Goodbye Gamespot

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In the wake of Jeff Gerstmann's firing, I will be leaving Gamespot. I cannot trust nor support a website that reviews games through bribary. Jeff is one of the best game critics I've ever had the pleasure of reading, and as a critic myself, I cannot support a great critic being fired for writing an honest review. If anyone wants to take over the General Music Discussion Union, let me know, as I will only be on in the coming days to deal with that.

I have made many friends in this community, and I hope this won't be the end of my communications with you all. If any of you want to keep in contact with me, there are a number of ways to reach me.

Website: http://musicreviews666.blogspot.com/
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/matrix_hiei/
E-Mail & MSN: matrix_hiei@msn.com
Xbox Live: Matrix Hiei

My annual top 100 list will once again be posted on January 1, 2008, however I will only be posting it on my website. I also am currently writing a Holiday Buyer's Guide, which can be found here.

I once again want to thank every single one of you for making my stay on Gamespot a truly great one. Once again, I hope to keep in contact with all of you. I love this community, but I cannot support what has happened.

I will miss you all.

It's time

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After a large amount of searching, I have decided on a place to move my music blog. I will now be able to review ablums at at least a fairly constant rate, as well as post more lists, countdowns, and major project. The first project I will be posting is by far my biggest yet. I've spent a ton of time on it, and although I won't disclose what it is until it's posted it on my new blog, the first third of it will be posted tonight. I want to thank all of you that have read my music reviews and lists in the past, and hope that anyone who is interested will check out of my blog. For those who are interested, the URL is: http://musicreviews666.blogspot.com/

I once again want to thank all of you that have read and commented on my lists in the past, and I want to thank any of you in advance that choose to check out my blog down the road. Thank you once again, and I hope anyone who is interested checks out the first part of latest music project tonight. It will up sometime before 8:00 PCT tonight, and I will post a link to it tomorrow.

Thanks again, and I hope to see you on the new blog sometime soon. And no, this doesn't mean I will be leaving Gamespot. This just means that I'm trying to gain a larger audience with my writing, and I hope to one day do this as a profession.

Nightwish = best concert I've ever been to!

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I saw Nightwish in concert on Halloween, and it was by far the most amazing concert I've ever been to....and I've been to some truly amazing concerts in the past year. The opening band was Paradise Lost, a gothic thrash metal band that played some pretty solid music, but unfortunately had some technical issues. You could barely hear the vocals, which was thankfully fixed by the time Nightwish got out. The problem was that it took them forever to fix the mic, and the set change took over an hour. Nightwish finally came on stage at 11:00, and they started with a bang. They opened with an oustanding rendition of "Bye Bye Beautiful," the latest single off their new album Dark Passion Play, and it only got better from there. Every song was a treat to hear, and even though the concert ended well past midnight, no one wanted to go home. I also should note that this took place at a fairly large venue (many big name acts play there), and this concert was sold out! I applaud the city of Seattle for having such great taste in music, and especially for spending their Halloween attending a concert for a band very people in the U.S. have heard of. The place was pakced to say the least, but I surprisingly managed to get a spot in around the 4 or 5th row. I was right near the stage and could see everything clearly.

Anyway, the concert continued with a few more Dark Passion Play songs, and then the band got into a few of their older greats ("Dark Chest of Wonders" was the first). Many Nightwish fans had been worried that Anette (the new vocalist) wouldn't be able to sing the operatic songs of past Nightwish. She didn't do the opera parts, but she still showed tremendous vocal range while doing an excellent job on all of the songs she sang. She is far, far better live than on album, and I was one of the apparently few Nightwish fans that was extremely impressed with her vocals on Dark Passion Play. As a whole, the band is spectatular live, and you really get a sense of just how talented of musicians these people are. All of the members seemed to have a great time, as they played the entire show grinning and talking to the audience. Nightwish did a fantasic job of communicating with the audience, and all of the members said something at one point or another. There was a moment towards the middle of their set where someone in the first row passed a note to Anette on stage. She then started seeking out the person the note was addressed to, and then when found said "Do you a person named Tom? Well he has a question he'd like to ask you..." It's moments like that where a band really brings the show down to a personal level, and Nightwish did that expertly.

Even the theme of Halloween played into their set, as all of the members did something to celebrate the night that they were playing on. The vocalist came out dressed as a pirate for the first five songs (and then changed once they played "While Your Lips are Still Red," a song that features only three of the members). The drummer and keyboardist/composer had cobwebs on their instruments, and the guitarist played a few songs towards the middle with a giant pumpkin hat on that was eventually thrown into the audience. However, the best and most amusing costume wasn't much of a costume at all. Bassist and male vocalist Marco Hietala played the entire show without pants. I didn't even notice until a few songs in when someone in the audience yelled "what happened to your pants?" Part way through the set, the band addressed this. Anette wanted to say something to the audience, bust she laughed and turned to Marco and said "You know, this wasn't planned. Who exactly are you trying to be?" The response was a highlight of the night. "What? I always dress like this." Anette's reaction proved this wasn't planned, and the audience reacted with a series of laughter.

