Keith’s Picks

Working at Murfie has taught me how important music is as a cultural phenomenon, and how people from different musical backgrounds can inspire one another. My musical taste has become more diverse in the last few years, originating from the deepest and darkest of the metal genre. Here are some of my favorite heavy metal albums found on Murfie:

2463-largeDomination by Morbid Angel

Florida death metal gods Morbid Angel bring a hard-hitting, excruciatingly heavy sound to this album, with amazing guitar riffs and extremely fast and complex drumming. This album gives a much more sludgy feel, with notable grooves in “Where the Slime Live”, and also “Caesar’s Palace”—which I would have to say is my favorite song on the album. The album was (and still is) heavily criticized by many fans as being much simpler musically and lyrically than their earlier albums. Nonetheless, Domination shows that metal bands can sound extreme without being aggressive and technical.

62111-largeMidian by Cradle of Filth

In my opinion, classical music and black metal go together like penut butter and jelly, or maybe pizza and a bloody mary (just me?). This is a great transition album for metal lovers who wish to get into black metal but don’t know where to start. Dani Filth’s infamous screeching vocals, mixed with the beautiful operatic undertones and chilling instrumentals, make this album both accessible and absolutely horrifying to the unaccustomed listener.

 

SymphonyX-VTheNewMythologySuite-1V: The New Mythology Suite by Symphony X

This is probably one of my favorite progressive metal works of all time. Inspired by some of the greatest guitarists in the world, this album shreds to a whole new level. There isn’t much to say about this album that hasn’t been said already: Its fast, melodic, complex guitar work mixed with powerful vocals and beautiful use of orchestral instruments provides a fresh and engaging take on a genre of heavy metal that has been around since the time of Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin.

 

7154e2a8-ddca-11e1-ac7b-1231381a75beBlood Fire Death by Bathory

To me, Bathory is the band that really captured the sound of black metal (although some critics will argue that it was actually the band Venom that fathered the genre). Bathory’s use of war-like themes, norse mythology and grim vocals really set the standard for the majority of black metal out there. What I love about this album is that it is incredibly experimental. The band certainly doesn’t like to stick to the same sound that can, quite frankly, get incredibly boring after a few listens. “A Fine Day to Die” and “For All Those Who Died” provide a more traditional black metal sound, whereas tracks like “Pace ’till Death” and “The Golden Walls of Heaven” are extremely fast and aggressive, akin to many famous thrash metal bands like Slayer and Municipal Waste.

 

66280-largeThe Light at the End of the World by My Dying Bride

I do have to admit that I found this album on Murfie after looking for a great doom metal album to add to my list. I have always loved the style of My Dying Bride, but I really haven’t given this album much of a listen. Some of the things that I really enjoy about the band are absent here: The depressingly slow and melodic guitar work, devastating vocals and the courageous use of violin and other such instruments that provide a great emotional experience. Still, this album is very poetic, dark and and at times can have a much more death metal sound than some of their other works. If you love depressing music, you will definitely enjoy this album.

Keith’s Picks

Even though we are still experiencing quite a cold spell here at Murfie HQ, Spring has arrived! It’s that time of the year for spending time outdoors and finally being able to drive around the city with the windows down and the stereo on blast. Here are some great albums to listen to, and some activities to help prepare you for the Spring music season:

Big D and the Kids TableStrictly Rude

ImageThis album is great for getting together with friends and having a ska-punk riot dance off. Really shouting “Noise Complaint!” will provide constant enjoyment…unless, you know, wishes are granted and you get a visit from good ‘ol Officer Bill.

I’d suggest starting your Spring out the right way by listening to “Shining On” and going for a well-deserved long walk. Be careful, though, because if you’re walking around in the Midwest, you may slip on some ice. (Listen responsibly, kids.)

The English BeatI Just Can’t Stop ItImage

Okay, so this post is starting out with some sort of ska-fueled trend. It’s for good reason, because ska music can be great for pretty much everyone. The English Beat are no exception. This album is great for a more chilled-out and relaxing experience, like a long bike ride or walk in the park.

 Various Artists – American Pie 2 Soundtrack / Euro Trip Soundtrack

Image

ImageHop in the car and go on a road trip! Pop in an album that makes you nostalgic, and think about those days where you could enjoy some fresh-baked pastry or a spontaneous trip around the globe. If you’re in the Midwest, roll the windows down and turn up the heat! If you’re a former punk-rock “obscurist” such as myself, you can still enjoy these memorable tunes from the back seat, where your fellow mow-hawk-supporting comrades won’t be able to judge you.

Godspeed You! Black EmperorAllelujah! Don’t Bend Ascend

ImageRainy days come and go, sometimes you may want to stay in bed with a warm cup of tea and a good book. Don’t read often? Try out some music literature with this album. It’s quite different than others, because like a great piece of art, it’s best to be left for the listener to interpret on their own. This dark and disturbingly beautiful album is ideal for those of us who love spending time listening to the sound of the rain. Are you a Fan of Godspeed You! Black Emperor? You may also enjoy the band Enablers—they even just released a new album.