Author: dev88

Metal Tuesday – Brother’s Choice – Samael/Xytras – Passage

Derek Note – Since it’s The Brother’s birthday week, I let him choose the music.

This year I bring you not one song, not two songs, but two full albums… kinda.

Samael is a band that has changed a lot over the years. They started as straight-up black metal before moving into a more electronic/industrial metal.

The mid-point between these two styles was 1996’s Passage – one of my favorite albums and an amazing work:

In 1997, Xy (Samael’s keyboards/drum machine artist) did a side project called Xytras where he redid the entire Passage album as piano and syths. It is a wonderful conversion and well worth a listen even if you do not care for the heaviness of Passage.

Metal Tuesday – Brother’s Choice – Top Albums 2021

Derek: Since this is the last Metal Tuesday of the year, once again I’ve asked The Brother to come on and give his top albums of the year. As most of you know, his tastes in metal are both similar and different than me. Enjoy!

2021 Top Albums

Overall, I would say I overall liked this year’s crop of music better than last year’s, but not to the degree of 2019 (which was really just an amazing year). New bands I came across and really liked this year were Nahtram (instrumental folk-black metal) and Stortregn (melodic tech death)

Top Album

In Mourning - The Bleeding Veil

In Mourning – The Bleeding Veil

It took me a few spins to really get into this album. The last In Mourning album that took a while for me to “get” was The Weight of Oceans and that has become my favorite In Mourning album – so there is a lot of hope that The Bleeding Veil continues to get better (and I already really like it). This album sees In Mourning play with the more progressive elements of their sound, but still really bring the hammer when its time.


It was a pretty good year for death (and related extreme) metal. I had to cut a lot of good albums to get to this list of five. Like last year, these are in alphabetical order.

Alluvian - Sarcoma
Be'Lakor - Coherence
Harakiri for the Sky - Maere
Omnium Gatherum
Stortgregn - Impermanence
Valtari - Titans Call

No Death

In the realm of “everything else” there was a great crop this year. I really liked a lot of instrumental rock and shred. And post rock. Really, just a lot of great music.

For Giants - There, There
Gemini Syndrome - 3rd Degree, the Raising
God is an Astronaut - Ghost Tapes \#10
Nahtram - Forest of Eternal Dawn
Trivium - In the Court of the Dragon
Paul Wardingham - Cybergenesis


Not as many EPs this year, but these three are great.

Ehrling - Gime Me Summer, Pt. 2
Empires of Light - How to Build a Monolith
Insomnium - Argent Moon

Metal Tuesday – 2020 Top Albums

> I’ve asked The Brother to do another year in review.

Gonna be honest, this year there was a lot of good music, but nothing really caught me and kept me coming back to it over and over again. Still some excellent music, though.

Album of the Year

Ehrling cover

Ehrling – Tropical Confessions 5

My Album of the Year is an EP from an artist I discovered this year through a Minecraft YouTuber who uses it during building timelapses.

The Heavy Stuff

There was good music this year, despite nothing really hijacking my brain. Here is the heavier stuff I got my groove on to. These are listed in alphabetical order. I care not for ranking!

Dark Tranquillity cover
Fires in the Distance cover
Noumena cover
Slow Fall cover
Ulcerate cover

No Death

And in the more rocking, but slightly less aggressive cohort, we have the following.

10 Years cover
Amaranthe cover
Garmarna cover
Andy James cover
Katatonia cover


There were other excellent EPs besides my Album of the Year and I really recommend them. They are all pretty heavy.

Dawn of Dissolution cover
Hinayana cover
Soilwork cover

Metal Tuesday – Brother’s Choice – Online Concerts

In this age of lockdown, there are a lot of bands doing online concerts. Though you need to buy a ticket for some, some bands are doing theirs for free and hoping for donations.

One of my favorite bands is Disillusion, and they did a free concert a couple of weeks ago and have also released it on YouTube:

I have also purchased tickets to another show (Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum) and am looking forward to buying more if I hear of more bands I am interested in.

Check in on artist you like and see if they are doing the same. If you can afford it kick them some cash – either through Patreon or other channels (buy some of their music on Bandcamp or merchandise).

With everything closed down, we still need to support the arts if we can.

Metal Tuesday – 2019 Top Albums

Editor’s Comments:

For the end of the year, I have asked The Brother to compile his favorites for 2019. As you can see, his tastes run a little bit different than mine.

Again, I bring lists of musics for everyone to enjoy. This year I have tried to supply Bandcamp links where possible so you can listen to each album. In the case that the album is not on Bandcamp I have provided a link to Apple Music (because that’s what I use).

Album of the Year

Disillusion cover

Disillusion – The Liberation

I love Disillusion. Their album Back to Times of Splendor is one of my favorite albums of all time and The Liberation sits right up there as well. I am elated that after a long hiatus, Disillusion return with an amazing album.

The Heavy Stuff

Lots of death metal here… pretty much all forms of death metal, really. I like death metal.

