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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 2/10


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I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m keeping my deadly, home-made crossbow. But enough of that, let’s focus on more lethal stuff than Mediaeval weapons. May I make so bold as to say there are some absolute killer albums in my selections today?

Why did I rank my top albums in numerical order of preference? Every time I listen to anything from any of them, I wonder if I shouldn’t merely have listed them alphabetical order. It’s bloody marvelous to have so much good stuff to blast the wax out of my ears and other nearby orifices.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2010, #4 – #1


MetalCatProg metal dominates the top of my personal 2010 hit parade. That makes sense since I deeply love progressive rock in its many forms. Metal which is partly influenced by prog structures naturally strikes many chords in me.

The three types of prog metal today are very different, covering melodic, Oriental and the more avant-garde styles. As far as I’m concerned, a lot of symphonic metal (thank you, Therion) is also laced with prog.

Dark Metal Cat likes anything laced with catnip.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2002 / #9 – #7


MetalCatSoaring prog metal from Germany, thoughtful experimental metal from Sweden and stompin’ power metal from Spain. That feels like a good mid-week mix to me.

Dark Metal Cat caught and killed a mouse this morning. I had to buy a new one from the computer shop.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1994 / #8 and #7


I see I royally screwed up yesterday. I posted my #8 and #7 for 1995, not 1994. I’ll edit that post to show the correct year. Here are the songs I should have used for 1994.

1994, #8: In Flames – Lunar Strain

Album: Lunar Strain
Country: Sweden
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

 

1994, #7: Vanden Plas – My Crying

Album: Colour Temple
Country: Germany
Genre: Prog Metal

 

Video of the Week: Vanden Plas – Vision 3hree – Godmaker


Vanden Plas has been one of my favourite prog metal bands for many years. They’ve been around since 1985 but haven’t pumped out a huge volume of albums, preferring quality and perfection to quantity. Their eighth full album, Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld (Path 1), was released a week ago. Judging by the album preview and this song, it’s going to be just as good as their previous work. To me, that makes it an almost certain inclusion in my Top Albums of 2014.

They play what might be called old-school prog metal, the sort you’d expect from Symphony X, Queensrÿche or Dream Theater. Perhaps the band that sounds most like Vanden Plas is another of my favourite prog metal outfits, Kamelot.

One of the most magnetic elements of Vanden Plas is the unique voice of Andy Kuntz. There is an almost theatrical timbre in his voice that sets him apart.