|ZORN Past Decade Ranked|
John Zorn is one of the most prolific songwriter/composers, releasing about 50 albums in just the past 10 years. There's a lot of different genres and music to sift through so I thought I'd rank my 20 favorite records of the past decade in Zorn's hefty catalog. I provided some insight on my top 10 and links to listen to the music via YouTube. Enjoy! Let's talk all things Zorn:
Hen To Pan
The Interpretation of Dreams
The Garden of Earthly Delights
At the Gates of Paradise
While still providing some movements of ominous mystery, as a whole "At the Gates of Paradise" is a more laid back Zorn release and will be comparable to several of the albums in the 11-20 spots, which are much more melodic and "listenable", so these might be the Zorn releases you should check out if you're looking for more relaxed, studying-esque music.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E--XS7erJHc
The Painted Bird
"The Painted Bird" is an absolute fever dream of Fripp riffs and otherworldly piano. Each composition is around 3 minutes, making this more digestible than a lot of his work.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-tO38zp03w
As the title suggests, the listener is pitied against the very depths of Hell in this Simulacrum release. Symphonic jazz and wild, hellish riffs abound in this behemoth.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvu2H-OYE_M&t=492s
A heavy prog-rock album for fans of "Red"-era King Crimson. Some truly great surprises throughout the album.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNtTL2SKpr8
A psychedelic romp with groovy and melodic songwriting that will keep you engaged for the entire LP.
The project's eponymous record was incredibly fresh for Zorn's music at the time and found him returning to heavy, more mathcore-esque compositions that he previously wrote in the 90s.
True Discoveries of Witches & Demons
Simulacrum's second release finds the band creating just as much manic, catchy energy (akin to Naked City) as they do pure pandemonium.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1NF963ESfI&t=209s
A modern progressive rock album of cosmic proportions. Truly a fulfilling record from beginning to end with a satisfying conclusion.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSEuMTWLaRA
49 Acts of Unspeakable Depravity in the Abomina...
One group Zorn's formed over the past several years is Simulacrum, which often plays heavy, chaotic metal music, but can often deviate into a variety of different forms. "49 Acts..." sees this group at it's peak of performance and Zorn's compositions. Also worth noting the group just put out a live album, "Beyond Good and Evil", which is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy this type of music.
Full Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qRU5iQKNY8&t=1745s
Masada Book 3—The Book Beri'ah
The Circle Maker or Bar Khokba of the 21st century. Featuring 11 discs which each feature a unique group of artists and musicians making "radical jewish music" that ranges from classical pieces, avant-garde freakouts and extreme metal stylings. A dense, celebratory work that finishes off his "Masada" series that started about 25 years ago. There's a convenient "Highlights" sampler that features a track from each disc: