THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS, written by NYC music scene veterans Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins, is out TODAY! Pick up the book at your nearest major book retailer or online at Amazon.com. In celebration of today’s release, co-author Howie Abrams will appear on Sirius XM Liquid Metal (Ch. 40) tomorrow at approximately 8:00pm ET for exclusive conversations about featured lists.
Today, Bravewords.com is hosting a second testimonial video praising THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS in a series of videos from veteran metal luminaries. The exclusive video features Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer) reading his contributed “Top 10 Quotes by Paul Baloff” list, in which he vocally impersonates late Exodus vocalist Paul Baloff saying each quote (making for one heart-warming and hilarious clip). Check out the clip at this location.
In addition to all of the Paul Baloff love contained above, co-authors Howie and Sacha wanted to let you in on a hidden gem you might not become aware of otherwise. A valued contributor to THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS, and prolific independent rapper, Ill Bill, has released a song and video from his recently released album entitled The Grimy Awards, called, what else, ‘Paul Baloff’. The animated clip for the track is Paul through-and-through, and chock-full of the raging, yet tongue-in-cheek violence directed at posers that Mr. Baloff embodied and represented in his lyrics with Exodus on the band’s stellar Bonded By Blood debut.
Here’s what Exodus’ own Gary Holt had to say after viewing Bill’s ‘Paul Baloff’ video, “I can’t remember smiling and laughing as hard as I did in ages while watching the animated Paul Baloff tribute video! Pure genius! Paul would be proud! The true spirit of the legend himself captured in all his bloody glory!”
In light of the recent gun violence debates going on in America presently, fresh off the tragic events in Aurora, CO and Newtown, CT respectively, Howie decided to offer some thoughts on the video, and Ill Bill’s decision to unleash it onto the music universe at this time, so as to avoid any confusion as to Bill’s motives:
Paul Baloff, ILL BILL and “Good, Friendly Violent Fun”
“As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t agree that Exodus’ mighty debut album Bonded by Blood is one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums of all time, I could never go out for a slice of pizza with you, much less respect you as a Metalhead. Even Metallica looked to Exodus to replace Dave Mustaine, and with good reason.
Bonded by Blood is one of those ultimate release albums for a young Headbanger. The consistent quality of the riffs is simply beyond, and the brutal, often hysterically violent lyrical content is legendary. There was none more perfect figure to front the group than the terribly missed; hard-as-fucking-nails Paul Baloff. Paul embodied REAL Metal. To say he just didn’t give a fuck, pales in comparison to the truth, and when he screeched the words “get on your knees and bow, or learn a lesson in violence,” you genuinely feared for the life of the next jerk-off who crossed him.
When I originally hatched the idea for THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS, it came post a Metal-nerd-out conversation with one of my closest friends, Ill Bill. Bill and I practically share a brain when it comes to Metal, and oh, have I mentioned, he’s one of the most accomplished rappers on the planet? Anyway – along his career, Bill has paid tribute to Metal as only someone like he can. He’s done it with lyrics, song titles, album titles…the works. For his latest masterpiece, The Grimy Awards, Bill has actually gone so far as to name one of his songs after Paul Baloff. That didn’t surprise me. What got me though, is this insane (in the best of ways) animated video he produced for the song.
The Baloff clip is exactly everything it should be, with the subject being, well, Paul Baloff. Not only does it show a Baloff-like disciple driving around Brooklyn, NY in a muscle car, mid-1980’s, killing posers (including a mass execution at a White Lion show in front of the infamous L’amour club), it climaxes with a re-creation of a Paul Baloff radio interview with an ACTUAL audio clip of Bill calling in to speak with Paul on the air. The video is gloriously violent, and I’m sure, it would make Paul beyond proud.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…violence begets violence, right? Could Bill be so brazen as to create a seemingly careless and uber-violent video for one of his songs at a time like this, especially given the fact that the country is still reeling from the savage mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown? Is it just plain insensitive for someone like Bill to promote such imagery right now? If you’re a die-hard Exodus fan, or just a practical human being, the answer is a resounding NO! First, you must realize that this video was conceptualized and produced LONG before either of these tragic incidents, yet, when it’s been shown to a handful of our friends, whom we have immense respect for, all they are able to see is the violence…in some cases they even specifically questioned why Bill would re-produce a scene from the Aurora theater shooting, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s sadly unfair. For the record, most of them do not have any idea as to who Paul Baloff was, or even Exodus for that matter. All they were left with was confusion and skepticism.
With each and every instance of a troubled kid carrying out a terrible act “under the influence of Metal” (you know – Priest tape in the back pocket while asphyxiating yourself in dad’s garage), even the courts ruled that the only party at fault was a single troubled individual. While I subscribe to the idea that one being besieged by violent imagery isn’t necessarily the “best” thing in the world for your psyche, generally, it comes along with the increasingly unsettled world we live in, and cannot be ignored. I don’t believe any video game, or film or TV show, in and of itself, has ever caused anyone to go postal. Furthermore, watching the evening news nowadays may be the worst exposure to hatred and violence one can endure anywhere. Where are the parents in all this? Where are they when their children begin to exhibit the traits of a sociopath?
As with so much media out there, Paul Baloff’s lyrics were strictly fantasy, and his input in Exodus represented how he felt at the time about what was being exposed as, and parading itself around as Metal during that time (’84 -’85) and he was letting ’em know – FUCK THAT. There was a new sheriff in town named Baloff, and if he could, he would eliminate each and every poofy-haired, Aquanet-drenched poser on the planet, and we all enlisted in his army. This video masterfully portrays that sentiment through the eyes of the believers, and whoever has an axe to grind, can do so all they like, because you can’t erase history, and the ugliness of this world will continue to rear its ugly head, whether we like it or not. Let’s not punish our, or anyone else’s imagination for the sins of a few horrible people. LET ART LIVE!
You can view ILL BILL’s “Paul Baloff” video here for yourself. Be sure to check out his excellent contributions to THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS as well.
Touted as being “the most opinionated compendium ever written concerning Heavy Metal”, THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS is comprised of 208 jam-packed pages representing all that is glorious across the world of Heavy Metal. The book also features dozens of never-before-seen photographs from iconic East Coast photographer Frank White.
The foreword for THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS comes from one of the most respected names in the genre, Slayer guitarist extraordinaire Kerry King, with a candid and passionate afterword from Pantera/Down frontman Philip Anselmo. The book also features numerous other contributions from key metal luminaries and industry personnel like Scott Ian (Anthrax), Gary Holt (Exodus), Max Cavalera (Sepultura/Soulfly), Eddie Trunk (That Metal Show), and more.