As the set reached its end ("Nemo" was the last song of the main set), the band left and was greeted with the loudest encore I've heard. Yes, even louder than arena shows for bands like Rush and Muse. The crowd was completely mesmorized, and the shouts of the band's name lasted a good a 5 or 10 minutes. Eventually, Nightwish came back out and proceeded to play the greatest song I've ever heard live. "The Poet and the Pendulum" was the first song of the encore, and they played the entire 14 minute epic. The album version of that song ranks among the best I've ever heard in any genre of music, and it's 10 times better live! Before that, it was already the best concert I had been to, but that just put it over the edge. "The Poet and the Pendulum" is beautiful, epic, heavy, and pure bliss to hear live. The set finally came to end after "Wish I Had an Angel," another older Nightwish hit that Anette did great on, and at that point no one wanted to leave. It was nearly 1:00 in the morning, and people were chanting for a second encore. What an absolutely amazing concert! This was easily the best Halloween I've ever had.

Setlist (to the best of my memory)
Bye Bye Beautiful
For the Heart I Once Had
Whoever Brings the Night
Dark Chest of Wonders
7 Days to Wolves
While Your Lips are Still Red
Sleeping Sun
Amaranth
Ever Dream
Sahara
Wishmaster
Nemo
The Poet and the Pendulum
Wish I Had an Angel

Just to set the record straight...

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Since I posted a list of my most hated bands last month, I decided I should probably balance it with a list of my favorite artists too. On top of that, I haven't blogged in a while, and I don't have anything interesting to write about. I'm not going to write any comments due to the excessive number of bands I have listed, but I encourage all of you to listen to any artists you may not have heard of.

1. Opeth
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers
3. In Flames
4. Lacuna Coil
5. Nightwish
6. Porcupine Tree
7. Ayreon
8. Rush
9. Scar Symmetry
10. Muse
11. Killswitch Engage
12. Pearl Jam
13. Epica
14. Immortal Technique
15. Katatonia
16. Dark Tranquillity
17. Clutch
18. Dream Theater
19. DragonForce
20. Beastie Boys
21. The Devin Townsend Band
22. TV on the Radio
23. Strapping Young Lad
24. Swallow the Sun
25. Megadeth
26. Radiohead
27. Orphaned Land
28. Children of Bodom
29. Avantasia
30. Iron Maiden
31. Pink Floyd
32. Behemoth
33. Black Sabbath
34. Tool
35. Slayer
36. Modest Mouse
37. Faith No More
38. Rage Against the Machine
39. Shadows Fall
40. Sleater-Kinney
41. Symphony X
42. Weird Al Yankovic
43. Foo Fighters
44. Freak Kitchen
45. K-Os
46. Sonata Arctica
47. Ozzy Osbourne
48. Nile
49. Nevermore
50. The Who
51. The Reverse Engineers
52. Lamb of God
53. Blind Guardian
54. Temple of the Dog
55. Wintersun
56. Edguy
57. Arctic Monkeys
58. DÅÅTH
59. Interpol
60. Mastodon
61. Johnny Cash
62. Arch Enemy
63. Mercenary
64. Alice in Chains
65. Heaven Shall Burn
66. Wolves in the Throne Room
67. Death
68. Pain of Salvation
69. Within Temptation
70. The Flaming Lips
71. Soundgarden
72. The Mars Volta
73. Rodrigo y Gabriela
74. Amon Amarth
75. Dinosaur Jr.
76. Kamelot
77. Judas Priest
78. Iced Earth
79. Necrophagist
80. Soilwork
81. Therion
82. The Stone Roses
83. White Zombie
84. Fugazi
85. Black Label Society
86. Apocalyptica
87. Manilla Road
88. Pantera
89. Bad Religion
90. Sublime
91. Screaming Trees
92. Nirvana
93. Van Halen
94. Pixies
95. Machine Head
96. System of a Down
97. 3 Inches of Blood
98. All That Remains
99. Arcade Fire
100. Breaking Benjamin
101. The Cure
102. The Dead Kennedys
103. Sevendust
104. Santana
105. Rilo Kiley
106. At the Gates
107. Anthrax
108. At the Drive-In
109. ChthoniC
110. Dethklok
111. Type O Negative
112. Down
113. The Smashing Pumpkins
114. Evergrey
115. Daft Punk
116. Jimi Hendrix
117. Kreator
118. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
119. Eric Clapton
120. Celtic Frost
121. King Diamond
122. Blur
123. Chimaira
124. After Forever
125. Oakhelm
126. Candlemass
127. Sonic Youth
128. Tristania
129. Disturbed
130. Kataklysm
131. Suicidal Tendencies
132. Nas
133. Demons and Wizards
134. Elvenking
135. Stratovarius
136. Vital Remains
137. Exodus
138. King Crimson
139. Led Zeppelin
140. Dropkick Murphys
141. Meshuggah
142. Queensryche
143. Public Enemy
144. A New Shade
145. Deep Purple
146. Beck
147. Waking Hour
148. !!! (Chk Chk Chk)
149. Between the Buried and Me
150. Firewind
151. AC/DC
152. Queens of the Stone Age
153. Common
154. Tenacious D
155. The Roots
156. Hammerfall
157. Rise Against
158. Rhapsody of Fire
159. A Band Called Pain
160. Spoon
161. Green Day
162. Blood Red Throne
163. The National
164. Ensiferum
165. The Gathering
166. Primus
167. Dio
168. Doro
169. Emperor
170. Boston
171. Motorhead
172. Threatre of Tragedy
173. Rage
174. Cellador
175. Pavement
176. Liquid Tension Experiment
177. Nine Inch Nails
178. Depeche Mode
179. The Decemberists
180. Metallica
181. Darkthrone
182. David Bowie
183. Rob Zombie
184. Explosions in the Sky
185. Into Eternity
186. The Clash
187. Blue Oyster Cult
188. MF Doom
189. God Forbid
190. In the Woods...
191. Warmen
192. Vader
193. Yes
194. A Perfect Circle
195. Jason Becker
196. Korpiklaani
197. The Black Mages
198. Meat Puppets
199. Bathory
200. Wolfmother

