Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Legacy of Vexd

Seeing it's tuesday again it's that time for another D'Verse excursion.  So I was trying to think of something to write for Open Link Night, hosted by the lovely Tash.

While seeking out the muse I began rummaging through some old notebooks. Lots of interesting things in here, half started screenplays, story outlines, old poetry and so forth.  Lots of things in here.  These notebooks are from the olden days, back when I was still in high school, well this particular one I'm referring to now is anyhow.

When I was in High School I was in a band, well sort of.  Two guys and myself got together a few times with grand intentions.  But the problem was, despite the one kid having a couple guitars, keyboards, drum kit, amps and the other guy brought his brothers bass, none of us knew what we were doing.

What resulted was a bunch of screaming and disjointed sound.  It really was fun but in retrospect it probably sounded like a really bad grunge laden garage session.  And Oh, did I mention I was the singer, and I really, really can't sing.

Anyhow, those few times we got together, inspired me for many years.  I remember those Microwaved Baloney sessions, yep that's what we were going to call ourselves-lol, and how from that point delusions of grandeur would always seem to linger in my psyche.  So I would write endless numbers of albums, some filled with song lyrics and later some notes as well, but they all had a really rough sketch of album art, which was always terrible by the way, a title and a listing of songs with their playing times.

So running across this particular notebook today was fun, reminiscing on my youthful creativity I never really knew I had in me at the time.  So this might explain a bit why I've always loved perusing the record shelves looking at the album covers and the track listings.

With this said I thought it would be fun to create a poem, or as it turns out a set of poems, using this particular style.  What I did was use the notion of connectivity.  In brief it says that everything is somehow connected, in one way or another, and so I extrapolated the idea over to words.  Word association games are easily found and this, in a way, is like that.  Each song represents something independent from the others, yet, if you really think upon it, you'll figure out a connection of sorts and in so doing you'll piece together your own interpretation of what each song is about, and then what all the songs together represents.  So with that said let's begin:

First I created an obviously fictitious band, I went with the name of Vex, but after I did the album covers I found out that there was already a band named vex with a similar looking logo.  So, as not to have to redo each album's design over I added 'd to make it vex'd.  Yes I know kind of cheating a bit, but anyhow, bear with me here.

The band is a four-piece from Stockholm.  They started out playing local bars known as Syndrome back in the early 90's.  Sven Svenstrom on lead vocals, Lars holstrom on bass, Janne and Mikhael VanDesworn on guitar and drums respectively.  I first saw them playing the Devil's Rectum, a death metal club in the seedy part of town.  I approached them to sign on with my label, Nidhog records, which boasted, at the time, the most famous Black Metal group of all time, Seppuku.  These young kids really appreciated the offer and were really strong in their recording of their now extremely rare Bloodbath in Baal, four track record that gained a lot of prominence in and outside the general Stockholm area.

After a brief tour the guys began on their follow up, their first full-length LP.  Villainelle was recorded on Sept 5th, 1996 and went straight to number 4 on the Billboard top 100 metal albums of the year.  But more important, we secured a spot on the world tour that was on it's final leg.  So these kids were about to join their idols Seppuku in North America to shred the states.  I could tell the guys were really nervous but I also knew talent and these guys had that for sure.  I was not worried in the least bit.

October 31st, 1996 one day before the now named band Vex'd would join the legendary Seppuku on stage in Boston, playing the legendary Boston Gardens.  We set flight that morning, arriving at Logan sometime in the afternoon.  I was a bit worried how the guys would react to their first international flight, but these guys were so pumped it wouldn't have made a difference if the plane landed in Seattle, these guys were going to eat it all up.  That night though, an unfortunate set of events prompted the tours cancellation.  Seppuku, the legends that they were, decided to committed ritualized suicide, none of the band survived this act and in so doing, a tragedy had taken place and yes, the show could not go on.

Years later it turns out Vex'd was still rolling out quality albums.  They never got to where I thought they'd get, but they are living their musical life and they are huge in Denmark, Finland and their hometown of Stockholm.  They've given up the aspirations of becoming worldwide sensations, but I guess, for a death metal band, that's probably a bit of a pipe dream anyhow.  So now in their mid 30-s, these guys are still metal all the way, in and around the place they love more than any other, their homeland of Sweden.

