Eye of Ra

What do you get if you cross Rick Wakeman’s progressive rock with Heavy Metal? Well, you might just get Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Star One. I tripped over them because Anneke van Giersbergen did some work with Lucassen on a different project. Floor Jansen, of Nightwish and After Forever, is (was?) a member.

This song is “Eye of Ra” by Star One from their 2002 debut album Space Metal.

Valley of Diamonds – Mexico City

Anneke van GiersbergenMore Heavy Metal that has no touch of the Death Metal Death Growl? Sure.

As I mentioned in January, I really like Anneke van Giersbergen’s voice. While I don’t always like her music, some of it is outstanding.

This song is “Valley of Diamonds – Mexico City” by VUUR from their 2017 album In This Moment We Are Free – Cities.

Sober

“Why can’t we not be sober?”

Tool doesn’t play well with the tiny minds in the American Music industry. They’ve been censored any number of times, and they insist on privacy. For that relationship alone I could love them. But I do like a lot of their music, which is usually categorized as Alternative Metal.

Tool released an album at the end of August, 2019, Fear Inoculum. As a result of that release, I’ve been revisiting songs, which I liked, but haven’t listened to in a while.

This song is “Sober” by Tool from their 1993 album Undertow. It was the first single released from that album and reached number 13 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. You can find the lyrics at this link. It deals with the issue of how an addiction can destroy the people around the addict.

Lately YT has been playing nicely with my browser’s privacy settings, but if that changes, use the link provided.

Leaves

Anneke van GiersbergenAnneke van Giersbergen is another woman from The Netherlands singing Symphonic Metal. For many years she was lead singer for the The Gathering, but they parted company about 10 years ago, or more. She has a solo career and she recently founded a new band (VUUR) which we have sampled, and will get back to in the future.

And although she is singing in English, here’s a link to the lyrics. It is Metal, after all.

This is “Leaves” by The Gathering, from their 1995 album Mandylion. It was their first album to feature Anneke van Giersbergen as lead vocalist.

Endlessly

More Amaranthe? Why not. Here’s a ballad.

Elize Ryd was a subject of post over at The Daley Gator after I posted a song by Amaranthe for Metal for Monday a while back. So here is more Amaranthe, with a song that is mostly the soaring voice of Elize Ryd. (Enough guitars and drums for Heavy Metal, even if there are violins as well.)

This song is “Endlessly” by Amaranthe from their 2016 album Maximalism. And while this is a ballad, it is off a Heavy Metal album, by one of my favorite Heavy Metal groups. Deal with it. It is the kind of song that makes the head of those American music suits, with their tiny minds, explode. (You mean all metal isn’t thrash?)

OK my original post and the Daley Gator post was a LONG while back. This post was written back then, and kept getting pushed. I’m not exactly sure why that was now…

Clandestine Hunger

Every once in a while, I stumble across a song or a group that would have been at home on 1970s or 1980s top 40 rock stations. This isn’t QUITE one of those times, but I almost feel like they could have been making music in that period.

Sweden seems to turn out a lot of Heavy Metal bands. Mostly Melodic Death Metal, or Melodeath, and Power and Symphonic Metal. Today we have a band that is officially listed as Progressive Metal band from that country. (Don’t worry, English lyrics.) I’m not really sure why Prog is listed. The few songs I’ve heard by Eastern High sound more straight up Heavy Metal. The guitar solo that starts at 3 minutes in, reminds me of something, I just can’t say what right now.

There isn’t much in the music press about them. There were a couple of reviews on Encyclopedia Metalum (mostly positive) but they were deleted, and couple of obscure metal magazines have reviewed them. But aside from their showing up in my Spotify playlists, they seem to be mostly off the radar.

This is “Clandestine Hunger” by Eastern High from their 2017 debut album Garden of Heathens.

“In Math We Trust”

In honor of all the ways that the media have proven they can’t do math…

The sort-of Symphonic Metal group Epica is very fond of concept albums. The Holographic Principle is one such album. I have to say that I like most of the songs on this album. While I’m still on the fence about this song, the lyric which forms the title of this post means I have to feature it.

This song is “The Cosmic Algorithm” by Epica from their 2016 album The Holographic Principle.

‡ Sort of Symphonic Metal, because while Simone Simons is singing in a beautiful, clear soprano, but another member of the band, Mark Jansen, is doing something akin to the Death Metal Death Growl.

You can find one example of how the media fails, miserably, at math at this link. And another at this link.

