Category Archives: Auditory Madness (Music)

Sylent Mari’s Music Mix – Badass Covers Edition

It’s been three months since I last wrote a post for the site. That’s too damn long. My latest Music Mix is all about stepping away from the frustrations and worries of the world, and spending a few moments reflecting on the positives in life. What makes you happy? What drives you creatively? For me it’s entertainment in any form that allows me to step away from the outside world and my crazy life for a few minutes or hours each day. Music allows me to write, film allows me to think, novels transport me to other worlds, and TV makes me super-emotional over fictional characters (stop killing off all of my favorites!).

I’ve always been a fan of musical artists and bands that do cover versions of their favorite songs and add their own unique flavor to them. There are lots of great cover songs out there and some…eh…we’ll pretend they never exited. In the newest playlist below, I’ve got 20 of my personal favorites or covers that I enjoy. Some are familiar, some are new, but all of them are timeless in their own ways, while paying respect to the original artists.

The first Spotify playlist consists of the original artists of all of the songs listed below. Most of these artists should be familiar to you, but it’s always a good refresher to listen to each of the songs so you get that “A-ha!” moment. The second Spotify playlist is a mirage image of the first, but it features all of the cover versions that I’ve compiled for this post. Take an hour or two out of your day and listen to both playlists and allow yourself to get lost in the music and forget about everything negative in your life currently. Maybe add a few drinks if it’s been THAT kind of a week. ‘Til next time!

P.S. I apologize for my lack of creative verbage. 2016 has burned out quite a few of my brain cells, but at least I hope it’s an entertaining read nonetheless. *thumbs up*

The Originals

The Covers

Carina Round (f/ Aidan Hawken) – “Come Undone” [2014]
– – – – – – – – – –
Duran DuranDuran Duran (The Wedding Album) [1993]

Duran Duran, like so many artists and bands before and after them, sampled one of the most iconic drum loops for “Come Undone”: The Soul Searcher’s “Ashley’s Roachclip.” The sampled loop works perfectly in the now-classic DD track, and it’s my favorite song from the band; I’ve included that video above. I can listen to it, close my eyes, and lose myself to the music. That – or I’ve accidentally passed out listening to it (in a good way).

Carina Round’s take on the song gives off the same vibe, but it’s like a thunderstorm that crawls across the sky…then disappears just as quickly. It’s not only a great song to kick off this playlist, but it’s also a good wind-down song for the end of a long day from work/school/life.

Disturbed – “The Sound of Silence” – Immortalized [2015]
– – – – – – – – – –
Simon & GarfunkelThe Graduate Soundtrack [1968]

Disturbed’s cover of the classic Simon & Garfunkel track has been featured in video game trailers, on the radio, and in lots of live performances lately – and for good reason. While this cover does have its detractors, I happen to really dig it. It’s a very different musical direction for Disturbed, who are best known for playing a somewhat-repetitive brand of radio-friendly nu-metalish hard rock. The equally-haunting music video for the song is free of any color and is just so mesmerizing to watch. Turn down the lights, burn a few candles, and play the video or the song to really get its full effect.

Moby – “New Dawn Fades” – I Like To Score [1997]
– – – – – – – – – –
Joy DivisionUnknown Pleasures [1979]

Moby’s take on “New Dawn Fades” was first heard in the 1995 Michael Mann written & directed crime drama Heat, starring the dynamic duo of Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino (with Val Kilmer tagging along). It’s easily one of the most recognizable songs from the soundtrack, and it’s recently found new life again thanks in Person of Interest’s 100th episode: “The Day the World Went Away.” Though the scene is very bittersweet for many fans and comes in the middle of a very mixed, emotional and somewhat-controversial episode, this song is featured in one of my favorite action scenes from the entire series. I’m not sharing the scene here because of spoilers and it needs to be watched to be appreciated, but I’ll leave you with this: Root and Shaw (aka Shoot) having a relationship talk in the middle of a shoot-out. Turn up this song loud as your cruising down the street late at night.

Lily Allen – “Somewhere Only We Know” – Sheezus [2014]
– – – – – – – – – –
KeaneHopes and Fears [2009]

A dreamy and sweet cover of one of my favorite songs from Keane. Lily Allen absolutely nails it in her version and I love her vocals on it and the music too. It’s like listening to a lullaby and drifting off to sleep with a smile upon your face. The music video will also brighten up your day as well, as evidenced above. Now leave me with my happy, shiny, positive thoughts…

You+Me – “No Ordinary Love” – rose ave. [2014]
– – – – – – – – – –
SadeLove Deluxe [1992]

Dallas Green (formerly of Alexisonfire; currently of City and Colour) and Alecia Moore (better known as P!nk) formed the indie folk pop duo You+Me in 2014, bringing together two incredibly gifted singers a surprising musical experiment. I’d say it was a success: their debut release, rose ave., is one of my favorite albums of the past five years and combines both singer’s vocal talents with very well-written songs that allow them to really belt it out. The lyrics are equally as thought-provoking as the singers themselves. In the live performance above of the Sade classic “No Ordinary Love” (Deftones also do a brilliant cover of it), watch Green and P!nk create instant musical magic as they own the stage in this haunting cover.

Mimi Page – “Wicked Game” – Requiem EP [2013]
– – – – – – – – – –
Chris IsaakHeart Shaped World [1989]

How many of you remember the original music video for Chris Isaak’s biggest hit? Hot supermodel, sepia tones, a beach… I think I just dated myself (I miss the old MTV).

Though this song has been covered to death by so many artists and bands, I’ve fallen for Mimi Page’s cover after discovering it as a Spotify recommendation. Thanks Spotify! It keeps the essence of the original and adds her own flavor to it, creating a pleasant aural experience.

Alanis Morissette – “Crazy”The Collection [2005]
– – – – – – – – – –
SealSeal [1991]

Alanis’ version of Seal’s first radio hit (before “Kiss From A Rose” dominated the airwaves a few years later) isn’t exactly groundbreaking. It’s a straightforward & enjoyable cover that was played heavily in gay clubs around the world when it first came out in 2005. It was an instant favorite for a good reason: the accompanying music video has a queer vibe to it. Whenever LOGO (a U.S. cable channel) played it on what felt like repeat every hour for several weeks during Summer 2005, I usually had a few friends & neighbors coming over to my place to watch it, excited to see this new side to Alanis. When you watch the video, you’ll see why. Well, unless you’re a fan like me and know that she’s played queer-friendly roles on Nip/Tuck, Sex and the City, and a few other projects.

