Various Artists - All Time Favorite Songs - The Top 100 - Part 2
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50 - Savatage - Gutter Ballet (Gutter Ballet - 1989) (6:20)
This was one of the songs that opened my ears to the wonders of heavy metal. The first time I heard it was one of those strange Deja-Vu moments, where I felt I had heard this somewhere before. The way the piano is used in the verses creates that very special Savatage atmosphere and it was part of what got me hooked on this band from the beginning. The symphonic element is very strong and is created with simple means. Jon Oliva exploits the many sides to his voice and keeps the song on the edge.
The brilliant guitar solo.
49 - The Beatles - A Day In The Life (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 1967) (5:33)
This one-of-a-kind Beatles song is an extremely captivating experience. A very special dreamy atmosphere fills the air during John Lennon's parts of the song and Paul McCartney's small part fits very well in some inexplicable way. Several different stereo affects are used to give the song its rather unique atmosphere. Even the drums have a strange sense of unreality to them.
"He blew his mind out in a car"
48 - Symphony X - The Odyssey (The Odyssey - 2002) (24:14)
This song is pretty much a blueprint for making an engrossing epic. The opening instrumental section has a strange cartoonish feel to it and the whole song sparkles with musical ideas. The first time Russel Allen sings "Seems like forever...." I'm caught, every time. The absolute highligt is saved for last. From the powerful and highly attractive guitar melody that begins at 20:20 all the way through to the end this is pure magic and serves as an incredible release after a 20 minute musical adventure.
The ending chorus, which is sooo fulfilling.
47 - Enuff Z'nuff - Sanibel Island (Welcome To Blue Island - 2003) (4:14)
Another song with incredible hit potential from the Enuff Z'nuff camp. And I mean that in the best way possible. This is one song that makes me happy. A fantastic vibe, releaxed groove, great bass line and a chorus that is everlasting makes this song perfect for just about any situation. The "Hey" intro to the chorus is an inspired touch and it creates an extra special tension.
The chorus and the guitar melody that accompanies it.
"Sanibel Island waits
Were gonna have a ball
Women are half your age
swimmin in alchohol
It's outta control, it's outta control"
46 - Edguy - Theater Of Salvation (Theater Of Salvation - 1999) (14:10)
Edguy's sort of epic song starts out in a very dramatic fashion and builds towards a huge chorus. The song is extremely satisfying and remains my favorite Edguy song. The ending is rather silly though. With that in mind I believe this song can be summed up in a two word description: "Bombastic fantastic". Hallelujah!
The jump-friendly chorus.
45 - King Diamond - "LOA" House (Voodoo - 1998) (5:33)
"LOA" House opens with a blast and doesn't hold back. King Diamond sings in his "normal" voice for much of the song, but that only makes the moments when he goes high that much more memorable. The main guitar riff is mean and HEAVY. One reason why this song edged out the other King Diamond classics is probably my fond memory of singing the song into the face of a sleeping guy at a party. The poor guy looked absolutely terrified when he woke up.
As King Diamond sings the line "Whiiiiiiiiiiiiite as snow" and his voice seems to linger in the air.
44 - Fates Warning - The Apparition (The Spectre Within - 1985) (5:51)
Back when I got my first Fates Warning albums I sensed something deeply mystical about the band. "The Spectre Within" and "Awaken The Guardian" both have this indefineable quality to them. This song in particular has been a favorite from the beginning. I could spend forever just listening to the crunch of the guitar. John Arch's vocals defy description. He is truly unique and the vocal melodies he invents are enchanting. The song's construction is solid and builds tension in and releases it with maximum result. Listen closely for the charming demon voice at 3:07.
The magical part that begins at 3:24 and lasts a full minute. Unforgetable.
43 - Opeth - The Moor (Still Life - 1999) (11:26)
This song is a small masterpiece. Eerie, dark, brutal and depressing, yet with small glimpses of hope. It is incredibly powerful. Mikael Åkerfeldt changing between clean and growling vocals works extremely well. His powerful growl is breathtaking. In fact I sometimes feel myself grasping for air while listening to this song. I'm simply too stunned to do anything but listen intensely.
The second verse, beginning at 6:28. What power.
