Terrorizer (the magazine) turns 20 this month; that makes it a few years older than I was when I bought my first issue in the Fall of 1997. Terrorizer has been my go-to metal bible since I was 18. At 34, I struggle and fail in trying to think of a publication that has had as much of an effect on my life.
In high school, I was a regular Metal Hammer reader - partly because it was one of the few metal magazines you could find in South East Asia at the time, and mostly because it allowed me to
cover my walls with Paradise Lost, Entombed, and Sepultura posters (I
regret nothing). But towards the end of 96 and the beginning of 97, the music they covered started creeping more and more towards the mainstream as my own tastes headed further south. I wanted death metal and hardcore; Metal Hammer made Bush and the Prodigy their cover stars.
Luckily, soon after I moved to New York for college, I discovered Tower Records' ostentatious zine racks, and therein, a magazine that took its name from a legendary death/grind band. Under the masthead, Glen Benton glared at me. It was love at first sight. Inside those glossy pages were a plethora of death, black, doom, and hardcore bands that I'd never heard of and couldn't wait to discover.
NWOOSSDM", you have your answer. [I got a letter of my own published in an issue with Entombed on the
cover. I ran around my dorm showing it to everyone who was home.]
Without a doubt I would have needed to make a milk crate bookshelf for all those magazines if I'd stayed in NY, but at the end of 2002 I had to leave. All my belongings were moved to the basement of my brother's house in Boston, which is the only place I could put them; I was promised that they would be safely stored there til my return. I travelled Europe for a few months, crashing with friends and giving out my design portfolio. [Very few people seemed interested, though I did have a nice visit at the Century Media office in Dortmund.] I browsed the newstands at every bus and train station on my journey; more often than not, Terrorizer would be sitting in the racks.
In the ensuing years, my stuff had been accruing dust and cobwebs in my brother's basement. In 2007 when I was visiting the States for the first time in 5 years, he informed me that he intended to sell his house, and he wouldn't be able to store my stuff anymore. I wish I had the money back then to put everything in storage; but I
just didn't. All I ever owned was pared down to a few boxes of books, toys, CDs and some clothes. Everything else, including my art supplies, my cassettes (including the ones I traded with friends via mail), and a lot of my metal shirts were placed in garbage cans, dragged out the curb and are now in a landfill somewhere.
I placed the magazine crate in the corner with the things I planned to keep. When my brother saw this, he sneered, "Why? They're not worth anything."
When I moved back to NY in 2008, I didn't resume buying Terrorizer simply because it was too expensive; between the import price and sales tax, each issue came to almost $9. At a time when a monthly trip to Costco represented 90% of my grocery shopping and I used to save money by walking home from lower Manhattan to Greenpoint (Brooklyn), spending that much on a magazine - even if it was the greatest magazine ever - just seemed fiscally irresponsible. Besides, by that time almost every C.H.U.D. with an internet connection had started a blog to promote underground music; Terrorizer (like every other monthly periodical) had lost some of its cachet.
Happy birthday, Terrorizer. I look forward to us growing old together.