When I was first introduced to Opeth, I became exposed to just about everything they recorded in a short amount of time. At the moment, I would consider them one of my all-time top 10 bands. However, I still have a hard time placing some of their music to a particular album…especially their older material. Note to self, do not acquire an entire band’s discography and try to absorb it all at once!
Last night I had a great experience with Opeth in Boulder, Colorado. It was my second time seeing them live. I recognized mostly all of their songs except one or two. One was White Cluster which pretty much reinforced a need to listen to Still Life some more. The other was today’s, song of the week, Ghost of Perdition. When it was announced, I thought “what album is this from?” It was a great song, but I was at a loss trying to think of where it came from. Today, I found my explanation. It’s on Ghost Reveries which is my favorite Opeth album. How did I miss this you ask? I simply do not have it in my library. I guess this is a fault with digital music libraries. I don’t know why, but it’s not there and I never noticed that the songs on that album start with The Baying of the Hounds.
Needless to say, I am going to have to purchase the single to round out my favorite album of the band, but yeah…I never knew it existed. So, why not make it the song of the week this week! It was very well received by the crowd last night and I, simply pondered what album this song came from while enjoying its deathly harmony. Have a great week and I don’t know about you, but I love discovering new music even if I should have known about this one all along…
On 4/20 in a small town in Massachusetts some very lucky record store patrons were blessed with one hell of a performance by Opeth for the celebration of the International Record Store Day. Breaking out the grandpa guitars Opeth jammed out 5 tunes and I have to say, I just about like these renditions better than their album counter parts. Given that they are Opeth’s more mellow side, the new dynamic in the band works wonderfully with the older tunes. And how about that acoustic rendition of Demon of the Fall! Even without the brutality of harsh vocals and electric guitars Opeth still knows how to make a tune sound nice and evil.
Lucky for us someone was there to record the whole set and with surprisingly great audio and visual quality. Check it out and let us know what you thought. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Posted by Irmelinis
#40 Dimmu Borgir – In Death’s Embrace
“Unhallowed by the infernal one, we are forever captured, by the embrace of death”
The fast paced piano and energetic drums in the beginning of this song are just a pleasure to listen to. This is one of my favourite Dimmu Borgir’s songs, mainly because they make the piano sounds so good with their style of symphonic black metal. From the album ‘Enthrone Darkness Triumphant’, released in 1997.
Posted by Irmelinis
Reverse what we’ve been building for, destroy any progress
We’ll turn ourselves into machines
Hard to realize the depth and low that we’re reaching
Erase the steps to evolve into something with meaning
Reverse our evolution cycle; declining minds prevail to shun the will of expanding insight.
Grow no longer. The light has died, in this form we can’t survive.
We reverse design through time. We reverse the flow of life.
I have found a lot of fantastic debuts from bands lately and ‘Endlessly In Motion’ by Moth is another impressive one. It was released only two months ago and I knew this record was a must-buy after the first time I heard it. It’s hard to put this music into a genre and to describe their sound. I would say Moth has a Gojira-like influence on their songs, a kind of proggy death, with similar emotional vocals, repeating guitars and heavy, fast-paced drumming. They added ambient moments together with some clean sections and the result is an album with complex music that is easy to listen to and like.
The riff, a melodic phrase, often constantly repeated, forming an accompaniment or part of an accompaniment for a soloist. In metal, we are not lacking in the heavy use of them. In fact the large majority of all metal and hard rock revolves around the riff. The riff is what hooks you into a song, it’s what drives to keep you engaged, it’s what determines the phrasing of a good solo or breakdown. So, needlessly saying, a fine riff will often lead to a great song. Some bands excel at creating bold and brazen riffs (eg. doom metal, death metal, groove metal) and others may use a more mellow, low-key riff to build atmospheres for the other instruments to build a dynamic off of (eg. black metal, post-metal). But whatever the approach is, the power of the riff compels us!
Some riffs have gone down in metal history as the greatest groups of music ever created. Upon hearing the first few notes of the riff, you can identify the song in no time flat and chances are that the riff has spent extended time stuck in your brain more than once. Here’s a list of what I consider the best riffs of heavy metal. To show fairness to the newer bands out there, they’ll get inclusions also, so if you see a track you don’t know here, give it a listen, I guarantee there will be a damn sick riff contained within. But on the flipside, I also feel that the real signifier of a solid and memorable riff is the test of time. If over 20 years after hearing it the effect it has on me is still the same and my enjoyment of the song is still immense, then that sir, is a f’n killer riff. To not turn this into a list of best Black Sabbath, Pantera, or ‘Tallica riffs, I’m limiting myself to one song per band, so if you dig a riff more than one not included in the list, make sure to give it a shout out in the comments. And also, this is just scratching the surface of the best riffs in metal/hard rock, so be prepared for part deuce. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!
When the Grunge movement kicked in, I was hesitant at first, but then fell for it full force. You name all those popular bands at the time and I probably had their first and/or second albums. Just as fast as I fell for the genre, I began to dislike it. I still listen to some of those early albums by Nirvana, Soungarden, and Pearl jam, but never listened to anything they did post 1994-ish…except for Alice in Chains. Initially, I didn’t care for them either, but when I went to see the Clash of the Titans Tour (Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax) two days in a row, it was Alice in Chains opening…playing songs from their debut album Facelift. I took a liking to it and out of all those “Seattle” bands; I kept up with Alice in Chains, for the most part.
