A Beginners Guide to Metal

Recently, I have had multiple friends tell me that they want to start listening to metal. They have asked me what bands they should start off with, and that was a hard question to answer. There is SO much to unpack when talking about metal because you have SO MUCH music from different eras. Everyone has different musical tastes/styles so it is hard to pinpoint which bands I think my friends would like. But today, I will attempt to make a guide for all my normies out there who want to get into something heavier.

·      Start off with the basics

The majority of people know the main bands that put metal on the map: Black Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Iron Maiden and Megadeth, etc. If people don’t know these bands…. Well…. Where have you been?

The most famous songs are most likely the only ones that people know, but I would suggest listening to their other stuff that isn’t as well known. For example, listen to anything off of Ride the Lightening, Master of Puppets, or …And Justice for All; Metallica’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4thstudio albums respectively.

The bands listed above laid the foundation in which all sub genres of metal are based. Now, let’s get into the fun stuff.

The three main bands that helped me get into metal were Slipknot, KoRn and Pantera. I would say that these three bands really took the sound of metal to the next level (or, as Pantera would say, “A New Level”). These bands opened the door for the bands that I listen to today. I would suggest listening to the first three albums that KoRn released (KoRn, Life is Peachy, and Follow the Leader). I would also listen to any song off of Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell or Vulgar Display of Power. As for Slipknot, they always release bangers so literally anything by them. I personally really like Slipknot’s Iowa, and All Hope is Gone.

When trying to get into metal bands today, it is all about trial and error. When I was first getting into metal, I started off with the bands that my brothers would play and listen to them. Then if I liked it, I would look up artists similar to them and then just go down a rabbit hole.

Here are A LOT of bands to get you started!

·      All That Remains

·      Hatebreed

·      Terror

·      Chimera

·      Miss May I

·      Upon A Burning Body

·      Wage War

·      Parkway Drive

·      Fit for A King

·      After the Burial

·      Architects

·      Volumes

·      Stick to Your Guns

·      Left Behind

·      Knocked Loose

·      Detain

·      Bent Life

·      Kublai Khan

·      Varials

·      Thy Art is Murder

·      Whitechapel

·      Cannibal Corpse

·      Obituary

·      Six Feet Under

·      Death

·      Morbid Angel

·      Dying Fetus

If you listened to and liked any of these bands, look up bands that are similar to the ones that you liked to find more!!

·      Go to a show!

The best thing about metal shows is that they aren’t that expensive, the bands have merch that goes hella hard, and you will see some of the craziest shit. You will definitely get your money’s worth! Shows are also a great way to find new bands!!! You also meet people at the show and potentially become friends and then they can also show you music! My friends are the best because we all share what we are listening to on Instagram so it’s a fun, quick, and easy way to discover more music.

Some of my friends have said that they are scared to go to a metal show because they think the people are going to be mean, rude, or scary. But that is far from it! Although there are some people at shows that will be rude towards you, the majority of the people attending the show are really nice! For example, I took my friend (who has never listened to metal and has never been to show) to a house show in some guy’s basement and the people there thanked her for coming out and giving the music a chance. Moral of the story is, we may look hardcore but we are a bunch of softies… unless you piss us off!

·      Listen to The Saw’s Butcher Shop on Friday nights from 5pm-8pm on WKNC’s Chainsaw Rock!!

You already know that I’m going to advertise my show, right? I play all genres of metal in the span of 3 hours!!! This is a quick, easy, and fun way to discover which bands you like, what genres are your favorite, and also what you don’t like.

You can take these tips and tricks and apply them to any genre of music that you want to explore! Remember that WKNC plays Daytime Rock (Indie), Afterhours (Electronic), Underground (Rap/Hip-Hop), and Chainsaw Rock (Metal). We also have some specialty shows that play other genres! There is literally everything for everyone to listen to on WKNC. Take advantage of us invading your airwaves J

What bands helped you get into metal?

Stay Metal,


Band/Artist Profile

Artist of the Week: Travis Scott (Kurt Cobain of this generation or an unidentified paradigm shift?)


