Alexa Statistics for this blog

Thursday, 26 March 2009

My top 10 Metal albums of all time

So there was this topic on a Facebook discussion group with the same name (yeah well obviously 'my' was replaced by 'your') and it suddenly occured to me that I had hardly given any thought to such a question.So I did so,and this is what I came up with.Note that regardless of how much thought was given to it,the list is VERY volatile.I have also (at the request of one of my readers) provided links to torrents of each album (well some are complete discographies as I couldn't get singular album torrents,but if you can't operate a torrent client you shouldn't be downloading torrents right?).These links can be accessed by clicking the album names:

-Beneath the Remains: If there was ever to be an audio tribute to 'V for Vendetta',this album would be it. An album that start seemingly harmlessly (in a very ethnic Latino way) soon becomes a riot of fast,angry and precise riffs with anti-governmental lyrics growled out almost poetically.This album is everything that a good thrash metal album calls for,and more.Breakneck speed-sections that suddenly become so slow and melodic at times,you could be forgiven for believing that you've passed through a time vortex;scale changes that are perceptible yet donot take away the familiarity with a song and vocals that force the anger right down your throat,this album has it all.A record that I'm sure sent chills down German and American spines.

FAVOURITE TRACKS: Beneath the Remains,Inner Self,Hungry,Slaves of Pain, Stronger than Hate,Mass Hypnosis

9. SYMPHONY X-The Divine Wings of Tragedy: How this album did not affirm the band in question a higher rank than Dream Theater is what I don't understand.This album has the right ingredients for a masterpiece.An intangible sculpture of perfection.Fluid basslines that set a firm plinth for precise guitar-keyboard harmonies and unconventionally epic vocals, with Rullo's drums doing a tidy job with the mind-warping beats.An album that is truly progressive;unconventional time signatures and beat skips,constantly changing rhythms while keeping the epic pace going and at the same time not going overboard with it and at times just settling for the regular multiple of 4.

FAVOURITE TRACKS: Sea of Lies,The Accolade,The Eyes of Medusa,Out of the Ashes,Of Sins and Shadows

-Inhumanity: To be frank,I'm yet to hear a tighter debut.With freely-flowing,epic rhythms,backed by a marching percussion barrage and perfectly-toned harsh vocals,few can ignore the talent that these Finnish exports have. The keyboard work on this album is just phenomenal,knowing when to lie low and maintain a haunting atmosphere and when to pounce onto the guitar for a harmonic duel.This album is melody personified.A great debut signalling a sparkling future for melodic death metal.

FAVOURITE TRACKS:The Lust Called Knowledge,D.I.B,Another Creation,Last Apprentice,Eternity's Child,Inhumanity

7. ICED EARTH-Horror Show: Come on,an opera on the most famous villains in popular fiction and history and I miss it?Not a chance.Just sit back,but don't relax.The songwriting won;t let you.Each song's tune is crafted to perfection to match the villain in question,and the lyrics just work perfectly as a psycho-analysis of each character;the mid-Eastern vibe on 'Imhotep',the Satanic setting of 'Damien' and the disturbing feel to 'Jack' are a few of the masterworks.To top it all,the Iron Maiden cover (Transylvania) just fits like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle.This is one show which will keep playing you an encore whenever you want.

FAVOURITE TRACKS:Damien,Ghost of Freedom,Jack,Imhotep,The Phantom Opera Ghost

6. KAMELOT-The Black Halo: Allow me to say this:Roy Khan has the best voice in power metal today. This album bears testimony to that.And also to Thomas Youngblood's shredding prowess.'The Black Halo' is a continuation to the modern day rendition of 'Faust' that Kamelot started with 'Epica' and let me say that even though I've never read 'Faust',I can feel a story in motion when I listen to this album.Kamelot have the gift of storytelling.They know when to speed things up and when to canter,they know when to blaze with riffs and when to cool things down.The symphonic keyboard playing gives a film score vibe to this album.If you haven't heard it yet,begin your hunt now.

FAVOURITE TRACKS:When the Lights are Down,The Haunting,Moonlight,Soul Society,March of Mephisto,This Pain

-Silence: Sonata Arctica have always had me respecting them for very boldly following a romantic path in metal.AND being successful at it.This album is a replication and a celebration of life.It stands for freedom,pain,happiness,loneliness,deception and of course love,amongst others.It has the quintessential power metal ingredients namely blazing guitars,harmonic keyboards and soaring vocals.But it also has a certain uniqueness to it as well.Vocalist Tony Kakko does the right pitch shifts,the rhythm sections change to change the mood and the keyboards just dance so perfectly around everything.Every song has a very prominent message to it.Overall,this album is just THERAPY.

FAVOURITE TRACKS:Wolf and Raven,The End of this Chapter,Black Sheep,Sing in Silence,San Sebastian (Revisited),The Power of One

-Follow the Reaper: Ah,who doesn't know this album.This lovely monstrosity of musical prowess.This perfect combination of melody and brutality,mixed to create a homogeneous,epic product.This album sees the best of Bodom's talent till date;Alexi Laiho vocals have the perfect tones and shifts that only rival his virtuosic ability with the guitar,Janne Warmen's keyboard teasingly flitting in and out of the guitar melodies,Alexander Kuoppala and Henkka's solid rhythm backing and Jaska's tight drumming.One can only utter good things about the band after he's ventured in and out of it.Sadly,the band turned to a mainstream and simplistic songwriting style with 'Are You Dead Yet?',but this album can at least re-kindle hopes of a return.

