Album Review: “Heart Of The Hurricane” by Beyond The Black

34729747_951670208326241_2834433232856940544_nWe’re back with another review! This time I am talking about symphonic metal with a band that I have discussed on here in the past, it was their album “Lost In Forever” that I actually listen to almost every other month now. The band recently released their third album “Heart Of The Hurricane” in late August, and you would be very proud of me, because I have not listened to a single song–even though I really wanted to every time I saw one pop up on my Spotify–so my thoughts on the songs themselves will fresh and I seem to like it better to go about it that way.

Here’s a little background on the band, they are originally from Germany, leading the bunch is Jennifer Haben while Chris Hermsdörfer and Tobias Lodes play guitar and do some backing vocals. Stefan Herkenhoff is on bass, Jonas Roßner plays the keys and finally Kai Tschierschky does the drums. The album consists of 15 songs, which is more than I usually review on here, but I thought what the hell! So, let’s get this party started!

We start off the album with a song called “Hysteria” and this has a nice heavy metal sound with the guitars being at the center of the beginning and I like the balance between the orchestra’s light tone against the harsh guitars together, and Jennifer along with the choir, keep that soft element there throughout despite the fact that the track is about chaos. I thought that was kind of interesting! It was pretty mild to what I kind of expected but I liked it nonetheless though. Second is the title track “Heart Of The Hurricane” and I definitely like how this one starts, it’s heavy but when Jennifer comes on, the guitars die down. I had a hard time keeping myself still while listening to it the first time, which is a really good sign! I was slightly jumping up and down on my bed and whenever it got quiet, I turned to swaying side-to-side and I can’t wait to learn the lyrics to it. Next is “Through The Mirror” and a piano begins the song off which surprised me because you hardly ever hear songs like this towards the start of the album. Of course, the sound explodes into this monstrous ballad. I really like it.

 “Million Lightyears” is the fourth song and I’m not going to lie, I kept picturing Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story when I first read the title of it. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it! This has a different start, as it was a male singer, and it kind of threw me off because I couldn’t see a featured artist, so it could either be Chris, Stefan, or Tobias. However, I do like the deeper tone of his voice against Jen’s soaring vocals. It gives the song an extra edge so it’s good! We move on to “Song For The Godless” and once I saw this title, I was really intrigued; I just knew I was going to like the suspense of not exactly knowing what was going to happen with this song. The introduction in this one is so good! It has this exotic element but fierce drumming coming together, everything that I wanted was in this song! The only thing that would have made it better was if that drumming was as loud as it was throughout the choruses. I think that would have been interesting, but the song is really good otherwise!

Next there’s “Escape From The Earth” which is another song that grabbed my attention right away and it has a somber undertone that you hear immediately. I liked the fact that it was softer, but it had some interesting edges to it with the fast strumming in the mist of the second verse, so it sort of changed the tempo and direction of the “normal” ballad. I also enjoyed the very loud slap of the drums, unfortunately I don’t know anything but drums but I still liked that little surprise because it made that song even better. Now, we have “Beneath A Blackened Sky” and I’m happy to say that this is another heavy epic track. The haunted sounds of the orchestra, with the choir singing in the introduction really excited me, but those elements kind of took a back step whenever Jennifer would start singing. They would start up again towards the choruses so I wasn’t that disappointed with it! It’s actually a really good track.

The eighth song is “Fairytale Of Doom” which made me really curious, because the first thing that popped into my head was a darker turn of Alice In Wonderland, although I had clue to what I would actually hear when the song played. I think this has a bit of a thrash-y sound to it, as the symphonic part of it isn’t as powerful, but I thought it was okay to go that route. Honestly, I would have been mad if they had went a sweeter and angelic sound with this, so instead they went with a hardier vibe that still told a good story. This one sort of threw me off, it’s called “My God Is Dead” and I’m always worried with these types of songs, but knowing the genre itself, they’re not talking about their lives, rather than a character made for the album itself. The track is a nice ballad again, but I really enjoyed whoever does the harsh vocals in the choruses, it was different but not enough to  divert the sound as a whole a lot.

