I haven’t blogged in a long time so let’s restart it with talking about me. Narcissus would be proud! I thought it might be fun to make some kind of lists of things I like. I nicked this idea off social media, the never ending resource of silly yet fun ideas. I’ll list nine things and say something about it. Let’s start by making musical lists. Here goes!
Albums that have formed me in some way
1. Katatonia – Tonight’s decision (1999)
It’s no secret that Katatonia is one of my favourite bands of all time. To choose one record like this is total agony. However, it has to be this record. It is simple yet artful both in songs, lyrics and cover design. It’s doom and darkness but at the same time raw and brutal as it deals with life. It tells the tale of painful moments that comes from difficult decisions. This for me is Renkse and Nyström at their finest. However Katatonia’s latest live recording named Sanctitude (2015) was equally blissful to listen to, even though none of the Tonight’s Decision songs made the setlist. Tonight’s Decision is one of those albums I use for writing, especially if something needs that edgy and slightly angry rawness.
Fav. song: Had to (leave)
2. Moonspell – Darkness and Hope (2001)
The title says it all, really. It is my version of perfect gothic feel. It’s murky, bestial anger, vampiric and horror darkness with a pinch of that all-consuming romantic hope. This is the album that got me into Moonspell and I haven’t grown out of them as of yet. The literary influences are always visible in their music. They’re the reason I got back into vampires. I like many of their album concepts, but this is the first real taste of that dark and hopeful gothic that I’ve since become so passionate about.
Fav. song: Darkness and Hope
3. Suede – Coming Up (1996)
This is probably the easiest album to choose. Yes there are many good Suede albums no question, but there’s only one Coming Up. This is by far the most played record in my collection. Not because it’s the best ever, but because in all of this there are memories and a sense of finally belonging. Hard to put into words how this changed my teenage self. You had to be there. I have loved this album since the very first time I played it. And Suede is one of those bands that have connected me with other people. The album is terribly English and maybe a bit wonderfully trashy. I know every single song and sing them with the intensity of love. This album changed me from not wanting anything in life to becoming someone who actually talked. And I can hardly think of a more deserving band. I have only met them once but that one time meant so much to me. It was in a time of my life when change and confusion was getting too much and the honour of talking music for a while with the extremely charming Mat Osman and Richard Oakes made my life seem less hellish and pointless. It also made me want to learn English again. Simply because they did not make fun of my English, they didn’t even seem to notice there was something wrong with it to begin with. So little, makes such a huge difference, to be seen by someone you’ve looked up to is a pure pleasure and it still keeps the heart warm. Many years since, but I remain extremely grateful for that.
Fav. song: Beautiful Ones
4. Rammstein – Sehnsucht (1997)
Released on my birthday in 1997. I bought it on a whim because one of my friends liked them and I liked the cover to be honest. This was the beginning of a more industrial period in my musical life. It used to drive my parents insane, but my younger brothers liked it a lot. I mean you really should sing Du Hast in kindergarten, it’s a done thing. Right? The heaviness and sheer filth of this album still gives me the chills.
Fav. song: Engel
5. Thåström – Kärlek är för dom (2009)
Hard to pick one album with this Swedish artist, his voice has followed me all my life, from his punk/pop band Imperiet and onwards. This album is very neat, simple and clean which makes the lyrics pop out even more, and that really is Thåström’s strong point. He is one of few who write really good Swedish lyrics. This is perhaps more poetry to the tones of music than music with lyrics. That might be why this poetry lover likes it so much.
Fav. song: Kort biografi med litet testamente
6. Salem – Strings Attached (2005)
Israeli doom/death metal, can it get more interesting? Yes, you can mix it up with classical instruments and have strings attached. Yes, this is a unique style of album. I found Salem back when My Space was a fun place to find new bands. (And I did find so many!) The rather different view of Jewish lore is a good remedy against the otherwise predominant Christian thinking and duality. They are a major reason to why I wish to learn both Yiddish and Hebrew. The anger and remorse that is present in most of their songs seem to echo closely to my own heart. I hope they will carry on and inspire more metal to come from this region of the world. A much needed flip in perspective because like it or not, Israelis regardless of religion, no they are not all Jews, are people too.
Fav. song: Ha’ayara Bo’eret (העיירה בוערת)
7. Sarah Jezebel Deva – A Sign of Sublime (2010)
At least one lady has to make it to this list on her own. A poorly made joke since there’s no need for any equality quota, as an old Cradle of Filth fan The Deva’s place here is given. This album is brutal yet gentle, a perfect combination for her rich voice. She’s a wicked lady in her own right. She is very much a great inspiration not just because of her somewhat strong and sharp opinions on things, but also because she doesn’t dress things up. You need not be sweet and nice, you can just be brilliant at what you do and that is fine. And she brings that strength into her music.
Fav. song: New Born Failure
8. Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker (2015)
This is almost a perfect album in my view. And it’s Finnish! Swedish-Finnish descendant as I am this feels close to heart. I did not think they could get much better, but they keep proving me wrong. The songs on this album blew me away, from music arrangements to lyrics, it is a dream. It is so beautiful and serious, a combination that Finns seem to balance very well. This is one of those albums that makes me dream about writing great stories. They bring nature into their music and that is something I very much appreciate.
Fav. song: Hole in My Soul
9. BatAAr – Memoria (2014)
… I simply cannot write about this, sorry, the wound is still open. This represents the expansion in my musical world towards the east once more. It changed me and my view and reminded me of musical paths of the past that I had discarded for some time.
Fav. song: MIST
Bands I’d like to see that I haven’t seen yet
- My Dying Bride
- Luna Sea
- Goo Goo Dolls
- Dir en Grey
This will have to do for now. Maybe I’ll come back and do some more lists.
Always love and be safe!