Swedish Metal Day 2011
In honor of the brave Swedes, the Black Wind staff has concocted a playlist composed of our favorite tunes. Sit back, relax, and let the glory of Sweden wash over you!
Arno- Nocturnal Rites: “Avalon”
“Rise, Avalon!” Perhaps the most iconic Nocturnal Rites-song, this one should have people running in from other rooms, houses and countries to sing along to the wonderfully catchy chorus. A grand and majestic tune from the band’s golden era and whatever they are up to in 2012, they’ll have a hard time beating the glory of “New World Messiah”.
Travis- Evergrey: “The Masterplan”
The likes of “Glorious Collision” might make us forget sometimes, but there was a time when the name Evergrey guaranteed accessible and heartfelt progressive power metal. “The Masterplan” (not to be confused with Masterplan’s “Masterplan” from “MK II” not “Masterplan”) is one of their most catchy outings and a killer in the live environment. All together now: “We are all a part of…”
Tom- Crystal Eyes: “The Halls Of Valhalla”
“VAAAALHAAAAALAAAA / VAAAALHAAAALAAAA-AAAA!” Beginning softly and building to an immense shrieking (literally) conclusion, set against the backdrop of noble death on the battlefield, this is everything a closing epic should be; a superb close to a superb album.
Tora- Seventh Wonder: “Paradise”
Because it’s a good song. It’s catchy, and it’s part of a very good concept album. And “The Great Escape” was just too damn long.
Dan- ReinXeed: “The Voyage”
An example of ReinXeed’s increasing mature yet catchy songwriting, this about sums up the glory of 1912 in one neat little package.
Allyson- Amaranthe: “Amaranthine”
Sugary sweet and mercilessly catchy, Amaranthe is only about half Swedish, but the inclusion of Olof Mörck means that the whole band is composed of honorary Swedes.
Arno- Bloodbound: “Sweet Dreams Of Madness”
These days Bloodbound is a silly band with songs about Moria and nuclear bombs and despite the stupid catchyness of it all, I can’t help but feel twice ex-singer Urban Breed’s input is missed. Far from the Iron Maiden-flavored gallopping of the debut “Nosferatu”, “Tabula Rasa” and its opening song “Sweet Dreams Of Madness” proved for one album that there was a more innovative, daring and progressive side to these Swedes. I have no clue what it’s all about, but it is ever so mesmerizing.
Allyson- Sabaton: “Union (Slopes Of St. Benedict)”
Inspired by the battle of Monte Cassino, fought by allies and Germans/Italians around the abbey of Saint Benedict of Ursia in Italy, “Union (Slopes Of St. Benedict)” shows what Sabaton does best: pompous and belligerent hymns with historical subject matter. “The Art Of War” may just be their finest hour yet. To arms!
Travis- Dragonland: “Antimatter”
Far from the fluff of their first two fantasy power metal albums “Antimatter” is Dragonland at their heaviest with its chugging guitars and guest vocals by former Nightrage-loudmouth Jimmie Strimmell. Pulsating, innervating and catchy as all hell, it only adds to the diversity and quality of their progressive peak “Astronomy”.
Tora- Dead By April: “Losing You”
Do you know how random songs can mean a lot to someone? It’s average, perhaps mainstream, yes, but it has a certain meaning to me. When I was going through some stuff it was one of the few songs I kept listening to.
Tom- Dark Tranquillity: “Focus Shift”
I’ve always found Mikael Stanne to be one of the most emotive death metal vocalists, and this is a perfect example of his brilliance. As per usual, the rest of the band is spot-on as well, making for a complete package that is filled with both emotional depth and pure metal aggression.
Dan- Lost Horizon: “Pure”
Maybe they’re never coming back, but Lost Horizon have certainly left a striking legacy. “Pure” channels the band’s energy in its most primal, unadulterated form. One of the finest songs off of one of the finest albums from one of the finest metal bands, it’s small wonder that we find these mighty existentialists closing our list.