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Last Active 10-29-19 6:36 pm
Joined 08-01-03

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08.13.19 16 Years of Sputnik / mx 09.19.13 10 Years Of Sputnik/mx
04.27.11 2011 Metal Recs?04.12.11 Thrash Digs
02.08.11 Melodeath 12.18.10 Top 10 Of 2010

16 Years of Sputnik / mx

I wasn't going to do one of these, 16 is a weird year and I obviously didn't do 15 last year, but some of the albums out right now have me waxing nostalgic about being a young kid discovering music on here ages ago. Even when I made the 10 year list, most of the people I interacted with from the forums are gone, and now pretty much everyone is long gone. There are obviously the long time, prolific, regulars that I recognize and who I look to for indications as to whether or not I might like an album. Even though I mainly lurk, I've been coming back here every few days for pretty much 16 entire years to look for new albums I might not have heard of. In that time, I've gone from being a teenager just learning the guitar, to putting out a couple of albums of my own, to going to college, to now being a professional and having an amazing family of my own. So, while I sit here watching the newborn, I thought I'd put together this list to express my gratitude to the community for all the value its added to my life over the years. List is random albums I have some memory about related to this website or my musical growth in general.
1Pearl Jam

This album is one of the first musical memories I have growing up. When I was five or six, I would play street hockey with the neighbor living across the street of the same age. His dad would always be in the garage working on various projects but would always have this album playing. He would never get tired of telling us that this album was a classic, the best thing ever, and that he couldn't wait for us to grow up and appreciate it over whatever kids music we probably listened to at the time.
White Pony

This was the album that really started it all for me. Being a kid through the grunge era, if not for this album I never would have made the move to heavier music. I remember I rented it at random from the public library, along with some other albums like Silverchair's Neon Ballroom. At the time, I was too young to appreciate what the album was about, and rightfully so. My favorites were the more aggressive tunes - Elite, Street Carp, Korea. As I grew up, my understanding and appreciation of this album grew with me. It still stands up as one of my all time favorites.
3Drowning Pool

I actually joined mxtabs to post a guitar tab for the song Follow off of this album. Other than a 1 or 2 month span, this album was never really important to me, but it did randomly bring me to this website. I remember my guitar teacher at the time had assigned it to me as an ear training exercise to transcribe the song. I think I heard it initially on a video game - maybe THPS? Anyways it was before powertab or guitar pro were really popular so it was one of those shitty plain text tabs that I made with a free program called InsTab I believe, where you have to listen to the song while reading it to understand the rhythm.
4Killswitch Engage
Alive or Just Breathing

At the time I joined mx, the internet was still wasting its collective time arguing about whether or not nu metal was really metal and whether or not any nu metal albums were worth saving from the garbage heap of history. Within a week or two of joining the forums, someone introduced me to this album, and it just blew me away. I remember immediately buying all of this band's peer's albums, like Lamb of God, Unearth, Shadows Fall, ATR, etc. Those bands remained among my favorites for 2-3 years, and I still have the albums somewhere. I remember getting to see a lot of those bands live at the inaugral Sounds of the Underground Tour (in 2005?), where I remember Lamb of God in particular closed it out in electric fashion.
5Al di Meola/John McLaughlin/Paco de Lucia
Friday Night in San Francisco

I remember there were a couple of guys on the forums who were just obssesed with John Mclaughlin, and spent months on end arguing with legion of metal fans on the boards about how this album was better than all of their favorites. They were probably right, this is amazing. I spent weeks as a teenager learning Mediterranean Sundance. Still a favorite to go back to.
6Michael Angelo Batio
Hands Without Shadows

Another thing I remember is mx and the internet in general arguing incessantly about the merits (or lack thereof) of "shred" artists. There were some guys who put up a video series called "Born to Shred" which I believe birthed the meme "speed = emotion". Looking back, I never listen to this pure guitar wankery type stuff anymore but I spent months learning as much of "Speed Kills" as I could. I spent a lot of time trying to learn Yngwie's "Black Star" and "Far Beyond the Sun", DT's "Stream of Consciousness" as well as the tapping parts from Symphony X's "Sea of Lies". Good times.
7Greg Howe

Not mx related, but I used to post on the Ultimate Metal and Ultimate Guitar forums as well. I remember arguing with Christian Muenzer about whether or not this album or Uncertain Terms was better. He favored Parallax. In fact, I think he even transcribed the album and posted it later on. Turns out he went on to star in Necrophagist and Obscura, so I guess he really did know what he was talking about. He left Necrophagist quickly though, so when I saw them at Summer Slaughter 07 he was already no longer with the group.
Blackwater Park

