Themed Thursday – Album Intros

A good intro to a record serves many purposes, but most importantly it is the bands starting point to grab a listener’s attention and set the mood and tone for the rest of the album.  If it is a concept album it sets up the themes and story if there is one, if it’s a straight up brutal album it should be a track to really get the adrenaline running.  And so on and so forth.  Intros come in the form of an instrumental song, spoken word, or just a really strong track to get things started off on the right track.

Here are some of my favorite album intros.  Some may be composed of 2 tracks due to the first part seamlessly transitioning into the second more or less making the 2 part of 1.  Enjoy and let us know what some of your favorite album intros are!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Dream Theater – Metropolis II: Scenes from a Memory –  “Regression/Overture 1928”

With a cool way of working the narrative into the album “Regression/Overture 1928” starts out with the hypnosis scene with the ticking clock luring the listener into a hypnotic spell.  It also servers to introduce 3 major characters of the story as well as introduce the many musical themes of the rest of the album ranging from mellow acoustic pieces to crazy prog rock.  IMO, this is one of the best album intros ever written.

Between the Buried and Me – Colors – “Foam Born A+B”

I like how this one starts of with the soft singing and mellow piano tones and then slips into BTBAM insanity setting the perfect mood for the wild ride that Colors is.

Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son – “Moonchild”

Seven deadly sins
Seven ways to win
Seven holy paths to hell
And your trip begins
Seven downward slopes
Seven bloodied hopes
Seven are your burning fires
Seven your desires….

Try finding any Iron Maiden fan who doesn’t have those words tattooed to memory.  An awesome start to one of the best albums ever written, and my personal favorite album of all time.

Machine Head – Burn My Eyes – “Davidian”

Right from the get go “Davidian” lets you know that you are about to experience one hell of a metal ride.  This is a great example of start of on the strongest foot almost to detriment to the rest of the album.  This track is so awesome it’s hard not to just put it on repeat and forget about the rest of the album.

Pantera – Cowboys from Hell – “Cowboys from Hell”

Not only is this an awesome start to an amazing album and the theme song to one of the best metal bands of all time, it’s the introduction to a new era of metal.  Ever wonder where metal would be today without the Cowboys from Hell?

Type-O-Negative – October Rust – “Bad Ground”

The awesomeness of Type-O-Negative destroyed my speakers!!!!!!!

Mr. Bungle – Mr. Bungle – “Quote Unquote (Travolta)”

I will never forget the day I first heard this song.  At first I thought something was wrong with the CD player until some seconds later the insane evil clown music kicked in and set in the lunacy that follows.

Ensiferum – Victory Songs – “Ad Victorium”

If I ever set out on an epic journey I want this track playing in the background as I take my first steps.

Blind Guardian – Imaginations from the Other Side – “Imaginations from the Other Side”

This song was my introduction to Blind Guardian and what a hell of an intro.  “Imaginations…” lets you know how much of an awesome album you are getting into as well as gives a great overview of the many themes the Guardians sing about (ie. literature, fantasy, various other nerd musings) as well as the intro to the story within the album.

Suidakra – The Book of Dowth – “Over Nine Waves”

Damn do those bag pipes get me pumped up (never thought I’d ever say that, lol).  “Over Nine Waves” sets in the heavy and Celtic tone for the rest of the awesome The Book of Dowth and rides seamlessly into the albums first full song “Dowth 2059”.

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath– “Black Sabbath”

The introduction to everything metal.

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on February 2, 2012, in Metal Lists, Theme Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Album intros are almost standard now which is not necessarily a bad thing. I think you are definitely right…it’s the thing that draws you in from the start. A crappy intro can throw off the entire feel of the album. You highlighted some great ones here. Sometimes it’s part of a song like Machine Head and sometimes it’s a totally different entity like Type O Negative. Either way, it sets the tone.

    I like the intro to From Afar (By The Dividing Stream) by Ensiferum. That one catches the mood perfectly. Iron Maiden is classic and Dream Theater is well, the masters of their craft! that little intro to Cowboys from Hell is instantly recognizable. What do you think of the intro to Machine Head’s Unto the Locust? And the new Lamb of God?

  2. MH are a band that knows how to get their albums off to a great start. Even on their ‘lesser’ albums they kick everything off great, “I am Hell” is no exception. I like that raw scream that start of Resolution on “Straight for the Sun”, but think they could have picked a more energetic song to kick things off with.

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