Screenshot from Can’t Say music video 

How did I discover Travis Scott you ask? I didn’t find his music first, but I saw a picture of him wearing a Pantera shirt and I was like, “I like him.”

Scott formed a duo with his friend Chris Holloway in 2008 known as The Graduates and released their untitled EP on Myspace. That following year, Scott created a group called The Classmates and they released 2 projects. Over the next few years, Scott moved around between Houston, New York, and Los Angeles.

Scott’s first solo full-length project is a mixtape called Old Pharaoh(2012). His first full-length studio album, Days Before Rodeo, was released on September 4, 2015. The album featured musical acts from Quavo, Kanye West, Chief Keef, Young Thug, and many more. He then released Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, in late 2016. Then in 2017, Quvao from Migos and Travis Scott created Huncho Jack where they have dropped a collaboration album called, Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho.They just released a single in 2019 called Houdini.

And now we get to arguably one of the best releases ever. On August 3, 2018 Scott released Astroworld, which is one of my favorite records of all time. The inspiration behind the title of his third album comes from a theme park of the same name in Houston that Scott used to go to; it has since closed down. Scott put on a show near where the theme park used to be, which I think was god damn brilliant.

When looking at Scott’s musical influences, he has stated that he was influenced by Bon Iver, Kid Cudi, M.I.A., and Kanye West. Scott uses autotune heavily in his songs but he uses it in a way that is actually good and aesthetically pleasing. He also uses some of the most fire beats in his songs. Some people describe Scott’s style as a mix between traditional hip-hop and lo-fi. But Scott himself has said that he is not hip-hop.


When talking about Scott’s music and live show, he has been compared to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Some have argued that Travis Scott is the Kurt Cobain of our generation. This is because there is a pivot in the hip-hop/rap scene that is going in the same trajectory that rock music went through when Nirvana hit the scene. What is this “pivot” you ask? When looking back at the punk rock scene, it was rebellion, anger, and aggression. But when Nirvana came out, the music was softer, and paired with easy to sing-along lyrics (that still had an emotional impact on the listener). And then next thing you know, Grunge music hit the scene. Now, there are grunge bands that are heavier than Nirvana but that is besides the point. With Hip-Hop/Rap, the traditional sound and way of doing things has been thrown out the window. New age rappers do not care about the traditions of the genre. Hence, a paradigm shift. Like any other genre, the music has to evolve into something else. These new artists want to bring something new to the table and try things that no one else has tried before. Cross overs into other genres is a great way to add new elements to your music.

Taking influence from other genres have been done for years. Especially when talking about metal and rap. These two have been influenced by each other for years. For example, Aerosmith and RUN DMC did a remake of Walk This Way in 1986. Anthrax and Public Enemy created a song called Bring the Noise in 1991. Korn has been heavily influenced by rap and even the band Attila has some roots in rap. When looking at XXXTEENTACION, he samples the intro of Slipknot’s Spit It Out in his song Off the Wall.

Travis Scott’s stage show has been heavily influenced by the metal scene. The intensity in which he performs is insane. He is always in the faces of the audience and he is always paying attention. He wants people to go crazy and be free. He wants the listeners and attendees to be 100% themselves and rage at his shows. If you look up live performances of Travis Scott, you will see people stage diving from the stage and jumping into the crowd from the nose bleeds. The mosh pits at his shows are absolutely insane. I get goose bumps every time I watch him perform live.

There are a lot of similarities between metal and rap genres and I am happy that artists are incorporating other types of styles into their music. Genres aren’t black and white. Trying to keep music in a particular genre does not benefit the listeners or the creator of the music. Music is something that should be experimented with because as listeners, we are waiting for the next big thing.  So why keep music in a box when it was meant to roam?


Photography by Colin Kerrigan 

Stay Metal, 


Classic Album Review

Album of the Week: Metal Church – Metal Church

Metal Church shot out of the gate with their self-titled debut, Metal Church! Although this record is from the early `80s, squarely in the upswing of Glam / Big Hair Rock, it sets the pace for what Thrash Metal would become. Originally released on independent label, Ground Zero, in 1984, the album sold so well that Elektra Records signed the band and reissued Metal Church in 1985. It was recorded in `84 at Steve Lawson Productions in Seattle Washington. The record weighs in at 42:00 minutes long, exactly. And there is never a dull moment!