FAVORITE TRACKS:Every Time I Die,Children of Decadence,Kissing the Shadows,Mask of Sanity,Follow the Reaper

-11 Dreams: This album is an attack on the senses.Mercenary managed to pleasantly shock audiences with their triple vocal styled melodic death metal.Drawing a heavy influence from power metal as well,these guys just wake you up to reality.Their songwriting involves crushing rhythms juxtaposed with haunting keyboard riffs and catchy drum beats thanks to Mike Park's innovative bass drum playing style.Their lyrics largely explore human thought processes and lets just say that they do a darn good job with it.A relatively underrated band but one that is HIGHLY talented.

FAVOURITE TRACKS: World Hate Center,Firesoul,11 Dreams,Supremacy v2.0,Loneliness,Times Without Changes

-Somewhere in Time: This band needs no introduction.Nor does this album.Its a very epic yet very modern album at the same time.Lyrics that are the stuff of poetry,rhythms and leads that are the stuff of legends and percussion that is still difficult to replicate,the magic that this album weaves needs no introduction.UP THE IRONS!!!

FAVOURITE TRACKS:Caught Somewhere In Time,Wasted Years,Heaven Can Wait,Stranger in a Strange Land,Deja Vu

-Ride the Lightning: I don't know how long the other albums will last on my top 10 list,but I can safely say that this album will ALWAYS occupy #1 spot.This album's sheer songwriting magnitude just astounds you.In a time when a 2/2 beat and a tremolo pick were enough to garner legendary status for a thrash metal album,Metallica pushed the envelope by playing varied beat speeds,more progressive riffs and having an overall almost classical feel to their music.This album is full of memorable riffs,catchy vocal hooks and of course the virtuosic bass playing of late Cliff Burton.If you haven't heard this album yet,that's shameful.

FAVOURITE TRACKS:Fight Fire With Fire,Ride the Lightning,For Whom the Bell Tolls,Fade to Black,Creeping Death,Escape,The Call of Ktulu.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

One with the Force...

Today may have been Holi and though I don't celebrate it anyway, this time there was more reason to not do so. My dadi (paternal grandmother) has passed away. She was in ICU for 20 days when she finally got liberated for eternity at 3:00 AM. She had suffered multiple femur fractures and since she was 82 years old and her bones were highly weakened by osteoporosis, the doctors had already warned us that it will cause further complications. Sure enough, that's what happened and her body finally gave in today.

The mood was grim at home but hardly a tear was shed. Everyone secretly heaved a sigh of relief that my dadi's suffering had ended. I myself was not weakened by emotion. Right from when my mom woke me up to break the news to me, to the time her body was slid into the electric crematorium. It was saddening of course, but rather than make me cry, memories of my dadi will always bring a smile to my face.

My dadi was a typical warrior-hearted Punjabi lady. Till the time she was admitted into the ICU, she felt no pain. Even when the doctor was squeezing her thigh and asking her if she feels pain she replied "No there's no pain.Now give me my chappals and lets go home". She would then be lying in her ward bed with her leg suspended and put in a cast and sh would ask why the hell she was lying like that. When told she has a fracture she would refuse it outright!!!

Her bones weakened for the sole reason that she stopped exercising and kept eating. She became quite fat and was basically bed-ridden for the remainder of her years. But that did not stop her from waging war intermittently! She would give hell to my maids for getting her food late (she kept changing the time in her wristwatch), for not switching the TV on even though there was no electricity, for not letting her eat all those potato chips that would all exit her body in the most unfavourable way and for many other things. She would keep them awake all night with her Sai bhajans and she would wear sweaters and sleep with a quilt in the months of August-November. She would shed crocodile tears each time my parents spoke to her about talking rudely to the maids. And yet, every time I went upstairs to meet her she would smile the most radiant of smiles at me, asking me time and again whether all was fine with me and how she hated Physics.

When I was younger she would tell Ishika and me stories about her convent days and how mischievous she was. Once she even got into trouble when a drunk British soldier expressed his love for her from the streets as she looked out the window.

Like I said, till the very end she went down living life to the fullest. And to this indomitable spirit, I raise a salute.

May the Force be with my dadi.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Song titles quiz

Here's a quiz I came across on Facebook:

Think of an artiste and answer the following questions using ONLY their song titles.I choose my all-time favourites,Metallica.Here goes:

1. Are you a male or female: The God that Failed

2. Describe yourself: The Thing that Should Not Be

3. How do you feel about yourself: No Remorse

4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: Ain't My Bitch

5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Hit the Lights

6. Describe your current location: Trapped Under Ice

7. Describe where you want to be: The House that Jack Built

8. Your best friend is: My Friend of Misery

9. Your favorite color is: Blackened

10. You know that: Battery

11. What’s the weather like: Sad But True

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called: The Struggle Within

13. What is life to you: Eye of the Beholder

14. What is the best advice you have to give: Fight Fire with Fire

15. If you could change your name what would you change it to: Master of Puppets