Name: Eric Provenza
Email address: ericp (at) metal-observer.com
Compatible styles: Thrash, Progressive, Death, Doom, Power, and any hybrids of these (Progressive Death, Power Thrash, etc). I also dig a fair amount of non-metal, though these take up a far less significant portion of my personal collection.
Incompatible styles: Nu-metal, Metalcore, Modern Hardcore (as opposed to Hardcore Punk, which I like), so-called ĎMath Metalí bands and other Avant-garde, Drone Doom and other overly ambient music, and bedroom Black Metal.
Thoughts on the main Metal genres:
Black Metal: Iím finally starting to get into the most prolific genre in the world, but itís a slow learning process. Bands I enjoy include EMPEROR, AETURNUS, and I.C.E. Iíve always been into the old first-wave stuff though, like MERCYFUL FATE, CELTIC FROST, and VENOM. I also enjoy hybrids that incorporate Black Metal elements, like AZER (Black/Death) and WITCHAVEN (Black/Thrash).
Death Metal: It took me awhile, but Iím no longer afraid to admit that I love Death Metal. Most of the modern Brutal Death stuff, especially when it closely resembles Gore-Grind, fails to appeal to me (I find it unoriginal and repetitive), but Iíll always dig the classics, from MORBID ANGEL to DEICIDE to AUTOPSY to CANNIBAL CORPSE. My favourites include thrashy old-school Death Metal bands like POSSESSED and DEATH, as well as the progressive bands like ATHEIST, CYNIC, EDGE OF SANITY and NECROPHAGIST and a few of the Thrash Metal hybrids, such as TORTURE SQUAD and EX MORTIS. Iím not big into the Melodic Death scene, but Iíve found value in some of it, such as late period CARCASS, NIHILIST, and AMON AMARTH.
Thrash Metal: THRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASH!!!!!! This is the genre I live, breathe, sweat, vomit, etc for. There is nary a Thrash Metal band I donít enjoy, unless youíre talking about that Groove Metal garbage that plagued the 90ís. SLAYER has and probably always will be my favourite, but Iíve found that the more obscure the better in recent years. WARGASM, VIO-LENCE, SABBAT, DARK ANGEL, BLIND ILLUSION, HEXENHAUS, REALM, AGONYÖ.this list could go on forever. Iím also an active and avid supporter of the thrash resurgence begun by bands like MUNICIPAL WASTE, WARBRINGER, ENFORCER, and EXECUTION. Long live the Thrash!
Power Metal: Hard to dislike a genre as generally well-executed as Power Metal. SONATA ARCTICA introduced me and will likely remain my favourite band, but I enjoy everything from JAG PANZER to YNGWIE MALMSTEEN to DRAGONFORCE to HELLOWEEN.
Progressive Metal: Some of my favourite acts reside within this genre. DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, PAGANíS MIND, FATES WARNING; basically any band that embodies the spirit of the 70ís Progressive Rock movement, combining undeniable technical skill with engaging song-writing and original, fascinating soundscapes. None of that overly-technical, experimental stuff though, itís more like free-jazz anyway and 99% of the time is utterly incomprehensible.
Doom Metal: Iíve been listening to BLACK SABBATH since I was born, but only in the last couple years have I discovered some of the many amazing bands that call this genre home. TROUBLE is my favourite but I like the epic stuff like SOLITUDE AETURNUS, COUNT RAVEN and CANDLEMASS as well as some of the stoner doom contingent, like SLEEP and WITCHFINDER GENERAL.
Gothic Metal: Hmm, never heard anything out of this genre that has appealed to me. Oh well, maybe one dayÖ
Melodic/Heavy Metal: IRON MAIDEN, RAINBOW, SCORPIONS, and JUDAS PRIEST: these bands helped to set the foundations for everything to come. Plus they wrote some sweet tunes that stand up even today.
Time at TMO: Since November 2007
How came to TMO: Alex invited me after reading some of my reviews on Metal-Archives.
The best thing as a TMO writer: New friends and new music. Canít go wrong there.