We have “Dear Death” next and here was another title that got me wondering, I really enjoy doing that, I rarely expect how it’s going to sound but I try to guess the story behind it. I think it’s the storyteller in me! Anyways, I’m glad that it has a hefty sound in the beginning but honestly that really dies down as it continues to the point where I kind of grew to not like it. I can’t really explain it. So, let’s move on to the other song, “Scream For Me” and I really like it! The introduction made me slightly worried because they have a lot of mellow songs and I thought this was just another one, but they gave us a big surprise as the choruses are explosive! Everything is heightened and for once, I liked the guitar solo! I hardly ever like the solos anymore.

The last four songs, and we start with “Freedom” and it definitely has more of a power metal vibe going on, if you like to headbang, you can really do it with this one. I like the creepy and slow notes of the piano in the background with all of the chaos being center stage. I’m happy that Jennifer was able to control her voice in that type of environment . My voice would have been all over the place and that’s the truth! Next there’s “Breeze” which sounds sweet when you first read it, and then when it starts to play and you Jen’s voice basically stripped down with only a piano, strings and a choir gave it a classy tone and it’s the perfect calm down after the previous song! It’s really pretty!

“Echo From The Past” is the fourteenth song of the album. It seems like we go back to the mild soundings, as the it has a mysterious introduction with what sounds like church bells ringing in the background leading to some of the rough guitars. It wasn’t what I was expecting but I like that about it. And finally, the last song is “Parade” and I was utterly surprised with this because if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this had some electronic elements in it! I don’t really know what to say about it, other than it’s interesting but it’s not my favorite off the album.

I am officially done! I have to say, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with this album mostly because I’ve only listened to one album all the way through and I kind of liked it, whereas this one was slightly boring. It didn’t keep me interested and they all just blended together in a bad way unfortunately. It’s a nice effort in my opinion.

What do you think about Beyond The Black’s new album “Heart Of The Hurricane”? Did you like it or were you not pleased with it at all?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Sign Of The Dragonhead” by Leaves’ Eyes

23131766_10156007791623901_1988138923982422649_nYou guys know how much I love symphonic metal music, right? Leaves’ Eyes is one of the numerous bands cranking out amazing music to its fans! The five piece band consists of Joris Njenhuis on drums, Pete Streit plays guitar while Thorstein Bauer does bass and to round it out the band has two vocalists: Alexander Krull and the newest member Elina Sirala. “Sign Of The Dragonhead” is Elina’s first record with the band. The album was released on January 12th, and as you can see from the artwork on the side that it involves the Vikings and their mythology!

We start the album with the title track, and I will say I hadn’t heard of Elina’s voice before I decided to review the album, so everything is completely new to me. I actually like her voice, it’s deep and not overwhelming as some singers I’ve heard in the past. It has a soft and sweet undertone to it, which works out great with Alexander’s harsh vocals. As far as the song as a whole, I’m not really a fan of it. I feel like it was rushed, however I did like the introduction. It gave you the scene that you were about to be transported out of there. I also liked the pipes as well. It added a nice gentle Celtic tone to it. Second is “Across The Sea” and you instantly hear this playful sound, that always reminds me of voyagers on a boat, the heavy guitars give you that other added element to it, but it’s all good and keeps the listener upbeat to hear the story.

Next we have “Like A Mountain” and I really liked the soft beginning, just hearing only a piano with Elina’s voice was beautiful, but of course we can’t stay in that direction. It doesn’t change into a jam-packed harsh song. It actually stays pretty neutral in sound, so it has a good melody to follow, and shows the beauty in Elina’s voice too! Leaves’ Eyes has had a history of using all kinds of languages in their lyrics: English, Irish and of course a form of the Viking language too! So the song “Jomsborg” is no surprise to me. I looked up the title to see what kind of information it could give me and according to Google, it was a legendary Viking stronghold on the coast of the Baltic sea. You have the same vibe that you get while listening to the second track, but I always find it cooler to see bands be inspired by real things, if it’s people or structures, it doesn’t matter. I love it!

