To those who know me in life, I’m known as simply Eric. I’ve been reviewing records for about three or four years now, but in all honesty; reviewing records was just a random occurrence in writing that I hadn’t expected. All throughout my life I’ve written books, short stories and little comic books. I still have some of those little comic books and I’ll take them with me to my grave. But in all seriousness, this all began when I was on an Arkansas metal forum a few years back, reviewing records just because I thought it would be something interesting to do. Well, people really took well to it and that’s when I moved it to a personal blog after the forum eventually closed down. After that, this site began. But some of you already know that story, so let me tell you another one.
First of all, I don’t consider myself to be normal or just like anyone else. I was misdiagnosed with ADD back in the third grade, when I happened upon a pill doctor and a counselor who worked to make my life a living hell. My mother believed that pills could cure all ills and that of course kept the doctor paid, so he always managed to find a new pill to put me on in the hopes of curing my condition. This guy lived in Georgetown, which was as close to a big city as you were going to find in Delaware and it’s quite a fucking dump as well; at least from what I remember of it all those years back. I was too dumb and immature to know about it back then, but this guy definitely wasn’t kosher. He was simply put, a goddamned snake. It’s all kind of fuzzy as to what all happened when I went to the hospital for tests and all that, I think they even did some brain scans. But who knows, I might have been MKed for years and am just now rubbing the shit off. At any rate, I’ll never forget when the doctor said “we’ve noticed that the ADD is shrinking.” Now that I’m a grown fucking man, I can tell you that this very statement is absolute bullshit. It’s a brain condition after all, not a fucking tumor. At any rate, I was bullied rather heavily in my youth and made a joke that I was going to carve some punk up with a chainsaw like in Doom (which I had been playing quite a bit in those days, it still remains my favorite FPS of all time) and this was right after Clebold and Harris started their trench coat mafia madness, so the school thought I was a nutcase even though it was kind of a joke. They told me that I had to go to this mental hospital and it was a bit of a wasted summer that saw me completely removed from all medication, including the Clonodine, which I needed to take every night or I wouldn’t fall asleep. But that’s one of the best fucking things they ever did, to be honest. In time, my body learned to rest itself and I eventually weaned myself off of all medication completely. I had been on Ritalin for nine years, as I previously mentioned, among several other countless mind-altering drugs. Which is what they were. Let’s be honest, folks – I was a fucking lab experiment and I’m technically due plenty of compensation for the things that those people did to me. And God, you know – the funny guy that he is; thought he would also put an alcoholic stepfather into my life as well. I was abused both mentally and physically, with the mental abuse always being much tougher to handle than anything he’d dish out physically. The man spent most of his life in jail, just recently getting released last month for another one of his follies, but of course the relationship tie between my mother and he has since been broken. It only took about twenty-three years. I’ve spent brief time in a foster home and in a youth shelter, but I entered into DHS custody so late in my life that I became too old for them to really do anything with. Once you’re eighteen, you’re an adult so there’s not much you can do. Sure I feel like time was wasted in those places and it very much was. I still remember sitting in the back of that vehicle with two rotund African American women as they blasted gospel so loud that I could have sworn Christ himself was in the backseat. I grew a great disposition for all things Christian at that point and grew ever further into Paganism, of which I still have some roots in. I still keep in touch with my brothers and sisters, which some would refer to as a coven; but I myself don’t really consider myself of the religious mindset anymore. These days I am more of a spiritual freethinker. Getting back to my story, I befriended a man who used to work with people just like me. He was now retired, but noticed without a shadow of a doubt that my problem was never and had never been ADD. He told me that what I had was simply a mild form of Aspergers. And having known other people with the same qualities, I definitely consider it to be true. Not to mention all the trauma and pills I was on. Looking back on it, it almost sounds like the sort of medication induced trauma that MK Ultra victims go through. I’m not saying it was, because of the circumstances; but it’s very similar.
