Sunday, April 30, 2017

A to Z 2K17: Z is for ZAYN

Artist: Zayn Malik (ZAYN)
Song:  Pillowtalk
Album:  Mind Of Mine
Genre:  Pop
Language:  Strong

In March of 2015 an event shook the Pop Music community.  Zayn Malik quit One Direction.  I know, I'm as horrified as you, it was a travesty and the fact that it happened was like, hella bad or something.

Ok, I didn't actually pay much attention to this when it happened outside of being kinda happy for the guy actually being able to cut out of the band that was his livelihood at the time.  A lot of people quit bands, but not many manage to actually start a solo career after that.  I kinda expected Zayn to sizzle and die honestly, but if he managed to do his own thing it's not like I'd be pissed, right?

Then in a turn of events that surprised me and may have been a hoax, he turned up on 4Chan.  As one of the pretty boys in a boy band I was amazed he'd publicly visit there, but he did.  He posted a link to the raw audio of this song and asked a lot of people what they thought and such.  Got some feedback, answered some questions, stuff like that.  I really want to believe it was real, but who knows.

A good many people thought it was a hoax because of how the song has some very adult themes compared to what he had put out with 1D.  It's a bit of a bold change though, and it's gone well for him.  Eh, whatever.

He managed to take off pretty strongly though, so good for him.

That'll be the conclusion of my A to Z this year, hope you liked it!

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

A to Z 2K17: Y is for Yes

Band:  Yes
Song:  Roundabout
Album:  Fragile
Genre:  Progressive Rock

I never realized how much I was exposed to Prog Rock over the course of my life till I decided to seek out my own selection of music.  While I never got into some of the progier guys like King Crimson or even Yes, I still heard a lot of it.

I got reminded of Yes recently because I guess this song was used at the end of some anime as their cliffhanger track.  Like, something would be about to kill the hero and mid swing it'd freeze and the bassline would start.  I dunno, never seen it personally, but somebody was talking about it and it reminded me of it.

Solid song, solid band, please enjoy.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

A to Z 2K17: X is for Xasthur

Artist:  Xasthur
Song:  Screaming At Forgotten Fears
Album:  To Violate The Oblivious
Genre:  DSBM (Depressive/Suicidal Black Metal)

Here's a downer again, because I love playing with all your emotions.  This dude is pretty impressive in the sense that all the music on his albums with the exception of a couple tracks were recorded by him alone.

The guys definitely swings to the DSBM sector due to lyrical content than he does other styles, but that doesn't need to mean his music is bad.  He's just a rather sad person.

Not anymore though, after dropping the stage name Xasthur for a few years he's picked it back up!  But he's not putting out any Black Metal anymore, that part of his life is done apparently.

Cool atmospheric stuff to listen to though, so shoutout to Jeff again for recommending this dude.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

A to Z 2K17 - W is for "Weird Al" Yankovic

Artist:  "Weird Al" Yankovic
Song:  I'll Sue Ya
Album:  Straight Outta Lynwood
Genre:  Parody

I feel like the last couple days have been a little darker in the tune department, so here's some nice fun music again.

Weird Al's been making bang up covers and parodies since the 80s, and I'll Sue Ya is no exception.  I feel like I say that for every one of his songs I post...  Anyway, this isn't a straight cover, more a song that was inspired by an artist.  He's done this many times in the past usually with great success.  This one is in the style of Rage Against The Machine, and if you watch the video you'll see a couple hints at that.  Mostly in Al's dreads and the guitarist clearly playing Tom Morello's guitar.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A to Z 2K17: V is for Venom

Band:  Venom
Song:  Rip Ride
Album:  At War With Satan
Genre:  Thrash Metal

Here we've got some of the granddadies of the good strain of Black Metal.  These dudes formed in 79, right about when the New Wave British Heavy Metal thing was at it's peak, but they wanted a more extreme flavor of music that what was available.  There was Metal around at the time, I mean Sabbath dropped their first 2 albums in 1970, but there wasn't fast Metal really.  Then you got some of the Power Metal-y bands like Iron Maiden, but they were clean, not harsh.  AC/DC was putting out harsher sounding stuff since 73, but once again, not quite what Venom was after.  Closest thing was actually Motörhead.

