concert: YES (if that doesn’t count) then DARK TRANQUILLITY and DEVIN TOWNSEND
What did Metal teach me about life: That people criticize something they don’t understand and that they reject the unknown. Also that most people cannot look past the image to uncover the talent of these musicians, also that most people are cool…and relaxed so you should try to be as well.
Favourite music listening place and why? Probably my car because I’m always driving a long while and it gives me time to let the music sink in. A close second would be my room.
Most prized Metal possession? Ok, well this is a tough one, either my original copy of Mütiilation’s “Black Imperial Blood (Travel)”, it’s not a bootleg…I know I’m excited too; or my SAMAEL “Since The Creation” box set signed by Vorph.
Band & previous band experiences: Drummer in the band OGHMAN INFINIUM which is an Unblack Metal band that consists of me and a guitarist: Drummer and producer in BLACK RIVER, RUSTED BLOOD (vocalist as well), and TANKFACE, which are Black Metal, Sludge/Doom Metal and Proto-Death Metal respectively. As for non-metal projects, I am the drummer for LUDE KLAX AND THE POKEMANS...(Which is more or less a joke) and also the drummer for a David Bowie tribute group.
Instrumental talents: Drums- 13 years
Favourite bands: Anything I’ve listed (in a positive light) in the genre explanations along with David Bowie, Neil Young, AVERSE SEFIRA, KATHARSIS, Billy Corrigan, SMASHING PUMPKINS, Coltrane, meh…I’ve ran out of ideas.
Least favourite bands: CHURCH OV MELKARTH
Sound you’d like to have banned:
Most overrated bands: MAYHEM, TYPHUS, 1349, (early) SATYRICON, SUFFOCATION, DRAGONFORCE, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD.
Most underrated bands: BLACKTHRONE, MORBOSIDAD, PESTE NOIR, PENTACLE.
Most influential band: DEEP PURPLE – For starting Metal.
Favourite musician: Inferno (BEHEMOTH), Wrest (LEVIATHAN), Billy Corrigan, Arioch (FUNERAL MIST), Necromorbus (FUNERAL MIST and about a million other bands), David Eugene Edwards (SIXTEEN HORSEPOWER)
Favourite album cover: REVEREND BIZARRE – “So Long Suckers”
10 favourite albums:
Sixteen Horsepower – Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes
One of the creepiest albums I’ve ever heard in my life. Honest To God This Christian band makes scarier music than 99% of the Black/Death Metal hordes combined. Hollow Ghostlike Sounds mixed with Deathlike acoustics and vocals all wrapped up in an Appalachian/Christian package. Truly a masterpiece and David Eugene Edwards is a genius!
Reverend Bizarre - Return To The Rectory
Now, all of their albums are perfect and it was really hard for me to pick one, but “Return To The Rectory” gets top honours for having a great balance of sounds, the creepy acoustic laden track of “The Festival”, the ultra-doomier than thou song “Goddess Of Doom” and the great and crushing finisher “Wrath Of The War Elephants”: if doom were embodied as human it would be REVEREND BIZARRE
This Empty Flow – The Album
JOY DIVISION meet THE CURE meets CHRISTIAN DEATH: a fantastic album chronicling the short lived brilliance of THIS EMPTY FLOW.
Bolt Thrower – For Those Once Loyal
It was a damn hard choice picking between this album and “The IVth Crusade”. But the world eating riffs of Ward and heavy as hell bass work by Miss Bench make this relatively recent album a certifiable Death Metal Classic. Blower in every sense of the word, groovier than Bruce Campbell and Heavier then an elephant with a thyroid disorder: that’s BOLT THROWER and that’s Death Metal!
Peste Noir - La Sanie Des Siècles - Panégyrique De La Dégénérescence
Fantastic Black Metal. Epic songs like the brilliant “Phalènes Et Pestilence - Salvatrice Averse” and “Dueil Angoisseus (Christine De Pisan, 1362-1431)” coupled with brilliant homage to Baudelaire with “Spleen” the French Hordes don’t get any better save DEATHSPELL OMEGA…whom this album beat out if you’re all wondering.
Leviathan – Tentacles Of Whorror
This just beat out XASTHUR’s “Nocturnal Poisoning” because of the variety found within this disc, from epic sweeping choruses (“Vexed and Vomit Hexed”) to scary as hell blast-beat filled romps through hell (“What Fresh Hell”)and ending with one of the most frightening songs ever (“The History of Rape”); this album just nudged out Malefic’s Magnum Opus.
Funeral Mist – Salvation
If someone were possessed and capable of writing fantastic musical arrangements I believe the result would be something like “Salvation”. A fantastic mix of low end vibes, serpent guitars, blistering drums and the best Black Metal vocal performance ever results in genius.
Brilliant on every level, I don’t think there is one song found on this disc that I dislike, every song has its own identity and appeal. I can listen to this album for days and never tire of its charms
Nevermore – This Godless Endeavour
Same as above.
Dark Tranquillity – Character
A newer album I’m aware of that, but it’s just so damn good. DARK TRANQUILLITY was at the top of their game with this album and it’s good to see they are still moving strong.
Favourite films: Tarantino and Kurosawa flicks are pretty much all I watch now, and throw in anything with Audrey Tautou in it and I’m down. Just give me a movie with some meat on its bones and a message in its mouth.
Favourite books: Anything by George R.R. Martin, The Kybalion, Anything Yeats or Lorca has done,
Favourite food: Mexican/Japanese
Favourite drink: Jones’ Soda
Favourite smokes: Dunhill Full Flavours
Which song should be played at your funeral? David Bowie’s “Heroes” or “Young Americans”. Perhaps GREEN CARNATION’s “
Idol (s): David Bowie, Arioch, Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson, Inferno, David Eugene Edwards.
Person you‘d like to meet: Inferno, Flo Mounier, David Eugene Edwards, David Bowie
Catchphrase: “I dunno who you are but I owe you one” or “Mayhaps”
Biggest thrill in life (so far): Dunno….lot of things happened…
Goal in life: To write, live peacefully, love fully, and Defend the Throne of King Adrius
Secret: …Ganondorf is my father
5 favourite links:
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