Friday, July 8, 2016

10 metal song pairs which have smoothest segues

Hello kind readers.

'Segue' is defined as an uninterrupted transition from one piece of music to another.
Somehow the concept of smooth transitions from one song to another has always fascinated me. I'm sure many of you feel the same.

Without further ado, here a 10 song-pairs from the metal industry which have the smoothest segues.
Note that I'm not listing songs which the bands have grouped together as multi-part suites in their album. (Ex. "2112" by Rush or "The Glass Prison" by Dream Theater)

10. The Ides Of March/Wrathchild (Killers) - Iron Maiden
Alright, let's kick off the list with the masters of NWOBHM. Instantly recognizable classic Maiden sound flows through these two songs. Starting off the album, the instrumental with the title of a significant date has two great solos, transitions smoothly into the fan favorite track's bass intro.

9. Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver (Sad Wings Of Destiny) - Judas Priest
Talk about seguing with style. Rob Halford screams his way through and you won't even realize the song has changed, until the riffage starts. Coming from their second album, "Dreamer Deceiver" is best described as a 'space ballad' with some masterful vocal delivery and soon transforms into a great little piece called "Deceiver".

8. Aqua Dementia/Hearts Alive (Leviathan) - Mastodon
Mastodon's first concept album is epic. It has a great flow and you can listen to it from start to finish with ease. (and a lot of headbanging, of course) These two songs are connected by the sound of crashing waves and loaded with some killer music. Do give them a listen.

7. Polyphony/The New Black (The New Black) - Strapping Young Lad
Heavy Devy, you genius you! When I first heard this album, I instantly fell in love, mainly because of the typical dense 'wall of guitar' sound and Gene motherfucking Hoglan's drumming. I was in the process of listening to the album, and didn't realize when the songs even changed. One of the smoothest segues in the list.

6. Vicinity of Obscenity/She's Like Heroin (Hypnotize) - System Of A Down
Two of the most eclectic songs of SOAD form this incredible pair connected so well that I almost always listen to them one after the other. Definitely one of my favorite albums of all time. Check them out..

5. The Passing/In Your Words (Wrath) - Lamb Of God
This duo is particularly interesting. 'The Passing' is an instrumental starts off clean and builds into nice groovy piece with a beautiful outro and just when you think the song is over, 'In Your Words' takes off with vicious power. Wrath is one of the best Lamb Of God albums, IMHO.

4. Post Mortem/Raining Blood (Reign In Blood) - Slayer
No description needed. SLAAAAAYYYER!

3. Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)/Rosetta Stoned (10,000 Days) - Tool
A lot of people don't realize that the first part is actually another song track. You honestly cannot listen to one without the other, because the preceding track serves are prologue for the story of events which unfold in Rosetta Stoned. I don't understand what kind of trippy shit this is, but the song's arrangement is just mind blowing. GODDAMN, SHIT THE BED.

2. The Hellion/Electric Eye (Screaming For Vengeance) - Judas Priest
Well, you had to see this one coming. Second entry for Priest and rightly so, but wow. What a composition. 'The Hellion' instrumental acts as a perfect intro, to Electric Eye, which symbolizes a pseudo-omniscient satellite which watches over everyone, in a dystopian future. The album is a true, bad-ass heavy metal classic.

1. In the Presence of Enemies Part 1/Part 2 (Systematic Chaos) - Dream Theater
Here we are folks. With the working title 'The Pumpkin King' this two piece suite spans over 25 minutes. They are split as the first and the last song of the album. When I first heard these two songs, my soul turned inside-out. Extraordinary performance in every way imaginable and the band reaches absolute progressive musical perfection.

Special mention:
Parabol/Parabola (10,000 Days) - Tool
A special shout-out to this masterpiece. Only complete when you listen one after the other.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

10 badass Motorhead Songs

2015, what an year it's been!