Nine Inch Nails – “Dead Souls” – The Crow Soundtrack [1994]
– – – – – – – – – –
Joy DivisionStill (Collector’s Edition) [2008]

For many people my age (30-something) and of all ages who relate to it, the film The Crow and Brandon Lee’s iconic performance as Eric Draven is a reminder of a time when it was OK to be into dark imagery, to be influenced by the Industrial and Goth scenes of the time, and to be inspired to take risks in our own creative processes. The film and the graphic novel/comic series, created by J. O’Barr, also allowed us to not be afraid to create whatever the hell we wanted to artistically, as well as not fearing the darkness that lingers in all of us, and being free to let our emotions out in any artistic medium that spoke to us. The song, the film, and the graphic novel/comic series are such freeing works of art for the loners, the freaks, the independent thinkers in all of us. The fan-edited video that I’ve included melds all three elements together perfectly.

City of Fire – “Enjoy the Silence” – Trial Through Fire [2013]
– – – – – – – – – –
Depeche ModeViolator [1990]

“Enjoy the Silence” is one of the most covered songs of all time, or that’s what it feels like. For people who have derided electronic-based music as being soulless for years, Depeche Mode was one of the many synth-heavy acts that proved that was a bunch of crap. Creating some of the most emotionally-driven music over the past three decades, “Enjoy the Silence” is one of the most critically regarded and universally-loved tracks from DM’s massive discography. The song is timeless and never grows old; it feels fresh even listening to it in this ultra-digital age that we live in, where new music is readily available on various electronic devices. City of Fire, a band formerly led by Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory, does an impressive cover of the song by mixing their heavy rock sound with Burton’s powerful vocal work. A great song to rock out to.

Shiny Toy Guns – “Stripped” [2007]
– – – – – – – – – –
Depeche ModeBlack Celebration [1986]

Depeche Mode has influenced so many musical acts since their formation in the late-1970’s, gaining popularity, critical acclaim, and respect & love from fans all over the world. I use their music as inspiration for any creative projects that I’ve worked on in the past, the present, and future ones (I’m sure). It’s rare to find anyone who’s not a fan of their music – whether they’re a huge fan like me or a casual listener.

“Stripped” is one of my favorite songs of theirs and a few bands have covered the song. Rammstein has a really cool cover of it that is a perfect marriage between their music and DM’s. Shiny Toy Guns has also made their own version that I love quite a bit. It sounds very different from the original, but retains the heart & soul of the song. Take a few minutes to throw it on and let the music invade your ears.

Gary Jules (f/ Michael Andrews) – “Mad World” –
Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets [2002]
– – – – – – – – – –
Tears for FearsThe Hurting [1983]

Donnie Darko. Great cover. Listen to it now.

Lorde – “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” –
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire S0undtrack [2013]
– – – – – – – – – –
Tears for FearsSongs From The Big Chair [1985]

Another indie-friendly track that follows the “slow down the original and make it sound super-depressing” template that many new covers are following. This isn’t a dig at Lorde, though: I like her cover version of this Tears for Fears track (a song I listened to a lot growing up). It’s also a perfect track for The Hunger Games franchise, which this song appears in – on the soundtrack to the second film, Catching Fire. If you’re a Lorde fan, you’ll love this. If not, you might find yourself gritting your teeth while listening to it. It’s all a matter of personal taste, but ’cause I like it I threw it into my playist.

Maria Doyle Kennedy – “How You Remind Me” –
Even Better Than The Real Thing, Vol. 1 [2003]
– – – – – – – – – –
NickelbackSilver Side Up [2001]

If this singer’s name sounds familiar – you might be an Orphan Black fan. Better known as “Siobhan Sadler” (aka “Mrs. S”) on the BBC America series, Maria Doyle Kennedy is also an accomplished musician/singer who has released many records throughout her career. She’s even lent her vocal talents to Orphan Black during the show’s third season, as seen below in this small clip from Entertainment Tonight (excuse the annoying intro):

In her gorgeous minimalist take on the Nickelback staple, MDK transforms the song into a melancholic ballad full of yearning and heartache. Conquering the song and making it her own, as well as one-upping the original, this is one of my favorite cover songs from any artist or band. Taking a very familiar song, deconstructing it, and turning in a simply wonderful performance? MDK nails it with her rendition.

311 – “Love Song” – 50 First Dates Soundtrack
– – – – – – – – – –
The CureDisintegration [1989]

This dreamy summertime cover of the Cure classic from 311 was one of the main songs used in the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore romantic comedy 50 First Dates. The film is a guilty pleasure of mine: I’m not a fan of Sandler, but I do like Barrymore a lot. If I lived close to a beach, this would be the perfect song to chill out too while hitting the waves or taking an evening stroll on the sand. Or you can lay in a hammock and drink a few cocktails while the night breeze cools you off. It’s a cool track to finish off the day with.

Tiamat – “Sympathy for the Devil” – Skeleton Skeletron [1999]
– – – – – – – – – –
The Rolling StonesBeggars Banquet [1968]

For a doomy/gothic metal take on the Rolling Stones classic, check out Tiamat’s slow & heavy version. Add it to your future Halloween playlist, or allow the black skies of nighttime envelop and guard you as you listen to the bewitching vocals of lead singer Johan Edlund sing you off to a nightmare. This track is a perfect example of paying homage to the original while retaining Tiamat’s artistic identity. If you’re a fan of bands like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, or Type O Negative, Tiamat’s cover is perfect for you (the band is totally worth checking out too).

Chet Faker – “No Diggity” – Thinking in Textures [2011]
– – – – – – – – – –
BlackstreetAnother Level [1996]

This song takes me back to high school and for good reason: I was a freshman back in ’96. I LOVE the R&B, hip-hip, and soul music that came out during that decade because the songs were different, they were fresh, and they were just a blast to listen to. Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” is one of my favorite ’90s songs ’cause it has such a cool groove to it, a hypnotic beat, and Dr. Dre lending his skills to enhance the track.

Chet Faker does an equally funky cover that will transport you back to 20 years ago (!), to the time you first heard this jam on the radio. With a folksy vibe added to it and an electronic underbeat, the cover flows so well and it makes the perfect addition to anyone’s summer playlists or for house parties. If you can survive the heat long enough to dance/chill out to it, of course (Southwest USA FTW!).

Nirvana – “The Man Who Sold the World” –
MTV Unplugged In New York [1994]
– – – – – – – – – –
David BowieThe Man Who Sold the World [1970]

Back in ancient times, MTV used to dedicate a whole hour or so to an artist or band and give them an awesome platform to show off their acoustic skills to a very intimate live audience. Sometimes they released the performances on record and fans were able to get that same intimate feel at home. Alice in Chains had a memorable MTV Unplugged performance (check out “Nutshell” and “Down in a Hole” as two perfect examples), and I bought Alanis’ (it’s a great listen). Out of all of the MTV Unplugged performances that were released, Nirvana’s will forever remain to be the most iconic, with the whole band stripping down the music to its acoustic foundations, and Kurt Cobain just singing his soul out. One of the most popular songs from that acoustic session was their take on the David Bowie classic “The Man Who Sold the World,” from the album of the same name. Take a trip back in time to 1994 and watch the performance.

