Danny Lilker – Influence & Influenced

Danny Lilker under the influence and influenced for Goatsound

As a bass player Danny is well known as the fucking cool guy from Nuclear Assault, S.O.D., Anthrax and Brutal Truth.

Taste-maker

Many years ago before the internet you had to rely on what magazines told you or if you were smart enough you learned to look at what T-shirts your favorite bands were wearing.

Danny was that guy for me, and many others I know.

He was known as the guy who was into all the fastest most extreme stuff. If he wore a mid riff sleeveless Carcass T-shirt you bought the Carcass album, when he wore a Napalm Death shirt with all the seams cut out, you went and bought a Napalm Death album.

This kind of information was invaluable in a time when buying a record really was a roll of the dice. You simply couldn’t rely on the record cover image and a review from a foreign publication like “Hit Parader” or “Metal Forces” to be totally accurate. But you could rely on Danny. His shirts help define my tastes in music as they stand today.

I had a chance recently to ask Danny what he has going on at the moment:

 

If people don't know about the 2 bands I'm in here in (rapidly freezing) Rochester, we have Nokturnal Hellstorm, black fucking metal mate, and Blurring which might be described as warped black-tech-grind.

And, for a curve ball, here is my vision of what Skinny Puppy combined with black metal would sound like.

The first two tracks have Blackwell (Nokturnal) on vocals and the third track features vocals by Attila Csihar, from Mayhem.

Nuclear Assault will have its last ever European performance at the Eindhoven Metal Meeting in mid-December.

Venomous Concept will be doing a few weeks in Europe coming up in January.

The book is now put out by Bazillion Points which should make it much easier to get than with the original publisher and the beer is being brewed again now due to its awesomeness.

 

That’s right, Danny has somehow got involved in some kind of Nuclear Assault beer … and there has been a book written about him – "Perpetual Conversion – 30 Years in the Life of Metal Veteran Dan Lilker" by Dave Hofer – You should buy it.

I asked Danny to list the songs that got him into metal, and I think this list could serve as a beginners guide to metal from a champion of the genre and is great to look at what made him the guy he is today.

 

Profound Influence

Here are some songs that had a profound influence on me at some point or another.

War Pigs, a big double-whammy influence here. Firstly, just the incredible heaviness of their sound, and then Geezer's killer bass lines. Impossible to overstate what an impact this song had on my 15 year old self. Not sure what's going on in this video, but obviously I'm talking about just the music.

‘Delivering The Goods’ by Judas Priest, the first song I ever heard from them after buying the "Hell Bent For Leather" album (as the "Killing Machine" album was known in the US). The next step in my metal education … not much bass influence here haha. Poor Ian Hill was always under-mixed.

‘Ace Of Spades’ by Motörhead, discovered shortly after Priest and Maiden etc. The speed and bass sound were another big double-whammy!

‘Transylvania’ by Maiden. Awesome tune, with more killer bass.

I'm gonna skip ahead past Metallica, Discharge, etc to cap it off with 2 monstrous tunes from 2 of my favorite genres.

‘Scum’ by Napalm Death. It would be fair to say that this song really struck a chord with me and shaped what I went on to do with a certain band that eventually gave grindcore a huge kick in the ass – Brutal Truth. I was already playing distorted bass by then, but I was still like, "Holy fuck that's brutal".

‘A Blaze In The Northern Sky’ from Darkthrone. When I heard what they did with a genre I'd enjoyed in the 80s but had lost interest in as bands like Celtic Frost, Bathory and Sodom had evolved away from their earlier efforts, I was definitely enthralled.

 

Danny continues to rule! Cheers dude!

Top 5 Black Metal Albums of All Time

After publishing my top 5 grindcore albums I continued to compartmentalise albums that I like into genre specific lists.

So in an attempt to rid my head of these lists I would like to present my top 5 Black Metal albums of all time.

Again this list is 100% correct and cannot be argued.

1. Bathory “Under the Sign of the Black Mark”

This album was a real turning point for me in terms of pure evil heaviness. The sound is everything a black metal album needs,  its raw while still being listenable as well as sounding evil in every way.

2. Darkthrone “Blaze in the Northern Sky”

Total black metal, this was important when it was released as you could almost smell that something was happening with metal. This turned shit around. Deliberately ugly for the first time.

3. Beherit “The Oath of Black Blood”

When I first heard this album I thought it was fucking hilarious. In fact I still do, but the charm is that on repeated listens it takes on something else. It sounds evil in its primitive production values, and you can tell that there is a willingness to do something more with a somewhat limited genre.

4. Impaled Nazarine “Tol Compt Norz Norz Norz”

This was a total brutal black metal album with an almost death metal polish in production style and leaning towards the absurd. Played loud this album is killer and the intros go just long enough to become painful.

5. Blasphemy “Fallen Angel of Doom”

The Canadian standout in the second wave of Black Metal, this album sounds rough and brutal from beginning to end. Almost unlistenable if thinking in terms of production values, but totally perfect for conveying a feeling of pure evil on an album.

Honorable Mention

Venom “The Singles 80-86”

While the albums are great, this for me is all the Venom I really need, all the “hits” in a nice neat package, (although I don’t think it was actually on neat). A great starting point for anyone wanting to check Venom out for the first time.