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    Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Metalingus

    Your boy's back with a fresh serving of #TST!

    It's been a busy February for me so far, not that I'm complaining. But since we all only have 24 hours a day, I had to prioritize some other gigs over my weekly Theme Song Tuesday column. Hey, I have to save up for that future WrestleMania trip, too, right?

    It's been a while since we've done this, so to get my momentum back, I decided to pull into the archives and feature an all-time favorite over here at the Smark Henry Offices.

    When Lucha Underground reviewer Anthony Cuello and I were undergrads at UP Diliman, we used to hang out a lot with our orgmates from AIESEC, an international exchange student organization. We were part of a group of guys who all loved wrestling and we'd spend our free time marking out over WWE shows, storylines, moves, and entrance themes. Edge's theme, "Metalingus," was one of those themes that just sent us into a frenzy the minute we'd hear the words, "ON THIS DAY!" It got to a point where our org's president would incorporate that very phrase into his speeches, much to our delight and to everyone else's confusion.

    I'm sure we weren't the only wrestling fans who developed an attachment to "Metalingus" and Edge the way we did throughout the Rated-R's Superstar's legendary run. After all, his song ticks off a lot of the requirements that I normally associate with memorable entrance themes. Instantly recognizable hook (check), easily gets your attention (check), sets the tone right away for what that wrestler wants you to feel when they enter (check), and words the entire arena can sing/scream along to (check).

    The moment the words, "You think you know me," play in an arena full of fans, it becomes a huge moshpit as Alter Bridge announces the fact that Edge is in the building. It's an entrance not just for a wrestling superstar, but for a rock star. Hell, if I could play "Metalingus" each time I walk through a door, I would because I'd feel like a big fucking deal every single time.

    "Metalingus" is an album cut off Alter Bridge's debut record, One Day Remains, from 2004. If the guys in the band look familiar to you, it's because they're pretty much the OG lineup of Creed, with vocalist Myles Kennedy in the place of Scott Stapp. The band was a project borne out of Creed having become inactive in 2003, shortly after the release of Creed's Greatest Hits compilation. Guitarist Mark Tremonti and drummer Scott Phillips wanted to go in a new direction musically, so they hit up their old bassist Brian Marshall, and then found Kennedy, who would go on to become the band's voice. Compared to Creed's mid-90s grunge vibe, Alter Bridge's sound skewed more towards the hard rock/heavy metal side of the 2000s post-grunge era.

    "Open Your Eyes," which was Alter Bridge's debut single, was played on radio stations both in the U.S. and in the Philippines. But most of us smarks must have heard it first on RAW, when it was used as the theme song of the 2004 RAW Diva Search, which gave us names like Maria Kanellis, Michelle McCool, Christy Hemme, Candice Michelle, and Carmella DeCesare. What not a lot of people know is that "Metalingus" is off that same album, which is pretty nifty considering Alter Bridge's eventual history with WWE—which included an appearance on RAW and their song "Rise Today" being used as the theme for Unforgiven 2007.

    But going back to Edge's theme itself, if you listen to the original studio recording of the track, you'll notice that it starts with a heavy drum pattern and hard riffs that you wouldn't normally hear in the WWE cut. Then it gets into the signature chords we're all familiar with before Myles Kennedy sings the first verse.

    Conversely, the WWE cut starts with the "You think you know me" hook from his previous theme, and then you hear the coda from the album cut, leading into the chorus. It's a really weird mixing job if you know how the original version goes. But if you'd been listening to the WWE version for years, you'd find the album cut pretty strange. At least that's how it was for me.

    Lyrically, the song actually works more as a babyface anthem, especially since it's about having a dream, seeing it all crashing down, and then picking yourself back up and moving on. I used to listen to this song a lot growing up and would imagine myself powering through whatever was getting me down at the time, rising like a phoenix (heh) from the ashes.

    As for the title? There has never really been an official explanation from the band. But going through Creed forums, I found some fans asserting that "Metalingus" comes from Mark Tremonti's love of metal and that the word was just thrown around while they were working in the studio. It was one of those placeholder titles that just stuck, much like Lil Uzi Vert's "XO Tour Llif3." Obviously, "Metalingus" comes from the word cunnilingus, but the guys changed it up to connote their love for metal over the sexual meaning.

    Over the years, the song has developed a bit of a cult following and is a crowd favorite at live concerts, as it's always part of the band's sets when they perform. Ultimately, we wrestling fans will always associate Alter Bridge and their music with Edge, particularly because of "Metalingus" and its lasting impact on our recollection of the Rated-R Superstar's career. Hell, we all just cried like little babies when Edge asked us to indulge him in one last entrance as a WWE Superstar to "Metalingus" when he was forced to retire due to spinal stenosis in 2011, right?

    For better or worse, "Metalingus" has a special place in our hearts as a wrestling fan, and for good reason. Alter Bridge really did us a solid by putting together one hell of a track.

    ON THIS DAY!!!

    Photos from WWE and Alter Bridge's official Amazon Page


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Metalingus Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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