Overall, this is an unlikely cover. Who would have thought metal veterans Opeth would pick this song to cover? It was recorded during the Watershed sessions for the single Burden. The original Alice in Chains version was recorded as part of the soundtrack to the movie Singles in 1992 for which the band also had a cameo. Akerfeldt’s voice is the perfect tone to cover this song. They added a bit of Opeth flair to it, but can be easily identified by anyone who knew this song. I would love an Opeth album of covers.
Here is the covered version by Opeth found on the Burden single release.
This is the original song and video by Alice in Chains.
Favorite Cover Song #20
Well, color me blown the f’ away. Blessed He With Boils by extreme prog metal band Xanthochroid is simply nothing short of spectacular. I am seriously at a loss for words taken back by how damn good this album is, but I guess I’ll start by telling you that if you happen to be a fan of Opeth, Moonsorrow, or Emperor/Ihsahn you may start salivating now. Like Opeth, the progressive elements are in full effect with flowing and contrasting song structures and moods as well as top-notch clean to harsh vocals. The guitar playing also makes nods to the Swedish powerhouse with tons of complex and interesting riffing and stunning acoustic sections. There is also that great black metal feel strewn throughout with the use of the Predator style vocals that remind me much of Ihsahn’s voice a bit. There are occasional fits of blast beats and whirlwinds of tremolo picking strewn throughout as well. And while the music may be grim and foreboding, it never lacks life, color, or fullness. Every note of every layer of every song is completely engaging and serves it’s purpose; it just sucks you in. And all the while I hear inspiration from other artists, this is still something in a world all it’s own. Simply unique.
I am amazed at how this band was able to bring the musical world Xanthochoid created to life with as much vivacity as they did. The narrative they created about two estranged brothers vying for power is wonderful and the world created around it is even better. I feel bad that my meager words could never do justice to this album, you simply just have to listen to it. Please, trust me on this one. BHWB is one hell of a debut and if Xanthochroid play their cards right they will become a major force in the realm of metal. Seriously, this is already a major contender for album of the year already. So, without further ado, click on the play button below and marvel in this amazing record. Let us know what you thought and if you liked it tell your friends and buy yourself a copy (a soon as payday hits, this is so mine). Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Blessed He With Boils is also streamable on Spotify:
On the first day of Metalmas my true love gave to me
An Opeth in a pear tree.
On Opeth’s tenth studio album, Heritage, all the members of the Opeth are featured as disembodied floating heads in a tree (it’s seems to be an orange or nectarine tree, but for the sake of argument, let’s say pear) on the album cover. You can see Per Wiberg’s head falling from the tree signifying his departure from the band shortly after the album was finished recording and the pile of skulls his head is destined to fall into all represent the many past members of the band.
As we journey down the path to my number 1 favorite album of all time, we have finally breached the top 10. From here on out, you will likely see more and more classic metal albums appearing on the list except for one or two that are relatively new (to me) compared to the rest. This all-time list is an ongoing effort started by our friends at The History of Metal page on facebook. Each day we list another album until we get to the end. Below is my next list of five as we near our way to #1. Enjoy!
Is it Top 10 time already!? It’s been fun recounting my favorite albums to you all. Thanks for reading! Doing the list was fun and gave me a great excuse, not that I need one, to go back and listen to some amazing records that I haven’t spun in a while. Here in the Top 10 is where the big dogs come out. My ‘stranded on a deserted island’ albums per say. Each one here holds something special for me and some have helped shape me into the man who I am today and some are just really damn great records. Here’s the first half of my Top 10 Favorite Albums of All Time with the second half including #1 to drop next Monday. Enjoy and if you have a spare couple of minutes, let me know what your favorite albums all. Sharing is caring! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
#10 Fly By Night by Rush
Picture if you will, a young and impressionable lower-middle class American suburb kid at around the age of 7 in the back yard of his neighborhood buddies home digging a big hole because, well, who really questions a kids motives on stuff like that. Then the older brother of the friend comes out back and does what any awesome older brother should do. “Hey, you kids really need some music to dig that hole to” he says as he plugs in his boombox and proceeds to play 3 albums for the youths. Included in that trio of albums are 2 records that would help shape the passions and interests of the visiting child.
The first to make a massive impact is a hard rocking prog rock album called Fly By Night by a Canadian band called Rush. The opener “Anthem” give him such a surge of energy that he attacks that hole at full force and the following tune, “Best I Can” makes him want to make sure that the crater he is making is the best damn crater in the world where people would travel around the world to see his magnificent work.
Tune by tune the sweet music connects with the dirt encrusted kid as he learns life important skills like quality ditch digging and the pleasures of air-drumming. Soon a period of rest comes as sweet sun tea is guzzled by the glassful in the warm sun and the chill sounds of “Rivendell” grace our ears and initiate a lesson on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (who would also go on to be another favorite of the impressionable child).
Even at such a young age, there are events in one’s life where the memory sticks vividly as it just had happened an hour ago. This was one of those days, especially when the other album, which will be talked about at a later date, was included. And in case you’re curious, the odd man out album was Appetite For Destruction, which the kid thought the music and songs were great, but the singer sounded like a pig getting his nuts stepped on and it kinda killed the album for him.