And then we continue with the same inspiration, with the song “Völva” that tells you about a pagan Norse shaman. She would be considered a seer or prophet to the Vikings and their religion. If you want a better description: think of Gambit from the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit books and films! I think it has a very playful sound, but it also has an exotic vibe going on too! It’s a very pretty song! This next one though, as soon as I heard it, I didn’t know what to exactly think of it. I mean, it’s not bad, kind of unique because it sounds like a jam session happened and they recorded it as it was. The song is called “Rides Of The Wind” and I do like the addition of the choir during the choruses but this one has me all confused! No wonder people who don’t normally listen to symphonic metal have a huge opinion or chip on their shoulders about the changes of their beloved genre, this is a weird one,

We’re heading to the end, the last five tracks of the standard edition. We have “Fairer Than The Sun” and after the previous one, my expectation was a little low because I was surprised once, it could certainly happen again! I’m happy to say that it definitely a little quieter compared to the others. I’d consider it a ballad in a way because it has a dreamy quality to it. Nice change! The eigth song is “Shadows Of The Night” and we’re out of our dreams now, back to the nightmares! I think the song is good, but I feel like there’s nothing giving it a special element to it, which sucks because it sounded like it had potential. And now have “Rulers Of The Wind And Waves” and you definitely get the true sailing viking tone in this song. I’m also happy to say that it’s an instrumental! There’s really nothing that makes me happy more than that honestly! It’s also a nice break too.

Now we have the last two songs, starting with “Fires In The North” and it has a bit of the vibe of the track before it. I like it. The more I listened to it, the more I started to really pay attention to the lyrics. That’s one thing that is difficult to do in this genre, because of the fact that there’s many elements, between Elina’s operatic vocals and Alexander’s darker growls along with the sound of the song together can be choatic at times! Lastly, there’s “Waves Of Euphoria” and it was nice to hear a true epic symphonic metal at the ending of the album. You recognize the horn in the beginning, keeping with the viking mythology there and after the long intro, the guitars come alive and it’s actually really good. It sounds like a normal Leaves’ Eyes.

The real question is whether or not I liked the album as a whole? Honestly, I don’t think any of their newer material will be able to top Symphonies Of The Night that was released in 2013. I did like it though, it just wasn’t at that level as this album.

Have you heard “Sign Of The Dragonhead” yet? Do you have a favorite on it yet? Let me know!

snowflake

Shuffle The Music Tag – Extended

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Howdy!

So today, I originally had another post coming, but I couldn’t find the words to do it, so I scraped it and remembered that my friend Tasha had put this tag on her blog back in late November. I kept thinking about it, and the more that I tried to force myself to discuss the events in the other post, the more I just wanted to do this instead!

I am adding to it though. It says to talk about “the first fifteen songs” in your music library, but I technically have two (iPod and Spotify) and I thought if it wasn’t too much trouble I’d talk about the variety of both libraries of music I tend to listen to everyday! I have decided to start with my iPod songs first and they were taken from my “Recently Played” list  that had over 57 songs where the ones from Spotify were on my “Starred” which consists of 1,441 songs!

Rules for this tag are below:

Mention the creator of the tag and link to their blog.
Thank the person that nominated you for this tag and link to their blog as well!
Shuffle your entire music library (no matter how old songs are) and talk about the first 15 songs that come up (anything like why they are there, if they signify something, any story, why you like them, etc)
Mention the songs as well as the artists
Tag 7 people or more to do this tag and please let them know!

Save Me From Myself by Vertical Horizon

I have always had the problem of falling in love with songs after hearing it on the radio, but the DJ never says what exactly the title of the song or who it’s by; I’ve had this happen way too many times in my life and weirdly enough it happened quite a bit in the years 2006-2011 and yes, this was one of those songs! Unfortunately, I don’t know how I ended up finding it.