Yuna – “Come As You Are” [2011]
– – – – – – – – – –
NirvanaNevermind [1991]

Confession Time: Though they are hugely important to the generations before me and my very own, I’ve never been a Nirvana fan. I do like some of their tracks, but I was more of an Alice in Chains fan during the time that Nirvana was king of the alternative genre. Now that I’m older, I’ve been learning to appreciate their music a bit more, but “Come As You Are” has always been my favorite track from them. I haven’t heard any other music from Yuna, who’s a popular Malaysian pop singer/performer, but she nails the cover in an indie-friendly performance.

Amy Lee – “With or Without You” [2015]
– – – – – – – – – –
U2The Joshua Tree [1987]

Amy Lee, best known as the lead singer/co-songwriter of Evanescence, delivers a really trippy and Evanescence-esque version of the U2 classic. That’s really the only way that I can describe this cover. Some fans will love it and others will hate it, and then there are those that will be like, “Huh – that’s pretty groovy.” If you’re a fan of Lee’s vocal work, this is a perfect song to listen to late at night or during the middle of the longest rainstorm ever.

Fear Factory (f/ Gary Numan) – “Cars” – Obsolete [1998]
– – – – – – – – – –
Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle [1979]

This popular Fear Factory track became known to video game fans courtesy of its inclusion on the Test Drive 6 soundtrack. The cover itself was the second song released from FF’s 1998 effort Obsolete, following lead single “Shock” (also the album’s opening track). In a throwback to the original tune, FF invited Gary Numan to contribute vocals to their cover version, which later led to his inclusion in the space-age music video they shot for the single. The video is available above for your headbanging needs. “Cars” would later become one of FF’s most recognizable tracks, and it’s a really fun cover to jam out to.

30 Days of Halloween! Day 8 – Hanging Out At The Bronze + Final Thoughts [BTVS Music]

On this (delayed) eighth day of the 30 Days of Halloween, I’m finally writing the final “chapter” of this Buffy the Vampire Slayer retrospective that started over three years ago. I had a few thoughts left that I wanted to share about the show and the impact that it’s had on my life, but I never got around to finishing it for various reasons. Like Real Life not being very kind to me and giving me the necessary time nor creative drive to write. Being an adult sucks sometimes, but it also has its benefits. Like meeting cast members from one of your favorite shows, or reliving episodes with fans who remember them fondly, or convincing friends to watch the show for the first time.

One thing I forgot to cover initially when I first started posting the various parts of my retrospective was giving much-needed attention to the soundtrack of the show. Music plays a very important in our lives for a variety of reasons, and many shows have utilized the power of the audio arts in many terrific ways. Lost Girl – for example – has had so many great songs featured in its episodes that have worked well with moving along the story, as well as giving us background sound to listen to during very important scenes. The same goes for another recent favorite of mine, Person Of Interest, that is very aware of the power of music and is very particular about the songs used in the show to emphasize the emotional value of a particular scene.

Buffy was one of the major shows in the early-1990’s that used lots of great music to accentuate an episode or really bring a scene to the forefront. Before Sarah McLachlan was more commonly associated with really sad commercials featuring abused animals (the ASPCA ads that play constantly on U.S. television during the weekends and evenings), her music was featured a few times on the show. One specific song, “Full of Grace” from the Surfacing album, played at the end of the Season Two episode “Becoming, Part 2,” and the emotional impact that it brought with it still resonates with many fans of the show to this day. You need to make a scene even sadder or more mentally devastating? Play a Sarah McLachlan song in the background.

All sarcasm aside, Joss Whedon definitely understood the power of music and really made it shine on Buffy. All the songs that are featured in an episode have a place in the scenes, and it doesn’t feel like they were just put there to have some pretty background noise to listen to. Each song is important in the storyline of that particular episode, and the feelings that we get from listening to them are real. These songs stay with us long after the episode has ended and we’ve come to recognize their importance and sometimes include them in the soundtrack of our own lives.

The nifty embedded player that I’ve added below features many of the songs that appeared on the show. It’s a showcase of some of the best underrated Alternative Rock tunes of the 1990’s and early-2000’s, and these songs still hold up very well after all these years. It’s easy to sit back, listen to them, and revisit the scenes that they were featured in.

I’ve included – separately – two very important pieces of music that aren’t featured in the playlist below. The first one is the most important of all: the show’s theme song courtesy of alt-pop-punk band Nerf Herder (extra geek points if you get the reference). The second is an original piece of music that was written for one of the beloved couples from the series: Buffy and Angel, aka Bangel. Shout-out to my fellow Bangel fans! (I’m a multi-shipper that ships all the canon and fanon couples). The most important use of that theme song came at the end of “Becoming, Part 2;” we all know what scene I’m talking about.

“Close Your Eyes (Buffy & Angel’s Theme)” by Christophe Beck

There’s some theme songs that make me curl up into a tight ball and make me cry, curled up in a corner and letting all my fangirl feelings out. This theme song is a perfect example. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of Buffy and Angel’s relationship, this is a really beautiful and haunting musical composition from series composer Christophe Beck. Starting off quietly before climaxing into a powerfully epic conclusion, “Close Your Eyes” was used most effectively in the episode “Becoming, Part 2.”

I’ve mentioned the episode several times in this retrospective. I’ve even mentioned how much that particular scene affected me. But I’ve got share it again to finally move on and cry over my other OTP’s.

Towards the end of “Becoming, Part 2,” Angelus was fighting Buffy in one hell of a ferocious battle, and he seemingly bested her at one point until she fought back. Just as she was about to defeat him and close the Hell portal that was opening from the ancient demon Acathla’s maw, Willow’s spell to restore Angel’s soul succeeded at the last minute – of course. Buffy stopped just before she ran him through with her sword, and the expression on his face… Ugh. Don’t wanna talk about it.

Anyway, the theme starts to play in the background as Buffy and Angel talk a little bit, and she professes her love for him. Then the time has arrived for Buffy to close the Hell portal using Angel’s blood (which opened it in the first place), but she can’t bring herself to do it while he’s tearfully staring at her, brooding even more than usual. She quietly (and also tearfully) asks him to close his eyes, and he obliges, before she does run her sword through him, killing the love of her life while saving the world. Sometimes ya gotta sacrifice one for the many, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Final Thoughts

I’m a bit sad that this retrospective has come to an end. While it may be the “final curtain call,” it doesn’t mean that there’s not a possibility of more posts appearing in the future. You can’t truncate Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the impact that it’s had on pop culture in general in so many words – it’s impossible. I can offer my thoughts & feelings on it and share it with the rest of the world, as well as having fellow fans speak about the impact the show has had on their own lives.