42 - Dream Theater - Metropolis - Part I: The Miracle and the Sleeper (Images and Words - 1992) (9:32)
"Love is the dance of eternity"
Simply a brilliant song that has everything.
3:08 - 3:36
"As a child, I thought I could
live without pain without
As a man I've found it's all
caught up with me
I'm asleep yet I'm so afraid"
41 - Iced Earth - Dracula (Horror Show - 2001) (5:53)
This song has an unbelievable power to it. An acoustic guitar melody and Matthew Barlow's deep voice are perfect companions in the opening moments, creating an atmosphere that is delicate and foreboding. When the song explodes at the 1:39 mark a monster guitar riff revs the song into overdrive. Energy is pulsating from an incredibly tight foundation and Matthew Barlow's power fusioned vocal delivery leaves nothing to be desired. I feel an adrenaline rush every time I reach this point in the song. A nod goes to the very nice drum work.
The way Matthew Barlow sings the lines "There are far worse things awaiting man than death, come taste what I have seen" WOW!
40 - Psychotic Waltz - Another Prophet Song (A Social Grace - 1990) (5:27)
Transmitting a feeling like you're free-falling through space, entering another dimension, this song is imbued by a very special ambience. The tribal-like drumming in parts of the song gives adds to its wicked dreamy atmosphere and Buddy Lackey's voice has just the right tone to it to make everything complete. A unique and compelling experience.
The change at 4:52, as the song comes out of its incredible middle section and goes into the last verse.
39 - Manowar - Sign Of The Hammer (Sign Of The Hammer - 1984) (4:18)
As the tension rises, one step at a time, Eric Adams' clear voice cuts through the thunder and the song "runs berserk". A fast and tight rythm keeps the focus while Eric Adams sings in a voice filled with majestic control. This song is a great adrenaline kick.
The climax at 2:28 as Eric Adams announces the immortal lines "The spell has been broken, the curse has been lifted, black is the wind on the heels of the Gifted".
38 - The Beatles - Here, There and Everywhere (Revolver - 1966) (2:25) / Metallica - Master of Puppets (Master of Puppets - 1986) (8:35)
These two songs share the same spot since I didn't want to leave any of them out and they are both classics in their own rights.
Here, There and Everywhere is one of Paul McCartney's finest creations. It is a perfect love song with lyrics that feel like they were taken straight out of my own mind. The song is extremely relaxing and Paul's voice is soothing like nothing else.
Master of Puppets is the essence of good old Metallica. Tight, varied and challenging. The guitar riffs covering the song are genius and James Hetfield gives a splendid performance.
Here, There and Everywhere: Well, the whole song is one long favorite moment, but that contrasting guitar melody in the bridge/chorus section adds a special haunting atmosphere to the song.
Master of Puppets: The way the song descends into its slower middle section around 3:30.
37 - Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (A Night At The Opera - 1975) (5:54)
However Freddie Mercury came up with this genius song I cannot imagine. The structure is highly original. The emotional beginning is impossible not to sing along with, the operatic middle section is on the other hand impossible to sing along to and finally the climatic heavy section will bring out your inner headbanger.
When I think about it closer I have to retract my previous statement about "America" by Simon and Garfunkel being the best use of a song in a movie. That place must be shared with the use of Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne's World. Absolutely hilarious.
Didn't mean to make you cry" at 1:22.
36 - Enuff Z'Nuff - Baby Loves You (Strength - 1991) (4:07)
This song goes hand in hand with that feeling of being in love. Absolutely nothing can get this song down and I just end up in a good mood pretty much every time I hear it. The guitar work is outstanding and Donnie Vie's voice has a perfect teasing tone to it.
The guitar solo.
35 - Queensryche - Spreading The Disease (Operation: Mindcrime - 1988) (4:07)
Picking one song from a concept album filled with classics is kinda hard. The reason Spreading The Disease takes the honor is because I like its direct lyrics, Geoff Tate's outstanding vocal performance and the song's fast pace. It only slows down for the intense middle section.
Either the "25 bucks a fuck" line or the ultra high pitch chorus line. Both are classic moments.