Brothers Under The Sun by Bryan Adams

I love soundtracks! In the recent years, I’ve noticed I’m getting more into the orchestral tracks than the actual songs by the artists or bands. If you read my recent non-Disney movie post, you will know about my love about the film Spirit. I discussed about what I thought about Bryan Adams working on the entire soundtrack and a little bit about Hans Zimmer’s work to it too!

A Prophecy Of The Worlds To Fall by Xandria

Ahh, if anybody wants to know what symphonic metal music is, you just need to listen to this song. It’s dramatic and epic! It’s not your average heavy metal music, that’s for sure!

Murder by Within Temptation

People say WT has become more mainstream because they’re finally being played on American rock radio stations. I’m an American and I absolutely love their music! It makes me sad when I see that, because I don’t see the change in the sound of their music. They’re not as heavy as Epica or Xandria, but obviously I don’t care!

Blood by In This Moment

Roughly six months after getting into Linkin Park. I started getting more into Skillet, Hollywood Undead, In This Moment, and Lacuna Coil. So in the beginning of my rock ‘n’ roll phase, these were five bands that really made me open my eyes and I’m happy to say ITM were the first female fronted bands I got into at that time.

Dark Horse by Katy Perry featuring 2Chainz

I only like this song for the bass. That’s all!

Under Control by Ellie Goulding

I love Ellie Goulding’s music. However, I’ve always had a hard time listening to a full album. I didn’t dive into Halcyon until she was about to release the deluxe edition and that’s when I actually listening to her music hardcore!

Here’s To Us by Halestorm

What’s so weird about this song is that it’s the perfect song to play at the end of the night with your friends. That’s the vibe I always get everytime I listen to it!

Dangerous by Within Temptation featuring Howard Jones

I know, I know! I listen to a lot of Within Temptation music. What else is new?!

Going Under by Evanescense

I talk about the year 2009 being my awakening to rock music, when really it was 2002! Evanescene’s first album “Fallen” came out in April and their music was being played while I was in the hospital, so I was hearing “Bring Me To Life” a lot on the radio, but the memory is of that Christmas. I asked for the album from Santa and we were in the living room at my grandparent’s house and I didn’t feel good, but I unwrapped the gift and immediately tossed it back because the cover scared the crap out of me and then I threw up all over my cousin’s brand new shoes!

I Want My Tears Back by Nightwish

Recently my dad was playing around my speaker and this was the last song to play on my iPod, so he got to hear it for the first time. He likes Irish/Celtic sounds just as much as I do, and he noticed the pipes right away and he seemed to like the big jam-like session in the middle of the song. It’s seriously my favorite section of the song, the going back and forth sounds of both the pipes and Eppu on guitars. It’s so awesome!

The Essence Of Silence by Epica

More symphonic metal! I have a big selection of the genre on my iPod by the way, it’s not as big as it is on my Spotify of course but there’s still enough to get weird looks from family members and neighbors who don’t know the genre very well, but I’m always eager to help cure that.

The Haunting by Kamelot featuring Simone Simons

Most of the musicians to come out of this genre are internationally based, most are from The Netherlands, like Epica and Within Temptation, but Germany (Xandria), Finland (Nightwish), Norway and Sweden have a growing numbers of bands to dabble in the symphonic rock/metal. Crazy enough though, the band Kamelot is based out of Florida! Fun fact: The band Epica actually got their name from an album titled “Epica” by Kamelot, it came out in 2003!

Intoxicated by Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil was one of the last bands to enter, but I think they were the first international bands I ever got into, as they’re from Italy! When you think of Italy, or when I think of the country as a whole, I’m thinking of opera–not heavy metal! Over the years, I’ve been finding more and more of a variety of music there.

[taken from Spotify now]

By The Grace of God by Katy Perry

I really loved Katy Perry’s “Prism” album a lot! There were a lot of really great songs on it; this one being a favorite of mine for sure! I think it’s raw and very personal to Katy as you can tell she wrote it in the aftermath of her divorce with Russell Brand in 2014. I remember watching her concert DVD “Part Of Me” when it came out on DVD and they didn’t hide that whole section of her life from the cameras and I definitely felt for her when she was going through all of that pain.