Without Buffy, I wouldn’t be here on this soil. It’s saved my life in so many ways, and I will be forever grateful to Joss for his creation. Buffy helped open the door for me creatively in a lot of ways. It also led me to the series Angel, which helped me discover my current favorite actress, who I’ve had the opportunity to meet not once, but twice, this year. I can’t mention them JUST YET because they’re going to be the focus of Sunday’s Halloween Countdown post. The only hint I’m giving is that while they are the most genuine and kindest person I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting, they’ve played some of the most morally-gray characters ever, and even a villain or two.

Thank you for taking the time in following me on this very long journey. If you have never seen an episode of Buffy yet…why are you still on this site reading this post? Go watch it now! Binge on it! You’ll thank me later for being addicted to it and adding it to your own personal list of favorite TV shows. My lovely co-writer will be adding her own thoughts on the show too, so be on the lookout for that soon.

I leave you with two videos showcasing the wondrous joy and insanity that is Buffy’s musical episode: “Once More With Feeling.” Joss arranged & produced the musical arrangements with collaborator Jesse Tobias. Fun Fact: Jesse was one of the touring guitarists for Alanis Morissette in her backing band, named Sexual Chocolate, during her major Jagged Little Pill tour after that record was released.

“Once More With Feeling” – Behind the Scenes

30 Days of Halloween! Day 4 – “Loving You Was Like Loving the Dead!” [MUSIC VIDEOS]

On this fourth day of the 30 Days of Halloween my true love gave to me: four gothy metal men, three zombie men (band leader, solo artist, horror director), two hours of repeated viewings of horror-themed Honest Trailers, and one really good Ryan Murphy-produced horror show!

The A Nightmare On Elm Street retrospective post got pushed back by a day due to time constraints. In the meantime, who doesn’t love more groovy spooky music to dance in a graveyard at night to? You also can’t really have Halloween without the sexy doomy-goth sounds of Type O Negative. One of my all-time favorite bands, a huge influence in my creative life, and a permanent fixture on Halloween party soundtracks, Type O Negative has also influenced a generation or two of metal bands who love dwelling in the shadows of the night, barking at the moon while have a wine glass (or two) of fresh human blood. Or whatever they’re into. But in all seriousness, well-established acts and up-and-comers have praised TON’s musical efforts throughout the years, and Peter Steele is as legendary as Dimebag Darrell in the modern hard rock/metal scene.

Type O Negative had a most-excellent frontman in the towering behemoth known as Peter Steele, an imposing figure in the metal world. He and his bandmates took the piss out of super-serious goth metal bands and the music while offering some of the best doom-goth metal songs to have ever been heard. I first got into TON in high school thanks to a friend who was a huge fan, and I’m forever grateful to her. I still listen to them frequently, and October is TON Month, where al I do is jam out to TON music. Sadly, while Peter Steele is no longer with us (he passed away five years ago – R.I.P.), the music that he created with his band is definitely timeless and will live on for generations.

If you walked through the hallways of my high school in the mid & late-1990’s, there were always several students wearing a TON t-shirt. There was one that I really wanted to get at a local rock t-shirt store, but I’m pretty sure I would’ve been suspended from work ‘cause it was a bit…well…racy. I’m gonna present it below, but heed the disclaimer first.

ADULT CONTENT WARNING!!!: The t-shirt below depicts a sexual act between two consenting women. It’s not very graphic, but if you’re easily offended you can skip straight to the videos. 20 years later and I still want this t-shirt. Obviously can’t wear it at work.


Semi-scandalous moment aside, throw on some candles, get on your finest gothwear, and turn down the lights as Peter Steele serenades you with his deep baritone. The music has aged quite nicely and is better than 90% of the “music” that out nowadays. One of my personal highlights is the video for the song “Love You To Death.” My favorite TON song and easily in my Top 10 of all-time favorite tunes, it’s one of the most epically badass goth metal tunes. It’s also a fine love ballad – if you’re into Music to Jam Out in My Coffin To.

The first five videos are full albums from the band. The videos after are official or commercial-use music videos.  The final video is of an appearance by Peter Steele in that classic of all television shows: The Jerry Springer Show, if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic. So enjoy and until next time, ghoulie kiddos!

Type O Negative – October Rust (Full Album)

Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses (Top Shelf Edition 2009)

Type O Negative – Life is Killing Me (Full Album Extended Edition)

Type O Negative – World Coming Down (Full Album)

Type O Negative – Dead Again (Full Album)

Type O Negative – “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)”

Type O Negative – “Christian Woman”

Type O Negative – “Love You To Death”

Type O Negative – “Cinammon Girl”

Type O Negative – “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend”

Type O Negative – “I Don’t Wanna Be Me”

Type O Negative – “Everything Dies”

Type O Negative – “Wolf Moon” (Underworld Fan Video)

Type O Negative – “September Sun”

Type O Negative – “Profit Of Doom”

BONUS! Peter Steele on the Jerry Springer Show

30 Days of Halloween! Day 3 – Creepy Sounds from a Singing Zombie [Music Videos]

It’s not Halloween without the horror-obsessed musical works of Rob Zombie blasting out from the speakers. Ya know – fun music to annoy people with. White Zombie and Rob Zombie’s solo efforts were the sounds of my teenage years, with Hellbilly Deluxe as the soundtrack to my high school years. I have many fond memories of Halloweens with Zombie’s music playing in the background, or cruising through the streets of Albuquerque at night with my friends, looking for Gates of Hell to hang out at. Yeah – we were an interesting bunch back then.

I was a bit obsessed with Rob Zombie for a couple of years but have never seen him live, and I hope to actually catch him in concert before I’m too old to be in mosh pits. Is there an age limit for moshing or walls-of-death? I’ve even thought about cosplaying as Rob Zombie for Halloween one of these years; I can totally pull it off. In the years since Hellbilly Deluxe, I’ve strayed away from his music because it started to sound too generic and bland. I’ve included newer songs and videos for the fans that do dig his newer stuff.

His cinematic works are…well… You’ll find fans who LOVE his films and others who HATE them. His celluloid dreams will be featured in a future post some day, and that probably requires me to sit through all of his films without cringing or shouting at my TV.

Halloween is a visual-and-aural holiday, and the music videos below fully capture every awesome aspect of the day. Music videos are awesome in general, and White Zombie’s and Rob Zombie’s were always cool to watch with nostalgic eyes for B-grade through Z-grade horror footage mixed in with live band footage. So sit back and crank up your speakers as you listen to Rob Zombie’s signature growl and creepy music. ROCK ON!!! \m/

There’s a lot of videos below, so you may experience some slowdown. Or you can blame it on your Internet connection and Adobe Flash. Those are good go-to’s for issues. Carry on.

F’ You White Zombie VEVO Channel: Some of the videos are censored. Like, seriously? So – the censored versions are up unless I find the uncensored videos, and then I’ll immediately post those.

White Zombie – “Thunder Kiss ‘65”

White Zombie – “More Human Than Human”

White Zombie ft. Iggy Pop – “Black Sunshine”

White Zombie – “Electric Head, Part 1 (The Agony)”

White Zombie – “Electric Head, Part 2 (The Ecstasy)”

White Zombie – “I’m Your Boogie Man” **
** KC & the Sunshine Band cover

Rob Zombie – “American Witch”

Rob Zombie – “Demonoid Phenomenon

Rob Zombie – “Meet the Creeper”

Rob Zombie – “Dragula”

Rob Zombie – “Living Dead Girl”

Rob Zombie – “Superbeast”

Rob Zombie – “Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy)”

Rob Zombie – “Feel So Numb”

Rob Zombie – “Foxy, Foxy”

Rob Zombie – “Lords of Salem”

Rob Zombie – “Return of the Phantom Stranger”

Rob Zombie – “Spookshow Baby”

Rob Zombie – “Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown”

Sylent Mari’s Music Mix [08.13.15] – #4

Wow – it’s been nine months since I last posted a Music Mix post? Geez… That’s nine months of missing out on some really great songs that I’ve been listening to non-stop on Spotify. I rarely listen to terrestrial radio anymore, although I do jam out to many of the CD’s that I still own. Yup – still like to have a physical product in my hands ’cause I’m all about cover art and lyric booklets.

This newest mix is a bit of a mellower breakdown of a variety of artists from different genres to wind down the work day, chill out and relax to over the weekend, or maybe if you’re feeling a bit creative and need some music to inspire the right side of your brain. Many of these songs are indie-based (a genre I never thought I’d dig until recently), and more than a few have been featured in television shows and film.

While I highly suggest listening to these tunes with earbuds/headphones on, you can still rock out to ’em through speakers as background ambient noise. Great for parties! Or if you’re an insomniac like me, it’s a cool playlist to fall asleep to.

If you have any future suggestions for songs or artists to check out, just give me a recommendation in the comments below. If ya got Twitter, feel free to tweet me @SylentMari.

Fear Factory – “Enhanced Reality” [Bonus Track] – Genexus

This is the newest song in both the playlist and this post; Genexus was just released this past Friday (August 7th). If you’re an FF fan and were disappointed by the so-so The Industrialist, this album is definitely worth checking out ’cause it’s a vast improvement over that last effort. This bonus track can be found on the digipak version of the album and it’s the last track, and it’s a great album closer. One of their mellower tracks that’s reminiscent of songs like “Timelessness” from Obsolete and “(Memory Imprints) Never End” from Digimortal, “Enhanced Reality” is just a beautiful ambient industrial track that’s more electronic than most of their songs. It’s one of my new favorite songs and I haven’t stopped listening to it since I first heard it. A perfect track to listen to while ending the evening on a high note.

Aquilo – “Put Me Down” – Calling Me EP

I dig Aquilo quote a bit. A mixture of dream pop & alternative R & B,  they’re a go-to for me whenever I am feeling a bit stressed out with the bazillion things I have going on in life. I just throw on some of their music, close my eyes, and imagine being anywhere else in the world. Actually – I think of their music as “I’m Already On Vacation” music. I’m physically here yet mentally on an extended vacation while listening to them. See out the rest of their music now.

Highly Suspect – “Lydia” – Mister Asylum

If you like your alterna-rock a little down-n-dirty with a small-bar feel, “Lydia” is the perfect song to jam out to. The “heaviest” track in the playlist, it’s a great rockin’ single from newer band Highly Suspect – a band that has a long career ahead of them. This is a song you play when you’ve have a house party going on or a couple of friends over and you’re relaxing outside and wanting something a bit louder to end your evening on a high note.

Adaline – “Broken Glass” – Famous for Fire

I love Adaline’s music. Her voice is simply majestic and calming, and her lyrics touch upon almost every emotion a person can feel in their lifetime. Famous for Fire is a really good album that has many songs worth listening to, and “Broken Glass” is one of my favorites from it. It’s got a driving, somewhat-grungy guitar riff that anchors the song, a groovy bassline, and great percussive work while Adaline sings her heart out. She has a new record coming up that I’m definitely looking forward to.

Other suggested tracks to listen to off of Famous for Fire: “Clean,” the title track, and “Poor You.”

Alanis Morissette – “You Owe Me Nothing in Return – Under Rug Swept

As is tradition, I always add at least one Alanis song to my music mix. This is a Top 10 favorite song for me, if not a Top 5 one. It’s held a lot of meaning to me for years since the album it’s featured on, Under Rug Swept, was released 13 years ago. It’s about giving your all to someone – whether it be a friend, significant other, or someone important in your life – and not expecting anything in return. So a selfless act of kindness that doesn’t need to be rewarded. What’s so cool about this song is that you can interpret it in different ways, but it describes my attitude towards those are in my inner-circle.This is also one of Alanis’ slower, more electronic, and lyrically fluid (the lyrics flow together smoothly) songs.

You+Me – “Break the Cycle” – rose ave.

Are you into dreamy folk pop? Do you have a quiet spot that you like to sit in and just daydream the hours away? Let this song help you drift off into a few moments of quiet and silence. You+Me is a unique musical collaboration between singers P!nk (love her) and Dallas Green (formerly of Alexisonfire/now solo – City and Colour). “Break the Cycle” is a gorgeous piece of acoustic pop that takes you away from the world for a few minutes, returning you with a smile on your face and a lightness in your heart. Their debut album, rose ave., is worth checking out and it includes a wonderful cover of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love.”

Röyskopp – Eple – Melody AM

Some instrumental electronic music to zone out too. Another new favorite of mine.

Lorde – “Yellow Flicker Beat” – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack

I haven’t seen the last Hunger Games film yet – too much too watch, not enough time to watch it all. This song is featured on the soundtrack to the first part of the Mockingjay two-parter and is one of my favorite songs from Lorde. It’s got a driving groovy melody that’s catchy and a great dance tune too, or just to chill out to. Even if you’re not a Lorde fan, it’s still worth checking out.

Jacko Hooper – “Run Away With Me” – For You EP

For fans of Ben Howard, I cannot recommend Jacko Hooper’s first EP enough. He’s a terrific songwriter with such a strong and melodic signing voice, and you can feel him singing his soul out. His lyrics deserve your undivided attention and you can easily get lost in them. He was a surprise find for me and I’m sure you’ll be as into his music as I am.

Mumford & Sons – “Believe” – Wilder Mind

I was never really a Mumford & Sons fan; they aren’t the type of musical act that I normally listen to. Lately I’ve been trying to expand my musical vocabulary by listening to a lot of indie music and the many sub-genres that fall under it, and I’ve been greatly impressed. You might’ve heard “Believe” on mainstream rock and pop stations, and for good reason: it is a most excellent song. I haven’t stopped listening to it since I first heard it.

