||"Lights Come Alive"
||Lovely Sort of Death
||Dear younger self: There's a limit to how much cargo my slow time machine can carry, and probably a limit to how much time you should spend now on a future that will eventually arrive whole, so I have reduced this year of listening to a single long day. Tracks 1-50 are mostly versions of metal, 51-100 are mostly not, and then there are some covers. Each section is meticulously ranked, because you (and only you) will care. Bloody Hammers are my favorite band I first embraced this year, and maybe the one that most precisely captured my mood of yearning, apocalyptic, resigned, defiant awe.|
||"Blood on the Sand"
||Red in Tooth and Claw
||Also, this was another year when having the cover art from Eight Ways as my desktop background felt more like aesthetic prescience and less like middle-school book-cover logo-doodling.|
||"Into the Night World"
||Into the Night World
||Later you're going to a) discover Japanese tech-metal and b) spend a lot more time in Sweden, and this Machinae Supremacy is where these two paths cross.|
||"Dead of Winter"
||And as you will discover, but shouldn't fear, most crossings are guarded by monsters of one sort or another.|
||"Second Son of R."
||There will be more desperation than you probably want, but also more music that channels desperation into elaborate catharsis.|
||Diabulus in Musica
||Dirge For The Archons
||And even more catharsis based on elaboration as its own magnificent end.|
||There are reasons to believe that precision is more interesting than accuracy, at least in part because it's easier to calculate precision accurately than it is to calculate accuracy precisely.|
||Metanoia is not actually meta-paranoia, but you don't have to realize that yet.|
||"Up and Atom"
||Meta-anything is a survival impulse. This is how you avoid drowning in meaning,|
||and why sometimes paths exist to attribute context to adjacent wildernesses.|
||"Reflection of the Black Mirror"
||Behind the Dark Ice
||Gravity is constant, but heaviness increases.|
||"Dim Days Of Dolor"
||Dim Days Of Dolor
||In some ways the two aren't even related.|
||"Mystery of a Blood Red Rose"
||Ghostlights (Bonus Version)
||We see paradise by the light of exploding galaxies,|
||and through smoke-machine dream smoke on dream water,|
||"The Secret Pt. 1"
||as we race into it blind.|
||Aloft in obsidian aeries,|
||"At the Edge of Space"
||The Earth Embraces Us All
||we cast down lightning and glimmer intermixed,|
||and they form sugar-lattice staircases as they fall through the air.|
||Silhouette from the Skylit
||Soon we will have stairs that 3D print the next step as your glass slipper lifts off the previous one,|
||Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik’s Skuggsjá
||"Makta Og Vanæra, For All Tid"
||aeresol structures that can hold the tread of the old gods,|
||"Charging the Void"
||and the delirious homeward rush of liberated barbarian hordes,|
||"Ensigns Of Victory"
||The Dark Hereafter
||before shattering in a redemptive storm of shards.|
||"Can't Believe It"
||And yet all this will feel so perfectly familiar.|
||The Sleeping Gods Thorn
||All these sensations can be derived from what it felt like to skid a bike sideways into a pile of fall leaves.|
||"Where Shadows Have Teeth"
||All these apprehensions can be molded into the underside of an Imperial Star Destroyer emerging overhead.|
||Moonbathers (Deluxe Edition)
||This format is nominally about the wisdom I can share with you, but mostly what you will learn is that you underestimated how much you knew.|
||You will go more places than you have been so far.|
||"My Gift, My Curse"
||As the World Collapses
||You will document fragments of potential.|
||Discovery is the sensation of oh my god this has always been possible. These unseen coasts have been here all along.|
||These civilizations have risen and fallen in their own epics,|
||and manufactured their own curses,|
||"Distance Collapsed (In Rubble)"
||Distance | Collapsed
||and sculpted each their own unmistakable ruins.|
||Shrines of Paralysis
||None of this is any reason to give up, or to wish time could be slowed or sped.|
||"The Pain I Collected"
||Of course terrible things await. That is the nature of terrible things,|
||but also the limit of their powers.|
||Trick or Treat
||Rabbits' Hill Pt.2
||Misery is a quantity, joy is a quality.|
||"Belong to You"
||Evil is an abcess we fill and heal with love.|
||Pain is anticipation.|
||Blood Stain Child
||Lectures from the future would be excruciating without the music, but this is like saying the planet would be tedious without all the rocks and air and water.|
||"The Halcyon Symphony"
||This is like saying hi I have seen the future and it is magnificent no matter how much goes miserably wrong,|
||"My Darkness, Darkness"
||My Darkness, Darkness
||and some moments you will love the inevitability of survival and some moments the impossibility of it,|
||and often you won't be entirely sure which|
||until the riders crest the hill,|
||until the banners are close,|
||"Edge of the Blade"
||The Holographic Principle
||and you realize suddenly that they're yours.|
||All of these forgotten islands belong to us.|
||All these horizons draw us into new destinies.|
||I Built the Sky
||The Sky Is Not the Limit
||You will build machines to try to reach them.|
||You will fall in love with half of these machines.|
