The ABC’s of Music #2 – A is for Allegaeon and more…

A is for Allaegeon!

Allegaeon is a technical death metal band whose theme is…science? Well that’s odd.

Sometimes they seem to be singing about complete science fiction, but a lot of the time they seem to be singing about actual modern scientific principles. At least that’s what I assume from reading the song names. Like most death metal bands, I can’t actually understand 90% of what they’re saying!

All I know is their music is fucking amazing. Ridiculously talented musicians that manage to be simultaneously intensely brutal and delightfully melodic.

A is for Amon Tobin!

Amon Tobin used to be about doing interesting and unique electronic music that leaned towards “nu-jazz”. I really enjoyed these earlier works of his a lot.

At a certain point he seemed to become popular and started getting work doing game and movie soundtracks, and that’s fine and all, but his work suddenly started entirely becoming ambient movie score type stuff.

By movie score standards his newer stuff isn’t bad, but it just doesn’t have the same appeal to me as that older jazzier stuff did. It’s less exciting and energetic,  and more sleepy-time kind of music. Oh well. Still love those early albums.

A is for Anal Blast!

Uh oh! This and the next entry are where things get offensive! These are probably the worst two out of the whole library, at least in terms of band/song names. If you can survive these, you can get through everything else on here.

Actually though, there’s not much to say about Anal Blast. They put out one decent, but really short album back in the 90’s that I kind of liked. Looking back on it now, its over the top pornographic and misogynist nature is pretty childish and the recording is actually pretty bad, but dammit, some of the tracks are still pretty catchy…

They only ever had one other full album after that and it’s just fucking awful.

A is for Anal Cunt!

And then there’s Anal Cunt, a band that seemed to exist solely to offend everyone possible. Calling their songs songs may be giving them too much credit. Their average track time is around 1 minute and often the name of the track is more amusing than the song itself.

They were just a hilariously hateful band who just seemed to dislike pretty much everything under the sun and they didn’t even really have much in the way of musical talent. They got by on pure attitude.

These days the front man is dead and the band defunct, but they were good for an extremely offensive laugh back in the day. Their devotion to ridiculous little insult songs also inspired a youthful me to start similar musical projects of my own, but I’m thinking it’s probably best that I don’t ever play any of that publicly again…

A is for Ancient!

Ancient was quite exciting back in the day. Their early albums The Cainian Chronicle and Mad Grandiose  Bloodfiends are real black metal classics. Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends in particular is one of the greatest black metal albums of the 90’s if you ask me.

Ancient wasn’t the heaviest or the most technical black metal, but they made up for it back then with some really creative and atmospheric songs. They felt like some kind of black metal opera sometimes.

Unfortunately, after those two albums they seemed to hit a slump, releasing two more really weak albums. The Halls of Eternity and Proxima Centauri just felt derivative in an uninspired, low energy way. They had somewhat of a comeback with Night Visit, disappeared for over a decade and then released one more decent one somewhat recently, though their style had become quite different. Now they seem to have a heavier speed black metal sound that kind of reminds me of Necrophobic. They’re a big improvement over those middle two and certainly a lot more energetic, but nothing’s ever really been able to come close to Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends…oh well.

A is for Ancient Wisdom!

A lot of Ancient Wisdom’s material is a little too slow and doom metal-y for my liking, but their last two albums before they disappeared off the face of the EarthThe Physical Shape of Light Bled and Cometh Doom, Cometh Death, had some pretty good tracks. Melodic and slow-paced, not the kind of stuff that will get your blood pumping, but not bad for what it is.

A is for And Oceans!

And Oceans started out as a good, but pretty typical-sounding symphonic black metal band, but they really got interesting when their third album came out and had a really strange and amazing electronic component added into the mix.

While it seems that a lot of bands are doing this kind of thing these days, the brutally surreal sound of their album A.M.G.O.D. was pretty revolutionary back in 2001 and it still holds up amazingly well.

They followed that one up with another great album, Cypher, but sadly, that was pretty much the end of them. They went on to change their name to Havoc Unit and became more of an industrial metal band that released a single underwhelming album before apparently disappearing into obscurity forever as so many classic black metal bands tend to do. Oh well…

A is for Angelcorpse!

Angelcorpse was a pretty good death metal band back in the day. They were clearly heavily influenced by Morbid Angel, often having a very similar sound in their melodies and solos.

To be honest though, they were never quite Morbid Angel (at least in their prime) level talent. They’re a little sloppier in their songwriting and execution, but that’s not to say that they weren’t still an excellent band. Very heavy and brutal. I suppose their only real flaw was that they could have used a little more variety in their sound.

Anyway, Angelcorpse also vanished into musical limbo, probably never to return, but you never know. They were fun while they lasted at least.

A is for Annie!

Let me just sneak this one in here at the bottom. This isn’t the kind of thing I usually listen to at all, but I heard that above song in The Guest and just couldn’t stop listening to the damn thing. I ended up checking out more music by Annie and found myself liking it more than I would have ever expected.

It’s so damn cheerful and pop-y…but dammit the music and vocals are just so good and catchy. Don’t tell anyone about my secret shame!! YOU NEVER READ DOWN THIS FAR!!! DIDN’T HAPPEN!!!

Anyway, that’s enough for now. Tune in next time for the thrilling conclusion of the A’s. At this rate there should only be…oh…minimum of 75 more of these? Oh well!

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