Zella Day – “Compass” – Kicker

This was featured in the following shows: The Vampire Diaries, Season 6, Episode 9 – “I Alone” & Catfish: The TV Show, Season 4, Episode 7 – “Whitney & Bre”

“Compass” is a rainy-day song for me. It’s hard to really describe the song for me, but pay close attention to the lyrics and vocals. Another song that requires your full focused attention.

Ghost Loft – “So High” – “So High” Single

There’s a few songs in this playlist that I discovered while seeking out fan videos for my favorite featured couple from Person Of Interest: Root & Shaw (Shoot). A lot of these videos helped pique my interest (ha!) in the show, which I really didn’t get into when it first premiered; what a fool I was. But the specific songs chosen for many of them hit me in the ‘feels’ quite hard, especially if you are caught up on the evolution of Shoot from their first meeting to what awaits us in Season Five (I’m a little nervous). “So High” is a terrific song that is pretty and soulful and kinda melts your heart, too.

The xx – “Infinity” – xx

This song was featured in the following shows: 90210, Season 2, Episode 8 – “Women’s Intuition” & Person Of Interest, Season 4, Episode 7 – “Honor Among Thieves”

While the song above was featured in a Person Of Interest fan video, this one pops up in an episode of the show during a really funny & flirty scene. Shaw is undercover trying to help out Team Machine’s latest “number,” a handsome thief named Tomas, and in the middle of her intimate first date/meeting with him, Root jumps onto comms and starts teasing Shaw about her date and brings up the flirting to levels past 10. Shaw is trying her hardest to not be affected by Root – but then Root had to mention their time spent hiding out in a CIA safe house, complete with zip ties & a hood and Shaw almost falters.
The rest of the episode is really, really good.

Band Of Skulls – “Cold Sweat” – Himalayan

This song was featured in the following show: Lost Girl, Season 5, Episode 2 – “Like Hell (Pt. 2)”

I don’t want to spoil the scene(s) that this song appears in because Lost Girl is still airing, and it’s best to binge-watch the fifth season after every episode has aired. The final eight episodes of the series will premiere on Sunday, September 6th and will be eight continuous weeks ’til the series finale. All I will say of this scene is that it features two sexy scenes featuring two core female characters in different scenarios. “Cold Sweat” adds to the sexual tension in both scenes by offering a sexy ’70’s-style rock groove to the mix.

The Kills – “Future Starts Slow” – Blood Pressures

This song is featured in the following shows: Political Animals (theme song) / Grey’s Anatomy, Season 8, Episode 4 – “What Is It About Men” / CSI: NY, Season 8, Episode 6 – “Get Me Out of Here!” / The Vampire Diaries, Season 3, Episode 17 – “Break On Through” / Person Of Interest, Season 2, Episode 16 – “Relevance” / Reckless, Season 1, Episode 11 – “And So It Begins”

This is quite the popular song for TV shows and for good reason –  it’s such a kickass tune. The Kills are a newer favorite group and I first discovered their music thanks to Lost Girl, which features “Sour Cherry” in Season One (“Vexed”) and “You Don’t Own the Road” in Season 3 (“Caged Fae”). For a lot of Person Of Interest fans, this song was introduced to them in Shaw’s first episode, “Relevance.” It’s a great introductory episode to a character that doesn’t take shit, takes charge of situations, is a one-woman army, and will even flirt with danger (literally). As Shaw ends quite the chaotic day for her, the song plays as her ex-government past comes up and tries to get rid of her. Obviously that didn’t happen, and we get this song that will always be associated with Shaw.

The Kite Strings – “Arcadia” – Vessel

So, so dreamy. Oh so dreamy. A great day-beginning song.

Maria Doyle Kennedy – “How You Remind Me” – Even Better Than The Real Thing Vol. 1

How do you make a Nickelback somewhat presentable & enjoyable for people who hate their music with the burning passion of a million suns? Be a badass singer and do a badass acoustic cover of it. If the name Maria Doyle Kennedy seems familiar to you, you might recognize her best as “Siobhan Sadler/Mrs. S” on one of my favorite shows: Orphan Black. Heck, she even sang in one episode of OB towards the end of Season 3 – “Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow.” You need to seek the rest of her musical catalog immediately – she’s got so many songs to listen to, and she has a really mesmerizing & beautiful voice.

Kygo featuring Conrad Sewell – “Firestone” – “Firestone” Single

If I were to put this song under a genre, I’d stick it under indie alternative R & B dance (say that five times fast). It’s a cool song to do some moderate dancing to or bumping at a house party. That’s what the trendy people do, right?

Nothing But Thieves – “Wake Up Call” – “Wake Up Call” Single

If you like Death Cab for Cutie, The Black Keys, or Mumford & Sons, you’ll love this song. That is all.

Amber Run – “I Found” – Pilot EP

The song was featured in the following shows: Teen Wolf, Season 5, Episode 8 – “Ouroboros” & Saving Hope, Season 3, Episode 3 – “Awakenings”

This beautiful & melancholy song has been used in several fan videos for Shoot and each one that I’ve seen breaks my heart every time; that’s how I heard of it the first time and have loved it since. The song is absolutely perfect for the unconventional couple, and both videos below perfectly capture the heartbreak, the unconditional caring, and soul-crushing moments that make Shoot one of the best fandom couples ever. Amber Run has several other great tracks, but this is definitely my favorite of theirs’.

Klo – “False Calls” – Cusp EP

Another great day-ender. Funky beats and smooth vocals. You’re welcome.

Happy Anniversary! Jagged Little Pill, Demanufacture, and Post Celebrate Their 20th Birthdays

Three genre-defining albums, three nostalgic moments, three albums worth celebrating today, and three more grey hairs added to my head. If you grew up the 90’s, these albums are pieces of your childhood, and they rightly deserve a spot in music history. Alanis MorissetteBjörk, and Fear Factory each released career-defining albums that have forever cemented their place in the music world, influencing so many artists and still gaining new fans yearly who are discovering these albums for the first time.

As a tribute and “Thank you!” to these fabulous artists who have inspired me throughout the years with their music and lyrics, I’ve decided to dedicate a post to them. Welcome to the 20th Anniversary Celebration for Jagged Little Pill, Post, and Demanufacture. I’ve included the official music videos  that have been released from the albums, the full albums from Spotify, as my personal thoughts about each album.

So please enjoy this flashback to 1995, when Alternative Rock was king and we had some of the most kickass music ever. 1995 was one hell of a year for many great albums, and I will eventually be sharing many of my favorites from that year soon.


Alanis Morissette
Jagged Little Pill
Maverick Records

“You Oughta Know” official music video

When I first started writing this post it was going to be all about Alanis and Jagged Little Pill, and the word count alone would’ve rivaled my post on Root & Shaw (Shoot) from Person Of Interest as the longest post on this site. But I decided to give everyone – including myself – some breathing room and truncated my original thoughts into the paragraphs that you see below. It doesn’t mean that I might not add a small-ish post with additional thoughts about this album at a later time; the year is still young.

