Your face is a facebook hype! (Me – Me)
So most of you might know that I am both personally and business-wise active on social media (Mostly Facebook and Instagram and sometimes twitter if I don’t forget!) and I have been on those pages for quite a while now. I tend to see the whole social media thing as a great way to communicate with people I like and that live too far away to just hang out with for real, but also a great way to spread the word about the things I make. (Being music, video’s, websites and whatever else) Granted, social media is as much a reflection of the world as the internet is (Ergo: It ain’t pretty at times) but overall I am pretty positive towards it.
However, I tend to have a pretty firm stance on “hypes” that go around on the social pages like “Share this if you think…” or “share this to show you care” or the ever illustrious “If you don’t share this you are…” posts that bring a great emotional and social pressure along with them that apparently a considerable amount of people are not able to withstand…
My regular stance towards these things can be described as a ten foot high middle finger made out of concrete, glazed with a sense of amused apathy and a mountain of “I hope that the one sharing it and emotionally blackmailing me will die lonely” on the side. However, sometimes a hype goes around on the socials that I DO approve of which is done on a grand scale and in this case it involves the “10 DAY ALBUM CHALLENGE”!
Talking and writing about music is always lovely, so I went out and wrote 10 mini-reviews/rants about 10 albums that I love dearly, to describe WHY these records meant so much to me. I figured this would also be good blog material and such, so I will now share my selection of records here to at least give you guys an impression of what inspired me.
The descriptions are added below for your convenience. Short, sweet, yet enough info to make a point. (Or so I hope.)
Hope y’all will enjoy it! Meanwhile, I will get back to working on the new TDW stuff that is coming, which is still a work in progress but which is shaping up nicely! Cheers!
10 – Between The Buried And Me – The Great Misdirect
My first pick is this insane album by Between The Buried And Me. The song Swim To The Moon is basically progressive music porn and warrants the full price of admission. I hope I can ever see them perform that live once. (a man can dream!) And yes…. I like this one MUUUUUCH better than colors. Fight me. 😛
9 – Frank Zappa – Does Humor Belong In Music
The 2nd album to be posted is a live recording of Frank Zappa’s 80’s liveband performing a set which I can only describe as friggin’ insane. It was a tough call between this one “Joe’s Garage” and “Tinseltown Rebellion”, but I just had to pick this one for the balanced setlist that ranges from hardrock satire to jazz-avantgarde extravaganza’s and everything in between. 😉
I can only answer the title’s question by saying: YES
8 – Genesis – Selling England By The Pound
The 3rd album to be posted had to be a Genesis album for obvious inspirational reasons. To be fair, I was doubting between this and Nursery Cryme, but that one is a tad less consistent than this offering in my opinion. Dancing with the moonlit knight alone is worth the price of admission and then it’s only just starting! Great album. A classic for a reason.
7 – Protest The Hero – Fortress
The 4th album on this list is in my opinion one of the prime releases in the Math Core/Metal genre with a guy that can sing in ways I wish I could. Damn, my voice for being lower. 😛 I remember the first time I heard “Sequoia Throne” and thinking… “Okay, I might as well just stop making music now. These guys basically put ALL THE GOOD THINGS in their songs” 😛 YAY! CHAOTIC TECHNICAL NOISE STUFF!
6 – Pain of Salvation – The Perfect Element, Part 1
Day 5. We are now entering the records that shaped me as a composer, writer and singer. This record is one of those albums that helped me with all those things. It’s a record that (to me at least) invokes waves of melancholy, sadness, anger but above all loneliness… And that is what makes it perfectly beautiful in my opinion. Also (probably not so) fun fact: If you want to see Tom cry over beauty, let this band play The Perfect Element live. Halfway through I will have tears streaming down my face and loving it. Not ashamed at all. 😉 One of the first records that made me feel things this deeply. Not for everyone perhaps, but I am thankful this exists.
5 – Porcupine Tree – Deadwing
Arriviiiiiiiiiiiiing somewhere…. but not heeeeeeeeere. *has goosebumps even thinking about the darn song* This album is a masterpiece hybrid of progrock with metal, ambient and pop overtones. Inspirational stuff to the max! 😀
4 –Tool – Aenima
PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE! … PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE! … Yes I know Tool has become somewhat over-idolized over the years and I am just as annoyed by the people who think they are the “best-thing-since-sliced-bread-ever” (seriously, but that does not detract from the fact that this very album has inspired me in ALL THE CREATIVE WAYS. Especially songs like Stinkfist, Hooker with a Penis and the epic title track (“Fuck L Ron Hubbard and Fuck all his clones. Fuck all these gun toting hip gangster wannabe’s!”) give me rushes of adrenaline every time and the rhythms on this album are always great inspirational fuel if my drumparts are lacking. 😉
3 – Symphony X – The Divine Wings of Tragedy
I know, I missed a day yesterday. But that had to do with the new TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc. vid that was launched through BlankTV and such. So now I am back at the old album challenge again. To be fair, it was the “V – The New Mythology Suite” album that got me into prog metal, but I want to nominate this Symphony X record because for me it feels like this album is the blueprint for basically all symphonic, melodic progressive metal from the 90’s in a way. Tracks like “Of Sins and Shadows”, “The Accolade” and the epic title track prove (to me at least) that Symphony X understood the magical mix were truly great melodies, metallic intensity and neo-classical music found one another. My only criticism is that Symphony X is apparently not interested in playing this material anymore and that makes me sad. I would pay good money to see them play a set with just material from this album and the two albums that followed and I think I am not alone in that respect.However, the music and the album stay for repeated listening sessions fortunately, so I can just play this over and over. And I am grateful for that!
2 – Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
There is a reason this artwork is hanging on my livingroom wall… A big reason. How many bands are able to invoke goosebumps by just playing four notes? I don’t know many of them, but by golly, the opening guitar notes of Shine On You Crazy Diamond hit me in ALL THE SPECIAL PLACES. Debates about the best Pink Floyd album are in my opinion kind of useless as everyone of their records has redeeming qualities and both good and bad songs, so this choice is purely made on my emotional resonance. This album carried me through quite some dark periods in my life, fighting both my brain and my body itself, so that’s why this will always have a place.
1 – Dream Theater – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
And here is the big one. The album that I can listen to over and over again on repeat and not get bored with. I have fallen out of love with Dream Theater over the last couple of years for a multitude of reasons I will not get into now, but I can say that this album is (in my humble opinion) their seminal work and one of the prime examples of “How to Prog Metal right”. Especially the magnificent title track that deals with the lives of six deranged individuals with their mental struggles resonated with me when I first heard it and still resonates with me to this day. It felt like a band finally put to words what I had been feeling for the longest time. Thank you DT for writing this album and giving me comfort when I needed it. 🙂