Happy Holidays Butcher Crew! I hope you are all getting into the holiday spirit! I understand that this time of the year is not so metal, BUT YOU CAN MAKE IT METAL! I have some metal things that you can do to spice up your holiday season.
Get a black Christmas tree
Now, I have always wanted a black Christmas tree. I think this is like the coolest idea ever. Now, hear me out: purchase or spray paint your Christmas tree black, add some white lights, and then get yourself some metal ornaments! They have some ornaments with band names on them that you can get. The craft store Michael’s has skeleton ornaments that makes it look like they are hanging on your tree. That’s so metal. And to top it all off, add a pentagram to the top!
Skulls, skulls, and more skulls
Now, I love me some skulls! I have 7 skulls in my room that stay up all year, but for Christmas, I like to add some Santa hats to the skulls so they are in the Christmas spirit as well. You can get skulls at Ross, Target, Marshalls, Spirit Halloween, and EarthBound!
Metal remixes of Christmas music
There are tons of remixes of Christmas songs that can get you into the holiday spirit! There are playlists on SoundCloud, Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.
Buy black wrapping paper and ribbons
Your presents will look so metal with all black paper and ribbons. I love the idea of all black everything, it gives everything a sleek and classis aesthetic. Love. It!
As 2020 comes to an end (thank God), it’s time to review my favorite songs of 2020! Even though 2020 was not so great for some of us, there has been some great music released! Here are some of my favorite songs:
Behind the Bend – Boundaries
Okay, let’s be real. The song that this album is off of, “Your Receding Warmth,” is by far my favorite release of 2020 and will always be one of my favorites. It was hard for me to choose just one song BUT this song has always stood out to me. It has everything that is great with Boundaries – breakdowns, spoken word, and the riffs. Absolutely iconic.
He Say She Say – Mulatto
You all know I love me some bad bitch music and this was my number one song of 2020. No surprise that I literally had this song on repeat all the time! Mulatto just has this energy that I really connect to and she’s very upfront: she’s pretty and sweet but she will throw hands. That’s the type of energy I’m talking about!! Her voice in this song is powerful and strong; you can sense that she means what she raps about. I love music that shows raw emotions and isn’t just a front.
Pretty Bitch Freestyle – Saweetie
Another bad bitch song! Who would’ve thought? I love Saweetie and her freestyles are my personal favorite because she is really showing her personality and attitude. She talks about staying on “Hot Girl Energy” even through quarantine and honestly, I think every girl should stay on their “Hot Girl Energy.”
Chains of Agony – Upon A Burning Body
We all know that I love Upon A Burning Body. I had to put a song off of their EP. UABB brings the riffs and pure aggression to their music and they have really improved their sound from their previous records!
I hope you enjoyed a snippet of the songs that got me through 2020!!
If you know me, you know that I love me some 2008 sounding metalcore. I have been wanting a band to incorporate that sound back into their music now because the riffs and the ambiance of the metalcore back in 2008 is so technical and precise. It makes for a beautiful and heavy sound. Well, Butcher Crew, Boundaries did just that on their most recent album, Your Receding Warmth. It was released on November 13, 2020, and I have literally been listening to it all day, every single day since it dropped. By far, one of my favorite releases of 2020.
Boundaries has released 2 albums and one EP: Hartford County Misery in 2017 (one of my all-time favorites), My Body in Bloom (EP) in 2019, and now in 2020, they have released Your Receding Warmth. The band has progressed since their first two releases. They are known for their use of panic chords and breakdowns, and although the band does use these styles in their recent release, they evolved their sound and use more of a fast-picked thrash riff, to melodic riffs that sound as if they are from the early 2000s metalcore. These sounds can be heard throughout the entire album, and I love it.
Although each song contains heavy breakdowns and melodic metalcore riffs, each song is different in their own way. Whether that be tempo changes, lower vocals, or heavier riffs, each song contains something different and is different from the rest of the songs. This album has a great blend of hardcore, melodic metalcore, noisy pastiche aesthetic, along with lyrical content to create an atmosphere of anger and anxiety around the music. You can practically feel the emotions that are involved within each song, and the breakdowns just make the song 10 times better. You can’t help but move around. Boundaries know when to deliver beatings but also groove.
Boundaries released a statement about the album on Instagram and the meaning behind it. I think their statement describes the album beautifully. They stated that:
“The record is a vulnerable representation and understanding that things you depend on will start to disappear and whether you’re ready or not, you will have to adjust and find a way to keep going. Your Receding Warmth is a reference to life being less and less forgiving and helpful to those who need help and forgiveness. At the end of the day, it’s all ‘sink or swim.’”