Speaking of Jagged Little Pill, let’s kick off this 20th anniversary post by featuring a song that changed rock music forever when it first hit the radiowaves: “You Oughta Know.” I’m going to take a wild guess and say that about six of the seven billion people that make up this world’s population have heard this song or sung it at least once in a karaoke bar somewhere. An unexpected cold shower of lyrical fury and angry guitars that surprised fans and critics, “You Oughta Know” was a song that spoke to a generation of young women (and men) that had been scorned by many a lover, and this was their anthem. I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard the song on a local alternative rock station in Dayton, Ohio back on July 13, 1995 (i.e. The Day My Life Changed Forever), and the chills that I still get listening to that song shows what incredible staying power it has had since Alanis allowed us into her musical diary. And it’s also a fun song to scream along to.

After “You Oughta Know” was released, the floodgates opened and fans couldn’t get enough of this then-unknown Canadian talent. Outside of her native Canada, most people had no clue who she was…unless you grew up watching Nickelodeon in the early 1980’s and watched a Canadian children’s variety show called You Can’t Do That On Television. While young Alanis was only on a handful of episodes, I still remember watching her on it and not really liking her at all (though I thought she was pretty cute).

Fans of all ages, genders, sexes, etc. ran out to look for Jagged Little Pill. The album was flying off the shelves and it became the biggest-selling debut record of all time – breaking a record that was formally held by Whitney Houston when her self-titled debut was released back in the 1980’s. It seemed like all your friends had the album and always had it on constant replay, burning through their CDs’ and tapes’ and having to replace them.

Out of the three albums featured here, Jagged Little Pill is the most massively successful. Before the Internet Age took over, people still went to record stores to buy albums in droves. One of those records that was purchased by millions and millions of people (33+ million) was JLP. Good luck trying to find any artist that can sell even 1/25th of that number nowadays. Or even hitting the million-sold mark.

What made Jagged Little Pill such an important album in the pop culture lexicon? It spoke to a generation of fans who thought they didn’t have anyone that understood their own anxieties, their love, their pain, and the many emotions they all faced while going through life. There was this young rocker gal who was not afraid to bare her soul & heart to us, and we devoured her music readily, joining her in her musical journey. We made them (the songs) personal to us, sang along to them, and just loved listening to them.

Jagged Little Pill also helped many female artists get noticed, and it was hard not to listen to the radio without hearing a new up-and-coming singer being played after JLP was released. There were barely any women being played on the radio or MTV then, and Alanis’ record helped bring women to the forefront. The influence was so far-reaching that I’m throwing this out there: we are starting to get even more female-driven entertainment like music, movies, TV shows, and so much more, and I think a lot of credit goes to her. Alanis herself refuses to accept that she’s influenced and inspired so many powerful females in the entertainment industry, preferring to be referred to as an influence who just joined an esteemed league of female musicians, but many have acknowledged her as being a glass ceiling breaker and huge influence for them.

There are definitely no filler tracks on JLP. Each track is personal and it’s just damn good music. From the funky opening track “All I Really Want” to the heartbreaking “Mary Jane” and mellow closer “Wake Up,” there’s a song for any fan of any genre. And no – we’re not discussing the non-ironies of “Ironic” – that horse has been put to pasture, sold off for meat, and is now residing in glue bottles. I’m pretty sure I annoyed the hell out of my neighbors by having the album on repeat today, but it’s a yearly tradition for me, and even more-so for this special occasion. My favorite tracks have changed throughout the years, but I think I’ve finally settled on a Top 3 that I really dig.

JLP is a personal record for me for too many reasons to list. It came out at a time in my life when I needed it the most, and it still holds a special place in my heart after all these years. I don’t mean to exaggerate, but this album saved my life, and I will forever be thankful to Alanis for releasing this record. I’m definitely not the only one who has been deeply affected by this record.

My Top 3 Jagged Little Pill Tracks:

1) “Forgiven”
2) “Wake Up”
3) “Mary Jane”

“Hand in My Pocket” official music video

“Ironic” official music video

“You Learn” official music video

“Head Over Feet” official music video


Elektra Records

“Army of Me” official music video

The eclectic and groundbreaking artist of the three, Björk’s music has captivated audience and critics for years with its musical unpredictability, vocal vulnerability, and the eccentric persona of the artist herself.  Björk is truly an artist that defined the 1990’s with her unique mix of trip hop, electronica, alternative, and pop, and Post is a kickass example of what makes Björk an artist worth listening to, while throwing in big band, industrial, and other genres that turn the album into a mad scientist’s ultimate mixtape.

Her third release, Post became a critical & commercial darling upon release, and what really helped push it out to the masses were her massively creative videos that garnered heavy rotation on MTV (back when they played tons of great music videos). Alternative music was at the top of the music world at the time, so you could expect to see a ton of great artists and bands throughout the day, and especially on 120 Minutes – MTV’s alternative music video show. The most recognizable and eclectic video from Post was the perfectly choreographed and smile-inducing “It’s Oh So Quiet,” a frenetic song that tons of people loved. Try to find someone who doesn’t like it or have never heard of it – you won’t find too many people. Or…at least in my generation and the previous one. Directed by Spike Jonze and filled with a fun cast of characters, you can’t help but find yourself singing & dancing along to the video.

Though I don’t have as much to say about Björk as I do Alanis or Fear Factory, it doesn’t mean that her music hasn’t touched, affected, or inspired me. Because of her uniqueness and her willingness to paint out the lines when it comes to her music, Björk is an artist to be admired for not playing by the rules. I find that inspiring. Want to color outside the lines and make art that moves you, regardless of what people say? Do it! Be quirky, be creative, be imaginative, be you. Don’t be hindered by the opinions of others. Sit back, listen, and enjoy the music that you crave. Better yet – throw some Björk into your mix. ‘Cause we all need some Björk in our lives.

My Top 3 Post Tracks:

1) “Army Of Me”
2) “Hyperballad”
3) “Isobel”

“It’s Oh So Quiet” official music video

“Isobel” official music video

“Possibly Maybe” official music video

“I Miss You” official music video

“Hyperballad” official music video


Fear Factory

Roadrunner Records

“Replica” – the only official music video from the album

If the character Samantha “Root” Groves from Person Of Interest had to choose a favorite band, Fear Factory would probably be at the top of her list. Or bottom – their music takes on technology in all its forms, creating a “Man vs. Machine” narrative that started with their debut record, Soul Of A New Machine, and continues on with their upcoming release, Genexus – which talks about “Man & Machine” evolving into one. Maybe she might dig them after all…

A sophomore release that gained critical acclaim & commercial success when it was released, Fear Factory’s Demanufacture is definitely the heaviest album out of the three. Fear Factory gained new fans with this record, which saw them take a huge departure from the sounds of their first album, Soul Of A New Machine. Where SOANM was raw, brutal, and filled with death metal riffs & drumming, deep growls & clean vocals from lead singer Burton C. Bell, and harsh industrial soundscapes, FF took a different approach with Demanufacture. The death metal riffs were replaced with cyber groovy metal riffs, the drumming became tighter and more complex, the bass became more distorted, and Bell’s vocals were cleaner yet still packed a punch on the growls.  FF’s signature sound was established with this album and is still quite evident in all of their album releases since (though some albums departed from the sound, though it was still there).

