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Mik’s Top 20 Albums of 2015



Couldn’t fit Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors on the list. Also, switched Claret Ash – The Cleansing with Moonspell at the last second… now it looks like this:

20. Moonspell – Extinct (gothic metal)
I’m surprised too. Moonspell? Well, this band has been with me from the beginning of my metal years, and even though I’ve kind of lost interest in their music, with “Extinct” I’m back on their side again. Maybe the dark, slightly cheesy songs bring back old memories, or maybe it’s just that Fernando Riberio’s voice is spell-binding me. He sounds just as gorgeous as he used to 20 years ago! Listen here.


19. Misthyrmning – Songvar Elds og óreidu (mysterious black metal)
Soulful, deep black metal from Iceland, with a tiny touch of rhythmic folk music, wrapped in a mind twisting atmosphere.


18. Outre – Ghost Chants (eerie black)
Wicked is good… “Ghost Chants” is bizarre, freaky and uncomfortable.


17. Pyramids – A Northern Meadow (fresh ambient metal)
Layers upon layers, endlessly complex textures and soaring vocals. It changes shape every time I listen, from black metal to David Bowie, and it melts my heart.

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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #14- Baker Street coverd by Foo Fighters

baker_streetOften cited as one of the best songs of the 70’s, Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” is a song that once you hear it you will you will have trouble forgetting it.  You could chalk all up to that commanding saxophone riff.  While the rest of the tune has some other damn fine parts, that sax gets me every time, almost to the point I forget about that slamming solo at the end which always leave me pleasantly surprised each time I hear it.  When I saw that there was a tune on my new (at the time) The Colour and the Shape record from the Foo Fighters, I pretty much skipped right to the song to confirm it was cover of the classic rock powerhouse and to hear how a band would re-imagine the song sans saxophone.  Not only did Dave Grohl do the song justice by infusing that distinct Foo Fighters style into it, but he transcribed the sax parts to guitar and chose the perfect tone to give them the same commanding power that the original had.  He also does a damn fine job with that killer solo, though I feel the original’s is still more rockin’.  Enjoy!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

Foo Fighters Version:

Original Gerry Rafferty Version:

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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #15- Sabbra Cadabra covered by Metallica

tumblr_m8zjenrpzR1rpgw7vo1_500Well, what a nice coincidence, today, Feb.14 is recognized as the day you fork your money over to Hallmark and show your significant other that you love them more on this day instead of any other day of the year.  Single people also get to be reminded that they are alone as they get berated by sappy lovey dovey stuff from their friends in relationships.  I wonder how many hits those wank sites get today.  Anywho, my pick for #15 is one of the cover of a Black Sabbath ode to love, “Sabbra Cadabra”, covered by Metallica.

What I dig about the Metallica cover is that it is able to capture the fun and energy of the original track and also work in that classic ‘Tallica sound.  Hetfeild sounds great in the vocal part and suits the song well with his bluesy singing style and Kirk’s guitar tone and wah-wah abuse sound tailored this song.  There is also a nice little segue into my all time favorite Black Sabbath tune, “A National Acrobat”, towards the end of the track that is masterfully woven into the cover before it seamlessly works its way back into the rockin’ sounds of the former.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

Metallica Version:

Original Black Sabbath Version (Sabbra Cadabra):

Original Black Sabbath Version (A National Acrobat):

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Matt’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs: #16- Stargazer covered by Týr

stars_1230_600x450While no one can match Rainbow’s musical masterpiece “Stargazer”, Faroese metal band Týr come pretty damn close.  As with almost all of the covers you will find on this list, the covering band makes sure to inject their own sound and personality into the song and attempt to make it their own while still respecting the source material.  Such is the case with “Stargazer”.  Mixed with the very recognizable Týr guitar tone and vocal style I can picture Mr. Dio smiling in his grave each time this tune is played.

While the original still sounds amazing today and more than holds up, it is also really cool hearing this tune with a fresh coat of paint.  And the heathenistic style of Týr shine a light in a different angle at it.  Anywho, check it out and enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Týr version:

Original Rainbow version:

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