MAIN WRITER AND EDITOR (?) – PUNK / METAL / ROCK / BLACK METAL / AVANT-GARDE
Old Man’s Mettle, based in Birmingham, England, is a blog on noisy music and the lifestyles and cultural pastimes that go with it. I’ve started it off with some album reviews, gig reviews, articles and interviews with interesting people who have a bit of experience under their belt, and are still making great art, or having some positive impact.
Why do it? Well, like a fool I gave myself tendonitis of the wrist in May 2019, practicing overly-hard for the new BRETWALDAS album. So, since I needed to stop playing guitar and drums for a while, I decided to just take it easy and go out to loads of gigs and drink beer for a few months instead. Then I thought, well, I can still at least use a laptop, so maybe make a blog about it, do some reviews, and interview some great people….
Music-wise, I’m rooted in the mid nineteen-eighties crossover crust punk scene, and have since gone through thrash metal, death metal, black metal, pagan metal, doom metal, power metal and now listen mainly to traditional heavy metal (a genre in which age is a benefit ), avant-garde black metal, crust punk and bits of modern classical.
To my surprise the blog started to get hundreds of visitors a day, depending on what is posted. Some interviews go into the thousands. So, if you are reading this, thanks for looking, and feel free to like the Facebook / Instagram page to get updates. Contact me if you want to be involved as a contributor.
*Not my real name, obviously….but I used to teach naughty youths, and twenty years later they still hunt me down on the internet to tell me how much they love me for it.
GUEST WRITER – SPECIALISING IN TRADITIONAL AND EPIC HEAVY METAL
I’ve been into rock and metal as long as I can remember, beginning with raiding my Dads record collection for the likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Hawkwind. Fond memories of sitting in my bedroom spinning an old eighties compilation called Axe Attack which I’d been given by my Uncle after hearing Ace of Spades on a Pot Noodle advert and loving it. I started taking it seriously when I got given a cassette of Iron Maiden’s Live After Death by my cousin around 15. Still their best live album. Maiden was my first gig, on the Virtual XI tour in Manchester, 1998. Absolutely beltin’ show.
The various styles have waxed and waned in my interests over the years and these days I generally listen to traditional, epic and power metal.
I play guitar. Badly. Well, that’s what happens when you don’t start learning ‘til you’re 37, working a full-time job and loads of other things getting in the way (you know, like sleeping…). Still, I harbour a dream to one day write and record a metal song of my own. Stop laughing…
Reading, collecting band patches, Warhammer and waiting for Bal-Sagoth to release a new album are my other main hobbies.
SWAG ( AKA SWAGGITY HAIRY BREECHES )
GUEST WRITER SPECIALISING IN 80s PUNK, METAL, SPACE ROCK AND PSYCHEDELIA
In early 1972, at the age of 7, I was allowed to stay up late and watch Top Of The Pops. It was a bit of a culture shock to say the least ! Blokes with long hair and shiny clothes singing yobbish anthems. I think Sweet, T-Rex and Chicory Tip were on that show. Soon my favourite band was Slade. All the adults where I grew up looked like Ray Reardon or Annie Walker or Hilda Ogden – this was liked being beamed onto another world. I never looked back.
So glam rock was my first love, morphing into punk, metal, hardcore and psychedelic rock. Gigging became my favourite think once I was old enough – met pretty much all my good friends through going out seeing bands. I’m pretty much but not entirely stuck in a late 70’s / early 80’s rut of punk, crust, power metal (as it’s now called) and NWOBHM. Also drug influenced psyche and stoner. Never played a note or even tried to really – don’t want to spoil the magic by discovering its secret…
GUEST WRITER WITH A PARTICULAR INTEREST IN ANY GENRE OF MUSIC WITH THE WORD ‘METAL’ IN IT, PUNK AND HARDCORE.
In the mid 1980’s I would spend Sunday evenings lying on a storage heater in my bedroom listening to the charts on Radio One. It was here that I discovered the dulcet tones of Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne. I remember begging my Mom to let me purchase a copy of ‘Powerslave’, on cassette, from John Menzies in Walsall but the bitch was having none of it, brushing it off as a fad.
Towards the end of senior school at the arse end of the 1980’s I started hanging around with some long haired yobs, who were in the same year as me, who listened to the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Testament. By this time I had a couple of paper rounds on the go and I started blowing my wages on second hand vinyl from Bridge Records (RIP) in Walsall. As I entered the 1990’s I started drinking something called Alcohol and started going to see the occasional Death Metal Band at Edwards No 8 in Birmingham. As I got more into the 1990’s and the underground punk scene this turned into 2 or 3 gigs a week sometimes.
I’m still here some 30 odd years later with a shit load of vinyl, playing Bass and gigging with my band Rotunda of which I am a founder member. Fad?
GUEST WRITER SPECIALISING IN 80S HEAVY METAL AND BLACK METAL
‘Now… reviews can be helpful I’m sure, but you don’t have to take their word for it anymore. If I say the new Ihsahn EP is good, you can go onto the internet and find it and listen to it and make your own decision. A reviewer saying something is good or bad or indifferent is only saving you the trouble of a quick search and five minutes listening time, and not a bus ride to HMV and a tenner you could be spending on shit lager…’
Hailing from the baltic coast of Germany is a lonely place, so it’s no surprise that M.B. tends towards the darker side of music. Famed most for his live reviews, M.B. spends much of his time listening to misanthropic black metal, or reading obscure medieval texts, whilst his other half muses on the skeletal acclimatisation of sea urchins due to planet warming in the deepest strata of the nearby ocean. M.B. sings and plays guitar in Skardus, Herne, and writes lyrics for Gravehammer ( look away, those of a faint disposition ) and Ashes of Ashes.