Hi, my name is Marko and welcome to my blog. Today, I am starting new series here on my blog where I will recommend you some fantastic albums you should check out. So, welcome to Marko’s Music Market episode 1.(I want to thank Andrew’sReviews for name idea. )
Nighttime Birds by The Gathering
The Gathering is Dutch band formed in 1989 by two brothers Hans and René Rutten and vocalist Bart Smits in Oss, North Brabant. Their earliest offerings(first two albums) can be categorized as atmospheric doom metal with influences from death metal acts like Celtic Frost and Hellhammer.
By the time Anekke Van Giesbergen joined the band they changed their style into more Gothic sounding metal with which group found much bigger commercial success. That gets us to the year of 1997 and this album “Nighttime Birds” being released on Century Media.
This album is something special. There aren’t many albums that managed to pull off this style this good. Heavy yet melodic, subtle yet not boring. Those are only a few characteristics of this fantastic album. This album isn’t your typical riff fest metal album. There are great guitar riffs in it, don’t get me wrong, but band approaches those riffs with the completely different approach. They are using guitar riffs to create very atmospherically sounding music paired with very expressive singing from Anekke Van Giesbergen when it’s needed, mostly during the choruses which help to elevate songs to whole another level.
This is one of the albums with an album cover that perfectly describes the album. It’s very wintery sounding. It’s cold yet not without emotion, it’s mellow yet not too mellow so it bores the living shit out of you. Nighttime Birds is a very heavy album but it’s not the typical heavy album that only purpose it’s to be heavily in your face. There are some references to winter in the lyrics of the album too. Songs like “The May Song”, “On Most Surfaces”. This is one of the albums that managed to say a lot with very little. From songs about death, “Nighttime Birds”, to songs like “Third Chance” which describes that feeling when you are seeing the person you care for and love after very long time.
Anekke Van Giesbergen shines the best on this album. I mean, this instrumentation asks for fantastic and expressive singing which Anekke brings to the table. She may not have mindblowing 4 octaves vocal range but she has such a beautiful vocal tone and one of the best vibratos I have come across so far
After Anekke second biggest role in making this album great comes from keyboard player, two guitar players, and their melodic additions to this album which are making all rhythm guitar riffs to not sound monotone, don’t get me wrong those riffs are pretty good but without quality support from lead guitar and keyboards they would just make song sound so boring and uninteresting. Imagine song full of riffs like that without anything added to it which will make it interesting, that being a great melodic addition from either lead guitar, keyboards or Anekke’s very expressive singing.
This album is the best example of “grower” album. In fact every The Gathering album I have heard so far required more than one listen for me to fully appreciate it. In the documentary made by National Dutch TV, they said how only reason why they formed the band was to try something new and they have been trying to do something new with every new album. That’s why with each new The Gathering album you need some time to get used to a new sound they are trying to accomplish on that specific album.
Another thing that they have said is that they can not write “happy” song. Which I highly disagree. Just listen to song Third Chance. It’s very upbeat and overall happy song or at least it makes me feel happy whenever I listen to it. I love the position of this track in the overall track sequencing. It comes right in the middle of a lot of mellow atmospheric songs with really good hooks. It serves as some kind of “battery charger” song so you can go through other mellow atmospheric songs that are about to come.
On this album, every band member complements each other in such a perfect way that end result is a fantastic album that I would definitely recommend you to check out.
LUN by Destiny Potato
If you know anything about me then you would know that David Maxim Micic is one of my all-time favorite musicians and such an inspiring figure in my life. His last album Who Bit The Moon is in my top 10 favorite albums of all time and this album isn’t that much far from it.
This album is a perfect marriage between two of my favorite music genres. Those being pop and metal. I mean, Walls Of Thought and House Of Lies are pretty much pop song.
I can see how some people might find this album to be super cheesy, but to be completely honest I don’t mind it mainly because this album is executed in such a fantastic way.
Aleksandra’s vocals are super likable especially on songs like Love Song, Lunatic and Blue Sun. On songs like Take A Picture, she shows a ton of personality and her pseudo-growls don’t sound out of place at all like could easily do. This album is sung mainly in clean vocals so it might be a problem for some people but for me, it is an advantage because it does not fall into a mold of so many samey Djent albums and it is a fantastic introduction to the genre because of that. Her vocal melodies are one of the main things that make this album stand out for me. I once described them as “Light-Djent” and I still stand by that.
This album features some of the best David Maxim Micic’s riff like for example intro riff from Indifferent, all riffs from Lunatic etc. Guitar solos are very good on this thing too. Just listen to the guitar solo from Lunatic and tell me how it isn’t amazing.
One thing I always loved about his work and mentioned in my Who Bit The Moon review is David’s Balkan Traditional music influences in tracks like Lunatic and Addict. Even though I was never a big fan of the accordion as an instrument it sounds pretty good on that track. One of best moments on this album is violin part in the song called Lost Dream which gives this whole song such an amazing feel
They have been teasing new album this year and I can not wait for it to come out. I hope it does not disappoint.
Čuvaj Se by Denis & Denis
A lot of interesting things happened in 1984. Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Brunei became an independent state, The International Garden Festival opened in Liverpool, but none of those events are on par with the release of this album. This Synthpop masterpiece released by at that time unknown Croatian group called Denis & Denis. This album and song “Program Tvog Kompjutera” catapulted them to stardom of ex-Yugoslavia’s popular music. Where they will stay until lead singer Marina Perazić leaves the group in 1986 to pursue a solo career.
Now, let’s talk about actual music. This album is full of fantastic pop songs which can be described in two ways:
- Very bouncy and playful
- Mellow, downbeat atmospheric synthpop/electropop
The album opens up with a fantastic title track which is easily one of best songs of the album. Fantastic synth work is paired with gorgeous Marina’s vocals. Chorus of this song is absolutely amazing. The melody of it is very catchy and memorable. Seriously, this album is full of very catchy and memorable hooks.
This album will appeal to a lot of CHVRCHES fans if you ask me. If CHVRCHES existed during the 80’s they would sound like Denis & Denis. Both groups share nack for very playful and bouncy synth work, a contrast between male and female vocals.
Just like Anekke managed to elevate already mentioned The Gathering album, Marina managed to elevate this album with her vocals. They are very sensual when it’s needed but never too much, very soothing and relaxing but never boring, her vocal inflections on songs like Tek je sedam sati and Telefon are absolutely gorgeous and vocal harmonies all throughout the album but especially in song Sačuvaj Nešto.
Another thing that this album does in a very good way is its flow. Every song flows into next one in such a fantastic way and all of that is because of those more mellow, downbeat atmospheric songs. They may not be on par with best songs on this album but they are still very good and have its purpose in making this album sound as fantastic as it is. Best songs of this album, in my opinion, would be Čuvaj se, Telefon, Ti i ja, Dvadeset i Osam minuta do Pet, Doba Noćnih Kiša. If I had to pick my least favorite song I would have to go with Dio Refrena, don’t get me wrong that song is still pretty good, but competition is strong.
This album sounds kinda dated, but let’s be honest most of the 80s synth pop sounds dated and of its time so it’s not that kind of a big deal. If you enjoy synth pop you will enjoy this album probably too.
This album for some reason is not on streaming so if you wanna listen to it here is link where you can download it in full
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