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Metal listening sessions

Metal listening sessions
June 13, 2010, 04:54:54 AM
It doesn't happen too often, but sometimes I get to indulge myself with several hours of uninterrupted metal.  I've found that putting some thought into what albums I will listen to, and what order I will listen to them in has been much more rewarding than not planning the order or simply picking albums at random.  I have to have the right mix and it has to be in the right order.  Going from a black metal album to a death metal album or vice-versa can be tricky sometimes if you want to optimize the experience.  I've found that some albums like Sadistic Intent's Resurrection, for instance, serve as a good "bridge" between death metal and black metal.  Since the production value of various metal albums can vary so greatly, I've realized that, like wine tasting, it's best to start with albums that have a more "obscured" or subtle production and move towards albums with a clearer or louder mix.  In other words, I would have to listen to Night on the Bare Mountain BEFORE I listen to Filosofem.  It's like going from white wine to red wine.  The other thing I've discovered is that interrupting consecutive metal albums with classical or ambient pieces also will help "re-calibrate" your ears for the next metal album.

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 13, 2010, 07:02:49 AM
I'd generally prefer to listen to death or speed metal before black metal, probably because I associate death and speed metal with the more active part of the day, and black metal (especially more atmospheric types) with the contemplative, dreamy nighttime. I'd particularly like to try your idea of alternating classical and metal.

Do you consider time period / chronological order of albums when choosing the order you listen to them? For a while I've had the idea of selecting a substantial representative sample of the best metal albums, beginning with Black Sabbath's debut and continuing into the mid-90s (or maybe up to Oath Bound), and listening to them in strict chronological order. My hope is to get a sense of "experiencing" the evolution of metal from inception to maturity, with successive albums fulfilling possibilities opened up by the previous groundbreaking albums. As yet I haven't had the amount of uninterrupted time necessary to do this.

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 13, 2010, 07:10:07 AM
I'm somewhat spontaneous with album selections on rare days I can listen for hours. This might not be a bad thread for album sequence recommendations for such times. Who knows? Someone might blog the idea for the metal community at large (examiner, deathmetal.org, other).

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 13, 2010, 06:34:32 PM
This is something I've standardized in my life since I was maybe seventeen or so. It started one night where I sat in my room, looked up at the ceiling fan on the hot summer night and spun Emperor's "In The Nightside Eclipse" from front to back, with my cellphone off and my door locked. No movement, bathroom breaks or stimulus other than sound at all.

From that moment on I realized that all metal that is worthwhile deserves this type of isolation. There's certainly magic hidden in certain albums only accessed with a long, strong, uninterrupted attention span.

I think that the metal which requires this longer attention span is my favorite metal. I enjoy long and elaborate riffs, narrative phrasing and dynamism. Style, production quality, playing ability and dramatics is really nothing to me. I can listen to Vader and Graveland back to back with no qualms about how bad Capricornus is on the drum-kit.

When first I got into "underground" metal, I focused on all of the aforementioned qualities that I'm now currently ambivalent towards. I  used love Nile, Cryptopsy, Angelcorpse and Suffocation above all else.

Throughout experience in the genre(s), my mind began to become more attuned towards the things that make metal (and music in genreal) meaningful, which is substance. If they ALSO excel in style, production, ability and dramatics... then that's just an added bonus. It tells me that they're adept in playing. Though, I'm most interested in composition.

As a result I don't hate Nile, Cryptopsy, Angelcorpse and Suffocation, I just listen to them for different, better reasons now. Not so much Nile though... maybe "Black Seeds of Vengeance" for it's riffing and "Annihilation of the Wicked" with the rhythmically thunderous parts is are the two I can pick out from their catalog. I own them all, but asking me to differentiate between the albums is nearly impossible for me at times.

Back to the subject at hand... I truly ritualize metal these days. Yesterday I listened to Samael's "Worship Him" without any interruptions in my dank, cold cellar amidst the humid weather of the early nighttime. That album wins in every way possible. It amazes me how that album effects me with an unbroken concentration.

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 24, 2010, 03:24:53 PM
I'd generally prefer to listen to death or speed metal before black metal, probably because I associate death and speed metal with the more active part of the day, and black metal (especially more atmospheric types) with the contemplative, dreamy nighttime.
that makes sense to me.
Do you consider time period / chronological order of albums when choosing the order you listen to them?
Sometimes, but not always.  Chronological considerations have factored into my rationale.  Your idea to do one from Black Sabbath to Oath Bound is a great idea - the forum should collaborate on one after the Middle Earth compilations are finished (which was a great idea as well).

