Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I got the devil riding on my back

My jiu jitsu instructor, Marcos Escobar, just won his first professional MMA match at One FC 4 this past Saturday; after a long month of training, he's flying back to Brazil, and left a bunch of his old shirts for us to take. One of them was an FSAS shirt with Venom's "Live Like an Angel and Die Like a Devil" on the front, in a font clearly derived from Mayhem's logo.  There have been a few confluences of my metal and martial arts interests over the years - including Chuck Liddell using "Raining Blood" as his walk-out song - but this was the most unlikely.

I'm not crazy about apparel companies appropriating metal bands. I understand, if not agree, with the temptation for the artists to pair up with a trendy clothing company, but at the end of the day metal and couture find themselves at cross-purposes.  Brands like Affliction, FSAS, and Tap Out appeal to casual fans, and there's nothing casual about being a metalhead.  Metal is for the few and the devoted.

But it wasn't my conflicted feelings about seeing black metal offered up to the masses that made me leave the shirt behind - it was the size.  The shirt was a medium, which I haven't been able to wear since 2004.  Still, if nothing else, seeing that shirt gave me an itch that can only be scratched with repeated listens to Welcome to Hell...

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