Check out my new iTunes guitar picks

As you know (you’re reading this blog, after all), I’m a guitar geek. As you may or may not know, I’m also a bit of an Apple geek. Well I’ve finally found the perfect way to combine my two loves (apart from cranking AmpliTube and AmpKit on my iPad): this weekend I used my Pickmaster Plectrum Cutter to convert a couple of iTunes gift cards into a set of Apple-inspired iTunes-themed guitar picks. Now I can rock out and remind myself to pick up a couple more iTunes gift cards for emergencies at the same time.

Check ot my review of the Pickmaster here.

The Most Evil Albums Ever

I was never really into horror movies as a kid. Just didn’t interest me. It wasn’t that I was a little pussy – okay, maybe a little – but I preferred to get my scares from music. I went to a Catholic school and Black Sabbath seemed like the ultimate rebellion to me. I used to hold my breath every time I heard Ozzy sing “Satan sitting there, he’s smiling” because I was sure that the horned one was going to spring forth from the floor and feast upon my innards. It probably will some day, and if not to “Black Sabbath” then probably to one of these:

Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer
Rhino
There are many evil Sabbath albums (cf: the line “For I believe Satan lives in the souls of the dying” from Headless Cross – I think my heebies just got jeebied), but notwithstanding the unmitigated evil of the Ozzy and Tony Martin albums, the demonic power of Tony Iommi was never spookier than on this 1992 release, in alliance with the late great Ronnie James Dio. The production is swimming in natural reverb, making it sound like you’ve stumbled across the band playing in a crypt or something, and you can almost hear Dio throwing the devil horn hand gesture as he sings. I’m sure you can hear his wrist jewelry jangling if you have a good enough hi fi. Try to get through the opening riff of “After All (The Dead)” without getting the creeps. You can’t do it.

Slayer – Reign in Blood
Sony Legacy
Thirty minutes and 20-something seconds of thrash carnage. Topics include death, dying, mortality, killing, and being killed. Aside from a whole bunch of songs with running times less than two and a half minutes, there’s also “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death,” each at almost five minutes, for those who like their evil to be bigger than snack size. The track “Altar Of Sacrifice” includes another of those lyrics I used to hold my breath for as I awaited the firey arrival of the dark lord: “Learn the sacred words of praise, hail Satan!” AARGH!

Paul Gilbert – Burning Organ
Shrapnel
This album as a whole isn’t evil, but it includes the track ‘I Am Satan’ which begins with the count-off “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6!!!” and goes on to tell the tale of Satan falling in love with a chick, but freaking out about what she’ll do when she finds out who he is. Will she stay or will she go? Burning Organ also includes the track “Suicide Lover,” which features the classic line “She’s a suicide lover. You could say her love’s the bomb.”

Megadeth – United Abominations
Roadrunner
Any album loaded with as many puns as this one has got to be evil. Puns are the most evil form of humour there is. This one also gets bonus spooky points for lines like “The Angel of Death is pissed off with me again, just because I got to put you out of my misery.” I like to imagine the Angel of Death as Mustaine’s passive-aggressive flatmate, leaving notes magnetted to the fridge: “Dear housemates. Someone has been putting people out of their misery who clearly have my name written on them. First my a2 milk and now this. I’m sure we would all like to maintain a harmonious household and things would run a lot smoother if we all respected each others’ property. I’d hate to have to consider one of those fridges with separate lockable sections for our individual milks and people to put out of their misery. If it comes to that I will buy it with my own money and then invoice you all for your equal share. Sincerely, Angel of Death.”

Devin Townsend – Ziltoid The Omniscient
Hevy Devy
What could be more evil than a demented alien who shreds like a demon and attacks the Earth because he needs a caffeine hit? Nothing, that’s what. Dude, I know from personal experience the awesome destructive power of a caffeine-deprived shredder because I’ve lived it. Devin recorded and performed all of this monster album single-handedly, and it features some of his best melodic songwriting since Ocean Machine, as well as lots of brutal Strapping Young Lad-style metal.

NEWS: Metal Health tour becomes – ahem – Sex Action

The previously advised Metal Health 2011 tour of Australia and New Zealand which was to feature LA Guns (the Phil Lewis version), Warrant and Quiet Riot is now renamed the Sex Action tour featuring LA Guns (still the Phil Lewis version), Defryme (on the Aussie leg) and some other yet-to-be-announced band(s). For a while there The Stick People, the new band of ex Queensryche guitarist Mike Stone, was booked to appear but they’ve just pulled out. Everyone who bought a ticket is entitled to one free ticket in addition to the one they bought, so bring yer friends and rock out and junk. I’ll be at the Melbourne show so if you see me come up and say hi!

For the latest line-up info check out the Intense Impact Facebook – the website is a little out of date as it still says Quiet Riot and Warrant are coming.