Tuesday, April 3, 2007

MELLOW METAL AND UNIMAGINABLE PAIN

That whole Grim/Dimebag thing got me thinking about how heavy metal isn't all screaming, growling, and destroying your eardrums. In light of this, I found a few examples of metal and hard rock bands getting downright cuddly.

But first...

I've had some pretty nasty injuries in my time. Had a chunk taken out of my shin after a failed attempt to Evel Kinevel a six-foot tall mulch pile; had my nose broken in a drunken backyard boxing match; had my shoulder dislocated and fractured in a four-wheeler accident (which has a morbidly funny story attached to it) and subsequently dislocated it several more times. And, once, when I was trying to flip an open knife in the air and catch it, I got distracted for a half-second and found said knife sticking out of my hand.

Something that came close to topping the list happened to me last night. I was eating a piece of pizza and I bit my tongue. And not like a little nip that raises an ulcer and is uncomfortable for a few days.

I bit clean the fuck through the edge of my tongue.

If I hadn't had a piece of pizza in my mouth, I would've screamed like some buxom chick in a Hammer flick.

My tongue somehow got caught by my first molar, the one sharp one, and since my sharp molar is, apparently, Nosferatu sharp, I now have a quarter of an inch deep slice on the edge of my tongue all the way through. It bled for ten minutes straight and prevented me from eating anything for the rest of the night.

It's swollen as all Hell today and I have to take very careful bites, but it doesn't hurt so much. At least tongues tend to heal quickly.

Now, dim the lights, find a comfy chair, close your eyes, and prepare to chill...

Opeth - "Windowpane" (From "Damnation")

Though Opeth considers themselves a "death metal" band, they're more than capable of getting iinto a lighter Groove.

In fact, one of their albums, "Damnation," was written and engineered to be a completely mellow experience. The opening track, "Windowpane," is a gorgeous, flowing, almost hypnotic track. This
video has the song set to the beginning of "The Passion of the Christ" (which is oddly amusing), and I'm only offering it so everyone can get a taste...

Opeth - "Atonement" (From "Ghost Reveries")

Opeth's latest album has some of the darker, meaner metal they've ever created and, conversely, some of their prettiest melodies. This isn't a
video, but the song is worth the time.

Porcupine Tree - "Lazarus" (From "Deadwing")

Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson (who produced several Opeth albums) is more hard rock than straight-up metal, but he's been known to lay down some heavy riffs (like the break-down in "Blackest Eyes") in the appropriate situation. He can also annihilate a rock ballad.

I had found an actual video of "Lazarus" a few weeks back but, for some reason, I can't hunt it down at the time. Someone made a fan
video of the TV show "NCIS" (never watched it) with "Lazarus" as background, so just go ahead and load it up then ignore the visual aspect.

Porcupine Tree - "Trains" (From "In Absentia")

This live performance of
"Trains" is just as good as the album version. Don't you love it when that happens?

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