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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2003 / #3 – #1


MetalCatIt may seem ironic that Chimaira wins one of the top three spots in my year-by-year hit parade a week after they finally split up, supposedly for ever. They made a live come-back that reportedly drew ridiculously small audiences.

Whatever the reasons for their calling it a day, I wish all of them well. They gave me some good listening, which is ultimately all that anyone can ask of a band.

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Songs of the Week: Moon Above, Sun Below and Eternal Rains Will Come by Opeth


I was considering making these 2 songs the Video of the Week because the neat-o nature visualizers are damn hypnotizing, fit their respective songs perfectly, and would be perfectly acceptable as official videos in my book.  However, RoadRunner decided to label them as official audio, so I would expect that something a bit more big budget is in the pipeline.

Anyhoo, in case you missed our Roundtable Review of Opeth’s latest, Pale Communion, some of us liked it, some of us not so much, and I flipped head over heel in love it claiming it belongs with the upper echelon of the prime Opeth releases.  Every song on it is pure gold in my opinion and even cooler, my 2 favorite tracks from the record got this cool official audio nature visualizer treatment.

Eternal Rains Shall Come shows some stylized footage, of, well, rain and thunderstorms.  Really cool, especially if you are the type of person that find comfort in just staring out into a rainstorm.  The song is really damn cool as well.  I love how it floats from upbeat, chipper moods to relaxing and slightly melancholy to punchy and powerful.  Damn fine song and an instant classic in my book.

Moon Above, Sun Below showcases my favorite season as Autumnal clips hypnotize as Opeth takes you on a trip to the Harlequin Forest to see how much it has changed over the years.  While the last time we visited the forest of regrets and our protagonist’s tortured mind was being chased on a Wintery and stormy night, we now see the forest in a different season and illuminated by the sun.  It still has maintained a bit of menace, but without the cover of dark, refrains from baring its teeth opting to lull its prey into becoming lost within the flurry of trunks and branches until the dawn of night approaches.

Am I crazy in thinking that Moon Above, Sun Below is the spiritual successor to Harlequin Forest? (I embedded the song so you can listen and reaffirm my over-analyzing.) Have you listened to the new Opeth? What do you think?  Love it, hate it, meh?  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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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Roundtable Review: Pale Communion by Opeth


Opeth_Pale_Communion_album_artworkAlbum: Pale Communion

Label: Roadrunner Records

Release Date: August 26th, 2014

Songs: 8 +2 Bonus Tracks with digipack

Length: 55:48 (w/o bonus tracks)

Genre: Prog Rock

Studio Albums: This is their 11th LP

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2001 / #2 – #1


MetalCatOpeth does it again, taking Number One spot for the fourth time in the nine annual lists I’ve selected so far. Arjen Lucassen also does well again, this time with Ambeon.

 

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1999 / #2 – #1


MetalCatI’ve done seven years of my 21-year hit parade. This is the third year where the winner is Opeth. With My Dying Bride as runner-up, it must have been a very atmospheric year.

 

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1998 / #3 – #1


MetalCatOpeth becomes the first band to have two Top Songs of the Year on my very personal metal list. My other two in the top three for 1998 are also Scandinavian. Yet I still don’t like rollmops.

Black Metal Cat says he’ll eat my share any time.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1996 / #4 and #3


MetalCatThe way my hit parade has sorted itself out with considerable assistance from Dark Metal Cat, it happens that today is a very proggy day. It also happens that both bands are exceptionally good at their styles of metal, ja?

So, herewith two monster bands in one post. Come to A Metal State Of Mind NOW!!! for bonus music at no extra charge.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1995 / #2 and #1


MetalCatHow many types of metal should one person like? Is it possible to like all of them? I say yes if the music matters, not the genre label. With that I conclude 1995 with some polka music and some Bing Crosby.

Well, not really, but I have to write something to lure in the people who wish Bing Crosby had sung polka music.

 

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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