This is another album that I had never heard until I joined the forums. I think Deliverance/Damnation had recently come out when I joined, and Opeth was quite popular online. Someone took pity on my pleb tastes and referred this album to me. Again, I didn't understand all of the depth it had to offer initially, but was still totally blown away by the songcraft. This is another one that has continued to grow with me as I've discovered more and more layers to it over time. Still my all time favorite album.
9Morbid Angel
Altars of Madness

I first heard this album after someone posted a link to a torrent for it in the Death Heads thread that existed on the forum for a long time. It was actually the first death metal album I'd ever heard. I didn't love it at first, but came to appreciate it for the classic that it is a couple of years later. I remember at the time, getting albums was a real mixed bag. There were some big torrent sites, like Kerrazy, but lesser known albums rarely had seeds and you usually had to beg someone. I started using Soulseek a lot around 2003, but given poor file labeling you'd sometimes get the wrong album. It was still a lifesaver though. I remember Ramsay and a few other forum members and I tried to exchange albums ripped from CDs over AIM which would become a problem with poor internet speeds and early copy protection that would sometimes make the rips useless. Later, the blogosphere that came up around mediafire/megaupload links was awesome, and the source of many great discoveries.
10Begrime Exemious
Impending Funeral of Man

These guys were local heroes and a band I really looked up to growing up. Big influence on my expansion into more extreme forms of metal.
Slaughter in the Vatican

I remember being pretty down on thrash for a long time, but was introduced to some real gems I had never heard before on this website. I believe it was AngelOfDeath who rec'd this to me. When I first joined, the internet still spent a lot of time talking about the big 4 thrash bands and their various merits. There were certain albums that built up huge hype trains, like "Darkness Descends" which was held up as an example of far superior thrash. I like that album, but it used to be absurd the lengths to which people would talk about how all Slayer/Megadeath albums were just garbage in comparison. Groupthink in action I guess.
12Lykathea Aflame

This was another album with an unstoppable hype train, now mostly forgotten. I remember trying to convince myself it was some ingenious piece of work as a younger teenager, trying to tell myself that surely all of the people recommending this to me can't be wrong. That particular phenomenon happened a bunch of times, like with Orphaned Land for example. More groupthink in action I guess. I don't mind Elvenefris even now, but IMO its not the classic it was cracked out to be.
Ember to Inferno

I remember I used to really love this album, and when they put out their demo/EP/whatever on roadrunner I was ridiculously hyped. I used to hang out on their forums a lot, and was a moderater there briefly in like 04/05. Had some conversations with the producer, Jason Suecof, who used to post there as well and was a truly bizarre character. I had hoped to pick his brain for information on becoming a better musician but never got anywhere. Weird how in the era of ubiquitous wifi and constant connectivity and social media the internet actually feels less personal now than it did before. There were countless artists and producers that used to post and directly interact with us fans one on one on Ultimate Metal and other forums, and that's been mostly lost to the more broadcasting/publishing style of fan interaction we see now through youtube or insta.
Hvis lyset tar oss

Much later than most of these memories, I already had been introduced to and loved most of the second wave classics. Someone on this website though referred me to an interesting book, "The Slayer Mag Diaries" by a friend of Euronymous and Varg who used to publish Slayer mag. I generally hate books about metal, and about black metal in particular, but this one was a gem. There were about 200 pages talking about the author's recollection of the events that transpired with Dead, Euronymous, Varg, Faust, the church burnings etc. in a pretty matter of fact way. More interesting, you kind of see how random it was that local subgenres used to come together, and how much more difficult it is in the era of infinite connectivity to create something really unique. You get insight into how these guys use to travel around Europe meeting other like minded metalheads and being exposed to new stuff, and how they would trade tapes with people from North and South America by mail.
Nattens Madrigal

In continuation of the above, the book also includes a reproduction of the pages over every issue of Slayer Mag which gives really cool insight into the scene as it was growing. There are interviews with Quorthon and many other notable figures. One of the funniest is one with Garm after Ulver had dropped metal, where he talked about Black Metal being for lonely, smelly virgins or some such.
16Protest the Hero

I remember when rasp made an alt to post a negative review of this album, and the absolute hilarity that ensued on here. Some of the most entertaining times on the site were similar battles with characters like MJ who would come on here and write negative reveiws of some of the community's favored albums. I stayed out of all of that stuff, but it made for hilarious reading while pretending to pay attention in school/at work.
Graveforests And Their Shadows

I'm tired of writing, the baby is waking up, and this is already getting too long and boring without even broaching memories from the last 10+ years, so for the last four albums I'm just going to post a few favorites that I was introduced to by the community here. Thank you all for doing what you do, discussing music on here, trolling each other, reviewing, rating, whatever, because its all been a big part of my personal journey through music.
Into the Halls of the Blind
Like a Blaze Above the Ashes
20Sun of the Blind
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