Music to Soothe the Savage Beast

I was planning on sitting down and writing a bit about the Sisters Stampede and hiking twin lakes with Mia and Codi as Mia gets ready to run Mary’s Peak Trail Race.

1st place fat bike…finally won that damn belt buckle!
Summit just before lower twin lake

Both were fantastically fun and Mia and I both love Sisters (almost as much as Winthrop).  But something amazing happened this week.  Something I thought would never happen again.

One of my favorite bands of all time released a new song.  This might not seem like a big deal to most and I’m not going to go into the full story of all the issues with As I lay Dying and Tim Lambesis, but let’s just say that it is fairly amazing that this band is back together and producing new music.

I can’t read music, haven’t played an instrument since junior high and can barely carry a tune in a bucket.  That doesn’t stop me from being a fan of music that moves me though.  Many might call me a “metal head” and while that moniker may be appropriate it doesn’t really do full justice to what I feel when I hear certain songs.

Like a good movie or book, good (or great) music should move you.  I tend to lean heavily towards songs with pain, aggression, the tortured soul feeling and emotions from the vocalist.  Toss in a good guitar riff and heavy drums and I’m hooked.

My older brothers listened to The Eagles, Led Zepplin and such but by the time I was 13-14 I (actually Paul and I) was listening to AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Twisted Sister and more.



Call it teenage angst but the idea of bucking authority and standing up for doing what I (we) wanted to do was very appealing.

Nate Shumaker introduced Paul and I to some pretty incredible bands.  Genres including death metal, Christian heavy metal and hardcore.  In the late 80’s and early 90’s Glam Rock AKA “Cock Rock” (called by many of us for it’s propensity to be about getting the girl and partying) was king but I was more enamored by the heavy riffs, the anti-societal and anti-norm following  lyrics of bands like Only Living Witness or Queensryche.

Queensryche: Operation Mindcrime was one of those albums that really opened my eyes to not only an album telling a story but the abuse by “The Man” and how a band could question societal norms and make you think about what the media was telling us and who was in control of the information.

Perhaps my favorite band of all time is Only Living Witness (thank you Nate!).  I got to see them live in 2008.  Their song December is probably right up there in the #1 spot for me.  I still get goosebumps every time I listen to it.  It’s a song that has power, emotion and you can just feel Jonah Jenkins feelings as he sings it.  It’s close to perfection in my eyes (ears).

Another band/album that really grabbed a hold of me and still gives me chills to this day is Life of Agony: River Runs Red.  It’s a brutal concept album with a story of a pain, loss and ultimately a horrible ending (suicide).

I was never suicidal by any means, don’t worry about that at all.  However I was able to relate to the pain and emotion that Caputo was able to convey through her (not a typo) lyrics.  She was able to put into music so many feelings that I was having at that point in my life.  It’s just a phenomenal album with a heart wrenching storyline.  If you’ve never heard this album and it fits into your preferred music preferences please take the time to listen to it.

Knowing what I know about Mina Caputo now…….well let’s just say the pain and confusion is oh so understandable now!

Back to As I lay Dying.  My Own Grave being released this week has made me a very happy man.  I look forward to more from them as a band, and while many are not quite ready yet, I am ready to give Lambesis a second shot.  I want to believe he learned his lesson and he served his time.  Just listen to the lyrics of this new song, if that isn’t a story of Lambesis over the past 5-6 years then I must be crazy.

Here are a few more that I hold near and dear to my heart……..

All That Remains – Not Alone

“…….because I’m not alone, with a touch of your hand I am whole again…”


Killswitch Engage – Always

“..I am with you, always, from the darkness of night to the morning…”


Lastly, so you don’t think it’s all about anger, frustration, and loneliness…just listen to the wonderful and extremely talented Sarah McLachlan – Ice Cream …and tell me you don’t want to go straight to that special someone in your life and tell them how much you love them!

Thanks for reading and hopefully listening.



One Comment Add yours

  1. stasia:) says:

    heh. James often makes fun of me for the “angry” (his word;) music I love from back in my high school days. I don’t know the people you linked here, but it sounds kind of familiar. 🙂

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