We all know about MySpace, well, I'm hoping we all know about MySpace. It's a chance for anyone from any culture to have a web page, a voice open to the world and is a perfect example of self expression and freedom of speech. Obviously, some people spend frighteningly too much time of MySpace, others use it as a tool to contact and make new friends. The most important word however, is 'Free'. I know for a fact that if I had to pay then I wouldn't have my own page on the site and I think most of the 191 million members would probably say the same thing.

I heard a rumour the other day that MySpace's time had come and gone and people were defecting to websites such as Facebook, but I think it's all down to what you want from life itself. If you want to be a nosey bastard and know what your mates are up to, and find out how much more money you're earning than your old classmates then Facebook might be the choice for you. For myself, the aspect that makes MySpace more appealing is the obvious leaning towards music. I don't mind admitting that I am extremely jealous of bands these days because MySpace is a brilliant way to have your music heard by others, listen to other bands in similar situations and contact them for prospective gigs and help.

There are some bands on MySpace who just plug and plug and plug themselves, putting their music into the faces of others and as a consequence build up a friend base of many thousands. In the days when I was gigging regularly I would've loved to have such a facility to advertise my band. Sadly I don't have the time or the energy anymore but I still get a buzz from trawling through the depths of MySpace finding the good, bad and ugly as well as the bizarre, hopeful and downright appalling. As a metal fan, I thought I would be your guide though the MySpace Metal Maze giving you bands who should be heard or respected or even avoided. Obviously the well known bands have their own MySpace page, but who cares about that when you can see them on the telly or in buy their music in the shops? I like to get into the underground and uncover many number of untamed metal beasts.

Because Thrash Metal is allegedly having a bit of a comeback I thought I would start with my favourite MySpace Thrash acts, namely Evile and Savage Messiah.
Evile are perhaps THE hardest working MySpace band I've seen and rightly have a deal in the bag with an album to follow in August.
Savage Messiah on the other hand, born from the ashes of 'Headless Cross', are perhaps Britains best kept thrash secret. Check out 'Spitting Venom', its simply fucking brilliant!
With a singer who doesn't just do vocals, he does vokills, how can they go wrong? Not playing in time is perhaps one thing, but they chock out a decent level of thrash.
Demiricous deliver a good solid brand of American Thrash, check out 'Repentagram'.
A dose of good honest American Thrash, sadly their MySpace page is so cluttered it takes about 5 minutes to load up. Pantera-esque

Extreme Metal
The subgenres of metal tend to get confused in the depths of MySpace with bands labelling themselves as brutal metal/thrash/grindcore/hardcore/death. I think what they really mean is that they're heavier than an elephant with a donut eating disorder. My pick of the really brutal end of metal are:
A Californian band who mix up hardcore with thrash with great results, check out the track 'The Horror'.
"The dead shall mosh the earth" according to Engorged. I'm not sure about that but if you want some tongue-in-cheek death/thrash then Engorged are worth a listen.
My winner for band name of the year, Splatter House have great song titles such as 'Coffin Birth' and 'Maggot Sermon', the music ain't too bad either.
With every band member labelled as a Doctor, Sweden's General Surgery thrash it up like only doctors such as Crippen and Shipman can with some heavy, brutal, blood dripping extreme metal. Suggested track, 'Ambulance Chaser'.
Bung are from Washington and the type of band your mother doesn't want you to join, or your mates for that matter because they know at some point they'll have to witness this big pile of drivel.
Bird Flesh are hilarious, not only do they dress up in comedy clothing they have rib-tickling titles such as 'The Gay and the Demon'. They currently have 3115 friends, lets hope it's kept that way.

General Metal
From Arizona, Rapid Fire cheese it up well on 'By Moonlight' with the spoken introduction, the song is about wizards and I needn't say anymore.
Hailing from New York this band have a singer called 'The Warlock' and in his promo picture he looks more like a ringwraith. He carefully avoids the camera on the live shots maybe because he doesn't want to look silly. If you like generic power metal then this could be your find of the day.
Maybe a little too heavy for general metal but Backmask's Soilwork tendencies make this band worth taking time out to check out. Listen to 'New Revelation'.
Thunderbolt...sort of says it all really. If you want your metal traditional, cliché ridden, growl free and lame then this could be the page for you. I also think they're on a mission to get as many hot girls to be their friend as possible. Try 'Heavy Metal Thunder'.
Griffin may have a shit name but the music is good honest metal. Perhaps a little way from being spectacular but imagine if grunge had been a little more metal.

An all girl rock band more akin to Drain than The Donnas. Their page is well laid out but musically a little too much like what's already gone before, but ok nonetheless. Check out 'Get To You'.
Are an L.A based female fronted rock band as bland as they come. Apparently they have an album and video out, but check out the song 'I Am' as a sign of their ordinariness.
More American rock that huffs and puffs but doesn't really get anywhere. For fans of Drowning Pool and the many other bands of that ilk.
Perhaps a good example of style over substance. Cheva's page is slick, aesthetically pleasing and well put together, it's just a pity the band play the sort of American rock that was popular about a decade ago.

Sleaze Metal
Simply called Danger, they are heralded as 'The new wave of Swedish sleaze'. Oddly enough I can't remember an original wave of Swedish sleaze. Either way, they look like Pretty Boy Floyd and are just as crap. Their picture of the drummer is just a question mark, perhaps the rest of the band should ask him his name.
Sweden's 'Sister' do their best to resurrect the likes of Faster Pussycat with rubbish results. I think the phrase, trying too hard springs to mind.
Crash Diet, also from Sweden, seem to have the Sleaze music weighed up nicely. An impressive collection of tracks on their page, check out 'Riot in everyone'.

Odd Metal
Any metal band who lists J.S.Bach as an influence as well as classical (mostly late 19th-20th century), jazz and fusion have to have a screw loose. Listen to 'Last of the Survivors' and you'll probably agree with me that it's by the numbers power metal.
Injekted from Oregon are just industrial music and not really metal at all, but their vocalist is called [XY_R15]...no kidding, it really is.
An odd take on prog metal but excellent nonetheless. Worth checking out even if it's the only band you look at on this list.
If you can understand where County 19 bodydump are coming from then you're a better person than me.
And lastly
The County Medical Examiners are pretty brutal, but who plays such vicious metal? That's right, two blokes who work for the council and someone's dad. Brilliant.

So there we have it for the time being. I hope you've found something to tickle your metal interest. Next time I have an asthma attack and find myself awake at 2am I'll have another dip into the MySpace Metal Maze.