Starting off with a Bang
Some intense songs that begin an album
More often than not, lead singles from an album are typically the second, third, and fourth songs from the album as many artists have opted to begin the album with something a little more obscure to help you get into the frame or scope of the album. Many opening tracks are mellow or sometimes (in hip hop) a skit or sketch, allowing the second song to take off and really flourish. The songs featured today are when an artist decided to waste no time in getting started, delivering intensity from the getgo.
SOILWORK (SWEDEN) – SPECTRUM OF ETERNITY, FROM THE LIVING INFINITE (2013)
Soilwork has always been well known to begin their albums with an intense start and with the exception to their newest album, I could take the first song from each of their albums and include them on this list. This one, however, is the best of those options and I really like the way it’s just in your face after the quick little intro. The pace doesn’t relent through the entire piece and really sets the tone for the rest of the album (which is two disks, by the way).
MASTODON (UNITED STATES) – BLOOD AND THUNDER, FROM LEVIATHAN (2004)
Neil Fallon of Clutch helped provide additional vocals in this song and when I saw Mastodon and Clutch perform live it was awesome to see him jump in on this song as a closer for the night. As an awesome concert closer, it doubles as an awesome album starter. This was a period when Mastodon was first exploring the sludge sound that they have molded into today and the heavy metal influence was still extremely prevalent. There is a lot of energy in this song and when you consider the theme of the entire album is about Captain Ahab, it’s easy to imagine yourself on a boat.
BLIND GUARDIAN (GERMANY) – SACRED WORLDS, FROM AT THE EDGE OF TIME (2010)
When Blind Guardian initially recorded this song for the video game Sacred 2, I wonder if they considered that they would eventually be placing this in their album the shares its title with the 25th chapter of the final Wheel of Time novel. I experienced this album from start to finish in my bedroom in July of 2010 upon release and this epic song begins the journey in a very impressive style. Also, I hear that Sacred 2 is a pretty sweet game.
SAGE FRANCIS (UNITED STATES) – LITTLE HOUDINI, FROM LI(F)E (2010)
A seven minute hip hop song is pretty rare and when they do occur, it is typically at the end of an album. This song is based on a true story about a guy who would steal big rig trucks to make it home to his parents. One of the coolest lines I’ve ever heard is when he’s talking about how the cops are after Christopher and Sage Francis says “He had numerous convictions but none were as strong as this one.” This was the moment that I knew that this would be Sage Francis’s most mature and thought out album he had ever released.
BLACK SABBATH (ENGLAND) – BLACK SABBATH, FROM BLACK SABBATH (1970)
When it comes to true doom in the vein of defining and pioneering the very genre, Black Sabbath is considered the first song to truly do so (though many would posit that The Beatles did so with the song “I Want You (She’s So Heavy” in 1969). This song sets a standard that is emanated to this very day and is probably the strongest example of this theme that I know of.
I am considering picking some songs to fit the theme of closing songs for next week. We shall see. Catch you all next time!