The debut album, Shadows Over Lothadruin, by the Italian Symphonic Power Metal band Wind Rose is an interesting listen. On one hand I found myself quite captivated by the rich melodies, huge symphonies and orchestrations, and huge guitars and vocals. On the other I kept slipping into the ‘been there, done that’ state of mind. Now, I don’t think having your musical influences shine on a record is necessarily a bad thing and it has led to many great albums. But, when I’m listening to a record and find myself constantly going, ‘oh, that sounds just like Symphony X, Dream Theater, Blind Guardian, etc.’ it pulls me out of the experience some when it happens enough times. But I really like those bands, so what’s the problem? You see how the angel and devil are pulling on both sides here. But all in all, when I reached the end of Shadows Over Lothadruin, I found myself satisfied with the release.
Continuing on with our Top 100 list at The History of Metal, I bring you my next five with a little bit of justification. If you haven’t checked out The History of Metal or THOM as we call it, please do it’s a cool forum to talk about and share metal. The page creator does a great job as keeping topics fresh and he also takes the time to pose challenges to the group; Top 100 Albums being one of them. I think the best part of this whole challenge besides getting to see everyone else’s choices is to reminisce about why I love these albums so much. It gets me listening to some of these I haven’t heard in a while. Not to mention, seeing everyone elses favorites gets me to explore some things I haven’t heard yet. Enjoy!
Many of our blog posts here at A Metal State of Mind are backed by links to videos on YouTube. We do that so you have something to reference to. It also helps spread the word about new and exiting music and even bring back memories of years past. In the process of seeking appropriate videos to accompany our posts, we come across some pretty cool videos created by fans.
This Themed Thursday is dedicated to fans that make their own interpretation of a song. I am posting some of them here because I think they are either well done, represent the song well, or just pretty cool. Plus, if you haven’t heard of any of these bands, you might want to explore them even further, though these bands represented with this post are not so obscure. This is a part II of sorts from an article Matt did a while back on atleastimhousebroken. You can check that original post here.
To me, 2011 was a great year for metal. September, in particular, was a busy month and full of quality releases. The following list is my personal Top 15 for the year with a brief explanation for each. I hope you had a great 2011. I look forward to another year of concerts, awesome metal albums, and more importantly chatting with you about everything metal!
If you are surpised to see that a particular band you like didn’t make my list, it might just be that I didn’t get a chance to listen to that album, such as Moonsorrow for example. I just never got it, but I see it on many blogger’s lists. I wish I had all the time in the world to sample new stuff, but taking into consideration where I am now compared to about 4 years ago…my horizons have been seriously broadened and I owe that to fellow bloggers (especially Matt) and readers who post about the bands they like. Thank you for tuning in this year. We look forward to a new and exciting 2012 in metal!
Tags: A Dramatic Turn of Events, amon amarth, Anthrax, beast, Chimaira, DevilDriver, Dream Theater, Dystopia, evile, Five Serpents Teeth, Ghost, Grace For Drowning, Heritage, Iced Earth, Iconoclast, In Waves, Insomnium, Machine Head, Megadeth, One for Sorrow, Opeth, Opus Eponymous, Steven Wilson, Surtur Rising, Symphony X, TH1RT3EN, The Age of Hell, Top 15 of 2011, Trivium, Unto The Locust, Worship Music
Hey all!!! Hope everyone had an awesome holiday season and kick off to the New Year. Now that we are at the start of 2012 I think it’s fair that we release our personal Top 15 Albums of 2011. Making this years list was quite a difficult charge. I’ve been seeing around on the internets that many were disappointed in 2011… Myself, this was one of the best years in metal, ever, making the narrowing down of the best around a bit tricky. There were great follow-ups, amazing breakthrough albums, and some wonderful debut albums. I also discovered many new bands to listen to this year with a good handful cracking my Top 15. If anyone is complaining that “new music sucks”, well they aren’t listening. There is an innumerable amount of great stuff to check out, you just have to have an open mind and give anything that catches your ear a listen (or eye if the album has great artwork). If you do a little searching for your tunes every year will be the best year in music for you(and with the internet finding awesome tunes is so much easier and cheaper than before, until you start finding music you love and going on some shopping sprees ). Positive thinking and law of attraction and all that stuff.
When making my list the criteria I used was how often I listened to each album, initial impact and how long that first impression lasted, and how well the album grew on me. I hope you all enjoy my picks and hopefully find some cool new music to listen to. And if you look at my list and think of a band that would be right up my alley, let me know!! And let us know what some of your favorite albums were for 2011. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
It is that time of month for a heavy metal discussion piece. As usual, it’s time to look at the play count on your personal digital music player…if you have one. If you listen to CDs then you can guess what you have been listening to the most. I will do this again for November and December, but will probably discontinue this post. Mainly, my iTouch is screwy with its play count. I am not sure why, but there is no way possible that I listened to one song over 1,300 times in one month. I am not sure why that happened, but I reset the play count every month and refresh my playlist with new music every month. So, for the play count to be nowhere near accurate defeats the purpose of talking about what I listened to most this month. December will be my last post on this topic. For now, here is what my iTouch thought I listened to the most in the month of October. I can’t say I disagree…I just disagree with the number of times played.
