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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2013, #25 – #21


MetalCatSince this is the last week of my year-by-year hit parades, I’m overindulging myself completely by posting my top 25 songs of last year. This’ll be good practice for making my list of my top albums of 2014.

Next week I shall reveal the true identity of Dark Metal Cat unless he gets me first with his very big paws and his very, very sharp claws.

 

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1994 / #6 and #5


The hit parade of the last one-third of my life continues. So does the last one-third of my life, I’m pleased to say. I have to live for a looong time because the world is so full of beautiful music.

1994, #6: Amorphis – Magic and Mayhem

Album: Tales from the Thousand Lakes
Country: Finland
Genre: Progressive Death Metal

 

1994, #5: Corrosion of Conformity – Deliverance

Album: Deliverance
Country: USA
Genre: Sludge Metal

 

 

ChristopherMammal’s Top Albums Of 2013: #20 – #11


Metal 2013

 

From the agonising it required just to select an initial Top 60, I’d say 2013 was a damn good year for metal. We saw great bands from the past continuing to turn out fantastic albums. A surge of new bands across all genres arrived and pumped new interpretations and sheer skill into the metalsphere. Current and recent favourites lived up to their reputations and delivered outstanding work.

It won’t surprise my Metal State Of Mind colleagues that nearly half of my final Top 20 are progressive metal. At the same time it pleases me that my list includes eight different main genres. This is further proof that bands across the metal spectrum have been deliciously productive this year. Gauging by the various schedules of new albums on the way, 2014 is going to be another good vintage.

I’m not going to write anything about the individual albums on my list. As far as I’m concerned, the quality of all of them speaks much more eloquently than I can (and I’m a lazy Mammal). All I ask is that you accept I had special reasons for loving all of these albums, not just for the music but for sundry other reasons as well. They all struck special chords in the part of my head where other people have brains. Read the rest of this entry

Slamming Spotify Spotlight – Noteworthy New(ish) Releases


metal_fan2Not much of an intro to write here other than here are some really great albums that have come out in 2013 that I’ve been digging on that are available on Spotify.  It’s a bit of a mixed bag without any rhyme, order, or reason (much like my music listening habits), some underground stuff, some popular stuff.  Maybe there’s something here you overlooked or never heard of.  Enjoy and give a shout out to any 2013 albums on Spotify you’ve been digging on!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #95-#91


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time.  Loving making lists I’m all on this.  Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge.  This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences.  My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it.  Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list.  Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there!  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

#95 Deloused in the Comatorium – The Mars Volta

I don’t even really know how to begin explaining this album (as with any Mars Volta album). It’s eclectic, all over the place, cryptic, heavy, mellow, emotional, chilling, beautiful, and many many more superlatives. While it shows some homage to old school prog rock at times it is a totally unique listen and The Mars Volta are a band without comparison. Deloused… is just the start to this bands wildly progressive career.

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Crash Course In Amorphis


It seems that in my experience of showing people the following band, most people have heard the name but are not overly familiar with their albums. This is fairly understandable given the width and breadth which their discography covers, so I intend to provide a crash course into the band’s various styles, for your education and entertainment. Amorphis (taken from the word amorphous, meaning shapeless) have shifted their sound a surprising amount since their formation in 1990, taking elements of melodic death metal, doom-death, folk metal, and some psychedelic influences. I intend to take you as the reader on a journey through their albums, but for the sake of brevity I will divide their career into four eras.

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Music Video Mania- Finnish Metal


If heavy metal had a Mecca right now I would say it is Finland.  The cold country seems to be the breeding ground of a myriad of high quality metal bands spanning through many genres.  I don’t know what the Finns are drinking (maybe some of that ceremonial thunder brew that was the inspiration for Korpiklaani‘s latest album Ukon Wacka), but if there is one thing that they can do, it’s write some of the best metal that the world has to offer.  According to many statistics, Finland has the most metal bands per person with for every 4 people there’s 1 metal band.  That’s a lot of metal.

This updated repost of a Music Video Mania I did last year will be the first part of a 2 part series.  Next week I will take a look and give my opinion as to why Finland has so much great metal going on in the country.  If any Finnish readers (or any readers) would like to give their opinion why Finland is so rich with metal, I’d really love to hear it!!!  Enjoy the videos!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Best Of Albums


Usually when a band puts out a Best Of album, I often pass up on the offer.  Most of the time it’s a selection of their radio hits or the singles that should have been hits and often times really don’t give a good representation of the band as a whole.  And if it’s a band I’m into, chances are I already own everything by the artist already, so what’s the point of wasting money on stuff I already own(unless it has really cool packaging).

