sitting there, almost asleep, killing time by listening to music on youtube, finally getting the idea to go sleeping, saying good night, playing a last song, one from anathema, called a simple mistake. starting slowly, then, after one half, exploding into a masterpiece of emotions, feelings, grabbing me, tearing me along. so intense, so powerful. this will keep me awake four hours, i guess, not allowing me to rest, to sleep. i hope they really do a tour this year, headlining it, as they promised last year…
posts about anathema.
here i want to write a bit about doom music, as a huge part of the music i listen to can be counted to this category. in general, it can be characterized as slow, heavy music with dark lyrics, dealing with depression, death, despair, gloom, dying, doomed/unhappy love, and despair. it appears in various shapes, blended with many different genres, including death metal, ambient, noise, gothic music and jazz. even though non-metal doom music does exists, most of doom music is probably metal.
(note that i like all the bands i mention here quite alot, except probably the older stuff of celtic frost which, i have to admit, is mostly unknown to me.)
one of the more traditional doom metal bands is candlemass, with their 1986 album epicus doomicus metallicus being a major landmark in the doom metal genre. the album is opened by the song solitude (“please let me die in solitude”) which is, in my opinion, one of the best doom songs.
an important crossover doom genre is death/doom which is, surprise!, a crossover between death metal and doom music. usually a bit faster than other doom styles but still being way slower than usual death metal, it features death growls, sometimes mixed with clean vocals, and certain playing styles from death metal such as fast double bass kicking. two bands in this genre i like are swallow the sun—one of my most favorite bands; see here— and novembers doom. notably are also the older works of bands as anathema (see here), now playing atmospheric metal, the gathering (see here), now playing progressive/alternative/trip rock, and sentenced—another one of my most favorite bands; see here—, who later turned to more gothic doom or plain heavy metal, before disbanding 2005.
out of death/doom, another doom crossover called funeral doom developed, by slowing down the music, resulting in something which is as slow as a funeral march, hence hinting where its name comes from. besides the lack of speed, the music is even heavier, but also features more ambient like parts. two bands in this category are tyranny and unholy (see here).
related to funeral doom is drone doom, abstracting even more by reducing to a kind of minimalistic music, mainly consisting of a stream of drones, i.e. very long lasting notes, while often lacking traditional music structures like rythm or melody, with vocals often so distorted that they are barely understandable. the songs usually last very long, from something between ten and twenty minutes to sometimes filling a whole cd with one song. two important bands in this genre are sunn o))) and boris (see here).
another doom genre which is pretty detached from metal is doom jazz or noir jazz, a blend of doom music and jazz. the only example i know is bohren & der club of gore, a german band who started mixing jazz with hardcore and ambient, resulting in some kind of doom music. later, when their guitar player left, they replaced him by a saxophonist, turning the band completely into a jazz ensemble. their current style is a very dark kind of jazz, without vocals, somehow almost more ambient, somehow similar to funeral doom.
a lot of other more experimental acts exist, like early the 3rd and the mortal (see also here) stuff, which can be described as experimental/atmospheric doom, or the zürich based metal legend celtic frost, whose last album monotheist could be in parts counted as a certain kind of avantgarde/experimental doom.
another, more “standard” doom metal approach is gothic doom, a mixture of doom with gothic metal. my favorite in this area is type o negative, and in particular their most depressing album world coming down. some bands which i would also count into this category are tiamat, lake of tears and later sentenced. tiamat evolved more to gothic rock and had included also different influences besides gothic doom. sentenced began with death/doom, switching to more gothic doom and finally more to a kind of heavy/gothic metal. lake of tears, whose origin lay more in the death/doom origin, went through a change between several different genres; the albums which fit best as gothic doom are headstones, a crimson cosmos and forever autumn, all being somehow different to each other.
after making a best of concerts list for this year, i decided to make a best of albums list for all albums i have bought until now. i divided this up into several categories:
- punk/punk rock;
- trip hop, alt rock;
- other non-metal;
- metal: atmospheric;
- metal: death/black;
- metal: doom;
- metal: extreme prog;
- metal: folk/pagan/viking;
- metal: gothic;
- metal: power;
- metal: prog;
- metal: other.
note that this list reflects a snapshot of my current interest and remembrance of most of the albums. it could already be different in a few days. but feel free to comment or discuss this with me.
- porcupine tree: deadwing.
- pure reason revolution: the dark third.
- frost: milliontown.
- opeth: damnation.
- porcupine tree: the sky moves sideways.
- die ärzte: die bestie in menschengestalt.
- wizo: uuaarrgh!.
- die toten hosen: kauf mich!.
- die ärzte: planet punk.
- die ärzte: 13.
trip hop, alt rock.
- kari rueslåtten: other people’s stories.
- radiohead: ok computer.
- portishead: portishead.
- kari rueslåtten: spindelsinn.
- nine inch nails: the downward spiral.
- eläkeläiset: humppasirkus.
- bohren & der club of gore: black earth.
- the 3rd and the mortal: tears laid in earth.
- finntroll: visor om slutet.
- tool: 10 000 days.
- anathema: a natural disaster.
note that i took out the prog death/prog black (avantgarde) albums into its own category, called metal: extreme prog.
- bolt thrower: those once loyal.
- moonspell: the antidote.
- wintersun: wintersun.
- amorphis: elipse.
- childen of bodom: hatebreeder.
i think this is the category where i could have made the longest list. there are many really good albums missing, for example down and love and death by sentenced, the other swallow the sun albums, sunn o))) and boris‘ altar, some candlemass albums, unholy‘s the second ring of power, and some more.
- sentenced: frozen
- swallow the sun: ghosts of loss.
- type o negative: world coming down.
- tiamat: prey.
- unholy: rapture.
metal: extreme prog.
this category is dominated by opeth; therefore, i decided to list the top seven instead of the top five.
- opeth: still life.
- orphaned land: mabool — the story of the three sons of seven.
- opeth: blackwater park.
- distorted: memorial.
- opeth: orchid.
- borknagar: epic.
- edge of sanity: crimson (part one).
- moonsorrow: viides luku: hävitetty.
- moonsorrow: verisäkeet.
- primordial: to the nameless dead.
- finntroll: jaktens tid.
- moonsorrow: voimasta ja kunniasta.
- lacuna coil: karma code.
- tristania: beyond the veil.
- lake of tears: a crimson cosmos.
- poisonblack: lust stained despair.
- nevermore: dead heart in a dead world.
- nevermore: dreaming neon black.
- symphony x: paradise lost.
- communic: waves of visual decay.
- nightwish: oceanborn.
- dream theater: train of thought.
- the gathering: mandylion.
- ayreon: the human equation.
- dream theater: metropolis pt. 2 — scenes from a memory.
- dream theater: images and words.
- timo rautiainen & trio niskalaukaus: hartes land.
- rage: lingua mortis.
- samael: solar soul.
- annihilator: king of the kill.
- apocalyptica: cult.
i think it’s time to take a look at the list of concerts i attended this year and to list the best ones. at these two links, you can find a pretty complete list of the concerts i attended. i decided to divide the top list into two categories: prog and metal.
for the third place, i cannot decide between three concerts, all which took place in pratteln in the z-7, namely, first, the spock’s beard gig on the 16.05.2007, second, the anathema & moondawn gig on the 31.05.2007, and, third, the fish gig on the 27.11.2007. all three gigs have been very good. most memorable was probably spock’s beard keyboardist, playing with both hands and feet, while his poor technician had to hold the keyboard construction together so it wouldn’t fall apart.
the second place goes to the blackfield & pure reason revolution concert, which took place on the 24.02.2007 in pratteln (z-7). i think this was the first concert where i really liked the opener, so much that i bought one of their albums. actually, i had to order it by mail, as the ones they had with them were sold out at the end of their concert (hence, i wasn’t the only one who liked it alot). the main act itself, blackfield, a collaboration between the porcupine tree frontman steven wilson and the israeli rock star aviv geffen, was also really good.
the first place goes to the porcupine tree & anathema concert, which took place on the 12.11.2007 in zürich (volkshaus). despite several people in the audience didn’t like anathema too much (“too boring”), i was pleased to see them again. for me, their music expresses simply too many emotions to be boring, eating up energy until bursting into the listener’s ear. the main act, porcupine tree, one of my favorite bands, was as good as i expected them to be. even though they played a lot from the current album, fear of a blank planet, which i don’t like as much as some of the older ones, they also played many classics. unfortunately, they didn’t played arriving somewhere but not here, which i would really loved to listen to. but, besides that, i still think this is the best prog concert i attended this year.
again, as before, i cannot decide on someone for the third place, but i have two canidates in mind. the first one is the dream theater & symphony x concert, which took place on the 31.10.2007 in winterthur (eulachhallen). the second canidate is the apocalyptica & sturm und drang concert, which took place on the 09.11.2007 in zürich (volkshaus). all these bands are really good, and the shows they delivered were so, too, featuring many small details, as neat decoration. but both of these concerts also have their sides. namely, symphony x played way too short (but then, i’ll see them again next february as headliner), the location was strange (the wardrobe was outside), and dream theater could have played longer, too (i heard the rumor that the local organizer fucked this up by not registering the concert with the authorities, which in turn resulted in the police ordering the concert to be ended earlier). at the apocalyptica concert, i didn’t like the opener sturm und drang too much; they played really good and professional, but it simply wasn’t the kind of music which i really like.
the second place is filled by the amorphis, swallow the sun & insomnium concert, which took place at the 18.11.2007 in pratteln (z-7). (videos from the concert can be found here.) this concert featured three very good finnish bands, one of them, namely swallow the sun, being one of my favorite ones. their shows were good, the selection of songs was, too (i would have loved to hear some more swallow the sun songs, but then, i would probably have only been really pleased if they would have simply played all songs from their three albums, which is slightly unrealistic to expect from a co-headliner). i was headbanging a lot, met some friends, had a lot of fun.
