Posts Tagged ‘dessa’

Surprise, a list! Who doesn’t love to list things they love and present them to the public? I’m sure the good people on Facebook land and beyond have seen the “10 Best Stuffs to Stuff” list, the “Top 5 Best Stuffs” and so on. So allow me introduce you to my pretentious little exhibition. Below are 4 albums I enjoy listening to from jump to splat. Yes you read that right, only 4…because fuck lists in which the total number of items are divisible by 5 and/or 10. Also, don’t try to look for a pattern here. This list is in no particular order, and has very little rhyme or reason attached to it.

Ihsahn's 'After' was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records Genre: Progressive Black Metal

Ihsahn’s ‘After” was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Progressive Black Metal

First off is After by Ihsahn. If you’re a Black Metal enthusiast, you know this name and the gr1m fr0stbitten cache of epicness that accompanies it and you can skip the next sentence. Ihsahn, as the front man for Black Metal band Emperor, helped pioneer the genre and shape it throughout its satanic birth and infancy. This album was the thematic end to a conceptual trilogy that began with ‘Adversary’ and ‘angL’. After is big sonically, and what I mean by that is that there is a lot of space that you can just feel at times. Sure, Jens Bogren (Mix/Mastering Engineer) added weight where previous album ‘angl’ lacked it, but combined with Ihsahn’s superb riffing and “guitar orchestration”, combined with his knack for always writing the quintessential ‘complete song’, no track on this album is a skipper. As far as I’m concerned it can go down as one as the best metal albums of all time, and can easily top multiple albums across a multitude of extreme metal sub-genres.

Enya's 'A Day Without Rain' was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise. Genre: New Age

Enya’s ‘A Day Without Rain’ was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise.
Genre: New Age

Next up is A Day Without Rain by Enya. No, let me stop you here, Sail Away, Sail Away is not on this album, and it isn’t even the actual name of the song. This album is magnificent as that song was. If you are not into New Age music, you may not know what I’m babbling on about…pfft, there aren’t even any guitars on this record, or breakdowns for that matter. Good point, believe me, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Enya had put together an almost flawless body of work again. In the United States along ADWR went 7x platinum, that’s 7,000,000 copies! It helps that ‘Only Time’ was played repeatedly in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Enya effortlessly navigates chord progressions that were arranged seemingly with a patented technique that dates back to the 1980’s. Enya’s works have garnered international praise and accolades, to which I say…no shit.

Daylight Dies' 'Dismantling Devotion' was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records Genre: Doom Metal

Daylight Dies’ ‘Dismantling Devotion’ was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Doom Metal

Replace the stringed instruments with guitars, 80% of the singing with guttural death growls, make the lyrical themes darker and you get Daylight Dies’ 2006 effort ‘Dismantling Devotion. No, I did not mean Killswitch Engage, I mean the North Carolina Doom Metal group Daylight Dies. From top to bottom, there is enough meat here to feed every starving organism on the planet. Hyperbole aside, for a sophomore effort DD took no prisoners with these songs. There is emotion, intensity, and aggression within each song. The melodic content from song to song is rich and ripe with purpose behind the brutal death metal vocals of front man Nathan Ellis. I first ran into this band listening to a My Dying Bride station on Last FM. This band’s strength lays in their composition. Once you get past the slower pace inherent in the Doom Metal genre, you will be able to appreciate this record.

Doomtree independently  released this self titled album July 29th, 2008 Genre: Hip Hop

Doomtree independently released this self titled album July 29th, 2008
Genre: Hip Hop

Last, but surely not least, Doomtree’s self titled effort from 2008, Doomtree. I know what you were thinking, but this is not a metal band…sorry. Doomtree is a hip-hop group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before you go and dismiss these guys, give this album a listen…and I mean really listen. From top to bottom this album, features thought provoking, and introspective lyrics that come across as genuine as all hell. The instrumentals are raw, and gritty but create a 90’s feel that suites Doomtree’s aura. The rappers that make up this group pride themselves on their individuality, and this group of songs captures that thought process completely.

Dessa's Parts Of Speech was released June 25th, 2013 via Doomtree Records

Dessa’s Parts Of Speech was released June 25th, 2013 via Doomtree Records

Let’s face it, Hip Hop is committing suicide and is hell-bent on making it as agonizing and tasteless as possible. Enter Dessa of the rap collective Doomtree, helping to bring back a once musically stout genre from the brink of self-destruction. In Parts Of Speech Dessa trades in a the calculated and rough facets of A Badly Broken Code for a less focused and more exploratory approach. The album stays true to what a Dessa record usually presents in that it takes a few listens to appreciate its full context. The moods shift constantly from the quietly reflective The Man I knew to the more energetic Fighting Fish. Nevertheless cuts like Skeleton Key and Call Off Your Ghost provide nice landing spots for listeners who are looking to ease into the album.

I wanted to investigate the idea that a cohesive record isn’t always made cohesive by having twelve songs that sound the same. I figured when you make a mixtape for a friend, you can get away with a range of genres and a lot of dynamic change. Why can’t I approach an album like that? The sequence has to be just right, and we worked hard to nail it, but the thing that holds this record together is the sensibility of the lyrics, rather than a uniform theme. –Dessa

Newcomers to Dessa’s challenging approach to music probably will not survive long enough to engage the album in full. This apparent weakness, however, is something that makes Dessa a unique artist in the current toxic hip hop climate. Her style is refreshing and as she continues to grow one can only hope that history holds her in high esteem. With her intuitive wordplay, reality bending metaphors, and soothing singing voice (oh did I forget to mention her singing?), she deserves a place in every hip hop music library.

Dethfrequency Says: You can find this, and more of her solo albums on Spotify as well as her work with Doomtree and hear her work while she was still a young Filipino pop star… (Kidding, just another hilarious Spotify mistake)

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Soilwork's The Living Infinite was released March 3rd, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Soilwork’s The Living Infinite was released March 3rd, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

A Badly Broken Code was released January 19th, 2010 via Doomtree Records  Genre: Hip Hop/Rap

A Badly Broken Code was released January 19th, 2010 via Doomtree Records
Genre: Hip Hop/Rap

The Audio Guide To Happiness Pt1 was released February  28th, 2011 via EMI Germany. Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal

The Audio Guide To Happiness Pt1 was released on February 28th, 2011 via EMI Germany.
Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal

Russian Circle's Empros was released October 25th 2011 via Sargent House Genre: Post-Rock/Progressive Rock

Russian Circle’s Empros was released October 25th 2011 via Sargent House
Genre: Post-Rock/Progressive Rock

Dillon's This Silence Kills was released November 11th, 2011 via Bpitch Control  Genre: Indie/Acoustic

Dillon’s This Silence Kills was released November 11th, 2011 via Bpitch Control
Genre: Indie/Acoustic

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