One of the things that I like to do also, is think of different perspectives of popular songs. Everybody thinks songs have one meaning and it’s usually whatever the singer or writer’s going through at a certain time in their lives. I don’t believe in that outlook, so whenever I hear or sing it, I tend to look into the rougher times in my life and know that by the grace of God, I’ve somehow gotten through them very well!

The Obsessive Devotion by Epica

Epica is like a season. Spring, summer, fall, and winter. Everybody has a favorite and they usually hate one or two other seasons. For example, I like spring and fall, but can’t stand summer and winter, mostly because I’m usually stuck inside for both seasons for the extreme weather conditions.

The band itself has many, many great albums, but I’ve only liked three of them.  Unfortunately, I can’t explain my reasons for this, I’ve just never been wired to like or listen an entire album before, it’s only in the last five years that I’m learning to do try out different albums and then write out what I like or not liked about it in a form of a review for you guys.

I will admit, this is one of my favorite songs by Epica. It has that perfect balance of soft tones by Simone’s gorgeous voice and orchestra, but it has also turns into this beast and it’s raw and bitter at the same time. It’s just perfect.

Silence by Starkillers featuring Alicia Madison

I will admit, I only like the song because I liked the beat. It’s a dance track, this has always been a problem for me over the years!

Seven Nation Army by Zella Day

Apparently this a cover, originally by Jack White. I didn’t know that until much later, but I really love Zella’s peppy but smooth voice. I actually like this version better!

The Right Song by Tiesto & Oliver Heldens featuring Natalie La Rose

Everybody on this track is Dutch. So in other words, it’s the perfect song! And I mean, it’s got Tiesto in it for crying out loud!

WTF (Where They From) by Missy Elliott featuring Pharrell Williams

Don’t ask me why I have this song on my “Starred” list. You have both Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams on a track together, I mean, you know it’s going to sound good!

Words by Daya

I’m still wondering why I like this song so much. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Daya has a great voice and the sound itself is nice too. It’s just a little dull, but yet I choose to keep it on this playlist. I told you all I was weird!

Kiss Me Goodbye by Alexandra Stan

The whole reason why I did Tune Tuesday Worldwide for 2016, was because of both Alexandra Stan and fellow Romanian singer Inna. I just love international music so much!

White Noise (R3hab Remix) by Ella Vos

Okay, I really like this song! I’ve always loved remixes but I actually got into this by another song by Ella. It was played on an episode of The Originals last year and I became a bit obsessed with it and I ended liking her voice a lot so I went through her music profile on Spotify and this happened!

Pass At Me by Timbaland featuring Pitball

Remember what I was saying about Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams? Well, you have both Timbaland and Pitbull in this sucker. I mean, it’s a no brainer that this is going to be great too!

Click Click Boom by Saliva

Out of all the rock and heavy metal songs I have on this playlist, this one was selected. It’s fine though, I actually like the song.

Hey Baby by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Diplo featuring Deb’s Daughter

Truth is, I only like this song because Diplo’s on it. Enough said!

Circus For A Psycho by Skillet

Finally! I love the craziness of this song! It has that circus vibe but it’s a really great rock song too! The “Rise” album was one of my favorites albums by Skillet by the way!

Under The Knife by Icon For Hire

This is a rough song. The lyrics alone are very strong and yet delicate too. I love Icon For Hire and really love the way that Ariel writes the songs and how she shows how passionate she is for the fans. She likes to tell stories in the songs and she makes sure that every theme is relatable in some way, and this should have a trigger warning in the beginning for both people who have and haven’t self-harmed at some point in their lives, but that’s only my opinion. Other than that, the song is really good!

One Night Town by Ingrid Michaelson featuring Mat Kearney

In 2014, I got on a Ingrid Michaelson kick! I really loved her “Lights Out” album a lot. This is one of five favorites! She seems very home-y and comforting but yet has a sassy attitude that reminds me of my own. This is very soft and sweet. I just love it.

Now I have to tag seven other bloggers! 