Thanks for reading, and I apologize for not having anything more interesting to say. I'm also planning to do an audio blog and an editorial in the near future, so expect those soon.

Damn You Glitchspot!

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Well, I'm back, and I have a hell of a lot of blogs to read with very little time to do so. I promise I'll get to them eventually, although I can't tell you how soon. Anyway, I don't have much to say. I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm still alive and have no intentions of leaving Gamespot. I haven't been on in 3 weeks, but that's because Gamespot wouldn't let me log in for some reason. It kept giving me a stupid error message, and it wasn't until tonight that it let me get past it. It was rather annoying, espeically since I wrote an 8 page editorial about the new Radiohead album that I had planned to post here and eventually submit to a magazine or music site. I may post it if anyone wants to read it, but it's a bit late since the album has now been released.

I might as well give an update on what I've been doing these past few weeks while I'm at it. Simply put, not much of anything. Homework has been plentiful, and my free time has gone to planning out a custom Guitar Hero party that I'm having next Friday (yes, I've finally started dabbling into putting custom songs into Guitar Hero), listening to a ton of music, and playing Xbox 360. Since this is Gamespot, I might as well post my reactions to the new games I've gotten too. Firstly, Halo 3. I haven't played much of it, but that's because I can't seem get into it. It's better than the first two games, but really not that much of an improvement. It's worth the money I paid for it, but I'm already bored of it and I've only finished three levels. I also got BioShock, which I've also played very little of, but it rules from what I've played. I can't comment on the length, which I've heard is its drawback, but it's certainly fun and even revolutionary from what I've played thus far. I also have been playing a lot of Madden 08 lately, which I've nearly gotten all of the achievements for (960/100). Despite a few annoying glitches, it's a fun and deep game of football. Not as good as EPSN NFL 2K5 IMO, but it's probably the second best football game I've played. Finally, I've been playing Puzzle Quest on Xbox Live Arcade. Now THAT is an addicting game. As someone who has stayed far away from WoW, this may just be the most addicting game I've ever played. It's basically Final Fantasy + Bejeweled, and it's a steal at 1200 MS points. Oh, and I got an Xbox Live gold card, and I'm borrowing my friend's headset until I can get a charger for my wireless one, so feel free to message me if you ever want to play. Just to warn you, I suck at Halo 3, so don't expect me to be any real competition.

So yeah, that's about it. I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm still here, and I have no plans to leave GS.