Villainelle (Including the long lost Bloodbath In Baal EP)
1.            Frigid Inquisition                                                  (0:58)
2.            Identity squelch                                                     (3:33)
3.            To tread upon quills                                               (2:44)
4.            The Lioness                                                            (5:32)
5.            Seven deadly Sincerities                                           (4:19)
6.            Bricks Part I (In construction)                                  (10:11)
7.            Bricks Part II (In completion)                                     (1:22)
8.            Bricks Part III (In destruction)                                   (8:47)
9.            Bricks Part IV (In seclusion)                                       (3:00)
10.        Drifting upon a lake of ambergris (Instrumental)           (1:14)
11.        Promiscuity                                                            (4:01)
12.        Flutter, flatter, faster, fuller                                       (2:22)
13.        Octaves unmeasured                                                (2:48)
14.        Nocturnal respite                                                   (3:13)
15.        Cubistic renderings (Portraiture)                               (0:44)
16.        Crumpets and Tea (Observations from a kinder place)(1:04)
17.        Biscuits and Beer (The defilement of cadmium)         (1:52)
18.        Stale Toast and Tears (Last Rites)                            (1:41)
19.        Syllabic charcoal (The warmth in honest resolution)    (2:56)

Idylls of A Fractured Soul
1.            Temporal state of disbelief                            (7:23)
2.            Only dust remains                                         (5:37)
3.            An admission of guilt                                     (3:00)
4.            Unexpected parting of ways                          (6:59)
5.            As the pendulum swings                                (5:44)
6.            Plausible deniability                                      (3:01)
7.            Corrosive anti-toxins                                    (5:00)
8.            Autopsy                                                     (1:16)
9.            Purge                                                        (2:35)
10.        A paranoid refrain                                        (3:26)
11.        Reconciliation of an empty soul                    (2:01)
12.        Pause                                                       (0:58)
13.        Invisible codes of honor                               (1:50)
14.        Idylls of fracture                                        (4:10)
15.        You don’t bring me flowers (Corporal remix)(6:00)

Malice in Wonderland
1.   Along Came An Angel                     (3:19)       
2.   Breaking & Questioning                (13:22)
3.   Even Heroes Fall                          (4:52)
4.   Malice In Wonderland                    (9:01)
5.   It’s Never Just A Couple                 (3:37)
6.   Intrinsic Decay                             (8:04)
7.   Dance Of The Reaper                     (7:06)
8.   Water Vs. Heartbreak                    (4:00)
9.   On The Edge Of Possession             (2:41)

The Neophyte

1.   Portrait of Terror                                              (0:36)
2.   A Nation Divided                                              (0:44)
3.   Accolades                                                         (5:11)
4.   Borders                                                            (3:10)
5.   Ciphers                                                            (6:04)
6.   How Can This Be?                                         (3:22)
7.   Harbingers of Fate                                        (5:33)
8.   Centaurs                                                        (2:11)
9.   Disciples of Discipline                                 (4:14)
10.   Reclamation of the Armor                        (8:23)
11.     The Forge of the Forgotten                     (5:51)
12.        Numbness Of A Kiss                                (3:44)
13.         Wishing Well (The Neophyte)                 (11:59)


  1. Yo Fred this was a trip.

    some wicked buzz going on in here man.

    Malice in wonderland - awesome.

    Im a metal head and i love big ideas - Vexed is one of my favourite words - and now Bands...

    nice one bro

  2. dude i totally tried to click on a few of those songs...i was in a band back in the day as well...ROmulus...it was actually my stage name too...pretty crazy huh...had one song called slimy oatmeal...it was a sex song...we were teens so forgive us...

  3. WOW Fred you went right to town holy friggin crap! Don't you just love where some of these little diversions and ideas take us, even if you sorta, maybe, okay you cheated..haha.

    Liked how they could stand alone yet interweave with one another, could just see something in the single title or the whole batch, again damn fine work.

  4. i'm in awe...love your creativity...this is hypercool!!

  5. MZ, Claudia Thanks really glad you enjoyed the piece

    Pat, yep went to town indeed, cheating's a part of playing the game right:) But to cheat off yourself, well that's another philosophy all together-lol Glad you saw the lines in the poem like that-pretty much the purpose and the prose kind of came after, was a bit worried this element would get overlooked, as it really is the "poetry" here:) Yeah it is strange but great how ideas get their spark and life.

