Sound Tracks for the Apocalypse

Since absolutely no-one has asked, here is a sample of what I listen to while working. I hope you find it an interesting mix … A lot of recent listening has been to metal bands from northern Europe. As an intro, hard to go wrong with Nightwish, Amorphis, Delain, or Within Temptation. Nightwish has had three lead singers – fans get in to flame wars over who is best, but each is good in their own way and worthy to listen to (even there is no doubt as to who is best, as this live clip proves 😛 … be sure to hang in there for the finale at the 9 minute mark):

After Forever, Floor Jansen’s previous group, disbanded but it has some great songs out there – “Equally Destructive” is a go to song for climate change, and “Discord” is just a great song. Look for other songs she’s done with various groups or solo – amazing vocalist and range.

I suspect that my two current second-most favorites (favorite is below the fold) are Amorphis and Sabaton. Amorphis has a variety of songs ranging from very heavy growls to near ballads. Here’s something in the middle …

Some people who don’t know any better think the Swedish metal band “Sabaton” glorify war. They’ve obviously never actually listened to most of the lyrics – even the songs that emphasize the heroic aspects of the military and war have an underlying message of “WTF was this really for?” that anyone who has lived that life will recognize. In any event, the song “En Livstid i Krig” (a Lifetime of War) is unmistakable. Here it is in Swedish …

… but as an accommodation to the few folks out there who don’t understand Nordic languages 😛 , here is a version in English. I think the Swedish lyrics are more poignant, it’s worth listening and have a translation of that version handy even if you don’t understand much. Sabaton’s music is a lesson in history, and they are fantastic live. Be sure to hack off Joakim and listen to “Swedish Pagans” from Wacken 2019 – this version with Tina Guo on Cello :O ! (it’s one of their most popular songs, and it’s a running joke that it’s never on the playlist and he hates it, but somehow gets played at every concert).

Lacuna Coil is a band from Italy has been around for a while and has an extensive library to dig through. More on the Gothic side of Metal … but they have a huge variety over the years. Here’s a melancholy sample …

To the east of Scandinavia, Alkonost has some good stuff, this one about river boatman is a fun lyric video featuring fans. They just did an album of piano versions that is really nice:

But if I had to pick one artist as a favorite, it would without a doubt be Eivar Selvik. Most of his work has been with Warunda, but he has also worked with many other Nordic artists. Although I’m not much of a video game player (I spend too much time in front of computers already, and if I have free time I’m going to go fly a real airplane, not a simulator), but if I ever buy one it will be the new “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” if only because Eivar did so much of the soundtrack. Here’s a couple of samples …

Aurora is great – she did the “voice” calling Elsa in Frozen II
This has both the norse and english lyrics side by side

With streaming, you can access artists and genre that previously were impossible or hard to find, featuring cultures that you might not have known existed, sometimes with important messages. Who would have thought there would be a Mongolian Folk Rock Band? Ask and ye shall receive …

Click and annoy the Chinese Government. You know you want to.

Despite the stain of the Country genre ( 😮 ), there is some good music coming out of the Americas … these guys are pretty entertaining (folk/bluegrass isn’t country!):

Canada is in America, right?

And this is pretty awesome banjo playing …

Finally, Gunship is a great homage to the music of the 1980’s …

“Dark All Day” is a must-see if you like The Lost Boys or any 80s/90/s vampire movies/shows like Buffy, Blade …

Hope you enjoy these. My current playlists are mostly bands/groups that are active (or with Delain/After Forever recently disbanded). Of course there’s a lot of older stuff that is great as well (classic new wave rock gods like The Clash, 90’s music like Garbage, etc.), and the traditional classics (such as Beethoven, Bach, modern composers like Schostakowitsch, much of the classical Ballet) are timeless. It seems that when people reach middle age they automatically lament that “there’s no good music any more” and miss the point that while most pop has a well deserved reputation as junk, there is also a lot of good music being continuously created. Feel free to leave non-country related recommendations in the comments 😛 …

1 thought on “Sound Tracks for the Apocalypse

  1. I can recommend Clutch, which I always find quite soothing when coding or working with data. For example

    Or even this fine song


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