Mugshot / Finding Zen in Rapture / A Concert of Epica Proportions / Halo Woes

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I haven't been on in over a week now, mostly due to homework, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of doing a blog. Actually, I had thought of 4 blog titles over the last week, and due to me being a busy procrastinator, I will instead attempt to shorten my blog ideas into one entry with 4 parts. Well, here goes nothing:

Mugshot:
This part is actually much more positive than the title suggests. The "mugshot" in question is what my driver's license picture looks like. After I passed the driving test on Wednesday, they told me to keep my chin up for the picture, and the result was a picture of me looking like a gangster in a police lineup. My friends and I had a good laugh about it. Oh, and if you haven't realized by now, the point of this part is that I got my driver's license. :D

Finding Zen in Rapture
I've planning on getting BioShock for a while now, but I also didn't want to spend $60 on it because I'm short on money at the moment. Even though most gamers have already beaten BioShock at this point, I'm just now going to be starting the game. Yes, I just recently bought BioShock, and it should arrive sometime this week. I bought it for the low price of $40, so I think I made a good purchase. That's all I really have to say about that because I haven't even tried the game yet, but I hope it will be every bit as good as the demo and reviews make it out to be. The "Zen" part of the title has to do with the Creative Zen Vision:M I bought about a month ago. After a month's worth of use, I can say without hesitation that this thing destroys the iPod. I will NEVER be able to use an iPod again after using one of these. This player works with almost every file type and media player, and it's exactly what I was looking for in an mp3 player. The video aspect is also incredible, and I have multiple concerts that I've uploaded on there (Children of Bodom, Opeth, DragonForce, and Lacuna Coil to name a few). The screen is amazing, and the amount of features is staggering. Yes, it's a bit larger, but as long as it fits in your pocket, who cares? From a music perspective, the Creative Zen is far better than the iPod.

A Concert of Epica Proportions
On Saturday, I went to a concert with 5 of my friends, and it was easily the best concert I've ever been to. Yes, it was better than Rush, Ozzfest, Muse, and Killswitch Engage/DragonForce. It was a $15 concert in a small venue in Seattle called Studio Seven. I had never been there before, but I will definitely be going back. It doesn't look like much, and it really isn't much. However, that's why it ruled. There were less than 100 people at the concert, so my friends and I were right near the front for the entire show. It basically was a small and empty club, and it was almost like having one of your favorite bands play a private concert for you and your friends...for only $15! The headlining band was Epica, which is a personal favorite of mine, but I'll get to their set in a moment. The first band up was a local progressive band called Waking Hour. Their drummer had a Neil Peart shirt on, so I had high expectations for their set. Fortunately, they met them. Any progressive fans reading this need to check out band as soon as possible. They have some heavy Dream Theater and Rush influences, and they played some very complex and creative songs. I'll soon be checking out their album, as I was very impressed with their set. The next band up was another local band called Die By Day. Their bassist was out in the audience for the first band, but proceeded to run backstage and get his bass guitar before climbing onto the stage. It's great to see a band actually be down with the audience for the show, and the fact that his band kicked ass was even better. Die By Day played a very heavy thrash metal set, and huge mosh pits broke out throughout the club. It was a fun set to say the least, but the vocals were a bit difficult to hear. Still, Die By Day put on a fun and impressive set. Next up was Visions of Atlantis, a symphonic metal band from Austria that was touring the U.S. for the first time. I'm not a huge fan of their studio stuff, but they put on a great live show. Their vocalist came out wearing skimpy semi-goth clothing, and every guy in the audience started drooling within seconds of her appearance. The drooling continued for the entire set, as she proved she was just as good of a singer as she was sexy. During the parts where she wasn't singing, she'd kneel down and lock devil horns with members of the audience. One of my friends pushed his way to the stage and got her to lock horns with him as well. Even without the sex appeal, Visions of Atlantis put on a great show, and their male vocalist is much better live than on album. Finally, Epica came up, and blew everyone away. I expected them to be great, but not this great. Their set rivaled that of Rush and Muse, and Simone Simmons (Epica's vocalist) might just have the best female voice I've ever heard. Her voice is simply beautiful, and that combined with the fantastic keyboards were an excellent contrast to the male death grunts and heavy riffs. It was the perfect mix of brutality and beauty, and I will make sure to see them again if they ever return to Seattle. I've been blown away at concerts before, but never quite like this.

Halo Woes
Finally, Halo 3 comes out on Tuesday. Shocking, isn't is?:P Well, I've said in past blogs that I'm not excited at all for Halo 3, even though I do have it pre-ordered. I'm still not excited enough to want to stand out in line or anything to get it, but I admit that the reviews I've read for the game are making me quite excited about tomorrow. I got an e-mail over the weekend saying the game has shipped, so it should be here either tomorrow or Wednesday. Even if it arrives later, I wouldn't care. I'm in no hurry to play it because I know my friends and I will be playing it for years to come (for better or for worse). The problem is, I might not be able to play it online for a while. I'll be getting Xbox Live either today or tomorrow, but I don't have a headset to use with it. My headset broke earlier this year, and when Microsoft replaced it, they sent me a wireless headset instead. Awesome, right? I mean, I got a free wireless headset, right? Wrong. Microsoft didn't send me the cable needed to charge it, and after calling them numerous times, they still won't send it to me. So basically, I'm left without a working headset, so I'll either have to buy a wireless headset just to get the cable, or buy another crappy wired one. I really don't want to pay $20 to get a cheap wired one, which means that I'll need to spend the money to get a wireless one for the cable. I'll then have two wireless headsets and one cable. I suppose that's not a bad deal, considering I get can get a wireless headset for $40, but I unfortunately don't have the money to get both Xbox Live and a headset at this time. This leaves me in a dilemma, and one that I doubt I can solve by Halo 3's release. Oh well, I suppose I'll be online eventually.

Thanks for reading, and I apologize for the long read.

My 10 Most Hated Bands (5-1)

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Once again, I apologize for what I am about to say. I do not mean to offend any fans of the following bands that may be reading this. I hope you undestand that this is my personal opinion, and no amount of death threats will stop me from stating my honest opinion.

5:
The Used

Even though I don't write that many reviews (at least not on Gamespot), I still have listened to and graded nearly every rock/metal album that has come out in 2007. The Used's Lies for the Liars album is by far the worst album I've heard so far this year, and it even made me reconsider not only wanting to pursue reviewing music professionally, but also listening to music in general. After my inital listen to an album, I always write a sentence or so in an Microsoft Word file summarizing my reaction. Here's what I wrote many months ago after listening to that pile of trash The Used's fans call music: "I'm not sure if this was the album's purpose, but it certainly left me depressed, as well as with a feeling that doing anything positive for a society that gives money to crap like this should be a crime." As you can probably tell by now, I really hated that album. It did in fact leave me depressed, but not in a way that music should. The type of depression caused by The Used is not one that has any sort of emotion connection or thought process. Instead, it's a period of torture that eventually leads into a state of reconciliation of how something you love so much (music) can be betray you in a such a way. The sound of the band is basically what you would get if you had a whiney emo kid yell at you for the length of the song or album, while the same riff is repeating over and over again. Listen to the MTV hit, "The Bird and the Worm," and you'll see my point. Even if you consider all of the awful songs MTV has promoted over the years, that song is a new low. The point is, listening to The Used is torture, and the only reason they aren't my most hated band is because I haven't been forced to hear them as much as some of the others on this list. It also should be noted that The Used played Ozzfest on the second stage before they had a single or album out, and they left the tour part way through due to being booed off-stage at every venue.

4:
Limp Bizkit

Believe it or not, there are aspects of Limp Bizkit that I like. Alright, that may be an exaggeration, but there are aspects that I can at least tolerate. For example, Wes Borland is a pretty decent guitarist compared to most in the genre, and although the instrumentals of the band are not good enough to be praised, they at the very least could have worked if the lyrics and vocals were decent. The problem is that the lyrics aren't decent, or even bad. To call them awful would be giving the band too much credit, and I honestly can't think of a word for how awful Limp Bizkit's lyrics and vocals are. Fred Durst is the reason for that, and there is not a doubt in my mind that Durst in the worst frontman in the history of music. His annoying rapping doesn't flow, his lyrics range from idiotic to nonsensical, and his giant ego made matters even worse. I'm guessing that Limp Bizkit was intended to be a serious band, but I can't go through even a single song without laughing my head off. All of their songs are laughably bad, and it's sad to think that this band was once one of the biggest in the world. I suppose one could argue that Limp Bizkit could be called unique for their time, but that wasn't by their choosing. If you listen closely to the music, they have a large amount of Korn, Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, and even Metallica influences. However, they suffer from the same problem Fall Out Boy has. They may try to rip-off what other bands have done, but they failed at creating a sound with any of the positive aspects of their influences. Basically, Limp Bizkit took the flaws of Korn, as well as the small flaws of the other aforementioned groups, and then added Fred Durst. Fred Durst, unfortunately, may just be the worst thing to ever happen to rock music, and if it wasn't for a duo of rapping clowns, Limp Bizkit could easily be called the worst band in a long list of awful bands that have combined rock and rap.

3:
Nickelback

Based on their sound alone, Nickelback is boring, generic, and especially simple. However, that's not my reason for hating them. Instead, I hate Nickelback for a simpler reason. All of their songs are the same. It's not that all of their songs sound the same, but instead that all of their songs are literally the exact same song. There's a video that can be found right here that plays "How You Remind Me" in one speaker and "Someday" in the other. If you listen, you'll find that they are the exact same song, and that the only differences are the lyrics and length. Both songs use the same riffs, identical chord progression, and the exact same instrumentals. The vocals are also on the same one note, and the lyrics are similar as well. More or less, Nickelback has created the perfect marketing scheme. They found a hit with "How You Remind Me" and then re-recorded the exact same song for multiple albums. Nickelback has really only recorded one song in the last five years, and yet people buy their albums to get 12 slightly different variations of the same song. Nickelback are a bunch of talentless conmen who apparently have no problem with tricking their fan base into buying album after album of the same song. Musically, that one song isn't THAT bad, but it's the thought that counts, right? It's obvious that Nickelback is in it strictly for the money, so I don't see the point in even wasting my time continuing to talk about them. I hope that none of you have or ever will give you hard earned money to these lazy bums. After all, you've worked harder just by reading this than Nickelback ever has on their music.

