I’ve never grieved for the dead….

Not reallly;  I’ve never lost someone whose absence from my life has impacted it in any way whatsoever.  Most of the time when some family member dies I’m like, “Great, their suffering is over.”  I’m happy for them.

I don’t think this makes me a sociopath or anything; to the contrary, I strongly empathize with the living.  I hate to see people suffering unless they really, really deserve it.  And even then, I’d rather see some human piece of garbage like a child molester, for instance, be dispatched quickly and humanely.  I wouldn’t derive any pleasure in “hanging someone from their balls” or “sticking a hot poker in their ass” or whatever it is people think about in their revenge fantasies.  A bullet to the brain will do just fine, thanks.  Maybe a brutal bludgeoning with a blunt object if the situation calls for it.

But I digress… I had an uncle hang himself once.  I was quite fond of him, but I didn’t see him more than once a year or so, and so it didn’t really affect my day-to-day routine.  When my grandparents on my mother’s side died, I was probably in third and fourth grade and I didn’t really give two shits about it.  They were two old people I saw every once in awhile that complained about things that old people complain about, like blacks and people “shacking up” before they got married.  Ho hum.  Cycle of life.

I loved my grandmother on my father’s side who died a couple years ago; however, her brain was so eaten up by Alzheimer’s that her passing was a tremendous relief;  I couldn’t stand to see her the way she was.  So I was sad, but not devastated.  There was some happiness there.

If my wife were to die, that would seriously fuck up my life.  I would grieve, I would cry, I would become a bitter, hateful asshole…Why?  Because she is close to me, I see her every day, she’s a part of my “routine.”  Her absence would be tangible.  Just like pets;  when one of my dogs or cats dies, it destroys a little piece of my soul.

Anyway, these are just some random thoughts that popped into my head when I woke up this morning.


So yeah, I’m pretty sick of society.

Yesterday I saw a guy in an Affliction T-shirt walking around with the “Harlem Shake” song blasting from his phone, which was clipped to his belt.  I nearly gave up on humanity right then and there.  America’s still a great country, but I seriously hate the plastic, disposable douchebag culture we’ve created for ourselves.  Of course it’s nothing new, douchiness probably dates back to the ’50s, at least.  It came of age in the ’80s and rose to prominence in the ’90s with the advents of No Fear, Big Johnson, Oakley and Limp Bizkit.  Now we’re just stuck here in full douche mode with no end in sight.

5 modern metal bands to watch out for

From the hallowed halls of ancient tombs to the shimmering slopes of frozen mountain peaks, an archaic dirge resonates faintly and eternally— the lingering of a sound once so huge that it could be heard across oceans in distant lands. It was said that long ago, three men harvested the power of sonic amplification through arcane wizardry and dark bargainings with powerful demons, and that they used this power to create a band with powerful, heavy music unlike any that had ever been heard before.

This ancient fellowship is none other than the almighty PILGRIM, a three-piece doom metal band from Rhode Island, USA. With a mix of destruction, misery and beauty, these young disciples of doom blend a surprisingly original sword & sorcery feel with the classic chest-caving heaviness of the masters: Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Reverend Bizarre and Pentagram. Their thick walls of majestically darkened guitar, massive booming bass, and dangerously powerful yet calculated drumming lull listeners into an intense dream-like trance, abducting them to places they never knew were dwelling within their own minds.

The band formed in early 2010 and was built on the worship of “true doom metal”. Krolg, the Slayer of Man (drums), Count Elric the Soothsayer (bass) and The Wizard (guitars and vocals) have set out on a holy pilgrimage of domination through amplification.

Tucked away high up in the US’ New England coastline, you can find PILGRIM making their fabled pilgrimages to New York City to showcase their mysterious songwriting for shadowy un-lit rooms of coked-out metal-heads.

PILGRIM is a sonic documentation of the friendship of 3 young men inspired and awe-stricken by the dark sounds of traditional doom metal. Something sinister always seems to be following in their footsteps. Hear them soon, before it’s too late…”

Started by brothers Adam and Michael, A HILL TO DIE UPON has been characterized by a constant drive to better the music and the inability to give up. After forming in the Winter of 2005, many demos and uncountable shows, AHTDU found it’s niche in extreme metal with Elisha Mullins and Ravn Furfjord (ex Antestor and Frosthardr). While releasing their first full length, INFINITE TITANIC IMMORTAL, AHTDU has made great strides in their titanic onslaught.

