AngelofDeath
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A Journey Through Music

I guess maybe I'm just a visual person, but a lot of my favorite albums are ones that conjure up vivid imagery and take me to a certain place and/or time. These are ten of my favorite albums and where they take me when I put them on and slip away.
1Opeth
Ghost Reveries


This is probably my favorite album of all time. It does all three things perfectly that I consider great music should do. Telling a story, painting a picture, and conveying emotion. Akerfeldt takes me on this journey through a Victorian wonderland. All I can see when I hear Ghost Reveries is the wonderful gothic architecture and furnishings. Then when presented in the context of the story, it truly is haunting in a very unique way that's both romantic and ethereal.
2Agalloch
Ashes Against the Grain


Most of you know how powerful this album is. It's like a spirtual experience for me hearing it. This redefines the idea of storytelling through the medium of music. Agalloch rely on little vocal and lyrical presence and let the music sculpt the images and events. Ashes places me amidst the beauty of the wooded mountainside. It is presented so magnificently as a bastion and a refuge. Then it becomes under seige. Fire has been set to your wonderous home and citadel. You literally feel the contempt as John cries out "The god of man is a failure." No other moment in music have I felt so forsaken and alone. Then with the ambient track, it all sinks in. The devistation. The ruin. Everything is gone. Everything is lost.
3Darkspace
Dark Space III


They put the idea forth with their name and image, but they most definately deliver with their music. No other band I've come across gives off that spacey vibe like Darkspace. Truly epic atmospheric black metal. All the most beautiful images of the cosmos collide when I hear this album. I get the sense I'm floating through the unimaginable vastness of space, being witness to the beauty of all the stars, nebulas, and black holes. Nothing makes you feel more insignificant. It's like the soundtrack to string theory.
4Paysage d'Hiver
Paysage d'Hiver


So there's like a blizzard. An evil blizzard. That raw-ass production makes me feel like I am in the kvltest snowstorm imaginable. Wintherr manages to capture the desolation of beauty of an icy netherworld. And I love being a part of it.
5Yes
Close to the Edge


What an immense album. In my books, this is THE definitive prog rock album. It always brings me a certain joy hearing it. I can't help but drift away to the serene and mystical landscapes Roger Dean has drempt up and associated with band's magical music. Close to the Edge perhaps best relates to the surreal worlds he's created through his craft and those that have been inspired by it (the sky world in Chrono Trigger and the world of Avatar come to mind). Floating islands, magnificent flying machines, and boundless supernatural structures are my playground, and Yes' wonderful music brings about a peace that is hard to describe.
6Baroness
Blue Record


A lot of bands call themselves "southern metal." Baroness really is, because they take me there every time I listen to them. The Blue Record calls to mind my annual trips to Savannah and the wonder they brought. It's such a beautiful city with the immense population of centuries-old oak trees draped with Spanish moss. The Blue Record invokes that beauty of the south: the mountains, the lakes, the swamps, the marshes - all of it.
7Summoning
Oath Bound


Summoning make some epic medieval-inspired black metal, that's for damn sure. And I find this to be the shining jewel among their legacy. I picture myself as the great Witch King of Angmar flying high atop my winged beast in search of the ring bearer. I lead hordes of creatures into battle for sake of throwing Middle-Earth once again into an age of unfathomable darkness. Thoughts of Mordor and the halls of Minis Morgul fill my imagination. With Oath Bound's triumphant music, I get the sense that the Return of the King should have had a very different ending...
8Elysian Blaze
Levitating the Carnal


Elysian Blaze is a truly fantastic one-man blackened funeral doom outfit. This album is a diverse exercise in what dispair can really sound like. I get the feeling I'm wandering through the halls of some ancient, elaborate building, unlocking its myseries and beholding its vastness and beauty while contemplating the doom the awaits us all. I find a secret underground passage leading to the Catacombs and witness the horrors of the plague through the cobwebbed skeletal remains that litter every nook and cranny of the eerie maze of tunnels.
9Mayhem
Ordo ad Chao


As I've pointed out in my review, this is such an underrated (or perhaps a misunderstood) album. It's has such a rich and really purely evil atmosphere. Mayhem's own unique approach to dissonant black metal is quite a remarkable one, made especially so by Attila's amazing vocal performance. He's constantly mixing it up and just sounding crazy and evil as fuck. I really feel like I'm in some old torture chamber somewhere with Hellhammer's bludgeoning drumming and Blasphemer's intense tremolo picking acting as sensory deprivation. Attila's vocals and lyrics creep into my ears, making me fear for my very life. I can almost smell the blood and sweat of his past victims.
10Ensiferum
Ensiferum


Jari is, in my opinion, one of the greatest melody writers of all time. The melodies and layers of sounds on Ensiferum's debut put me in the shoes of a great viking warrior. I lead my men through mountains and caves and fjords and rivers. Odin is at my side as I charge into battle, and there is no chance of defeat.
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