All posts by Stephen Hudson

Wayne’s World and World Record Headbanging

On the fourth day of July, one thousand people in Aurora, Illinois gathered to headbang together in a public park in an attempt to be recognized by the Guinness book of world records. Why July Fourth? This date is celebrated as Independence Day in the US, in commemoration of the vote by a congress of colonial governments in 1776 to declare themselves United States independent from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Many municipalities sponsor parades, fireworks displays, and other free public events to display national and civic pride. As a large suburb in the shadow of Chicago, Aurora does not get much attention outside of local news, but they do have one claim to international fame: Aurora is the setting of the internationally-popular Wayne’s World franchise, whose main characters Wayne and Garth are a pair of goofy heavy metal geeks. Continue reading Wayne’s World and World Record Headbanging

Interrogating the Origin Myth of Celtic Frost

The history of Celtic Frost begins with the band Hellhammer. Hellhammer was founded as a trio in 1981, and they released a couple of demos and an album before two of the members decided to end the Hellhammer project, kick out half the band, and reform under the name “Celtic Frost.” The band has promoted the idea that their work as Hellhammer was amateurish and earned such a bad reputation that they had to change their name to get people to take their music seriously. While I’m sure there is some truth to this story, the fact is that not quite *everyone* hated Hellhammer. One of the early German fanzines I’ve been reading recently actually gives a glowing positive review of Hellhammer’s first release! But as you will see, it doesn’t entirely contradict the story Celtic Frost tells, just adds some fascinating nuances. Continue reading Interrogating the Origin Myth of Celtic Frost

Inversion in Ghost’s ‘Cirice’

If you don’t know the Swedish band Ghost yet (used to be spelled “Ghost BC” in the US for legal reasons), you might not be paying much attention to metal industry news. They are a rapidly rising star in the metal cosmos: their latest album hit the top of the charts in Sweden and charted no. 8 in the United States (these days, breaking into the top 10 is a rare feat for a non-American metal band), and the band even won the Grammy for Best Metal Performance for their song “Cirice” this past year. Continue reading Inversion in Ghost’s ‘Cirice’