13 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die


Nov 11 2007, 2h37

Why 13? Well,I just happen to like the number...

13. Nightwish: Sleeping Sun
Most fans of this band will agree that Oceanborn was their artistic peak. After that, they basically repeated the same formula, while adding new touches here and there, to insure an even greater success. This, however, is not the place to discuss what Nightwish has become; rather, let us relax to the voice of a very young Tarja Turunen and the melody (of unearthly beauty) composed by a very young Tuomas Holopainen, and forget about everything else. Especially the negative stuff.

12. Rammstein: Rammstein
Let’s make this clear: I consider Rammstein’s debut album, Herzeleid a masterpiece of industrial metal. It has all the delicacy and grace and refinement of a charging African elephant, and that’s what I love about it! This song (featured on the soundtrack of David Lynch’s cult film, Lost Highway) is Rammstein doing what they do best: combining guttural sprachgesang (involving potentially offensive subjects) with über-heavy backing. Einfach spitze!

11. Björk: Bachelorette
You can love her, you can hate her, or you can ignore her existence, but there’s no denying the sheer genius and astonishing beauty of this song. The orchestra weeps, the melody soars, the little Icelandic songbird unleashes her immense voice: “I’m a tree that grows hearts, one for each that you take…”

10. Rob Dougan: Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino mix)
Unless you were living on the Moon for the past decade, you must’ve heard this one somewhere. Over seven minutes of awesomeness, a battle between dark and heavy electro beats and tranquil, dramatic piano.

9. The Sisters of Mercy: Temple of Love
Oh, the blissful 80s! The time when metal and Goth rock and funny hairdos and tight leather pants reigned supreme! Ofra Haza is dead, and one of the music industry’s most fruitful decades is long gone; but this gem of a song is a must for everyone who’s feeling nostalgic or wants proof that 8 minutes of nonstop monotone drumming CAN and DOES kick ass if it’s served with style.

8. Nine Inch Nails: Closer
Trent Reznor is one of the few people who can squeeze out lines like “I want to fuck you like an animal, I want to feel you from the inside” without making an ass of himself. This song is not just about sex, it IS pure sex. Earfucking, joy oh joy!

7. Therion: The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah
Damn, it was hard to pick just one Therion song… This band is arguably the very best the symphonic/opera metal scene has to offer. I chose The Rise… because it is a perfect summary of what Therion is about-epic chorus, catchy refrain, nice beats and riffs that are guaranteed to get your big round brain-case bangin'.

6. Depeche Mode: Never Let Me Down Again
The big survivors of the synthpop era continue to rule supreme (I’ve seen them live last year-man, they can still party like it’s 1987!), and will hopefully get together for yet another album in the future. NLMDA has it all: simple yet captivating synthesizer tunes and beat, a surreal and powerful B&W video by the extraordinary Anton Corbijn, haunting vocals by a young and suave Dave Gahan and a live performance you will never forget.

5. The Cult: Take the Power
One of the many bands that was nearly offed by the grunge-epidemic, the divine phenomenon known as The Cult was reborn in 2001 and ripped off many unsuspecting heads with the kickassest hard rock album in recent memory. Beyond Good And Evil is so wicked, so raw, so powerful, it borders on heavy metal in places, with ear-crushing riffs rivaling those of the post-Black Album, pre-St. Anger Metallica, and Astbury’s voice is still one of the best in the business. I picked the song at random-Beyond Good… is all killers, no fillers.

4. Judas Priest: Breaking the Law
You thought a hard-hitting metal song has to be at least 4 minutes long? Think again. This midget is well-endowed and ready to rumble!

3. Metallica: Orion
The best instrumental in metal history. The song which makes bass players shed tears of envy. The masterpiece that will never be surpassed, not even by its own creators. ‘Nuff said.

2. Clint Mansell: Death Is the Road to Awe
Last year, acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (who rose to fame with his shocking drug-drama Requiem For A Dream) teamed up with composer C.Mansell to create yet another visual and sonic masterpiece. The Fountain, a poignant, philosophic and esoteric journey through space, time, life, love and death, bombed at the box office oversaturated with shallow action flicks and dumb comedies, but this won't change the fact that it's a wonderful film, with a soundtrack to match. Like most movie scores, The Fountain has a central theme which is repeated, expanded and varied throughout the album until it reaches its jaw-dropping climax- Death Is... Music for the heart and soul.