2:
Insane Clown Posse

As bad as their music is, there are many things I respect about Insane Clown Posse. I respect that they're anti-censorship, and that they've made intelligent arguments to defend their music against religious groups or other organizations that have tried to ban their albums. I respect that both members are high school dropouts that have managed to do something with their life. I respect that they've managed to become wildly successful without help from radio or MTV. I respect that they don't want to be judged on image. I respect that their fan base really loves their music, and that they've managed to maintain a huge following over the years. I respect many things about Insane Clown Posse, and thus you may be wondering why I claim to hate them more Nickelback, who I had nothing but ill words for. The reason for that comes from the music itself. Despite my respect for the members of the band, I have no respect for this group's music. From a musical perspective, Insane Clown Posse is easily the worst band of all-time. I can rap better than these guys, and that's pathetic to say the least. These "rappers" just rap to pre-recorded drum and bass lines, thus "mixing rap and rock." However, the rapping and lack of real instrumentals are probably the best part of Insane Clown Posse. Considering those two things alone are worse than any musical aspect of the other bands on this list, I'd say that's quite sad indeed. The worst part of their music is the lyrics. Their lyrics range from being about how much the world sucks to how their "cool" their "homies" are. An example of the former would be the lyrics of "**** the World," in which the band raps "**** you / **** me / **** us / **** Tom / **** Mary / **** Gus / **** Darius / **** the west coast / and **** everybody on the east / Eat **** and die / or **** off at least / **** pre-schoolers / **** rulers / Kings and Queens and gold jewelers / **** wine coolers / **** chickens / **** ducks / Everybody in your crew sucks / punk mother ****s / **** critics / **** your review /Even if you like me, **** you" Personally, I can't think of worse lyrics than those, but ICP comes close with their song, "Juggalo Homies," which contains the chorus of "We're talking about homies / we are mother****ing homies / we are juggalo homies." As you can hopefully see by now, Insane Clown Posse doesn't exactly write the most complex or well thought out lyrics in music, and I think my point has already been made. Insane Clown Posse avoids being #1 because of the small amount of respect I have for them outside of their music, but the music itself is worse than anything I've heard from any other recording artist of any genre of music.

1:
My Chemical Romance

My hatred for My Chemical Romance goes beyond simply disliking the band or the music, and I admit that part of my hatred has to do with the popularity that they've received for doing absolutely nothing. This was just another awful semi-popular punk band during the days of their first album, but then proceeded to copy what was popular for their second and third albums. In terms of talent, these guys don't have any. Everything from the annoying vocals to the generic and repetitive instrumentals make this band one of the most vomit-inducing acts I've ever had the displeasure of hearing. Their lyrics are worthless, and I don't understand how anyone in their right mind can think the lyrics to "Helena" and "Welcome to the Black Parade" have any redeeming qualities. They are basic, always negative for no apparent reason, and often incoherent. I've talked to people who honestly believe that My Chemical Romance write some of the best and most genuine lyrics in music. That baffles me, as their lyrics aren't any different from what other bands in the genre write, and I fail to see how a band that all of a sudden started writing negative and depressing lyrics after that became the trend can be called genuine. I also know people who call MCR their favorite band, yet can't name any of their songs. I know that sounds like something that is just a one time occurrence, but I've talked to enough idiots like that to believe it may be common among a portion of their fan base. It seems their fan base is made up largely of those two types of people, and due to many of my neighbors, cousins, and acquaintances at school being one of those types of people, I have been forced to listen to all three MCR albums. I hated every single song, and I'm not lying when I say I would rather commit suicide than have to listen to The Black Parade in its entirety again. It's just that bad, and it's the only album that's literally made my ears hurt and my stomach sick. I suppose being someone that has such a strong emotional connection to albums by bands like Ayreon, Opeth, Rush, and other bands that have written music that has made me become obsessed with the art, it only makes sense that I can feel an equally strong reaction to something as awful as a My Chemical Romance album. My Chemical Romance does not create music. They instead copy what other bands do and have made millions of dollars off of acting depressed and miserable. Music is about the music, not the money. If My Chemical Romance learns that, then maybe I will grow an ounce of respect for them. Until that day, I hope their fans wake up and realize what awful "music" this band has released. I have no respect for My Chemical Romance, even to the point where I would refuse to attend any concert or festival they are part of. England bottled them at this year's Download and last year's Reading festivals, and I commend the attendees of those festivals for realizing just how awful My Chemical Romance really is.