The album is seen as a groundbreaking, genre-defying effort for many reasons, bringing in both metal & non-metal fans into the fold. It is also considered an album so ahead of its time that many bands tried and failed to copy their formula, with little to no success. I can still throw it on to this day and still be taken aback by how amazing the music still sounds after all these years, and I have never bored of it either. It is one of the few albums that has no bad or “filler” tracks – each song has a place in the tracklisting for a reason. It’s an album that still sounds as amazing as it did when it was released on this day.
I got into FF in late-‘98 around the time Obsolete (my other favorite FF album) was released, but I bought Demanufacture the following year and was blown away by the production and heaviness of the record. Definitely a classic metal album that deserves all the kudos it’s received.

My Top 3 Demanufacture Tracks:

1) “Zero Signal” (samples Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
2) “Pisschrist” (samples Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
3) “Body Hammer”

For many fans, their first exposure to Fear Factory’s music and Demanufacture came from the movie Mortal Kombat. Yep, based on the video game. The song “Zero Signal” is famously heard in a badass fight sequence between Scorpion and Johnny Cage as they first square off in the middle of a forest and then make it into a hell dimension of some sort. While they square off, “Zero Signal” is the soundtrack to the mayhem as Scorpion shoots his infamous “spears” at Johnny Cage, who successfully dodges them.

“Zero Signal” is also my favorite Fear Factory for three reasons:

a) the emotional & tight vocal work from Burton C. Bell
b) the music crushes, including the insane drumming work of Raymond Herrera
c) the lyrics hold very deep meaning to me. Example: “I am down on my knees, praying beyond belief, the silence deafens my ears, and welds the shackles onto my fears.”

The song has also been featured in other soundtracks and was also featured on the soundtrack to the popular & controversial PC game Carmageddon. The instrumental version of “Zero Signal” was featured on the game’s soundtrack along with the instrumental versions of the title track and “Body Hammer” (two other badass tracks). As gamers plowed down innocent civilians as they raced through a variety of tracks, Fear Factory’s music could be heard pounding through the speakers. Well – the better to drown out the screams of people as you run them over. [insert head shaking]

RISE AGAIN From My DARKEST DAYS: New Music Spotlight [The Dreaming Edition] – 12.15.14

Once upon a time, I used to be a really dark, angsty teenager that listened to lots of dark and depressing music. Now I’m a less-dark yet bitter and more pessimistic-than-optimistic adult that still listens to the depressing music of her past, and mostly refuses to listen to anything past the 2000’s. While I may be permanently stuck in the 1990’s, it doesn’t mean that I’m not open to listening to new music – I just tend to gravitate towards the music that I found inspiring and comforting when I was growing up. And a lot of the crap played on the radio and is popular with the kids is horrible. Just terrible, I tell ya! The newer generations probably say the same thing about my musical choices. ”The Spice Girls? Seriously?!”

My middle and high school years were extremely tough ones to deal with growing up. I went to a Catholic school (four years was enough, thank you!) for my mid-school years, and those were probably the worst years of my life. High school was a little bit of an improvement, but the only good thing that came out from the years I attended were the friends I still hang out with, and the music that I listened to. The first artist that really inspired me and helped me through all of the speed bumps that life put in my way was Alanis Morissette. I can’t even tell you how many times I listened to Jagged Little Pill on tape (and later CD). The same goes for Stabbing Westward’s Wither Blister Burn + Peel (love that album title). That was the #1 album I had stolen from me the most from so-called ‘friends’ who would borrow the tape and CD from me and never return it. I’ve had to replace that album at least 4-5 times, but I guess that meant those people really dug them.

stabbing-westward1Stabbing Westward – 19-20 years ago. Christopher Hall (middle – frontman) has not aged since then.

I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog in this site that I’ve been a Stabbing Westward fan for years, and that hasn’t changed. They’re still my favorite band – I have an unfinished SW tattoo to prove it, next to my Fear Factory tattoo (another favorite band). No Alanis tattoo yet ‘cause I have too many ideas for one, and it has to be super-duper-extra special; it’s gonna be permanent after all.

Wither Blister Burn + Peel meant a lot to me growing up, and it’s one of the few records that I can throw on and not skip a single track. You can’t really say that about a lot of records nowadays – it’s a pleasant surprise when a record is that good. When their third record, Darkest Days, came out there was one song I wasn’t the biggest fan of, but the record was another one that I could throw on and chill out to. It was until their fourth and final release, the self-titled Stabbing Westward, that I found myself skipping half the songs. The musical direction on the album is such an 180-degree change that most older fans were turned off to it, including me. It’s very far removed from their familiar industrial rock sound; it’s more of an alt-pop rock sound that sounded to close to too many cookiecutter alt-pop rock bands at that time.

Yep – totally hasn’t aged much since the above picture was taken. Dude’s a vampire or something.

Stabbing Westward eventually broke up in 2002 and most of the members went on their own paths. Some continued in music while others left the music scene. For former frontman Christopher Hall, he had to keep playing the music that he felt close to his heart. Starting a new band called The Dreaming, he and a few other worthy musicians carved out their own musical career with a few EP’s and two full-length releases: the debut record Etched in Blood and the follow-up, Puppet. Both albums gained them new fans, but the band went through many line-up changes (something Stabbing Westward went through quite a bit throughout their own career).

The Dreaming’s line-up has since stabilized with two original members returning, and a new member added to the mix bringing his familiar keyboard sounds and programming: former Stabbing Westward keyboarding/programmer Walter Flakus. With Chris and Walter back together again, it was inevitable that the music would have some of their former band’s sound. The first single off of the band’s upcoming Metropolis Records release, Rise Again (out in February 2015), is a great mixture of both old and new. Stabbing Westward/The Dreaming fans will find lots to love about this song, which combines the best element of both bands. The lyrics are very reminiscent of old school SW (circa Ungod), and the music is an even mix of the newer Dreaming sound with SW familiarity. Check out the first single “Alone”:

Totally sounds like older SW. The Dreaming also released an official video for “Alone” that’s pretty cool. It’s very minimalist in its concept but it’s got cool still shots, band footage, and it’s shot in black-and-white. Can’t go wrong with any of those elements.

I’m excited for this record. Umm… My young teenage angsty self is totally stoked for this record, but my current-angry adult self will happily buy it when it’s released and play it beyond comfortable listening levels, i.e. as loud as possible.