I was sitting through a three hour lecture the other day, and a point in time came where I had eaten all the snacks I had brought, doodled all over an entire page of notes, and gotten up to "pee" a.k.a. escape the drudgery, three times. Desperate to do something, anything, other than actually paying attention, I decided to make a list of my favorite bands. Then, inspiration struck: turn the list into a blog post! Everybody likes lists right? Well, I do, and I know at least one other blogger who is a fan of the lists, so here it comes. The OFFICIAL Battle Hymns top 10 bands, complete with my favorite song from each band the the three albums that are most essential to my collection....
Favorite Song: Flight of Icarus
Essential Albums: Take a guess...
Favorite Song: Maggie M'Gill
Essential Albums: Waiting for the Sun, Morrison Hotel, The Doors
covered pretty extensively around here, but Tool still deserves to make it on this list. They are an amazing band both technically amazing, and lyrically astounding. Tool is one of those bands that seem to have a wide appeal. However, my tastes with Tool haven't exactly evolved along with the band. My favorite Tool album is their EP release, Opiate. However, from there my tastes and their style seem to slowly and continually diverge. I caught these guys live for their Lateralus tour and it still stands as one of my most favorite live shows of all time. To fully appreciate their talent, I firmly believe they need to be experienced live.
Favorite Song: Forty-six & 2
Essential Albums: Opiate, Undertow, Aenima
Favorite Song: Blood and Thunder
Essential Albums: Crack the Skye, Leviathan, Blood Mountain
To love Faith No More, you have to appreciate that fact that this band should probably never have come together in the first place. They are one strange conglomeration of talent. They've got Mike Patton, possibly the most talented singer in all of the music industry...his range, and voice capabilities are one in a trillion, yet his musical tastes and areas where he wants to focus that talent is totally scatter-shot. Then you've got Mike Bordin, a guy who went on to drum for the likes of Ozzy, and Jim Martin who wishes he could get the chance to play for Ozzy, but never really got much of a chance to show off his Tony Iommi-like skills in FNM. Add in Roddy Bottum and Billy Gould who can tear it up on their respective instruments and you've got one talented line-up. It is a small miracle that this odd grouping managed to put together some of my favorite music.
Favorite Song: Caffeine
Essential Albums: The Real Thing, Angel Dust, Album of the Year
That said, the 70's were a great decade for Pink Floyd and they made some wonderful music. Not only is their stuff entertaining, but it makes me think, which can be a rare thing in music. Believe it or not, I've been through some dark times in my day, and Pink Floyd was essential to the healing process. The Dark Side of the Moon is probably my most listened to album after Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction.
What makes this band great is that their music still sounds unique and fresh some 40 years after the fact.
Favorite Song: Comfortably Numb
Essential Albums: The Dark Side of the Moon, Meddle, The Wall
Sometimes melodic, sometimes proggy, sometimes heavy, sometimes quiet, Porcupine Tree is a band that will astound the listener with their versatility. Like Pink Floyd, their music can make you think, and often times has a message. Another band that seems to evolve and get better with each new album.
Favorite Song: Lazarus
Essential Albums: In Absentia, Deadwing, Fear of a Blank Planet
I don't just love Black Sabbath for the fact that they were the first ever metal band, I love them because their music is, as Oprah would say: amaaaaaaaaazing. It's been 41 years since the release of their first album, and that album is still far superior to most of what passes as metal music these days. I know songs like Iron Man, and Paranoid get a lot of radio play, but the best Sabbath tunes are the ones that don't often see the light of day. I could get by without ever hearing Iron Man again, but so much of their remaining output is essential listening and gets steady play in my stereo.
Favorite Song: Black Sabbath
Essential Albums: Black Sabbath, Master of Reality, Black Sabbath Vol. 4
Not only does Megadeth score points for making some of my most loved music, but they also score some great nostalgia points. When I listen to Symphony of Destruction I can't help but think of being 11 years old, head banging and air guitaring with my brother in his room while we blasted said song through his boombox. Not to mention the thousands of other great times I can associate with this band. Simply put, ever since I've loved music, I've loved Megadeth. They've almost always been a part of my life, and I can't see that changing anytime soon.
Favorite Song: Symphony of Destruction
Essential Albums: Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction, Youthanasia
A few years back, myself, my brother, and a few other friends would get together for what we liked to call "Metal Night". A gathering that consisted of drinking beer, listening to metal, burning albums for each other, and watching some sort of metal film; Either a documentary, or a collection of videos, or recorded live performances. It was on one such Metal Night where I first heard Opeth, (The Song, Black Rose Immortal to be precise), and my mind was blown. I had never heard such exhilarating, heavy music that still managed to have form and melody. The next day I went out and bought two of their albums.
Though their sound, and my tastes seem to be on slightly divergent paths at the moment, Opeth nails down the top spot for the fact that they still make music I want to hear, and for that fact that they make the most amazing music I've ever heard in my life.
Favorite Song: Black Rose Immortal
Essential Albums: Morningrise, Blackwater Park, Deliverance