Oh wow! Christopher Bowes here, singer for the world's 2nd worst pirate metal band Alestorm. Usually I'd be fortunate enough to call myself a professional musician, and I'd be off round the world pretending to be drunk and playing annoying songs about pirates to anyone who cares to listen. Obviously however that entire lifestyle and occupation is utterly non-feasible at the moment, and I'm stuck here at home like everyone else, listening to music and waiting for the world to end (or for Waffle House to reopen, whatever comes first). Pandemics suck, don't they?
Anyway, the lovely folks at Metal Injection asked me to compile a "Quarantine Playlist" featuring all the songs I like to listen to during these incredibly boring slow months where nothing happens. I'm sure a few of you would expect me to present a list of godawful mainstream meme-filled party/folk metal, but truth be told, I can't stand the stuff! It's fun to write that kind of music and play it on stage, but I'd much rather listen to something a lot more grandiose and epic. There's a bunch of my old favorites from the bands I grew up listening to in my teenage years, like the barbarian metal kings Bal-Sagoth (featuring one of the longest song titles ever), epic folk metal legends Falkenbach and Obtest (I still like some folk metal, as long as it has the right atmosphere), and obscure bands such as The Elysian Fields and Rakoth who fascinated me for years even though I only ever knew one or two of their songs.
I've also included a lot of the new bands I've discovered in recent years; as you inch past 30 years old it's very easy to stop listening to new music and just be set in your ways, so it's important to keep finding new bands to enjoy. Mesarthim and Forlorn Citadel are both incredible Australian bands, both with mysterious anonymous artists behind them (there's something super cool about not letting people know who you really are…but then again I'd love to meet these guys!), and Obsequiae put out my favorite album of 2019 in The Palms of Sorrowed Kings. Naturally I can't forget my friends in Aether Realm, who can make a 20 minute long song sound fascinating and listenable (and they've got a phenomenal new album out in May). And then there's Demon Bitch who are just groundbreaking on every level, and a required listen for every self respecting metalhead.
So that's my playlist. I hope you enjoy these 80 minutes of sonic adventure through space and time.
[P.S./Editor's Note] Alestorm will release their new album Curse of the Crystal Coconut on May 29. Pre-order it here!