Guest Column: Five Albums That Will Change You By Subversion’s Jay Shields

These five discs are influential gems you surely should discover

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A long time ago, we asked a bunch of bands to submit columns on the following topic: Five Albums That Will Change Your Life. Today, we bring you an entry provided by Subversion frontman Jay Shields, who have a new album coming out next month; check out a lyric video from the dudes here.

It’s hard to define just five albums that will change your life, but I’ve tried to identify five key albums which have influenced my tastes over the years to maximum effect. If you’ve not heard them either, perhaps they’ll do the same for you.

You’ll probably realize when you’re reading this that I like music that is not only heavy, but also beautiful. Richly concocted to form a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Brutal is good, but I find it all the more impacting when only moments ago, you were being seduced by wondrous melody.

Tool’s ÆNEMA
The first band I ever saw live were Tool at the London Astoria in 1997. The year after they released ÆNEMA. This album still to this day is a firm favourite in my playlists and will stay with me forever.

Maynard James Keenan’s vocals are haunting as they are beautiful and the backdrop delivered by the rest of the band on this album has so much texture it’s a true work of art. The complex melodies and delicate ambience they create are inspiring and really bring out the emotion within.

Hopesfall’s The Satellite Years
Introduced to me by my first gigging bandmates, this album is a post-hardcore call to arms. A rally cry to a generation that was in need of something different. The soundscapes and juxtaposition of heavy riffs with beautiful melodies was one I’d not fully experienced to this extent before.

The harsh vocals and guitar tones were really new to me at the time; tracks like “The Bending,” “Decoys Like Curves” and “Andromeda” are so well-crafted, they’re seamless. The emotion within the screams on this album and the wonder in the clean vocals are a great mix and one that brings back great memories of my early days in bands.

Cloudkicker’s Beacons
I first heard of this guy online via a metal site, and after one track, I was hooked. The rhythmical progressions he delivers are the stuff true composers are made of. Creating everything in his bedroom Cloudkicker was also the first person I came into contact with who produced everything himself, although this seems much more common these days.

This album has so much to offer without going overboard and is available for free download, so do yourself a favor and check it out today!

Textures’ Silhouettes
Not only are Textures one of the most understated bands of recent years, but this album holds great personal weight in my heart. The songs are expertly balanced with equal parts heaviness and melody.

Tracks “Laments of an Icarus” and “Awake” are personal favorites and have many parts to them, each bringing with it their own special flavor which has to be savored. This album is a must have for anyone looking to expand their musical horizons into something altogether euphoric.

Misery Signals’ Controller
This album is one of my all-time favorites and I’ll return to it time and again. Karl Schubach’s vocals are superb — not only brutal but you can understand every word he is saying. Tracks like “Weight of the World” and “A Certain Death” are highlights on the record but each track has something to offer.

The rich tapestry they weave so effortlessly on this album is unique, and it’s clear to see why they’ve gained such an underground following. If you’ve not heard of them then I urge you to listen to this album.

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