Newsflash From “Heaven”: I’ve Descended Into “Hell”

There’s something that makes every one of us on this Earth question things that we don’t understand, can’t understand or just simply refuse to…Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that it’s safe to say that the concept of religion has always been something that’s second-guessed or questioned.

And if I question that, then what kind of person does that make me?

I honestly never used to question religion. It just wasn’t something that was questioned. You just go with it, and think that it’s something you personally believe. After awhile, it’s all you’re willing to believe. No one can change your mind; your heart is set on that way of life. It can turn you into something you’re truly not, while on the other hand can bring a whole new perspective on things. Which ever you may choose, there’s always questions that will arise that are going to make some wonder and others won’t even pay attention to.

I first started to question religion, being the foundation for my day-in, day-out education at school. I’d been at a Catholic school from Kindergarten to the first half of the 6th grade, and being at a Catholic school, I’d have to go to church every Friday with the rest of my class. There wasn’t an option of not going, and I honestly didn’t mind. We would be rewarded if we were good, anyway. I remember in Kindergarten, I literally thought the priest at my school’s church was a cannibal. I literally thought that when he said the “body and blood”, he really did mean the body and blood of someone. How crazy is that? Really?

What kind of person does that make me?

I began to ask questions about the religion that I’d learned about five days a week and sometimes on Sundays. Whether the questions made sense or not, I have no idea. They probably made absolutely no sense, the reason why no one could give me a straight answer. The questions made all the sense to me though. If Jesus died for everyone’s sins, why do people still sin? I distinctly remember that was one of the questions I’d asked. Yeah, a pretty stupid question. All my teachers probably thought it was, or maybe they thought I was crazy or something. I look back on that now, and think that it was a pretty foolish, but it also makes me realize that any other outrageous question I had would be let right in with all the eagerness, only to be shot down for being utterly stupid.

Now what does all this grade-school reminiscing have to do with my feelings toward religion now? It proves that there are questions that either can’t be answered or are being pushed under the rug. Let’s face it, who wants to believe in something that can’t be answered or proven? I don’t mean to judge anyone here. What the next person believes may not be what I believe, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna jump down their throats about it. That would just be ignorant, and I absolutely hate ignorance. People are more than entitled to have their own beliefs and opinions, despite what other individuals think or say. I firmly believe in that, and truly have the utmost respect for that fact.

I would be much more comfortable knowing that what I’m believing in is, well, worth believing in. Sometimes, I believed that there possibly could be a God, but there are things that come in the way me truly accepting that fact. There are facts and reasonings that are so hypocritical and no way near logical. Say one thing and it doesn’t add up to what’s being said next…Yeah, that makes a hell of a lot of sense…I myself have a hard time agreeing and believing everything I hear because it all just doesn’t sit right with me as a whole. I suppose somethings could be plausible, but that still leaves others unaccounted for and to me, that isn’t good enough.

What kind of person does that make me?

I’ve been asking that question all though this post…What kind of person does that make me? Honestly, it makes me a goddamn human being. Most would say that questions and questioning isn’t the way to go because it will either get you nowhere or everywhere you don’t want to be, but I don’t find that the case. People don’t know if there is indeed a ‘Heaven’ or ‘Hell’ because no one has ever been there. Some are so fixated on something they’ve been feed throughout the years or what have you, and can’t comprehend that maybe there isn’t anything after you die. Maybe there is just nothingness, a creeping sense of darkness that’s just out of our reach with every passing second. Maybe not. ..Does death scare me? Damn right it does. Do I believe in something after death? I’m not sure. There could be something amazing beyond anything we’ve ever seen above and something else amazing in quite another sense of the word way down below, but who am I to know? Exactly. I have absolutely no idea and I think it’s best that way.

If people really (and I mean really truly) knew what happens when you die, they wouldn’t take any risks. If people knew what happened when you die, they wouldn’t be living. The entire point of living is taking risks and taking whatever comes at you, not matter the speeds or intensities. I think that knowing where you’re going to go when you die, totally dictates one’s risk-taking and therefore the entire concept of Life. Some people live that way already out of faith or whatever you choose, and that is entirely their choice. I have absolutely nothing against people with healthy convictions in what they believe in. I think it’s the best thing in the world, please just don’t try to press it on me. While some completely discreet and totally polite about brandishing their beliefs, not pressuring others at all, there are other people that think they know everything that the afterlife has to offer (or religion in general for that matter), down to every detail and I personally don’t believe any of it. Yeah, that probably sounds pretty bad, but notice the things I’ve said so far. My brutal, honest opinion.