We Are The Others

Since I’ve been listening to the new Delain album (it came out the beginning of February) their songs have been invading all my playlists. Which is OK, I really like Delain. It started as the collaboration of Charlotte Wessels and keyboardist Martijn Westerholt, and now includes Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije on bass, and doing backup vocals (including Harsh vocals), Timo Somers on guitar and also providing vocals, and Joey de Boer on drums. (Though he wasn’t the drummer when this song was recorded.)

This song is one I had not heard before. Or rather, I had heard a later version they recorded (a ballad) and I never went looking for the original. We will get the ballad version on another day, but for now we have the original hard rock/heavy metal version. And there is not a Death Metal, Death Growl to be heard, in case you are one of the very many people who don’t like that style of singing.

This song is “We Are The Others” by Delain from their 2012 album We Are The Others.

Lion Arises

Since folks have (repeatedly) asked for Metal that avoided the Death-Metal Death-Growl, I give you today’s selection…

LEAH is a Canadian Metal Singer. (And in all of her own stuff, it is capitalized.) I only know about her because one of her songs (not this song) turned up in one of my Spotify playlists. Here is what Cryptic Rock had to say about her when the album Kings and Queens was released in 2015.

A myriad of Metal genres can often be the topic of discussion among fans and critics, and no artists are so vehemently critiqued as the purveyors of Femme-metal. Those vocalists whose notes soar above staccato beats and thrashing guitars are often the focus of either love or hate from the Metal community. [SNIP] Canadian songstress LEAH is a standout among many. She has been called Metal’s version of Enya, but this is not an accurate comparison because she is something more. There is more fire, more depth of sound to her music.

You can find the lyrics at this link. (It is metal, after all.)

This is “Lion Arises” by LEAH from her 2018 album The Quest.

I can’t quite decide if I like the songs I’ve heard from LEAH. I expect to listen to more of LEAH over the course of the year.

And what is it with artists using 1 name? I mean “Leah McHenry” is a perfectly fine name.

All We Are

Doro Pesch has been singing Heavy Metal since we were all much younger. She was the lead singer of the German, Heavy Metal band Warlock since the early 1980s. When she was the only member left in the band, she was told she didn’t have rights to the name, so she changed the name of her band to Doro and kept on making music.

This song is “All We Are” by Warlock from their 1987 album Triumph and Agony. It was also included in a couple of EPs that were released the same year.

Energize Me

I’m not sure why After Forever never caught fire, or if they just were moving in very different directions. I certainly enjoy their music, and the members of the band have gone on to other projects. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. They called it quits in 2009.

A recent post featuring Nightwish reminded me of Floor Jansen (Yahn-son) and her previous group. So here we are.

This song is “Energize Me” by After Forever from their final album, After Forever, which came out in 2007.

Burning Bridges

Delain is a group that I have loved for a long time. It is the collaboration of soprano Charlotte Wessels, and keyboardist Martijn Westerholt. They just released a new album, so I thought it would be appropriate to feature one of their songs.

This is “Burning Bridges” by Delain from their alum, Apocalypse & Chill, which was released February 7th Lyrics at this link.

For the previous post featuring an early release from this album, see this link. The song at that link contains NO Death-Metal-Growling. The song featured above does contain one stanza in the growl. (It is a conversation after all…) You will survive it.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful

I thought I would be done with Nightwish, after they “invited” Tarja to leave the group. And for a few years they couldn’t get arrested. But then they seemed to understand the error of their ways, and hired Floor Jansen as lead singer. They made one really good album, went on a tour, and then took a break. A couple of their members pursued other projects, and they recently announced a new album to be released in April of 2020.

In the meantime, we can enjoy a song from their previous album. This is where I would post a link to the lyrics, but the lyrics are in the video.

This song is “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” by Nightwish from their 2015 album Endless Forms Most Beautiful. That is Floor Jansen, formerly of After Forever, as the soprano. I really enjoy listening to her sing.

If you’re interested in her vocal range, there is a video her singing “O mio babbino caro” – a soprano aria from an opera by Puccini.

“The Black Thoughts Have Come Again to Get Me”

KoЯn (also spelled Korn) is a band out of California who were one of the groups that pioneered the Nu Metal genre. And despite that, they managed to have some commercial success. This song made into Billboard’s Hot 100, and was number four on the Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Song list.

Nu Metal is a part of Alternative Metal. Metal Meets Post Punk. Metal Meets Grunge. There were a number of acts, like Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, and Kid Rock, who had success with it.

Keep holding on when my brain’s ticking like a bomb
Guess the black thoughts have come again to get me

The complete lyrics are at this link.

This is “Coming Undone” by KoЯn from their 2006 album See You On The Other Side.

Ghost House Heart

More Heavy Metal that doesn’t involve the Death Metal, Death Growl? Okay.

