I must make a confession. I haven’t found an album that has blown me away this month. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have been listening to a lot of music – most of it made up Attalus’ Into The Sea album (gosh, how good is that album!) and other songs here and there, but not a single album from start to finish.
To rectify this, I will cover two albums that have stood the test of time and that I still listen to as much as when I first heard them. They are not new but they are good. Oh so good. Yes.
First up, As I Lay Dying – An Ocean Between Us.
This album. Its pure metalcore. The music is tight, the message on point. But more importantly, it possesses the unique ability to leave you thinking long after the last song has ended. The Sound of Truth is the headliner of this album, but don’t be fooled. Every other song should demands your attention as well. After the intro, you are thrust into Nothing Left and while you may think this song has shown you everything An Ocean Between Us has to offer, you are surely mistaken. The guys have given their all on this album and you can hear it through every drum beat, every guitar strum and every growl. Within Destruction is punishing from the get go – double bass coming at you left and right.
I remember hearing The Sound Of Truth for the first time, sitting on a beach, while my friend Lynt played it through his crappy Samsung phone speakers. We didn’t need a sound system to know that what we were hearing was good. We parted ways that afternoon, each super excited about the impending album and what the men from As I Lay Dying had in store.
The Sound Of Truth is an evolution for the band. Refining their sound, showing their musical chops and just coming together. Now dont get me wrong – Frail Words Collapse and Shadows Are Security are both incredible albums in their own right. But for new ears to As I Lay Dying, An Ocean Between Us is probably the best place to jump in. It has the punishing death along with the melody that I have yet to hear anyone do better.
Next up, this is probably my most favorite bands and albums of all time.
Originating in Zurich, Switzerland, singing in Celtic and incorporating flutes, bag pipes, tin whistles and hurdy-gurdies, we have the ever impressive Eluveitie.
Eluveitie’s album Slania was their break out album. It mixes Gothenberg death metal with folk melodies and is a pleasure to listen to from start to finish.
I was at a friends house – having one of our typical Friday night braais (thats like a BBQ for all the international folk), when Primordial Breath came on the sound system. From the opening chants to the very last drum beat, everyone was silent. The meat on the flame forgotten, not even a gaze at the beers in our hands. Slack jawed, we took in this masterpiece of sound. As soon as the song was done, my friend rushed inside the house to find out who and what we had just heard, then proceeded to put the rest of the album on. We spent the rest of the night dissecting each song, listening for each instrument, taking joy in the ebb and flow of each new sound. We didn’t even go out that night as planned.
And so my love of folk metal was born and perseveres to this day.
I started trying to list the tracks that stand out for me, but ended up listing every song. So yeah, I cant actually tell you what song to look out for. Put the album on with some good headphones or speakers to be able to hear the fantastic mix of all the instruments along with Chrigel Glanzmann’s vocals. If by the end of this album, you do not feel like picking up a sword and being a bard, then you clearly haven’t listened to this album.
Their other albums – Everything Remains (As It Never Was), Helvetios and Origins are also fantastic and I really enjoy them, but no matter what, will never hold such a soft spot in my heart as much as Slania. Simply because of the reaction to it. The first track I ever heard was so powerful, so amazing, that it probably altered me as a person.
I hope because of this you have found something interesting to listen to. Let me know on Twitter what you think!