Soilwork cover
Insomnium cover
In Mourning cover
Damnation Defaced cover
Whitechapel cover

  1. Soilwork – VerklighetenMelodic Death Metal
  2. Insomnium – Heart Like a GraveMelodic Death Metal
  3. In Mourning – Garden of StormsMelodic Death Metal
  4. Damnation Defaced – The DevourerDeath Metal
  5. Whitechapel – The ValleyDeathcore

No Death

As per last year, I have a second list of great albums that are not death metal, though several of them are still quite heavy (and the Lacuna Coil album has some vocals that come very close to deathy-growls).

Lacuna Coil cover
Pray for Sound cover
Sabaton cover
Daddy Rock cover
We Lost the Sea cover

  1. Lacuna Coil – Black AnimaMetal
  2. Pray for Sound – WavesPost Rock
  3. Sabaton – The Great WarMetal
  4. Daddy Rock – Daddy Rock 2Rock
  5. We Lost the Sea – Triumph & DisasterInstrumental Rock

Honorable Mentions

These are the albums that were in the running for the other lists but did not make it. These are still really good albums, but the lists have to be capped somewhere.

Arch Echo cover
Belzebubs cover
Black Therapy cover
Crepuscle cover

Pelican cover
Russian Circles cover
Tomydeepestego cover
Valence cover


Metal Tuesday – Brother’s Choice- Insomnium – Winter’s Gate

So my dearest brother got himself happily married last weekend and asked if I could supply a Metal Tuesday for him. I, of course, agreed. To mark such a momentous occasion, I decided to go with a momentous song: Winter’s Gate by Insomnium.

The album Winter’s Gate is a single, 40-minute song (though if you look at it on iTunes or Spotify or where-ever it is frequently broken up into “tracks”).

Based on a short story written by vocalist Niilo Sevänen, Winter’s Gate tells the story of a group of Vikings who set out to find a fabled island west of Ireland, despite the treacherous winter drawing near. The song/album wanders through multiple styles, from soothing, Anathema-like passages to raging black-metal-style riffs and drumming; but always with an Insomnium sensibility and style.

Winter’s Gate, despite being the band’s seventh album, may be their best work.

2018 Top Albums

Editor’s Comments:

For this week’s Metal Tuesday, The Brother asked if he could write up his favorite albums of 2018. Although his tastes run a bit differently than mine, he knows his music.

I have so much music for y’all. This year I decided to do two versions of my Top Albums list; one without any death metal and one with the heavy stuff. I’m considerate like that. For each album, I list the general genre and links to Apple Music, Spotify, or YouTube (some sources more official than others on YouTube).

I also call out a couple of EPs that I really liked and at the end are a list of honorable mentions (in no particular order).

The Heavy Stuff

  1. Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My NameTechnical Death Metal: or or
  2. Omnium Gatherum – The Burning ColdMelodic Death Metal: or or
  3. Psycroptic – As the Kingdom DrownsTechnical Death Metal: or or
  4. Amorphis – Queen of TimeMetal: or or
  5. Slugdge – Esoteric MalacologyDeath Metal: or or

No Death!

Now, I also understand that a lot of people are not, shall we say, fans of death metal. This is for y’all.

  1. Clutch – Book of Bad DecisionsRock: or or
  2. Good Tiger – We Will All Be GoneRock: or or
  3. Andy James – ArrivalInstrumental Rock: or or
  4. Paul Wardingham – ElectromancerInstrumental Rock: or or
  5. Set and Setting – Tabula RasaPost Rock: or or

The EPs

I also want to call out a couple of EPs that came out this year that I though were really good.

  • Hespera – In AbsenceMelodic Death Metal: or or
  • Plini – SunheadInstrumental Rock: or or

Honorable Mentions

These are the albums that were in the running for the other lists but did not make it. These are still really good albums, but the lists have to be capped somewhere.

  • Alkaloid – Liquid AnatomyDeath Metal: or or
  • Beyond Creation – AlgorythmTechnical Death Metal: or or
  • Harakiri for the Sky – ArsonMetal: or or
  • Moonshade – Sun DethronedMelodic Death Metal: or or
  • Nita Strauss – Controlled ChaosInstrumental Rock: or or
  • The Ocean – Phanerozoic I: PalaeozoicPost Rock: or or
  • The Ocean – Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (Instrumental Version)Post Rock: or or
  • Parasite, Inc. – Dead and AliveMetal: or or
  • Zeal & Ardor – Stranger FruitMetal/Soul/Experimental: or or

Zombie Strike Part 1 Chapter 1

In Chapter 1, Mateo Cortez, a past winner of Zombie Strike!, is whisked back to Skull Island where he meets up with other past winners. Why are all of them back on Skull Island? More importantly, what is Mateo doing back with the super-stars of Zombie Strike!?

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

Note: In the early episodes, I hadn’t figured out the numbering scheme. So the part/chapter numbers on the audio may not match the post title.