It’s been a fantastic year for music purchases. During Christmas 2010 I threw $200 at the local retailers and came away with a ton of great CDs. Now it’s time to celebrate the last 12 months with a mix tapes for all my friends who are willing to ignore the implicit minor copyright infrindgements.
Like last year, my goal has been to get a good thorough mix of styles. I’ve focussed on the albums I’ve bought in 2011. So here’s the mixtape!
1. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns And Roses (1987)
Ever since my wife bought me Appetite for Destruction, I’ve been wanting to open a mix tape with this song. There’s something unique in those weird guitar sounds that introduce the song. Some may be ashamed of this sort of music, but I can’t deny I love it.
2. Moonlight Equilibrium – The Black Dahlia Murder (2011)
After the Rock stylings of GnR I wanted to follow up with a real nasty piece of modern metal. The Black Dahlia Murder pummell away like a musical meat tenderizer. Maybe it won’t be apparent on the first listen, but there’s actually a fair bit of melody in their songs.
3. Soul Burn – Meshuggah (1995)
Meshuggah is hard to place in a mix tape since they’re music is so rhythmically unconventional. It stops everything dead still then builds up a weird foundation on its own terms. I still struggle with the ‘Destroy Erase Improve’ album , but this is probably one of the more accessible tracks.
4. Wailing Wintry Wind – Baroness (2007)
Time to take it back a notch or three. Baroness are one of my favorite bands, but they don’t make nice neat singles for mix tapes. Enjoy 4 or so minutes of build up before they knock it out of the park.
5. Hell Bent For Leather – Judas Priest (1978)
I’m really quite surprised this song fits so much into its time of 2:43. It makes me wish more Metal songs were easy to sing along with!
“There’s many tried to prove that their faster, but they didn’t last and they died as they tried!”
6. Through The Eyes Of The Raven (2011)
It took me a while to pick an Arch Enemy song. Their latest album didn’t blow my socks off, but I did grow to love it. I eventually picked this track as it has a good deal of diversity.
7. Mr Crowley – Ozzy Osbourne (1981)
If you know this song already, you deserve +2 points of awesomeness. I hadn’t heard of I experienced its stunning use in Brutal Legend. The crazy opening is followed by Ozzy at his best. The guitar is also excellent in this track.
8. Alone – Parkway Drive (2010)
This band was apparently the best ting ever or just another Metalcore wannabe along with the rest. After a few spins the album won me over and this track was one of the more memorable entries. They seem to be 80-90% shouty, but that fraction where clear melody or other inventiveness breaks through really counts.
9. Backlit – ISIS (2004)
Here’s ISIS with another slow epic. I worry about their place on a mix tape as they require such patience to get the most out of. This track is a favorite of mine though. When jogging to this track I find the last stretch creates an unstoppable momentum.
70s metal trilogy!
10. Embryo / 11. Children Of The Grave – Black Sabbath (1971)
Look, it’s my favorite Black Sabbath song! I’ve included the short intro Embryo as a lead in. The song proper builds a chugging momentum that is soon complemented by a great melody from Ozzy.
12. Tarot Woman – Rainbow (1976)
In case you were wondering, Rainbow is featuring Ronnie James Dio on vocals. DIO! Following the end of CHildren of the Grave we have our mid-mixtape, psychedelic space-out section. Other than that, this track speaks for itself. Classic hard rock / power metal!
13. Space Truckin’ – Deep Purple (1972)
1970s indulgence! One last fun song before we get stuck into the thick of it.
Dark (Black-Goth-Doom) Metal Trilogy!
14. A Fine Day To Die – Emperor (1998)
Emperor are one of the seminal Norwegian Black Metal bands. This track is a cover and probably the most accessible track I have from them. Their original tracks are much thicker and difficult to enjoy. This still features the screetchy vocals, atmosphere and ugliness of Black Metal. I do think this track has a lot of momentum and guitars clear enough that you might just enjoy it.
15. A Gothic Romance – Cradle Of Filth (1996)
The Black Metal heart of the mix tape continues with British band Cradle of Filth. More epic and symphonic than the previous Emperor song, this is packed to the brim. It even begins with wolves howling!
16. The Funeral Portrait – Opeth (2001)
Less black, and more doomy, we conclude the dark center of the tape with a great song from Opeth’s brilliant Blackwater Park album.
Art Metal Trilogy!
17. To Forget – Kylesa (2010)
The next three bands are only loosly connected. Like Baroness earlier, they are modern and popular . Be on the look out for unconventional song structures with a thick, but fuzzy and enjoyable sound.
I find Kylesa cuts in with such a distinctive sound it realigns my brain immediately. A great band with dual singers (one female) and dual percussionists. I 100%, wholeheartedly recommend the album this is from, Spiral Shadow.
18. Below – Intronaut (2010)
Intronaut are an interesting band. My initial thought is a strange mix of ISIS, Baroness and Mastodon. Weird song structures, cool drumming, howling vocals and just a touch of kicking arse.
19. The Hunter – Mastodon (2011)
Mastodon are one of my favorite bands. Their latest album, The Hunter, mixes things up with many short fun songs. However, there are a couple of mournful tracks about friends and family lost. The Hunter is about the brother of the leader guitarist who died hunting. It is imbued with a real sorrow that feels honest. My favorite track from the album.
Machine Head is next, but I really like dropping in the Megadeth skeleton randomly!
20. Darkness Within – Machine Head (2011)
It’s that I rare that I recommend a song based on it’s lyrics. I’ll even admit that this song could be considered cheesy in its approach. However at it’s heart it says that music can be a powerful influence, offering hope and inspiration to people. As a born-again Metal Head that’s something I can relate to. So check it out, and maybe you’ll like it too!
21. Holy Wars… The Punishment Due – Megadeth (1990)
This is the “Official Ben Hughes Megadeth Appreciation Track” for my friend Ben who is yet to realise how completely awesome Megadeth can be. 😉
The deal here is that very few people can play Thrash Metal guitar like Dave Mustaine. Some of the lyrics seem a bit clumsy, but are at least aiming for something interesting. That aside, this shit moves like nothing else.
22. Laser Cannon Death Sentence – Dethklok (2009)
Drums! Witness your own pummeling destruction at the hands of Gene Hoglan (of Strapping Young Lad)! The second Dethklok album is much more focussed. Less obviously funny (though still hilariously over the top), this album certainly competes with the mainstream metal crowd. D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-DIE!!!
23. B******** – Rammstein (2009)
“Get orff! You suhck! Ve vaunt RAMMSTEIN!” – Comments made by irate german music fan to unfortunate Brisbane based opening act ‘Not From There’, during Rammsteins 2001 concert.
Rammstein remain one of my favorite bands over the last 15 years. The mix of Metal, Industrial and Techno hits a sweet spot in my brain.
24. Mouth Of Ghosts – The Dillinger Escape Plan (2007)
I wanted a good closer, so I decided to steal this one from the classic Ire Works album.iTunes wants to call it Metal, but it’s actually jazzy, industrial and Pattonesque. Apart from the fact this song ends with a whole bunch of screaming, i think it’s a nice finish to the album.