    Brian, somehow I had a feeling you were in a band back in the day, don't know why but I just did. That's pretty cool, I love eccentric titles, brings out something with the music. Romulus is a good name, Romans would agree for sure, great stage name too, kind of like the Gwar thing, RIP Flattus Maximus, but I love quirky names as well. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Arron, really glad you liked it. Oh, man I love metal, everything about it pretty much. Even when you take the music itself out of the picture, which IMO would be a crying shame for sure, but the lyrics are the only style of music that for the most part has some incredibly deep and abstract thoughts. Just a quick example is Locust by Machinehead, a bit poppy on the outside, well poppish for metal standards, but the words and the symbolism are deep as hell-that's probably what I love about metal the most- anyhow, really pleased to hear there's another metalhead out there with me in poetry land:)

  6. "Idylls of Fracture" -that one really cracks me up. And I'd love to hear "Drifting upon a lake of ambergris (Instrumental)"

    This is really cool; I can actually hear traces of what some of these might sound like. I just joined spotify and out of curiosity searched under certain words. Fascinating the things that came up (discovered some good songs, too). So today I actually looked at lists of song titles, many of them metal songs. You did a great job with these.

  7. Fred...this is freaking awesome...You Don't Bring Me Flowers Corporal remix! I would LOVE to share some of my little black books with me poems in it from the day....My first band...Abattoir, since it was taken...we went with Nemesis...we did our research! Back in that day, there wasn't a whole lotta ladies rocking out (High Holy Hair days!) Vixen...come on! When it actually came to performing...I tripped most of the folks out...Ozzy had nothing on me! lol The ONLY female on our set list was Janice...cause even a girl has got to have her hero's and man...I had to fight to get that much!(Okay...I admit...Joan Jett and Lita Ford may have been in there too...but Bikini Kill wasn't an option) Think it's time to hit the parking lots to crank some tunes! Your post made my day...thank you (and apologies for going long winded!)

  8. I lost my earlier comment, but was saying I was very impressed by your knowledge! So much hypercool! I personally like Microwaved Baloney. K.

  9. Ok so I went blow by blow on the song titles but then saw bio tab and thought maybe since I don't have the context I might offend. Then I thought bio was referring to the prose at the beginning. However, in the spirit of good fun here goes. Feel free to ignore any stupidity on my part as I don't have any frame of reference. It could however all come out like Mad Libs and make you laugh your rear off.

    Villainelle 1. It’s cold at those fjords 2. Bad parenting 3. OUCH 4. That lady roars for a while 5. Particularly intriguing 6. Laughed through to 9 (maybe inappropriate but such a great way of putting it and loved the times) 10. In awe at the use of ambergris, can’t speak 11-13 young hedonist? 14. One would need that nocturnal respite after all that sex 15. And feel a bit un-selfed after all that cavorting and peckish hence 16 17. Defilement (won’t go there) 18. Such sad last rites 19. Feels nice, odd

    Idylls 1. Long lasting, that’s not that temporal 2. Feels like grief to me 3. Oh, bad boy or bad whomever 4. Breakup? 5. Goodness, this was a visual (don’t ask my brain to make sense – laughed out loud) 6. Laughed again, marvelous turn of phrase 7. Confusing 8. Ouch, good it was short 9. Would have done that too after this humdinger of an album 10. Trouble in River City 11. Whew 12. Needed (though maybe not long enough?) 13. Good idea 14. Hmm, back to square one 15. I have to think about that one

    Malice in Wonderland 1. Oh! 2. Long time! 3. Too true 4. Life’s a bitch (or the angel fell) 5. Three is more fun? (haha, don’t think it’s the connection) 6. These are long ass songs on this album 7. Death enters the room 8. Water, always water 9. Reach out

    The Neophyte (odd name for fourth record, maybe you were going chronologically the other direction?) 1. Aw, it’s your first time 2. She’s out of reach 3. Mutual admiration 4. We need some boundaries around here 5. What’s she trying to say to me? 6. Synchronicity 7. Oooooo 8. No clue 9. Get back in the fight 10. Create stuff 11. Anticlimactic :( 12. Good long time for the newbie to become a full blown hero

    Hopefully that was more goofy, what the hell fun than offensive. If not, come tell me all about it. Super creative fun ride. Microwaved baloney must have cracked you all up for a good long time. Terrible joke there on Seppuku :). BTW September 5, 1996 Hurricane Fran hit North Carolina. Happy Tuesday Fred, thanks for the boundlessly creative write.

