Happy New Year! Here we are, we made it! Over the course of this month I will be re- hauling this website so stay with me. A pre-view of things to come: I am building new website sections (so that way I’m not just sticking everything up on to the same page!), brain storming new articles, setting up interviews and special guest blogs with some of mine (and your) favorite authors and of course the reviews will continue because sharing is caring.
Something new this year that I will be doing is listing my favorite heavy metal albums and horror movies as they come out. I am frequently asked what, if any, music do I listen to when I am writing. The answer is yes, and a lot of music. Of course it varies greatly from the industrial dark ambient sounds of Troum & Yen Pox to jazz legend Chet Baker (my love of jazz is best save for another post ) and everything in between, but the music I listen to the most, and I mean on a daily bases, is and always has been heavy metal. Although I lean toward thrash metal as a personal preference, I’ll take the whole damn lot; Death, Black, Progressive, American gospel, whatever, if it is fast, has great lyrics, heavy, aggressive or downright brutal, I love it. Period. So, since I was only meaning to make this post short and inform of the coming changes, I thought I’d skip my top ten in fiction for last year (everyone had one, didn’t they?) and give you my top ten Metal albums to write by. If you want to check out the bands, I have linked the album covers to either YouTube or the bands website so you can check out the songs.
Here is the list, quick and dirty and in no particular order.
Amorphis – Circle (Nuclearblast)
Amorphis released Circle in April of 2013 and it is stormy and atmospherically brutal. They are from Finland and reminded me a lot of Katatonia, which I absolutely adore, and now I adore Amorphis as well. Click here to buy the album!
Carcass – Surgical Steel (Nuclearblast)
Oh ya, here we go! I have liked Carcass since their last album way back in 1993! Surgical Steel is a great album and although the Liverpool quartet never had to prove it, Surgical Steel shows they can still grind. I believe this album is destine to be a metal classic. Click here to get it.
Scale the Summit – The Migration (Prosthetic Records)
Scale the Summit is progressive metal from Huston, Texas and although they are their own band, you can tell they were influenced by mega prog bands Dream Theater and Rush. This is a great album to just sit back with and let your mind wander about, especially when you need some inspiration! I hope to catch them when they hit California this year. Get the album here.
Protest the Hero – Violation (Self-released)
Speaking of progressive, Protest the Hero is Canadian prog thrash metal! Other than those words, I can’t define it any better. It is fast, wicked and destructive and it has all the elements to be one of my favorites of 2013. I will be keeping an eye out on these guys. Click the album cover for the full stream while it last and if you love it, buy it! Click me to buy!
Soilwork – The Living Infinite (Nuclearblast)
Another Nuclearblast release. Why? Because Nuclearblast rules, that’s why! Soilwork has it all and they show that in this album. This album flows so good, it is the perfect background music and I find something different in it every time I spin it. While it is both dynamic and ingenious, this album was underrated and overlooked by many metal heads since its release in March of last year. But don’t you go and overlook it! Click here if you like what you hear.
Mercenary – Through Our Darkest Days (Prosthetic Records)
Mercenary hail form the winter wonderlands of Denmark and this album just plain kicks ass. Memorable riffs, epic solos, at all the right tempos and places for casual meandering or hectic crunch time deadlines! In all seriousness, do yourselves a favor and check them out! Buy the album here.
Black Sabbath – 13 (Vertigo)
Thirteen is Sabbaths 19th studio album and is an incredible listen from beginning to end. Let me tell ya, the boys from Birmingham can still drown you in a sea of evil riffing madness and noise and I don’t mind it one bit. I am just glad they all lived long enough to give us their special brand of metal goodness and I hope we get another one this year. Enjoy it with a fine beer and some weed, uh… or whatever you, um… prefer. Anyways, buy it here if you dare.
Enshine – Origin (Rain Without End Records)
Atmospheric Death metal from France and boy is it fun to listen to. Intensely calm (not as weird as it sounds) and yet heavy, dark and powerful. If I had to number the top ten, Origin would definitely be near the very top. Finding a webpage for them was a bit difficult but here is their Facebook page (Click me) and a link where I bought the album digitally. Click here to support them and buy the Album!
Tothem – Beyond the Sea (Maple Metal Records)
Female vocals with soaring, gut crunching metal and melodic riffs? Yes please! Tothem is from Italy and they must be heard to be believed. When I hear them, I like to think this is what should be playing in an Italian slasher now a days and I throw it into the playlist whenever I write something giallo inspired. But if Goblin was doing the soundtrack, they will always come first for me. In fact, if you never heard of Goblin, click right here! Then go here to buy Tothem’s Beyond the Sea.
Satan – Life Sentence (Listenable Records) Ha!
Oh man, oh man! This is a radical album that just pumps me up and gets me going! The band Satan has been around a very long time and this album is their latest release in over 26 years! Well worth the wait, I think and to many, this album will be their introduction to the obscure English giants. Each song is solid and dominating and the band is the truest essence of underground thrash/speed metal. It is a true gem and is a bit hard to find even though it was just released this past October. Pick it up… PICK IT UP NOW! Click here!
Sweet! That is a good list, if I may be so bold. Of course, my list is much bigger than ten and with all that heavy goodness, I had a real hard time picking! So I just chose the ones I listened to them the most. But before I let you go, I have a bonus album! Let us call it an honorable mention and a prize for reading all the way through to the end.
Trainwrek Arcitect – Traits of the Sick (Self- Released)
This gets honorable mention only because I think that with a proper studio release (good recording EQ and a great engineer) these guys would be epic in scale and scope. Plus, I heard they got a new singer so this might be the only one like this. Traits of the Sick is a brutal and fast melodic thrash metal album. I love it and I can see these guys being something to look forward to this year. Click here to buy the album.
Well, that’s it. Till next time, have a kick ass month and see you soon.
…Go on, shoo! Shoo!