It’s that weird time of year, where we’re between two big holidays, nearly everyone’s off from school/work, and no one really wants to do anything. Apparently I relax by listening to lots of proggy music, and that’s pretty evident here.
Amorphis – Death Of A King
Although it was released earlier this year, I’ve not long gotten around to listen to Amorphis’ Under The Red Cloud album, and this song, amongst so many others, really stood out to me: the way that it’s so brilliant, thematically; the use of the sitar, along with the harmonic minor scale, really sets the scene brilliantly. Then it’s so incredibly heavy, but groovy at the same time. Not a big fan of the initial vocals tbh, but they pass pretty quickly and everything musically in the song makes up for that.
Waxpanel – Dying Inside
This track is punchy and hard hitting from the go! It’s kind of stoner rock with its weighty, slowish riffs and there’s something about it that just makes it sound SO heavy!
The band’s website says “Waxpanel is the story of three musicians, who share the same vision and a message of their Faith in Jesus Christ, their families, and their life stories.” This shared vision definitely comes across as everything in the song works together really well; and the lyrics are cohesive and well-constructed. Unfortunately, Waxpanel don’t have a load of songs available to listen to currently, but sources say that we can expect more from them in the near future!
Baroness – Chlorine & Wine
Baroness‘s Purple album must have been one of the latest of the year, but it’s fantastic, and having only heard it recently, I could have featured any number of songs from the album in this list. Chlorine & Wine really stands due to its progressive nature, how it starts off so peaceful and small, yet builds into this masterful work of brilliance, ascending through a variety of sections to get there. The build isn’t tense, yet guides the listener through the track; the drumming that enters after 2 minutes is incredible, it’s just so ridiculous. Maybe this is one of those sections where the vocals don’t quite fit, but when the beat kicks in, it sounds perfect. The solo sounds reminiscent of Metallica‘s Orion, and if that’s not a reason to listen to this song then I don’t know what is!
Franz Ferdinand – Evil Eye
This may well be familiar to many readers, but I only heard it for the first time recently, after sort of discarding Franz Ferdinand after a string disappointing releases. I’m delighted to say however that this song is great! A listen back to their self-titled debut album, made me realise how clever some of the band’s song-writing is, especially in the lyrics. This track sounds like it could fit right in with the debut album; the music fits brilliantly with the lyrics, it’s kinda dark, kinda creepy, and that matches the lyrics and their delivery, really great song.
Steven Wilson – First Regret/3 Years Older
This track has been stuck in my head for days now, I absolutely love it! While you might think that at just over 12 minutes, the track is too long to remain in your head. If that’s the case, you’ve clearly not listened to enough prog! The scene is set perfectly by First Regret; the atmospheric synths, the arpeggiated high pitched notes, and that slightly off kilter/uneasy piano tone, all pave the way for what comes next.
The amount of brilliant features in 3 years older is too many to list: the dynamic variation, the vibrant use of colour, and the contrast of textures are perhaps my favourites. These don’t take note of the clearly detailed look into instrumentation; the virtuosity of the players, and the tremendous melodies throughout. Fantastic song, and probably up there with song of the year for me.
Thus concludes the breakdown of what I’ve been listening to this week; these tracks have kept me thoroughly entertained on my hours of travel up and down the country to visit family.
Don’t forget, all these tracks are being added to my Spotify Songs Of The Week playlist!