That said, one of my all time favorite bands, Blind Guardian, are releasing their Best Of album, Memories of a Time to Come, and I’m quite interested in picking it up.  Not only is it a great selection of songs that really show off their diverse catalog, almost all of the songs are going to be remixed and a handful completely re-recorded.  Of the re-recorded songs is “Valhalla”, a huge hit in the Blind Guardian favorite live songs, but on the album that song just has a weird feel to it(mainly because I don’t care for Kai Hansen of Gamma Ray‘s guest vocals on the track).  So I am actually excited to be able to listen to a great studio version of that song.  They are also including some demos of pre-Blind Guardian years when they were known as Lucifer’s Heritage with the set also, a nice bonus for us long time fans.

So, if you’re a fan of the band this seems to be shaping up to be a great package, and if you’re a newcomer there is some great introductory music on here to(even though nothing will top the full albums, this is a nice taste of whats available).  It will be available in 2 disc and 3 disk editions(I highly recommend the 3 disk, there’s some great stuff on the third disk) and releases January 20, 2012.

Track Listing:

CD 1:

  1. Imaginations from the Other Side (7:11) *
  2. Nightfall (5:34) *
  3. Ride into Obsession (4:46) *
  4. Somewhere Far Beyond (7:32) *
  5. Majesty (7:29) *
  6. Traveler in Time (6:01) *
  7. Follow the Blind (7:11) *
  8. The Last Candle (6:03) *

CD 2:

  1. Sacred Worlds (9:17)
  2. This Will Never End (5:07) *
  3. Valhalla (5:13) **
  4. Bright Eyes (5:15) *
  5. Mirror Mirror (5:09) *
  6. The Bard’s Song (In the Forest) (3:26) *
  7. The Bard’s Song (The Hobbit) (3:41) **
  8. And Then There Was Silence (14:06) **

CD 3: (only available with the deluxe limited edition)

  1. Brian ***
  2. Halloween (The Wizard’s Crown) ***
  3. Lucifer’s Heritage ***
  4. Symphonies of Doom ***
  5. Dead of the Night ***
  6. Majesty
  7. Trial by the Archon
  8. Battalions of Fear
  9. Run for the Night
  10. Lost in the Twilight Hall
  11. Tommyknockers
  12. Ashes to Ashes
  13. Time What is Time
  14. A Past and Future Secret
  15. The Script for My Requiem

*   Remixed 2011
**  Re-recorded 2011
*** Re-worked 2011

Now for the second part of this post.  It seems Blind Guardian have created a Best Of package that looks to satisfy both long time fans as well as newcomers.  I ask you, what are some Best Of collections that you deem worthy of purchasing?

Other good and interesting Best Of collections I liked listening to were Prime Cuts by Suicidal Tendencies where all the songs were given a make over and remixed to show a more funky style of the band, and to be perfectly honest, I prefered a lot of the remixes over the originals.  Same could be said for AmorphisMagic and Mayhem:Tales From the Early Years where they re-recorded their older tracks with the new lineup of the band, and new vocalist Tomi Joutsen adding a new flavor to the songs while keeping the integrity of the original in tact. Dream Theater‘s Greatest Hit(…and 21 other pretty cool songs) was a good one too as it was a great album to pass along to a newcomer and it had a couple different versions of their songs on it for the long time fans.

I’m Indecisive


Hey all you awesome Metal State of Mind readers.  I’m going to start taking advantage of the fact that I have way to many CDs and start doing some album anthologies.  I’ve narrowed it down to a selection of five bands to start off with but haven’t decided on the order.  In the below poll make your selection for the band you would like to see an anthology of first here on Metal State of Mind.  If there is a band in particular you would like to see profiled let me know in the comments and I will certainly look into it.  On Nov. 8, 2011 I will check the poll stats and start the anthology with the number one selection. Peace Love and Metal!!!

Atleastimhousebroken(AKA Matt)

Theme Thursday- Album Covers


I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Most of the time that’s easier said than done.  I’ve purchased a decent share of albums based on the cover alone, some covers gave a good representation of what may be on the album, some misrepresented and I’ve been led to my share of “meh” albums.  When you have an album with great artwork along with some great music contained within you have yourself a special package that pleased many of your multiple senses.  And as an avid CD collector the album artwork is something special to me.  Since many of you are already familiar with many of the classic album covers such as Master of Puppets, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath I’ll make a list(in no particular order) of more modern album covers from 2000 and onward from popular and lesser known bands(one per band).

What are your favorite album covers and how important is the artwork in an album to you?  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

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