34 - Ten - After The Love Has Gone (Ten - 1996) (5:27)
A timeless song that has incredible hit potential. It is impossible not to get caught up in this song, either singing along or rocking along. I love the way Gary Hughes stretches his voice in the verses and Ten years later the band still has not topped this classic. When Vinny fires up his guitar he gives the song a wild edge that suits it very well. The underlying piano also helps lift the music higher. Listen at maximum volume for maximum pleasure!
The moment Gary Hughes sings the opening lines of the first verse never cease to get my blood pumping. It is an immensely powerful moment.
"If we should come too close, we run away
didn't we want this after all"
33 - Iron Maiden - The Evil That Men Do (Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 1988) (4:35)
That primal urge to headbang, which is deeply embedded within all of us, will come alive as this song reaches the 30 second mark and goes into a brilliant galloping rythm. This is one of Maiden's finest, with amazing performances all around. Bruce Dickinson sings the verses with a special wicked tone in his voice and the vocal melodies he creates are everlasting. The bass work is breathtaking and the guitar solo fierce.
The break at 0:30. From here there is no turning back. Eternity awaits.
32 - Sieges Even - Reporter / Middle Course / Wintertime (Sophisticated - 1995) (7:14) / (6:39) / (4:32)
These three songs are strong showcases of one of my absolute favorite albums. I found it impossible to pick just one song. Sophisticated is an astounding album that manages to combine complex music, strong melodies and even stronger emotions into what I will proclaim as the most melancholic album in my collection. After several hundred listens it amazingly still feels like an unexplored diamond.
Reporter is the tough, fast paced opener. There is a cold melancholy to the song that creates a sort of empty void where the main character seems to live. Every instrument is going all out crazy through the song, all the while keeping things coherent and melodic. The bass is all over the place, the drumming is tight and constantly inventive while the guitar work stands out as absolutely tremendous. There are so many small details I could mention in the music but they should really be enjoyed without knowing too much.
Middle Course is incredibly varied and surprising. Complexity, melody and invention are taken to a higher level. The song is seriously addictive and very close to total perfection. I find myself at a loss for words. I want to write an entire essay on just the bass work, but I just can't put words to the genius way the instruments play together here. I urge everyone to take a swim in this song, just don't expect to find the shore again for a long time.
Wintertime is perhaps the ultimate melancholic song for bad weather. Even on a warm summer day with blue skies, the horizon seems to darken when this song is playing. The song is bursting with emotions and has an incredible sadness to it. Definitely not for everyone.
Reporter: That guitar lick as the chorus hits.
Middle Course: There are so many highlights in this song, but since I have to pick one I will go with the guitar solo/instrumental section, which runs from 4:01 to 5:18.
Wintertime: As the main character realises the truth
"I feel things become true.
Which I said to me and you in a thousand lies before"
31 - Savatage - When The Crowds Are Gone (Gutter Ballet - 1989) (5:46)
This extremely emotional song has strong ties to the Streets album. Anybody looking for the emotional side of Jon Oliva's voice need look no further. Here he exposes himself completely, with a heartbreaking result. This guitar and this voice feel like a marriage made in heaven. Read my album review for more on this song.
The immortal ending climax from 4:00, where everything comes together. One of my favorite moments ever.
30 - Redemption - Something Wicked This Way Comes (Redemption - 2003) (24:29)
This 24 minute tale of Halloween oozes with a dark atmosphere so strong that when I reach the 3 minute mark I know there is no turning away. I have to hear the whole thing before I can think of something else. It is completely engrossing. Rick Mythiasin makes the song his own by delivering a vocal performance filled with invention and a ton of feeling, often reminding me of none other than John Arch, the former Fates Warning singer. Rick's voice radiates a very very special tone and he sings the exceptional vocal melodies with a enchanting charm. The guitar work is very impressive all through the song and the keyboard adds just the right touch to the music. My favorite part of the song is "Part VIII: Departures" which begins around 16:30. The 2 minutes that follow are absolutely magical and deliver an intensity that makes my muscles twitch with excitement.
My favorite vocal melody of the past many years comes at 18:04
"But the moon he carved isn't a moon at all,
It's his smile the bullet carries"
29 - Pain of Salvation - A Trace of Blood (Remedy Lane - 2002) (8:17)
A Trace of Blood has to be my favorite from this masterpiece. The instrumental opening builds momentum and captures the feeling of approaching something unknown and sinister very well. The moving lyrics paint clear pictures and Daniel Gildenlöw's voice shows no mercy, singing the words with affection and bitter determination. The song stays in the mind long after the music has stopped.