The worst thing as a TMO writer: Iíll let you knowÖ.=]Statistics:
Reviewing methods: Depends on lots of things, such as the genre, the album length, the intricacy of the music, and of course whether it spurs my own personal inclination to listen to it again and again. Generally, Iíll listen to the album at least twice before forming a set opinion on it (though that sometimes changes a dozen listens later) and when I listen, I do so without distractions. Gotta get a good feel for the music, you know.
Languages: Just English, Iím afraid.
Hobbies: Music mostly, but also literature, and video games
Pet peeves: Hypocrisy
I, about myself: Iím a swell guy.
Describe yourself in 5 words: Iím a Heavy Metal man.
Funny childhood story: I know I have some, but my mind is blank right now.
How I came into Heavy Metal: My dad got me into bands like BLACK SABBATH and METALLICA when I was a child, but I was fully initiated after first hearing SLAYER.
First Metal CD ever bought: Canít remember.
Most embarrassing CD in your collection: Probably my BILLY IDOL Greatest Hits.
First Metal concert: VAN HAGAR reunion in í04 in Hershey. If that doesnít count, then SLAYER in
What did Metal teach me about life: Louder is better.
Favourite music listening place and why? My bedroom, because my sound system is sweet (not to mention old-school) and I have easy access to CDís, LPís and cassettes.
Most prized Metal possession? My collection of concert ticket stubs, my vinyls, or my Ibanez Destroyer.
Band & previous band experiences: I currently play in the thrash metal band WARHAWK, and have played in various local bands like RIGOR MORTIS, POLYGON COBRA, an early incarnation of THE ARCANE and a classic rock cover band.
Instrumental talents: Guitar, but I started on piano.
Favourite bands: SLAYER, ATHEIST, DREAM THEATER, VAN HALEN, TESTAMENT, SONATA ARCTICA, BLACK SABBATH, KING CRIMSON, SYMPHONY X, DARK ANGEL
Least favourite bands: THE LOCUST, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, PROTEST THE HERO, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, SLIPKNOT
Sound youíd like to have banned: Hardcore vocals
Most overrated bands: LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM, CHILDREN OF BODOM
Most underrated bands: WARGASM, THIN LIZZY, HELSTAR
Most influential band: BLACK SABBATH, duh
Favourite musician: Eddie Van Halen
Favourite album cover: SLAYER Ė Hell Awaits
10 favourite albums:
Slayer Ė Hell Awaits
There is no universal be-all-end-all of Thrash Metal, but this is my personal favourite so far.
Dream Theater Ė Awake
Some of the most beautiful Progressive Metal music ever composed, and no, itís not focused on technique over listen-ability.
Atheist Ė Piece Of Time
The album that changed the way I thought about Death Metal.
Slayer Ė Reign In Blood
The Thrash Metal album that changed my life. Not only an innovator for most Thrash and Death Metal to come, but still stands up well to this day.
Atheist Ė Unquestionable Presence
The album that obliterated the way I thought about Death Metal. Even better than the first one!
King Crimson Ė In The Court Of The Crimson King
Maybe the best Progressive Rock album of all time. Very experimental, but runs the gamut of moods, from tense and erratic to peaceful and serene.
Sonata Arctica Ė Winterhearts Guild
The album that cemented my love for Power Metal and features some of my favourite songs of all time.
Nevermore Ė Dead Heart In A Dead World
One of the few ďmodern metalĒ bands I enjoy, DHIADW is their finest moment.
Testament Ė The Legacy
The Thrash Metal album that taught me that guitar solos could be both complex and beautiful. Thank you Alex Skolnick, you are forever an inspiration.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Ė s/t
Like the KING CRIMSON debut, but with better and more abundant keyboard work.
Favourite films: Conan The Barbarian, cheesy 80ís action flicks
Favourite books: George Orwellís 1984
Favourite food: Pasta
Favourite drink: A&W Cream soda, Silver Thunder, and Lionís Head
Favourite smokes: Djarum Blacks, though I donít usually smoke.
Which song should be played at your funeral? SLAYER Ė Reborn or ELP Ė Lucky Man
Idol (s): Frederic Chopin
Person youĎd like to meet: Tom Petty
Catchphrase: Donít have one
Biggest thrill in life (so far): Live shows of all shapes and sizes
Goal in life: To have a successful career playing/composing music
Secret: I always lie about my secrets.
5 favourites links:
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