David Wayne, inspired by the likes of Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and inspiring folks like James Hetfield (Metallica), does a masterful job on every song (with the exception of the lone instrumental, of course). With a powerful voice, Wayne is an excellent frontman for the powerhouse musicians behind him. Kurt Vanderhoof is the founder of Metal Church, writing all lyrics on this record, except the instrumental and the cover song, and he is menacing as he shreds through riffs on this record. Craig Wells plays opposite Vanderhoof and is a great compliment. Duke Erickson rounds out the strings, nicely, and Kirk Arrington shows his skills on the drums.  

The track listing (as mentioned above) includes a cover of Deep Purples Highway Star, which the band handles with ease. The instrumental is aptly named, Merciless Onslaught(written by Vanderhoof).Beyond the Black, the title track, Metal Church, Merciless Onslaught,and God’s of Wrathconstitute side one; while Hitman, In the Blood, (My Favorite) Nightmare, Battalions, and Highway Star rap up the record with side two. I’m telling you, there is not a moment of rest on this whole album!

Favorite Songs: I literally love every single song! But Metal Churchwill always be my favorite!

Rating: 10/10!!

*Special note: David Wayne died on May 10, 2005 from complications due to a car wreck.

Stay Metal,



Songs to Listen to While Walking to Class

When walking around campus, I wonder what people are listening to on their walks to/from class. Do people know that I am blasting metal through my ear drums? Are they blasting metal? The world may never know.

I like to try and see if I can guess people’s musical tastes by trying to guess what they are listening to (I am usually wrong but… ‘A’ for effort).

Now, when I walk around campus, I am almost always listening to metal. And you can tell because I will play air drums and fist pump the air because the breakdowns and riffs are just THAT GOOD! I gotta be careful sometimes… if I get too into it, I will start two-stepping; the next thing you know, I’m crowdkilling trees. A beatdown just goes really hard and you just can’t control it.

The majority of the time when I’m walking to and from my classes, I am finding songs to play for my set (which you should totally listen to). Speaking of my show, I have new set times!!! The Bone Cruncher (your only place to hear some of my Local Butchers) will be on Friday’s starting at 5pm! Stuck in a traffic jam? Have no fear, The Saw will keep you entertained. Immediately following The Bone Cruncher is The House of Horrors (the heaviest metal on the planet) from 6-8pm.

Yep, you got that right: THREE HOURS in a row – pounded into dust! Oh, the beatings! You’re welcome.

Here is a list of some songs to make your trip to class suck a little less:

·      Literally any song off of A Different Shade of Blue by Knocked Loose. I personally like Forget Your Name and Guided by the Moon.

·      Literally any song off of Hartford County Misery by Boundaries. I really like Dog Teeth and No Other Way.

·      Thanks for Nothing by Bent Life

·      Capital Punishment by Detain

·      Pressure by Bloodbather

·      3 Knives by Code Orange

·      The Hammer by Kublai Khan

·      No Love/ No One by Gideon

·      The Hands of Man by Heavens Die

·      You Will Be Done by Next Time Mr. Fox

·      Dreaming In Dog Years by The Red Chord

Here are some other songs that I like to listen to when I want to listen to something other than metal (shocker!).

·      Take a Walk by Tiny Meat Gang

·      Wood Worm by Noel Miller

·      South Beach by Ty Dolla $ign

·      Out for the night by 21 Savage

·      Act Up by City Girls

·      Pissed, ICY GRL, and My Type by Saweetie

·      Bootsy Bellows by Wiz Khalifa

·      Tia Tamera by Doja Cat

·      Artificial by Earthgang

·      Boogie by Brockhampton

·      King’s Dead by Jay Rock

·      Kream by Iggy Azalea

What songs do you listen to while walking campus?