Here's one I did last night.  I'll just call it "Death Metal Grab Bag Vol. 1," in order:
Mental Funeral
Dark Recollections
Where No Life Dwells
Allegiance to the Will of Damnation

Some new, some old, a few different styles, but nothing wildly out of place and the order was essentially decided by how I remembered the production, and I would say I pretty much got it right - every successive album stood up to the previous sound-wise.  Picking out that pool of 4 was essentially random, but I spent a few minutes just thinking about 4 good albums that would give me some variety and would not be totally out of place with a really weird production or something.  For instance, let's say To the Depths... in Degradation was in the mix - it would have to be the first album because it has a pretty obscure production.

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 24, 2010, 04:49:38 PM
It doesn't happen too often, but sometimes I get to indulge myself with several hours of uninterrupted metal.  I've found that putting some thought into what albums I will listen to, and what order I will listen to them in has been much more rewarding than not planning the order or simply picking albums at random.

Yes, this is why I've mostly switched back to a CD player for listening. Getting a CD off the shelf, putting it in the player, and then listening is an act of CHOICE. Waiting for the MP3 player to fire off what's next in the catalog is not a conscious choice. It's pseudoradio.

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 24, 2010, 06:43:25 PM
Yes, this is why I've mostly switched back to a CD player for listening.

same here.  I use my sony mp3 player to listen to recommendations and preview new stuff and I plunk down my hard-earned money only on the cream of the crop.  it's been a great system so far!

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 24, 2010, 07:11:24 PM
It doesn't happen too often, but sometimes I get to indulge myself with several hours of uninterrupted metal.  I've found that putting some thought into what albums I will listen to, and what order I will listen to them in has been much more rewarding than not planning the order or simply picking albums at random.

Yes, this is why I've mostly switched back to a CD player for listening. Getting a CD off the shelf, putting it in the player, and then listening is an act of CHOICE. Waiting for the MP3 player to fire off what's next in the catalog is not a conscious choice. It's pseudoradio.

I don't like randomizing my listening choices. Problem with CDs is that I like to keep them in working order, to have for years to come. Generally a CD that gets heavy usage in a player will start to degrade. I suggest burning your CDs if you don't already, and listen to the burnt copies. Plus, CD players eat batteries like no one's business. Rechargables are the solution here.

Still, I like having my MP3 player, if only to compliment when I work out. CD players do tend to skip, even with so-called skip protection, which can be annoying. Plus the MP3 player is small so I may fit it in my pocket while lifting.

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 25, 2010, 12:49:24 AM
It never hurts to include some Discharge or Motorhead in an early black metal mix.

Re: Metal listening sessions
June 25, 2010, 12:53:05 AM
Jim, I've used the same logic in my choices for albums for years. I would add Funebrarum to that grab bag!

Re: Metal listening sessions
April 22, 2011, 09:19:16 PM
I would like to ressurect this topic of discussion but derail it slightly and get people telling us "where" their listening sessions happen.

For instance, a few times a week i like to go for a walk through one of the local trails(which takes about an hour) and select an album i have never listened to before.  The fresh air,movement and beautiful forestry complements just about any death/black metal album in my opinion.  I also find being outdoors improves the listening experience by keeping the mind totally focused on the music.  By the time im done the walk, the album is over, im feeling refreshed, and i fully listened to and appreciated the album...although sometimes an album turns out to be sour, but then you just remove it from your library and that piece of crap doesnt clog up space anymore.

Latest succesful listening sessions : Gutted - Bleed For Us To Live.  Finally gave this album a listen and i found it took away from the experience, rather than add anything great to it. thumbs down for this one.

                                                          Amorphis - The Karelian Isthmus - While i have heard this one many times, its epic beauty shined through while walking along the inlet looking to the misty mountains high above.

Re: Metal listening sessions
April 22, 2011, 09:26:48 PM
Being outside ALWAYS takes away from an album, for me. There's too much stuff that grabs my interest for me to focus on it. Work is OK, only because my job 100% manual and takes no thought at all. Bedroom is best.

Re: Metal listening sessions
April 22, 2011, 09:34:59 PM
The bedroom is 2nd best for me, only because ive really appreciated some albums alot more from being outside.  If im in my room, the lights have to be off and nobody can be around otherwise distractions throw my whole experience off.

Im envious of you, being able to listen to your music at work.

Re: Metal listening sessions
April 22, 2011, 11:15:39 PM
I wish I could listen to metal at school! Then I would get to battle against my English teacher's indie rock. At least I get to listen to it on the bus.

Re: Metal listening sessions
April 23, 2011, 09:28:34 AM
Favorite here:

Large carpeted room, preferably a big living room with wood floors and giant surface rugs.

Medium powerful but true high fidelity speakers and stereo.

Low light, preferably candle; no incense, no house smells (cooking, smoke, farts, etc).

Soft place on which to lie or sit in lotus.

No interruptions.