It was 6 pm and I just got back from my first day of work since I returned from a long vacation at my hometown. I was lazily surfing through Facebook, just catching up on what people were upto and suddenly saw Anthrax's post about Lemmy passing away. I swallowed hard and scrambled all over the internet to confirm if the unthinkable has really happened. The one, the only, Lemmy Kilmister, who we all expected to live forever, has left us.
Soon enough, posts started flooding the social media about the frontman.

I was filled with an overwhelming sense of loss. It took me a while to fathom the fact that this heavy metal icon is no more in our lives. Most of us here know this man God has lived life to the fullest and exemplified a true Rock n Roll lifestyle. Reading all the reactions of many, many musicians, one thing became clear. I decided to stop being sad, and "celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself." I turned on the speaker and blasted Motorhead, LOUD!

I hereby dedicate my list below to the one true "badass" of Rock n Roll history.

10. Killed By Death (No Remorse) 
What a better way to start the list, than with this metal anthem with tongue-in-cheek title of how one day or the other, death will kill us all. This gritty song is a classic Motorhead, with gnarly vocals of Lemmy and rest of the band doing what they do best. Let's not forget about the lyrics..
"I'm a lone wolf trigger, but I ain't no pretty boy. I'm a backbone shiver and I'm a bundle of joy."

9. I'm So Bad (Baby I Don't Care) (1916)
Badass right from the title, this is a song which will grow hair on your chest. With a solid chunky riff throughout and thrash percussion, Lemmy delivers pure badass through his voice.Wham, bam, thank you ma'am!

8. Rock Out (Motorizer) 
This adrenaline-pumping track is a sludgy-vocal powered bullet train. With super fast riffing and drumming, it will inspire to do exactly what the title suggests. I keep wondering every time I listen to Motorhead songs, with such badassery oozing out of every single song, how the fuck did they live their lives?

7. Iron Fist (Iron Fist)
Holy Shit! That's what I exclaimed when I first heard this song. Faster than lightning, this typical Motorhead thrash formula gives you all you expect; nasty riffing with the grit-filled vocal delivery and Phil's super-fast drumming.

6. The Chase Is Better Than The Catch (Ace Of Spades)
Wiser words have never been spoken. Ah, this song epitomizes womanizing, as we all are aware, Lemmy has done gloriously. A track more heavy, thrashy but textbook Motorhead with all the elements essential to make it a perfectly-badass song. And watch out for the solos, quite brilliantly done!

5. Born To Raise Hell (Bastards)
I believe this is an ode to themselves. This gem comes their Bastards album which hails other badass songs like "I Am the Sword", "On Your Feet or On Your Knees" and "Death Or Glory" but this track remains one of band's greatest latter-day classics. Groovy riffs, heavy drums and the God's vocals blend-in perfectly, just like Jack and coke.

4. Orgasmatron (Orgasmatron)
"Your bones will build my palaces, your eyes will stud my crown. For I am Mars, the god of war, and I will cut you down"

3. Hellraiser (March Or Die)
One of the most popular Motorhead songs, this was originally written by Lemmy, Ozzy and Zakk Wylde. Later it was re-recorded it for this album and made it Motorhead-esque heavy, which ain't a bad thing. Add in the sonic-sludgy Kilmister's voice, it turns out uber badass.
Oh, an honorable mention to the song 'I Ain't No Nice Guy' from the same album.

2. The Game (Hammered)
Although this song was composed by a WWE music composer, this song is Motorhead from start to finish. Lemmy's voice is absolute power. It establishes a sense of control through heavy riffing and thunderous drums. I remember listening to this song from my adolescence, when 'Triple H' walked into the ring, for the first time. I'm glad he picked this one.

1. Motorhead (Motorhead)
This is THE definitive badass song through which they declared to the world "Motorhead, remember me now, Motorhead alright". Aggressive, straightforward and in-your-face, this to me, is what Motorhead has always sounded like, and always will. And that bass intro, we will never forget...

As this list concludes, I know I have missed so many other songs which fit the bill, but then again, that would mean listing ALL the songs they've ever penned-down.

