I think I stumbled across Sólstafir somewhat around 2008 because my colleague got some promotional material from them. Back then nobody really knew about those guys from Iceland and 'köld' really blew my and a lot of other heads off. it was just something completely different. especially this song is so full of emotions and truth that you do have no other chance than to fall in love with this song and this band in general. By the way, that was my wife's and my wedding song.
Besides the fact that Blake Judd is widely known for his rip-offs, he always remains a great musician. I came to know Nachtmystium around 2009 when they released an EP called 'Doomsdays Derelicts' that I had to review back in the days. That's when my passion for them started and it remained like that till now. Especially 'Ghost of Grace' shows this magnificent mixture of harsh black metal, atmospheric Industrial and a deep drug-influenced depression, which makes the music of these guys so unique. It's this blend of anger, Despair and pain in their sound that reaches me on so many levels.
It was the 'Big Lebowski' soundtrack from which I learned about Townes Van Zandt in the first place. He was featured on the O.S.T. with the song 'Dead Flowers', an old Rolling Stones-Cover. Yet the real big love for him began when the label 'My Proud Mountain' released a compilation called 'Songs of Townes van Zandt' in 2012 which featured various covers of his songs by Steve Von Till (Neurosis), Wino (Saint Vitus) and Scott Kelly (Neurosis). From that point on I started binge listening his whole records and was overwhelmed by his pure and essential folk sound. he was at his high point when he played alone. just his guitar and his voice. pure, simple and full of emotions. 'Waiting Around to Die' is one of my favourite songs by him. It's a catchy, gloomy and lyrically harsh tune. gorgeous.
Hard to pick out one particular song as the most important, but Tom Waits is the master. with his blend of styles and his fuck off-attitude when it comes to musical borders, he is more metal than most death bands out there. The way the makes music is a strong inspiration because it's all about letting the ideas flow even if that means that some songs will end up being enormously different to the rest. He impersonates this attitude what makes him one of the greatest. 'Heart Attack and Vine' is a groovy bit by him with one of the greatest lines: 'Don't you know there is no devil, it's just God when he's drunk!'.
This is one of those songs you hear for the first time and you won't be able to forget it forever. crushing drums, painful riffs and a screeching voice that makes you shiver. For me this is one of the most energetic post-Black Metal Songs that has been written so far. It has this brute heaviness and is yet so gloomy and depressing that you can't decide whether to cry or to hit someone in the face. I should not forget to mention that this songs delivers one of the greatest moments at minute 8. pure ecstasy!