I think the band described the album perfectly. This album is an absolute ass whoopin’. Each song is dark and eerie in its own way. Songs like “My Strength” and “Behind the Bend” Matt (their singer) talks above the music and it has this eerie sound to it. The lyrics in this album are awesome and you can really feel the emotions that Matt is talking about.
I watched an interview with Matt on the Scoped Exposure Podcast, and they discussed the making of Your Receding Warmth. Matt said that the band gets together and they first talk about how they want the song to sound, what emotion they want the song to have, and what styles they want to incorporate. I find that really interesting that they start with an idea before they start to jam. Matt also stated that he has journals that he keeps that contains his lyrics. These journals date back to his teens and he goes through them and grabs lyrics and ideas for songs. Matt recommends listening to the album in order because each song was written with an emotion and intent that they had while writing that song. I have done this every time that I listened to the album and it really does capture the emotion of the whole thing. The last song, “From the Departed, Dearer or Otherwise” is a monologue that gives me chills every time. It incorporates all of the titles of the songs on the album and has a very strong message. It was a great way to end the record.
This is tough because I literally love each and every song on this album. When I listen to the record, I always think “no, this song is my favorite song.” So, it’s hard to say which ones stand out to me. Each song has a meaning and each song is good and awesome in its own way.
But if I had to choose my favorite songs that really get me moving and jamming out, they have to be: Behind the Bend, Written and Rephrased, Fade Away, and Get Out.
What did you think about Boundaries’, Your Receding Warmth? What are some of your favorite songs?
What’s going on Butcher Crew?! It’s ya girl, your Master Butcher, The Saw, and I am here to talk about one of my favorite things… tattoos. I love tattoos, I think they are a great way to show your interests and they also make people look like badasses. Tattoos make people look different and give them an edge. I love talking to people about their tattoos and the meaning behind them. Our bodies are canvases and I love to see the art that is displayed on people’s bodies.
Now, I have a sleeve, and a handful of other tattoos. My friends always come to me for tattoo advice: where they should go, what they should get, and how to take care of their tattoos. The Saw is the tattoo guru and I am here to give you some advice about researching tattoo parlors, artists, designs, and aftercare.
First, you need a tattoo idea. I suggest looking up artwork and other tattoos that you are interested in. Look at tons of sketches to see what designs you like and don’t like. I would suggest using these sketches as a reference to what you want and also come up with your own ideas that you think would look cool. I wouldn’t copy a design or another tattoo that I found online because someone already has that tattoo; you want something original and special to you. If I find a sketch that I really like, I will show it to my tattoo artists and tell them that this is the way I want my tattoo to go, but allow the tattoo artists to make their own designs that are along the lines of what you want. This makes the tattoo enjoyable for the tattoo artists because they can put their own personal touch on the tattoo, and the tattoo will be unique to you since no one else will have the design like you.
Searching for Tattoo Parlors and Tattoo Artists:
This is probably the hardest part for me because I am SO PICKY. My dad calls me a tattoo snob and I will gladly take that title. Usually, I will look up tattoo parlors around me and look at their reviews. I will see what clients have to say about their artists and the customer service that the parlor has. I will also ask my friends about where they got their tattoos and ask if they recommend a particular parlor or artist. While researching tattoo parlors, I will also look at the portfolios of tattoo artists to see if I like their style of work. This helps you get a general idea if the artists will be able to create the tattoo that you want. Each artist focuses on a different discipline: realism, traditional, biker, geometric, cartoons, botanical, and fine lines. Knowing the style that an artist uses will also help you determine what type of style you want your tattoo in. Once you find a parlor and an artist, you can either contact the shop for booking or contact the artist individually in order to book an appointment.
Getting the tattoo:
The day you are getting your tattoo, be sure to eat before, please. Also take some Advil to ease the pain. Oh, and make sure you’re sober, no alcohol or drugs. Wear comfortable clothes because you could be sitting in a chair for a few hours.
Some tattoo parlors have wraps that they put on your tattoos that you can keep on while its healing, but some places wrap your piece in a paper towel. If that’s the case, after an hour has passed, remove the wrap and wash your tattoo with the hottest water you can stand. WARNING: washing your piece the first few times will hurt like a mf. You want to use a non-fragrance soap, soap with strong fragrances can irritate your tattoo. I suggest using Dove Sensitive Body Wash. Use a light layer on your tattoo and then wash it off. Use a clean towel or paper towel and pat it dry. Some tattoo parlors suggest buying tattoo cream (“tattoo goo”) to put on your piece after you clean it, but a thin layer of original Neosporin will do the trick. You want to wash your tattoo like this twice a day for a few weeks.
When your tattoo starts to scab, DO NOT SCRATCH OR PICK AT THE SCAB, IT WILL RUIN THE COLOR!! Instead, lightly slap your tattoo if it begins to itch. Once your tattoo is in this phase, wash your tattoo the same way but instead of Neosporin, use a lotion that is not scented. I use the Vaseline lotion or Hemp’s body lotion. I also recommend Lush’s Elbow Grease, it keeps your tattoo shiny and hydrated.
In a word, MASTERPIECE! The Death Metal masters of Doom, Obituary, released their best selling album of all time on April 21, 1992 – The End Complete. While the band’s first two records (1989’s Slowly We Rot, and 1990’s Cause of Death) have their most iconic songs, it is the third album where we find the sound, tuning, style, sludge grooves, and raspy gutterals that have made Obituary, literally, world famous. Over 550,000 copies of this album have been sold world wide.
When I was little, my first memory of Obituary was when my dad (“The O.G. Metalhead”) was playing Rotting Ways off of this album, and all I could say was, “this is scary!” All of their music has that creepy, eerie, horror vibe. Its like my love for horror movies, only its horror music. And The End Complete capitalizes on that darkness to deliver a truly horrifying 36 minutes and 17 seconds.
You will not find the usual lyrical content, here, that is the norm for Death Metal. Here, are the roars, screeches, shrieks, gurgles and pure agony as only John Tardy (vocals) can deliver. Layered behind, within, above, and below is the rhythmic hauntings of Trevor Perez (guitar), Allen West (lead guitar), and Frank Watkins (Bass). And the bruising beatings of Donald Tardy (drums) completes the terror. Interestingly, none of Obituary’s albums have warning labels, because there is no cussing or “controversial content.” This, Butcher Crew, is simply the sound of sheer horror!
The Track Listing will give you a taste of what’s to come:
I’m in Pain
Back to One
In the End of Life
The End Complete
Favorite Songs: I’m in Pain ; Sickness ; Rotting Ways
Rating: 10/10!! An Absolute Masterpiece!
Bonus – Iconic Obituary songs for your enjoyment:
Slowly We Rot ; Intoxicated ; Chopped In Half ; Cause of Death ; Back From the Dead ;
Contrast the Dead ; Redneck Stomp
What are some of your favorite songs off of “The End Complete?”
Power Up is the 17th studio album (the 16th released internationally) by the Australian Rock band, AC/DC. Released on Friday the 13th of November, 2020 by Columbia Records and Sony Music Australia. As Back In Black (1980) served as a tribute to the late Bon Scott, so Power Up is a tribute to the late, great Malcolm Young, according to his brother, Angus.
I know I don’t need to list the members of the band (if you don’t know AC/DC, you’ve obviously been hanging in the Meat Locker too long!), but: Angus Young (founding lead guitarist), Brian Johnson (vocals since 1980), Phil Rudd (drums, `74 – ’83; ’94 – 2015; 2016 – present). Cliff Williams (bass, backing vocals, ’78 – retired in 2016; 2018 – present), and Stevie Young (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) stands in for his uncle Malcolm. In April of 2014 Stevie played all rhythm guitars on Rock or Bust, and had previously played live on 1988’s US Tour.
Angus explains that he raided the vault for previously unreleased Malcolm Young riffs for Power Up. And you can hear from the differing array of tracks on this record that it spans the entire AC/DC time-frame. “Demon’s Fire” sounds like the old Bon Scott days, with multiple breaks, a main riff that’s interrupted by tempo changes and solos. “Wild Reputation” is reminiscent of “Beating Around the Bush.” Much of the record is the mid-late AC/DC sound, driven by the rhythm section of the band, with Johnson’s stylized voice and Angus’ trademark leads.
Brian Johnson has not lost a step in his vocal game! His unmistakable sound and style hits on every single song on this album (and every song he’s ever sung, honestly!). There are a few surprises, though; spoken words and tone changes from his patented rasp. 40 years of Rock-N-Roll and race cars may have affected his hearing, but definitely not his vocal power!
Power Up, of course and without surprise, is an extremely solid record from the veterans.
Rating: 8.5/10! AC/DC just know how to bring the sound, consistently, for 45+ years!!
Favorite Songs: Witch’s Spell; Demon Fire; Shot in the Dark
It may come as a bit of a surprise to many but, Vulgar Display of Power is Pantera’s sixth studio album. Released on February 25, 1992, it is the second Pantera Album from Atco Records (Cowboys From Hell was the first), and the second record that featured the new Pantera sound. The four previous releases featured a very different, Glam Rock sounding Pantera. In fact, the great “Dimebag” Darrell (R.I.P.) used to be know as “Diamond” Darrell before the band’s evolution to pure Heavy Metal!
The goal of Vulgar Display of Power was to be the heaviest album ever, and at that time, it just may have been! Pantera took the notions of violence and anger and translated them into site and sound as never before. Not only Phil Anselmo’s lyrics in songs like “Mouth for War,” “F****** Hostile,” “Walk,” and “By Demons Be Driven;” but the power of harnessed chaos in Dime’s guitar riffs, Rex’s crushing bass, and Vinnie Paul’s (R.I.P.) thunderous drum playing. Their live shows are legendary, bosting the largest circle pits of the era. The explosive band caused every crowd in every city to explode in a chain reaction.
The title of the album is taken from the 1973 movie, The Exorcist (a great movie, BTW!). The album cover is of a man being punched in the face. Classic! It is an illustration of what this record does to the listener.
Vulgar Display of Power has been dubbed “one of the most influential Heavy Metal albums of the 1990s.” Another critic commented that it “is one of the most satisfying Heavy Metal records since Metallica’s early-80s cult days.” The record has been listed in the “1001 records you must hear before you die.” Everyone agreed that Pantera was “head and shoulders” above everyone else. In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Vulgar Display of Power as 10th on their list of the “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.”
Pantera was the perfect storm of a band – all four members were the best of their craft – that created the perfect storm of a record – a pure ass-whoopin’!
Favorite songs: A New Level; Walk; This Love
Rating: 10/10!! A must-have for the lover of raw metal power!
I must admit, this record (and band) snuck up on me like a haymaker sucker-punch! Released on March 29, 2019 (Season of Mist), Something Wicked Marches In is the debut album from (the “Super Group”) Vltimas. Though the sound of the record is very well mixed and produced, the FEEL of the record is very much old school Death Metal; and you already know The Saw loves some old school Death Metal!
So, first, we must talk about the band. Vlitmas is a three-piece, which is hard to believe when you hear it, but understandable when you consider who these three are. David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel) is known around the world as a premiere vocalist and bass player. His work on the early Morbid Angel records helped set the pace and style of Death Metal. His vocals are a combination of gutteral and lofty clean. He really has a beautiful voice (in either fashion) and his delivery is near perfection in style and material. Vincent is from Texas (and he stereotypically looks the part!), but sings with a European accent. His song writing is always impeccable; dark and eerie, but on time.
Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen (ex-Mayhem) is the masterful Black Metal guitarist from Portugal who set the standard for how his genre’s music should sound. His style, therefore, is less about power chords and breakdowns and more about fast picked tremolo melodies and harmonies, and you already know I love some harmony! He really gives the band a dark feel, but at the same time, his tone almost makes you feel like your floating through time.
Flo Menier (Cryptopsy) is the legendary Canadian drummer that wrote the book on blast-beats, laying the groundwork for what would become Technical Death Metal. He is easily one of the best Tech-Death drummers in the world. His long history of drumming could be studied in the universities! Is style is very smooth, though extremely fast; with off tempo changes, he really powers the sound of every song forward as he sets the pace.
When you bring these three monumental styles together,you get Something Wicked Marches In. Every single song on this record is a literal masterpiece. The record definitely has an early Morbid Angel time-change stamp to it. Each song floats along on Vincent’s awesome vocal style and his brutal bass playing. All the while, Eriksen’s ever changing riffs of melody and harmony fill out the space; adding a thickness that you rarely find in a three-piece band. And his talent gives you something more to this than revisiting Morbid Angel’s past. Flo drives this devilish machine forward, on every song, with his trademark change-ups – blast-beats and lightning double base, and smooth symbol/tom combinations. Nothing about this album feels forced, and never does it seem like Vlitmas is trying too hard. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The three masters blend their respective styles together in a way that has never been done. In a time in Metal history when Death Metal morphed into Tech-Death, Slam, Deathcore, etc (all of which I love!), Something Wicked Marches In is pure Death Metal, perfectly done so as to be a modern masterpiece.