  10. This was really original and creative fred--two words I use a lot when i come by your place. I love the background tale of the band, and I'm hoping it was a bit tongue in cheek because that Bloodbath in BAAL thing cracked me up, not to mention the pun in Villianelle. I discovered metal in my old age, and I have to say it has cornered the market on angst and yet still is occasionally amazingly beautiful and deep in lyric. Enjoyed this much, though I'm sure I missed a lot of the subtlety..Corrosive Anti-toxins followed by Autopsy is one hell of a line up though. ;_)

  11. Pretty cool! Lots of fun titles and like how you've put them together. Weird titles are fun to make up. And I love to name things.

    I like hard rock and some metal. My stepson has a Death Metal band, Abysmal Dawn. He writes some very interesting lyrics.

  12. First of all I wish Blogger had the cool comment page like wordpress has, where you can directly reply to the person instead of having to do them at the end.

    Really glad you all enjoyed this piece, I thank you all for taking it in:


    Joanne- Wow, how weird, I actually have programmed to consume, while I prefer the melodic death metal I do enjoy bands like your sons as well, there's just a pretty cool feeling having your chest shake from the music-lol Anyhow, that's really cool

    Chazzy- Thanks, but nahh probably not going to take this any further, maybe create another fake album or two down the road, but no novel on the horizon:)

    Hedge- Thanks, I pride myself on my creativity- really a great compliment that you find my work as such. Yeah a bit tongue in cheek in many places here- Baal is a demon, one of the 7 princes in hell- so you can get the joke a bit better if you didn't already know that- also that legendary band Seppuku actually means ritual suicide so that joke is hidden in here as well, plus most of that bio is tongue in cheek to some extent. I'm glad you caught the Villainelle spelling there, was wondering how many caught that:) Never too old for metal, nope, no way, yep beauty can sometimes exist in places you'd never expect to find it, thanks again, always gain much insight from your feedback, thanks:)

    Anna- those were fun takes. I like them. You got the seppuku joke- Aww, I laughed when I thought it up. Oh yeah we even purposely spelled bologna wrong lol That NC Hurricane date is just a little something extra- I didn't put that on purpose, no significance on the date- just came up with them, except for Halloween of course. But that's neat the date actually has a significance-cool While Neophyte should have been the first album, I had originally had one of the band members killed off in a horrific ice fishing expedition off the coast of greenland, his son then took over ripe at the age of 14- but I cut the bio story short as to not fill 15 pages:) but good catch.

    Tash, I used to have a major crush on Lita Ford back in the day, and actually saw Vixen- that's cool, female metal bands, while most of the guys I talk to don't care for them, for me they rock- I love In This Moment and Otep, if you still have any of your groups work you should post a video up- if you can put Zombie up, you can surely put up your own:) Awesome memories and stories for you for sure there, looking back I wish our little fun had turned into something

    Mark- Oh cool you did a bit of research- that right there is big time props, I thank you for that. Such the compliment that you checked out other metal stuff to compare- love that you did that. Glad you enjoyed the piece, it was a blast to do

  13. This pushes the boundaries of creativity, Fred. Just amazing. I'm going to minimze it and come back to listen to more later while I do my workout.

  14. I tend to look at the album song arrangement trying to figure out the story the artiste(s) is trying to tell. I really like Idylls of A Fractured Soul and Malice in Wonderful. I did try to click on them as well. What's interesting is the time duration also looks like duration of that stage in the 'story', particularly for Malice in Wonderland imho.

    Idylls of Fractured Soul -- seems to be a tale of struggles, trying to fix, trying to stay the feelings of emptiness away, and the end a sort of loneliness. It ends on a remix, suggesting it was there before but a different tune and yet the same.

    Malice in Wonderland looks like a misunderstood intention. Breaking and Question looks like a long process, i would imagine the doubts and the denial and over and over.

  15. Raven- Ha, I was wondering how many tried to click on them, especially the last one, not sure why those lines appear, they aren't in the editor. Thanks for mentioning that:)

    I like your interpretations a lot, they fit very nicely. The remake is actually a cover of a Neil Diamond song, which still fits into your interpretation, yet thought I'd mention it in case you didn't know that, and perhaps it altered the interpretation for you. But I like the way you read it a lot, Thanks:)