Welcome to Top Five Tuesday where we ask a local musician to talk us through the five tracks that have been blowing their mind lately. Today we pick the brain of Malcolm McArb, guitarist for Axxon (and previously Grämlich) for his choice selection.
So, I’ve had a few metal tracks in the forefront of my conscious listening line up of late. They’re all there for differing reasons and they all have different reasons for making my Top 5 Tuesday.
“I Am Hell” – Machine Head: The quasi-religious incantation that serves as an intro to this, the first track from their latest album Unto The Locust, belies the gargantuan slice of monolithic majesty beyond. When the track eventually settles into its heavy, dirgy groove and Rob Flynne starts his guttural chant of “I…. Am… Hell…”, it’s a perfect gooseflesh moment that continues to get to me with every listen. I haven’t been able to put this album on the back burner since I got my grubby paws on it.
Similarly, ever since I got the download of “Crucify” by Paradise Lost (off their latest album, Tragic Idol,) which they released online as a preview on Valentines Day, I have been enthralled with the near perfect chorus hook. I feel almost compelled to sing along, lost in a world where such a thing as a perfect song actually exists. This one is for those of you who enjoy something a touch more thoughtful, well put together and not simply a bombastic rendition of a misunderstood subculture with too much guitar tweedling.
“Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium” – My Dying Bride features on the Antediluvian Chronicles compilation that serves as their “Best Of”, which has been on heavy rotation at home. I have always adored this band and love all their material, but for some reason every time the strained harpsichord and violin intro to this song comes wafting from the speakers, I’m overcome with a sense of nostalgic bliss the likes of which I find very hard to describe. Twelve minutes of punishing doom metal at its funereal finest.
Something of a more classically heavy metal nature is also getting a lot of attention as of late. Could be the fantastically versatile verse riff. Could be the soaring, yet sinister chorus, but Judas Priest’s “Touch Of Evil” has been playing on repeat – rarely allowing the rest of Painkiller to get much of an airing, even though I love the entire album. It’s one of those songs that has remained relevant throughout the years and testament to a great band’s ability to write truly classic tunes.
And finally, but by no means the least of the songs on my Top 5 Tuesday, I submit to you Dimmu Borgir’s “Puritania” off their Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia album. It sparks a percussive reaction which threatens the longevity of my steering wheel, my dashboard and the very lives of those road users around me every time its simple yet effective hook bludgeons me into epileptic aural rapture. This track has always stood out from the frenetic, blackened soup of the rest of their discography as one of my all time favourites.
For more of Malcolm spreading his gospel of irreverence, indigence and extensive commentary on boobs, check out his blog.
Do you have a Top Five for next Tuesday? Send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to feature it!