Sunday, May 30, 2010

The messages in "Messengers."

Hello everyone. One of my favorite bands is August Burns Red. I love their music because it is very loud and powerful. It truly is heavy metal, but the best thing about it, the message in the lyrics is amazing. I would like to share some of my favorite lyrics from their second album, Messengers.

Before I hit you with the lyrics, I want to point out that there is a lot of metal out there with great, strong messages like this, but all of these came from the same album. Almost every song is packed with phrases that I think about when I feel tempted to do something I shouldn't. I will never forget the things that are this powerful to me, and I hope you will agree with me after reading some of these.

Song: The Truth of a Liar

"Go ahead, partake in it, justify it, it will eat you alive."
(warning about pornography and drugs)

"Blinded by the inability to see beyond flesh and blood. Shifting blame with a log in your eye. Insisting that a string tied to your limbs is what's to blame." (realize that there is a god, and be accountable for your choices)

Song: Up Against the Ropes

"You've abandoned me, you've abandoned all of us. We've forgiven you, so forgive yourself." (forgiveness of others & self)

Song: Composure

"Life can be overwhelming, but don't turn your back on the strongest crutch you've ever had. They have always been there to brace your fall. Wave goodbye to the past. You've got your whole life to lead. It's time to gain some ground." (support and help are always there, look to the future and move on)

Song: The Eleventh Hour

"We've got news for you. The day is soon coming when turning your back won't be an option. You can compromise what you know to be true, and you can turn off all of your senses, but in the end you'll see that nothing stands between a man and his maker." (reference to the second coming? you know the truth, and you can make your own choices, but you will answer to God for your actions)

Song: Redemption

"I am just a man with a heart and sinful hands. I am a fallen victim. Lord, show me the way. I ask of you, Father, let my words be your words. Let my thoughts be your thoughts. To you I give my praise, show me the way. Take me in your arms. Never let me go. Lord, show me the way as I give myself to you. Never let me go. Hold me in your everlasting love. Be my strength. Be my voice. Be my glory."
(WOWZERS!!! That's good stuff)

A reminder: this all came from one album. This astonishes me. This is why I love the music I listen to.

August Burns Red, you represent christian metal-heads very well. Keep it up, gentlemen.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How do you defeat an enemy? Hit the "toe."

My golf game is really coming together in many ways lately. I'm still crushing my drives, I am staying relaxed both mentally and physically, and I am hitting all of my irons and wedges the right distance. The biggest enemy in my life, my putter, is behaving much better as of late. Today, while practicing with the wretched flat-stick, I did something that I had read in Golf Magazine some time ago. I lined up the ball with the putter, but not with the middle line, but on the toe. As I did this seemingly insignificant act, I noticed very clearly that my putts were not only going in more often than usual, but when they didn't, they were tap-ins. If I can two putt all day long on the course, I can start calling myself a golfer.

I have a round scheduled for Monday morning, and I'm looking forward to seeing if today's success was merely luck. I hope not, I would love to begin to be a great putter, and then all aspects of my games would start to mesh and I could become a scratch golfer.

I wish that the answer to more problems in life was "hit the toe." Sounds more like a motto for a pacifists self-defense class. That's an oxy moron.

For you non-golfers that are reading, let me put today's lesson into perspective. Let's come up with an every day scenario:

You're driving to work, and there are cars everywhere. You are so stressed and feel crowded. You hate driving to work, and you're confident that you are going to run a yellow light too late, or that your front fender is going to meet the crossing guard's tibia. All of a sudden, you remember that you read a little tip in Car Magazine months ago. "Drive on the other side of the road." You veer into the left lane of a two lane road. All of a sudden, things are working in your favor. The oncoming traffic is pulling over, the crossing guard stays out of the road because she is afraid of what you will do next....the red lights are still a problem, however, so don't run them. Other than that, you have solved the problem. That's how I feel with my putting game.