The break at 4:16. It manages to contain every emotion of the song in that one second.
28 - Manowar - Thor (The Powerhead) (Sign Of The Hammer - 1984) (5:23)
I remember getting addicted to this song, a long way back in time. It feels like an otherworldly power is roaming free as Eric Adams' proud voice rings loud and clear above a thunderous rythm section. From the crushing opening, which sounds slightly Willhelm Tell inspired through the one man choir and the way the guitar and voice work together in the chorus Manowar create magic with simple means and a ton of passion.
The incredibly powerful verse sections.
27 - Psychotic Waltz - Freakshow (Into the Everflow (Remastered) - 2004) (5:40)
The following is taken from my album review. No need to write the same thing twice...
Freakshow opens with a hectic, stressful feeling and the roundabout riff doesn't make it any less exotic. Buddy Lackey sings hard and loud in the first part, but suddenly the whole song changes in mood and tempo as it passes through an incredibly beautiful passage where a heavenly guitar sound gives a sense of tranquility amidst all the chaos. Buddy's voice is soft and relaxed and I have thought for many years that this is one of the most beautiful passages ever recorded. A similar passage returns later with an even greater impact. Now the perfect guitar sound has changed from tranquil to a crunchier and more electric sound and here it takes on an otherworldly life of its own. These are chilling moments when I know that something immortal has been created.
The song is quite unique.
The two transcendental parts that arrive at 1:27 - 1:51 and 3:30 - 4:01 respectively.
26 - Virgin Steele - Veni, Vidi, Vici (Invictus - 1998) (10:43)
This conclusion to the Invictus album is the completing puzzle piece in a huge masterpiece. The song emotes passion beyond anything else. The way it builds momentum is crushing and already at the 3 minute mark you will think that the song cannot possibly get any better. The way themes and melodies from other VS songs and albums are incorporated adds extra flavour to an already explosive mixture. The melodic instrumental section that starts at 5:08 makes the spirit soar and for a minute I seem to forget everything else. Ending on a triumphant note the song lasts for a long time after the last cry has split the air. It is truly a breathtaking song.
Hearing the song played live at Wacken Open Air in 1998.
25 - Queensryche - Someone Else (Promised Land - 1994) (5:00)
This piano-led ballad lives on a heartfelt performance from Geoff Tate. He sings with passion and holds a ton of emotion in his voice. The song is life affirming and has become one of my favorite ballads ever.
24 - Dream Theater - Space-Dye Vest (Awake - 1994) (7:29)
Before me looms an endless void of depression, slowly starting to suck me in. After learning to love this song that is the feeling I have every time I am about to put it on. The song is a work of genius from the mind of Kevin Moore. The piano melody in itself is enough to make my blood run cold. James Labrie sings in a very held back, introverted voice, backed by piano and various atmosphere-enhancing effects. When the rest of the band joins in nearing the end, the result is very powerful. The lyrics feel like a look into the mind of someone who has recently lost something that felt essential. I have found the song to be very cathartic. I guess it all depends on what kind of mood you're in. You can drown in this song or you can use it to purge your soul and move on. Either way it will create a long lasting affection.
The way the opening piano melody sets the mood.
23 - Enuff Z'Nuff - Right By Your Side (Animals With Human Intelligence - 1993) (4:24)
This is perhaps the biggest potential breakthrough song Enuff Z'nuff ever had, a total earhanger. With a perfect rythm section and a warm and passionate performance by Donnie Vie the song seems to hover on a cloud of its own. One of those magic clouds that never dissolves, never rains and never leaves.
The guitar solo.
22 - Tori Amos - Winter (Little Earthquakes - 1992) (5:42)
A remarkable song that left a lasting impression with the first listen. Tori Amos sings in a voice where each word is an emotional sensation. She really gives herself completely to the song and this adds a certain painful color to the canvas.
