The Horns Up Top 10: High on Fire

high on fire band photo

Six months after his previous band, Sleep, broke up, Matt Pike started a journey with High on Fire that is still going strong after more than 16 years. Based in Oakland, the band consists of Pike on guitars and vocals, Des Kensel on drums and Jeff Matz on bass. I’d bet the majority of our readers are familiar with the band, or at least an album or two, but if you’re a newbie, this will be a great jumping off point. I’m sure there’ll be backlash over why this or that song didn’t make it, but remember, this is my list—not a definitive top 10 for the band in any way, shape or form. Now then…let’s get to it, shall we? Continue reading

The Horns Up Top 10: Children of Bodom


Named after an unsolved multiple homicide case that took place near their hometown of Espoo in 1960Children of Bodom emerged onto the extreme metal scene in the mid-1990s. Best categorized as melodic death metal, Bodom’s sound is easily recognizable thanks to its heavy keyboard use, giving their songs an extremely upbeat feel. Their success is unquestionable; every studio album of theirs from Follow The Reaper onward has reached Gold certification in Finland. Impressive.

Children of Bodom have not really deviated from the aforementioned sound over the years. While some of the most recent albums have added a bit of an industrial flair, they’ve traditionally stayed true to their roots over their eight studio album career. While I’ve been rather lukewarm (putting it kindly) to much of their recent work, I can’t emphasize enough how frequently I go back through their catalog. As such, Bodom seemed like an appropriate band to focus on in this edition of The Horns Up Top 10. So let’s get into it…

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The Horns Up Top 10: Type O Negative

Type O Negative band

For this week’s Top 10, I’ve chosen to write about one of my all-time favorite bands: Type O Negative. “Type O” is well known for late frontman Peter Steele, a strapping, six-foot six-inch human being who once posed fully-erect in Playgirl. (I shared this fact with my friend Paul who quickly quipped, “Bro, Peter Steele is always fully erect. His blood and semen is the formula for Viagra.”) Always in the public eye, Peter Steele was also a guest on the Jerry Springer Show where he spoke about his interactions with groupies.

Lost in those stories is the fact that Type O Negative is arguably the greatest gothic metal band of all time—a band that could be from no other place than New York City, and a band that was full of humor and the uncanny ability to poke fun at the very thing their music claimed to hold so dear. So with that, let’s get into the playlist: Continue reading

The Horns Up Top 10: Thou


For this week’s Top 10, we’re looking back on New Orleans sludge/doom band Thou, who formed there in 2005 and have been releasing all manner of splits, EPs and full-length records ever since. Digging through the band’s extensive back catalog has been extremely rewarding, since I tend to like each new song I hear more than the last. The band can do anything within their distinctive sound, from covers of well-known songs to epically orchestrated pieces that build and climax. The band’s entire catalog is free online, with most of their major releases on their Bandcamp page, so go ahead and listen along while you read. Continue reading

The Horns Up Top 10: In Flames

Well, this is certainly an ambitious decision, isn’t it? Forming in 1990 and remaining active ever since, In Flames have released 11 full length albums, most recently last year’s Siren Charms. There’s no shortage of material to work with for a Top 10 list. They were one of the pioneers of the Gothenburg death metal scene and have become one of the most recognizable bands both inside the metal community and out.

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