Life is very good :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Read This First, Hound Me Later

The reason I even started a blog was my good friend Spencer Hansen. He's been blogging off and on for years. Just recently I read some of his blogs for the first time. They reminded me why he cracks me up, but also made me jealous that he has been posting his feelings and views for so long, and I've been holding back for ages.

This morning I was thinking about the title of my blog, and why I chose it. The real reason is because some of my friends and family hound me about the fact that I listen to metal. I've heard it referred to as "devil music" on many occasions. I can see why it would seem that way to the Celine Dion and N'Sync fans out there. There is a lot of really aggressive, bad-themed, and horribly orchestrated "metal" out there. The lyrics are bad, the band members are party animals, and in my opinion, low-lifes. The bands that I choose to listen to are very musical and uplifting in my eyes (and ears).

For the record, I experimented with black metal and death metal. I don't like it. I tried to make myself like it because I wanted to be different. It just does not allow me to feel the spirit/holy ghost very easily. The metal that I listen to consists of the following:

0 Very musical, instrumental
0 Clean lyrics (almost 100%)
0 They can scream as much as they want, but not ALL the time
0 Artist cannot be an absolute loser

That pretty much sums it up. Before everyone starts to judge me and get on my case about my music, I hope they read this. If they still want to get on my case, be my guest. I am willing to tell them what they just read, as well as a few other things about my choice of music. I absolutely love metal. It makes me feel great. It empowers/inspires/uplifts/relaxes me.

If you ever need some suggestions for some great music (metal or not), you can always ask me. I am still one of the only few metal-heads I know that can sing almost all of the words to Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera.

P.S. As I Lay Dying was freakin' awesome on Saturday. I had a great time. Thanks Tyson.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mormon Metal-head? Sounds stupid to me...

Firstly, I would like to welcome you to my blog.....I'm not sure how welcoming ALL of the subject matter will be, but nevertheless, thanks for taking time to support my views. I hope I entertain while simultaneously disappointing you :)

A mormon metal-head is something you will not find on every corner. Myself, along with Tyson Halvorsen and Brett Little, are part of what I'm sure is not an extremely large demographic. We are mormons. We listen to heavy metal. We enjoy life. Simple enough for me.

If I were a pie chart, the mormon pie piece would probably be about 1/4 of the pie. I will not go into detail on the other pie pieces at this time, but I will tell you that there is a lot of nonsense involved. "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." I have a very strong testimony of the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It has gotten me to this point in my life, which I am not complaining about. Some of the greatest and most important life lessons have been learned largely due to my beliefs and the blessings that are part of this great gospel.

Metal, metalcore, heavy metal, thrash metal, progressive metal (probably just words to you). They all mean something different to me. I live to listen to metal. I listen to lots of other music too. My favorite band remains Pink Floyd, but I seem to have a favorite in all of the different genres of muzak. TriViuM takes the cake when it comes to metal. They are so flippin' amazing, and at a very young age.

I will have the privilege of hearing one of my favorite metal bands this evening at The Great Saltair. Tim Lambesis and the rest of As I Lay Dying will rock my socks off as I throw down in the mosh pit. I am very excited for this show, however, there are a few things that are bumming me out:

1. I wanted to see August Burns Red last week more than I want to see As I Lay Dying
2. I spent the last 2 days learning all of the songs from the new album (only had 3 days to learn the new material) and THEN I did the smart thing and looked up the setlists from their recent shows. Not exactly full of new music, mostly old stuff. Now I'm studying lyrics for some of the old stuff that I haven't heard in a while
3. I smashed my pinky at work today and I'm pretty sure it will get jammed a lot at the concert :(

I have mostly been listening to Christian Metal this year. The language is much cleaner, the subject matter is religious and calls out the unfaithful or ignorant to stop being so vain. It is very powerful stuff to me, and helps my attitude every day. Heck, I've even taught lessons in church where I have used heavy metal lyrics that were spiritual to me as part of my lesson.

Only 113 days until BYU Football kicks off against Sarkisian's Washington Huskies!!! That's way too long.