So yeah, they picked up their Satan aesthetic, some fast distorted bass stolen from Motörhead, and slammed into the scene right as the 80s rolled around.

I wouldn't say that these guys sparked the Thrash scene, but they definitely didn't hurt it.  They did help that Black Metal scene take foot, so they can't be that bad, right?

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A to Z 2K17: U is for U2

Band:  U2
Song:  With Or Without You
Album:  The Joshua Tree
Genre:  Rock

I will probably always have mixed feelings on U2.  Bono needs to shut his mouth about politics and their sound, while it was ahead of it's time in the 80s, is now the standby style of worship leaders everywhere.  Not really a bad thing, congrats to The Edge for developing a play style that's held on as long as this, but I'm tired of it.

I'll always hold this song in a special place though cause I straight up stole it's bass line for a song in church.  I suppose that means I did the same thing that all the guitarists do, but whatevs.  It's one of the only songs that I ever actually took the time to learn a part for.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

A to Z 2K17: T is for Triptykon

Band:  Triptykon
Song:  Tree Of Suffocating Souls
Album:  Melana Chasmata
Genre:  Gothic Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal

Released almost exactly 3 years ago, Melana Chasmata made some waves in the Metal community.  While I think his name is a little funny, frontman Tom G. Warrior really has a talent for throwing some really dark music together.

Honestly I had a really hard time picking today's song.  There was the absolutely stunningly beautiful video for Shatter, but I had posted it before.  Then there was Boleskine House which is eerily wonderful, especially when you get the female vocals harmonizing.

I decided to hit this song though, because it had a music video and Boleskine didn't.

Please enjoy this wonderfully dark song, is just nice music.

Side note, you know H R Giger, the mind behind the design of the alien in Alien?  He designed some of Tom G Warrior guitars and all of Triptykon's album covers.  Obviously he's dead now so I'm not sure who they'll go to for the next album's art, but we'll see if they can live up to the art of the rather deranged Giger's work.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

A to Z 2K17 Runner Up: S is for Septicflesh

Artist:  Septicflesh
Song:  Communion
Album:  Communion
Genre:  Symphonic Death Metal

Before Septicflesh became the titan of the Symphonic Death Metal community they are today, they were a rather disappointing Blackened Death Metal group.  When I say disappointing I really mean that.  It wasn't fantastic music, and while I know a lot of people would write off most Metal acts as just trash anyway this was honestly not great.  From 1990 to 2003 they had a sort of cult following, but that was about it.

After a 4 year split however they came back with a huge powerhouse album, Communion.

Communion was a huge change in their sound, not only because they got good, but because it seemed to create a sound for them to unify behind.  They didn't have an orchestra back in the 90s to play with, so when they started incorporating in in Communion (the album and the song), it was a rather big change.

While this album isn't the symphonic masterpiece that The Great Mass is, it isn't a bad album by any means.

Hope you enjoy it, see you with T tomorrow.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

A to Z 2K17: S is for Still Waiting

Band:  Still Waiting
Song:  Love Stands
Album:  Ever Haunting
Genre:  Rock
Website:  StillWaitingRock.Com

Ayy, it's time for me to be a proud brother again, cause I can.

So Jeff, the dude that posted the other day, is my brother.  I know, shocking.  But he's in a band, and that band is Still Waiting.  Now while he's not on the recorded album he has been playing at all their live shows for the last like, 2 years.

I freaking love these guys, they're such a solid, nice group of people that anybody should be happy to have in their lives.  More importantly they've got a fantastic live show that's only gotten better as the years go by.  Last summer their singer almost lost use of his hand due to a car accident so a good portion of his recovery time was spent working on their light shows.  Not like they didn't work on them before or anything, there was just extra time.

Check them out on their website here, or if you're a spotify fan like myself you can stream them there as well.  Consider supporting them too, since the digital download of their CD is only like $5.  I personally spend more than that in energy drinks a day, so I'm sure you can manage to drop a few dollars on them, yeah?