RIP Lemmy. Thank you for teaching us how to live. \m/

"Death is an inevitability, isn't it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don't worry about it. I'm ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn't complain. It's been good." - Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

10 metal songs which are extremely sad

Greetings readers!

Today, I list all poignant reminders of the metal realm. As we all know, most of the metal bands at some point in their career have penned down some mournful tracks of which some evoke anger, some induce pain, but almost all, leave you with a heavy heart.
Melancholy is beautiful, in a weird way. And in my opinion, these songs will move you with a genuine heartfelt emotion and make you sympathize with these lyricists and musicians, who have endured pain and suffering just like the rest of us.

10. Endless Sacrifice (Train Of Thought) - Dream Theater 
Lets start off the list with a classic by the masters of prog metal. 'Endless sacrifice' is about long-distance relationship and what it takes to endure it. Written by Petrucci, it details the sorrow and isolation you feel when you're far way from your loved one and the compromises you'll have to make. This one stanza from the song sums it up perfectly. 
Over the distance, we try to make sense of surviving together, while living apart
The music is absolutely brilliant which blends in seamlessly with the lyrics. This is one song you cannot miss.

9. So Far Away (Nightmare) - Avenged Sevenfold
Written by the guitarist, Synyster Gates, this is one painful reminiscent of their deceased drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. The lyrics give you a glimpse of the tragedy of losing someone who you love. The song genuinely makes you empathize with each and every member of the band after the loss of their good friend. I don't listen to A7X so much to understand why they have garnered so much hate, but I do know one thing, this is a well-crafted heartbreaking song, and due respect should be given, when deserved.

8. A Tout Le Monde (Youthanasia) - Megadeth
The French title, when translated to English, means "To all the world". This song is like a reverse eulogy, which is in the first-person perspective of someone breathing their last.. As Mustaine said it himself, it is an opportunity for the deceased to say something to the ones they love before they go. 
An acoustic intro leads into a solid thrash composition filled with typical Megadeth riffs and solos.

7. Windowpane (Damnation) - Opeth
Opeth have churned out some extremely haunting melodies since their first album. This song, like the rest of the songs from the album Damnation, is a beautiful composition. It's a really sad song. The lyrics indicate that it's about child abuse and the emotional scars they leave behind. Windowpane is tailored with acoustic guitar bridges, melodious solos, soft drums and of course, the angelic voice of Mr. Akerfeldt.

6. Solitude (Master Of Reality) - Black Sabbath
Leave it to the masters of heavy metal to come up with a song so touching, by the time you are done listening to it, you will be left fighting a lump in your throat. Iommi not only plays the guitar, but also the flute and the piano in this mellow masterpiece. Ozzy's voice is soothingly sad. Only if the rest of the world knows how versatile metal really is.

5. Embrace Of The Endless Ocean (Twilight Of The Thunder God) - Amon Amarth
Half way through the list, we have reached to the tale of a slave, who has been set free and while sailing on a ship home, a storm rips it apart and he dies in the ocean. This is my personal favorite of this list and every time I hear it, I feel my neck hairs stand. This is viking metal at it's finest. Below is a lyrical excerpt.
Wont feel the breeze of my home shore, nor see the lakes or winter snow.
My hopeful dreams lie ripped and torn, father, I die alone, I die alone..

4. Here Come The Tears (Sin After Sin) - Judas Priest
I'll give you one tip. Don't ever listen to this song after a heart break. Sad songs are supposed to be your recluse after such events, but not this one. This will turn your soul inside-out. Halford shines in this song, delivering pain through his voice, while the guitars wail in misery in the background. And surely, by the time you are done with the song, here come the tears...

3. Suicide Note Pt.1 (The Great Southern Trendkill) - Pantera
This first part of the power ballad is arguably the most diverse song of Pantera. A 12-string guitar provides the rhythm, with some help from keyboards. Before the song segues into Pt. 2, it takes the listener into an isolated psychedelic experience, a mind of drug-induced suicidal, to live through his despair. Phil does a phenomenal job expressing pain through his vocals.

