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SamHall [profile] has recommended 4 tracks.
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Threshold Of Transformation  performed by Isis  2009
Composed by Isis

The 9:52 long track immediately blasts you off your feet with a ethereally heavy series of riffs and Aaron Turner's rough vocals. Keeping it interesting, the structure continues to evolve, and drifts downward into a more dreamy movement which stays dense and builds the tension for the following verses. About halfway in, the song reaches the first climax that (I think) embodies the "Threshold" in the song title. After which, it moves into a more contemplative section, smoothing out the turmoil and tension brought on by the first half, while building its own. Beautifully, it succeeds in building yet another crescendo, only to end in free fall, with guitar and bass fantastically accenting the mood. The bass in this song is truly something to behold, wavering and powerful in its tone.

What I like about this song reflects on why I like Isis' music in general: it's complex, atmospheric, emotional, intricate, and smart. It truly is "thinking man's metal." Isis is all about themes and atmospheres, emotions and vibes, rather than clear ideas and lyrics. It's visceral, raw, and transcendent. And in some ways, I think this song embodies everything that makes them great.

from Wavering Radiant (Ipecac Records IPC-113), available on CD

Sevengill (Notorynchus cepedianus)  performed by Giant Squid  2009
Composed by Giant Squid

The song really portrays the heartbreak of the character, and the murky, unforgiving sea which he has committed to. You can almost see and hear the ocean, and feel the main character as he reflects upon what he's become and what he's lost. The instrumentation is spot on. Like any good post-metal group, every instrument has its say, and everything's beautifully balanced.

There's movement in the song where the main character and his former lover exchange words, presumably over a distance, where the torment and pain of the situation is palpable. The song, and the album's concept in general, really hits my soft spot for stories of pain and failure, and the proverbial fall from grace. It also invokes great imagery.

from The Ichthyologist, available on CD

Lights In The Sky  performed by Nine Inch Nails  2008
Composed by Trent Reznor

You can't go wrong with NIN, and you certainly can't go wrong with NIN and a piano.

The soft piano element and Trent Reznor's voice make for a beautiful combination, underscoring a melancholy contemplation of self. The song, like much of the album, is a very reflective examination of Reznor in his older years. I think it's powerful stuff, especially when the song trails off into the rhythmless void of "Corona Radiata."

from The Slip, available on CD

Land Of Sunshine  performed by Faith No More  1992
Composed by Faith No More

The song is heavy, complex enough to be interesting, and simple enough to headbang. The bass is particularly awesome, with slap accents throughout. Not to mention Mike Patton's legendary vocals. The song seems to be about losing your mind as you grow older. It clearly has something to do with going mad, with Patton's screaming and laughing in the background between verses.

I really like this song for the punchy rhythm in bass(accompanied fantastically with the guitar, drums, and Bottum's carnival-like keyboard), and Patton's variance in vocal styles throughout.

from Angel Dust, available on CD

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