These are not "the best" songs, although not far away from that term. These are the songs that absolutely blew my mind the first time I heard them. With one exception these were not the first song I've heard from that artist, so most of the time I knew what I was listening and I knew what to expect from the song.
But then the expectations were shattered, the song overwhelming me, stoping my life for those few minutes and leaving me speechless afterwards. Those are 10 songs that I recall that totally blew me away, often leaving me in tears and begging hard for relistens, despite being dangerous to my heart rate.
For the sake of this little fan article perhaps I should order them from 10 to 1, from the least shocking to the most but it's like comparing heart attacks. So maybe I'll order them from the first to the most recent instead.
10. Stratovarius- Elysium
Yes, let's start with the monster. After hearing multiple long, epic, everchanging power ballads from Sonata Arctica I thought in 2011 that no other long power metal track can blow me away, especially from Stratovarius, a band I believed back then was learning how to walk again after good but not amazing Polaris album. And then this happened, a three part monster that took a dump on everything Sonata made to this point and then added some more so that no other band could ever hope to match this song when it comes to power metal. Sadness, unsureness and hope presented by masterwork lyrics and Kotipelto's top vocals with several amazing solos here and there and the best outro ever recorded.
9. Litvintroll - Lipka
I ate my teeth on folk metal before 2013. Tons of Korpiklaani, Alestorm, Finntroll, Moonsorrow and Trollfest, Turisas and Wintersun to that point in time made me believe that I've heard the best there is in that subgenre of metal. Then comes a small, barely known band from Belarus and sings old folk song in Polish (I don't know the origins of the source song), blowing me away in the first 90 seconds with sad as fuck adaptation of that song, the bagpipes only adding a ton of sorrow to the already sad song sung by Andrei with sudden growl scream accompanied by a powerful guitar and keyboard solo closing the song. It was rare for keyboard solos to appear in folk metal and the mellow mood it set while closing the song was an absolute treat and perfection, making me tear up easily.
There are more bombastic folk metal songs than this one, but literally no one saw that coming from a little unknown band back then, and even though they disbanded it's still the best damn folk metal song I know, perfectly capturing that raw folk metal can be serious and powerful.
8. Dreamshade- Consumed Future
When I heard about Dreamshade for the first time I was at the age where I believed anything with -core in it's name can't be any good. I heard some metalcore and deathcore bands to this point, so when I heard that there's a melodic metalcore/deathcore band from Switzerland that mixes some melodic death metal into their music I was VERY negative towards them when I looked them up on Youtube. And the first 13 seconds almost made me turn it off. "oh what a meaningful guitar intro, sooooo compleex, girls must be creaming themselves where listening to tha-......" and the moment I lost my voice was at the 14 second mark when the drums hit in heavily with a wall of sound made of perfectly in sync lead and rhythm guitar. Every transition bringing something new to the mix, changing the tempo and blowing me away even more. The build, the drums and the pure FURY in vocals made me an instant fan, ashamed as fuck of being negative towards it in the beginning. The slower and calmer outro felt like sloppy seconds after an intense orgasm. Afterwards I never judged a song just because of it's genre, I think. Except for thrash metal, but it's trash, huehueh.
7. Tuomas Holopainen - A Lifetime of Adventure
The only slow song on that list, it was magical when I heard it for the first time. Back then I still had somewhat mixed feelings towards Nightwish. I didn't hate them anymore, but sure as hell I thought they were heavily overrated. But when I heard my favourite finnish female vocalist was singing it I checked it out. And oh boy. I had the sweetest dreams for a week after hearing this song for the first time. I've never heard Johanna sing that softly before, the songwriting beats any movie score I've heard before, same with orchestrations. The lyrics capture perfectly the spirit of the Don Rosa's best comic and since I have treasured the The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck comic with an eleven bags of respect towards it's creator it truly felt like fiction coming to life, making it possible to feel it with other senses than sight. Absolutely wonderful.
6. Babymetal - Akatsuki
2014, a year when if You wanted to have more metalhead friends than before you just had to scream "I hate Babymetal". I've never hated them, since the beginning they were a fresh idea in a metal world, and their contribution to power metal was a very welcome surprise. But before buying the album I still thought of them as more of a gimmick than a real band. All of their songs were very silly, over the top and the vocal talent of Suzuka Nakamoto was still hidden behind 2 other girls. A sixteen years old girl, totally blowing me (away. Not talking about blowjobs from my 16yo ex girlfriend). Damn my jokes on this blog are hitting the rock bottom. Anyway, Akatsuki is the most serious song on the album, with beautiful and poetic-as-fuck lyrics and Su-metal is singing solo, sending shivers down my spine in the intro, just before the guitars enter the scene. When the chorus hits with that hellish drum warmachine and orchestrations and "even after thousand nights this love shall survive..." it broke me. And it only gets better after that, the vocals keep making my nerves thrash from orgasmic spams and the song tricks me with the slower parts making me think "oh, I think it's over.." and then going fast again and again. As expected from that band the outro is powerful and sudden, not giving a fuck about your heart rate.
me during Akatsuki
5. Stratovarius- My Eternal Dream
Oh look, a Strato fanboy that throws 2 songs of theirs on the list and not a single Galneryus song.. The truth is after the amazing Nemesis album I did not expect Stratovarius to top it with Eternal. And they didn't, actually. But the single to promote the Eternal album took me by surprise, I did not expect to hear one of the best power metal songs after like 12 years of daily doses of power metal. It's three times shorter than Elysium, goes straight to the point and the perfectly directed visuals of the music video make it ten times more meaningful and powerful. Fast tempo, the most extreme keyboard solo I've ever heard and the picture of the dying solider, spewing blood and a kid trying to save him with his own shirt hits hard as fuck. The last image and sound of hope perfectly close the song and the video. If You ever want to introduce someone to Stratovarius music then this song is the perfect choice.
4. Omnium Gatherum- Frontiers
The holy grail of 2016. Finally a song that captures everything that's beautiful in melodic death metal. Their previous album Beyond had a huge impact on my life as it was my crutch in the hard times in 2013-2014 and I was honestly scared that I'll be disappointed with the next Omnium Gatherum release. This song made the fear go away, and for those few minutes made my life right. Everything I did to that point in my life felt like the right choice. Me being a fan of this band made me feel for those few minutes complete, something not a single exgirlfriend of mine made me feel. It's the absolutely perfect melodic death metal song. We have a warmup, the heavy and fast juice with growls, headbanging, slower and instrumental bridge, singalong and softer chorus with absolutely outstanding keyboard background, an easy to follow structure that after second chorus goes to clean vocals, soft parts with keys and tears in eyes, goes back to a chorus and leaves the outro to a lead guitar and the solo. The solo that shuts mouths. So you can listen to the choir "Frontiers..." one last time. This is beyond mastery, it's virtuosity of melodic death metal.
3. Titanium - Delusive Skies
or as I like to call it The Life and Times of Frania Srania. Karol Mania's best song ever, that made me check again if I listen to the same album and band. I don't like to say "epic" when talking about music but it's just here, the most epic and powerful usage of background choirs in the chorus of this song and Konstantin Naumenko's (Koncio Nomnomko's) absolutely stunning vocal performance blew me away, along with the bells. More bells in power metal, now, please. This song also proved that the change on vocals was neccessary for the band to progress. There's just no way in heaven or hell for the previous vocalist to sing nearly as good as Koncio did here. This song was a ravine that separated a world class vocalist from a mediocre one.
Also not a single previous Titanium song could prepare you for this monster. And the whole song is about a bad weather on a trip.. Sadly it's still not available to the public outside of imported cds from Japan.
2. Insomnium- Winter's Gate
well technically it's a one song. And one album
2016 sure was a fun year. Omnium Gatherum and Whispered released great albums and Insomnium in the meantime was talking with their publisher like:
- hey, our bassist wrote a short novel, we would like to publish it if possible
- hmm, allright, but make some music along with it, ok? Doesn't have to be a lot of songs, like an ep. or something
- sure, I bet we can squeeze at least one song out of this material
que the most absurdly outstanding tracks in the history of melodic death metal. A 40 minute long monster with cold-as-fuck atmosphere that's warmed by a little girl Síne hugging a big viking guy. No one in the world could expect a move like that, especially after the amazing previous album. Insomnium didn't have to do something as good as this track, but I'm sure glad they did. There's everything in this song, hookers, thai boxing and blackjack. It's been over a year and I still cannot fully comprehend this track, maybe I'm just mentally challenged?
1. Persefone- Living Waves
This one is unique here, as it took me some time to fully understand what's it about. At first it was a extremely solid progressive melodic death song with a long break/build-up in the middle and weird outro. But after reading the lyrics I understood it's some kind of a self-control mantra/prayer, and that repeating the 'chorus' helps me calm myself down. The lack of emotion of the vocals in the beginning and the growls that scream about letting go of anger only add to the otherworldliness of this song.
Breathe every piece of the existence
And feel the entire universe inside of you
Evolution in compassion
Expanding boundaries where there are no more
Giving birth to a new way of being!!
I am the ocean
Behold, the sound of a living
I am the ocean
Behold, the sound of a living wave
I let go of anger
I let go of judgment
I let go of guilt
I let go of fear
I feel I'm nothing but a living wave
Those lyrics, the way they are sung and the very progressive sound all add up into this cosmic feeling that you should change for the better, discover something new, expand your boundaries, be something more. And don't write on your blog at 1 am again, because you start to write weird shit.
No links on the post because music is about exploring, so do some for once you lazy bastard. Also Titanium's song is impossible to find on Youtube. This is most likely my last post in 2017, thank You for another cool year and big, massive thanks to Anette Olzon and Nordheim for sharing their respectable album reviews and bringing more viewers here- it's been awhile since I was ashamed of the stupid shit I post here. Cheers!