2. 1916 (1916) - Motorhead
Alright guys, get ready to bawl like babies. 1916 recounts the experience of a dying soldier. With a keyboard synth and drum machine, this song, composed by Lemmy, will surely leave you in tears. There is not much to say about this, except that it is probably the only sad song by Motorhead and they did an exceptional job in making it "heartrendingly sad".

1. Fade To Black (Metallica) - Metallica
Here it is. To me, this is probably the saddest song I've heard since I started listening to metal. Coincidentally, this song came out on top of UG's "Top 20 Greatest Rock Ballads" poll this week. This is the  song I would listen to, if I had only 7 minutes to live. Starts off with a long acoustic intro, works it's way through a harmonious blend of guitars and drums and fades out with a killer solo. It is a classic thrash anthem and forever will remain so. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The year that was, and the year that can be.

Hello folks!
It's been quite some time since I've seen the "Compose" tab of a blog. While there are quite a few reasons to why I haven't been blogging, one of them is me being a lazy ass. I while away all my free time binge-watching Netflix, silly YouTube videos and drinking with friends. Well, I don't feel bad for that, however, I do feel that doing so, is a direct hit to my daily creative output. I plan to change. *Sigh* The same damn feeling every year...

Our earth takes another revolution around the sun, and I consider it "normal" to retrospect my actions, choices I made and the goals achieved.. While it's all fine and dandy to evaluate your life, I ask myself, why this day? Is there some kind a universal social consciousness that everyone usually thinks about such things on the 31st Dec or the 1st of Jan? My guess is that it's a nice little milestone, as we are journeying through our numbered years on this planet.
Whatever it may be, it's a good idea to pen down what you've gone through in the past year. These memories serve as a positive reinforcement, and act as a meaning to life, You read them, again and again, reminding yourself what you're capable of, what you CAN BE capable of.

It's great to be hopeful for the coming year, but it's also important to be grateful for the one that has just passed.

So... my parents visited me in the US of A this year. That was interesting..
My twin and I went on a marathon road trip showing them around the beautiful sights this country has to offer, both on the east and the west coast. Spent a good amount of family time, comforting them to the lifestyle here, ate loads of the irreplaceable mom's haath ka khana, took them to my workplace, my parents were so proud that I'm leading a small team. All is good right? NO. The big thing was yet to come; Being two Indian guys who just turned 28, apparently has some kind of niche to it, a prime age to jump on the "You have to get married" bandwagon, before it get's too late. Late for what? It's not a feeling that we can relate to, so, as you can imagine, the discussion with our parents was fascinating, to say the least. A unique event which happened this year, but I'm an idiot to think that it won't keep happening in the years to come. I'll keep you guys updated.

Took a trip down to Puerto Penasco, or more popularly referred to as Rocky point in Mexico, with two of my best friends. Let me just say this, visit a country where you can't speak the language with your close friends and hilarity ensues. Getting drunk on amazing cocktails, lazing on the beach, apart, talking to the cab guy in broken Spanish, getting shit scared why he's taking the dark-alley shortcut and contemplating how you would protect yourself, will also happen. We decided to do more of these kind of trips in the years to come..

This year I got myself into the six-pack dilemma. I'll explain. The dilemma is whether to eat whatever the fuck you want and enjoy, or give up the likes pizza, fried stuff with cheese or other fatty goodness, and carve a six-pack out of my rice-eating, beer-drinking South Indian tummy. I decided I'll give it a shot, but it's harder than it looks, so I'm just gonna keep it next year's goal, okay? Okay.

DSLR photography is still going strong, and it will continue this way, as I did promise in one of my old posts, I am keeping my passion alive and taking pictures wherever I go. I carry my big camera bag, whenever I go on a trip and try out different techniques once in a while. On the cross-country trip with my parents, I met some amateur night sky photographers, and spotted some galaxies through their telescopes, One of my childhood dreams, check. I think I took some of the best pictures this year and two of them got selected to be in my company's official 2015 calendar. Happiness galore!

