It's hard to say what actually first got me interested in heavy music. I luckily had several positive influences as a young kid who guided me to at least scratch the surface of the genre.
However, the first metal album I ever purchased with my own money is still one that I revisit from time to time. That album is The Bleeding by Cannibal Corpse.
It was early 2001 and I was 12 years old. Up until this point GWAR and Metallica were the only heavier bands I had ever delved into and even that was limited to a couple burned CDs (that)I had gotten from my brother and a VHS copy of GWAR's Phallus in Wonderland.
Two or three years prior, while on vacation, I had convinced my parents to buy me a copy of ...And Justice For All that was for sale at a truck stop along the road between Illinois and West Virginia.
I listened to that album religiously for the better part of two years and couldn't get enough. That was the first album I chose to ask for. As far as the first album I purchased with my own money, I have no one to thank other than Jim Carrey.
Plenty of metalheads already know where I'm going with this but hey, it's my story. I was absolutely obsessed with the Ace Ventura movies. I had loved Jim Carrey since I was probably about 6 or 7 years old from watching In Living Colour reruns.
I fondly remember getting laughs doing impressions of Fire Marshall Bill for my friends at school, Shortly after that time the family had gone to see Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls in the theater and it immediately became my favorite movie.
I had somehow never seen the first volume in it's entirety until years later when it was playing on cable TV. I had caught the movie about a half hour in and watched it to the end, commercials and all, and ended up missing the scene that would help solidify my lifelong love for extreme metal.
Still, I loved the movie. I decided to consult the TV guide to see when it would play again so I could tape it. I got it recorded but there was one particular scene that intrigued me incredibly. The scene where Ace goes into the nightclub to talk to his friend and Cannibal Corpse is playing.
I was crazy about that scene as soon as I saw it. I had found out later that the cable version that I'd recorded included the deleted scene of Ace getting on stage and doing vocals with the band. It was absolutely amazing to me. I had already been a guitar player so the first thing that interested me was the way the dudes were playing.
I would rewind and re-watch that scene over and over trying to pause it at just the right moment to read the banner behind them on the screen. I had finally been able to make out that it said Cannibal Corpse so that very day I emptied my football shaped cup where I kept my quarters, hopped on my bike, and headed about 2 miles away to Discount Records.
Discount Records was a small music store close to my house in Frankfort, IL located the same shopping center as the grocery store. I had been in there a few times but never really got anything outside of a CD wallet and a used CD copy of Electriclarryland by The Butthole Surfers, which I'd bought completely based on the cover.
Usually I just browsed while my parents were in the grocery store. This was the first time I'd ever gone to any music store looking for something in particular. I was such a nervous kid so I can only imagine how awkward I was. I went in and went up to the counter to see the dude sitting there reading a magazine.
He looked up in sort of that, "Oh great, now I have to do something" way that immediately made me more nervous. I asked him if he had anything by Cannibal Corpse.
His demeanor immediately shifted to one of sheer enthusiasm. It's probably not every day that a 12 year old comes in asking for a band with content such as theirs, but the gore of their lyrics was still completely unknown to me.
"Really?" he said.
I nodded my head and told him about the movie and there was this band in it that I wanted something of. He loved it and was really awesome to me. He took me to the CD section and they had three or four different albums but they were all new and out of my price range.
I spent 2 or 3 minutes just looking at the covers. I had like 8 dollars in quarters to work with. He wasn't letting me leave there without something. So he goes to the cassette section and scours for about 5 minutes and produces a copy of The Bleeding. I was absolutely thrilled. Had enough to get that and a Sprite. He rang me up and sent me off with a smile the advice of "Don't let your parents find that, you didn't buy it from me". I thought he was joking until I got home, and read the lyrics.
And I suppose the rest is history. From that point on I developed a rapport with that guy and he turned me on to all kind of different stuff over the next few months that we lived there. Even in the time around high school when I had gotten out of heavy metal for some years, I still always went back to that album. It will never not be nostalgic for me. It was one of those few instances in life that made a huge impact on me and really influenced a life long passion for the extreme side of heavy metal.
-By Jordan Smith of Drude