Metal Maniacs2 Believe it or not, there was once a time without interwebs, when you had to rely on print media, word of mouth or dumb luck to find new and exciting music. In those barbaric days before instant downloads and 500 review sites, the brightest of the guiding lights for metal fiends was Metal Maniacs magazine. Founded in 1989 by Katherine Ludwig and Mike Greenblatt, it was the “Go-To” source for keen, insightful analysis of the metal scene, top-notch writing and a laser-like focus on the extreme genres of metal often ignored by the mainstream press. As Editor-in-Chief, Ms. Ludwig imparted her wise musical opinions and she wasn’t afraid to share her personal views either, being just as likely to sound off on animal rights, veganism and free speech as she was about the latest thrash album. Examples are legion, but who could forget her embargo on Decide coverage due to alleged animal mistreatment by Glen Benton and the often vicious feud that grew between the band and the magazine over the years.

During Katherine’s tenure with the magazine, it grew to become an indispensable part of the metal warrior’s arsenal, providing critical and often hilarious album reviews, informative, probing interviews and all the metal news fit to print. But what really made the magazine so remarkable was the way it made you feel like a part of a community, as if you were in on a secret society and among like-minded friends. There was a certain warmth and familiarity the writers imparted that made you feel like you knew them, and though the pages were awash with running jokes and insider humor between the staff, somehow the reader always felt in on the gag.

When the magazine went out of business in 2009, it was a real blow and essentially signaled the end of professional metal journalism. To this day I still find myself leafing through my ancient back issues longingly, remembering happier, simpler times. Ultimately, it was my love for Metal Maniacs that led me to my current role as editor/writer/all around hack here at AMG, and with the help of the entire staff, I’ve tried to create the same kind of intimate, community atmosphere here that Katherine created at Metal Maniacs. For all the positive influences and great memories, I owe her a debt of thanks.

Katherine the Editor

And that brings us to the point of this post. It has come to my attention that Katherine was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Her friends have set up a page where you can donate to help with her medical costs and allow her to get the treatment she needs for a full recovery.

You can visit her Facebook page and her YouCaring.com crowfunding site for more information.

Although we haven’t been big on charitable causes since the spectacular failure of AMG’s Iced Bucket of Raining Blood Challenge™, this is a truly worthy cause and we humbly request that you give generously to a wonderful human being and a true pioneer in metal journalism. She was there when we needed her, now we should be there for her. Spread the word and share this with others.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, Grymm has his own reasons why you should give to the cause.


Katherine LudwigLet’s face it: we were all awkward kids in our teenage years. Growing up in East Buttfuck, Nowhere (you mortals call it “Derry, New Hampshire”), I didn’t fit in with other kids or metalheads my age. Either they didn’t get metal music, or thought it was a passing phase left behind like Beverly Hills 90210 and Pogs (you remember Pogs, right?) Back in 1993, my heroes, to put it bluntly, absolutely sucked ass. Metallica and Megadeth just couldn’t cut it for me, Iron Maiden were a mere shadow of their former selves (and don’t even get me started on the fallacy that was Black Sabbath then), and grunge didn’t do jack shit for me.

One fateful day, I stopped off at Book Corner (our mom-and-pop Barnes & Noble) and noticed a benign and quite yellow magazine called Metal Maniacs sitting between Rolling Stone and Wizard. There were articles on then-popular bands such as Rage Against the MachineSlayer, and… Carcass?! Who are they, I thought… so, in curiosity, I forked out the $2.95.

Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to read Metal Maniacs will say the rest is history. Thanks to Metal Maniacs, I found new heroes to champion (CarcassAcid BathAmorphis, ad infinitum), but as great as it was for finding new bands, it was the writing quality that held my attention and guaranteed my continued readership. Editor-in-Chief Katherine Ludwig and assistant editor Alicia Morgan (also formerly of 13) kept us all abreast of rumblings in the underground and exposed us to bands we would never have heard otherwise.

Metal Maniacs3The thing that truly floored me as a young man, was how they introduced progressive concepts to the pages of Metal Maniacs. Animal and human rights, homophobia, vegetarianism, veganism… these were all foreign to a majority of metalheads at the time, and even if those concepts, as well as the banning of Deicide and Cannibal Corpse, didn’t sit well with some of the readers (which didn’t matter one iota, since both Katherine and Alicia were, and still are, unflinching and uncompromising in their beliefs), it made every one of us think. They challenged us, and by doing so, exposed us to a world of diverse ideas.

To this day, reverberations from Metal Maniacs can be found in the few remaining print magazines, podcasts, and various websites, including here at Angry Metal Guy. Hell, I wouldn’t be writing for Angry Metal Guy if it weren’t for the amazing and honest writing found in Metal Maniacs. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Metal Maniacs, its writers, and to Katherine Ludwig, the woman who started it all.

Katherine needs us right now, and for all she’s done for bands, fans, and metal itself, some kindness in return is the least we can do to show our appreciation, our support, and our thanks. Please donate.

 

 

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  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    Amen. Thanks Steel and Grymm for the awesome tribute to one of the greatest magazines ever. Support Katherine and then do what I’m going to do: pull that trunk from my closet and relive the glory days with Metal Maniacs.

  • http://metalmofos.com/ Metal Mofos

    Could care less about her politics, but her legacy is a great one. I’ll be posting this on our FB page. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

      Thanks for helping out!

  • Lars Barres

    Thanks for the heads up, just sent a donation. Used to dig MM “back in the day”.

  • http://www.metalvortex.net/ [HKK] Hell³

    I didn’t had the chance to read her work here south the border but surely sounds like a worthy cause nonetheless, fuck cancer.

  • Joel Plamondon

    A few days ago i sent this news to several Metal Facebook groups. in the ’90’s I was a regular reader of Metal Maniacs, the best metal mag ever !

    • Grymm

      And to this day, STILL the best metal mag ever!

  • Realkman666

    Who needs universal health care when people with any kind of notoriety can just ask for donations? The poor are never satisfied.

    • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      • Realkman666

        Thinking about such things is obviously unpleasant.

        • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

          There are appropriate times to have conversations about the policies that create these kinds of needs. The comments section this post isn’t one of them.

          • Realkman666

            Exactly. It’s best when you don’t even have to see it. But why would you bother replying to a troll anyway?

          • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

            ‘Cause you’re usually not a troll.

  • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

    Just donated and threw up the widget on the side there. I’m really happy you guys came out and did this.

  • tomasjacobi

    This article got me into an almost Seinfeld-like situation; one where I’m George.
    After reading the article I felt like helping and went to YouCaring to donate. Because I was very tired and had a cold or maybe just because I’m dumb as a door, I ended up donating $500 when what I wanted was to donate $50. After realizing my mistake and just how much I had donated I had to contact both YouCaring.com AND Katherine and ask for them to send the money back. Very embarrassing…
    So kids, don’t donate when you’re tired and absent minded!

    • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

      I saw you had donated so much and I was wondering what the hell you did for a living. Thanks for chipping in, man. Every little bit helps!

  • Eryops

    Thanks for posting this. It brings back one of the few good high school memories I have. I drifted away from Metal Maniacs after that, but man, it really kept me sane knowing there were other people out there like me in the world, and that I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was. I’ll always be grateful for MM and will donate what I can.

  • Grymm

    And… done! Damn bi-weekly pay schedule.

    Get well soon, Katherine!