Revelations of a Music Junkie
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The band has maintained their typical dark,spooky feel to their music.The vocalist-guitarist Michael Akerfeldt is a genius.He is a virtuoso at both clean and growling vocals.He is half the reason why Opeth is capable of such wide variations in their music,whilst still maintaining that spooky feel which defines them.The drummer is also incredibly talented in that he can consistently bring in variations in the beats and keep their 10+ minute songs free from monoteneity.
Although,the genre of the band is primarily progressive death,the band have tried their hand at mellow songs.Songs like "Harvest" and "To Bid You Farewell" are proof to the multi-dimensional talent overflowing in them.However their sound has evolved towards the heavier side over the years.
My favourite album is Deliverance.The band themselves claim it to be their heaviest piece.I personally think the album is probably one of the best metal albums ever.The sound is so brutally heavy and so startlingly original.The title track is a 13 minute long piece with some really powerful double bass drumming.The guitar solo in the interlude is just fabulous.
Personally,my favourite Opeth song is "Master's Apprentices".I just cant seem to get enough of that song.The intro itself is so damn powerful that you'd feel like crashing into your nearest wall right away.The guitar riffs accompanied by the double bass on the drums are just brilliant.It's amazing how they've introduced so many variations in a single song.
This and more Opeth for y'll here:
3.A Grand Conjuration
4.To Bid You Farewell
5.Face of Melinda
10.To Rid The Disease
So when you see some old ass complaining that there are no bands presently in league with Black Sabbath,Judas Priest and the other 70's giants,tell them bitches to suck it hard.Opeth has arrived and is here to stay. \m/
Monday, June 21, 2010
The Mars Volta.
There's a new Jimmy Page in town. His name is Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. There is a new Robert Plant in town. His name is Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Led Zep fans who have not listened to these guy will probably jump on me and beat me to death. They'll be very Grr. So, listen. To a band called The Mars Volta, popularly known as TMV.
The Mars Volta is something that very few can have an ear for. The music is chaotic, some might say. And yus, I agree, it does sound chaotic. They use so many instruments and effects in their songs that it can sound that way. But listen to them songs on good earphones or good speakers and you'll realize that there's more to their music than chaos. The first track I listened to was Ouroborous. I was like WTF is this!. But that was because I had listened to it at a very low volume and on laptop speakers. Then, I gave it another shot. On my Creative speakers. And I was like WTF is this!, but this time with my jaw down there. The song blew my fucking brains out of my fucking skull and out there, somewhere far far away. The drumming was insane. The effects were like out of this world. Then I gave another one a listen. This time, it was Tetragrammaton. And I died. I was like :O.
TMV, when they were young, and when they didn't have enough musicians of their own, they used to hire orchestra people to play those weird instruments. They used to give them the score-sheets but due to the complexity of their compositions, the hired people were mostly left clueless. It was only after the proper recording that them outside people understood what they had played and where and how all of it had fit.
The vocalist, Cedric Bixler-Zavala is beyond awesome. His girlish voice, those high pitched orgasmic screams, his style, all of it. And the guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, with his fast, jazz-ish/indian-classic-ish/eh-ish solos defines awesomeness-maxx. Both of them are like modern day Page and Plant. The comparison's right there! No one can deny it.
Their live performances are something to die for. Characterized by heavy drug abuse, the members are usually in a frenzied state and their behaviour is a vessel full of disarray. And that is fun, right? Omar usually goes all twitchy as if he's been Crucio-ed upon and all. Its all very fun-fun.
The best part about TMV is not the fact that they change scales, but the key that they sing in. The songs often change, wrt feel, sound and pace. That's what makes this band awesome. Listen to them in a dark room with eyes closed and half a litre of the maroon liquid in you, and you'll go Wheeeeee in no time. Their songs are long. Some of them, as long as 25 minutes. Half those songs have just effects being played on the synth for more than half the play-time. But everything fits so beautifully that if you know how to listen, you'll be amazed at how one could even come up with such compositions. All of them, masterpieces.
I would so like to see this band live.
Anyway, if u're a TMV-noob, go for these songs :
A-Part I, B-Part II, C-Part III, D-Part IV - All in continuation, and in a drunk state.
Listen to these and I bet your ass that you'll be a fan before you can even spell A-S-S.
P.S. : Remember, good speakers or good earphones. There are so many effects in their music that most of them will go unnoticed otherwise.
All hail TMV. :D \m/
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
My Top 25 Favorite Death & Black Metal songs
P.S. For best results, hear the FLAC versions(hard to find, I know :P ) and ONLY on high-bass woofer systems or noise-eliminating headsets. And the list is in NO order of preference: So go ahead and take your pick !
1. Slaves shall serve - Behemoth
2. Carving a Giant – Gorgoroth
3. Mannequin- Cradle of Filth
4. Sorgens Kammer Del II – Dimmu Borgir
5. I am the Black Wizards- Emperor
6. The Pursuit of Vikings- Amon Amarth
7. Guardians of Asgaard- Amon Amarth
8. Black Crow on a Tombstone- Satyricon
9. Mother North- Satyricon
10.No Sympathy for fools- Behemoth
11.Sacrifice Unto Sebek-Nile
12.Nothing Left- As I Lay Dying
13.Monochromatic Stains- Dark Tranquility
14.Kissing the Shadows- Children of Bodom
15.Mourning Palace- Dimmu Borgir
16.Devil's Harlot- Ov Hell
17.Ascendant- Keep of Kalessin
18.Nemesis- Arch Enemy
20.Tale of Revenge- Ensiferum
22.A Grand Conjuration- Opeth
23.Black Metal- Venom
24.Nymphetamine- Cradle of Filth
25.Hammer Smashed Face- Cannibal Corpse
Count Grishnackh " Conqueror of Rage "
Monday, January 11, 2010
Top 25 Metal Songs for the week
1.Pantera - Cowboys From Hell
2.Alice In Chains - Man In The Box
3.Megadeth - Holy Wars
4.Carcass - This Is Your Life
5.Eternal Tears Of Sorrow - Sweet Lilith Of My Dreams
6.Metallica - The Four Horsemen
7.Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss
8.Lamb Of God - Hourglass
9.As I Lay Dying - Through Struggle
10.Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
11.Anthrax - Armed and Dangerous
12.Arch Enemy - Nemesis
13.Children Of Bodom - Angels Don't Kill
14.Judas Priest - Painkiller
15.Behemoth - Ov Fire and The Void
16.Nightwish - Over The Hills and Far Away
17.Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name Of
18.Testament - More Than Meets The Eye
19.Cradle Of Filth - Scorched Earth Erotica
20.Sepultura - Refuse/Resist
21.Judas Priest - A Touch Of Evil
22.Lamb Of God - Grace
23.Opeth - Atonement
24.Eternal Tears Of Sorrow - Prophetian
25.Children Of Bodom - Are You Dead Yet?
P.S: The numbering is purely for namesake,I like the 25th no less than I like the first one.Just add them to your playlist and lose your minds.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Slayer.You've got to say the word with your eye balls protruding and a powerful voice with an expression of ultimate supremacy silencing the world around you.As evidently seen on this blog,I'm presently on a thrash metal listening spree and will now pay my respects to the band that defined thrash metal in it's true sense,arguably the biggest of "The Big Four".
Slayer is what you need when your mind thinks of blood,corpses,decapitations,painful deaths and the gory details.It's dark,sinister riffs get my mind on a voyage through some haunted cemetery under a pale grey sky.The vocalist,Tom Araya also brings a shade of pain in his extremely energetic voice.And of course,the brilliant solos by Kerry King and Hanneman are just unmockable.That's a factor that makes Slayer so different from any other band.
Slayer has proved it's worth right from their first album,"Show No Mercy".You can almost imagine a brutal moshpit clouded with dust when you listen to the intro for "Black Magic".In their next album they gave us "Hell Awaits" and "Necrophiliac".However,their storming success came from their third album "Reign in Blood" in the year of thrash,1986.It succeeded in giving the world a kind of music never heard before.
While their lyrics might seem neo-nazi,the vocalist has made it clear that they are merely interested in Nazism,and do not necessarily advocate it's principles.Although a transition is seen in the band's music over the years,the energy in it has not reduced one bit.It now enjoys critical acclaim too having won the Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance" for two consecutive years.
The succeeding albums "South Of Heaven" and "Seasons in The Abyss" continued with it's dark spooky riffs.The title tracks of both albums are phenomenal.In the albums "God Hates Us All" and "Christ Illusion",the music is a little different.Nevertheless,till date Slayer continues to give the thrash lovers what they yearn for,even in their latest album "World Painted Blood".
The music might not appeal to one and all.But if you listen too,then listen to and get slain:
Angel Of Death
Altar Of Sacrifice
Seasons In The Abyss
South Of Heaven
Eyes Of The Insane
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I go back to my third year addiction.Megadeth is what got me started in the thrash genre.With the start of this post,let's sincerely hope they come again to India and hope even more strongly that we don't miss them again.The only thought of being in their gig in insane moshpits brings clenched fists and pulling teeth to me.
Let's start with some gyaan on how Megadeth happened.An unfairly talented guitarist,Dave Mustaine played with Metallica in their early years.He was later kicked out of the band for not having control over his alcoholism and heroin addiction.An angry Mustaine left the band to form what's now Megadeth,which is the second-best selling thrash metal band in the world,much to his despair,second to Metallica.
While many argue that Mustaine in Metallica is a dream unrealized for the thrash junkies,I personally feel his departure was for the best.Had it not been for that,we would have missed the powerful riffs of Megadeth blended with his immense talent in vocals.We would also miss Hammett's solos for Metallica in the coming years.While it is natural to compare both the bands,I feel they are both good in their own place.Oh wait,Metallica was good.But we'll talk about that some other time.
While Mustaine's guitar skills are unquestionable,he has also earned a reputation as a bad-ass in the metal scene.With his tremendous ego and any abysmal level of humility,he can't come to terms with the fact that Metallica has been more commercially successful.Get over it,Dave.You rock more than you know!!You've equalled them if not surpassed them,when you just gave us the two albums,"Peace Sells" and "Rust In Peace".You don't earn a place in "The Big Four Of Thrash" for nothing.
And yeah.How can I forget Marty Friedman!I don't think Megadeth would have been half of what it now is,had it not been for him.His solos for "Hangar 18","Holy Wars","Peace Sells.." are simply phenomenal.Too bad Marty is now over with the metal genre and has begun a solo career.His solo albums too are awesome,only of a diffferent genre.
What's unique with Megadeth is their consistency with their style of music.While Metallica has outrageously transitioned from its fast,powerful style to a noisy,sluggish piece of crap,Megadeth continues to rock on like they did 20 years back.While they have had their peak when Marty Friedman played,even now their music has not changed too much.Their latest album,"Endgame" is proof enough to what I just said.
Lets list down some of the Megadeth numbers you ought to listen to,well right now.Later you can listen to some more:
Holy Wars...The Punishment Due
A Tout Le Monde
Architecture Of Aggression
Train Of Consequences
Kill The King
Prince Of Darkness
All hail Megadeth!!
Blackfield is an amazing collaboratory musical group between Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen. In other words, it’s a side-project of Wilson.
Contrary to the general trend, I was hooked on to Blackfield far earlier and in a much greater degree than the immensely popular Porcupine Tree band. I wouldn't blame anyone claiming to be a huge fan of PTree or even Wilson for that matter to have heard of Blackfield. Blackfield for one is a side project with very few live performances round the year(some not even including Wilson !!! )and just 2 albums old.
If you are a big Porcupine Tree fan and want to discover as much of Steven Wilson's music as possible, you have another musical fiesta to enjoy in the form of Blackfield. The music is incredibly beautiful, the lyrics very bohemian and there is an underlying thread of melancholy which is more strongly visible than the songs of PTree. Aviv’s musical sense and backing vocals add an exotic flavor to Wilson’s established style.
Personal Note :
So far every single soul I have recommended this band to has thoroughly savoured it; more importantly this blog's co-authors-cum-music aficionados who have unlike me, been for longtime listeners of other bands in this genre of music.
Speaking about Steven Wilson and his compositions, I have literally no words to describe the musical genius he is and the impact his music has on me. Very few things/people in my life can bring a smile or a deep sense of relief to me irrespective of the mood I am in and 'Blackfield' definitely is second to the top there :D. Sadly, for no GOOD reason whatsoever I made the grave mistake of recently not attending the Ptree concert in Bombay. Not a lifetime of listening to them or Blackfield on my PC is gonna compensate for that ‘eargasm’ of a Live experience :( .
Anyway, here are a few songs I recommend strongly:
Album : Blackfield-I
The Hole in Me
Album : Blackfield-II
My Gift of Silence
Where is my Love
End of the World
And incase, you are left wanting more ( which I am darn sure you will be :P ), I suggest you check them out on Youtube or last.fm or Hell, listen to all the songs in both their albums( only 20 odd songs should be NO BIG DEAL for you, eh :P ).