The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Addendum, Part II

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

It’s been a while (9/19) since I have written something for the column, but real life sucks; between grad school and putting my body through the wringer, priorities shifted and this kept getting pushed back. However, this hasn’t stopped me from listening to music and writing about other things, so we are going to continue the addenda. There are five genres left and then we can finally move on to other genres and whatever else I want to write about, because after two more genres, we might be going into no man’s land.

Also, when this gets published, it might be the new year, so Happy New Year, everyone! Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Addendum, Part I

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

It’s been a hot minute since I wrote anything for the column. I have been trying to take things easy in the meantime, but life has been fucking with me. Not only has it been giving me more things to be concerned about, but has led to a worsened mental state and a depressive episode to boot. Don’t worry, though – I am feeling a lot better and I am in a better place mentally. With that in mind, we can now move towards talking about the leftover albums I didn’t have time to discuss. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Progressive Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

It’s been a while since I wrote one of these, despite writing about numerous other things and being on the Nine Circles Audio Thing. Blame grad school – I am stuck in this hellhole to further new opportunities, so I am hoping things pan out. Otherwise, I will be so mad. Luckily, I am free (for now!), so here we are!

Anyway, last time, I discussed gothic metal and my appreciation of the aesthetic as a whole. I consider that genre to be the darker side of symphonic metal; instead of the beautiful fairy queen, you get the belle dame sans merci who will make you suffer for your desires. I also wanted to address something that I thought of before we jump into the next genre – if you think about it, there are more men involved in gothic metal than in symphonic metal. Granted, the genres overlap, but men rarely take the spotlight in symphonic metal. Maybe some of you can tell me why?

Now, we can start talking about a genre that is known to be experimental in nature, albeit not avant-garde (I might write about avant-garde at some point). Given our recent discussion of Empath (see podcast), it’s only fair that we look at how this genre has become a staple in my music listening and how it has expanded my horizons into other bands.

It’s time we talk about Progressive Metal. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Gothic Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I was just sad – it was one of my first Christmases without my entire family – so I thought it would be fitting to discuss one of the saddest genres in metal, much to my chagrin and (possibly) tasteless jokes. It got personal, as I tend to closely associate with the music I listen to on an emotional level once my tendency to intellectualize it is stripped away. The music I chose to discuss last month were albums I deeply connected with – particularly Created in the Image of Suffering – and they needed to be revisited to see if they still hit as hard as when I first encountered them…some still do and others hit harder.

Enough about that. That was all in the past, and now we get to move on to something I have wanted to talk about since I wrote about symphonic metal many months ago.

On the darker side of symphonic metal exists another genre, one that tends to be overlooked due to its association. After all, it’s always easier to lump two genres together when they have a similar tendency to showcase female operatic vocals.

It’s time we talk about Gothic MetalContinue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Doom Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, we dove into power metal and talked about how it was essentially foreign for me until I decided to step outside of what I knew. I also talked a lot about vocal envy and voice mimicry, which has somehow worked for me in learning how to sing. Essentially, power metal is fun, somewhat cheesy, and comforting – like a good chicken noodle soup — it will lull you to sleep and think happy thoughts, or it will amp you up to get stuff done.

Now, for many of us, it’s the holiday season. We spend time with family, friends, and other loved ones to bask in the good things that the year has brought us, eating good food, and having a great time watching movies or doing whatever normal people do during the holidays. However, because of my sense of humor and my rather interesting year, I decided to become the ultimate Grinch and give you all something to cry to. After all, nothing says “Happy Holidays” more than reminding you that we are all, fundamentally, sad people. Let me tell you something: this genre is definitely the opposite of chicken soup.

It’s time we talk about Doom Metal. Continue reading