In the Christmas episode, Hell Bent For Metal unintentionally spark a surprisingly passionate discussion about stereotypes. A stray question from Tom to Dan Hudson and James Barr, in the second part of their chat with HBFM, ignites a heated conversation about the extent to which people hold stereotypical views of metalheads and metal bands in a way that, if they were to think about it, they perhaps wouldn't be comfortable with.
The presenters of the A Gay And A Non-Gay podcast, the UK's #1 LGBT+ podcast, were originally on HBFM to discuss the documentary they made about them going to Bloodstock Open Air, 'Sashay Too Hell'. The existing prejudices people hold were one of the things learned from it.
The discussion was originally going to be aired in HBFM #57, but was such a distinct conversation in and of itself that it was kept back so it, and the points it raises, could be given the focus they deserve. The assumptions discussed draw parallels with those held about the LGBT+ community. Both sets of preconceived notions are felt to be ridiculous by those within that community, and force some uncomfortable but necessary self-reflection.
In much lighter matters (thematically, anyway – musically, it's the heaviest bit of the pod!), this week's Camp Classic is the apparently unlikely "Leave No Cross Unturned" by Darkthrone. The epic track, 2013 album from the Norwegian black-metal-turned-crust-turned-speed-metal-turned-black metal legends, 'The Underground Resistance', might sound a stretch. But shockingly, Matt's entirely on board with a nomination Tom could easily have found himself out on a limb with.
The queer side of the track is, as usual, also an excuse to give a brief rundown on Darkthrone's history for the uninitiated. Which somehow doesn't take the ridiculous amount of time you might expect for a band with such a unique, lengthy career as this band.
With it not really being a "new music" time of year, this week's visit to the Hate Crew Gaybar sees some "seasonal" additions for the jukebox… in the sense that the hosts are picked the albums they will be using to get them through Christmas.
Matt plumps for the winter wonderland of 'Pariah's Child' by Sonata Arctica, the 2014 masterpiece from the Finnish power metallers, which he was introduced to on the show, when the epic closing track "Larger Than Life" became a Camp Classic, and the subject of HBFM's first ever special. Tom, meanwhile, goes for something a trifle (!) more aggressive, as he picks the Middle Eastern black metal ferocity of 'Enki', the 2015 album by Mesopotamian metallers Melechesh.
It's a suitably camp, sweary way to mark Christmas.