It can be tough to navigate the dozens of subgenres of heavy metal. Death metal, black metal, speed metal, power metal, doom metal … You name it, it probably exists, and it’s served as a way to divide metalheads for decades. But now, a new subgenre is poised to make its mark on the scene: it’s called “drive thru metal,” and it’s being ushered into the mainstream by Mac Sabbath, a Black Sabbath tribute band inspired by the most famous fast food chain of all time.
Described by their manager as “a band of Monsanto mutants who refuse to reveal their identities because they think they came here from a wormhole in space time direct from 1970,” Mac Sabbath is fronted by Ronald Osborne, a zombified clown who looks like he takes makeup advice from the Joker. Accompanying Osborne are a mammoth-tusked Mayor McCheese (Slayer Mac Cheeze), a particularly evil looking Grimace (Grimalice) and a Peter Criss-inspired Hamburglar (Cat Burglar). After years of slugging through secret shows in the basements of local restaurants, the band is ready to bring their Big Mac-sized slabs of metal up from the underground.
The most impressive—and terrifying—thing about Mac Sabbath is that they’re actually really good. Ronald channels his inner Ozzy onstage, from the manic jumping to the frantic hand waving, and the band’s cover of “Iron Man” (rechristened “Frying Pan”) is spot-on musically, with updated lyrics to fit their fast food fetishizing. (“For the future of mankind”? More like “All your future is pink slime!”) They also pay homage to “Paranoid” (“Pair-a-buns”), “Children of the Grave” (“Chicken for the Slaves”) and “War Pigs” (“More Ribs”).
The band recently played this year’s Download Fest, and they’re on a western U.S. tour through Halloween. If you’ve been craving another Black Sabbath tour, this may be the closest you come to getting your fill. These guys have mastered the metal giants’ trademark meaty riffing and biting vocals, all without sounding cheesy. Have we made our point? Good.
Check out “Frying Pan” below: