Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Tribute To Alliance Radio... this one's for Kip.

Alliance Radio. It was known as "The Official Feed Of The World Metal Alliance" and broadcasted a full range of heavy metal music on the web during 3 different eras from March 2004 to May 2007. It has been called the "high water mark of the WMA" and was the realization of one of the earliest goals of the World Metal Alliance - an all metal broadcast. It was, and will always be, and important chapter in the history of the World Metal Alliance that needs to be remembered. But unfortunately, other than a topic on the WMA Heavy Metal Board and a few others buried deep in our old ezboard, very little exists documenting how it evolved through it's 3 different eras on the web.

This void of information has been on my mind a lot lately. I guess this time of year always reminds me of Alliance Radio - since Black Friday was the day of two Founder's shows and several other multiple DJ specials we used to call "Broadcast Events". So for the past few days, I've tried to assemble a visual overview with dates of Alliance Radio history in tribute to those who made it possible and what it meant to those of us who tuned in. I started by finding an old tribute topic that was posted just after the 2nd era had ended. It contained a collection of banners and event dates that covered the 1st and 2nd eras. I then went through the image archives to find banners from the 3rd era. (The only way I could figure out the dates was by looking at the creation dates on each banner.)

My personal thanks to all the members who were involved in it's operation - to all who served as DJs, to RipperJack who was partly responsible for it's initial inception, to Dr. Coldbreed who played a vital role as Webmaster during it's 2nd and 3rd era, and above all to NightBreed aka: Kip. Without his dedication, time and financial support, none of it would have ever happened. So in tribute of Alliance Radio, it's Admins, DJs & listeners, here's a small visual history. I think this will bring back some cool memories, I know it has for me as I was putting it together. And above all, I hope it fills the void for those who were unaware of the role it played in the history of the WMA.

First Era March 2004 - March 2005

March 2004 - Earliest banner I could find, before "Feed Five" became Alliance Radio:

May 2004 - First 2 banners announcing the initial opening of Alliance Radio:

May 2004 - First full size banner put into rotation on the WMA Forum header:

July 2004 - Banner announcing Free AR Bumper Sticker Giveaway:

October 2004 - Banner for the first WMA Founder's Show:

November 2004 - Banner for the first Full Moon Black Friday Multi-DJ Broadcast Event:

March 2005 - Banner for the Good Friday Multi-DJ Broadcast Event:

Second Era April 2005 - November 2005

April 2005 - Banner announcing the Grand Re-Opening of the new and improved Alliance Radio:

November 2005 - Banner for the last Multi-DJ Event/WMA Founder's Xmas Show:

Third Era October 2006 - May 2007

October 2006 - Banner announcing the return of Alliance Radio:

October 2006 - Banner which ran during the return broadcast:

January 2007 - Banner promoting AR during our temporary return to ezboard:

January 2007 - Banner announcing the return of NightBreed's weekly live show:

February 2007 - Banner which ran during NightBreed's live broadcast:

February 2007 - Banner announcing NightBreed's weekly live show:

March 2007 - The last AR banner, promoting the weekly live show and WMA chatroom party:

Sunday, September 30, 2007

WMA Site And Forum Restored

A WMA salute and a ton of personal thanks to the WMA's resident volunteer code guru Chuck (HellMonitor) for once again answering our cry for help at a moment's notice. If it were not for him we'd be eternally stuck at ezboard and probably the only site content we'd have would be a dozen static html pages on

Last week he was able to perform a major miracle and somehow repaired the WMA Forum and database which was thought to destroyed. And last night he was kind enough to stop by, install the CMS software and help me add back almost all of the remaining non-forum content.

Essentially he is the WMA's Dr. Frankenstein, using his incredibly skills to bring to life an entire website that otherwise would be a pile of inanimate parts. I can't thank him enough.

Sunday, September 16, 2007



Our host has just confirmed the WMA SMF Forum ( was hacked on Saturday, September 15 at 11:15am EST. According to their tech support "The attack at hand appears to have been a SQL injection attack"

We are waiting to see if they can restore the Forum to an earlier time prior to the attack and also waiting to hear back from HellMonitor to see if he can somehow salvage the Forum if the host is unable to. Last night after we realized there was no quick fix and know way of telling how long the WMA SMF Forum would be down, or if it could be repaired, we redirected the ENTER button on home page ( & to link to the old WMA ezboard rather than the damaged WMA SMF Forum. All WMA communication will be redirected to the WMA ezboard until further notice.

In the meantime, we need your help.

Since it looks like most of the membership has the forum bookmarked rather than the .org splash page and there is no way to replace the error message on the hacked forum page with a message that redirects them to the ezboard, we need everyone who is reading this to e-mail or notify as many members as they can about what happened and that we have been forced to relocate back to ezboard once again. You can either send them to and have them hit ENTER which will now bring them to the WMA ezboard, or send them to the WMA ezboard url:


Monday, August 27, 2007

Are Heavy Metal Websites Good For The Environment?

A few weeks ago I was thumbing through a magazine and a small headline caught my eye. It said that there was a black version of Google called Since I use Google almost exclusively, and I prefer websites with black backgrounds, I immediately went over to the PC and typed in the url. There it was, as the magazine said, a black version of Google. My favorite search engine in my favorite color. My first reaction was to post a link to it in the Shout Box on the WMA Heavy Metal Forum, because at first glance I saw it as a metal looking version of Google. Guess I just equate black with heavy metal.