I honestly don’t believe what people have to say about what it will be like when you die because they don’t know, they’ve never been there. No one knows, no ones ever been there. Unless of course with the exception of a near-death experience, that’s the closest thing to the afterlife you can get without feeling death unfortunately pull you out of this natural life permanently. Other than that exception, I don’t believe.

I love how the subject goes from the disbelief concerning religion to the disbelief an afterlife. They’re two different subjects that sometimes (maybe more often than none) become intertwined and discussed on the same playing field. I suppose that this is no exception to the conversations on the subjects that came before it. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I honestly don’t know.

When all is said and done, I just don’t believe…Yeah, it might sound like I’m just another teenager (technically I’m not really a teenager anymore, but whatever) who listens to death metal and is ‘brainwashed’ by the ‘Satanic’ lyrics, but I’m here to clarify. While I do listen to my fair shares of black/death/heavy metal, my musical preferences in no way impact my views on religion or the afterlife, as which was mentioned earlier…Or rather there isn’t anything good enough for me to believe in. That probably sounds pretty arrogant and whether arrogance plays a part at all or not, it’s true. I don’t think it’s that there’s nothing good enough for me to believe but actually nothing I feel comfortable really believing in. Hopefully there will come a time when I find something that I indeed feel comfortable enough with to believe in without questioning or second-guessing. Until then, only time will tell.

So I ask you now, as I’ve been asking throughout this entire post…

What kind of person does that make me?

Newsflash from “Heaven”: I’ve surely descended into “Hell”.

The beauty of the local ‘undergound’ music scene

It’s so loud that you can’t even hear yourself think. So loud that when you walk outside to escape the heat, it’s even harder to hear yourself talk or anyone else talk. Your feet become freakin’ numb from standing so long. The drums seemed to literally pound so loud that it can lead to a pretty intense headache…Yes, it’s possible. Welcome to the local ‘underground’ music scene.

Last night was the first time I’d seen my other best friend, Melodie and her boyfriend Tyler, in over a month. The last time I saw both of them was when we hung out on the 4th of July at one of Tyler’s concerts. Tyler’s concerts, meaning his band DoomKaiser. Don’t ask where the name came from because I have no idea. This was my first time seeing them. I missed them when I went on before. 😦 And I thought I’d miss them last night, but luckily that  wasn’t the case.

I got at the show at around 7:40 and DoomKaiser wasn’t said to go on until 10:30…Knowing the local scene, bands usually NEVER go on when they’re expected to. I almost got hit by a car running across the street, which was pretty crazy ’cause I usually wait for the cars, sometimes a little too long, but I always wait. Fortunately, I didn’t get hit or else I’m not sure I’d be writing this entry.

The concert venue itself seemed kind of cramped, considering the fact that there were alot of people there. A long bar dominated the whole right side, a good sized stage was to the left, and beyond the stage were tiny tables & chairs. The wall across from the bar, by the stage, was all mirrors. I thought that was kind of odd. After I walked by the stage, I felt total  déjà vu. I noticed it was one of the venues I’d been at almost 6 years ago, when I would frequently see random local bands. Strange, but totally cool.

The first band I didn’t know the name of. All I knew was that there were two guys from school in the band, which was cool. I didn’t think I’d see so many people from school all bunched up together in one place, other than school.  The lead singer, one of the guys from school, kinda looked to me like Maroon 5 lead singer, Adam Levine. Almost same hair and eyes. Minus the lip piercing. They were ok. I didn’t really hear all their set, so I couldn’t totally determine whether I liked them or not. Plus, I was either going outside to escape the insane heat inside or following Melodie, following Tyler.

The second band changed their name again, so I wasn’t really sure what they were called. I wasn’t really following anyway. A few of the members were people from school, yet again, people who I’d usually see around. I’d heard about how good they were from somewhere down the line and I’m not sure whether I agree or disagree. I mean they were good, but they were things I didn’t like. I wasn’t a big fan of the vocals. They reminded me of the lead singer of Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones. There’s nothing wrong with Killswitch. I used to listen to them, but it’s just something I kinda grew out of, found other bands I like alot more. I think the vocals was the only thing I didn’t thing I wasn’t jumping up and down about. I thought they’d be alot heavier and more raw.  The guitars and drums were really good, though.  

