This Week’s Playlist is all about crazy instrumentation. Bands having epic arrangements without going all cheesy Dungeons & Dragons Power Metal. I usually enjoy bands that make an effort to create a sense of atmosphere instead of going with a simple four man arrangement all the time. Okay, good chat. Let’s begin.
Mastodon – “Crack The Skye”
Title track to their 2009 concept album. A major chunk of the song features an acoustic guitar going head to head with a downtuned, distorted electric. Also lots of keys and other sounds for that spacey feel. The title was meant as a tribute to drummer Brann Dailor’s younger sister Skye.
Opeth – “Ghost of Perdition”
Opeth need no introduction as pioneers of Prog/Death Metal. This song basically has everything. Singing, Growling, Acoustics, Heavy Riffs, you name it. They even fit in an odd time breakdown without going all “Core” on it.
Nick Johnston – “Atomic Mind”
Long story short, Johnston is like a modern day Joe Satriani. Instrumental. Non Shredder. And yet somehow very interesting. One this thats most noticeable is the dynamic feel he brings in based how hard or soft he picks. The rhythm section is driven by an acoustic guitar with an overdriven electric.
The Ocean – “Mesopelagic: Into the Uncanny”
The Ocean is a band I’d found relatively recently so i don’t really know much about them. The album is apparently a concept album about the different layers of an ocean. And as you go through the album track-by-track (i.e. deeper into the ocean) the music keeps getting darker. There is an instrumental version of the album also available. If you like this song, I strongly recommend you check out the rest of the album. It’s intended as a continuous 53 minute masterpiece, and somehow reminds me of the sinking Titanic.
Coheed and Cambria – “Welcome Home”
Coheed and Cambria are prog rock giants whose music is intended to be the soundtrack to Lead Singer Claudio Sanchez’s fictional story called The Amory Wars. While I don’t really follow the story, their songwriting and arrangements are still very memorable. The song really has a dramatic movie score feel to it, and if you listen carefully at the start of the solo, you’ll notice both guitarists soloing at the same time. Very Cool.
Twelve Foot Ninja – “Coming For You”
Twelve Foot Ninja are an Australian Prog Metal band that jump across genres more often than.. well quite often. There’s no real way to explain what they do. Just watch the video.
Between The Buried And Me – “Ants Of The Sky”
Between the Buried and Me are kind of like the “next generation” Dream Theater. The write long pieces that are equal parts Heavy and Psychedelic, yet not boring or repetitive inspite of their length. This song in particular starts off pretty heavy but they smoothly transition in and out of a quirky bluegrass section towards the middle of the song.