As the founder/songwriter/bassist/musician/key holder of Metal Allegiance, there have been constant ups and downs in my life (refer to the lyrics on songs like Can’t Kill The Devil, Let Darkness Fall, Pledge Of Allegiance and/or Gift Of Pain). During a time of total disarray for me, I reluctantly went to the New York City Comic Con convention at the Javits Center (my first time ever attending something like this) with a good friend of mine, Mike Artale – who also sings backup vocals on Let Darkness Fall. It was there that I was turned on to the The Walking Dead. At that point, the show was huge; everyone was dressed as zombies and Season 4 was about to premiere that Sunday evening. I had no idea what the fuck was going on, but I knew one thing; I was very intrigued. My life was in total shambles at that point and I was basically at rock bottom. When I got home from the convention, I immediately dove into Season 1 and binge-watched it that night. Then after that, I went right into Season 2, then Season 3… I watched three full seasons in about 72 hours and made it in time to watch Episode 1 of Season 4 that Sunday evening. At that point I was hooked…
That Monday, I went to my local comic book store and starting picking up some TWD comic books (starting with number 1) and began reading those (I think Mike Portnoy’s OCD rubbed off on me), and from that weekend in October 2013 till now, I have been absolutely hooked on all things Walking Dead. Watching that show, opening up my eyes to the storylines and feeling their pain/suffering really hit home for me. Now, god knows there aren’t any zombies in the world (well, there might be some in NYC), but I sure as shit felt like Rick. He lost everything and had to fight his way to survive much like I did in the real world. It wasn’t necessarily the slaying of zombies that got me hooked, it was the willingness and determination to survive that did.
TWD made me realise that you have to fight to survive and was most certainly a turning point in my life.
Fast-forward a few years later (about a month or so ago), I contacted a good friend of mine by the name of Alan Robert. Alan is a revered comic book artist and has had great success with works of his own (Killogy, Crawl To Me, Wire Hangers) and on top of that, he is the founder/bassist/songwriter in one of my favourite bands, Life Of Agony. I asked Alan if he would draw us (Portnoy, Skolnick, Ellefson and myself) as zombies. At that point, I just thought it would be cool to have Alan draw a piece of us and I’d hang it in my studio, nothing more. I was so excited the way it turned out, that we had to share this with all of our fans, the TWD community and the entire zombie loving world!
“I’ve been drawing monsters for as long as I can remember,” said Alan Robert, “so when I started zombifying fans at comic and horror conventions it really caught on. Everyone wants to get zombified! I even ran into TWD’s Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon) at one of these events and drew him up something special. When Menghi approached me to zombify the Metal Allegiance crew, I jumped at the chance. I grew up on Megadeth and Testament so drawing Skolnick and Ellefson as the undead was especially fun for me.”
With that, I give you my “Ten Reasons Why The Walking Dead is Metal as Fuck”
- Michonne thrusting her katana (sword) through the back and into the heart of the Governor. And if that wasn’t enough, Lilly then strutting on over and putting a bullet in his head and finishing him off. By far the number one most metal moment for me. I am still pissed that fuck took off Hershel’s head…
- Hershel having his leg cut off after being bitten. He took the bite like a man! Rick took matters into his own hands by cutting off his leg with an axe, rubbed some dirt on it and eventually, Hershel went about his business farming. That’s metal.
- My buddy and Metal Allegiance performer, Scott Ian appearing as a zombie that gets killed with a sharp metal pole by Carl. Just sucks that it seems Carl is turning emo these days in Alexandria. Definitely not (Anthrax pun-intended) metal as fuck.
- Greg Nicotero (show co-executive producer) is a huge metalhead and his love for metal music truly shows in TWD. He’s got an all-access pass for life to any Metal Allegiance show he wants!
- Terminus. Those who arrive survive. Poor Bob… it takes a hard-ass metal personality to bear the pain of having your leg cut off, then some cannibal fuck throwing it on a barbecue and watching that fuckhead Gareth eat your own limbs. Not cool.
- Carol. Enough said – she is badass number one.
- Michonne (again). When she first appears in Season 2 (last episode) with two walkers – not known who they were at the time, but we know and understand now – with their arms and mouths cut off and chains around their necks as she is walking them like puppy dogs, is not only metal as fuck, but out of her mind insane!
- Merle! Damn I miss his character, probably more than any. The dude showed his crazy resourcefulness and sawed off his OWN HAND! He had the will to survive and had a shitload of fun doing it as well. I don’t think anyone enjoyed the walker life more than Merle!
- Rick Grimes is clearly out of his mind batshit crazy, but what sealed the deal for me was in the Season 4 finale after Rick got into an altercation with Joe (leader of a wandering gang). In the short of it, when Rick and Joe got into a scuffle and Joe’s crew had Michonne tied up, Carl trapped in a car (which is a whole other fucked up story) and Rick was getting pistol-whipped around… so what does Rick do? He bit Joe’s fucking neck and ripped out his jugular. Yup, batshit crazy I say!
- Beth AKA Emily Kinney telling me she was a fan of Metal Allegiance. Emily is a great singer/songwriter in her own right, but for her to even acknowledge who we are is crazy. She even signed The Walking Dead/Nuclear Blast 2015 summer sampler we were featured on. That’s metal as fuck!