Good day folks.
So what, prey tell, do I wish to talk about today? Well, dear reader, I want to write about metal… The music… METAL!
2016 has been an interesting year for me and music; I seem to have been able to actually immerse myself more in new music this year than in previous years. I’m not sure why, perhaps a desire to expand on the general repertoire of music I reach out to? Perhaps my new job affords me more leeway to stick headphones in? Both? More? Serendipity? In truth: I don’t care about the reasons. For me what I care about is the fact I’ve had a full year of listening to some great shit I hadn’t heard before.
The music I’ve been listening to has been both from bands that have thus far passed me by and it also includes new releases from bands that rank as being my dependable musical salvation…. Oh, and a shedload of prog and a squeeze of pop.
So I guess this isn’t just about metal, but, you know – its a completely metal as fuck attitude to buck the mainstream metal trend by enjoying some mainstream mainstream songs.
I think, anyway.
Sooooooo… I hear the clamouring…. ‘Dwalin, what music did you enjoy this year that you think we should check out’…
My children, pull up a seat by the fire (by which I mean the luminescent screen you’re reading this on) as I present to you “Dawlins music of 2016… That may also not be from 2016”
I’m thinking this might be multi-part…
Firstly, then, let’s talk about the first release of the year that properly excited me… Ihsahn’s newest album ‘Arktis’
This album came along and nailed the fuck out of my ears. Ihsahn’s albums are all phenomenal and I had a high expectation for this beast. It delivered and it delivered hard.
Blending psyched-out jazz with unremitting blackened majesty in a modern technical form is, to my mind, a recipe for success. Ihsahn’s understanding of this art form along with his ear for actual, real life and hooks that drag your mind into his realm… Well, this album was sonic ecstasy. It still is.
The next thing I was eagerly anticipating was Gojiras newest album.. In this arena I have to say I was filled with a prodigious level of underwhelm. Magma is a weak, torrid affair .. The stomp, the groove and the ear for music which sounds like a biological computer comprised of swamp beasts? All gone and in its place empty, vacuous offerings which never get anything emotional going. Which is a huge shame as it sounds like this should’ve been the most personal of albums for the band.
This isn’t a quibble with stylistic change by the way, as I will evidence with the next album discussed. I just feel like Messrs Duplantier’s beautiful, creative prowess didn’t get the airing it needed…
Unlike Opeth’s new album.
Released, what, a month ago, Opeth’s ‘Sorceress’ is everything Opeth do well. Well not everything as obviously they do metal screaming well… I guess what I mean is, ‘Sorceress’ shows off, once again, Mikael Akerfeldts ability to write mesmerising, interesting and heartfelt music no matter what style he’s going for.
Bathing in the glory of spidery jaunts across the fret board (you know what I mean) with intriguing, catchy as fuck melodies i can not get enough of this album. Yeah, it ain’t metal and yeah, there are no growls but, well, you can hear how impassioned and real this music is. It’s vital.
The references to other artists (the Ian Anderson style vocal on will o the wisp, for example) embolden the truly original, truly authentic voice of Akerfeldt.
Anyhow, this all seems like a fair amount to digest already for a… digest… Additional parts coming soon! I will be discussing dream theater, listening to full discographies, nails, Genghis Tron, Wormrot, trap them, Gaza, 70s prog and anything else I may have forgotten.
Hey, maybe if you come along for the ride you might hear some good shit. . And that’s what music is about surely?
Freud judges those that wallow in nought but their own past