Fear not btw, the singer's hand is ok now.

Here's their new lyric video for Love Stands, I hope you enjoy it, it's truly a blast.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

A to Z 2K17: R is for Rick Ross

Artist:  Rick Ross
Song:  Smile Mama, Smile
Album:  Black Market
Genre:  Rap, Hip Hop, R&B
Language:  Strong

Every now and then you need a fun little R&B style tune.  Now while this song is about regretting not telling his family things when they were alive that doesn't mean it can't be a fun song still, yeah?

Discovered this song recently right around when I was making a playlist of melancholy music so I'm pretty happy with it.  It's not like it's a sad beat though, it's a really groovin' song; It's just that the lyrics are sad.

I apologize that I don't have much to say today, I'm really under the weather.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

A to Z 2K17: Q is for Quiet Riot

Band:  Quiet Riot
Song:  Bang Your Head
Album:  Metal Health
Genre:  Metal, Glam Metal

I was so torn between picking some sort of 4/20 joke or just going with a Throwback Thursday, and while I probably could have managed both I don't think I could do it with Q day, so here's a throwback instead.

Quiet Riot was mostly a 1 to 3 hit wonder, tops.  They were pretty popular in their community at the time, but the rest of the world was kinda ignoring them.

Then even their fans managed to ditch them too when the singer started heavily alienating the whole fanbase.  Here's a word of advice, you're never too big to fall, and especially in the music side of things you gotta fight to stay relevant.  Don't piss off your fans.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A to Z 2K17: P is for Periphery

Band:  Periphery
Song:  The Bad Thing
Album:  Juggernaut Omega
Genre:  Djent, Progressive Metal
Language:  Strong

Nothing's more fun that some really grooving music, which is something that Periphery is more than a little good at.  Since about 2005 these guys have been rocking the Djent community with their chugging grooves.

I'm partially regretting picking these guys since I honestly don't know too much about them, but what I do know is that they're good, so we're gonna go with that today.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A to Z 2K17: O is for Oh, Sleeper

Band:  Oh, Sleeper
Song:  Endseekers
Album:  Children Of Fire
Genre:  Metalcore

Oh, Sleeper are a Metalcore act from Fort Worth, Texas. They're one of my favorites in the genre because they represent the more crazy, chaotic side of the sound, (something a lot of other bands tend to shy away from in it's present form) but without compromising the melodic aspect.

Children Of Fire is an absolutely excellent album, from the writing of the songs to the mixing of each track.  I mean, seriously, this album is one of my favorite mixes of all time, it's clear, it's heavy, and it's tied with Matt Halpern of Periphery for having the best drum sound I've ever heard.  It's certainly my favorite snare sound, in any case.

Endseekers in particular embodies all the sounds that make the album great, which, coupled its killer intro, makes it an excellent kickoff to the album.

This has been a post by Jeff, betcha thought it was Noah.
Nope. Chuck Testa.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

A to Z 2K17: N is for NF

Artist:  NF
Song:  Oh Lord
Album:  Therapy Session
Genre:  Rap, Hip Hop
Soundcloud:  NFRealMusic

Y'all mind of I hop on a gigantic religious soapbox?  No?  Sweet, thanks.

So I'm a employed by a church and a volunteer staff dude at a young adults group.  As such you run into a lot of people that have opinions that are not always right.  One of least favorite are the people that try and call out others for not having any "Christian care and support" from people that they've never supported themselves.

The worst though are the people that will always complain that their prayers are never answered, but all they do is get pray when they are in trouble.  I'll admit, I've been like this before and will probably do it again, but what makes me furious are the people who have the gall to complain at times like this.

I never realized how much this bugged so much till I heard this song and heard just one line that honestly shook me a little bit.  (Go check the whole third verse though, really take a second and read it.)

When ya healthy it's like, we don't really care for Him then
Leave me alone God, I'll call you when I need you again.

