Five More Albums You May Or May Not Know You Needed
Well the recent drought of decent music has got me digging through the archives again looking for great music in my library to keep me occupied. Thankfully I have it and it is my duty to share with you. Hell you never know, maybe it’ll give you some new request ideas to throw at our DJ’s and keep them on their toes. Today I’ll do my best to go with five different genres so that there is something for everybody.
First up is the Finnish death/doom metal band Swallow the Sun. I include this album because technically it’s an EP so it gets overlooked by many people who are already fans of this band. This is a 5 song outing with ‘Plague of Butterflies’ clocking in at just under 35 minutes. This song, no matter how long, will always see significant play in my library due to its intricate beauty intertwined with the death metal vocals comparable to a track like Opeth’s ‘Black Rose Immortal’. The song itself tells an epic story of a man losing his beloved, Evael, and her plague of butterflies infesting his town and killing everybody but him. By the end, Evael returns home as she nears death and tells the man that she left to spare him from the plague and they die together being overrun by the plague. Not to mention there are also 4 more songs on the album which are equally as wonderful just not quite as epically long. So this is a 60 minute EP for Pink Floyd fans looking to get into metal, Opeth fans who are anticipating the follow up to Watershed, or anybody who likes beautifully dark music.
My second genre of today is going to be for the old school thrash fans. This album is a must have for any thrash or punk fan to start. The songs are quick and to the point, the lyrics are political, offensive and at times funny, and the album straight up rocks. Featuring Charlie Benante and Scott Ian from Anthrax is also quite a treat for the first time listeners on the fence of wanting to give this band a shot. The political message being sent across in parts of the album like ‘Fuck The Middle East’ complaining about things like the oil crisis still holds relevant exactly a quarter of a century later as well which makes me smile (or weep) every time I put this album on. Put simply, this album is short, offensive, thrash fun.
Aside from the obvious few talented metalcore bands, I will be the first to tell you that this genre generally blows. I loathe mindless, talentless screaming that leads into clean vocal interludes from guys wearing tight pants with denim and flailing their guitars in the air to make a quick buck as much as anybody. This album was probably the first that I got into in the metalcore scene and I’ve been a fan of the ban ever since. 36 Crazyfists always seemed to have a little bit more catchiness and metal to their sound than most other bands in the genre which is probably why they always managed to get on tours such as Mayhem Festival, In Flames and Devildriver. Bitterness The Star was the bands debut release on Roadrunner Records and from top to bottom it is a solid album that is still plenty metal enough to listen to around anybody except for your snobby elitist friends who will accuse you of going soft or mainstream on them. Songs like ‘Bury Me Where I Fall’ and ‘Eight Minutes Upside Down’ still sound like straight up metal tracks that will appeal to the masses.
Amongst the nu-metal phase was a flash in the pan from Ohio that made a wonderful album that is unique in a way of crossing Pantera with self-titled era Cold while on an industrial metal trip. It’s a strange album with a cover of ‘Personal Jesus’ before Marilyn Manson whined his way through his rendition of it, and songs about going crazy, mass murder and necrophilia. There is a certain charm and freshness about this album though that still seems relevant eight years later and doesn’t fall into the load of two dollar CD’s from 2002 era bands.
The last genre for today is for the progressive and power metal fans. Monday Morning Apocalypse is a very up tempo album compared to most power metal with lots of meaning and emotion behind it while still having moments reminiscent of 80’s power ballads thrown in. There’s also masterful guitar work hidden in the gloom of the depressing lyrics here. It’s not their most hailed work or their heaviest, however it’s one of those albums that gets stuck in your head and is perfect for those dark days in your life.