Aphro’s Asskicking Anthems – September 2017

What it is, what it is, what it is... shed no tears! The One & Only has returned yet again to bring that noise. This month's Anthem might just echo Michael Stipe's curiosity from back in the day... 

There's a good chance you weren't ready for that. If not, my bad. Should this song sound at all familiar, then that means one of two possibilities is true. Either a) you're a fan of Callenish Circle or b) you've watched at least one episode of the Angry Joe Show. I happen to fall into the latter category, but hat's off to you should you be in the former. This particular monster is off their 2002 album, Flesh Power Dominion. Now, I already know right out the gate that not everyone is a fan of metal and that's perfectly fine. To each their own. Personally, I love it. Since I'm a usually laid back & easygoing type of guy, I need a high voltage shot in the arm from time to time. That one little snippet that AJ uses for the outro of his show was pretty much "love at first thrash" for me.

Aside from the all the energy this song's more intense moments showers you with, the subdued vocals paired with the lyrics get me to thinking. What event broke this guy's trust? How was he pushed to such an edge that something he felt at the core of his being can no longer be held true? Who in the hell ate all the pizza and left him only the crust?! (Sorry, that last one got a little personal.) My point is that, whether or not it was Savelkoul's original intention, this song does quite a damn good job of encapsulating that moment when literally all hope is lost in terms of a reconciliation. Or, perhaps, a moment of clarity when one realizes that their usual methods are no longer effective?

So, once again, it falls to me to try & pair this song with a character among the vast pantheon of fighting games. Full disclosure: This is a day I've been anxiously awaiting because the character I have in mind is such a perfect fit for this song that I almost feel as if I'm somehow cheating...

Just one more reason we all have to love "Big Trouble in Little China"...

See what I mean? I'm talking about none other than the Guardian of Earthrealm, Mortal Kombat's Raiden. As I've touched on in the past, Raiden has become something of an interactive bookmark when it comes the new timeline in MK. One only need to place his Deception incarnation against the after credits scene in MKX to see that there are some very prominent similarities shared by both realities. Regardless of whether or not the Dragon King makes an impromptu return, everyone who's anyone in ALL OF THE REALMS should be on high alert now that Raiden has switched up his steez.

Not unlike when comedic actors opt to try their hands at more dramatic or intense roles, the concept of a usually benevolent character doing such a 180 is still pretty shocking to us. Especially when they're as powerful as a Thunder God. All this time, you're taking things relatively easy because, up until that fateful moment, they've always been on your side. That sense of familiarity is relieving, so the shock is all the more devastating once that situation gets turned on its head. Taking all that into consideration, I pose to you a question: What if Raiden didn't make a grand announcement? What if the only two figures outside of his jurisdiction that got the memo are Liu & Kitana? What will become of any other Realm/force that even thinks of casting so much as an aggressive glare at Earthrealm? All I know is that whenever MK11 finally does happen, all hell's breaking loose & I get the distinct feeling Raiden will be one of, if not the driving force behind it.

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

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