So Delain, one of my favorite Symphonic Metal groups, is publishing a new album in February and have released a couple of singles ahead of the album. Delain is the collaboration of soprano Charlotte Wessels and keyboardist Martijn Westerholt.

I’m not really sure that this song is appropriate for Metal for Mondays, since I’ve been relegating ballads to Saturday, but I really like it. I hope you do as well. And I love featuring new music. And I also really love Delain, and Charlotte Wessels’ voice.

This is “Ghost House Heart” from the upcoming album (Feb 7, 2020) Apocalypse & Chill by Delain. (Lyrics at this link)

“Delain” is name of a Kingdom in Stephen King’s novel, The Eyes of the Dragon.

Sweet Sacrifice

Amy Lee is one of the best of the women working in Rock and Roll. Though Evanescence didn’t get much respect early on because Rock and Roll stations didn’t believe “a woman and a piano” could be Hard Rock. Why? The suits were (and probably still are) mostly idiots.

This song is “Sweet Sacrifice” by Evanescence from the 2006 album The Open Door. It was released as a single in 2007. YouTube may trip over the privacy extensions in your browser and either tell you the video doesn’t exist. When/if that happens, use the link above. (Google/Alphabet/Whatever really, really hates privacy, though lately Windows has been working better than Android.)

Here’s a link to the lyrics.

The Fire – San Francisco

Anneke van GiersbergenSeveral commenters had expressed interest, back before Christmas, in Heavy Metal without the Death Growl. So here you go.

Anneke van Giersbergen became known (to fans of metal anyway) when she was the lead singer for The Gathering for a number of years in the late 1990s. She parted ways with them some time ago. Anyway, she has a somewhat new project, VUUR. It is new to me anyway. (VUUR means “fire”, “passion” or “drive” in Dutch – according to the Wiki.) VUUR is listed as progressive metal in a number of places. Anneke van Giersbergen is another Heavy Metal singer with a beautiful voice.

She may be singing in English, but Dutch is her native language, and it is also metal.. So here is a link to the lyrics.

This song is “The Fire – San Francisco” by VUUR from their 2017 album In This Moment We Are Free – Cities. I don’t like all the songs on that album, but I do like this one. (YouTube. Browser privacy settings. “Unavailable.” Use link.)

Apocalypse

While I’ve been immersed in Tool’s new album, Fear Inoculum, I didn’t quite miss the fact that Lacuna Coil put out a new album, Black Anima. I did feature one of the singles released from this album, “Reckless.” That was back in September of last year. The album came out in October. And they completed their first ever US tour this past summer in support of that album. “Disease of the Anima” tour. I would like to say that I saw them, (they were in Ohio, after all) but crowds like that bother me these days. Concerts are for the young. At least they aren’t for me. (My hearing is in bad enough shape as it is.)

Lacuna Coil is an Italian band that has had a few changes over the years. The Wiki lists them differently in different places. Alternative Metal might be the best view of them today.

Now that I’ve had a chance to live with the album for a while, I like some songs, and I don’t like others. (I have to say that “Reckless” is one of my favorites. “Apocalypse” also isn’t bad. There is a nice guitar solo that starts at about 2:40 into the song, or maybe a little later.

Lyrics are at this link. Because while they may be singing in English, it is Metal.

This song is “Apocalypse” by Lacuna Coil, from their album Black Anima which came out on October 11th.

In no way is the choice of this song a comment on the current political situation in this country. Not consciously anyway.

Raise Your Fist in the Air

So is this song appropriate for New Year’s? Maybe. But that isn’t why I selected it.

Doro Pesch has been singing Heavy Metal since 1980. She is the Queen of Heavy Metal, if only because she started earlier and lasted longer than others. She fronted the band Warlock, in an era when the suits in the music business could barely wrap their tiny minds around the idea of a woman singing Heavy Metal, but when she was the last remaining member, she switched to Doro. (Some indications there were legal/contractual disagreements.) Though Warlock did reunite at one point.

This song is “Raise Your Fist in the Air” by Doro from her 2012 album Raise Your Fist.

“I honestly feel that every good song would be better if it were heavy metal”

I’m not sure I agree… Comedian and actor dropping metal album in early 2020 called “Grandpa Metal”.

I’m not sure why I know who Brian Posehn is. But he is fairly funny.

Consequence of Sound reports that the album will release around Valentine’s Day 2020, and features members of Slipknot, Fall Out Boy, Steel Panther, Amon Amarth, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Soundgarden, and more. It also cranks up the strange with an appearance from “Weird Al” Yankovic, a metal cover of the 80’s new wave hit “Take on Me” by A-ha as well as a version of Ylvis’ “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)”

I guess we wait and see… (Weird Al Yankovic and Metal in the same sentence?)