Going Out With a Bang
Contrasting last week’s topic
Last week, we looked at songs that started off with some intensity. This week, I’m looking at final songs that capture the same feeling. Like many starting songs, the final song can be a short contrast to the rest of the album, often mellowing out in denouement before ending. Initially, I was going to go with the usual complement of five songs, but this week I think I’m going to do ten because there are just so many great ones to choose from. Here’s the list!
NEVERMORE (UNITED STATES) – THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOR, FROM THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOR (2005)
Right before Nevermore officially broke up, they headlined a tour that came to my city in 2010. When they performed this song it was pretty amazing. Even the singer, Warrel Dane said afterwards, “Yes, we know, we know. We’ll never write a better song.” The Obsidian Conspiracy had been out and I felt it was a really good album but it was completely eclipsed by this masterpiece. This nine minute song not only pays homage to the allusion from which they get their namesake. It’s a song that discusses the struggle of religion and science to find common ground and the idea that the two concepts may not necessarily in contradiction of each other.
GOJIRA (FRANCE) – THE FALL, FROM L’ENFANT SAUVAGE (2012)
This album charted #32 on the Billboard 200 without any radio play. This band didn’t necessarily come out of nowhere, but their success was fairly unexpected. This particular song laments the changing of seasons from summer into autumn. While the drumming is fairly off-kilter and very aggressive, the clean vocals actually add an air of creepiness that the harsh vocals could not do. I think it’s a great ending to an album.
MIRRORTHRONE (SWITZERLAND) – ILS BRANDIRONT LEURS IDOLES, FROM CARRIERS OF DUST (2006)
This 22 minute epic, sung completely in French is insane. It is heavily inspired by the works of Arcturus and Emperor, as well as Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach. This band does sing in English sometimes, but it sounds so much more intense in French for some reason. It’s not even really a band, just one guy who composes all of this himself. He has two other projects he works on but I’ve heard nothing from him in six years. This is my all-time favorite band.
AESOP ROCK (UNITED STATES) – GOPHER GUTS, FROM SKELETHON (2012)
As I’ve stated before, Aesop Rock is the reason I gave hip hop a chance. His first album in five years at this point and his first album to be released on the Rhymesayers label since Definitive Jux went under, Aesop Rock comes with a slightly darker sound than before. It’s not quite like the song Night Light as far as the album goes, but this one is the darkest of all of his songs. I really enjoy it because there is no chorus, it’s just three stanzas of 15 lines followed by an outro. It talks about he has pretty much systematically destroyed every meaningful relationship he has ever had. Many can relate.
WINDS (NORWAY) – THE LAST LINE, FROM PROMINENCE AND DEMISE (2007)
Taking members from Age of Silence and Arcturus, Winds is the quintessential progressive neo-classical metal band. Not only is this is the last song on this album, it’s also the last song to be released by them period (though Wikipedia does mention a forthcoming album for 2015). The lyrical content tends to be very nature/science based like Borknagar uses and tends to work in movements the way classical music is structured. This is the kind of music that makes you realize the grand scope of the universe.
SYMPHONY X (UNITED STATES) – THE ODYSSEY, FROM THE ODYSSEY (2002)
Wait, you thought there would only be one 20-minute song on here? Symphony X gonna give it to ya. Not only is this one of the coolest final songs to an album, it’s also one of the coolest literature based songs of all time. When I do my piece about music about books, I’ll include this and annotate it a little further. But yes, this is DEFINITELY a song that chronicles the story of Odysseus in its entirety. If you caught my Symphony X article about the album Underworld (also about Greek mythology), you can note how much they have changed over the last 13 years.
GOJIRA – GLOBAL WARMING, FROM FROM MARS TO SIRIUS (2005)
Gojira’s second album deserves a mention as well. The guitarwork in this song is too good not to. Gojira is known well for being conscious of wildlife as well as the ecosystem. If you’re into that type of stuff, you might really enjoy their lyrical content. This is a pretty cool song regardless of what your views are about the planet.
SOILWORK – OWLS PREDICT, ORACLES STAND GUARD, FROM THE LIVING INFINITE (2013)
Taking off from last week where this album started off with a bang, this double album ends with my favorite Soilwork song of all time. This song in particular strikes me well because it doesn’t use the typical structure of oscillating between verse and chorus and there’s a moment that sounds very Gojira-like to me so that resonated really well with me because I was first starting to really get into Gojira when I came across this album.
DOOMTREE (UNITED STATES) – MARATHON, FROM ALL HANDS (2015)
This song is pretty awesome because it’s another seven minute hip hop song which is exceptionally rare. There are five rappers who are part of the Doomtree collective and all five of them are featured in this song. There are clever references and one of my friends mentioned that each verse has a part where part of the song uses a deeper tone (maybe intended to sound demonic?) that accompanies part of their verse for a little. The intensity doesn’t let up until the very end.
MIRRORTHRONE – SO FRAIL, FROM GANGRENE (2008)
And… I’m going to include one more Mirrorthrone song for good measure. If you’ve ever played Brutal Legend, you may have come across this song while you were hacking up enemies with your guitar. At just under seven minutes, this is actually a very short song by Mirrorthrone’s standards. It’s also the last recorded song available and nothing has been released since. Hopefully we can see something new someday. Fingers crossed!
I was hoping I could tell you all about how awesome the Ghost show was but it sold out super quickly and I as unable to score tickets! But Blind Guardian is coming and I WILL have something to say about that! So you can expect that next month. Adios!