Dying is Gay: Reflections On Seth Putnam Of Anal Cunt
Band Photo: Anal Cunt (?)
I'll always remember Anal Cunt for being one of the four bands who broke me into the extreme metal underground back in 2006. Anal Cunt, alongside Unearth, Cannibal Corpse and Lamb of God were my four gateway drugs into the harder, edgier side of metal. It was a time when nu metal was no longer played on the radio and KoRn's Take a Look in the Mirror album was such a huge disappointment that left me only listening to Tool but looking for something that was metal that I hadn't heard before.
Given my love for highly offensive Newgrounds flash videos, when I heard the name Anal Cunt, I simply had to give the band a listen and my then 18-year-old mind was naturally impressed by the band's highly immature and shamelessly offensive lyrics after reading a few on songmeanings.net. The band's album “It Just Gets Worse” quickly became my most listened to album in 2007 despite being eight years old at the time. It was the heaviest album that I'd listened to by then and the most extreme. As somebody who only a few years earlier felt that Rob Zombie and Slipknot were extremely heavy but never went far enough, Anal Cunt's amelodic noise was probably the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard, being the most perfect sound that I'd ever listened to up until that point.
So it's truly difficult for me to believe that Seth Putnam is actually dead. A man who was the personification of 4chan's /b/ image board who railed against any and everyone he could think of has passed away. Yes, he was an obnoxious troll and he did inspire a lot of terrible pornogrind bands to start making some god-awful music. He was also the man who pushed metal to be even heavier in the 1990s. Anal Cunt was on the label known as the biggest name in extreme metal touring with high profile bands like Pantera, pushing the limits for exactly how loud music can be and did a lot to keep bands from ever selling out too much by reminding labels and promoters that there was still a sizable audience for truly heavy music. Keep in mind that the nu metal bands of the 90s were much heavier than the glam metal of the 1980s and it's obvious that having one of the loudest bands on Earth getting attention (although through very desperate means) was a factor preventing metal from getting too soft.
Seth Putnam died as he was going through a creative peak. With “Fuckin' A” released earlier this year and both “Wearing Out Our Welcome” and “Picnic of Love II” also to have been released later this year, Seth was on his way to reestablishing his name after a decade of inactivity. Sadly, he managed to pass away before he could reclaim his crown as music's ultimate gadfly.
I've never laughed at any musician as much as Seth. Not even Weird Al or The Dead Milkmen could come close to Seth's sense of humor. Whether it's trying to upstage Burzum with the ultimate lo-fi black metal band or layering 16 microsongs over one another to make a world record for the most songs in an EP, Seth's work was always able to make me laugh and I still can’t listen to “Picnic of Love” without busting a gut.
While Seth Putnam certainly had more haters than fans - whether they're people offended by his lyrics, unable to get past Anal Cunt's lack of talent or hardcore black metal fans who are simply too butthurt by Impaled Northern Moonforest to enjoy anything about Seth - the man was still an icon. A huge middle finger to the entire world, including the band's own fans. Never before did a man like Seth Putnam enter the metal scene and his death leaves a massive hole that may never be filled.
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