When I heard that I was really freaking convicted about it cause I know I've done that.  Maybe not thought that directly, but it's not like that's not something that happens.  I just hadn't heard it put quite so bluntly before and it hurt.  Then it made me think though of all the people I know (once again, myself included) that only pray when they want things.  That's not how prayer works, it's a conversation that shouldn't just be when there's problems.

How do you feel when that one friend who only calls you when they need money hits you up?  I bet you get really pissed off.  They don't have time to call you just to keep up, they only call you when they want something.  God forbid you ask them for something, that's just you being greedy then.

Listen, yeah everybody wants change
Don't nobody wanna change though
Don't nobody wanna pray
Till they got something to pray for

It makes me so freaking angry when people act like this.  You can't push you problems on everybody; take some freaking accountability for your own idiotic actions and actually try and fix things rather than just call out to the big man upstairs to solve all your problems.  If I dream forever about being an athlete but never get off the couch it'll never happen, so why do you think if you pray when you're in trouble but never act out on it you'll actually get anything done?

I feel like people need to majorly reevaluate how they think of their beliefs in that department.  The popular thing to say is "Relationship, not Religion."  Well with that thought how about you actually act on it and talk with God more than "Hey, I want this, that, and the other thing."

I wish I actually could put what I'm thinking into words better, but I can't cause I'm not a good writer.  I just put down what's in my head and try to maintain this sort of even neutral balance that doesn't go one way or another so when I do something like this it tends to come off sloppy and heavy handed.  Like, what I'm mostly going for is probably not how this reads.

I apologize for this way off my usual content, but every time I listen to this song it makes me think of this and how I really need to work on it.

Ha, it's funny cause the original reason I liked this song is because it's beat reminded me of Oceans.  Ah well.  Sorry for the soapbox, enjoy the song.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

A to Z 2K17 Runner Up: Megadeth

Band:  Megadeth
Song:  Tornado Of Souls
Album:  Countdown To Extinction
Genre:  Thrash Metal, Technical Metal

A close second to my final decision for "M", Megadeth is a rather good band.

There's of course the whole "Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica" situation, but we aren't going to really talk about that today.  There's plenty of people who are more informed of the situation that can do that.  We're going to talk about the fact that Mustaine plays a freaking awesome rhythm guitar.

Seriously, it's like he did it to just get back at the Metallica guys.  He plays a freaking awesomely complicated rhythm guitar that puts a lot of people so shame.  His riffs are freaking solid and just make me happy.

This isn't really the best example of that I guess, but just know that 90% of the background guitar is the singer.  That's all you need to know to be at least a little impressed.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

A to Z 2K17: M is for Meshuggah

Band:  Meshuggah
Song:  Clockworks
Album:  The Violent Sleep Of Reason
Genre:  Djent, Progressive Metal

If you watched the film Wolf Of Wall Street, you might have seen 'ol Leo DiCaprio make a face similar to the singer of Meshuggah.  The singer being the dude in the middle.  Because of that there were a couple people who took one of the scenes of the movie and dubbed Meshuggah over it.  Twas funny.

For those of you more interested in facts about the band, here ya go then.

Meshuggah doesn't really do melody, they are a band that focuses on complex rhythm.  There's a lot to be said for that though, as they consistently manage to crush their way through everything with their insanely heavy sound.  They kinda do this thing where the drummer mostly plays in 4/4 time the rest of the band will play in a different time signature that floats around the drummer's beat.  It's a really cool musical element that not a lot of people try for and even less do well.

Honestly it's down even to the vocals.  The band has said that the vocals only exist as another rhythmic element, which is why they've sounded very much the same over the course of all of their albums.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

A to Z 2K17: L is for Linkin Park

Band:  Linkin Park
Song:  In The End
Album:  Hybrid Theory
Genre:  Nu-Metal

There's a sort of emo attraction to Linkin Park that I have.  It's one of the times when I feel like I could relate to a song but I don't want to be attached to the label of people who identify to the song.  I really strive to have a certain personal label that wouldn't really work with getting into feelsy things, especially depressing feelsy songs.

But all that aside, I really do love this song, as well as a few of their others.  For all the crap I've given them over the years they really are a fun group to listen to, and that's what's important.

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