10. Symphony X – When All Is Lost – I still can’t get enough of this album. It is more than likely going to be a top 5 of 2011…easily.
9. Opeth – Haxprocess - Although not my favorite Opeth album, I don’t think its as bad as some folks made it out to be. It’s actually great as a 70s prog album. But we all know what kind of Opeth we want to hear. Next time…I hope.
8. Machine Head – I Am Hell (Sonata in C#) – What an amazing opener for Unto The Locust. This whole album has great potential for my #1 of 2011.
7. Amon Amarth – Doom Over Deadman - Surtur Rising is another great album release of 2011. Nuff said!
6. Nightwish – The Poet and the Pendulum – Not sure how this popped up so much on the playlist, but it is a great song. We should see something new from Nightwish in 2012.
5. Nevermore – The Termination Proclamation – I never got into this band until this album. I am glad I did, but also bummed that they done.
4. Dream Theater – Outcry – Dream Theater is back! Can’t wait to see them next year. In fact, my tickets just showed up today and planning to take my son to his first show. Nothing like spreading the gospel of metal to the generations
3. Megadeth – 1,320′ – This is probably one of my favorites on Endgame.
2. Chimaira - Scum of the Earth - Chimaira took a bit of flack on some sites, but I dig this album a lot and I am quite happy that they were able to keep the machine working despite a heavy turnover in personnel. Again, can’t wait to see them next year.
1. Trivium – Watch the World Burn – Another one that took some flack. In Waves is not their strongest album, but it’s still good music. This is probably going to at least be in the top 1o for me at the end of the year.
So what’s been causing the ringing in your ears this October? Is there anything on my playlist that surproses your or something you haven’t heard in a while? Whatever is your metal pleasure, let’s hear it. Perhaps you will introduce me to something new. Have a great night!
Recently the guys of Symphony X ran a contest where they asked their fans to send in homemade videos for their new single “Electric Messiah” to win a bundle of Symphony X swag. I think that a contest like this is a great idea for a band to do. It gives the fans another way to show their fandom and creates a more personal relationship between the fans and the band. It’s much cooler than the enter you e-mail and answer this ridiculously simple question for a chance to win, those who want the prize actually have to work for it. I hope to see more contests like this in the future. Here are the top 3 winners. If you haven’t checked out the latest album from the NJ progsters Iconoclast do so, it’s an absolutely killer album. What do you guys and gals think? Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
2nd and 3rd place after the jump.
When browsing the internet for music and info on a band that seems interesting to me or finding out stuff about a band that I’m already a fan of I like to read through the comments and see what the general metal population has to say about what ever topic is on hand. Most of the time it’s in reference to a new release that the band has coming out or is out. The two biggest arguments that I see pop up is “Band X sucks now, their old stuff was better, they sold out, you people have no musical taste.” and “I love band X’s new sound, this is the best album ever, they just keep getting better, you people are so close minded.” Of course there are some people who comment in the middle ground of those extremes, but they are rather few and far between. Personally I get a kick out of reading these little flame wars for entertainment value and find them quite funny at times; on the other hand it’s a bit disheartening that some people aren’t taking the time to sit down and give a good listen to what their blindly praising and bashing.
It’s time to discuss what we have been listening to this last 31 days. I am going to do this month’s report just a bit different because 9 of my top 10 songs on my playlist all came from the same album…Symphony X’s Iconoclast. That wouldn’t make for an exciting or diverse monthly report. So I am going to take my top 20 non-Symphony X songs and talk about them instead. But first…
Iconoclast does kick ass and I find myself listening to it everyday since it’s release. There are songs for all occasions; thinking, exercising, dreaming about being a rock star. Iconoclast is really an outstanding collection of new Symphony X. Nine of ten top songs on my iTouch this month go to Symphony X. Here are the next 10, so there is something more to talk about.
20. Queensryche – At the Edge - off the album Dedicated to Chaos
19. Machine Head – Wolves - off the album The Blackening
18. Amorphis – Mermaid - off the album The Beginning of Times
17. Katatonia – Sleeper - off the album Viva Emptiness
16. Katatonia – Burn the Remembrance - off the album Viva Emptiness
15. Amon Amarth – Destroyer of the Universe - off the album Surter Rising
14. Megadeth – 1,320 - off the album Endgame
13. Bullet For My Valentine – Dignity - off the album Fever
12. Katatonia – Criminals - off the album Viva Emptiness
11. Evile – Thrasher - off the album Enter The Grave
Other than Symphony X, this is what has been whirling between my ears in the month of July. Stay tuned, there will be a lot of new metal coming our way in the coming weeks and all of September. What’s been blasting your brain lately?
This year has been great for metal and I feel the best is yet to come later in the year, namely September 2011. Housebroken did a great job outlining his top-10 for the first half of 2011. Let’s see how die-hard metal fans tastes compare and contrast. Here is my top 10 for 2011, January through June. I will keep this relatively short since I will be posting a full report on the Big Four sometime this weekend.