Saved the best for the last. Music. If I have to be honest, this is one of the biggest disappointments I carry, not only from 2014, but from when I was 21 years old. Our parents gifted us a beginner acoustic guitar, for which my twin and I would fight to learn and play. As the years went by, although I did play at a couple of events, I realize I haven't put the best of effort in learning it. What I lack is discipline. And this is the year, I make it my first priority to fully explore my true passion. It'll be a challenge and I will love it! I have decided to invest in some good recording equipment and make videos regularly until I reach a stage where I'm comfortable to play live and record some good METAL! \m/
Oh also, not many days back, I crowd-surfed at an Opeth concert. Ticking one item off my bucket list..

All in all, it's been one helluva year. As a coder by profession, I believe that life doesn't change by a drastic change or two, but needs continual upgrades, for achieving the best.
I hope everyone had a wonderful year and here's wishing you a wonderful next. Cheers!!

"If there's a pensive fear, a wasted year, a man must learn to cope. If his obsession's real, suppression that he feels must turn to hope.." - Take The Time (Dream Theater)


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 10 metal songs to begin 2014 with

Another year has come to an end. Equal parts of happiness, melancholy, rage and laughter filled up these 365 days. "Tomorrow is a beautiful day", has been my attitude always. And it is persistent. I've had a stark realization that more often than not, everything important really boils down to what you believe in and what you really want in your life. Nothing else matters at the moment. And every action you take, has consequences.

Sailing through these consequence filled waters, on a happy boat, is what life is all about. Of course, with metal blasting in the background speakers throughout the journey. It always will.

I'm going to welcome 2014 with these metal anthems listed in the order of my favoritism.

10. Victory Song (Victory Songs) - Ensiferum
Thanks to my twin, I've grown fond of this particular genre, melodic folk metal. Ensiferum weaves a beautiful fabric of acoustic riffs, classic heavy rhythm backing, solid drumming and historic lyrics. As the name suggests, this song will lift up your spirits and give you this sense of elation. And I can bet the first time you'll give it a listen, you'll repeat. 

9. Who We Are (Unto The Locust) - Machine Head
We are the change, the world needs to see. Look in our eyes and see our belief..
I think the above lyric excerpt is enough to justify why I picked this song for this list. Weakness is never a good characteristic in anyone. Believe in yourself and strive for inner strength, fit to face anything life throws at you. This is what "Who We Are" taught me. The song starts of with a school girl marching band singing the chorus and then transforms into a groove-metal fury, where the drummer reigns.

8. The Lay Of Thrym (The Lay Of Thrym) - Tyr
Consistency is the word. If you are good at something, stay consistent. Not many agree with this logic, but I do. And this quartet has bested this art of staying consistent to their viking-style, fast paced metal. As the title-track, it keeps up the standard of the album. Starts off slowly and immediately picks up speed into an epic fusion of riff/drum playground, where Gods play. Heri Joensen's vocals are awesome as usual. Oh, btw, the song is about king Thrym who dared to steal Thor's hammer, as the nordic myth goes.

7. Blackwater Park (Blackwater Park) -Opeth
When I first heard this song, I was like 'Oh. My. F--king. God!". Seriously, this is no mere composition. It's like a magic potion which will cast and spell and drags you into 11 minutes of pure exhilaration. A perfect example where Åkerfeldt talent peaks. Complex acoustic passages, god-like riffs, growl-vocals, and an extremely unique solo make this song what it is. Critically acclaimed and highly favored by fans, Opeth broke new grounds with this progressive-death metal gem of an album!

6. Trust (Cryptic Writings) -Megadeth
What we have here is a Grammy nominated song for the "Best Heavy Metal performance". The lyrics are about the downfall of a relationship because of dishonesty and mistrust. The main riff is a lot of fun to play on the guitar. Although the band is unconventional and doesn't stick to classic thrash-roots in this album, this song still remains a fan favorite and is a staple in most live shows. Fun trivia; Currently, the drum intro is played before every home game of Arizona State University. As an alumni, I couldn't be happier!

5. The Glass Prison (Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence) - Dream Theater
As Mike Portnoy fought with his alcoholism, he penned down lyrics for this masterpiece, which spearheaded the twelve-step-suite, a collection of five songs which span through  five albums before ending in Black Clouds & Silver Linings. This is my second favorite song of theirs and every time I hear it, I get transported into this introspective alternate reality in my head. Progressive, heavy, shred-tastic!!

4. 22 Acacia Avenue (The Number Of the Beast) - Iron Maiden
Only Maiden can tell a prostitute's tale with such style and get away with it. The second and also the best part of the "Charlotte the harlot" triad, it is about a prostitute named Charlotte, and a man trying to convince her to a come with him for a better life. It is my favorite song of the album as it offers everything a classic metal head wants. Impeccable vocals and instrumentation throughout, with a kick-ass outro solo. I watched them play this live in 2013!

3. You've Got To Belong To It (Reinventing The Steel) - Pantera
Have you ever in your life ran that extra-mile because a powerful-as-f--k song suddenly came on your playlist? THIS is that goddamn song. It is bad-ass groove riffage, swirling in with heavy drums and powerful vocals, concocting to form a motivational elixir which makes you feel invincible. This entire album heralds the true old-school heavy metal spirit and strengthens the bond that ties all of us together.

2. Loner (13) - Black Sabbath
The founding fathers of heavy metal blessed the fans this year with this brand new album which was received with high levels of excitement. Although, Bill Ward parted ways with the band, the rest did an amazing job in preserving the Sabbath sound. I mean c'mon, these are guys are a bunch of 65-year olds still churning out metal. This track is unequivocally Black Sabbath. The riff is simple and classic, tailored extremely well with great drum-rhythm and Ozzy's vocals hit the nail on the head.

1. Victim Of Changes (Sad Wings Of Destiny) - Judas Priest
This song epitomizes the year that has been. Change happens, no matter what. At some point or the other, we all end up becoming the victims of change.
My words cannot describe the heavy metal mastery this song has to offer. I was born 10 years after this song was released. And this is one of my favorite heavy metal songs. That's gotta tell you something. It's a heavy metal epic, with landslide-riff structures, vocal performance, packaged and delivered in the only way Priest knows; Legendary.

Metal forever! \m/

"So live for today, tomorrow never comes.." - Die Young (Black Sabbath)


Sunday, June 2, 2013

13 albums which will most definitely get you into metal music.

I'm not playing a heavy metal advocate here, but metal kicks ass! It's empowering music if you ask me. It is your friend in your time of need. It is your escape, a mental refuge, during sad times. We humans cannot avoid life's reality. For me, my passion for metal get's me through the day. I like to listen to different metal genres, practice some riffs, even sing along like a maniac in the shower. Hehe. I enjoy it in every way.

Six years, hundreds of artists and thousands of songs later, I still can't be confident of what genre I like the most. That's the thing. Metal is so versatile, that you can't pin point a favorite genre. And that is also the reason why it can be liked by anyone.

I've compiled a pretty solid list of all my favorite metal albums, which if you give a listen, might turn you into a metal head. Read on..

13. Follow The Reaper  - Children Of Bodom (Melodic Death Metal) 
This Finnish band is named after the Lake Bodom murders and play classic melodic death metal. They use symphonic elements in their songs, while playing at fast tempos. Sticking to their routine, this album contains songs tailored with rocket-speed riffs, growl vocals and melodic keyboard pieces. The overall theme for the album is horror and they pretty much fit right in the death metal super-genre like a jigsaw piece fits into it's puzzle.

12. Mesmerize - System Of A Down (Alternative Metal)
Alright, I'm going old school now. This is a band I started listening to 6 years back. I STILL have their entire discography in my music library. All the members look like freaks but they are quite the opposite. All of them are genius composers and disciplined instrumentalists. Mesmerize is one of their last albums they've released before they went on a hiatus. Much like their previous albums, with oblique lyrics, progressive riff-structures and versatile songs, Mesmerize blew me away. The single 'B.Y.O.B' won a Grammy in 2006!

11. Blizzard of Ozz  - Ozzy Osbourne (Heavy Metal)
Ozzy released this album after parting with Black Sabbath, which acted as a launch pad for his solo career. Blizzard heralds one of the best guitarists of all time, Randy Rhoads, before unfortunately passing away in an accident. 'Crazy Train', 'Mr. Crowley', 'Goodbye To Romance' are some of the songs which stand out from this album. With beautifully crafted heavy riffs, tight drum tracks,  and the ever-powerful Ozzy vocals, this went on to achieve 4x platinum status in the U.S.

10. Damnation  - Opeth (Progressive Metal)
After I heard this album, I had only one word for Opeth. Diverse. Damnation is Opeth's mellow masterpiece. It is unlike any of their other albums. Most people categorize this as "progressive rock". I don't know why, but to me, it has a very metal vibe. Devoid of growling vocals and distortion guitars, it takes the listener on a heavenly trip down melancholy lane. Akerfeldt's composition and arrangement is godly, which makes this album, divine.

9. Vulgar Display Of Power - Pantera (Groove Metal)
I can listen to this album starting form Track 1, 'Mouth For War' to Track 11, 'Hollow' without any breaks. One of the most influential heavy metal albums of all times, it's a raw, unadulterated mix of aggressive vocals, groovy riffs, heavy drumming and powerful lyrics. This is a staple in my "Muscle Music" playlist and I kid you not, during workouts, it slowly injects resolve into your brain, and you won't even notice it, you will however, feel it.   

8. Reign In Blood - Slayer (Thrash Metal)
This has been one of the saddest years in the history of metal. Jeff Hanneman, an integral part of Slayer, passed away. When I read the news, I had that sinking feeling. It was one of those moments which made me realize, that I'm a part of a huge family and I don't even know it. This album is Hanneman's best work IMHO. The composition and lyrics of each song are eternal. Obviously, the band recorded the songs with precision and passion alike. Critically-acclaimed and highly-favored by fans, Reign In Blood resides carved in stone, high up the metal mountain.

7. Images and Words - Dream Theater (Progressive Metal)
The album that got me into DT. Holy mother! The versatility in this album is incomprehensible. All these guys are in a different league when it comes to musical arrangement and song structures. The band stands in the forefront of progressive metal genre, and this is the album that started it all. The beginning track 'Pull Me Under' is the first song I ever heard of Dream Theater and I was hooked. So you see why I have a soft spot for this album. What do you get from a band full of perfectionists? A perfect album.

6. Sacrament - Lamb Of God (New Wave Of American Heavy Metal)
We are half way, and this list is already gotten heavier than plutonium. Listing this album now is like adding uranium to it! Excuse my chemistry geekery, but this is one bad-ass album. I'm going to be honest; It took me some time to get used to them. If you think groovy-thrash riffs, heavy duty percussion and growl-to-screech vocals is all there is to this album, you are wrong. It neatly disguises the technical proficiency, cleverly lurking under all the aforementioned attributes.

5. Peace Sells...but Who's Buying? - Megadeth (Thrash Metal)
One. Of. A. Kind. Album. This will remain in one of my favorites of all time, till I die. It is a treasure chest of awesome riffs and melodic solos. Each song is probably loaded with 5 to 6 classic thrash riffs, which are so much fun to play on the guitar. Dave Mustaine is a one-man army as all songs are written and composed by him. Peace sells... is a thrash metal classic and a must-listen. Do me a favor; Play 'The Conjuring' from the album and forward it to 2:55 and just shut your eyes. You'll see.
4. Paranoid - Black Sabbath (Heavy Metal)
Black Sabbath's magnum opus.  Everyone should listen to this album, doesn't matter if you're into metal or not. That's because it's not just an album. It's an essential event since the heavy metal epoch. Sabbath took heavy to a different level with this one. It's filled with doom-riffage galore, excellent drumming and Ozzy's ominous vocals. This album is omnipresent in almost every rock magazine's "Greatest albums of all time" list.