Stay Metal,


Concert Review

Jonas Brothers Concert Pictures

Classic Album Review

Album of the Week: Melissa – Mercyful Fate

Melissa is the first studio album by the Danish band, Mercyful Fate. The record was recorded July 18-29, 1983 at Easy Sound Recordings in Copenhagen, Denmark and released October 30, 1983, by Roadrunner in Europe (the record company’s first release), Music for nations in the UK, and Mega Force in the USA.

Interestingly, the album (and the band) are, obviously listed in the Heavy Metal genre, but also the Black Metal genre. Like Slayer (listed as Heavy Metal / Death Metal), from the same era, it is not the lyrical delivery that determined the category, but the lyrical content. Mercyful Fate (and Melissa) are renown for the occult – demonology, witchcraft, and Satanist – subject matter.

The (now) legendary King Diamond, with his operatic vocals (notably, his usage of falsetto) and death mask face paint, wrote and performs all lyrics. The band is solidly rounded-out by the awesome Hank Sherman (guitar; composer of all songs), Michael Denner (guitar), Timi Hansen (base), and Kim Ruzz (drums). Melissa clocks in at 40:09 long, while containing seven tracks.

It was planned to be an eight song record, with a cover of, “The Immigrant Song” (Led Zepplin), but the band decided it did not fit well with the theme and feel of the rest of the record. Included in the seven track selection, clocking 11:23, is the epic, “Satan’s Fall.” The song, according to the band, contains 16 different riffs, and took “forever" to learn because Sherman kept adding parts! It was the band’s longest song for many years. One single was released for the record, “Black Funeral,” with a B-side, “Black Masses" (a song recorded during Melissa, but not making the final cut).

In 1985, the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) cited “Into the Coven" among their Filthy Fifteen (their list of objectionable songs) because of its occult content. In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Melissa at 17th on their list of ‘The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time’.

1983 Track Listing:

  1. Evil
  2. Curse of the Pharaohs
  3. Into the Coven
  4. At the Sound of the Demon Bell
  5. Black Funeral
  6. Satan’s Fall
  7. Melissa

Favorite Songs: Melissa; Curse of the Pharaohs; Satan’s Fall

Rating: Definitely a solid 10/10!!

Melissa is simply one of the best Metal albums on the market and a MUST HAVE for the serious metalhead! BTW, Mercyful Fate have reunited and are touring during the 2019 season! Catch them if you get the opportunity!

Stay Metal, 



DJ Beowvlf

The Saw sits down with a KNC legend: the one and only DJ Beowvlf, host of The Local Beat and our General Manager! The two chat about the station, getting into Metal, and Beowvlf’s favorite metal band. 

Music News and Interviews

The Saw’s Electric Chair: DJ Beowvlf

The Saw sits down with a KNC legend: the one and only DJ Beowvlf, host of The Local Beat and our General Manager! The two chat about the station, getting into Metal, and Beowvlf’s favorite metal band.

DJ Highlights

~~Just Metal Things ~~

Back in the day there used to be these memes called, “Just Girly Things,” and they would just state things that are considered “girly.”

For example: 

^^^^^^^ Cringey, I know.

There are various memes out there that make fun of “Just Girly Things” that are very amusing to look at. One of my favorite themes are the ones regarding metal. Here are some ~~Just Metal Things~~ that all of us metalheads can relate to.

When the breakdown gets slower and heavier

Isn’t this the best feeling? When a song does this I automatically throw my hands up and punch the air. Kinda like this:

When the start a mosh is called


When you want to get ready and look metal af but you don’t want to put makeup on

I go through this every single day.

When the two shades of black you’re wearing match

This is a miracle when this happens.

When the song has a good “blegh” or guttural

Okay, I know I said that when the breakdown gets slower and heavier is the best feeling, but a good “blegh” or guttural during a breakdown is nasty as hell.

Here are some of my favorite “Just Metal Meme”

Yep, that’s simply poetic! Love it!!

Stay Metal,



Jefferson Eason of Infirma

The Saw and Jeffrey discuss how he self-taught himself to play the drums and the guitar, how he became a vocalist, and his fight against cancer as well as how Infirma’s new release will be about the emotions Jeffrey went through during those years of his life.