Aphro’s Asskicking Anthems – April 2017

What it is, what it is, what it is... shed no tears! Oh, the Dynamek One & Only has been busy, folks, and I got no intention of slowing down just yet. Still got to bring the noise before I leave, though, so this month's Anthem is getting cranked up to 11!

Do not be alarmed, your melted face will eventually reconstitute itself in a few hours. I probably should have done a better job of warning you beforehand what was about to happen. I wasn't kidding when I said this month was going to go hard. The performance you've just been audibly assaulted by was "Onslaught" by the Japanese metal band, Anthem! These guys have been kicking all shades & varieties of ass for quite some time. The above video was from their 20th anniversary tour. The song itself is from the 2004 album Eternal Warrior. (It honestly cannot be anymore obvious why this song fits so perfectly with this column). From beginning to end, this song takes no prisoners. It's one of those tracks that can easily be used to tell whether or not someone has a working pulse. From the instrumental dominance to those searing vocals, this song is was crafted to energize & electrify the spirits of anyone lucky enough to hear it.

Now, while I thoroughly enjoy this song, I'm not going perpetrate any type of fraud with you lovely people. I was actually introduced to this song like I was to so many back in the day: CMVs on YouTube. In particular, one such video for BlazBlue's Ragna the Bloodedge. (Take note of that, because it will come into play later.) There's a few added layers of irony that accompany said musical pairing that made the original video so memorable. For starters, Ragna's Astral Finish is called Black Onslaught. Take it a step further, the Anthem album this song is on, 2004's  Eternal Warrior, feels a little on the nose considering that Ragna spent a few accumulative millennia stuck fighting his way through a century-long time loop. The only thing keeping this from being a total hat trick of poetic justice is the fact that there's no reference to the Black Beast. That's where I come in...

So once again, as it has before, the task falls to me to pair this song with a character from a fighting game. Now, if you thought that I'd take the easy way out and just plop the Grim Reaper here, then shame on you.  Yes, there are times when this column practically writes itself, but I take pride in my work. Especially when it comes to music. With all that being said (and with all the clues that have been dropped so far), I think you've already figured out who my choice is for this month...

How much you want to bet that Brian Johnson's ears are burning right now?

C'mon, how could I not pick Venom for this track? They themselves are LITERALLY  a black beast. Hell, they even look alike! Visual similarities aside, ol' Eddie B here was easily my favorite character from the Marvel side of Marvel Vs Capcom. However, that runs deeper than just video games. I've enjoyed Venom's presence over the years simply because they embody something that fascinates me: duality. More to the point, they represent cooperative duality. Sure, their origins were based in a hatred of our friendly neighborhood webslinger, but they eventually grew beyond that. Now with the recent reimagining of the character, an impressive Death Battle victory & all the talk of a standalone Sony movie, it'll be curious to see if our favorite alien symbiote will make any appearance in Infinite... but a man can dream, can't he?

If I'm to be totally honest, Venom's ability to totally overwhelm their opponents always impressed me. Seriously, you couldn't convince that there was a cooler super than Venom Web back in the day. However, in regards to this song, the real gem in the crown of their movelist is Death Bite. Imagine if Venom themselves were performing at a concert & the time came for either a high note, howl or something like that... can you imagine how freaky it would be if the symbiote ran around the venue & provided their own surround sound? Oh, that would be glorious! I wonder if they'd be interested in a duet... or maybe some backup singers?

Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.

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