Here's to Thrashgiving: Giving Thanks For Metal in 2012

The holiday season always calls for some self-reflection, no matter if you're a Nordic Satanic metaller keeping track of virgin sacrifices, or Taylor Swift rolling in gold coins Duck Tales-style from sales of her new CD -- oh yeah, did you know if you call Papa John's to order pizza, you can get her new album, Red, delivered right along with it? Don't ask how I know that.

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Thanksgiving was no different for me. Well, I certainly wasn't rolling in gold coins or sacrificing virgins, although they both sound quite appealing with my bleak finances and always-experimental sex life. I was, and still am, in the midst of some life-changing decisions, which may or may not have to do with my inability to turn down hard alcohol, heavy metal debates, and marriage proposals.

And we all know when it comes to that crap, all we want to do is get out some frustration, not settle in for some nice long convos with the family members. The gun club isn't a routine stop for my family when they come into town for the holidays, but at least I got to do some cooking.

There's nothing like stuffing a bird, drenching it in whiskey, then brandishing an eight-inch carving knife, and going to town on the roasted flesh to get in the holiday mood. Just sayin'.

But after giving it some thought, there's much to be thankful for in 2012. For example, most recently the Christmas lights at Coach House. The final fucking demise of the Twilight saga. And of course, how can I forget the countless interview blessings bestowed upon me this year, ranging from Corey Taylor to Tom Araya, Munky to Rob Zombie, Vinnie Paul to Scott Ian.

While we should thank the metal gods on a daily basis for the thrashing, harmonious, screeching altar where we all worship, it is just that time of year where we should take a moment to realize how awesome it is to have metal in our lives. It's the time of year to take stock, and be glad you aren't overwhelmed by today's mass produced, pliable, auto-tuned bands, and "vocalists."

Then, think about it: Anthrax's "Got The Time" was the first metal song played on the planet Mars. Heavy metal festival production on the move, growing and evolving, with such events as Barge to Hell, Twins of Evil, 7000 Tons of Metal, Bloodstock Open Air and Mass Deathtruction. Lamb of God's Randy Blythe was released after his arrest, and hopefully it will stay that way. A plethora of chart-topping metal songs and albums came out this past year; and 2013 is only looking more and more promising.

There were some tough times to be sure: our community lost some people, like Nichole Bogner (Visions of Atlantis), Ronnie Montrose (Montrose), and a personal Golden God of mine, Jim Marshall, passed on, as well as Deep Purples' Jon Lord and Suicide Silences' Mitch Lucker. Some beloved bands of mine parted ways with members, like The Haunted's vocalist Peter Dolving and Killswitch Engage's vocalist Howard Jones, (although the original singer Jesse Leach isn't a bad replacement, by any means).

Metal musicians everywhere have much to be thankful for: check out this video of 10 heavy metal artists--like Stolen Babies, Devin Townsend, Vattnet Viskar, Katatonia, Paradise Lost to name a few, offering up what they are thankful for on Thanksgiving.

And of course, one of the things I will always be grateful for are all my other fellow metalheads, especially those who have dropped by Up On The Sun to read up on the latest music news, or to Metal Mondays to drop me a line, tell me about a band or project, or just even that I'm the worst writer ever.

And for that, I thank you.

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