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Now Playing: deathbringer's Playlist

In this new weekly column, entitled "Now Playing," a different staff member each week will write about what he or she is currently listening to. We'll give some mini-reviews and some recommendations and hopefully bring some new and interesting bands and albums to our readers' attention. I'll be kicking off the first week's column myself.

First, I have to clarify that due to having a family and a wife who doesn't like metal, all of my metal listening is done either in my car or on the computer, whether at work or home. The last time I gave myself whiplash cranking my dated but powerful home stereo system was around eight months ago when I had a rare few days to myself.

My CD changer in my car has recently been switched up quite a bit due to some interesting releases arriving in the mail, so I'll start there.

Occupying a lot of my listening time of late in the car is Orange Sky's latest album, "Upstairs." These guys may not really be metal, but they play a form of heavy melodic rock featuring downtuned guitars, and a vocalist whose Caribbean accent can not help but invoke the thought of reggae. Their press sheet calls them a mixture of Black Sabbath and Bob Marley, but I hear influences of 80's era melodic metal as well as Alice In Chains. Despite not being that heavy and even having an upbeat sound much of the time, Orange Sky's sound is unique and refreshing.

Still, when I want something heavy and aggressive, there's no substitute. That's why two albums I've had in my car and been playing almost nonstop since mid-summer are Chimaira's self-titled album and Devildriver's "The Fury of the Maker's Hand." These are two bands who have found their sound and produced definite contenders for metal album of the year...if I could only decide which one I like better. Both are fast-paced and aggressive throughout, yet good enough and varied enough that I have not tired of them yet. Chimaria is the more varied of the two, with longer songs, more interesting change-ups and excellent guitar solo work. But Devildriver practically spoon feeds me exactly what I want - fast aggression with killer riffs.

I was sent a copy of Story of the Year's "In The Wake of Determination" and have been giving that a spin here and there. For a band I thought was purely pop-punk, they do have several songs on this album that show their hardcore influences (roots?). There are several decent heavy songs and several others with outbreaks of hardcore screaming. Still, to the "true" metalhead, there are enough many catchy pop-punk hooks to turn one off to this band. I personally don't mind it, maybe even like it, since I don't listen to radio and have it forced down my throat all day, but I still find myself gravitating toward the heavier stuff.

At the other end of the spectrum, another record I've been giving a listen is Through the Eyes of the Dead's upcoming "Bloodlust". I'm not a fan of your typical monotone death metal growlers, but TTEOTD offer up a form of technical and melodic death metal like none I've heard before. They have more changeups in the first two songs than most full albums, and they hit some nice death metal grooves as well as stop and go parts along the way. This is one of the most extreme bands I've heard that I could recommend.

I don't even know what the sixth disc in my car is, so I guess I'm not listening to it!

My work mp3 playlist is dominated by somewhat melodic metal, as that's what sounds best to me at low levels (when I don't feel like putting headphones on). I've been playing the hell out of Am I Blood's three albums including the still unreleased "The Truth Inside the Dying Sun" (an excellent Metallica Black-style album), Shadows Fall, Manntis, Machine Head's "Through The Ashes of Empires," Demons and Wizards' latest, and Communic for months now. While melodic metal comes after pure thrash (and death-thrash hybrids) as far as my favorites go, I end up listening to it the most it seems.

If you're still stuck on the fact that I listened to Story of the Year (or not), you can always check out my Audioscrobbler profile (tracks your listening habbits on your computer) to see that my taste in music doesn't suck!

Well that's that. What are you listening to now that is worthwhile and worth recommending?

deathbringer's avatar

A self-described "metal geek," Doug Gibson has been listening to heavy metal for more than twenty years and designed and coded Metal Underground.com from scratch over ten years ago.

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16 Comments on "Now Playing: deathbringer's Playlist"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Marcus writes:

Currently I've been listening to alot of Nevermore. Specifically, their new songs from the new album "This Godless Endeavor" are phenominal. Alot of people can't get over the singers voice, but if you can, then it's really worth it, I think.

How's the new Demons and Wizards?

# Sep 27, 2005 @ 10:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Andy_Christ writes:

The new Demons and Wizards has a few songs that are really good

# Sep 27, 2005 @ 11:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

3. deathbringer writes:

New Demons and wizards isn't much new from teh first album, but it's still good stuff and I enjoy it.

# Sep 27, 2005 @ 11:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

4. RememberMetal? writes:

Great concept.....Cant wait to hear what the rest of the staff are blasting.

TTEOTD are interesting but I think I may have to give them a few more spins before I can say for certain whether I like them or not. Opeth, SYL and DEP are more to my taste when it comes to high intensity music with lots of time changes and near impossible execution.

Devil Driver, Chimaira and Shadows Fall are all among the best at what they do. I love the latest from all three.

While Story of the Year kind of comes from left field, I have a few guilty pleasure bands myself...Poison the Well in particular, since theres a few commonalities between PTW and STOTY (who i'm not crazy about, but I can understand the alure) it's catchy hardcore with enough instrumental and vocal melody and a million hooks per song, almost impossible to resist.

# Sep 27, 2005 @ 11:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
JPMETALUNDERGROUND's avatar

Member

5. JPMETALUNDERGROUND writes:

ummm What No HammerFall or Slayer WTF Death ?

# Sep 28, 2005 @ 1:35 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

6. deathbringer writes:

You likely won't see Hammerfal on my list. Slayer, however, I love and am earerly awaiting a new release. I like everything I have from them, but they can't stay in my playlist forever...however, I know they will eventually return.

# Sep 28, 2005 @ 7:01 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. ghost writes:

Get Possessed

# Sep 28, 2005 @ 9:23 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

8. RememberMetal? writes:

heh, Hammerfall = Dio's apprentice wizards and warriors metal....To each their own I guess.

Hammerfall carry the torch well for the Ironmaiden addicts who refuse to broaden their definition of metal beyond '82, but it's the same as trying to keep barbershop quartet or disco alive.

# Sep 28, 2005 @ 1:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
metalthekid's avatar

Member

9. metalthekid writes:

lately i have been listening to Caliban, although some people don tlike them because they are metalcore, but they still rock

# Sep 28, 2005 @ 2:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. Symbolic writes:

1349, Naglfar, Borknagar and Opeth is what I have been listening to lately, also been playing a lot of Doom metal like My Dying Bride and Draconian and a new horror metal band called 'The Vision Bleak', good stuff.

# Sep 28, 2005 @ 4:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. DimmuBurger writes:

Priest, Priest, Priest for me

# Sep 29, 2005 @ 10:11 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brokenwings13's avatar

Member

12. brokenwings13 writes:

Opeth. DAMN! That album could kill me.

# Sep 29, 2005 @ 6:24 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. theresshitonthewalls writes:

Let's see. Opeth, Fear Factory, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Bathory, In Flames... Hammerfall. Just for starters. Right now - Transgression.

# Sep 29, 2005 @ 8:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
14. ghost writes:

get some napalm death, possessed, sepultura, hallows eve, pantera, emperor, and pentagram.

# Sep 29, 2005 @ 9:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. ghost writes:

and ministry

# Oct 2, 2005 @ 7:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
16. Spiritus writes:

...and just a dash of old Gorefest.

# Oct 11, 2005 @ 11:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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