||In the Embrace of Sorrow, I Smile
||Epic, shrieky, fast, vigorous Italian black metal.|
||Ominous Low-esque suicide lament. From Brisbane.|
||Elegant Canadian symphonic progressive rock.|
||"You're So Pretty"
||Icelandic synth-quirk-pop-group sounding quirkier and icier.|
||"a new family"
||"Learning to Dance"
||Swedish lost-80s neo-New-Wave-pop near-disco.|
||Empty Space Meditation
||Ambient metal is very definitely a thing. It's a thing that's probably too metal for most ambient fans, and too ambient for most metal fans, but abandoned interstices are just less crowded.|
||Progressive pagan metal is also a thing, and Enslaved invented it.|
||"Powerslave (Bonus Track)"
||The Whole of the Law
||If you weren't clear about what "extreme" means in metal, this cover of Iron Maiden's "Powerslave" may help explain it.|
||At its best, I think, black metal can be distilled catharsis.|
||Soulless/Non Serviam 2
||And its best has made a lot of technical progress over the course of the genre's existence, as demonstrated fairly vividly by this sweeping remake of the title track from the second Rotting Christ album.|
||The Grander Voyage
||At its best it is redemptive grandeur in the elaborate guise of strangled nihilism.|
||And like most things, it's arguably even more interesting when it's too engrossed in its own logic to care about being the best of anything pre-labeled.|
||"Over and over again"
||Named with hopeless undistinguishedness, and maybe recorded in somebody's kitchen. But majestic, stomping, blaring hard-rock all the same.|
||"Whatever I Want"
||Dance pop with the compressed twitch-ballistics of phone-screen air hockey.|
||Call Him A Doctor
||Phone-screen air hockey on a cracked screen.|
||I'm not saying you have to be Christian to make melodic progressive metal this effusively self-confident. Wait, maybe I am.|
||"The Pale King"
||Brotherhood of the Snake
||No, I'm not, but you need to have a pretty good idea of how reverence works.|
||You need to at least know how the priests of the Temple of Syrinx dress.|
||"King of Kings"
||King of Kings
||But then, I'm an atheist, and my favorite inanimate thing on the planet is at least nominally a church.|
||Diabulus in Musica
||Believing imaginary creatures are real, I basically don't get. But building churches, I do.|
||I'm an atheist, but I suspect I believe that we've done more damage to our humanity by building anonymous office "parks" out of rebar and plywood than we have by building churches out of stones and glass.|
||"Blood on the Sand"
||Red in Tooth and Claw
||Imagine that the Sugarcubes were a Norwegian avant-garde metal band, somewhere between Voivod and Nightwish.|
||"We Are Dreamers"
||And then imagine that the floaty, dreamy parts of Björk she left behind coallesced somewhere over western Sweden.|
||"Kangaru - From "Arrival" Soundtrack"
||And the oblique, composerly angles formed their own assemblies and ended up on soundtracks.|
||There was a period when metal was the logical extrapolation of hard rock. Some Danes remember.|
||Words Of Farewell
||Also some raspier nearby Germans.|
||Ştiu Nu Ştiu
||As a border zone, metal can actually be both populist and arcane at once.|
||Which is true of all border zones, of course, and thus the fractured fluxwork deconstructions of electronic dance music.|
||"Wait For You"
||And the dance music that is still dance music but sounds like it has been reassembled out of the shiniest bits of everything else.|
||Upon A Burning Body
||"You Don't Own Me"
||Straight From The Barrio
||And the hyper-precise belligerent crunch of metalcore.|
||Memphis May Fire
||"Out Of It"
||This Light I Hold
||Metal arose from guitars sounding a bit like engines, so we shouldn't be too surprised when they cross over and become wholly unsentimental machinery that sounds a little bit like guitars used to sound.|
||"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night"
||The Annabel Trilogy Part III: Confessions
||Nor that metalcore could mutate into progressive pop-punk.|
||Walk On +3
||The Japanese, of course, have a sleeker version of everything.|
||"Clangour In Space"
||Space Echoes 4
||R-and-beep? Blip-toy soul?|
||La Oreja de Van Gogh
||And obviously I of all people believe that there are still such things as genres, but so should you.|
||Not every work intends to be trivialized into asking only formal questions.|
||"My Name feat. Kirsti Huke ((Single Edit))"
||My Name feat. Kirsti Huke 3
||Sometimes the snare hits right when the heart expects it.|
||Epic Underscore: Fight the Darkness
||This is no more (or less) pandering to our instincts than donuts or sunsets.|
||"Little Drummer Boy"
||A Hollens Family Christmas
||It is possible to do a mundane thing with wonder.|
||"Sunset Between Two Headlands"
||Ars Gratia Artis, Vol.1 5
||Possible to fill three minutes with a single shard of thought.|
||"Keeper of the Flame"
||Possible, after all, to get somewhere on roads whose destinations are entirely known.|
||Yours - EP 5
||Possible to come alive wherever you happen to be standing.|
||Possible to epitomize things you probably think you reject.|
||"Yield to Naught"
||Shrines of Paralysis
||But only for so long, before your deepest resonances resurface.|
||Self-awareness doesn't have to undermine the power of legends.|
||Takk og farvel; tida er blitt ei annen
||Atheism isn't the denial of legend, it's the elevation of all myth to a common level.|
||Courage My Love
||This works with everything. It works with food, with cities, with whatever pop music sounds like now.|
||"If I Could Go Back"
||Which is always however amazing you allow it to be.|
||"Money Power Fame"
||Your job, as you listen, is to realize that you control whether you listen sincerely or not, and that this is actually not necessary but more than sufficient.|
||The symbols of your disdain can be freely reassigned.|
||"Leave My Hand"
||But put them down now, for a minute, and step into these spinning blacklight whirls.|
||Sleeping At Last
||Belief is a form of dance.|
||As is rage. And rage with self-awareness is a whole ballet, in whatever language.|
||"Leave Your Light On"
||Yearning, defiance, triumph: these are all minor variations on the theme of experiencing something by naming it, by choreographing how you want to remember that it made you feel.|
||All named feelings have more in common with each other than with their absence.|
||"Världen tillhör er"
||Street punk is a kind of urban planning.|
||"Once This Car Starts Moving..."
||Narrow Road of Memories
||A last chance power drive, in a one-headlight borrowed car, is exactly what all of this is zoned for.|
||"The Burden of Knowledge"
||None of which means, of course, that it doesn't have a way it sounds when we're not filling it with traffic.|
||Mocsok 1 Kölykök
||"Szakad A Kép"
||Társalog Minden Csillag
||Like most things, it can sound familiar and unintelligible at once.|
||Aaron Lee Tasjan
||The things you understand perfectly may not speak to you half as well.|
||It's so much easier to tell somebody knows you when they speak in your codes.|
||Does everybody believe precision is more exciting than accuracy? I suspect not, but I'm only guessing, wildly.|
||Everybody loves differently, but I'm not trying to hear that, see? Not right now.|
||I spend these hours making lists of Nordic blast-metal and Japanese indie alt-rock because I know that's what people want and need.|
||Music For Cats
||I know this the same way we know anything.|