Mammal’s Best of 2014: Day 7


It’s been quite fascinating to see the picks of 2014 by two colleagues at Metal State, first RiffRaff (Matt), then WarpRider (Reggie). We didn’t consult each other about our lists. We did expect that we’d each by touched more deeply than the others by certain types of metal. When Irmelinis (Mik the SuperSwede) posts her selection, I’ve no doubt her list will be as different as the lists posted by us blokes/guys/fellows/chaps/dudes.

This makes me (ChristopherMammal, aka Old Fart) feel very warm inside. When I was a young man, you either liked metal or you didn’t. There were only two types to choose from initially, heavy metal or doom metal, and they were pretty much the same thing anyway back then. Now there are as many genres and sub-genres of metal as there are member states of the United Nations. Long may the Metal Universe continue to expand.


Game of 2014


Yes, playing Scrabble with a real board and letter tiles is so twentieth century. Our board is so old and worn that it’s held together by adhesive tape in many places, and some of the black paint in the recessed letter tiles is starting to wear pretty thin.

Most evenings my wife, Lynn (Sexiest Creature On Planet), and I play two or three games. It’s a super-refreshing break from the routine of household and other chores and probably a healthy retreat from the computer that holds me in the glare of its monitor for so many hours a day. The cats seldom jump on the table and scatter tiles all over the floor.


Countdown: Metal Albums

12. Behemoth – The Satanist
(Poland, Death/Black Metal)


11. Haken – Restoration
(UK, Progressive Metal)


10. Eira – Lacrimosa
(USA, Progressive Death Metal)


Countdown: Progressive Rock Albums

4. JPL (Jean-Pierre Louveton) – MMXIV
(France, Crossover Progressive Rock)


Countdown: Jazz & Jazz-Related Albums

4. Mats/Morgan – [schacki-tati]
(Sweden, Avant-Garde Jazz-Prog Fusion)



About ChristopherMammal

I've made it to Mammal. I still hope to be classified as Human one day. Meanwhile I have evolved enough to recognise different types of music as well as the shrieks of certain vervet monkeys who are known for their scurrilous behaviour in the proximity of unguarded bananas.

Posted on December 16, 2014, in Best of 2014 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Ah Behemoth! Hard to hate on that one…

  2. Mats/Morgan – the name sounds so bad >.< Like a cheesy, Swedish country band. Interesting music though, makes me want to hear more. What is it you like about it, anything in particular?

  3. ChristopherMammal

    Irmelinis, my dear SuperSwede, we’ll have to start calling you Beatnik Mik. I like many things about Mats/Morgan. I’m glad you find them interesting

    One: They approach their music with such intensity and skill that they often sound as if they’re not taking themselves seriously. They pay scrupulous attention to detail, and I believe they derive great joy from the music they make.

    Two: I love genre-blurring music. These two guys marry together numerous exciting elements of experimental jazz, rock and prog. Their music salutes many of the great experimenters, from the early years of avant-prog and fusion jazz to the most modern bands of that ilk, from the jazz of Miles Davis to Moraine, and from the prog of and Gentle Giant to David Maxim Micic.

    Three: They clearly paid very close attention to their respective mentors and picked up a great deal from them. When the drummer, Morgan Ågren, was only 20 years old, the legendary Frank Zappa took Morgan under his wing and included him in several touring and recording projects. Zappa also encouraged Mats Öberg, the composer and keyboard player. Morgan laterworked closely with someone you’ll know well, Fredrik Thordendal, guitarist for Mesuggah. That gave Morgan exposure to pioneering metal as well as experimental rock and jazz.

    Maybe you can sense a touch a Fredrik’s breakthrough djent in the way Mats/Morgan approach their music — boldly, fearlessly and without inhibition or restraints.

    • Thanks for an awesome, informative reply! Didn’t know it was *that* Morgan, that is cool. There’s definitely joy and creativity in their music, and like you, I enjoy the blur.

      Still, seriously, M&M. Pick another project name 😉

      /Beatnik Mik

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