||Fear none of this.|
||"I Know A Place"
||And part of the reason we hurl ourselves into vortices, and even Dante would have realized this if he hadn't given up so soon, is to make it possible to emerge.|
||Where the violent extreme of my tastes rises to meet inevitability in the throat with sharpened teeth, the other end celebrates fragility and transience and defiant human scale.|
||The Naked And Famous
||"The Water Beneath You"
||It builds invulnerable indefensible ice castles as if that is humanity's most instinctive response.|
||"No Bitter End (album version)"
||The Shadow Self
||Of course we are here spiraling in frozen fractals.|
||Wild World (Complete Edition)
||Which, of course, have to eventually melt.|
||"Learn In School"
||From Caplan To Belsize
||But oh my rhetorical gods how gloriously those castles fall at the softest touches.|
||"Drop Your Sword"
||Lay down your weapons. They are not needed here.|
||School Of Seven Bells
||They will not bring any lost thing back to us.|
||"Is It Just Me"
||Amateurs - EP
||They will not relieve us of the responsibility to keep on.|
||They will not alleviate this vertiginous feeling of always falling forward into love.|
||"Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)"
||At least, not yet.|
||What could be less satisfying than your future self telling you to be patient, but then, who else could you trust?|
||It is nearly impossible to comprehend the profound implications of this very moment and yet also accept that there will be others just as perfect.|
||18th & Addison
||But then the next song starts and oh oh oh it's this one.|
||Cry of Dawn
||"Tell It to My Heart"
||Do you remember what it felt like when everything on the radio made you feel exactly this way?|
||"Face the World"
||Like no speakers could be too small to fill the world?|
||V for Volume
||Of course, of course you do. You are my younger self, and wasn't I constantly enraptured then? I must have been.|
||Painting Of A Panic Attack (Deluxe)
||Or wait, is that me now? Every new song swells with the memories of all the others,|
||or defies them,|
||or tries to find a way to reconstruct innocence and begin again.|
||"Queen of Swords"
||All these beacons and sentinels are implicit in whatever we say,|
||"Stand And Deliver"
||"Spin and Collapse"
||If This Is All We're Going to Be
||"Spin The Dial"
||A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings
||We're in love with what's that song?|
||"Are We Alive?"
||This Is Your Life
||This one, this one.|
||"Sacred Blood, Divine Lies"
||Sacred Blood "Divine" Lies
||What are we? We are the hearts that beat in 4/4|
||"Same To You"
||and break without stopping.|
||We are even terrified in time.|
||We are the ones to whom it sounds perfectly reasonable to describe silence with noise,|
||to speak of what made us ourselves in languages we do not know, and on maps of places we haven't been.|
||"I Can't Stop Thinking About You"
||We are forgiveness lying hidden, waiting, as long as it takes.|
||Jimmy Eat World
||We are the ones left to walk away,|
||Jet Plane and Oxbow
||and how else does the planet turn?|
||The White Apple: B-Sides
||The trick is to catch an idea when it's only half-formed and can still be anything,|
||"Oh My God"
||to capture fear at the moment when it is still a rupture in love, before it solidifies into logistics and counterargument.|
||We architect our stations differently, but we are weightless the same.|
||Zootopia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
||We are the creatures who have done enough.|
||What else would these lubatons be for?|
||A Tribe Called Red
||We Are the Halluci Nation
||The things we love, falter; the things we destroy persevere.|
||"Han gör himlen blå"
||Ängel utan vingar
||We are sparkling lights in winter rooms.|
||We are pulseguns in escape tunnels.|
||We are the ones who fall in love with contingencies and placeholders.|
||We are the ones who dance to math.|
||Meliora (Deluxe Edition)
||We have countries in order to have anthems.|
||We fall in to love to remind ourselves how the best stories go.|
||All this is ahead of you.|
||These Hidden Hands
||Only ahead of us still exists.|
||"The Rising (TORCH SONGS)"
||There is no case against optimism. No glasses can hold even the smallest part of this.|
||I am here in your horrifying future, holding out a hand.|
||It is beautiful and amazing here.|
||Bright Light Bright Light
||"Love and Anger (Solo Piano)"
||Solo Piano Versions
||But, of course, you haven't seen it, you don't know.|
||"Welcome to the Black Parade (Acapella)"
||You can only show people the places they've already been,|
||or the ways in which these new places are ghosts of old ones,|
||The Animal In Me
||"See You Again (feat. Richard Rogers)"
||or maybe once in a while how the ones you knew before were actually the ghosts.|
||"The Greatest (feat. Shawn Christmas)"
||We don't tell stories, we retell them.|
||We wake up again. The again is the functional part.|
||We do the police in different voices.|
||We The Kings
||"The Story Of Tonight"
||We may not live to see our glory,|
||"Song for Zula"
||and we will tear ourselves apart with our bare hands|
||"Running up That Hill"
||Heavy Rock Radio
||trying to prove that we matter.|
||"Powerslave (Bonus Track)"
||The Whole of the Law
||But this is not our last hour. That is the only message from the future, or past, that you need.|