Kekoas Music Blog 

Louloumuisicblog 

Fierce & Fabulous Revolution

Chasing Destino

EMILYBECCA

The Flower That Blooms 

A Mundane Life

You don’t have to do it, but thought it would be interesting to see your responses if you did anyway! Oh, and I also tag anybody else who wishes to do this too! You don’t have to be an overachiever like myself, but it was very fun to do it! 🙂

snowflake

EP Review: “The Solace System” by Epica

21192247_10154558066352924_6742503111489932212_nI love Epica. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a symphonic metal band hailing from The Netherlands, one of my favorite places to find great music especially in this subgenre! There’s six members of the band: Coen on keys, Ariën on drums, Rob plays bass, Issac plays rhythm guitar while Mark plays lead and does the harsh vocals and Simone is the main vocalist of the band.

They are one of those bands that I have a really hard time getting interested into after so long. I loved their 2014 album The Quantum Enigma and I will even go onto saying that it’s one of my favorite albums of all time! However, this was the only album I’ve managed to like from start to finish. When their recent record The Holographic Principle came out in 2016, I wasn’t able to use my Spotify so there were a lot of albums that came out in that timeline that I never got to listen to.

So let’s start on this…

The first song is the title track “The Solace System” and they have a very interesting music video for this song on their YouTube channel. I was glad that I checked it out because I didn’t even know they were even releasing an EP! I was expecting the songs to be in the same themes as their previous album, they seem a bit outlandish but it’s really not bad. I love the shared parts between Mark and his growl-y voice to the choir in the background in the verses. Simone’s voice seems very tamed in this song but I kind of like it though. It’s very heavy though, you hear the guitars and metal aspect of it a lot stronger than the more symphonic sounds. For any skeptics out there, you could actually convert using this song! Next is “Fight Your Demons” and anytime you have this kind of title, I’m always hoping for a heavier type of track and thankfully you get that, the introduction was enough for me! You know that I don’t always follow the lyrics in the beginning but I really like the meaning in this song.

Third is “Architect Of Light” and I’ve seen a lot of praise for this track. The symphonic metal community is basically in love with it, which makes things more interesting! I really love the title so we’re getting there! I absolutely love the intro, those horns sound so cool! I am a bit speechless. The other songs were metal based whereas this one allows the orchestra to shine. It’s powerful but it still has those gritty moments brought by Mark’s voice. It’s glorious! It’s definitely a favorite but now we have to move on to “Wheel Of Destiny” and we have another very fast paced song, which in a way goes with the title well! I like Simone’s low voice in the verses. I really like it a lot. So there’s another favorite in the making!

The last two songs start with “Immortal Melancholy” and have I said how much I love these titles? They’re so mysterious and I really like not knowing how each song may sound until it actually plays.  It makes things interesting! I’m glad they put a slower song on this, I think their music is pretty brutal but I do love their softer ones just the same because it’s a nice balance to have, plus Simone always does a fantastic job of controlling her voice in the ballads. It’s very beautiful and not what you’d really except from a heavy metal band. Last one is “Decoded Poetry” and once again, brilliant title! We’re back to the normal sound of Epica, and it seems that it’s only Simone on vocals but thankfully towards the end Mark does make an appearance which made me really happy! There’s a small section that is just beautiful, The band stops playing and all you hear is a choir and the orchestra and it’s a beautiful piece and then all of a sudden, the guitars come in harder than ever and I really love these songs! They’re always so fun for the listener because it’s so many elements at once. It’s great!

I really liked this considering I’ve only heard about three songs of their previous album. Now the real question is, am I inspired enough to go back and listen to it? Not yet, but I’ll never really put off my radar forever because I know one day I’ll be in a big Epica mood and will want to discover new songs from their rooster.

What do you think of Epica’s new EP? Have you heard of any new symphonic metal bands lately? Let me know please!

snowflake

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Tune Tuesday | Poland ’17

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Hello!

We are talking about Poland this week! I’m always happy for myself whenever I find musicians from Poland on my own! My friend Ania, who is a native of Poland, has been helping me find music to share on these posts since the start in 2014, so the fact that I’ve started discovering music that she hasn’t heard of is somewhat weird but special for us too!

