Can Amazon's Alexa identify these metal bands?

Amazon Echo

Since its launch a few years ago, Alexa has become a firm part of the Amazon family, working her way into the Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo Spot and beyond. It can order you pizza, call you an Uber and play your Super Awesome Metal Playlist – which is the most important thing.

We have no idea how the Star Trek-like technology works, but we sure as hell know we don't want to use it for recipes or meditation, we want heavy music. Of course, Alexa isn't a real person, and might not be able to understand our perpetually hungover drawl. 

Connecting our Amazon Echo to Spotify, we asked Alexa to play some of the more obscure and wacky band names metal has to offer. Here's how she fared...

Hammer: Alexa, play Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza.
Echo: Plays Rudy X 3 by The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza

Hammer: Alexa, play Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard.
Echo: At first our request was ignored by Alexa. When we asked a second time, she responded “I couldn’t find Wizard Bastard”. Looks like Alexa isn’t a fan of Welsh doom.

Hammer: Alexa, play Iwrestledabearonce.
Echo: Plays You Know That Aint Them Dogs’ Real Voice by Iwrestledabearonce

Hammer: Alexa, play Anaal Nathrakh.
Echo: At first Alexa played Wake Me Up by Aloe Blacc (a slightly different vibe), before ignoring us the second time.

Hammer: Alexa, play GWAR.
Echo: Plays Sick Of You by GWAR

Hammer: Alexa, play Kvelertak.
Echo: To begin with, Alexa couldn’t find the Norwegian punk ‘n’ rollers, but after we adjusted our poor pronunciation she started playing Mjød.

Hammer: Alexa, play Nekrogoblikon
Echo: Plays No On Survives by Nekrogoblikon

Hammer: Alexa, play Katatonia.
Echo: Obviously confused, Alexa played Road Rage by Catatonia. Slightly more indie than progressive metal.

Hammer: Alexa, play Pissing Razors.
Echo: Plays Domination by Pissing Razors

Hammer: Alexa, play Anal Cunt.
Echo: To be fair to Alexa, she played Hitler Was A Sensitive Man by Anal Cunt. But she bleeped out the C-word when repeating the band name back to us.

So there you have it, Alexa knows her stuff when it comes to obscure metal bands, and the speaker ain’t bad either! We quite happily sat listening to Ghost’s Prequelle at full volume (and it goes quite loud) without a worry about sound quality. And even if you are blasting music at ear-piercing levels, Alexa can still hear you – it’s magic.

However, when it comes to having an opinion on the music we love, she was less impressive.

Hammer: Which is the best Metallica album?
Echo: “Sorry, I don’t know the answer.”

Hammer: What is your favourite song?
Echo: “I don’t have a favourite, but if you do, I’d be happy to play some music for you.”

Hammer: Who is the final Bloodstock headliner?
Echo: “That’s just one of those things I don’t know.”

This lack of awareness might be a blessing though, as it will only lead to late night arguments with an inanimate object, and we do enough of that already. But Alexa will tell you a joke if you ask for one, including this golden oldie.

“A man walks into a bar and says ‘Ouch!’”

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Amazon's Black Friday sale is now on – a week before actual Black Friday! They've slashed the prices across their Alexa devices, so now is the time to smarten up your home.  

Plus there are tons of deals on headphones, speakers, music and more!

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.