elitefts™ Sunday edition

Heavy Music for Heavy Lifting

I’ve been asked approximately a thousand times about what kind of music is good for training and what I would recommend. Now there is quite a big difference, at least for me, between training music and recreational music. So, my criteria for judging training music is stuff that gets you motivated, isn’t going to distract you, is able to maintain your intensity level, and when turned up, can get you ready for a new PR. Also, I’m going to list a few songs that get me turned up and ready to kill. I don’t know if this is good for lifting, but most of the crap that is broadcasted in commercial gyms isn't good for lifting either. By the way (not BTW, which I can’t stand), these are in no particular order, so pick and choose as you wish.

Blessing the Hogs, The Poisoning

Blessing the Hogs features one of the better “heavy” producers on guitar and vocals, Billy Anderson. If anyone is familiar with his work (Eyehategod, Sleep, Melvins, Noxagt), then you will know that he has a penchant for a massive, thick sound. I would equate their output to something of a noiser, more metal Bloodlet. Their guitar tone is huge and to play that fast and tuned so low is awesome. Plus, they have one of the coolest logos in metal. So much in fact, that I got a derivative of it tattooed on my right arm. This is probably the nastiest of all the CDs that I will recommend, but if you are a true fan of heavy, thick and punishing metal, you need to get this.

Hatebreed, Satisfaction is the Death of Desire

Hatebreed spawned a new revolution of hardcore, or at least brought it to the masses. Hatebreed is the AC/DC of hardcore; most of their stuff is somewhat interchangeable and they definitely have their own sound, which they don’t stray from. So, picking up any of their CDs is going to end in the same result – massive riffs and shouted vocals that are angry and motivational. They really don’t venture past the G string on their guitars, so don’t expect any crazy soloing. Their songs are about two to three minutes long and similar to the Marines; they get in and get out. No fluff and they get the job done.

Brujeria, Brujerizmo – I remember first learning about Brujeria. I was reading a Rolling Stones magazine at my girlfriend's house and their debut album Matando Gueros was currently being reviewed. I was a junior in high school and I knew I would love this band. Of course I hadn’t heard them at the time, but their story was incredible enough to get some respect. Brujeria, according to legend, is a band comprised of Mexican drug dealers that conceal their identity for obvious reason. To keep from getting caught, they have invoked the powers of Satan who demands sacrifices and other atrocious acts. Brujeria had pictures taken of them, although they all wear ski masks, bandit masks and are always armed. Plus, every song is about the devil, dealing drugs, killing people for the devil so they don’t get caught and every other thing that your church frowns upon. Of course, Brujeria is a joke and is comprised of members of Down By Law, Fear Factory and Napalm Death, so don’t get scared. Their most commercially “acceptable” album is Brujerizmo and is probably the easiest to lift to. From there, go to Raza Odiada and finally Matando Gueros. They sing in Spanish, which sounds evil. Plus they have a huge low end, which is because they have used up to three bassists at a time. Get this NOW.

Pantera, Far Beyond Driven

I was a pretty big Pantera fan until I realized that there was better music out there, but they still have a place in my training. There is nothing that I can say about them that you don’t already know. Personally, I think Far Beyond Driven is their best album, both to lift and listen to. Many people seem to like Vulgar Display of Power or Cowboys from Hell, but I think these albums are no where near FBD. The song Slaughtered is one of their best and is great to get you ramped up.

Rage Against the Machine, S/T

Their first album, like your first lay, is probably the most memorable. They were still angry but it didn’t sound forced like some of their latest efforts. They have that rap/riff thing going on, which no one has yet to duplicate. They are fairly popular so most people have heard them or at least heard of them. Once you get past their politics, they are a very good band. The only thing that bugs me is that the singer Zak de la Rocha looks like a rat. Interesting note: Tom Morello, the guitarist, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Harvard.

Slayer, Divine Intervention

This is probably one of their least popular efforts, but Divine Intervention is probably the best CD to lift to. Reign in Blood, which has been a staple in my rotation since the sixth grade and one of the best albums EVER, is a little too much to lift to. I’m not even going to introduce Slayer. They have been around for over 20 years, still pack arenas, and have done so with no help from the radio or MTV. Do yourself a favor and pick up the following CDs–Show No Mercy, Hell Awaits, Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss. These should be in every metal head’s arsenal.

Superjoint Ritual, Use Once and Destroy

Most people probably know the story with Superjoint Ritual and the line-up – Phil Anselmo, Jimmy Bower, Kevin Bond, Hank Williams III, and Joe Fazzio...remember Stressball, anyone? Most of you probably recognize these names, or at least some of them. This was their debut album, although they’ve been around for years, and it gives a big middle finger to current “metal” and to society. This is what heavy metal is all about. Not the nastiest album, but the nastiest album that the public may know about. It’s still abrasive as hell and should be in your training arsenal.

Rollins Band, Weight

Shame on you if you don’t know Henry Rollins. Rollins is kind of the measuring stick for being a manly man. Muscled up, tattoos, sings in a band, lifts weights, reads a lot, writes books, nominated for a Grammy (for his spoken word performance) and makes movies. And all of this is on his terms. How many people can say that? Anyway, Weight is probably his most popular album and a great album to lift to. The runner up is probably Come in and Burn. Both will get you moving and shaking. Also, Rollins was in Black Flag, but you should already know that.

Vision of Disorder, Imprint

I think this band, or at least this album, is critically underrated. V.O.D. is a little metal, little hardcore and a whole lot of aggression. What’s cool about them is that the singer uses a clean vocal sound in bits and pieces. Of course, he can still yell with the best of them, but there is nothing wrong with variety. From start to finish, this album is like a whirlwind. Many of their songs end sounding the same, but so does every thing on the damn radio. At least this stuff has got some balls.

White Zombie, Astro-Creep 2000

White Zombie is another band that rose from some very, very humble roots (listen to Make Them Die Slowly and you will know what I mean) and achieved commercial success. Though no longer around, White Zombie put on one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen. Imagine an outrageous encore, filled with hanging clowns, fire, fireworks, spinning pentagrams on fire, demons, aliens, strobe lights…and this is throughout the entire set! Although this album has the overrated More Human than Human, it is by far their best effort to lift to.

Now for some songs to get you motivated:

  • Mayari by Today is the Day, from In the Eyes of God
  • Trigger Happy and Tocohara by 16, from Drop Out
  • Conquer All by Behemoth, from Demigod
  • Big Truck by Coal Chamber from S/T
  • Left Hand Black and Do You Wear the Mark by Danzig, from Danzig III: How the Gods Kill
  • Dead but Dreaming by Deicide, from Legion
  • Damn Deal Done by Entombed, from To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth
  • Full of Hell, Eyemaster, Demon by Entombed from Wolverine Blues
  • Undead by The Haunted, from S/T
  • Green Machine by Kyuss, from Blues for the Red Sun
  • N.W.O and Jesus Built my Hotrod by Ministry, from Psalm 69
  • Scentless Apprentice by Nirvana, from In Utero
  • Stove by a Whale by Scissorfight, from Balls Deep
  • Refuse/Resist and Territory by Sepultura, from Chaos A.D.