1. Apocalyptica: Cohkka
The title means “peak” or “summit” in Saami (not to be confused with Suomi). The song starts out slow, then gradually builds up momentum, like an avalanche of sound, until it blossoms into one of (if not THE) most beautiful melodies I have ever heard. I humbly bow before the cello-wizards and finish off my little journal entry by playing this song and turning off the lights while it’s softly snowing outside.


  • gwalla

    Clubbed to Death draws on the Enigma Variations by Elgar (who also wrote the Pomp And circumstance march heard at nearly every American graduation ceremony). And BTW Faithless is trip-hop, not trance.

    Nov 11 2007, 7h51
  • AnnaDraconida

    Trip-hop? They do mix elements of several genres, but they're essentially dance/techno.Their greatest hits are all dance. Insomnia,Tarantula,We Come 1,God Is A DJ... Anyway,I've removed Faithless in favor of a stunning piece of music I somehow forgot to include last night.

    Nov 11 2007, 18h54
  • gwalla

    Insomnia sounded pretty trip-hop to me. There was a distinct Tricky vibe to it. Still, it was definitely not trance. It didn't have the trance rhythm.

    Nov 12 2007, 8h09
  • dejot

    though i dont like either metallica or apokalyptica that much and never heard of clit mansell, i think it's a great and true list. but ... there are just 13 songs in it. and in my humble opinion there's a lot more very special and must-hear music out there. too much, in fact, to mention it all in one or two journal entries. let's say then, good job done by arranging that list over here. it's a beginning, a little extract from such a big pool. and now i forgot what i was about to say... cya then

    Nov 26 2007, 18h56
  • nDroae

    I'm commenting because I like your avatar and your choice of pets. :-P [i]The Sisters of Mercy: Temple of Love[/i] Good one. I agree exactly with the top 3 ranking on the band's 6-month chart, though. [i]Nine Inch Nails: Closer[/i] That came over the cable channel radio at a friend's house one time. Hilarious. [i]Clint Mansell: Death is the Road To Awe[/i] Never seen the movie. It sounded cool but allegedly, in true indie fashion, didn't have much of a point. I did, however, buy the soundtrack several months ago. I think I'll like it more after I see the movie, but this is undeniably a great track. [i]Nightwish: Sleeping Sun[/i] Yes... well, I only have the End of an Era version, and I only decided to get it (from eMusic) after watching the video which seems (please don't kill me) to feature Anette singing in a bathtub in the wilderness for whatever reason. I have a moderately high tolerance for alleged selfsameness (Hans Zimmer) and gimmickry as long as the music remains enjoyable. Amaranth = yay. Nemo = uberyay. What Sleeping Sun has is that quiet strength. Have you seen a documentary-esque film called Winged Migration? Its soundtrack has that too.

    Nov 29 2007, 0h11
  • winter_demon

    rammstein is not industrial metal although that song is pretty good, nightwish is a joke, im sorry, but thats the case, you can't highlight a pretty annoying band and claim that their song is hear or die here are some bettaaar ones!!!!1 Agalloch - She Painted Fire Across the Skyline part 1,2 & 3 At the Gates - Within Ulver - Capitel I: I Troldskog Faren Vild Summoning - Nightshade Forests Katatonia - Without God each of these have to be heard to believe, trust me, you will be a better person cause of them.

    Dez 19 2007, 3h43
  • AnnaDraconida

    Hey, I love Rammstein.

    Dez 19 2007, 11h16
  • MattyDienhoff

    This is an excellent list. Thanks a lot. :)

    Dez 25 2007, 3h55
  • Cygnus-X

    I really love Clubbed to Death, I found it on The Matrix OST, probably one of the better movie soundtracks. Mindfields and Narayan from Prodigy are also awesome long electronic song (Mindfields being on the same OST). Speaking of which, you might enjoy Sephiroth. Long, electronic, dark ambient songs with tribal beats. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

    Dez 25 2007, 5h12
  • namidaslave

    Really good list. Some are favourite songs of mine. I take this as a good sign. I need to listen to the others. Thanks for that. PS [quote]What's the point of having lyrics if you can't understand a single word, and what's the point of having a vocalist who sounds like a sexually excited Neanderthal or a high-pitched dinosaur fart?[/quote] This made me laugh out loud. + this avatar.

    Abr 24 2008, 0h06
  • crestfall1

    my mp3 collection includes 10 out of those 13, and though not full-hearteadly, at least partly I must agree with you. :) though I would've put your #2 song at #1.

    Mai 11 2008, 17h35
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