Childish Reviews #2

Welcome to the second installment of Childish Reviews, where I ask my kids to listen to songs off of recently released metal albums I’m digging and ask for their feedback. This time around we changed things up a bit. After each track I asked them to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being one of the best things they’ve ever heard and 1 being one of the worst. Let’s see how these five tracks made out…

Christian Mistress – “Open Road”

First up is the retro metal of Washington’s Christian Mistress. My oldest already loves this band and has the last album loaded on her iPod. But none of them have heard the new one yet.

15 year old: (almost immediately) This sounds a lot like Christian Mistress.

11 year old: I really like it. The vocals are very good.

9 year old: I definitely like the guitar on this one.

15 year old: Sounds like classic Christian Mistress to me. It’s awesome.

15 year old –  9
11 year old – 6
9 year old – 5.5

Average McCabe Children Rating – 6.83


Grave – “Flesh Before My Eyes”

Next up is some classic Swedish death metal from one of the masters of the genre, Grave. As soon as the track kicked into high gear the 11 year old got up and started doing windmills with her hair. It was actually pretty impressive because I had no idea she knew how to do that…or that she knew they even existed.

11 year old: I like the ‘growly’ vocals on this one. I really like the drumming too.

9 year old: I don’t really like this one. I don’t really like the type of vocals they use for this.

15 year old: I’ve always had a soft spot for this type of metal. This is pretty classic sounding stuff.

11 year old – 9
9 year old – 4.5
15 year old – 7.5

Average McCabe Children Rating – 7.0


Immortal Bird – “Neoplastic”

Next up is a band that is near and dear to my blackened, metal heart. I fell in love with this band upon the release of their debut EP and their newest album, Empress/Abscess, was easily one of my favorites from 2015. With that as a backdrop, let’s see what the children have to say…

11 year old: Um, I wish they would play this as the transition music in between classes at my school. I love it!

Me: How do you think that would go over at school?

11 year old: I think people would say, “What the heck is this?”

At this point the three-year old starting chiming in, specifically growling under his breath while jumping up and down on the couch. I took that as a sign that he liked it…

9 year old: Again, I don’t really like this. I don’t like the vocals.

15 year old: I agree about making this the transition music at school but they won’t because they never play anything heavier than the one Iron Maiden song they played. I also agree that it’s fantastic.

3 year old: I like Blueberry class! Miss Donna likes this music in Blueberry class! (Editor’s note: “Blueberry class” is a creative play group he attends a couple days a week…and no, no I do not think Miss Donna would play this in his “Blueberry class.”)

11 year old – 9
9 year old – 1
15 year old – 9

The three-year old rated it a “5” but as you will see he was really just naming whatever random numbers he could think of.

Average McCabe Children Rating – 6.33


Marduk – “Frontschwein”

It was clear at this point that my 9 year old wasn’t feeling the heavier stuff…so of course I busted out some black metal. This, the title track, from the most recent album from one of the most important and prolific black metal bands of all-time, Marduk.

11 year old: I like it. The vocals, the drumming, and the guitar all fit together very nicely.

9 year old: Yet again, I do not like this style of vocalist.

Me: Is there anything else you like about the music?

9 year old: Not really. It just sounds like all of this noise coming at you.

15 year old: I don’t even know where to begin with you. Seriously? I love it.

11 year old – 8
9 year old – 1
15 year old – 8

The three-year old rated it a “10”

Average McCabe Children Rating – 5.67


Secrets of the Sky – “Three Swords”

Clearly I was just pissing off the nine-year old at this point as his answers were sounding more and more like an old man verbal fist-shaking. So I decided to give them something a little mellower, a little more atmospheric. Enter Oakland’s Secrets of the Sky and their brand of Opeth meets Neurosis styled doom metal.

11 year old: It reminds me sort of a slide show of a war or something along those lines. I like it though.

9 year old: It reminds me of something similar. It’s o.k.

15 year old: It’s got a really interesting vibe. It’s got this creepy undertone and then the vocals hit and it stops being creepy. But then the vocals hit again and it starts getting creepy again. The vocalist is really versatile. It’s pretty great.

11 year old – 9
9 year old – 2
15 year old – 8.5

The three-year old rated it a “16”

Average McCabe Children Rating – 6.5


Conclusions? Well, my nine-year old is clearly the most finicky of the bunch, at least he was this time around. He was like Mikey from those old Life cereal commercials. “He won’t listen to this. He hates everything.”  Seriously, like, 9 going on 90 over here. My fifteen-year old is the complete opposite end of the spectrum and apparently likes anything and everything heavy. No surprise there. What was surprising was the eleven-year old getting behind some of the acts she did. Two years ago she would have never listened to bands like Immortal Bird or Grave, but I’ll take it now!

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