QUESTION OF THE WEEK: NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DYSFUNCTION
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Hey MetalSucks people! Thanks for reading! We want your input on something. It’s a big issue, a massively complex and nuanced question, so think carefully and answer honestly: Do u like winter or not? Are u able to find the fun of freezing ballz/boobz and windburned wangs? Are u an adventure sportist, all skiing and shit at sub-zero temps? Or do u huddle under blankets while pounding Bailey’s-laced hot cocoa, staring into a fireplace, and watching Summer School on DVD for weeks?
Well, we want to know so u must answer today’s chilling, frost-caked MetalSucks Question Of The Week, in which our staff metalicians sound off on today’s hot issues in metal.
Fearless. Controversial. Half-baked. We give it to you straight every Friday afternoon. Straight to a cocoon of heated quilts and thermal underwear. Here’s this week’s question:
Inspired by our indifferent sun’s preparation to cast our lands into winter, we asked our staff the following:
What is metal’s best cold-weather album?
Wat u think? The MS staff’s expert answers after the jump!
Some see snowdrifts when they think of winter, acres of conifers dusted with glittering white, their roots nestled under layer after icy layer; log cabins, fireplaces, hot apple cider, snuggling with puppies. But I think of something a more grim and, well … pathetic: crippling depression. Yep, it’s that time of year when suicide rates are high as moods plummet, and I’m among the millions affected as the days grow darker. That’s why upon that ice-cold bitch of a season, I turn to depressing, sorrowful doom: Woods of Ypres’ Woods IV: The Green Album – specifically “Everything I Touch Turns to Gold (Then to Coal).” The late David Gold’s voice resonates perfectly over down-tuned guitars and laborious percussion in a way that makes a heart ache for brighter days. Which will come eventually, the world indeed continues to turn; but when the warmth of spring and summer is many months away, we might as well hunker down and prepare ourselves to get sad as FUCK.
For a pale nerd who loves black metal, cold weather albums are HUUUUGE. The best is either Blut Aus Nord‘s Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars, the band’s best brief dalliance with prettiness, or Drudkh’s Estrangement, which sounds like most other Drudkh albums. Each is lilting yet big, sad and beautiful, and serves as a perfect accompaniment to persistent wind and falling snow. I have a good friend who lives in upstate New York, and after driving down the Mass Pike and through Albany on the way to see her, I threw these albums on. Across seemingly countless miles on Route 88, the mountains and sparse towns were covered in snow that fell sporadically all the way there. It swept across the faded, deteriorating road. The only visible sky was a sickly gray. Then night faded in, and the streetlamps fought limply to stave it off. Both albums captured the stillness and overarching sadness of everything I was passing. To put it as poetically as I can, it was the gayest black metal moment ever, son. Even in early December when snow’s still new and Santa Claus is coming to town, a few bars of “Skies At Our Feet” will remind me that we’re all going to die alone. But in a good way. A very sad good way.
I always associate Amorphis with winter. I guess I like my melodic death when it’s snowing outside and I’m cozy indoors. And my favorite is Eclipse, and its centerpiece “Perkele (God of Fire).” Nice contrast there with the deep, dark of winter and the scalding heat of, well, fire.
The most grim, frenetic, and violent metal sounds awesomest during the grind of sweaty summer, so it follows that metal’s moments of serene, dark beauty are of endless comfort in sad, slow winter. Sure, at rare times u will count on metal for a defrost, to get the blood pumping; mostly tho, metal’s function in cold weather is to lower your temperature to match the climate, and to prep your soul to face the death and dormancy of all that u love. As such, the lords of winter are Type O Negative and their depressive and fatalistic, sympathetic and antipathic super-classic World Coming Down. Don’t melt the ice; just freeze yourself.
Immortal are clearly the kings of all things frostbitten, but depressive black metal is nature’s perfect soundtrack to the bitter cold of a Northern winter, at least as far as I’m concerned. ColdWorld, Hypothermia, Nyktalgia, and above all, Forest Silence, really nail those freezing, lo-fi atmospheres and hypnotic riffs, and are guaranteed to bum you out mightily whilst they’re at it. This song is from Forest Silence’s ‘The Philosophy of Winter’ LP – listen to it through headphones, ideally on a walk through snow-blanketed woods (or while running to catch the C train uptown, either way).*
Ha my favorite private joke while shivering in winter is to sing the chorus of this Cave-In song lol. But how do u cope? Answer below and have an awesome wknd!