Two weeks ago, we unveiled the first installment of our three-part mini-feature Skip The Rest. You can check that out over here, but to break it down for those who have yet to catch that article and don’t want to switch tabs, this feature is where some of us over at Everything Is Noise divulge on the songs we like which were written by bands we decidedly don’t. Simple enough, don’t you think? In the following, you can find out which bands our PR/social media manager Valentin, staff writers Jonce and Ashley, as well as yours truly here dislike except for that one darn song that refuses to be treated with the same contempt as its brethren. Please enjoy!
“Before I Forget” by Slipknot
I don’t remember exactly, but it has to be around 2008/2009 when I first got into metal. Around that time, I also bought my first Metal Hammer Magazine in hopes to discover new bands (yeah, that’s what people did when big Facebook promo pages weren’t a thing). As luck would have it, in that particular first magazine I bought, a very interesting looking band got a lot of coverage because they were about to release their new album All Hope Is Gone. Yes, it was Slipknot.
Very intrigued by their interesting look, I promptly went to YouTube to check out their music and stumbled across “Before I Forget“. I was hooked from the very first second. The monstrous intro groove, Corey Taylor’s harsh vocals, the build-up to the amazing chorus, the minimalistic music video: it all seemed perfect. I kept jamming this song until All Hope Is Gone dropped, and I was so stoked to finally check out the whole thing. Unfortunately, the first few spins left me kinda disappointed. None of the songs amazed me like “Before I Forget“ did. Thinking that they may have changed their sound, I also checked out their older albums as well but again found nothing that excited me. Up to this day I have absolutely zero fun listening to anything Slipknot ever released. In preparation for this article, I listened to their whole discography once again but the only feeling I got was relief when I was finally done.
Still, “Before I Forget“ will forever be one of my favorite songs of all time, and I actually think it might be the best metal song ever written.
Jonce Marshall Palmer
“Survival” by Muse
There is a slight caveat to this choice in artist, as I’m also partial to Muse’s single “Madness”. But on the whole, I’ve never really cared for Muse. I’ve never heard a single album of theirs all the way through, and most of what I heard never stuck with me – except for one track, of course.
Honestly, what’s not to love about “Survival”? It’s the song where all the components of Muse – the arena-rock rhythms, the grand chord progressions, Matt Bellamy’s soaring vocal performances – come together, in a way that doesn’t happen on their other material. I think what really ties the track together for me is this live performance at the end of the Olympic Games in London. The literal balls of fire and massive chorus line make for everything my prepubescent brain thought a rock star should be.
While I don’t really fit with the vibe of the song anymore, it’s still a great motivator. I used to look at the song lyrically as depicting a universal drive in all of us to be the best. But as I get older, and I see things change in my world around me, competition has less and less of an appeal to me. These days, I turn on “Survival” when I need to complete a difficult task; no longer do I plan to take on the whole world.
“The Gun Show” by In This Moment
In This Moment are not I band I have much love for. There is a prevailing whiff of angsty nu-metal which lingers over virtually all of their material. I can’t get past it, and it renders my possible relationship with them null and void.
Shame, really, because I love Maria Brink’s voice. I mean, those screams are raw as hell and yet pitch-perfect. At times, they are pure goosebump-inducing. One of a kind in fact. Luckily, when I want to remind myself of how great that voice is, there is one rough diamond which I can turn to and get fully immersed in. And that song is “The Gun Show”.
Don’t you just hate it when an album peaks at track one? I believe this to be the case with the band’s 2010 album A Star-Crossed Wasteland. “The Gun Show” is arguably In This Moment’s most honestly groovy tune. In terms of metal riffage, it harkens back to the 90’s reign of pre-nu groove metal which I hold dear to my heart. But as already stated, Brink’s vocals absolutely kill it. Her screams blaze across the whole song with no compromise or let up, and the way she goes from verse to chorus without taking any notable breath merely adds to the intensity. I often wonder if an entire album of this would have worked much better. In reality, I think I’ll just repeat that one song and lay it to rest.
“Amaranth” by Nightwish
Alright, full disclosure: I don’t loathe Nightwish’s catalogue, although the majority of it does smack of a symphonic brand of tackiness I’m not particularly fond of – they’re just not a band I’m inclined to spend any time with when given the choice. Certainly there are some among you who can appreciate their off-the-charts level of cheesiness, but I simply can’t stomach it over prolonged periods. Cool? Cool.
That being said, I love their song “Amaranth” off the otherwise largely soporific Dark Passion Play with a passion that continues to baffle me to no end. The thing is, I don’t even know what exactly it is about this track that makes me spin it for several consecutive listens from time to time.
What I usually find to be monumentally grating about the band’s music simply clicks here, and even those elements that I got from the beginning, like Anette Olzon’s vocals (she’s always been my favorite Nightwish singer, although that doesn’t mean much coming from me) are elevated to a higher level of enjoyment. It’s a shame that the rest of their material doesn’t reach the same heights, really.
In short: you won’t ever catch me wearing a Nightwish shirt any time soon, or even before the eventual heat death of the universe, but I’ll be damned if “Amaranth” isn’t a great song. Bundled with the fantastic music video, inspired by Finland’s ‘national painting – The Wounded Angel by Hugo Simberg – it’s an experience the band sadly hasn’t been able to match in the years following its release.
Thanks for reading! Be on the lookout for the final part of Skip The Rest, which should be out twoo weeks from now. Before you leave, though, why not share the songs you enjoy by bands you usually can’t be bothered with? Leave your thoughts in the comments!