It's December - a time for holidays and family gatherings as well as the time for most of us to embrace the cold and face the fact that the summer is definitely over for this year. Delusions and seasonal differences aside though, we all do share a thing in common - our headphones are always hot and ready to go! 🎧🔥
So without further ado, let's go for a run!
We start off with a warm up, kindly provided to you by @MihailY!
Prepare yourselves and use this time to breathe a little, as we complete our warm-up before things get truly heavy.
My wife introduced me recently to the magic of Boozoo Bajou and I was hooked instantly.
Emily King is KING. Her voice melts my soul.
And while we're listening to some great tunes, have this one as well.
It makes me want to bounce around. Check out the canvas on mobile, it's cute.
Warm up complete!
Thank you Misho for the bouncy tunes! And folks, while you're jumping around, please make sure you don't drop them headphones. You'll need them for what is about to follow, starting with a hot barrage of icy tracks, fired off by @Joan!
It finally snowed in Sofia, woohoo. Sadly the snow didn't stick around, it was as if nature was just checking off the list that it needs to snow at least once. Either way, I have my tradition of playing this song every year when it snows for the first time. Fitting even more now cuz I saw the mighty monsters of Lordi live this October and have been jamming to their stuff hard since then.
While I really don't like Christmas songs, ironic Christmas songs? Hell yeah! How about the classic German song Oh Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree) but in the style of Rammstein, performed by American comedy metal band Psychostick. That one is a classic for sure. And I threw in some extra ones for good measure 😎
Also, instead of Christmas songs, I much prefer music dedicated to winter itself. Those really set the mood well. Starting with a classic album - Extreme Cold Weather by Swiss thrashers Messiah. It's a avalanche of epic riffs among a blizzard of cold imagery. And come on, they have a polar bear on the album cover. You know they mean business!
Adding to that that, Finnish folk metal pioneers Ensiferum also bring the ice with their soaring melodic and yet heavy musicianship and their powerful folk passages. Another one from my concert journey this year:
While not directly winter themed, I have been checking out the still small but very potent discography of Polish black metallers Odium Humani Generis. These guys prove to me once again that Poland is the new Norway when it comes to quality black metal. With powerful ice cold riffs and deliciously grimdark aggression broken by melancholic passages of melodic dual guitar and almost ballad-esque clean sections, these guys perfectly capture the dark dense atmosphere that make black metal great and they perfectly capture the gloomy dreary feeling that's been permeating this month:
And last but not least, as the cold yet snowless weather made going outside more unpleasant, I try to stay active indoors. Naturally, listening to pumping music while working out and doing all sorts of other tasks at home really helps. This month, I've been rediscovering the discography of Polish death metal pioneers Vader. With their exquisite brutality carried by fantastic, catchy riffage, soaring solos and brutal drumming (I swear their drummers have 4 legs or something), they just really get your blood pumping good every time. They've been superbly consistent throughout their entire discography and their latest albums Solitude in Madness does not disappoint.
Thanks for that awesome stream of musical taste!
Next up is @Yordan, who's been going through his list of saved albums and cherry-picking the top song from each one to go in his special playlist called "No fillers here".
XXI immediately caught my attention with its weird artwork, so I hit the play button and instantly reminded myself why I had saved this album - 35 minutes of frantic sonic rage and ferocity! The second track Maenad is a menacing assault of riffs from start to finish that easily lands a spot in my playlist!
Another band that I had forgotten about was Seputus - these guys are insanely competent musicians and definitely deserve to be name-dropped among the bigger bands of this style of avant-garde / technical death metal like Gorguts, Artificial Brain and Ulcerate. Phantom Indigo is a stellar, absolutely phenomenal work of art, where every sound has its purpose, and is carefully arranged into something that can only be described as "controlled chaos".
Thank you, Dancho!
Finishing our sprint, it's time to start slowing down as @Elena presents you with two of her musical choices this month:
My first song for December is Echolalia by Faetooth.
A dark theme, taken a step further by heavy sounds and distorted guitars, so perfectly matched by haunting vocals:
And, keeping with the darker theme, one of my main choices this month was Arcade Fire's My body is a cage.
It played on one episode of the House M.D, series, which I am almost done watching, and it tugged on all my heartstrings at once. Such a perfect sad song - raw emotional vocals, grand symphonic instrumentals and big build up, nothing more to ask for.
Thanks for joining the ride, Elena! Those were absolutely perfect.
It is now time for us to rest a bit.
As we recover, which everyone should after a fine sprint, let's pause and acknowledge @Kiril's offerings this month. They are dedicated solely to the mega-cool 2 Tone band The Specials, whose front man Terry Hall sadly passed away this month at the age of 63.
They are really special to me as their music was the gateway to my ongoing fascination with Ska and Reggae Music!
Thank you, Kiro. His soul lives on.
And as for us, while we're still resting, I'd like to also present you with some kindly-provided cheerful tunes from @Lyubka's collection:
I literally can't stop listening to that song recently. Not only because it's performed by one of my favorite artists but also because it's so melodic. I simply love it - it gives me such good vibes and I just want to dance as soon as I hear it.
This will probably come as no surprise to anyone that this songs is in my headphones for the month of December. I love Christmas and songs that comes with it! I am also pretty sure that most of you know this song, but let's admit it. It's a fine classic!
I like this song because of its lyrics. A typical romantic song telling us a story about how we can love each other without being beautiful. I recommend it to everyone!
Now that was a solid rest. Thank you, Lyubka!
Time to get through the final act of this adventure, starting off with a catchy tune by your favorite @Eni!
Not much to say, I simply love it. I'm cooking, walking, shopping, cleaning, working while listening to this song 😄. I've always liked INNA's and Sean Paul's music individually, but they sound even better together!
Thank you Eni! It seems your music has awakened yet another Sean Paul admirer, who's eager to share what they've been listening to this month!
"Lately it’s all been a ride on the old school pop express. You know - the classic dance hits from MTV/VH1 from the 2000s. The tracks that instantly get your body movin’ No matter how much the years pass, these types of songs remain relevant - not for philosophical reasons, but purely for party reasons - they’re a guaranteed recipe for a good time."
And, as for yours truly, December proved to be a busy month for me and I've been on the move a lot. This gave me the chance to explore my Liked Playlist and I was surprised to find some tunes I had completely forgotten were in there. I'll leave you with a few of them so that you can join in on the magic and then I'll finally let you be on your merry ways.
Happy holidays everyone!!
The full IOH playlist will be posted soon 🙂