Hi All! Hope you’re starting off a great Friday and gearing up for a good weekend. I just saw Opeth, Gojira, and Devin Townsend Project at Red Rocks last night. Amazing Show! I immediately jumped at the opportunity of flying cross country to see these bands perform in such a unique venue, in part because I think these three represent heavy music at its best today. Based on that, and hopefully to help you kick off a badass weekend, here’s my pick of songs that represent some of the very best that heavy music has to offer in 2017. Enjoy!
In my mind no other band better represents where metal is today than Gojira. Intelligent, focused, stimulating music dealing with serious subjects – this is heavy music for thinking me and women. Awesome stuff!
Ahhhh Opeth. In my opinion the best metal band from 2000 – 2010, these guys redefined the game for classy heavy music. The brilliant stuff that Metallica started with songs like Master of Puppets and Welcome Home: Sanitarium, Opeth took to the pinnacle. In this decade they’ve delved into weirder prog terrain, but they remain absolute stalwarts of modern metal music. This tune is arguably the best track from their triumphant 2017 release Sorceress. It harkens back to the beginnings of heavy metal with its Sabbathy stylings and lyrics while remaining very much of today.
A sort of sister band to Opeth, Sweeden’s Katatonia have honed their dark, heavy sound to perfection over 24 years and 10 excellent studio albums. Against all odds, they just keep getting better. Definitely on the lighter side of the metal spectrum, but essential to the genre today.
Devin Townsend has been a luminary of both the metal AND prog scenes for 3 decades now, and he shows no sign of slowing down. With his band Strapping Young Lad he made some of the absolute heaviest, most honest and most intense music of the 90s and 00s, and with his current band Devin Townsend Project he has managed to inject an incredible amount of fun and positivity into a genre that can err on focusing a bit too much on the negative. This is one of my favorite songs from his latest album, Transcendence.
Arguably the single most important heavy band of the last 20 years, Meshuggah changed metal music forever with their landmark 1998 release Chaosphere. Overwhelming, dazzling, puzzling – their machine like precision hypnotizes listeners of all stripes.
After their fierce thrash manifesto Kill ’em All, Metallica made a sharp left turn and sailed into uncharted territory with the class and complexity of three legendary albums: Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and …And Justice for All. That much is well-known. What is perhaps less often mentioned is that this would not have happened if these guys hadn’t listened to Mercyful Fate’s incredible records Melissa and Don’t Break the Oath. To this day these two records remain in many ways unmatched, their unique sound inspiring many, but rarely producing direct follow-ups. Until Ghost. Ghost draws so heavily from Mercyful Fate and (later incarnation) King Diamond, that for a while many believed Ghost’s (originally) anonymous lead singer (Known only as Papa Emeritus) was actually King Diamond under new makeup. This turned out not to be the case, but Ghost went on to distill the ideas and aesthetic pioneered by Mercyful Fate into an incredibly compelling sound that made them international superstars. Tight, catchy aand hella fun, Ghost have become a force impossible to ignore.
That’s all for now, have a great weekend and Stay Heavy!
Lou & Gil