|Albums With Great Pacing/Structure|
Recommended your favorite examples if album pacing below
|1||Echo and The Bunnymen|
An album that begins very ominous and uncomfortable that turns whimsical and beautiful in the second half.
Fetch The Bolt Cutters
Starts off gentle, then slowly grows more aggrieved, then drops an incredibly morbid bombshell, then finishes feeling more confident than before.
|3||Faith No More|
A descent into madness that starts off unhinged with “Land of Sunshine” and gets more deranged and playful as it goes along, climaxing with the harrowing “Jizzlobber” followed by their serene cover of “Midnight Cowboy”.
Child Soldier: Creator of God
This album would be nowhere near as cohesive as it is without its sequencing. Follow along with the lyrics, there’s a story being told.
It Is What It Is
Drunk was a long and sprawling odyssey that cycled through many moods, and It Is What It Is takes that entire album and refines to its most important elements. Still really impressed with how much this album accomplishes in just over 30 minutes.
From Wisdom to Hate
Incredibly smooth ebb and flow. I always loved how drastic the tempo change from The Quest for Equilibrium to Unearthing the Past is.
It always amazes me how fast this album flies by. When it came out, I listened to the entire album six times in a week. I’ve never done that with any album before, I usually let an album sit within my mind for a bit before I give it a relisten. The entire album flows so well and the way it transitions from song to song is so seamless. Whenever I pick a song to listen to off Underneath I listen to the rest of the album after it.
Spiderland’s pacing curves in an interesting way, it’s like one big valley with two peaks on each end. It starts off genuinely romantic with “Breadcrumb Trail”, then gets tense with “Nosferatu Man”. The middle is much more spaced out, until “Good Morning, Captain” awakens with a more energetic and haunting closer.
Ritual De Lo Habitual
1st half is dedicated to debauchery and living life to the fullest, 2nd half is the cruel morning after. A masterwork in abrupt tonal shifts.
It takes great skill to create a 70 minute album and not have it drag, especially compared to other hour plus albums of the CD era.
Down on the Upside
Where singles are placed in an album can indicate what the album is like without listening to it. All of Down on the Upsides singles are in the front half of the album. This could either mean two things: the back half is either chocked full of filler or full of songs that are too weird to be singles. Thankfully it’s the latter, and it gives the album the feeling of going on a voyage that gets more bizarre and undefinable as it goes along.
The absolute genius move of following a 12 minute behemoth of a song with “Chaoplasm”, the catchiest song on the album. After that is more prog goodness with “Vitrification of Blood, Pt 2”, followed by a moody instrumental, then capping it off with one final dose of catchy death metal goodness. Very much takes after Rush in terms of structure.
For a 70s prog album, it’s impressive how economical Hemispheres is. One long ass track in the beginning, followed by the two singles, then ends on instrumental “La Villa Strangiato”. It takes a special level of skill to make an album feel expansive and grand while also feeling that the album only contains the bare essentials.
What Passes for Survival
Weird pacing does not mean it’s bad. Starts off with three of the most pissed off skronkfests I’ve ever heard, then gets moody with “Tennessee”, goes back to skronk with “Trash Talk Landfill”, which is followed by an improvised piece cut up into two minute chunks, which is then contrasted by the twelve minute “Empty Tenement Spirit”. I think why I appreciate this band so much is how willing they are to not follow standard ideas of album structure. If the music is not gonna follow any conventional idea of what metal is, why should the pacing?
Any excuse I can get to talk about this album I’ll take it. The pacing to Abscess Time is kind of unnerving. The first half is comprised of 5-8 minute tracks while the second half is comprised of 2-4 minute tracks, with the exception being the 8 minute “Rat King Lifecycle” as the finale. On the back of the vinyl, each side is divided into Past, Present, Future, and Eternity, with Eternity representing the vinyl’s hidden track. “The Lean Years” is located in the past section, which features lyrics about a resource abundant past. The run from “Cornered Animal” to “Rat King Lifecycle” at the end of the album presents a great arc; it sounds brittle and maimed but still aggressive, making the the latter song feel earned. As a result it makes the album feel like a beast whose front half is suffocatingly obese and whose back half is gaunt and shriveled. This is the rare album that incorporates its pacing to convey its themes.
The End of Silence
Kind of the inverse of Abscess Time in that it puts the longer songs towards the end, to where 2 out of 3 of the final tracks are 10+ min in length, making a band with an already huge sound seem even more gargantuan.
Enemy of the Sun
An album about reverting to primal instincts, until all that’s left to do is to bash on some drums.
Starts off depressing and gets drearier as it goes along, until “Third World Man” practically begs for death.
|20||Tropical Fuck Storm|
A Laughing Death in Meatspace
“Odd sequencing, and makes it feel like even the music is telling a story. Inspired shit” - Porcupinetheater
|21||System of a Down|
System of a Down
“All of System of a Down's albums seem to be perfectly paced. They all just get to the point in 45 minutes or less.” - JKing92
“The pacing is cool and the last song is nice 10 min of chill.” - AnimalsAsSummit
“has the best so bad it's good pacing ever” - JohnnyoftheWell
The Always Open Mouth
“Easily one of the most well-rounded albums ive ever heard, even if i dont like every bit of it. The flow is buttery-smooth, perfect length, and every song is a wholly different experience without deviating from a central sound” - LeddSledd
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
“They spent a lot of time on the track order, and were able to properly get all those different styles of songs to flow together.” - Masochist
No One Rides for Free
“has the gold standard of breezy pacing. Kicks in at the verse, no intro, no time wasted. Every riff and idea is given just enough room to breathe, but they are also pretty similar in general so they flow together superbly. If you're not paying attention, you might not even get that tracks have changed. The album is so focused too, later Fu Manchu did tend to drag a bit. Free And Easy as the breather song in the middle is also perfect. Snakebellies as the crescendo in the end ties it all together.” - kkarron
The Machine Is Burning...
“each track has something different to offer.” - Prancer
“so immersive it doesn't feel like it's an hour long“ - Prancer
“tells a story of a girl trying to escape a dystopian city.” - Prancer
“Blistering fury from the opening seconds, throws in a bunch of experimentation along the way, before building to a hugely cathartic climax at the end.” - SAPoodle
|31||Neutral Milk Hotel|
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
“It tells you this bizarre story that you just feel like you can understand but can't really, and the tracklisting is just perfect, again culminating in a cathartic closing track. Beautiful.” - SAPoodle
|32||Rivers of Nihil|
Where Owls Know My Name
“There’s a cohesiveness throughout that is achieved with pacing and tastefully deployed prog experimentation. Somehow incorporates sax sparingly enough that these moments don’t feel forced and maintain genuine impact. The turn halfway through with Subtle Change as the spacey prog centerpiece flanked by catchy tech death bangers. The moody closer leaving you with a melodic and atmospheric vibe that also hits you with one of the more memorable screams in IT’S A PALE FACADE!!” - Inoculated
To Pimp a Butterfly
"Surprised not to see any Kendrick Lamar" - Trebor.
"did someone say donuts? I pick donuts" - GhandhiLion, Ryus