Tomorrow night, Facets Night School is throwing up the devil horns and getting wicked with “Open the Gate: Heavy Metal as a Gateway to Ritual and the Satanic Panic in The Gate,” artist Terence Hanum’s lecture on the ’80s cult favorite about two teens who open a door to Hell with heavy meeeetaaaaal!
To prep for this gloriously awesome event (which hits at midnight at the Cinematheque-hint, hint), Terence was kind enough to pen some thoughts on required, pre-screening listening! Take it, Terence!
In celebration of lecturing on The Gate, I advise some essential listening from 1987. Though the two big references you can make out in the film are a Venom backpatch and an Iron Maiden poster, I want to point you to some great albums from that year. Most of them I came to later, since I was only 8 in 1987, but I think they all stand the test of time.
If you have them, then you know; if you don’t, here is your homework.
1) Napalm Death – Scum
I still recall when my friend Kyle, who would later vanish into the Everglades, in middle school had this tape and played it for me. Nothing had the immediacy and fury of this sound. My favorite track was always the one with no drums, it was so bleak.
2) Death – Scream Bloody Gore
Living in Florida the Tampa Death metal scene really held its sway over me and my friends. This is, somewhat, where it all began. Amazing riffs. Though “Human” was my entry point, this album has so much to offer.
3) Candlemass – Nightfall
This album is incredibly beautiful and crushing, epic melodies and the thick syrup of riffs. And a Thomas Cole painting on the cover to boot. Epic.
4) Voivod – Killing Technology
This band has aged extremely well and continue to make good music but this album is perhaps the most interesting to me. Extremely experimental for the time and with great tempos. I’ve read that the late guitarist Piggy would write riffs for Voidvod by playing Yes backwards. I love Yes, and apparently so much so that I love it backwards.
5) Saint Vitus – Born Too Late
Sometime in the early 1990s I would hunt down these SST CDs at this used CD store in Virginia and this album always confused me, it sounded nothing like Black Flag or Sonic Youth who I was obsessed with. But it was like someone slowed down my Black Sabbath records. Seriously amazing and addictive.
6) Mayhem – Deathcrush
Not anywhere near what they would do on their opus “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” but the foundation was laid. The vocals are ridiculous and amazing, the guitars are filthy this is true black metal indeed.
7) Sepultura – Schizophrenia
I remember swimming in my friend Ben’s pool and blasting “Arise” sometime in 1991, and immediately picking up everything I could by Sepultura. This record was a pleasant discovery. A frantic cross of melodic thrash and death metal.
8) Anthrax – Among the Living
9) Celtic Frost – Into the Pandemonium
Not only does an amazing slice of Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights” grace the cover but here is perhaps the most interesting cover of “Mexican Radio”. Amazing drums and a groundbreaking experimental work.
10) Bathory – Under the Sign of the Black Mark
Epic and intense, completely grandiose Viking metal with hellish vocals–set a standard. Enter the Eternal Fire!