DISMA was formed in 2007 by Guitarists, Bill Venner and Daryl Kahan with the intention of creating some Heavy and Morbid Death Metal.  During this period the duo began (de)composing their first compositions and arrangements which laid the groundwork for what was to come. Drummer Shawn Eldridge joined the ranks along with bassist Randi Stokes in 2008. Vocalist Craig Pillard joined Disma later that year, completing the line-up.

Black Tusk (often written as Blacktusk) is an American heavy metal power trio from Savannah, Georgia. The band was formed in 2005, when its members were all living on the same street. With the dissolution of Andrew Fidler (guitar, vocals) and Jonathan Athon (bass, vocals) crust punk band and James May (drums, vocals) street punk band, Andrew and Athon went down the street to James’ house and asked him if he wanted to play with them. During the next few days they jammed continuously, and within a few months they had recorded the EP When Kingdoms Fall, which was released on Wrecked Signal. Two years later the band self-released their first full-length studio album, The Fallen Kingdom, followed by another a year later with Passage Through Purgatory, released through the local label Hyperrealist Records. In 2009, Black Tusk released a series of split albums with bands such as ASG, The Holy Mountain, and Fight Amp, before sign to Relapse Records in November. The band released its debut for Relapse, Taste the Sin, in May 2010.

Black Tusk is mostly associated with Baroness and Kylesa, for their shared hometown of Savannah, as well as for their sludge metal sound. The band is linked to Baroness’ guitarist and vocalist John Dyer Baizley, who is also a painter and creates all of Black Tusk’s artwork. Black Tusk’s members describe their music as “swamp metal,” a term that has been described by Allmusic as “the murkiest, dirtiest sludge [metal] to come out of Savannah since Kylesa”. The term is a reference to the climate of Savannah in relation to the music that the band create. Reviewing the album Taste the Sin, Pitchfork Media stated that the band’s blend of hardcore punk and stoner metal “works to capitalize on the immediacy of its chosen genres and not to bend them into obscurity.”Black Tusk acknowledges its punk rock origins, but prefer not to cite a list of bands that influence them because they feel that it is ineffective since they are not “trying to emulate any one band’s style or any one genre’s sound.”


Triptykon is essential a continuation of the mighty Celtic Frost under a new name.  Enough said.

“The Act of Laughing” free Sunday through Monday on Amazon.com

Drug testing for welfare recipients?

What is the point?  I never see anyone arguing logically for this; it’s always something like, “Well I have to get a drug test to get paid at my job, why shouldn’t they?”

Well, why indeed? Why should those lazy bastards(everyone on welfare is lazy and unwilling to even entertain the thought of working; and they all drive brand new cars)draw a big fat paycheck on the first of the month and live high off the hog on your tax money?

There’s a very open hostility towards welfare recipients in this country, and much of it comes from the reich-wing bile spewed forth from the word-holes of  radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage.  Legions of their followers believe virtually everything they say and form their opinions based on that.   They simply can’t think for themselves.  Their arguments always consist of buzzwords and quotes from Sarah Palin sound bytes they heard on Fox News.  Words like “progressive” and “liberal” might as well mean “Nazi” and “child molester.”

So naturally they walk around angry and confused all the time, looking for  targets to direct their hatred at.  Welfare recipients are a fine choice, because they “Sit around all day while I work hard” and “look to the government for a handout; nobody never gave me nothin’!”  They hate anyone who benefits from public assistance, and they want to punish them by making them jump through whatever kind of hoops they can place in their paths.

So yeah, no matter what the cost, no matter how unfeasible, let’s make those no-good (insert plural racial epithet here) take a drug test just like I have to!

Why?  Are they driving forklifts?  Are they making important business decisions?  What are they doing that would require them to be subjected to random drug tests?  Nothing, that’s what.  So who cares?
Do you think the vast majority of people on welfare or food stamps enjoy the stigma that comes with that?  Don’t you think many of them would like to be as fortunate as you are with your fancy JOB?  That’s the problem; you think you are better than those people because you are gainfully employed.  What happens if that suddenly changes and you find yourself down on your luck?  Will you suddenly change your tune?

Why don’t you judge people on a case-by-case basis rather than making blanket condemnations of everyone on welfare?  Matter of fact, why don’t you just stop judging other people entirely and mind your own damn business?  Be grateful you have a job and don’t worry about what other folks are doing.  Just shut the fuck up and live your own life.
My name is Patrick Walts and I have never been on welfare.

“Liberty” will be available for free on Amazon.com tomorrow only.

Tues, Aug 14.


My new novel is available now.