The entrance to the last verse where the tension rises even further
"Hair is grey and the fires are burning, so many dreams on the shelf"
21 - Ayreon - One Small Step (Universal Migrator Part I: The Dream Sequencer - 2000) (8:45)
There is something magical about this song. The atmosphere is reminiscent of entering some distant dream. The music is soft and caressing, filling the air with a comfortable and timeless ambience. The keyboard playing is genius and reminds me of Jean Michel Jarre in his early days. Edward Reekers voice is incredibly smooth and fits the mostly acoustic music perfectly. "One Small Step" is a song that feels complete and has the ability to transport the listener to a different time and place.
The tone in Edward Reekers voice as he sings the lines
"It's a quater to four now and he carries me down
to our place by the telly"
20 - Iron Maiden - Hallowed Be Thy Name (The Number Of The Beast - 1982) (7:11)
This classic is without doubt my favorite of Maiden's extensive catalogue. The mood is set right away with a slowly descending melody and Bruce Dickinson's sombre voice. The momentum builds through the song with some genius guitar melodies and powerful vocals. If you for some reason are not convinced, then the huge sing-along part that comes near the end will surely win you over. All in all a song that has everything anyone could wish for.
The section from 1:00 - 1:55 which really sets the song in motion.
19 - John Lennon - Imagine (Imagine - 1971) (3:05)
John Lennon's finest creation is one of those songs that will never cease to have meaning. Timeless.
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one"
18 - Manowar - Mountains (Sign of the Hammer - 1986) (7:39)
Manowar's hymn about life is still as invigorating today as it was when I first heard it. Joey's bass has a life of it's own and provides a unique base for the song during the more quiet moments. As Eric's voice fills the air for the first time a kingly atmosphere fills the air and this lasts for the duration of the song. Strength, honor and pride are words that go well with this song. It brings a strong feeling of being alive and free.
"Like a man is a mountainside
Greatness waits for those who try
None can teach you, it's all inside
17 - Rhapsody - Eternal Glory (Symphony Of Enchanted Lands - 1998) (7:29)
Eternal Glory is the definition of majestic metal. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best composition Rhapsody have ever created. The way this song builds is phenomenal and the short "drum lick" that leads into the first chorus is a genius little detail. And the chorus... Oh my god, it is incredible how they got that melody completely right. I know I will never tire of this passage. Having heard the demo version of the song it is interesting to hear how the band has been able to perfect it here. It is not just perfect it is magical. Or as my alter ego, the Metallicow would say: This song derserves a mighty Moo!
16 - Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine II (II - 1994) (5:33)
The following is taken from my album review. I may have gone slightly overboard with excitement tryng to describe the greatness of the song, but I certainly mean every word.
There is something magical and transcendent about this deeply spiritual song. Just above 5 minutes of beautiful and chilling music all the way through. I feel my blood run cold whenever I hear this song and though I know why, I cannot explain it properly. Eric sings with authority and an incredible amount of emotion, pronouncing the words with emphasis in just the right places. The guitar cries out its notes and united with Eric's voice this is a perfect harmony. The drums and bass give the song its slow floating rythm and alltogether this song has the power to transport the listener to another place. So close your eyes and drift away.
The whole song.
15 - Manowar - Battle Hymn (Battle Hymns - 1982) (6:56)
I remember the first time I heard Battle Hymn. I thought it was the most powerful song I'd ever heard. If any definition of magic in music is needed then this song is a good example. Starting out slowly with just a bass melody and some atmospheric guitar, the song builds momentum using only drums, and when the guitar and bass finally enter the sound again the result is an unmatched burst of power, so mighty that if you're not prepared, you will still be wondering what hit you long after the song has finished. The emotional middle part just goes to show that what Manowar truly is about is feeling. The feeling of being alive. The feeling of being free and being able to live your life only bound by your own limits. To me this song is about sticking together and always fighting for what you believe, through losses, pain and whatever, always growing stronger. The guitar solo is simply magical and filled with emotion. During the final crescendo leading to the last verse everything gets turned a notch higher and the way Eric's voice rises in power during this part is a completely over the top spine tingling moment. It is times like these when I just sing at the top of my lungs and give myself away to the music completely. This is a song that will stir your blood and make you ready to take on the world.
