Hugo Lindgren of The New York Times reports that "stage diving is not an unusual thing to see at a rock concert. Rock gods jump into the crowd and surf on the outstretched arms of their fans because that is what rock gods do. It's part of the protocol. Stage diving is not usually funny.
"But when Andrew Griffiths, the 34-year-old drummer for SATANICIDE, hurled himself into the crowd at the TriBeCa Rock Club last month, it was pure comedy. Mr. Griffiths did not surf. He crashed into several surprised onlookers, scattering them like bowling pins. The rest of the front row, which included his wife playing the part of a shrieking, cleavage-flaunting groupie, buckled with laughter.
" 'I could see the horror in their eyes as I barreled toward them,' Mr. Griffiths said afterward, explaining his technique. 'Then there were bodies everywhere.'
"A SATANICIDE show is like that: unpredictable, a bit dangerous and above all funny. The four members of SATANICIDE play heavy metal, seasoning it with elaborate lies and a fair amount of purposely stupid behavior. They wear Barbie wigs, claim to be from 'Jer-Z' and brag to the crowd about their cheap-sex conquests. And, when nothing else is working, they fling themselves into the audience.
"While the top-selling metal bands of the moment — STAIND, NICKELBACK and EVANESCENCE among them — specialize in painful, adolescent soul-searching, they have left the door wide open to parody ('Leave me here, I'm dying . . . All alone and crying,' STAIND sings). And SATANICIDE has barged through, in the great tradition of 'This Is Spinal Tap', the 1984 fake documentary about a dreadful metal band that somehow makes itself famous and is struggling to remain so.
"In the nearly two decades since 'Spinal Tap', mock metal itself has become a mini-genre, with SATANICIDE its latest, greatest example.
"In the late 1990's the actor Jack Black fused metal, comedy and acoustic guitars in a duo called TENACIOUS D, which appeared in a short-lived but much-loved HBO series.
"A British hard-rock band known as THE DARKNESS, which claims not to be a joke while providing copious evidence to the contrary, recently went to No. 2 on the British charts. Meanwhile, Dave Grohl of the FOO FIGHTERS has assembled a tribute to death metal that will be released early next year under the name PROBOT.
"These projects range in style and approach, but they all share one article of faith: hard rock is funny." Read more.