I consider myself a big music fan, and usually listen to something while I am studying/working/driving, etc. And even though I have not been able to keep looking for new music as much as I would like to, I am at least very faithful to those bands and artists I already consider as my favorites.
During the Fall 2014 semester, surprisingly, I lost the ability to listen something while working or studying. I guess it is a stress-related situation, or that I have to focus a lot while performing such activities. Anyway, evem with such issues, I managed to listen to the following records:
- Opeth – Pale Communion (2014).
I have been a huge Opeth fan since, thanks to a friend, I listened to Blackwater Park (2001). It’s mix of progressive and aggressive music was just perfect for me, so I started exploring their more doomy period, their aggressive period and I guess I am now starting to digest their proggy period. I will be honest, their previous album Heritage (2011) was too much of a blow for me and I still cannot “forgive” them for going absolutely 70s prog and leaving behind the much beloved (by me at least) combination of prog signatures, hard riffs and doom ambient. But I gave them the chance again with Pale Communion and was truly blown away. Their progressive 70s inspirations are even more consolidated and this is not definitively a metal album, but a prog one. It has some truly beautiful melodies.
Highlights: Eternal rains will come, Cusp of eternity.
The only album I could listen to and did not distract or disturb me; more over, truly helped me to concentrate and soothe, was the paleolitically inspired O by spanish artist Neonymus (Silverio Cavia), one of the few living persons which I would acknowledge as master. More than one first light found me listening to this album while working. The music is meant to be primitive, but evolves and grows in richness and complexity as the tracks flow.
As a curious note, can’t remember if in dreams or in some erratical mental situation, I thought that this album meant a story a-la Assasin’s Creed, going through time telling a story of a series of persons, first in the paleolitic, then on the dark medieval ages, ending up in a trance-like awakening at present time. Just a crazy thought, I guess.
Highlights: Funeral Visigodo (all 3 movements), Mati eri marne, Respuesta de lo remoto.
- Pink Floyd -The Endless River.
An album I have been waiting for about half my life. Pink Floyd has been in hiatus for most of my life, but we got this (for me) masterpiece as farewell. For me it is the perfect instrumental companion / follow-up for The Division Bell (1994). I really enjoyed its intrincate melodies.
Highlights: Sum, Louder than words.
- U2 – Songs of Innocence (2015).
There are some albums that just come right in a certain moment of life. I has happened to me several times, like for example with El Espíritu del Vino of Héroes del Silencio, Anathema’s Eternity, and I would just keep naming. The same happened with U2’s Songs of Innocence. I think this is one of the few albums in which I have felt something true and personal coming from them, as they usually present somewhat vanal music and lyrics, at least for the last few albums. Not this one, it comes from their very soul. I think of this album as if it had been done in the 80s, near to the time when U2 admired Joy Division. They where finally able to make the internal record they could not do for over 30 years. And by destiny, it came to my life during hard moments with melodies that truly touched me.
Highlights: Every breaking wave, Volcano, Raised by wolves.
- Anathema – Distant Satellites.
I have been an Anathema fan since I listened to Eternity thanks to the same friend that introduced me to Opeth. Their music has evolved from growling doom/death to doom/prog to, I will venture the term, pop/prog. Sometimes their proposal is not that appealing to me, but Distant Satellites’ first half truly was. The meditative-though-gripping ambientation that they created was just in place with my quiet desperation, and allowed me to manage it better.
Highlights: The Lost Song (complete), Anathema (which I consider their “Comfortably Numb”).