Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Today we're starting a new column on Rocks Off, where we ask local heroes for their top five absolute desert island discs, the records that made them the musicians they are today. This week; Doomstress Alexis, vocalist and bassist of Project Armageddon.
Iron Maiden, Live After Death While this isn't a studio album, it is a live collection of five great albums Iron Maiden put out and it captured such energy from their show and from the audience. Steve Harris' bass playing and Bruce Dickinson's vocals are probably the two biggest influences on me musically, both as a singer and a bassist, as well as being a performer onstage.
This was also my introduction into heavy metal around the time I was five or six years old listening to all my older brother's records, so those early years probably have had the biggest impact on me. I also liked that they could write a short, three-minute, single-worthy song or a 14-minute epic and they would play them both live. This album just has it all.
Black Sabbath, Master of Reality If you play metal you have to chalk up some credits to Black Sabbath for pretty much defining the genre. Growing up, this album just really hooked me with the heavy grooves and riffs and Geezer's bass playing of course. Lyrically it really resonated with me, and it's crazy that the things Sabbath was singing about in the '70s are still going on today; fear of nuclear weapons and war, mass pollution and corporate greed.
One of the other key things about this record though was how they could still include songs with such melody and heart right along the heavier tracks. They were Black Sabbath and they wrote what they fucking wanted! Not being afraid to be diverse had a massive impact on me.
This was also a record that really gave me a much greater appreciation of the drums as more than just a background percussive rhythm instrument, but something that can really take the forefront or lead in a song. This whole album just invokes such a range of emotions as well.
Story continues on the next page.
Judas Priest, Sad Wings of Destiny Classic twin guitars, solid rhythm section and vocals that epitomized the voice of metal for decades! Halford could hit soaring highs to lulling lows and carry it all in between. The use of layered vocals building through delayed harmonies really had a great appeal to me for adding a natural effect and depth to a recording. And again, this album has a variation in styles including a piano and vocal piece, all which pull your emotions in different directions. Vocally though, Halford's range and delivery would be a major influence on me.
Candlemass, From the 13th Sun While I have had several bands and records influence me in many ways, these previous records were all from my earliest years, that I believe have had the greatest impact on me as a musician. That being said, there is one record I want to include that had a major influence on me much later in life, in fact it was only about three years ago.
I was going through some very emotionally traumatic things in my life and my guitarist, Brandon, had this playing one day and it grabbed me. One of those records that you can somehow identify with on some other level as if it speaks directly to you and I latched onto it as an outlet for my pain. I feel it influenced some of the more aggressive and direct song and lyric-writing for my more recent works with both Project Armageddon as well as Vendetta Diabolique. I wanted to put that frustration, anger, and hurt out there in the music and the words even.
Project Armageddon plays Saturday, November 29 at Rudyard's with Vanity Crimes, "Ganesha," and Giant Kitty.
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