Cheer on the Concept: Hull Bassist Sean Dunn's Five Favorite Metal Concept Albums
Metal has long been a canvas for the otherworldly. When the paper version of DC9 spoke to The Sword's lead man, J.D. Cronise, back in February, his answer to why metal is such fertile soil for the magical and mystical was rather matter of fact.
"The music itself is just kind of extreme and loud," Cronise says of metal as a whole. "It's either heavy or fast or a combination of both, and it's generally played by young men who have a lot of testosterone and are prone to flights of fancy, while really being into monster movies and tales of spaceships. So, that energy sort of permeates the youthful, masculine energy that heavy metal is based upon, and it lends itself to ridiculous subject matter."
When looked upon in that logical context, the second album from Brooklyn's doom metal band Hull makes a boat-load of sense, even if the concept behind their new record, Beyond the Lightless Sky, seems less than logical. Described by the band as a "Mayan epic that takes the listener through the separation of two brothers and the struggles they are faced with," the record is indeed every bit as grandiose as the concept implies. Possessing healthy doses of doom, prog and thrash mixed with a little black metal, Lightless Sky is indeed a daring epic to behold.
As Hull makes their way to Austin to take part in this weekend's Fun Fun Fun Fest activities, they'll be stopping by Bryan Street Tavern for a show that's surely bound to test the noise-level limits of the pizza-friendly bar's East Dallas neighborhood. Since the band obviously enjoys a metal-riffic concept album, we thought it would be appropriate to see what bassist Sean Dunn's favorite metal concept albums are.
Follow the jump to find out.
1. Mastodon, Leviathan: It seems that they usually work with a concept. It would be nice if they had time to make their new albums this brutal and raw. Everything else seems to be a bit more polished.
2. Mastodon, Blood Mountain: I thought this came out pretty tough! There are a few standouts, but it seemed as though they started to slip towards the more commercial sound they are shooting for these days.
3. Marilyn Manson, Antichrist Superstar: This seems metal to me. It's pretty heavy throughout, and it scared the shit out of a lot of people. To me, that kind of qualifies it as metal, as most that are offended by music generally tie it to heavier music. Some albums don't really seem conceptual in the sense that they take a character and have it run through series of events. Most of the time it is quite vague, but, I guess it happens. On top of this being a killer album, it was produced by Trent Reznor, who made the ambiance creepy as hell.
4. Meshuggah, Catch 33: Anything that Meshuggah does generally puts a smile on my face.
5. Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Deaf: I wasn't aware this was a concept album. I guess that the production made it more of that with the weird radio interludes between the songs. That kept my attention long enough to want to listen to it from beginning to end, which is usually the biggest compliment anyone can give a band. To hear that folks have been listening throughout Hull's Beyond The Lightless Sky from beginning to end, and then starting it over again, makes us extremely proud. Keep listening and see you out there!