"Sound the charge, into glory ride" at 5:18
14 - Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - 2002) (41:59)
This title track off Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence takes up the entire second disc. Instead of one long story it focuses on a theme of mental illness and looks at six different situations. It takes the time necessary to create a varied and captivating journey, ending on an incredibly powerful note that blows me away every time. It may not be as coherent or as "epic" as works like "A Change of Seasons" or "Metropolis Pt. II" but it has a very sharp and real atmosphere that makes it feel different. Mike Portnoy is completely brilliant, drawing every last ounce of energy from the drums. It sometimes feels as he hesitates for a microscopic length of time before hitting the skins and this adds greatly to the tension of the whole suite. Lifting the entire thing into the stratosphere is the Grand Finale which gives an extremely satisfying release.
"Part VIII: Losing Time / Grand Finale", especially from 1:40 till 3:05. Absolutely electrifying.
13 - The Beatles - For No One (Revolver - 1966) (2:01)
This is a song with a mood, a mood which decends along with the basic melody. Paul's voice, Ringo's percussion and a tender bass line provides the base of this simple but effective piece of music. A horn section and keyboard add some shades to the pale blue colored atmosphere that encircles the song. There is no real conclusion, the song ends suddenly, much like the relationship it lays to rest.
The tone in Paul's voice as he sings the opening lines:
"Your day breaks, your mind aches
You find that all the words of kindness linger on
When she no longer needs you"
12 - Enuff Z'Nuff - You And I (Seven - 1997) (4:35)
One of their perfect love songs. Timeless in its message and convincing in its delivery, without ever becoming sentimental. Much of its impact lies in Donnie Vie's heartfelt performance, along with the acoustic guitar that perfectly adds to the soft caressing nature of the song.
"I wanna touch you deeper than I penetrate"
11 - Virgin Steele - I Will Come For You (The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part I - 1994) (5:47)
This song gives a vivid glimpse of what Virgin Steele is about. Its diversity and changing moods makes it one of my favorites by the band. The song always feels fresh and creative. One example is the way the drums kick the song into the second verse. The orchestral part in the middle of the song shows how David Defeis manages to create a fascinating atmosphere that enthralls the listener completely, using only his soul filled voice and an extravagant keyboard melody. This song will roam forever on all planes of existence.
The beautifully sung middle passage from 3:27 - 4:04.
10 - Blind Guardian - The Script For My Requiem (Imaginations From The Other Side - 1995) (6:08)
A highlight in Blind Guardian's catalogue for sure. It has the rawness, the speed, the melodies and THE POWER that make Blind Guardian so special. When those elements are combined in this way the result is the ultimate in Power Metal. Hansi's vocal delivery has never been mightier, the choir is a perfect fit and musically the song is an absolute frenzy. The chorus is a real sing-a-long feast and the whole band performs with such vigour that you are bound to feel a rush of energy with every listen. Muscular, yet brainy, the song shows Blind Guardian from their most persuasive side.
The opening moments as the song goes into a breakneck pace, or the the bridge at 3:02.
9 - Manowar - March for Revenge (By The Soldiers Of Death) (Into Glory Ride - 1983) (8:25)
March For Revenge takes the same path as Battle Hymn in terms of construction, but it is somehow even more epic. March For Revenge has everything and then some. An incredibly powerful groove is set in the opening moments by a tight union of guitar and drums and this sets the stage for the song to unfold its almighty roar. The slow part never ceases to amaze me as Eric sings "Fallen Brother, as I hold close your side...". The atmosphere is completely enchanting and the ensuing mayhem is the perfect release.
The delivery of "Death is Life" at 6:26.
8 - Eternity X - Eulogy (Mind Games - 1995) (5:17)
According to my encyclopedia "A eulogy is a funeral oration given in tribute to a person or people who have recently died". Maybe this song was done in honor of their roadie Gina Guardabasco who died of leukemia in 1995, I don't know. What I do know is that the song is one of the most emotional creations ever made. It is heartfelt and never fails to leave an impression. Keith Sudano's voice is the heart and soul of the song. The passion he displays here compels me to bring out the three B's. Beautiful Beyond Belief.
The whole thing.
7 - Tori Amos - Tear In Your Hand (Little Earthquakes - 1992) (4:38)
There is a certain quality to this song that made me fall for it right away. The acoustics and Tori Amos' voice seem to suspend gravity and it makes me feel light as a feather. Time slows down as the song flows through its halfway section ("Maybe it's time to wave goodbye now") and there is just a strong sense that this is song is a moment in time that should be cherished.
"Maybe she's just pieces of me you've never seen, well..." at 3:07.
6 - Savatage - Somewhere In Time / Believe (Streets - A Rock Opera - 1991) (9:00)
The ending to my all time favorite album is nothing less than breathtaking. Somewhere in Time provides a tension building prelude to Believe. I love the held back energy that lies in the passage where Jon Oliva sings "I've been changing, redefining. All the things I thought I knew so long ago...." and the way the song proceeds to release that energy with a powerful bridge section.
Believe brings the ultimate closure to the album. The way the guitar ascends in the last part of the song is magical and that word is also what I would use to describe the whole song. Read my album review for the full low down on this masterpiece.
I am the way
I am the light
I am the dark
Inside the night
I hear your hopes
I feel your dreams
And in the dark
I hear your screams
Don't turn away
Just take my hand
And when you make your final stand
I'll be right there
I'll never leave
And all I ask of you...
Somewhere in Time: The positive energy that flows from the bridge section.
Believe: "Your childhood eyes were so intense" at 4:53.
5 - Virgin Steele - Noble Savage (Noble Savage - 1985) (7:30)
The title of the song actually describes it better than I can. The power, intensity, melody and uncontrolled wildness that this song harbors will not come across in words, it has to be felt from within. The strong drive is emphasized perfectly by the keyboard melody and David Defeis' vocal performance leaves nothing to be desired. He is pure emotion here. The way he delivers the high powered chorus and the emotional release his voice brings at 6:28 is just a few of many highlights in the song.
"Never, never surrender" at 6:44.
4 - Manowar - Achilles, Agony And Ecstasy In Eight Parts (The Triumph Of Steel - 1992) (28:38)
The first album I ever listened to by Manowar was "The Triumph of Steel" and obviously this song was my first encounter with the band. I still remember that day vividly. Never had I heard anything so primal and powerful at the same time. Today the triumphant beginning of the song still makes my blood pump faster. That monster guitar riff combined with the thunderous drums defy description while Eric Adams' voice sounds like it could break down the wall of Troy by itself. There is no other choice than to give yourself completely to the music. The perfect production also makes this song a wonder at high volume.
For a long while I thought that "Funeral March", "Armor of the Gods" and "The Desecration of Hector's body" were too long and dragged the song down, but in the past year I've changed my opinion and feel that these parts are essential to the song. This is Manowar at their absolute peak. Their approach is forceful and raw and "holding back" is not in this song's vocabulary.
Two passages stand as some of my all time favorite musical moments. The opening section from 1:03 to 2:45 is one. The other comes with "Part V: Hector's Final Hour". This section has the power of life and it never ceases to make my spirit soar. This part demands that you are on your knees with arms held high. "The Glory of Achilles" shakes the earth in the final moments of the song, as slowly it fades away like a huge black could of thunder.
Hector's Final Hour from 14:20 - 15:23. "I hear the silent voices..."
3 - Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons (A Change Of Seasons - 1995) (23:08)
This song has it all. Technical and emotional content is in perfect unison. This marriage gives birth to a song that encompasses life itself. An amazing creation that will never cease to inspire me.
Part V: Another World.
2 - Enuff Z'Nuff - We Don't Have To Be Friends (Seven - 1997) (4:05)
I love the vibe of this song. The strong acoustic element gives the song a special warmth and Donnie's smooth voice portrays the deepfelt sadness of the lyrics without faltering.
The mood setting beginning.
"Do you remember when we first said hello?
The way you wore your hair.
How we drank 'til dawn,
Then got it on,
On your basement stairs.
Every little bit of joy in my heart
Has turned to pain somehow.
But I'll take the pain,
'Cause I'd go insane
If I left you now."
1 - Savatage - If I Go Away (Streets - A Rock Opera - 1991) (5:17)
Opening with an extremely beautiful piano melody the song evolves into a cornucopia of emotions with celestial guitar playing and naked, bleeding vocals being the heart and soul of the song. No words will ever capture the spiritual essence this song can bring. This one is eternal.
So, this is the end. I hope you enjoyed the above journey through 100 of my favorite pieces of music and got inspired to hunt some of them down.
Written By Steen
Online: Monday, May 29, 2006