After I posted the link, I wanted to know who made it and why, so I went back to Blackle and clicked the "About" link. I figured somebody just did it because it looked cooler in black. Or maybe because a darker web page is easier on the eyes. But I was surprised to find out neither of those reasons were listed and that the real motive behind it was to save energy.

Seems someone had proposed a large amount of energy could be saved if a high volume site like Google used a darker background. This was based on the fact that a CRT monitor uses about 20% less energy to display a page with a dark background than a light background. The basic concept was that if a high volume site switched to a darker background that savings would be multiplied by the number of users. The more users, the greater the savings.

Anyway, after reading the About page and finishing up some other work on the PC, I returned to the WMA Heavy Metal Forum before logging out. I found that a few members had already commented on the link in the Shout Box. Apparently they had also read the Blackle About page, because they were pointing out that the WMA website also saves energy and is "green" since it also has a black background. I laughed about it at first, there were a few reasons the WMA website is black, but being "green" and saving energy were never on the list. Even though that was never the intention, based on the above theory, it turns out to be true. Every time a member or visitor views the WMA website on a CRT Monitor, the black background and dark page uses less energy.

That's a drop in the bucket compared to Blackle, but what if you multiply it by the millions of other heavy metal websites, forums and blogs on the web. There's almost an unwritten law that heavy metal websites have a black background. In fact I've only seen one heavy metal site that didn't, but it was still a dark color. And although most of them don't realize it, their widespread preference for black backgrounds is actually helping to save the planet. Heavy Metal, good for the environment. I doubt anyone would've ever guessed it was possible, but it apparently it is. Too bad Kermit The Frog wasn't a metal head, then he would have known what we all now know - it is easy being green.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Headline That Doesn't Mysteriously Tie In With The Article?

Since I've always been more of an artist than a writer, I've been asking myself - does the World Metal Alliance really need another blog? After all, we already have our own website at which is custom made for publishing the written word. And as if that wasn't enough, we have a blog on the WMA's myspace page. So why do we need another one? Well, according to the experts of the mysterious science called search engine optimization, if you want your site to rank high, you need to establish a presence on both myspace and here on blogger. In fact it has become expected. Just like a local business that buys ads in newspapers or on television is also expected to also be listed in the yellow pages and local business directories, any respectable website is expected to be on myspace and blogger. At least that's what the experts say.

I'm not going to argue with their logic, but I'm still faced with the dilemma of what to write about. This was the same question I faced when writing the first entry on our myspace blog - "what thoughts about the WMA could I write about that haven't already been published on ad nauseam? Afterall, who would bother reading a blog that just rehashes info from the WMA website". The solution for the myspace blog was that there are 2 sides to every story and we would use it as the place to shed some light on the "other side of the of the WMA" that few know about, the non-public side. And with the help of my fellow co-founder Brian (DarkOverlord) hopefully that's what we've managed to do there.

While I'm on the subject, Brian's offered to take over the WMA myspace blog so I can take on this one. To be honest it's a huge relief. Writing the myspace blog had quickly become a task that I grew to dread. The problem didn't have anything to do with myspace, (although the changing screen names always confused me) it was the rigid constraints of the subject matter. For anyone who has read the WMA myspace blog, you may have noticed there is a certain tight format it adheres to. Brian would research and choose a headline from The Ancient Text and each entry was then constructed to tie into it in an unexpected way. Rough drafts were written, circulated between all 3 founders, rewritten several times, and finally signed-off on before they were published. Sometimes they were entirely scrapped. I found it difficult, if not impossible, to write about the non-public side of the WMA without blowing holes through the intentional mystique of the website in a way that all 3 of us could agree on. So it's Brian baby now and he's the perfect man for the job.

Which brings us back to the dilemma at hand, what to do with this blog. Since the WMA website covers the public side and the myspace blog covers the other side, if my math is right, that means we're all out of sides. The last thing I want to do is approach this new blog as a required chore. It wouldn't be any fun for me to write, especially since the words don't exactly flow from my fingers. And even worse, it would probably end up being something nobody would want to read. After talking it over with friends and thinking about it for a long time I finally reached the conclusion that it would be better to approach this new blog as an outlet that I enjoy instead of a task that I dread.

Rather than having the tight format and constraints of the myspace blog, this blog should be the opposite. No particular format. No rigid subject constraints. And at the same time, it should be totally free of the uniformed formalities found on the history and informational pages of World Metal Alliance website. Now don't get me wrong, I think the WMA myspace blog and WMA website are both written in a manner that perfectly fits the goals of each. But this blog will be where we can take off the formal black uniform, loosen the studded belt, and take a look at things on a personal level for a change. Simply written as if it were just an e-mail letter to a friend. So maybe not having a predetermined subject is a good thing. For one, I won't be limited in what I can write about. And, you'll never know what to expect other than the random thoughts, observations and ramblings of an artist who's not a writer. Sometimes it may be about the WMA, sometimes it may be about metal, and other times it may be something that has nothing to do with either. And if I ever get writer's block, there's always the option of posting some pics instead.