For those who don’t know, having Aspergers doesn’t mean that I suffer from any form of retardation. I’m not completely autistic either. I’m quite a thinker, but I sometimes think on such a very high level that I wind up talking over other people’s intellect. I tend to approach things with a much different perspective that works to confound and even upset certain people. I also would consider myself highly imaginative and vastly creative. I’ve written four books, created several solo albums and one with a band, made some games in my teenage years and used to do quite a bit of drawing and other types of artistic mediums. At one point, I was even working on a film script. I often feel that the world of hard labor is not a world for me, as my mind years to create something that doesn’t require the gradual wearing down of my body through coarse physical labor. I have an imagination that wants to let loose and run wild, so wild in fact that I can fall into daydreams and began talking out loud in those daydreams. It’s more or less like being lost in thought, where I can wind up walking aimlessly with no real knowledge that I’m even walking around. I’m just thinking heavily about a topic and feet are moving as I’m thinking. It could be anything really, pertaining to my hopes, dreams and fears, or perhaps a recent topic that was uttered or something that I observed in passing. Because some of us with Aspergers act like this, I really don’t suggest the use of medicines to try to fix things. After all, some of us were clearly made differently than others for reasons unknown. All three of the recent shooters were found to be on psychotropic drugs and while I agree that that they shouldn’t have had guns to begin with, they certainly shouldn’t have been thrown into a broken pharmaceutical industry that exists to create patients and profits, rather than long lasting cures to mankind’s ills. Some believe that many of the “psy” sciences are actually pseudo sciences to begin with, like a man who I had been heavily in a debate with while at a local Chinese restaurant. I was debating the existence of a rich elite and why their occult symbolism and mind control was important, having been privy to both of these things in my life. At any rate, he claimed psychology and psychiatry to be pseudo sciences and complete and total bullshit. While I don’t take that complete stance on the matter, I will say that I agree that the majority of these practices are not as reliable as people would like to believe.
I am the kind of person who believes that life is too short not to do the things that you enjoy. Though I have slight nerve damage and slight moments of PTSD due to the trauma, I still relish in those things that kept me afloat when I was younger. I still enjoy many of those same things like rock and metal music, and will continue to do so until they put me in the grave and my energy transfers over to something else. I almost feel like going to the day job is a complete waste of time and life and would rather spend my days reviewing albums or writing books, perhaps even other creative ideas. I have always been able to keep myself busy and rarely run into sections of boredom. At work, I feel almost disconnected; like I would rather be working on something far more constructive and benefiting of my skills and talents. I could really care less about what people buy and break and return, or about what is built in a foreign country for next to nothing and sold in this one for more than most people could afford. I just think its wrong more or less, but have no choice but to abide by it or my bills won’t get paid and my food won’t get bought. It’s a system that I have to support in order to survive and continue to thrive, so I abide by these laws.
But what many of you might be surprised to find out is that I wasn’t even supposed to be born. Literally. You see, my mother had gotten spinal meningitis from sitting on a cold floor or something; I’m not exactly sure of the complete means to how she got it even though she constantly reminds me of it these days, but it could have killed her. Fortunately, it only wrecked her coordination which she has had to redevelop slightly over the years. The doctors told her that her body wasn’t going to be able to produce any sort of offspring, so I’m quite amazed to how a healthy child like myself was able to have been born at all. My real father was a Native American that she met at some rock concert (the June Jam, I believe) and to this day, she still can’t remember who was playing there. They got married and I was born shortly thereafter, sharing a mix of Native American Blackfoot and whatever sort of European blood my mother shared, even though I do believe it’s Italian, as I’m in part related to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In essence, I’m some sort of miracle child in that instance; so it’s quite surreal to wake up every day and realize that I wasn’t really supposed to be here at all.
Lastly, I’m a very humble person. I’ve never thought of anything that I’ve ever done as “the best thing ever” or that no one else could ever top it. To be honest, I really don’t think I’m that great of a reviewer. There are tons of people out there better than myself, but my goal is just to tell the truth about each and every disc I review. It’s like if you were to ask me my opinion on a certain record out in public. I’m not sure if other reviewers do that or not. I may not have all of the proper music lingo and have the kind of musical background that other people have, but I can describe it well enough in my own words to give you the gist of it and so far, that’s been working well enough. So I can’t complain. I honestly think that the other two writers I’ve hired on the team are much better than I, so it’s a real honor to have them both working with me on this great excursion that I’ve set out on. There really are a million heavy metal only websites and while I cover a lot of metal, I think that we stand out because we don’t just cover metal and that separates us from the rest of the pack. Hell, we don’t just cover albums either. And I’m planning on adding some more games when I can find the time to write them up.
I’m not going to lie, folks. It’s been a tough journey to get to where I am today and I still feel that I have a bit farther to go in my life. Where I’ll be in the next ten or twenty years, I really cannot say. But I’m trying to work with my issues and trauma and other damages in order to hopefully come out with something awesome on the other side. Or something a little better than what was observed in my past, perhaps. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to turn off all the lights and listen to music. Because sometimes I do that during the twilight hours, when the world is silent and nothing else can be heard…
-The Fallen Alchemist