The third band I didn’t listen to. It was getting outrageously hot inside and we didn’t really feel like listening to them. It seemed like I was standing outside forever with Mel. Tyler was running around, a million things going through his head, trying to sort everything else. He kept asking us to follow him, then he’d turn around and kinda desert us. Can’t blame him, though. Stress. Frustration. Pretty chaotic. He was able to keep his cool, which was good. 😉

The fourth band was awesome! 13 Lucky Bullets and they’re native to Michigan, not that far from my native Ohio. Mel told me they played with Tyler’s band before, but obviously I hadn’t seen them yet. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, though. The lead singer had the coolest hair! It was shoulder-length, light brown and curly. That made me smile. 🙂 The drummer had the same curly hair, just shorter. They’re sound wasn’t like your typical heavy metal band. They had someone on keyboard, which I thought was pretty cool. I’d honestly never seen a heavy band having a keyboard at their shows. One minute the lead singer, whose name is Vince (discovered that this morning on their Myspace page. Still extremely overrated, but it’s a great resource for local music!), went from regular singing, very good singing, to blood-curdling screams and growls. I definitely wasn’t expecting that. I’m not sure how to really describe their music. In my opinion, it’s really good. Granted, the next person down the line could think they’re not so good. It’s all about what you like.

The one or two bands after 13 Lucky Bullets, I didn’t pay attention to. I was developing a headache and needed to find sanctuary from the heat again. Plus, Tyler was running around, stressing again, so Mel and I followed him yet again. 😉 It was already past 11 and it started to feel like it. Tyler’s band was supposed to go on at 10:30, but no sir or madam that did not happen. Exactly an hour later, DoomKaiser hit the stage and yes sir or madam it was worth the nearly 5 hour wait. Everything about them was awesome! The drums, guitars, bass, vocals…All just heavy and raw, totally exceeding any expectations I had. I was thinking about leaving earlier because I didn’t feel that great, but I’m happy I eventually felt better and stayed. It was definitely worth the wait! I’m hoping to see them perform at another show soon! 🙂

Music is a voice when you’re too scared or too much of a coward to use your own.

“Burn It Down, Set Yourself Free”

My new favorite band, as of this moment in time, is the heavy metal band Suicide Silence. Most reviews I’ve read on their newest CD, “No Time To Bleed”, categorizes them as ‘deathcore’, which I suppose is a sub-genre of death metal and hardcore. I’m really starting to hate sub-genres. They’re just really annoying. Can’t people just listen to bands and enjoy them for their music? Instead of criticizing them and putting them in a certain genre. I’ve learned to totally not even pay attention to the genre. If I like a band because of their music, then dammit I’m going to listen to them, despite what people say. If I like something, I’m not even gonna listen to what people have to say. Opinions often don’t sway me.

In my opinion, they’re a really good band. Their sound is different from other metal bands, or ‘deathcore’ bands, as some people with no sense would say. Their sound is heavy, brutal, and totally in your face, which I happen to really enjoy when it comes to the whole metal genre. And yes, I know that most people would say that ALL metal bands are “heavy, brutal, and in totally in your face”, but it seems like ALL metal bands have different ways of accomplishing that said goal. Whether it’s a good accomplishment or not, it’s all up to who’s listening.

I think that lead singer, Mitch Lucker’s voice is amazing! One minute his voice can go from a deep, low growl to a partially high-pitched (not too high-pitched!) onslaught on your ears. XD Everything about them is awesome!

With a name like Suicide Silence, I was kind of unsure at first about what they would sound like. There are some bands that have relatively interesting names, but their music isn’t that good…

Last summer, most of my friends (well, pretty much all of them) and I were greeted with tragedy a week before school. One of my best friends of six years had committed suicide. When something like that happens, you kind of wanna steer away from anything with the name/word ‘suicide’ in because, honestly, it’s really depressing.

For some reason, though, I didn’t steer away from Suicide Silence. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s music and let’s face it, how could you steer away music? How can you just ignore something that helps you get through your day? You can’t. No matter what the name, it’s just not possible. I’m happy to say that despite what happened almost a year ago, with my friend (I love you, man!) that hasn’t stopped me from choosing what’s right, what’s wrong and singling out bands just because of their names.

Sometimes the worst tragedies can make way for the brightest beginnings and new experiences.

“Burn it down, set yourself free.” “Smoke” – Suicide SilenceSuicide Silence