Author: dev88

Metal Tuesday – Brother’s Choice – Hellsongs – Songs in the Key of 666

Derek’s Note: Since it’s around The Brother’s birthday, I asked him to give us a Metal Tuesday Update.

I thought for this guest post I would bring something different.

Hellsongs is a band that re-works classic metal songs into a folk-ish singer/songwriter style. Their best album (in my opinion) is their first, Songs in the Key of 666.

Their renditions of The Trooper (by Iron Maiden) and Seasons in the Abyss (by Slayer) are so very, very, good.

Top Albums of 2023

I did not listen to as much new music this year (though I think I listened to more music overall), but a lot of what I did listen to was pretty excellent.

Top Album

Cover for Air Not Meant for Us

Fires in the Distance – Air Not Meant for Us

Fires in the Distance came out with an amazing album a few years ago (2020’s Echoes from Deep November) with songs that wormed their way into your brain for days. This year’s Air Not Meant for Us continues this tradition with another slate of catchy, complex, and powerful songs.

A close runner up this year was Katatonia’s A Sky Void of Stars, but Air Not Meant for Us just edged it out.


Alkaloid - Numen Hinayana - Shatter and Fall Insomnium - Anno 1696 Frozen Dawn - The Decline of the Enlightened Gods Lokust - Infidel

Not Death

Andy James - Fury From Above Essence of Datum - Radikal Rats Katatonia - Sky Full of Stars Nuclear Power Trio - Wet Ass Plutonium Scaphoid - Echoes of the Rift

Metal Tuesday – Brother’s Choice – Fires in the Distance – Echoes from Deep November

Full album stream for Fires in the Distance – Echoes from Deep November

I mentioned this album in my Top Albums of 2020, but wanted to call it out separately for a few reasons:

  1. The intro to the first song, The Climb, still crawls into my head from time to time, years later.
  2. They released an instrumental version of the album on Bandcamp that I came across a month or so ago that I have been really enjoying.
  3. Their second album, Air Not Meant for Us, is releasing on my birthday and the songs I have heard off of it are also pretty dang good and I’m really looking forward to the full release.

Metal Tuesday – Brother’s Choice – Top Albums 2022

There has been some impressive music this year, including some highly expected albums from I really enjoy.

Top Album

Disillusion - AYAM

Disillusion – AYAM

Disillusion is (by far) my favorite band, and the chances of this not being my top album for the year were pretty low. The first few songs on the album are amazing and hook into your brain for weeks. The rest of the album is not as infectious but once you give it some time, they really shine for the excellent songs that they are.

Honorary Mention

I also want to call out the song Anoana by Heilung, off their album Drif. I thought the first couple of songs off this album were great but the rest of the album did not click for me. However, I keep coming back to this song and its haunting beauty.


Some great death came out this year, especially in the area of Technical Death Metal. These are unranked and listed in alphabetical order.

Allegaeon - DAMNUMDystopian A.D. - Doomsday PsalmExocrine - The Hybrid Suns
Fallujah - EmpyreanInexorum - Exquinox VigilMoonshade - As We Set the Skies Ablaze
Psycroptic - Divine CouncilSoilwork - ÖvergivenhetenSoreption - Jord

No Death

In the realm of “everything else” there were great albums to be had.

Amorphis - Halo Blind Guardian - The God Machine Clutch - Sunrise at Slaughter Beach
Ghost - IMPERA Mendel - Equilibrium Mountainscape - Atoms Unfurling
Russian Circles - Gnosis Joe Satriani - The Elephants of Mars Toundra - Hex


As always, there are a couple of EPs I want to call out.

The Atrophic - Coagulating MirthEhrling - Dream DimensionMerrow - Mojave Repressions

A Gift to Art

Lybica debuted this year with a pretty solid album of post-metal, and though they did not quite make it on the “No Death” list I wanted to call out the glory of their cover art.

Lybica - Lybica

I do not think this glory needs further comment.

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