Thanks for reading, and I apologize if I offended anyone.

My 10 Most Hated Bands (10-6)

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Firstly, I apologize for what I am about to say. My intent is not to offend anyone, and I hope you won't get angry at me if I say something you either disagree with or dislike. That being said, I encourage debate. As long as you don't go the way of Linkin Park fan boys and send me death threats, I will read what you have to say on why you believe I am wrong. So without farther ado, let the flaming begin...

10:
Atreyu

I take back the positive things I said about Atreyu on my top 100 list last year. I had said that Atreyu could become a good band if they were to head in the right direction. They didn't do that. Instead, Atreyu released Lead Sails Paper Anchor, an absolutely horrendous album that could very well be the worst album released so far this year. The biggest problem with Atreyu's new sound is that their lead vocalist is horrible, and doesn't fit well at all in that s.t.y.l.e. Whoever told him he could sing is a good for nothing liar. His screaming has always been underwhelming, but the band has never had to rely on him for clean vocals. The drummer, who has a pretty decent singing voice, has been doing the clean parts in the past. However, Atreyu is now playing generic emo music that will almost certainly be coming to a radio near you in the near future. Due to their s.t.y.l.e. becoming emo and even more generic than it was before, Atreyu rarely screams on their latest release. That means that the clean vocals are all being done by the lead vocalist, who has an atrocious voice when it comes to pure singing. Atreyu has always been an inconsistent band that has previously seemed content with releasing albums with only one worthwhile song at the most, despite being fairly talented. Atreyu wastes their talent performing generic crap in whatever s.t.y.l.e. sells at the moment. They have completely abandoned their fan base that has supported them through their early career, and that's the very definition of a sell-out. However, that alone wouldn't have been enough to move Atreyu into the bottom 10. What forced me to put them at this spot is their absolutely horrendous cover of one of my favorite songs. On their new album, they covered "Epic" by Faith No More, and made it into one of the worst covers I have ever had the displeasure of hearing. After hearing it, I posted my anger towards the song in a music forum, and 3 pages of angry music fans wishing for Atreyu's death were soon to follow. I'm glad Atreyu has signed on to play Taste of Chaos next year because if they ever return to Ozzfest, I will almost certainly attempt to boo them offstage. I gave Atreyu a chance, and even rewarded them with a high spot on my top 100 list, and then they come back at release an album that made me consider removing them from that list, as I have clearly made a mistake in rewarding this sad excuse for a band.

9:
The Killers

Brandon Flowers is a jerk. That's about the nicest way I can put it. I understand that many musicians are jerks, including one of my favorite guitarists in Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (The Mars Volta, At the Drive-In). However, the reason Brandon Flowers annoys me more than others is that he's an awful and annoying vocalist as well. When it comes to vocals (or really anything else for that matter), there is a difference between unique and bad. Billy Corgan is unique. Thom Yorke is unique. Brandon Flowers is bad. His vocals are almost always off-key, and his lyrics are about as imaginative as what's grafittied on the walls of the bathrooms at my school. I also find it annoying that The Killers call themselves an indie rock band. In no way is this band indie rock, and I have a hard time believing that a band that has never even been on an indie label can play indie rock. They are nothing more than your average pop rock band, and although I admit that they have more talent than most of what's found in the genre, there's nothing unique or particularly compelling about them. I'm not sure why Flowers would say something like that because calling your band an indie band is a rather poor marketing strategy when it isn't true or even debatable, and if he actually believes it, then he's an idiot who has no concept of the music he's making. The latter wouldn't surprise me.

8:
Panic! At the Disco

I admit that I haven't heard Panic! At the Disco's full-length album. That being said, I would rather kill myself than spend an hour of my time listening to this god awful band. They're popular only because Fall Out Boy made them so, and it's ridiculous that a band like this can get a record deal and go on to sell millions of albums. There is nothing at all unique about this band, and all of the songs I've heard from them (which is every single they've released thus far) seem identical to what Fall Out Boy has put out. Panic! At the Disco is being rewarded for copying another popular band that also lacks any talent or redeeming qualities. The lyrics are depressing, annoying, and not the least bit interesting, and everything I've heard from them is overproduced, as the songs use a large amount of "studio magic" to create the sound found on their studio recordings. It's both sad and pathetic that this one of the most popular bands in America. Out of all of the talent and creativity found in alternative rock today, it makes little to no sense that a band that writes generic pop tunes with idiotic lyrics can dominate radios and sales charts like Panic! At the Disco has. Actually, it makes perfect sense if you consider how awful many of the other popular bands of today are, but that doesn't make it just. I'm going to go insane if an employee at a music/electronics store recommends this album to me again, and the same can be said for if I ever am forced to hear the abysmal and especially annoying "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" again.

7:
Hinder

Like Panic! At the Disco, Hinder is a band that has recorded just one album, and has managed to get a fan base far larger than what they deserve. Then again, even a single fan is one fan more than what Hinder deserves, especially when you consider how awful their lyrics are. First off, Hinder is a Nickelback rip-off. I feel like my point would be made if I stopped right there. Unfortunately, that would be giving Hinder too much credit. Here are a few lines from Hinder's breakout hit "Get Stoned": "Let's go home / And get stoned / We could end up making love instead of misery / Let's go home / And get stoned / Cause the sex is so much better when you're mad at me." This song seems to be about how Hinder believes sex is better when you're angry and high. Even though I'm a virgin, I don't quite think that is the case. The fact that Hinder would even write a song with lyrics like that is something I find both idiotic and pointless, but what's worse is that they somehow became popular writing this crap. However, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Hinder and bad lyrics. In "Lips of an Angel," Hinder writes "My girl's in the next room / Sometimes I wish she was you / I guess we never really moved on / It's really good to hear your voice say my name / It sound so sweet / Coming from the lips of an angel / Hearing those words it makes me weak / Let it die / Don't wanna say goodbye / But girl you make it hard to be faithful / With the lips of angel." Personally, I think that's about as bad of a chorus as anyone could write, and what's worse is that these lyrics are found in a ballad that is structured in a way that lets the lyrics be at the forefront of the song. Unfortunately, the lyrics are beyond horrendous, and it's hard to believe that Hinder is actually a serious band with lyrics like that. As much as I hate many of the popular bands of today, I understand many of those bands' rise to fame. That being said, I will never understand how a band like Hinder can become one of the highest selling and most played bands in America. There are six bands that I hate more than Hinder, but with the exception of those at the very top of my list, there may not be one worse.

6:
Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy is somewhat of an odd band. The non-emo part of their fan base defends them by saying the band is not in any way emo. They're right. Fall Out Boy is in no way an emo band. However, their bassist has said in interviews that the band is in fact an emo band, and the band believes that they are part of the genre. That's where things get odd. Fall Out Boy is non-emo band that tries to be emo, yet somehow fails at playing one of the most generic and trendy genres of music. Their lyrics are unnecessarily depressing and negative, which is what emo has unfortunately become, yet their music never reaches any level of sadness. It's all done with such a poppy and annoying sound that it's hard to believe anything these guys are saying. The music itself is your average pop-punk garbage that's been done the same for years, although the lyrics are almost entirely negative, which is both a rarity for the genre, as well as sad attempt at cashing-in on the popularity of emo rock. Therefore, Fall Out Boys fails at playing emo music. I find it rather sad that a band can't even correctly play in the genre of music that they want to play in, especially when the band's sound relies so heavily on copying the sound of past pop-punk acts. From a talent perspective, Fall Out Boy is absolutely awful. Listen to any of their live material, and you'll see just how bad they really are. Their vocalist can't even "sing" a full line without taking a large breath, and his vocals are always off-key on top of that. The instrumentals are pathetic to say the least, both on album and live. Fall Out Boy's riffs are some of the simplest and most repetitive in music, and they have a hard time playing those basic riffs live. Overall, there isn't much else to say about Fall Out Boy. They're simply awful, and in a somewhat odd way.

Thanks for reading! This is just my personal opinion, so feel free to disagree with what I have written. The conclusion of the list will be coming soon, along with a possible recap of the Muse concert I went to last night. For those who are care, it was incredible. I had high expectations, and they exceeded them. As great as Muse is in studio, they are 100x better live. They have a ton of energy, and are surprisingly a lot heavier in concert. I also had GA seats, so I was only about 10 rows back from the stage at most.

School

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School started today, and I am now officially a Junior. For anyone that cares, here is my c.l.a.s.s. schedule:

1. IB English

2. IB Japanese 300

3. IB Philosophy

4. IB Physics 100

5. IB Math Studies

6. IB History of the Americas

Yeah, so I'm taking all IB courses, which is almost certainly going to be hell. For those who don't know what IB is, it's basically a more advanced version of AP with a ton more wirting and analyzing. You also get college credit for taking them. No one has ever graduated my school with a 4.0 GPA in IB, so the c.l.a.s.s.e.s. are rather difficult, and A's are nearly impossible. Anyway, that's about it. My English teacher already assigned an essay due tomorrow, which sucks, but I have a ton of c.l.a.s.s.e.s. with my friends, so that's good. Oh, and here's a really bad picture of me that my mom took on vacation: