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Reggie’s Essential 25 Favorite Instrumentals #2 & #1


bc_rich_widow_wmd_bass_top_imageI love the power of a good instrumental song.  Sometimes they can be energizing or even relaxing depending on the band’s intent with the song.  Some bands use an instrumental song to display a different, sometimes softer side.  And, sometimes an instrumental is a collection of left over riffs and drum parts that didn’t make the final cut.  Or, perhaps they just couldn’t find the words to go with the music.  However they are composed, the instrumental song is a track I look for and hope to find on any album; though there are some bands where it’s almost an expectation.  This list is 25 word-less songs that I find essential to my music library.  I wouldn’t sweat over the exact order, but yeah the ones at or near the top of this list are definitely my favorites.  I know there are many more instrumental songs out there, but these are mine…so to speak.  This list is also limited to only three per band and only one band made this list three times.  Enjoy my top 2!

2.  Hell’s Kitchen – Dream Theater

As you can probably tell, I have fondness for Dream Theater’s instrumental songs.  This one is the third and final song of my list and if I didn’t make a 3-song rule I might have a few more Dream Theater songs to talk about…obviously my favorite from them.  I like the diversity in this song; I can listen to it to relax and I have used it as my opening song and/or closing song on a run.  It helps keep my mind at ease when I begin a run and wonder to myself why am I running.  By the time the song is over, my heart rate is regulated and I can begin a long run with mostly thrash and death metal to keep me motivated.   The attraction here is the lengthy guitar solos and of course combined with the progressive elements makes the song pretty damn perfect.

1.  The Ultra-Violence – Death Angel

The main attraction to this song for me is it’s just so raw and full of aggression.  These guys were just teenagers when they recorded it back in 1987 for their first album, The Ultra-Violence.  This song was also featured in a burger commercial.  I have to believe that someone had to know about this band to select that song.  This song isn’t something one would just stumble upon while looking for background music to a guy eating a burger.  Metalheads are everywhere!  Anyway, I am going to let the music do the talking.  Thanks for reading my list of 25 favorite instrumental songs.  My next list will be 30 intros that instantly grabbed me.  Thanks to Mik for inspiring me to do a list of my own on that subject.

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2005 / #3 – #1


MetalCatToday we have Pink Floyd disguised as Dream Theater. We also have Kamelot and Circus Maximus as themselves. That makes it a progmost metal selection to end the week and 2005.

If a song is both brilliant and 24 minutes long, the only way to do it justice is to post all 24 minutes of it.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2002 / #3 – #1


MetalCatThis selection completes ten years of my personal hit parades. Looking at the medals table to date (i.e. 2002), Sweden has had five of my favourite songs of the year; the USA, three; and the Netherlands and the UK, one each.

From this it is manifestly clear that my best musical place in the world is right here in my office, where I can listen to the best of every country.

At the end of the 21 years, I must work out a points system to name my top music country, my top band and my top metal genre over two decades.

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Reggie’s Essential 25 Favorite Instrumentals #10 & #9


bc_rich_widow_wmd_bass_top_imageI love the power of a good instrumental song.  Sometimes they can be energizing or even relaxing depending on the band’s intent with the song.  Some bands use an instrumental song to display a different, sometimes softer side.  And, sometimes an instrumental is a collection of left over riffs and drum parts that didn’t make the final cut.  Or, perhaps they just couldn’t find the words to go with the music.  However they are composed, the instrumental song is a track I look for and hope to find on any album; though there are some bands where it’s almost an expectation.  This list is 25 word-less songs that I find essential to my music library.  I wouldn’t sweat over the exact order, but yeah the ones at or near the top of this list are definitely my favorites.  I know there are many more instrumental songs out there, but these are mine…so to speak.  This list is also limited to only three per band and only one band made this list three times.  Enjoy!

10.  Mr. Scary – Dokken

I have probably said it a million times so one more won’t kill ya.  Dokken was of my favorite bands from the 80s.  I always had a fondness for their music.  Though they did get glam or remained on the fringes of glam (mostly), I thought Dokken’s music was a cut above the rest and it’s pretty much due to George Lynch’s guitar work.  I feel lucky I got to see them one time live…the opening act for my first ever concert actually.  This song appears on Back for the Attack from 1987.

9.  Bombay Vindaloo – Dream Theater

The first time I heard this song was on a live album I picked up called Live at the Marquee.  After doing minimal research on it because I have never seen this song on an actual album, it turns out this track was improvisation based and was played live less than 10 times.  The live recording was released in 1993.  I happen to have the European released which has Surrounded whereas the Japanese release instead has Another Day.  These songs are the only difference on the live 6-track album.  It’s a cool thing to have if you are a Dream Theater enthusiast.

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1994 / #10 and #9


My, 1993 went by quickly. I have a feeling 1994 is also going to flash by in a week. This continues my personal hit parade. It is not a Metal State hit parade and I don’t claim these were the best songs of any year. They’re the ones I liked and still like.

1994, #10: Bolt Thrower – …For Victory

Album: …For Victory
Country: UK
Genre: Death Metal

 

1994, #9: Dream Theater – Space-Dye Vest

Album: Awake
Country: USA
Genre: Prog Metal

 

 

Reggie’s Essential 25 Favorite Instrumentals #16 & #15


bc_rich_widow_wmd_bass_top_imageI love the power of a good instrumental song.  Sometimes they can be energizing or even relaxing depending on the band’s intent with the song.  Some bands use an instrumental song to display a different, sometimes softer side.  And, sometimes an instrumental is a collection of left over riffs and drum parts that didn’t make the final cut.  Or, perhaps they just couldn’t find the words to go with the music.  However they are composed, the instrumental song is a track I look for and hope to find on any album; though there are some bands where it’s almost an expectation.  This list is comprised of 25 word-less songs that I find essential to my music library.  I wouldn’t sweat over the exact order, but yeah the ones at or near the top of this list are definitely my favorites.  I know there are many more instrumental songs out there, but these are mine…so to speak.  This list is also limited to only three per band and only one band made this list three times.  Enjoy!

16.  Frankenstein – Overkill

Initially, I never knew this was an Edgar Winter’s Group cover from the early 70s.  I can’t remember how it was pointed out; maybe it was in the liner notes, but after giving it a second thought it did seem to sound a bit different from the rest of this outstanding Horrorscope album from 1991.  Overkill certainly held true to the original vibe, but trash-ified the songs nicely.  This album needs a remaster!

15.  Stream of Consciousness – Dream Theater

These guys make great instrumental songs and it’s one of the reasons why they are the only band to have three songs on my list.  This one appeared on the Train of Thought album released in 2003.  I saw that tour, but never got to see this song played live; at least not that I can remember.  Even today, I look to see if Dream Theater adds an instrumental on their new albums and I am glad this is still a practice of theirs.  They are quite good at it.

Metal Meets Yoga


cropped-mudra-sans-faceIn the last couple of months I picked up this thing called yoga.  You might have heard of it.  That thing where you do strength and flexibility poses and it’s supposed to make you strong, limber, and cleansed in the mind and body.  Ask a yogi and they will probably give you a more philosophical answer to what yoga does for a body.  In layman’s terms, all I can tell you is that I feel freakin’ good when it’s over.  I am getting more flexible and stress-free and that’s kind of important at my ripe old age of 40.  I attribute my progress specifically to my twice-weekly sessions.  See, only twice a week and I have come so far.  Who says they don’t have time for this?  Anyway.  When it’s over, I feel like all I need is a shower and a bed – I feel so relaxed.  Something must be working and I found that I am starting to “need” these yoga sessions twice a week.  It’s kind of addicting. Read the rest of this entry

Monday Metal Madness – 56th Grammy’s


1015599-grammy-award-617-409It’s time for the *yawn* Grammy’s; excuse me I don’t mean to be rude, but this normally a waste of time for metal and for people who like metal.  However, this year might be a bit different.  Keep in mind this is America; we are talking about a country where metal is not as out in the open as it is across Europe.  I miss Europe!  I can see where my European friends would think this is a weak list of “metal” bands, and I would normally agree, but again this America and I want to point out one thing.  These are all metal bands.  Last year, Halestorm beat out Megadeth, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson, Iron Maiden and Lamb of God if I remember correctly.  Really?  Nothing against the catchy Halestorm, but they won out of sheer popularity and record sales.  They got played on the radio…during daylight hours.  It just goes to show that the people who run the Grammy’s and/or cast votes know nothing about “great” metal.  Again, nothing against Halestorm, I do like them, but how does a band like that beat such heavyweights?  The year before, Foo Fighters cleaned house and though they are a great band, I wouldn’t exactly call them metal.  Again, they beat out actual metal bands.

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Album Review: Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End


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Caligula’s Horse has crafted songs that are so alive and so powerful that I get tears in my eyes. Their music makes me do more than just listen, I’m feeling it, I’m living it.  

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Genre: Progressive rock/metal with a unique, modern and intelligent sound

Recommended for fans of: Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Dream Theater, TesseracT, concept albums, interesting music

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One Album – Three Perspectives: A Review Dream Theater’s Dream Theater


album_610_340Firs the first time, A Metal State of Mind (all three of us) are reviewing one album.  It’s something we have never done before and thought it would be cool to get three perspectives on one album.   The three of us have our favorite metal genres we gravitate to, but Dream Theater is one band we like that we all have in common.  Though we do not all agree on which of their albums are the best, you will find at least one Dream Theater album on all three of our “favorite albums” lists.  Therefore, it goes without saying, this is probably a good opportunity to compare our thoughts on a new album from a band that has impacted the lives of the three of us at some point in time.  Dream Theater’s self-titled album was released on September 23rd and here are or thoughts on their 12th studio album.

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