Find Terrorizer here.
1. The Writing
My one complaint about the excellent writing in Terrorizer is this: occasionally the reviewers get a little carried away and become excitable and over-eloquent.
And this is a Good Thing.
That’s how music fans are supposed to get.
Reading some painfully self-conscious music review dither over whether this album represents a truly original sound, or how much such-and-such a band owe to Wire or Suede is dull.
Similarly, so is reading overhyped marketing guff about the latest flash-in-the-pan bullshit band (a certain magazine beginning with “K” and ending with “ng”), or why anything different from thrash or heavy metal is hipster trash for silly young people.
I want to see the words spilling out onto the paper as the reviewer listens raptly (or in dumbstruck horror, as the case may be) to the passionate outpouring of someone else’s consciousness.
I want to feel the spit and halitosis of an over-enthusiastic fan (or hater) crystallising on my cheek.
Terrorizer fulfils that function, and for that I thank it.
2. The Free C.D.
Oh god, the free C.D.
Back when I had an hour and a half to two hour commute to work every day, those C.D.s stopped me going mad more than once. They don’t just have good tracks on them, but they’re very cleverly lined up so that similar tracks are grouped together, and the genres flow into each other so that you’ve gone from crust punk to weird electronic hybrid shit (pun intended) like this without really noticing the seams.
That’s damn clever, and I think it deserves some recognition.
Also, Zonderhoof’s album ruled.
And kinda reminded me of Stinking Lizaveta, one of my favourite bands ever, so there’s that too.
3. Getting It Right
The reviews, and scores, in Terrorizer are, for me, incredibly accurate. Stick to the four and five bar rated bands, and you’ll barely ever go wrong.
This is in part because they always say what they really think. It doesn’t matter if a band is taking part in a dominant feature in the same issue, or if the reviewer met them and really thinks that they’re awesome dudes/total douchebags, or if they’re part of a credible/credibility-challenged genre. The writers will give a carefully considered review that never goes for sensationalist evisceration, bandwagon-hopping or hype.
Sure, they’re only opinions, but those opinions are so well fleshed-out and supported that it’s almost impossible to get the wrong impression of an album from a Terrorizer review.
Do you have any idea how hard that is to find in a music magazine?
Very. It’s very hard.
4. Its Sense Of Humour
Occult comedian Andrew O’Neill is employed to be one of the least funny things in an issue of Terrorizer.
That a professional comedian can fail to amuse me as much as a good feature is, I think, more of a good reflection on the editing team than a bad reflection on the comedian. Writing comedy is difficult. I gave up, ooh, months ago, and I never quite cracked it.
A dry wit runs through most of the articles, but it isn’t just the writing that gives the magazine its sense of humour. In fact, it’s more often that I find a subtle twist from the editing team has me in a mental fit of the giggles (of course, my external facade remains grim and true, as a warrior’s must).
5. Delving Deeper
Not content with mere reporting and reviews, Terrorizer is keen to present and sometimes partially dissect the various philosophies that form the foundations of the various metal cults and kvlts that have sprung up over the years. From acerbic socio-political commentary, to musings on the nature of free will, to what appear to me to be childish declarations that everything is shit and you suck too, all are treated with equal seriousness.
They’re also examined with an intelligence and sensitivity that is all too rare throughout journalism. In Terrorizer, metal celebrities are treated with respect, sure, but difficult ideas are confronted. Reporters rarely make utterly final decisions one way or another, but that’s what I like most about Terrorizer, I think (if I can get a cheeky number 6?) — it’s open-minded to the extreeeeeeme.
I just really liked this month’s Terrorizer, that’s why. Buy their mag and help them to keep doing what they’re doing!