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Now Playing: darkstar's Playlist

Well, it is finally my turn to share my playlist. I'm not really good at keeping up with the new metal and most of the stuff I listen to may have been out for years before I buy them. Anyway, here's my playlist:

“All Against All” was the first ever The Haunted song that I have ever heard and I liked it. Then I heard the furious “99” and the haunting “Abysmal” and got hooked on the band. However, it wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that I actually picked up rEVOLVEr. I don’t know why it took me so long to do so but I’m glad I eventually did. In short, it’s an amazing thrash metal album.

I picked up Dark Tranquillity’s Character when it first came out at the beginning of the year and I still enjoy popping it into my cd player. This album is definitely one of my top 5 albums of 2005. I love just about everything on the album – every song from beginning to end, the raging riffs, Mikael Stanne’s rough death metal growls, the atmospheric and melodic electronics…everything.

I have been listening to Children of Bodom latest, Are You Dead Yet?, quite a bit lately and I still haven’t been able to get into it. COB is my favourite metal band but I found the new album rather disappointing. It differs a bit too much from COB’s trademark sound for my liking. I miss the keyboard solos that usually intermix with the guitar solos. There doesn’t seem to be that many songs that are very memorable, except maybe “Next in Line” and “Living Deadbeat.” It’s not a bad album compared to most other modern metal out there, but it isn’t the best album the band has released.

I discovered Kalmah when reading about melodeath metal bands similar to Children of Bodom. I downloaded a few songs to check them out and immediately fell in love with them. Within a few months, I bought all three albums (They Will Return, Swampsong and Swamplord). I find that bands like Norther and Skyfire are closer to Children of Bodom’s sound than Kalmah is. Kalmah is not as keyboard-heavy as its fellow Finns. The guitar work on all three albums is amazing with many speedy melodic solos and riffs that just stick into your head. I can’t wait for the new album to come out.

After over a decade, Sentenced has decided to end their existence with the release of The Funeral Album, which is basically a suicide note with music. I have been listening to this cd since it came out in May and I still cannot get enough of it. I really love melodic metal. I like some of Sentenced’s lyrics, especially the metaphorical “We Are but Falling Leaves,” and would prefer them to those of the other Scandinavian bands I listen to. Some of the songs that I like on the album are “Her Last 5 Minutes,” “Vengeance is Mine,” “Drain Me” and “End of the Road.” Although this album is no Cold White Light, it’s still a pretty good one, in my opinion.

The Kovenant’s Animatronic came out back in ’99, but I have not heard of the Kovenant until earlier this year. Animatronic is one of those cds that I could keep playing for months and not get tired of. I find it intriguing that black metallers Nagash and Blackheart could create such a unique blend of space metal and black metal. Plus, I don’t think any band could ever go wrong with Hellhammer on drums.

I have rather eclectic music tastes. I don't like to limit myself to listening to just metal, especially since I grew up listening to a rather diverse range of music genres. Also, I work at a music store where mainstream music dominates (eg Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas) and I find it's probably better to keep an open mind to stay sane. With that said, I thought I'd share some of the non-metal music that I have been listening to.

Arcade Fire is an indie band from Montreal. Most of you reading this may not like their music as it is on the other end of the music spectrum as metal, but these guys have become one of my new favourite non-metal bands. I have never heard of Arcade Fire before until Funeral was put into heavy rotation at work. I found that the more I listened to them, the more I liked them. Unlike other indie rocks bands, such as Franz Ferdinand and the Strokes, Arcade Fire creates their own unique sound by drawing influences from several decades of folk, classical and art-rock and by utilizing a number of instruments, including piano, strings, xylophone and accordion, in addition to guitars, drums and bass. I like almost every song on the album, but mostly "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)," "Une Année sans Lumiere," "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)," "Haiti" and "Rebellion (Lies)." I got the chance to see Arcade Fire live last month. Although I wasn’t expecting much from an indie band, I was actually blown away by their performance. I especially liked the way the band members switch instruments for every song to show that they're not just good at one particular instrument.

There’s something about Blindside that keeps drawing me in to them. These unpredictable Swedes experiment with and change their sound on every album they put out. Unlike their last album, About a Burning Fire, which displayed a very diverse number of songs, The Great Depression sort of goes back to Blindside’s more hardcore roots with lots of crunching guitars. The way Christian varies his vocals from soulful singing to anguished screams makes him one of my current favourite singers. The Great Depression isn’t Blindside’s greatest album (Silence being my personal favourite) but it’s still worth listening to.

I have been an Our Lady Peace fan long before I started listening to metal. However, I prefer their older material (Clumsy, Happiness… and Naveed) to their newer, poppier stuff on their latest, Healthy in Paranoid Times. On the other hand, Raine Maida’s vocals have gotten less whiny and annoying. I guess what keeps me listening to the album is the political, war-inspired “Wipe That Smile Off Your Face.” For some reason, I really love that song and Maida's vocals on it and sometimes I would put just that one song on repeat. I also like the first track “Angels/Losing/Sleep” and “Picture.” The somberness of “Al Genina (Leave the Light On)” reminds me of “4am” (off Clumsy).

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4 Comments on "Now Playing: darkstar's Playlist"

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metalthekid's avatar

Member

1. metalthekid writes:

very good choices. and im glad to hear that other bands are being listened to that arent metal. i also like Our Lady Peace, but mainly their older stuff, like you. i think its commendable that there are more and more people that LOVE metal but arent elitest about their music. nevertheless, the bashing will continue pretty soon im guessin

# Nov 9, 2005 @ 7:07 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. SeiferothZero writes:

I agree with rEVOLVEr. I don't know why so many people are against it, I think it's a great album, along with Character. I like every single song on both discs.

Bodom's new album is kind of a let down, but not at the same time. I'm glad they haven't let themselves fall into "Let's just put the same thing out over and over", but at the same time I think some songs could have been better.

Good selections, though.

# Nov 9, 2005 @ 7:34 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

3. deathbringer writes:

I need to remember to put Kalmah on my buy list... I like their sound and I am not such a fan of keyboards in metal except when they are dark, ala black metal, black ambient. It just so happens that I heard about them from reader comments on this site about bands similar to COB too. That's pretty cool that we can still find out about good bands from you all as well.

# Nov 9, 2005 @ 11:34 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
darkstar's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

4. darkstar writes:

Hey, thanks guys. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who listens to OLP too. =) I actually expected there to be a lot of bashing. But I'm kinda glad there aren't any (yet).

I like keyboards in metal to some degree. Children of Bodom, Norther, Evergrey and Skyfire are ok with the keyboards. But I think Warmen is too much.

I was downloading a bunch of COB songs once and came across a song called "Repent (Whore)." I later found out it was actually by another Finnish band called Cryhavoc. Then, I came across their cd Sweetbriers at a used cd store and bought it. I think they sound more like Sentenced than COB though. Just thought I'd throw that in while we're kinda on the topic.

Some pretentious metal elitists can be annoying. I think people should be able to listen to whatever the hell they want. Screw conformity. But then again, I am a bit of a hypocrite. If I'm at work and some guys buy a p***ycat Dolls or tATu cd, it makes me want to smack them. =P

# Nov 12, 2005 @ 3:25 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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