Pros: I got nothing...
Cons: Pretty much everything about it makes me 'tsk-tsk'
I wonder if Hit Parader magazine has always been as terrible as it currently is.
In all seriousness, I have no idea how this "hard rock/metal" magazine is viewed as having any credibility whatsoever. For starters, I want to question their utter lack of diversity. In a typical year, 85% of the issues feature the atrocity known as Slipknot on the cover, in addition to countless articles and posters depicting that band. Obviously, this is a great thing for Slipknot fans, but what about the millions of us who aren't Slipknot fans? Even if a band I loved was featured on the cover that often, I would think it's a bit ridiculous. Magazine features should be versatile, showcasing the many spectrums and different sides of a genre of music. Believe it or not, an unbelievable percentage of the Hit Parader reader mail printed in the mag has to do with Slipknot as well.
Another bone I must pick with Hit Parader is that so, so much of the information they print in articles are incorrect. Much to my delight, there was a short feature on Swedish rock band Blindside in 2005, in which Hit Parader claimed that the band's 2002 release Silence (Blindside's THIRD album) was their debut, in addition to misspelling three out of the four band member's names. The occasional typo or slight slip-up in chronological order of a band's discography is to be overlooked without problem, but something that erroneous is unacceptable to me, and is almost insulting to that band and their fans.
All the little things about Hit Parader that irritate me seem to grow exponentially over the years. It seems that almost every rock/metal magazine spells the Disturbed lead singer's surname as 'Drainman' at least once, perhaps to take an intentional jab at him, but Hit Parader has done it dozens of times. It got really old really fast, and again, these types of errors cannot be accepted if a magazine wants to be taken seriously.
And on the topic of being taken seriously, who in their right mind would place Kurt Cobain on a list of the best HEAVY METAL singers in history? Granted, I've never been a fan of Cobain or Nirvana in the first place, but it doesn't take a genius to realize that Nirvana and heavy metal are not one in the same. I don't think people who buy magazines about motorcycles want to see pictures of Pokemon in their issues, so why should metal lovers be repeatedly told that Kurt Cobain is a better 'metal' vocalist than Phil Anselmo?
As I thumb through an issue of Hit Parader I picked up close to a year ago, I find myself amused, yet shaking my head, as I see mistake after mistake. Just in a few minutes' time, I notice the following things:
-a P.O.D. article in which guitarist Marcos Curiel is referred to as 'Carlos' more times than I can count
-a Maynard James Keenan article in which the Tool discography is listed in a completely inaccurate fashion
-a photograph of Scott Weiland with the caption 'Anthony Kiedis'
-a picture of Pantera labeled as 'Incubus'
Perhaps the one and only redeeming factor of Hit Parader is the very rare inclusion of a nice-looking poster of a truly talented rock/metal band. However, if I want to see Alice In Chains or Lacuna Coil photos (that I've seen at least 358 times already) that badly, I'll just use Google search as opposed to suffering an undoubted loss of brain cells by wasting my $5.99 on the abomination known as Hit Parader magazine.
Average length of a HP issue = 95 pages
Ads = Not excessive, but extremely repetitious (most are of, you guessed it, Slipknot -- I swear, I've never seen a magazine so devoted to a band)
Typical Features = "Caught In The Act" (featuring very outdated, uninformative interviews with Megadeth, among others); "Shooting Stars" (which predicts certain rock/metal bands that will rise to fame, most of which [Army of Anyone, anyone?] are awful)
Rock & Metal Mags You're Better Off Trying: