As much as I like working on this blog, it has changed my listening habits. One of our missions is to stay abreast of song and video premieres and new albums, sifting through the flood of new metal to find things we believe are worth recommending and reviewing. So I spend almost all my listening time nowadays checking out metal I’ve never heard before. The cost, unfortunately, is that I rarely listen to what’s in the library of albums I’ve accumulated over the years. No more “oldies but goodies” for me.
But yesterday, on a whim, I decided that I’d spend the time walking to and from my job listening to what was on my iPod already, and I used Shuffle to pick what I heard. My iPod Classic is full. It has 22,331 songs on it, and almost all of the shit is metal. To put a new album on there requires that I delete another one, which is horribly painful to do. That process has made the library more top-heavy with newer music over time, which may explain why most of the Shuffle choices turned out to be of relatively recent vintage.
Anyway, it turned out to be a blast, because the first five songs that Shuffle picked were all really good and really beastly. The next couple weren’t as killer, so I decided to just go with the first five in this post. Oddly, two of the five turned out to be from Japanese bands.
Fuckin’ Dismember! What an auspicious way to start the Shuffle medley! I didn’t need reminding about how completely amazing Like An Ever Flowing Stream was — and still is — but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve listened to “Skin Her Alive”. What a thoroughly skin-flaying, meat-grinding experience.
It was like candy to my ears: skittering, heavy-fuzzed, dissonant riffing; a squealing solo that jets out like a flamethrower that’s just been triggered; a relentless drum attack; the ugly vocals; and of course the very eloquent lyrics.
“Skin Her Alive” – Like An Ever Flowing Stream (1991)[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/06-Skin-Her-Alive.mp3|titles=Dismember – Skin Her Alive]
After Dismember, Shuffle delivered Defiled. This Japanese band has been around for a long time, but their 2011 album was the first after a lengthy hiatus, and the line-up only included one original member. I’d forgotten how completely obliterating the production was on this album — really raw, with the bass and drums shoved up-front in the mix to produce a genuinely head-clobbering experience. The song that Shuffle picked is one of my favorite tracks from that release, combining all that manic . . . clobbering . . . with schizoid, techy riffing and pedal-to-the-floor acceleration. Sweetness.
“Intolerant” – In Crisis (2011)[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/09-Intolerant.mp3|titles=Defiled – Intolerant]
I remember that when Poland’s Vader released this album there was some controversy because Vader had (somewhat) moved away from full-on blasting by introducing some slower parts. “Shadowfear” was a prime example of the tempo dynamics Vader introduced, but it remains one of my all-time favorite Vader tracks, and I got the biggest fuckin’ smile when Shuffle delivered it.
It includes a grisly killer of an intro, a vicious/furious riff attack, screaming solo’s, awesome vocals, and a devastating, gore-drenched breakdown.
“Shadowfear” – Impressions In Blood (2006)[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/02-Shadowfear.mp3|titles=Vader – Shadowfear]
Shuffle next played a song from yet another Japanese band. I couldn’t remember when or why I got this album, and I’m not positive I ever listened to all of it when I got it — or even any of it — and I have no other 324 releases in my library. In any event, the song sounded new to my ears, and I sure as fuck enjoyed it. Rancid, crusty, punky, hooky, grind.
“Borders” – Rebelgrind (2006)[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/05-Borders.mp3|titles=324 – Borders]
Fifth and finally: Members of this Italian band have been the subject of multiple NCS posts recently, through their participation in another project called The Stranded, but the next song that popped up on my Shuffle-play comes from Disarmonia Mundi’s second album, which pre-dated the start of NCS by five years. I think “blazing” is a good word for it. Everything is moving at warp speed, and it shoots high voltage through your system from beginning to end.
But the song also has a memorable melody along with fragments of Gothenburg-style melodeath riffing and a recurring rhythm that reminds me of humppa music, of all things, plus a combo of clean and harsh vocals that suits the song. Wonderful.
“Come Forth My Dreadful One” – Fragments of D-Generation (2004)[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/08-Come-Forth-My-Dreadful-One.mp3|titles=Disarmonia Mundi – Come Forth My Dreadful One]
I may have to make a habit of this Shuffle experience, though I can’t believe I’ll have as much luck the next time. We’ll see . . .
I have that 324 album. It’s one of the very, very few physical albums I’ve bought in the last three years. I think I picked it up on a recommendation of some music store staff.
It’s one of those albums that I always felt was good…but not great. At least, that’s how I remember it. Maybe I’ll give it another chance.
You may well be right. As I said, I didn’t even remember getting it or listening to it. I did like “Borders” though. I’m also still wondering about the odds of getting two Japanese metal bands out of 5 on a random selection from 22,000 songs. And it’s not like my library is packed with Japanese bands either.
Errr…I’m not good with statistics, but I don’t imagine it’s THAT unlikely. Try it again and see what happens.
I’m listening to it right now. Lots of gang shouting on the second song. I think the reason I didn’t get all that into it was because of the clear punk influences–particularly in the vocals. But I’m feeling the punk today, so it’s working.
Okay, I just shuffled my iPod again. First 10 tracks I got:
Misery Signals: “The Failsafe”
Children of Bodom: “Children of Bodom”
Hypocrisy: “Sky’s Falling Down”
Dirge Within: “Inhuman”
Beyond Creation: “The Deported”
GWAR: “Black and Huge”
Atheist: “And the Psychic Saw”
God Forbid: “The New Clear”
Hunh…well, I guess it was just a weird coincidence.
Still, at least you’re getting mostly good music either way.
Yeah, this is really making me miss the way I used to listen to music.
Did you generally listen to a random playlist of all your songs? I do that occasionally,
but much prefer listening to whole albums.
When I actually used to listen to music in my library, I preferred the random assortment of songs. That way, I didn’t have to make any decisions. I like having decisions made for me. Plus, it was always one surprise after another. I like surprises, too.
I will take that as you consenting to my surprise BDSM party to take place in your ass tonight.
So sorry, I have the ass lock enabled. Could you instead surprise me with a wire transfer of $1,000,000?
How about 1,000,000 sperm? That’s a nice compromise, right?
Ok, good compromise. I’l send you the sperm, you wire me the money.
I recently switched my iPod to only load up with metal after running out of space. I’m still transitioning out of the music I had before metal, mainly hard rock I no longer like and a lot of stuff from my father’s considerable library of eighties. Since then, I’ve been chugging away at listening to everything in alphabetical order so that I’m familiar with everything on my iPod, and then I plan to switch back to shuffle all until I add a new album in.
I still have some non-metal left on my iPod, and for nostalgia purposes just haven’t brought myself to get read of it yet. But it has to be something like less than 5% of the total now, after a couple of years of weeding out and replacement. But for me it almost doesn’t matter what’s on there because I so rarely play anything now except new releases.
Disarmonia Mundi sounds very similar to Soilwork, but this song seems better too..
Bjorn from soilwork was in the band for a couple of albums if im not mistaken
Yep. He made a guest appearance on “Fragments” and then joined the band for their next two albums.