Something Wicked Marches In
Truth and Consequence
Last Ones Alive Win Nothing
Diabolic Est Sanguis
Favorite Songs: I’m telling you, every song is an individual masterpiece! “Monolilith” and “Last Ones Alive Win Nothing” are at the top for me.
Rating: 10/10!! Best of 2019!
Have you listened to this album? What do you think? What’s your favorite song?
What’s going on Butcher Crew it’s ya girl, your Master Butcher, The Saw and finals are creeping up on us!! It’s like this semester flew by and we are now almost on break. Thank God. BUT one thing stands in our way of being stress-free and relaxed… and that is FINALS; one of the most stressful times in a student’s academic career. But have no fear, the Saw is here to survive finals week; aka, “Hell Week.” Now, when I say “butcher,” I don’t mean failing your exams. I own a Butcher Shop, so I need to use some play-on words sometimes. You know how people sometimes say, “I killed it,” or “I crushed it” when they finish something that took a lot of time? Yeah, that’s what I mean by butcher.
I have several papers and final projects I need to finish and I have started them this week. I know finals can be a very stressful period for students during this time. It’s also so easy just to tell yourself “you have more time” and you will “do a lot of work tomorrow,” but end up staying on your phone, watching a movie or a TV show, or talking to your friends and family. Trust me, I have been there; but I have a few tips that I have been practicing that has helped me prepare and finish my finals with less stress!
Plan ahead: I look at the days all of my finals are due and write them down in my calendar. When the deadline gets a little over a month away, I start to write down when I am going to start researching and working on my finals. This reminds me that I need to start looking at ideas and topics to use for my assignments. I would also write down the days that you want to begin working on your projects. I usually do research two weeks before the assignments are due, I then write and do more research a week before due date, and finally the week they are due, I will make some final touches before I turn them in. Professors usually have assignments in the course that help you plan for your finals. It’s better to plan ahead so you can have more time!
Have a research week: Usually, a week before I start the writing process of my final papers, I will take a week to read textbooks, articles, primary sources, secondary sources, and any texts that will provide information to my topic. I take notes on these readings and this helps me begin thinking about how I want to form my paper and which way I want to go with it. This also helps you begin to write your paper; you will already have ideas that you can go ahead and write about (don’t forget to cite your sources in the correct citation format). It’s okay if you don’t get all of your research done that week! You will have more time to do more research if you need to.
Begin with the first thing that is due: After your week of research, the following week When having so many assignments to look after, I usually start with the first thing that is due since I will have less days. Then, I will work on the next thing that is due, and so on. I have an easy hint that will help you finish your assignments in a less stressful manner: divide the assignment throughout each day. For example, I have a 15-page papers due one week. Now, this isn’t so bad because I am going to write 3 pages a day for 5 days (I usually do Monday – Friday). That is a piece of cake! It doesn’t make the workload seem that big when you are writing a few pages a day. Do this with each of your assignments and you will have your assignments done a few days before the deadline in no time! By doing this, you will have time each day to do more research for your papers while you are writing. You can also use the weekends to do extra work if you need more time to work on your assignments. Then on the day your assignments are due, all you will have to do is turn them in!
Listen to a final exam playlist: Music makes everything better. Especially working on finals, it will help you concentrate on your work since you won’t get distracted by the things around you. I have a few playlists that I like to listen to while I am working. Sometimes I like to listen to metal because there’s just something about it that keeps me productive and glued to my work. I also like some more lo-fi/R&B playlists that also soothe me while I am writing.
Take breaks: It’s okay to take some breaks here and there! You gotta eat and use the bathroom at some point! I like to work for an hour/hour and a half, without getting distracted, and then take a 30-minute break. This will help me relax my mind so it is refreshed to do some more work. This is also when I will talk to my roommates, text my friends and family back, and get on social media. I set a timer so I know when to get working again. I usually put my phone across the table from me so I am not tempted to get on it. This has worked so much.
Don’t be too hard on yourself: Hype yourself up and tell yourself you’ve done a good job. You are doing the best you can and performing at the best of your ability and that’s all that matters. You’re getting it done and you are killing it! Be proud of yourself and everything that you have done. You can either be your biggest fan or worst enemy.
Finals are a stressful time, but hopefully these tips can help you survive finals and be less stressed. And always remember, finals week isn’t as stressful and terrifying as The Saw’s Butcher Shop 😉
What are some tips and tricks that have helped you survive finals?