Sorrow - Arisen

Sorrow – Arisen

Dark but mellow, this old school drum’n’bass creation is a master class in the clever use and mixing of vocal samples, something I’ve noticed that this artist is particularly good at.

This song also introduced me to one of my all-time favorite album covers. I’ve tried to contact Sorrow to find out who’s behind the masterpiece but no luck. Hopefully one day I’ll find out who’s behind this magnificent drawing.

Recoil - Want

Recoil – Want

Here are a few twisted little verses that cut and gash like rusty razor blades:

“I want to strangle the stars for all they promised me.”
“I want matches in case I have to suddenly burn.”
“I want to write my secret across your sky.”

Besides its assault on imagination, this song features one hell of a composition. It’s diverse, ruthless and in perfect rhythm and mood with the lyrics. Take a walk on the dark side together with Recoil and the best possible singer for such verses.

Argaman - Living In A Bubble

Argaman – Walk On Your Way (Day)

Warning: this track may contain traces of other dimensions. It may cause (at least) the perception of temporal shifting in the auditory cortex. Can be used by professionals to test the temporal lobe of the brain.

Jokes aside, never underestimate the beauty of tampering with and distorting rhythms. When done right, it’s exactly what a song needs to shine. Let yourself soar with this playful, airy tune and its dreamy singer.

Darude - Sandstorm

Darude – Sandstorm

From beginning to end, this song is a sandstorm. It powers up mighty fast and, out of the blue, you’re catapulted straight into a dance frenzy. Or at least that’s probably the intention behind the unrelenting synth Gatling guns. The melody isn’t very complex, but all movements are well timed and interconnected to such a degree that this can become an addictive experience. This is the stuff that immortal songs are made of.

I can hardly believe this song is almost 20 years old. Its age, together with the sheer power carried by the sound waves definitely qualifies Sandstorm for the Blast from the Past category.

Amorphis - Tuonela

Amorphis – Summer’s End

I’m usually happy to hear what a few extra instruments can do to a metal song. It doesn’t matter if those instruments are physical or spawned from the digital innards of a synthesizer. What matters is how they are integrated with the rest of the orchestration. The solid riffing and drumming here is all laid upon a dreamy foundation, the perfect soundscape for the song’s eerie lyrics.

True to the roots of the group’s name, Amorphis has gone through quite a number of musical transformations. The band has become a successful example when it comes to incorporating other instruments into the traditional metal repertoire.

Michael Mayer - &

Michael Mayer – Mind Games (feat. Ed Macfarlane)

Welcome to a musically playful exploration of a mentally complex topic. I feel that the vocals are spot on given the way the topic is approached (Ed does a great job of communicating a feeling of “this must end”). And when it comes to Michael Mayer’s music, I can only say that the way this song is layered and architected is highly entertaining. It’s almost as if two melodies are playing with each other. They’re very much alike and yet, with the use of (mostly) three simple chords, so different.

Enigma - The Screen Behind The Mirror

Enigma – Gravity Of Love

From the mysterious whispers to the crashing choirs, from the delicate bells to the shattering strength of the vocal delivery, this is an amazing journey of a song. It’s not only a musical masterpiece, but a lyrical one as well. Few songs manage to convey a mystical experience as well as this one.

It comes with a pretty daring video too. In this day and age, such images can easily be called sexually objectifying (towards women), but given that this is almost 20 years ago, I choose to value it for its challenging, somewhat anti-Christian symbolism. To be clear, I am not against any religion, but I do consider that challenging established norms can result in constructive intellectual experiences.