the first place goes to the moonsorrow & swallow the sun concert, which took place at the 09.04.2007 (easter monday) in pratteln (z-7). actually, there was a third band playing as an opener, whose name i forgot. this concert was one of the most incluencal concert for me this year, not only as it introduced me to two bands, namely moonsorrow and swallow the sun, which i now count as two of my most favorite bands. besides that, the atmosphere was simply perfect, and so was the audience. i still remember headbanging with eric (a guy i met on this concert and on another one a bit later, who’s also an opeth fan), even though headbanging right next to the mosh pit can be pretty painful…
being late. getting there, still in time. being able to stand in the very front. meeting some guys who i met on anathema‘s last concert. listening to anathema. rocking. having a great time. break, after 45 minutes. looking out for other guys who announced themselves for the concert, not seeing anyone. porcupine tree coming up. having another good time. for around two hours. then, silence, again. crowd flowing to the outside. checking out the merchandize. buying an anathema cd, getting it signed by the band, talking to the band. queueing up to fetch my jacket. meeting another mathematician i didn’t expected to see. seeing in the distance another one whom i knew to be there. leaving, alone. taking the tram. happening to see a friend in his kitchen from the tram window. buying some pizza. writing this crap. feeling good.
thanks for everyone who helped making this evening so great. i appreciate that a lot.
here’s a list of concerts i’ve been at this year, for historical reasons. not taking in account some classic concerts.
- 07.02.2007: therion, grave digger and sabaton were playing at the z-7 in pratteln (symphonic orchestral metal, and some more thrashy/whatever metal);
- 21.02.2007: amplifier and cloudride were playing at abart in zürich (progressive art rock);
- 24.02.2007: blackfield and pure reason revolution were playing at the z-7 in pratteln (progressive rock, art rock);
- 04.03.2007: …and you will know us by the trail of dead and forget cassettes were playing at the rote fabrik in zürich (alternative rock);
- 29.03.2007: morgana lefay, sacred steel, serenity and bitterness were playing at rock city in uster (various kinds of metal: death, prog, power, true, …);
- 09.04.2007: moonsorrow, swallow the sun and some band whose name i forgot played at the z-7 in pratteln (pagan metal, doom metal, death metal);
- 10.04.2007: circle ii circle, savage circus, tomorrow’s eve and tempesta were playing at the z-7 in pratteln (metal);
- 13.04.2007: moonspell, napalm death, behemoth, gojira and dew scented were playing at the z-7 in pratteln (death and black metal, metalcore);
- 16.05.2007: spock’s beard was playing at the z-7 in pratteln (progressive rock);
- 27.05.2007: trivium, annihilator and some band which was playing before the official opening time were playing at the rohstofflager in zürich (thrash metal);
- 29.05.2007: arena was playing at the z-7 in pratteln (progressive rock);
- 31.05.2007: anathema and moondawn were playing at the z-7 in pratteln (atmospheric rock with metal influences);
- 01.06.2007: machine head, type o negative, cataract and zatokrev were playing at the volkshaus in zürich (thrash metal, doom metal, metalcore and death metal);
- 27.06.2007: dream theater and megadeth were playing at the volkshaus in zürich (progressive metal, thrash metal).
if i’ll find the motivation (and if anyone cares), i might write a few words about some of these.
here’s a list of concerts i plan to attend during the last four months of this year. if i put a link to a bands’ homepage, this means i’m going to that concert to see this band (and as a side effect, also the non-linked ones).
- 13.09.2007: threshold, communic, machine men and serenity are playing in the z-7 in pratteln (progressive metal);
- 22.09.2007: fjoergyn, wolfchant, nastrandir und nuclear winter are playing in the dynamo in zurich (symphonic black/pagan/viking/death metal);
- 27.10.2007: moonsorrow, korpiklaani, excelsis and battlelore are playing at the viking/pagan festival in the stadthalle dietikon (folk/pagan metal);
- 31.10.2007: dream theater and symphony x are playing in the eulachhallen in winterthur (progressive metal);
- 09.11.2007: apocalyptica (with special guest not announced yet) is playing in the volkshaus in zürich (violin metal);
- 12.11.2007: porcupine tree and anathema are playing in the volkshaus in zürich (prog, atmospheric rock with metal influences);
- 16.11.2007: orchester accento musicale zürich is playing in the st. peter in zürich (classic);
- 17.11.2007: boob is playing in the helsinki klub in zürich (alternative/punk rock);
- 18.11.2007: amorphis, swallow the sun and insomnium are playing in the z-7 in pratteln (prog metal, doom metal);
- 27.11.2007: fish is playing in the z-7 in pratteln (progressive rock);
halloween, gamma ray and axxis are playing in the stadthalle dietikon (power metal);(skipping that one because of lack of time)
- 05.12.2007: die ärzte are playing in the hallenstadion in oerlikon/zürich (fun punk);
- 14.12.2007: ensiferum, turisas and insania are playing in the z-7 in pratteln (viking metal).