10. Stairway to the Stars, off Blue Oyster Cult (1972).
09. The Golden Age of Leather, off Spectres (1977).
08. Shooting Shark, off The Revolution by Night (1983).
07. Harvester of Eyes, off Secret Treaties (1974).
06. The Great Sun Jester, off Mirrors (1979).
05. Damaged, off Heaven Forbid (1998).
04. Then Came the Last Days of May, off Blue Oyster Cult (1972).
03. Perfect Water, off Club Ninja (1985).
02. Veteran of the Psychic Wars, off Fire of Unknown Origin (1981).
01. Astronomy, off Secret Treaties (1974).
So earlier this week, I was browsing YouTube and came across a video channel for the web site Sea of Tranquility (a hub for fans of rock & metal), where the owner of SoT, Pete Pardo, gives a discussion of his favorite 10 tracks of this band, or ranking the albums of that band from worst to best. And it turns out that Mr. Pardo is is apparently my long lost musical twin brother – he’s one year older than me, owns way more CDs than me, and is apparently a compulsive list maker like me! And his tastes are extremely similar, he discusses lots of my favorite bands. Plus, he’s also a comic fan and horror movie fan … if I sent out Christmas cards anymore, this dude would be on the top of the list. So I decided to blatantly copy him and start doing my own rankings, both here on this site and also on my radio show Mostly Metal (link to left). As my first list, here are my Top 10 Favorite Songs by Triumph.
10. Say Goodbye, off Allied Forces (1981).
09. Fight the Good Fight, off Allied Forces (1981).
08. Blinding Light Show / Moonchild, off Triumph (1976).
07. Never Surrender, off Never Surrender (1982).
06. Lay It On the Line, off Just A Game (1979).
05. Headed for Nowhere, off Surveillance (1987).
04. All the Way, off Never Surrender (1982).
03. Magic Power, off Allied Forces (1981).
02. Somebody’s Out There, off The Sport of Kings (1986).
01. Hold On, off Just A Game (1979).
Having already posted my Top 10 CDs of 2019, here are my Top 11 Songs of 2019. Why 11? Well, these songs made up the playlist of the final Mostly Metal broadcast of the year, and I had time for these 11 songs!
11. The Blade of Immortal Steel, by Twilight Force, off Dawn of the Dragonstar.
10. Journey to Remember, by Visions of Atlantis, off Wanderers.
9. DNA (Demons and Angels), by Rhapsody – Turilli / Lione, off Zero Gravity: Reborth and Evolution.
8. No More Hollywood Endings, by Battle Beast, off No More Hollywood Endings.
7. The Ruler of the World, by A.C.T., off Rebirth (EP).
6. A Ghost in the Trenches, by Sabaton, off The Great War.
5. Weightless, by Evergrey, off The Atlantic.
4. No Holding Back, by Myrath, off Shehili.
3. From Savior to Assassin, by Teramaze, off Are We Soldiers.
2. Barstool Warrior, by Dream Theater, off Distance Over Time.
1. Ghost in the Moon, by Avantasia, off Moonglow.
… with links to sample songs.
10. The Seal of a New World, by Signum Regis.Sample song: A Memory.
9. Dawn of the Dragonstar, by Twilight Force.Sample song: Winds of Wisdom.
8. Signs of Wings, by Sascha Paeth’s Masters of Ceremony.Sample song, which is not representative of the whole album – but damn, Adrienne Cowan can sing: The Path.
7. No Halos in Hell, by Cyhra.Sample song: Out of My Life.
6. Wanderers, by Visions of Atlantis.Sample song: Heroes of the Dawn.
5. Human, by Darkwater.Sample song: Alive II.
4. Distance Over Time, by Dream Theater.Sample song: Pale Blue Dot.
3. The Atlantic, by Evergrey.Sample song: End of Silence.
2. Shehili, by Myrath.Sample song: Born to Survive.
1. Moonglow, by Avantasia.Sample songs: Lavender & Invincible.
This page is mostly just for me, but I’m putting it here just in case Google starts tracking it and showing it to people who search on missing episodes of One Step Beyond.
One Step Beyond is a TV show made at the same time as The Twilight Zone, and is structured similarly. I think The Twilight Zone has better “best episodes”, but overall, One Step Beyond is more consistent because it doesn’t have the goofy episodes that The Twilight Zone did.
Anyway, I’ve been watching One Step Beyond on Amazon Prime, and the number of episodes available there is smaller than the number of episodes listed for the series overall on IMDB or Wikipedia. This probably has something to do with streaming rights (although apparently many episodes of OSB ended up in the public domain, so who knows). Anyway, some to all of the missing episodes can be found on YouTube, so with thanks to the people who posted these episodes on You Tube, I’m collecting the links here for easy reference. The completist part of my brain would get a rash if I claimed to have watched One Step Beyond completely if I just went by what’s available on Amazon Prime.
Season 3: Amazon Prime only has 16 of 39 episodes.The Death Waltz
If You See Sally
The Sacred Mushroom
The Room Upstairs
Most people who know me know that my favorite style of music is heavy metal. Lots of people who listen to metal do so for its therapeutic value; it’s loud, brash, and angry, and listening to it can help you deflate your own similar feelings. For example, who doesn’t feel better after driving around cranking some Testament.
My favorite genres of metal, though are power and progressive metal. Testament is definitely not in those categories. I like them a lot and have a bunch of their CDs, but my overall top preference is for bands that have a significant amount of clear vocals, lots of melodies, and even orchestral components … like Nightwish.
I also love bands that have intricate musical arrangements.
In other words, a lot of the heavy metal I like the most is not made to sound angry – it’s made by people who might have grown up listening to Judas Priest and Journey, and decided to blend the heavy and melodic elements.
So it’s pretty strange that my other favorite type of metal has been “doom metal”. This style is slow and deep, and designed to bring out your feelings of despair.
The progenitors of doom metal are said to be Black Sabbath, who laced most of their music with this (new at the time) style.
Also out there in heavy metal land is “death metal”; this is the style that features what are called cookie monster vocals. I have never become totally accustomed to that style, and I am very hit or miss in terms of which bands in that genre I enjoy. I think that in order for me to like it, the vocals need to still have relatively good enunciation even while being growled … like this:
As that song shows, there is a lot of overlap between the genres of death and doom metal, and there is even a subgenre called (you guessed it) death-doom. If you take the slow and dirgy style of doom metal and lay over it the deep growlies of death metal, you have death-doom. And … odds are I won’t like any one particular offering of it. But here’s where it gets strange: there is yet another subgenre called “funeral doom”, which takes the deep, hellish feel of doom metal and really goes all in. Imagine a slow-paced New Orleans funeral dirge with the band replaced by doom metal, and you have funeral doom. This style is most often accompanied by vocals growled (or better yet, regurgitated) in the deepest death style. You’d think that this is so far away from my usual favorite types of metal that I would abhor it, but the opposite is true! I had dabbled in listening to it in the past, and it never clicked, but recently during a Spotify encounter with a band called Mournful Congregation, something happened and it felt “right” to me. I even found the slowly-brewing growled vocals to be almost comforting.
I think I know why this happened. Outside of metal, I have always loved to use electronic new age music as background ambience while reading or working. Reading a fantasy novel and listening to Tangerine Dream go hand in hand.
The musical components of Tangerine Dream and funeral doom are nothing alike, but I’ve found that the mood I get out of them are very much the same. I’ve discovered another style of ambience that goes well with reading, or even driving, and that makes time go by faster. And since funeral doom mixes slow, tidal music a la Tangerine Dream (especially early spacey / noisey Tangerine Dream like Zeit) with the brutal heaviness of metal – even though the vocals are usually growled – it’s the best of both worlds!
I don’t know what made the original purveyors of funeral doom (supposedly Thergothon and Skepticism) do what they did, maybe they were just have really bad days, but I now have a whole other subgenre to explore that’s at the totally opposite end of the spectrum than what’s been my go-to music for so long.
Along with funeral doom, I’ve found “drone metal” in the band Sunn O))), which is heavy music with no real melodic structure to it, just intense ambient heavy mood – I’d love to go to a Sunn O))) concert and just literally feel the music for two hours.
Now pardon me while I go list more comics to sell on ebay so that I have money to spend on more funeral doom metal like Pantheist and Shape of Despair!