Have You Not HEARD? Metal Edition

I pretty much started writing this as soon as the last was posted. I am no fool: I know metal is not everyones cup-of-tea, but it contains some of the best musicianship you will ever hear. Some of these albums have warped my mind for years, and those I just found “recently” will warp my mind for many to come.

I will warn you: some of these albums are very-much not metal. The main intent of this list is to point to albums that, I think, should be acknowledge by the community.

Invent, Animate :: Everchanger
An example of one I found recently, this band blows my mind every time I listen to them. Aggressive, beautiful, fast and complicated. If you do not have this album, rectify that instantly. NOTE TO DRUMMERS: The fuck…? People can do that?
The link in the band name is the first track on the album Everchanger called Sol. It is a song that gets in my head, and stays there for days.

Structures :: All of the Above [EP]
You may notice a trend in the metal albums I recommend: they all have ridiculous drumming and general song structure. This EP is no different. I will confess, I have not listened to their full length that came out a few years ago. The vocals are a bit trying, but any musician can appreciate what they do on this.

Straight Reads the Line :: The Author
What does this album do differently than most? It has amazing lyrics and incredible dynamics. I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with these boys many times, I must say they NEVER disappoint.

Sleigh Bells :: Treats
I can almost hear the cries of disbelief. Yes, I put a pop band on this list, but SERIOUSLY: listen to this album. It is the guitar player from Poison the Well and is so barely pop. The only thing that keeps it in that category is the use of a drum machine and the style of vocals.

Melt-Banana :: Bambi’s Dillema
The best way to describe this album is “What?” quickly followed by smashing someone’s head into a concrete wall. This album is the definition of ridiculous.

Hail The Sun :: Wake
Shown to me by the beautiful Stephen Correa, this album hurts me in all the right ways. Think Circa Survive, but more complicated. Seriously, the drums on this album are damned near impossible to follow, yet make perfect sense.
BONUS POINTS! The drummer is the lead singer! You can find some live videos online.

Buried Inside :: Chronoclast: Selected Essays On Times Reckoning and Auto-Cannabalism
Seriously, with a name that unnecessary, you know the album will be amazing.
This album is unfair with how fast it is at points. From Canada, this band broke up in 2010. I cannot decide if it is too bad they broke up because they could have done amazing things for metal or fantastic because now this album will not be corrupted. With that said, I do have their other two albums. They are good, but not this good. Seriously: how do people’s minds work this fast?

Counterparts :: Prophets
I can hear eyes rolling from friends of mine. I played with this band several times back around the release of this album in 2010. It’s fast, angry, and beautiful. I personally loved the guys in this band, and felt that they always put on a fantastic live show. This band contained, at one time, one of my favourite drummers in the punk/metal/hardcore scene in Ontario.

The Contortionist :: Language
Funny story: I discovered this band about two years before writing this. I had only heard this album up until a month ago. I only like their sound on this album. That is NOT to say that I don’t hear the talent on their prior recordings, but I am a huge fan of the band Tool: this album shares a lot with Tool’s Lateralus album, which was my favourite album up until a couple of years ago. Combine that with my inability to comprehend some of the writing behind the progressions and you have a recipe for me to love every minute of this album.

The End :: Within Dividia
I harp to my friends about this album all of the time. Not prior to this recording, nor after, have I found something more complicated. More visceral. More amazing.
Definitely for fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan, but much less punk. The drummer is nothing shy of a beast. I got the pleasure of seeing this band on a tour for the album after this one, which was much different, but the event was more like a religious experience as opposed to a concert.

Well, that was fun! My attention has been less on metal as of late, so nothing here is very new. I hope you found something new that you love.

The Single Hardest Project Ever

I had a discussion with a good friend of mine whether or not we could come up with a Top 10 list of albums. We both agreed that it would be very difficult, so I tried to make one up after he left. My result was a top 20, so I gave myself further restrictions and now it’s a Top 10, finally. As I am writing this, I am stuck thinking about what I kept off the list.

RULES: One album per artist. No “Honourable Mentions”*. No regrets* with what I have listed.
(Only one exception because it should be on this list, but I made a promise to do 10)

NINE INCH NAILS :: The Fragile
I could not resist putting this album in the list. I love it so. Between “La Mer” and “Just Like You Imagined” I would be set for a very long time in the event I loose everything but this. I have heard rumours of an instrumental version existing: if you know where to get it, please pass me along a link.
Recommended listening: Just Like You Imagined

That song is a strange example of the rest of the album. Beautiful, which is a fantastic snapshot, but extremely tame compared to songs like Starfuckers, Inc. Please enjoy. If you know the album, what is your favourite?

CURSIVE :: Domestica
The album I have listened to the most, hands down, in the last few years. It is actually my favourite album of all time: it flows perfectly from end to end. I do not have it on vinyl because I have never seen it around for a reasonable price ($30 is too rich for my blood, though it is tempting). It honestly has the (second) best ending of an album ever. (the best ending belongs to Sparta on their debut album Wiretap Scars. Only Honourable Mention I will do because it was axed only due to space)
Recommended listening: Radiator Hums

Jazzy and fantastic: this song contains some of my favourite lyrics ever portrayed in a song. It is just so biting: so harsh. Yet, like the rest of the album, self deprecating and pretty. BONUS POINTS: The chorus is so much fun to shout along to.

DEFTONES :: White Pony
Do I really have to justify this being on my list? It’s heavy: both emotionally and musically. A brilliant collection of sounds, it has been a major influence on the music I have collected in the years.
Recommended listening: Knife Party

Beautiful. That statement is even before the chaos that is the ending. Her vocal range is astounding. The drums contain some of the coolest licks I have heard.

DEERHOOF :: Vs. Evil
Everyone has to have a strange album they listen to. This band is in my top list simply because I always am blown away when I listen to them. Like everything great, I do not know how I found this album because it exposed me to what music can be.
Recommended listening: The Merry Barracks

I put the music video as the sample for this song because.

DIE HEXE :: ST EP
Anyone who has talked to me in the last year has known about my obsession with this EP. The beauty in its distopic view of reality is astounding to me. Do yourself a favour and listen to it, please. This collection is easily my favourite independent album to exist in years and one of my favourite albums of all time.
Recommended listening: The Entire Album

Not only is the whole album fantastic, they are independent. It does not seem fair pointing out one song to ignore the feat they have managed.

BIBIO :: Ambivilance Avenue
Think folk mixed with trip-hop and jazz, and you only get a mild idea of what this album contains. Perfect background sounds for writing or meditating. Also, the last thing I listened to before I ended up in hospital.
Recommended listening: Fire Ant

I guess this is not a fantastic example of the rest of the album, but it is, by far, one of my favourites. It is an example of what a hip-hop beat could be if a DJ was given free-range.

WEAKERTHANS :: Reconstruction Site
Punk, but with a twist. Some of the most brilliant and soul-destroying lyrics you will ever hear.
Also, I cannot listen to it without thinking of my good friend, Elianna.
Recommended listening: Our Retired Explorer (Dines with Michel Foucault in Paris, 1961)

This was the first song I heard by this band ever. Not going to lie, the line “yes a penguin taught me french back in Antarctica” sold me almost instantly.

WINTERSLEEP :: Untitled
This was a favourite album of mine for a very long time. The emotional weight it portrays is amazing. The song “Lipstick” perfectly encapsulates being alone while surrounded by people.
Recommended listening: Danse Macabre

I figured it out after years of listening to it, but that drum line is STUPID!

BLONDE REDHEAD :: 23
Hauntingly beautiful and beautifully haunting. Really, there is little to write home with this album: there is nothing to it except that it is incredibly pretty. So pretty, in fact, that I love it this much.
Recommended listening: The Publisher

This song has my favourite vocal progression, by far.

DO MAKE SAY THINK :: Goodbye Enemy Airship, the Landlord Is Dead
This is my favourite album. It doesn’t have any words, and that almost makes it better. The juxtaposition of the instruments is spine tingling, the rhythms and flourishes that it finds is jaw-dropping, and the crescendos bring tears to my eyes every time. Every album they have released is astounding, but this one is perfect. I cannot even show this album to everyone because I KNOW that not everyone will appreciate it.
Recommended listening: Goodbye Enemy Airship

That is my favourite song. Full Stop. I fucking love this song and every emotion that it evokes. I have been listening to a playlist of all these albums since I came up with this idea, and I stop everything I am doing to listen to all 12 minuets of this song every time it plays.

WHAT DID I LEARN!?

I toss around top-ten labels way too easily. It is not malicious or a lie, just a spur-of-the-moment label. Most of the CDs I give that label are, in fact, held in a very high regard.

In fact: I am of the assumption that if everyone did that in regards to something that they love, they will notice where priorities lie.

I still feel like I forgot about something very VERY important. I am also upset at the fact that Blood Brothers, Poison the Well, and Said the Whale are not on the list anywhere, but I promised no honourable mentions.

Also, ‘Frequently Played’ numbers are not to be trusted. Sometimes, you get into a habit of playing something because it reminds you of something. That may be a time, a place, or right now. It has nothing to do with the love for the actual album, however. Tom Vek is in my top plays but he was not even a contender for the list.


These are the albums that I listen to almost daily.

One may argue that this is not an appropriate post for this blog. There is nothing about health or life in a wheelchair.

YOU ARE FUCKING WRONG.

A large part of health, in and out of a chair, is finding peace in whatever is around you. I have always kept music a massive part of my life: so much so that when I had to go almost 10 months with either nothing or crappy radio I was horribly depressed because of it. Yes, I am aware that I focus too much on music. I need to, or I will get swallowed up in my situation and dwell on how things can be better. It motivates me to get back to drumming the way I used to. It reminds me of how things used to be and shows me how they will change by being in everything I do. ‘You’re Not Dead’ has a soundtrack, and the book I am working on now does, as well.