Vitalic - Ok Cowboy

Vitalic – Poney

Follow the gentle wavy sound bridge right into the heart of this disco cathedral. The relentless pounding will try to nail the sailing melody into the ground, but the sound beast still ends up soaring higher and higher. Will it eventually escape? It’s up to the listener to decide.

Oh, and make sure you check the YouTube version. The song’s video is awesome!

Ghostpoet - Shedding Skin

Ghostpoet – X Marks The Spot

Duets are a weakness of mine and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s beautiful when singers can make a melody stand out like this. It’s even more beautiful when that melody also gives them a solid foundation to build on. And that’s exactly what happens here, ‘cause otherwise the story wouldn’t be told.

The contrast between Ghostpoet’s disengaged act and Nadine Shah’s tempting whispers is in perfect balance. Through it all, we’re accompanied by clever songwriting. Topping it off, we have a video that fits quite well with the song. It’s not often when a treat like this shows up on my radar.

ATB - Contact

ATB – Trace Of Life

This one will take you places. Just close your eyes, relax and let the brain massage begin. The song is a bit repetitive, but it’s one of those fortunate cases when that’s exactly the point. Some melodies let you sit still while they show you their many different landscapes. This song is more like a vehicle. Get on board and navigate your own imagination. The rhythm is steady and reliable, the sound is rich and stimulating. And don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to move your body either.

This song, as well as the album it comes from, came as a rather big surprise for me. I hadn’t listened to ATB in many years. For me, ATB was synonymous to his famous single, “9PM (Till I Come)”. I was quite impressed by the difference in style between 1999 and 2014. 15 years is a long time so evolution isn’t that much of a surprise, but I was really happy to see where the evolution of ATB led. There are a lot of great tracks on “Contact”. It’s an album I can highly recommend.

Dimmu Borgir - Death Cult Armageddon

Dimmu Borgir – Eradication Instincts Defined

Marching forth with cruel precision, an ominous orchestra serves as the starting point for this lovely ride of terror. There are moments of hopefulness, but these will be quickly extinguished by the bleak landscape that follows.

It takes a lot to make me feature metal music in this space, especially when it comes to this extreme variety. It takes a perfectly executed song, featuring one of the best synergies between electric guitars, merciless artillery percussion, choirs, raging howls and a full fledged orchestra. Completing the apocalyptic picture, the song showcases some of Dimmu Borgir’s finest lyrics, bringing forth the murderous aspect of man and punishing it with the image of nuclear Armageddon. Even the title of the song is perfect.

Alice In Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Alice In Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

This is a story about how people are manipulated by organized religion and media. Case in question: the way various religious cults try to explain away the existence of the dinosaurs – a fact of biological history which contradicts certain interpretations of the Bible (namely that the Earth is roughly 6000 years old).

What genre could be better suited for combating outrageous ignorance if not some compositional-diverse, well-produced, perfectly-balanced metal. This melody is a mental sword. Wield it proudly and enjoy its symmetric construction. There’s also a magnificent array of vocals, making this one of my favorite metal song ever. And that’s not all…

Sync24 - Comfortable Void

Sync24 – Dance Of The Droids

This is one song where the rather lengthy intro is totally worth it and does a great job of laying the ground for the coming of the mighty dancing droids. The melody sparkles to life soon enough, like a champagne that was rattled for far too long.

It doesn’t take long for the “opposing forces” to show up. To contrast the happy tinkling come the rowdy bass worms. These party animals waste no time in burying deep into the eardrum. They proceed and engage in a thoroughly good time. As the song progresses, the lows get lower and the melody becomes a panorama of a shifting canvas of well-rounded sound textures.

Clawfinger - Clawfinger

Clawfinger – Chances

Here’s an hymn for change if there ever was one! And what’s the best music to stimulate change? How about a couple of rabid guitars riffing against relentless percussion? The occasional synthesizer touch is there to bring diversity to an already good song. Even for those that aren’t fans of rap-metal, the lyrics of this song are an ode to change of fascinating intensity.

There aren’t many metal bands that manage to make good music and write decent lyrics. There are even fewer that make excellent music and write excellent lyrics. Clawfinger is one of them. The band’s lyrics are firmly rooted in the sad realities of the late 20th and early 21st century when social decay at the hands of corporations and corrupt governments caused an immense amount of grief and social trauma.

Carbon Based Lifeforms - World Of Sleepers

Carbon Based Lifeforms – Abiogenesis

It starts slowly enough, with gentle breezy sounds and airy choirs. But do mistake this one for a post-party chill-out tune. Pumping up the volume too much based solely on the first minute might cause problems. That’s because before it reaches halfway through, the melody has built up enough energy to wake up the neighbors (or engage in some serious headphone stress-testing).

Through a beautifully executed buildup, this song becomes a well-rounded journey. The music soars to unexpected heights showcasing sounds with a strong cyclical character. I haven’t often seen a transition from ambient to psybient executed in such a harmonious and fruitful way.

Conjure One - Exilarch

Conjure One – Like Ice (feat. Jaren)

This one starts off with an arguably unremarkable, 1 minute long intro. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. An intro is valuable to emphasize the part when the melody gets going. I just think that this intro doesn’t really do justice to the song.

The melody is groovy yet dreamy, showcasing the strong, evocative voice of the one called Jaren. She’s accompanied by an army of synths and sparse piano arrangements. Rhys Fulber (of Delerium fame) doesn’t waste a beat here (which I measure by thinking if I would like the song if I would listen to the instrumental-only version). Even after a couple of listens I can still find new intricate sound textures. The lyrics are quite good too and that’s always a bonus.