Theme Thursday – Fundamental Instrumental

Call it a filler, call it a waste of space, or call it bits and pieces of leftover music.  Better yet, call it art.  However you want to describe an instrumental metal melody, they seem to be part of many artist’s repertoire.  You can usually find an instrumental song at the end of an album or at the beginning and sometimes somewhere in the middle where it seems purposeful.  An instrumental can be used to set up the feel of an album.  Just ask Ensiferum about that, they do it well.  An instrumental can be used to close out an album; a nice subtle way to say “until next time my friends.”  Chimaira’s last two albums were closed out with instrumentals…damn good ones too.

One might think that a prog band is more likely to produce instrumental songs.  Actually, a wide variety of metal genres produce instrumentals some more than others.  Maybe prog tips the scales a bit more than most, but you can find instrumentals in just about any genre even in death metal.   Some bands surprise you with an instrumental.  Check out Megadeth’s Dialectic Chaos off the album Endgame.  Megadeth isn’t a band that mass produces instrumentals.  It was a nice surprise to hear one from them.

In my humble opinion I like instrumentals.  For bands that do them often (Dream Theater, The sword, Soulfly) I find them to be purposeful and for the most part the most meaningful song on the album.  It is the one that is more emotional than the rest and seems to say more…despite the absence of lyrics.  I saw an interview one time with Testament’s Chuck Billy.  He said that the instrumental song confusion Fusion on the Practice What You Preach album was all the riffs they came up with that couldn’t find a home so they threw them all together and made an instrumental medley out of them.  The song was pretty cool as far as I was concerned.  To this day I have much respect for wordless music that metal bands create.  They convey meaning just as much as those songs whose screams penetrate your soul.

This theme will only scratch the surface when it comes to the instrumental library available to you.  This list of 10 songs is just some of my favorite instrumental songs.  I also wanted to choose songs that span multiple metal genres.  Some of these songs are from obvious choices while others might surprise you.  One, I am hoping will be nostalgic to the old school metal head.  Here are the 10 songs that make up my theme for this week.

Opeth – Epilogue

Ensiferum – By The Dividing Stream

Five Finger Death Punch – Canto 34

Soulfly – Soulfly VII

Death – Cosmic Sea

Dream Theater – Stream of Consciousness

The Sword – Acheron / Unearthing the Orb

Storm Troopers of Death (S.O.D.) – March of the S.O.D.

Chimaira – Samsara

Death Angel – The Ultra-Violence

About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on August 25, 2011, in Theme Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great post. Instumentals are always welcome in my collection. Often times they give a good look into another side of a band too, and sometimes can portray emotion more than anything with words.
    Voice of the Soul by Death just oozes with Chucks passion, if you are not moved by that peice, you have no soul.

    There is one band I dig a lot called Pelican that doesn’t have a singer and does all insturmental albums and for them it works great.

    Sometimes music speaks louder than words. Peace

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