Ryan’s Mystery Song Reviews
This week, Stereo Control will be doing another project. This time’s rules: simply that each one of us send ten unlabeled, mystery songs to each other. My Secret Santa in this project was Nick, who sent me ten songs. My guess is that they’ll all be some kind of lame-ass Metal tunes, with unheard lyrics about Satan and Vikings. We’ll see, I guess.
1. Mystery Song 1 – (Katatonia – “Leaders“) Yep. First song is Metal. One can tell by the drop-D tuning on guitar, heavy bass, and the sound of the drums. Not bad though, the intro is pretty cool. The singing just kicked in, and the guy has a really good voice, no pig squeals or annoying growling, just straight-up clean vocals. I like it, however, despite good production, a good riff, and good vocals, I don’t hear anything extremely special in this song. It’s solid, but I wouldn’t say it stands out too much.
2. Mystery Song 2 – (Morbid Angel – “Immortal Rites“) This next one opens with what could be an ’80s metal guitar, a la Iron Maiden, only slightly heavier and devoid of the fun personality. The vocals are growled whispers, which fit over the double-bass drums, but I think they’ll get annoying if they last the course of the entire song. However, a short guitar solo followed by a theatric bridge amped the song up for me a bit. This band sounds like they know how to write a cool Metal song, at least. And yep, I was right — instead of these vocals, I’m just going to imagine Bruce Dickinson’s angelic tenor.
3. Mystery Song 3 – (Ancient VVisdom – “The Opposition“) One minute in to this song, and it’s either Nick threw me off by sending a Folk/Acoustic song, or this is an annoyingly long intro to some B.S. Wannabe ’90s Metal. Two minutes in and it changes to awesome dissonant open acoustic chords, could this actually be Fol — nope, nevermind, it’s Metal. “Hail to thee, Lord Lucifer,” the singer is saying, so, yes, I called that one. In all fairness, this actually sounds cool — the vocals are clean and catchy, the drums emulate hand claps instead of revved-up engines, and the acoustic guitar is staying in the background.
Note by Nick: Ryan is absolutely fucktarded if he thinks this is a Metal song.
4. Mystery Song 4 – (Bloodbath – “Eaten“) This one opens with a heavy riff, powerful drums, and growling vocals (which I friggen’ hate already). I can tell this is probably going to be my least favorite song, unless Nick throws in another one like this. It’s pretty much exactly what I expect from Death Metal, including a breakdown section (complete with an annoyingly tinny-sounding acoustic guitar).
5. Mystery Song 5 – (Corrosion of Conformity – “Long Whip, Big America“) Five opens with awesome psychedelic instruments. The vocals energetic and aggressive, over a groovy rhythm. Man, this song just oozes cool. It’s as if “Hush” from Deep Purple (yes, I know they covered it) was written fifty years later.
6. Mystery Song 6 – (Cephalic Carnage – “Ohrwurm“) Opening with a really great bass, this one has me hopeful. Aaaaaand, after a really cool intro, the band jumps into annoying Death Metal vocals with too much drums. I was wishing the bass would stay the main instrument, but nope, the drums are overpowering everything except for the vomit-vocals. Not that it matters, the guitar doesn’t sound like it’s doing too too much, just slow riffs and power chords. Strangely, a horn is thrown into the mix later in the song. I don’t know how I feel about that.
7. Mystery Song 7 – (Dog Fashion Disco – “Vertigo Motel“) Piano arpeggios open Seven, and breathy, atmospheric singing comes in quick, too. I assume this will be just another intro for Metal. God, it’s so predic — what the hell happened? Why is there a disco beat? Whoah, now changing between Rock and … clown music? Now, screaming Metal. Shit, this keeps changing. This is either Faith No More or a similar band. How am I supposed to review this? It’s awesome, really pushes the envelope, but hell if I know how to write about it.
8. Mystery Song 8 – (Cynic – “The Space For This“) Nice guitar harmonics. Strange, ethereal vocals with interesting harmonies. Subtle instruments. The intro sounds awesome. Let’s see how the song progresses… oh, look, into heavier, faster riffing. More Metal. I do like it, but the song would’ve really been cool if it followed the beginning into an Indie-folk genre. But as a whole, this is a weirdish (not anywhere as weird as the last one, though) tune, with keyboards, an awesome guitar solo, a start/stopping arrangement. It’s very cool.
9. Mystery Song 9 – (Nightwish – “Amaranth“) I assume, this one is going to be more Metal, because it opens up with a really horrible piano sound. And twenty seconds in, the distorted guitar jumps right in. At least Nick’s sent me different kinds of Metal, otherwise I’d have no idea how to review each song. Whoah, this one has a female singer, reminds me of Lita Ford or Ann Wilson if either were backed by even heavier bands. This is pretty theatric, and you can tell this band is definitely influenced by ’80s Metal, so, that means it’s enjoyable.
10. Mystery Song 10 – (Sabbath Assembly – “Glory To The Gods in The Highest“) Okay, last song. Starts with a Capella female harmonies, singing Gospel lyrics. Meaning this will turn into Metal in about, oh, thirty seconds. Oh man, I’m close. This is more just Hard Rock with a Bluesy streak. I’m impressed. Catchy and the female vocalist(s?) can definitely sing. Reminds me a little bit of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Second note by Nick: Ryan doesn’t know the difference between Metal and Rock music. Too much looking through the world in hipster thick-brimmed glasses.
Afterward: Nope, don’t care what Nick says — it’s Metal. Nine songs of Metal. One of Hard Rock. Nick is so damn predictable. Eight of these are really awesome though.