3. Metallica - Metallica (Thrash Metal)
The biggest of " The Big 4".  Metallica had a huge influence on me and I credit this album as my pathway into metal. 6 and half years ago, I heard 'Nothing Else Matters' and boom! I was sold. This album is 60 minutes of exhilarating music and has some of best compositions in Metallica's history.  Get ready, coz, it will engulf you into a heavy metal tornado and throw you out as a Metallica cult-head. Exit light. Enter night.

2. Sad Wings Of Destiny - Judas Priest (Heavy Metal)
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this. This is my personal favorite album OF ALL TIME.  Every time I listen to this album, I feel the hairs stand up on my neck. You can feel the passion of the musicians. I have such undying respect for all of them. Especially, for the metal god, Mr. Rob Halford. He's like a sniper who strikes the metal bullet right in your head and it will stay there until you die. Heavy metal assault right here.

1. Number Of The Beast - Iron Maiden (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal)
Here it is.. I'm just some average joe, lost in a sea of millions of metal heads, writing this post. But I know this.. when I listen to this album, I always feel redeemed as someone who believes he's so much more. Music like this makes me realize that I'm not alone. I was never alone. Phenomenal instrumental and vocal performance in this album. The Number Of the Beast is the heavy metal classic waiting to be heard.

“Tears they flow, but why am I crying? After all, I’m not afraid of dying.." -  Hallowed Be Thy Name (Iron Maiden)


Friday, May 10, 2013

The pointy end

The corpses lie everywhere.. Left to be decayed. The army that once was. Now lies in a sea of blood..where they belong.

My cloak wisps in the wind as the man lies on his knees before me. His whimper is loud and liberating, as the cold of steel lies firm, on his sweat dripping neck. I hold my sword with a solemn grip, while I feel the sharp edge pushing against his soft skin...

This man had it coming. I lost everything to him. My world was shattered when he took away my love. Those eyes. They've left me marooned. Never to return. The first few months were the hardest. I cried every night. Soon, the tears dried out, only to leave vengeance behind. A cold-blooded revenge awaited. I found a purpose to live again. I knew that getting to him would be a tough task. I had to go through his army of assassins before I get to him. So I trained myself. Day and night.

Two years later
I was ready to meet my maker. So I set out on my redemption quest, ironclad and ready to kill. It was a long journey to his estate. Each determined step only reminded me of what awaited at the end. Death. I was going to kill them all. I knew that once I stepped foot in his territory, his guardians would descend upon me with all their might. The dark grey clouds above cast melancholy, almost signifying the day. I enter his gates. In the distance, our eyes meet, and I see a smile form upon his face summoning his guards. It's almost as if he knew.

There I was, alone, yielding a sword, and in front of me, was a army of hundred men. All of them, trained to kill. I fleeted towards them like a mountain lion. The battle was long and fierce, kill after kill, I moved forward. I savored each swing of the blade as I felt it thrust into warm bodies of these men fighting for a lost cause. One after another, they dropped dead. I emerged victorious, inflicted with deadly wounds but nothing bothered me anymore. The one-on-one awaited.
I saw his face aghast, as I walked slowly towards the deadly end.  He fell down to his knees, begging me to pardon him.

Blood red fury filled my eyes, my sword lifted and with one swift swing,  his head parted from his body.

I heaved a sigh and looked down upon my body riddled with cuts. I closed my eyes, as tears streaked across my face. I turned my sword around and pushed hard, as I felt the pointy end tear through my heart. The final cut.

The eyes. They return to me, at last...