I have chosen to make my new novel, “Liberty,” available exclusively on Amazon.com for the time being.  Why?  Because Kindle is where it’s at right now.  Fear not, however, you can still read it on your iPhone, iPad, and iWhatever with the free Kindle app available from Amazon.com.  The launch price is only 99 cents, and Amazon will periodically offer it for free during brief promotional periods.

What’s it about, you ask?  Well, it takes place in the 1980s and is centered around two teenagers from opposite ends of the United States who are sent to a fundamentalist Christian “boot camp” in order to cleanse the “evil” influences from their lives.  These types of places really existed, and still do on a smaller scale, and I’ve always found the idea fascinating.  I was only 13 at the end of the ’80s, but even in the ’90s I experienced many a run-in with religious authority figures over the subject of heavy metal music.  Much of the fundy rhetoric included in the book is taken from these real-life experiences, so in a sense it is somewhat autobiographical.  I went to a private school, I heard all of the anti-rock propaganda, I was subjected to “interventions” after I was seen in public wearing an Ozzy Osbourne shirt, I’ve been accused of being a devil-worshipper; none of this stuff is exaggerated, folks.

I decided to set the story in the ’80s because that era was not only the golden age of metal in the minds of many fans, but because it was also the heyday of the “satanic panic” movement.  I thought I had it bad during the following decade; kids in the ’80s had it much, much worse.

It was a lot of fun to casually reference minor pop culture landmarks like New Coke and Hill Street Blues, but I didn’t go overboard with these references.  They are purely functional, and there is no sense of “wink wink” I love the ’80s on VH1 nostalgia accompanying them.  Nobody drinking a New Coke in 1986 or slipping on a pair of Airwalk high-tops gave any thought to the cultural significance of such things; they just were.  And that is how they are presented here.

In other words, this is not a “retro” book. I had to immerse myself in the culture of the decade in order to write this book.  And make no mistake, although I was young, I do remember the ’80s, and clearly; the good as well as the bad.

My intention with “Liberty” was initially to create the literary equivalent of a John Hughes movie, but with a darker edge.  To put it simply, instead of a poppy, new wave soundtrack, you would be hearing the buzzsaw guitars and screaming vocals of bands such as Judas Priest, W.A.S.P,  Exodus and Slayer.  And that’s another thing:  Terry, the main character, is a 16-year-old metalhead.  He’s not like the purists of today who eschew anything slightly mainstream as “untrue.”  He likes Twisted Sister as well as Possessed.  Kids back then weren’t “kvlt.”  They didn’t have the luxury of being as selective musically as they do now.  There was no internet, there was only word of mouth and magazines like Metal Forces, Kerrang! and Hit Parader.  And good luck finding those if you lived in a small town.  Some of those places didn’t even have cable TV yet.

Terry’s connection to the world of metal comes via his friend Chad, whose brother drives him up to Rainbow Records(A real store, the “ruins” of it still sit abandoned on the streets of OKC)to buy all the latest releases from bands like Dio, Iron Maiden and Megadeth.

(I was actually granted permission by members of several bands such as Metal Church, Vicious Rumors and a few others to use lyrical quotes in the book, but in the end I played it safe and opted not to include those.  Never know when someone else who co-wrote a song or owns half the publishing might come out of the woodwork and try to be a dick about it. )

The girl he falls in love with, Kayla, is sort of a proto-goth type chick who dresses in black and listens to Depeche Mode, The Cure, Alien Sex Fiend, etc.  She’s led a much tougher life than the more innocent and untested Terry, but they somehow manage to find common ground and become quite fond of one another.

Do you remember what it’s like to be a teenager in “love?”  I didn’t until I really started to think about it and remember how I felt in those days when it seemed as if the world was against me and everyone in a position of authority over me existed solely to destroy my happiness.  That is the point of view that I had to write from, and although some of it might seem silly because of that, it’s the way that teenagers think.  Does she like me?  Should I tell her I like her?  Oh God, what do I do? Does my hair look okay? What if she doesn’t like me?  It’s that ridiculous sense of teenage insecurity that permeates the book.  I was like that, and so are you, unless you were blessed with the kind of massive popularity and good looks that made life oh-so-easy for you.  In that case, you probably don’t read anyway so there’s no for me to waste my time trying to market this book to you; you won’t understand or relate to it.

For those of you who will understand, who will relate, whether you’re a fan of heavy metal or not, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this book.  It comes from the heart; it’s a labor of love.  It’s a love/hate letter to the 1980s, to put it succinctly.  Check it out.