I found this band while I was looking for different symphonic metal music on Spotify last year, once I heard it I was really confused because I have never heard anything like it before. The band is called Kingdom Waves. They’re a mixture of symphonic and power metal which makes it very interesting I think! I think power metal is like that heavy, but almost the ideal genre to be this creative with, because I feel like there’s only a limited ways to do with symphonic metal but I don’t mean that in a mean way at all. They each have their own topics that makes them shine!

Have you heard of Kingdom Waves? Are there any other Polish acts that you think I should keep an eye out for? Let me know!

snowflake

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Tune Tuesday | Australia ’17

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Hi 🙂

So we are starting off the musical summer with Australia! The Aussies have a wide array of music, a lot of rock music as we’ve seen in the previous years of talking about it on here! Last year I had plans on talking about AC/DC but I somehow talked myself out of it and decided to wait until this year to use them. I remember of leaving the band in my “tag” box so it’s haunted me ever since!

One thing that I find fascinating is that not a lot of people generally know where they’re favorite music is from, like I had mentioned last week about Seether coming from South Africa, not a lot of people know that so whenever the older generation like my parents (and aunts and uncles) learn that AC/DC is also from another country it usually blows their mind! To me, it’s fun because we all assume that a singer who has a great English voice must be American! So whenever this happens I usually have fun decoding the barrier!

Unfortunately, I don’t listen to a lot of AC/DC on my own! It’s usually whenever I’m around my mom that I have no problem of listening to them and she’s the one that tends to ask me if they’ve released any new music, but that’s an every music act kind of question with my mom, because she likes all kinds of music just like her oldest daughter! I do remember listening to the album they released either early 2016 or late 2015, I can’t think that far back but I did check it out. I don’t think I ever finished it or else I would have done a review on it if I had!

In these Tune Tuesday posts, I like to have an oldie and newbie; you can get a good mixture of people together checking out something that they use to listen to but also find a new act and figure out some kind of relationship there too! I think it’s fun so that’s why I’ve included another band called Awaken Solace! They’re a symphonic metal band, you should know how I feel about that genre as a whole! They’re “new” mostly because they only have one other released album, while still working on their second called “MYTHANDRIEL” to hopefully be out later this year!

Always looking for more Australian music! If you have suggestions for 2018’s lineup, leave them below!

snowflake

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The Perfect “Vikings” Playlist

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So… this is going to be interesting to explain to the whole world but I have recently created a “Vikings” playlist, but unfortunately I do not watch the series. Now you’re probably wondering why the hell I even bothered making it? Well, to answer the question truthfully, I am more interested in the historical aspect of it. I will instantly look into the stories, in this case, the sagas written by the Anglo-Saxons centuries after the Vikings.

In 2013, I watched a very cool program called America Unearthed and it was about conspiracy theories of the United States of America and what we were told throughout the generations. There was one episode that really got my attention; every year we have a “holiday” celebrating Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus setting foot on the New World first in 1492, but to me, that seems very weird because trade is such an old profession that when I watched this show I started to rethink what I was always taught in school.

The host Scott Wolter, explained about the different stones, what we now know as “rune stones” found all over the eastern side of North America. Before the colonists were made up and the states got their names, the French would “claim” land by putting different stones or boulders in sections of land and would crave their names and sometimes even the year onto it so the other explorers would know that somebody has already been there. This really gave away to the possibility that maybe Christopher Columbus was not indeed the one to first discover North America and maybe the French or Vikings themselves did instead.

To me, this is what history is all about, we’re finding more and more artifacts that we keep changing it and I do believe some things in the history books are wrong. However, it does not mean a thing unless there’s concrete evidence and since it was so long ago, somehow we don’t have enough documents that survived to help prove that somebody was here before the Spanish, but it is a very interesting concept and maybe one day somebody will be able to prove the impossible!

I also watched the mini documentary series called Real Vikings that would air just after the newest episode when it came back on November 30th. I thought it was pretty cool, but I’m a history junkie! I did learn a lot about their culture in those short four weeks. I also got to see the last 2 minutes of the episode plus the teaser of the episode that would play that next week, so it all sort of came together and inspired me I guess. Anyways, I do hope that sort of explains why I did create the playlist in general.

I will include the whole playlist at the end of the post, but I wanted to talk about a few of the songs that I feel are perfect for some of the characters or themes of the last ten episodes of season four! I also arranged the song in order of how I thought Ragnar’s life and reign started and how it will continue in the series and any other information I can find out in the meantime!

The type of music I am naturally drawn to symphonic metal, it already has a fantasy vibe. The sound of the genre is completely different from what you normally hear from normal rock and heavy metal bands. The word “symphonic” comes from “symphony” of course and that means it will have the sounds of orchestra plus powerful choirs deep in the background. Everything is still the same, except for a few things, one of which is majority of the bands have female singers. There are a couple bands that share the role with a much harsher male vocalists, which can bring out more of the heavy metal sound than the women, but where they lack, they also bring emotion to the character and story they are trying to tell within the song.

Sacrificum by: Xandria 

It was actually a little easier finding a song that fit the story and/or character of “Ragnar” more than anyone, including his sons. The word “sacrificum” is Latin for “sacrifice” and I thought the lyrics fit the ending of Ragnar Lothbrook on the show pretty well; because the song it tells you how the character started off in his life just like everybody else and managed to get at a certain level, in this case became an Earl, but is now facing death and it sounds like he is talking to his family, his descendants, and that’s what really sealed the deal for me!

The Howling by: Within Temptation 

I thought this was an interesting perspective as far as looking into the violent ways of the Vikings themselves. They were essentially killing machines and took whatever they wanted, whether it was gold, jewels or in some cases people. What drew me to this song though, was the outlook of the people that lived in those villages that they raided and sometimes destroyed. I thought the combination of the two views, the victim to the warriors would be a neat contrast and would give you another side of the story altogether.

Kings Of Kings by: Leaves’ Eyes 

One thing a lot of people may not know, is that there quite a bit of bands in different parts of the world (mostly in Finland and Norway) that do pull from Viking folklore. Leaves’ Eyes is one of those bands, their album “Kings Of Kings” is based off Norse kings and even have a song just for “Halvadan The Black” and I have included it below!

This song though I thought represented all of the kings (and queens) mentioned both on the show but historically too! I also think it could describe Ragnar’s sons Bjorn and Ivar The Boneless (we won’t get into what I think of that character right now!) as they become bigger than their father as far as traveling and invasions.

The Undiscovered Land by: Xandria 

I hadn’t listened to this song a lot before I realized it went with a certain character on the show, so I’ve been really into it lately!

I tried to look into the lyrics of the songs and that’s what made me think of giving this song to Floki, especially after what my dad told me of what happened in the season finale. It is a lot softer than the other songs, but since Floki has turned into this sad, almost depressed person now, I thought he needed a ballad to really show what he is going through and feeling after the death of Ragnar, Helga and his adoptive daughter.

We Are Murderers (We All) by Xandria 

I think with the title alone, I may not need to really explain how it got included into the playlist! It’s still pretty cool how I thought which character it would be belong to though.

It was actually the first verse that made me put it at the end because of the newest character on the show. Jonathan Rhys Meyers has joined the cast as a bishop/warrior Heahmund. There’s not much about him other than he is considered a saint in Roman Catholic Church. So I thought the song in general could be used to describe this character to a T, because I’m thinking the bishop as a peacemaker, not a fighter! At least, that’s what I was always taught. I think that is really going against what we all were told by our parents and grandparents about heads of the church and the fact that he was really a warrior is shocked me!

I recommend you either look up the lyrics to each of the songs I have listed above or if you had the time you can listen to them to see if you agree or disagree with me on placement. I would also love to hear of your playlist or song to that you think describes or tells the story of Ragnar or any of the other characters.

So what do you think of the playlist? Are you a fan of the show? Who is your favorite character(s)?

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