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Thread: Shad Forums Presents World of Walrus

  1. ISO #401
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    7. Cthulwu on the Crimson Fjord

    As you ascend the celestial plane from a glowing node where the royal palace once stood, racing past stars and galaxies towards a final antagonist who has never been mentioned before, you begin to wonder what his edgelord name will be. Your team decided to go in blind. Just for the first pull. Just to see how it feels.

    Voice comms quiet down as this uniquely badass villain looms into view. For a surely fleeting moment, this is pretty damn cool. You wait for the cheesy dialogue to ensue. Quips about the futility of life and such. The inevitable.

    But it doesn't follow. No exposition. No taunts or boasts or nihilistic musings. He just stares at you in total silence, like a god before which you are truly nothing. As the music begins, the urgency blurs your sense of time. You enter combat in a rhythmic trance, still mesmerized as you determine the fate of the universe.

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    39th place:

    Moose

    Ghostgeemo - Number One Victory Point

    This meme was so totally lost on me that I actually dug up the OST assuming someone wanted to submit the original song and grabbed a bad link.

    But there is no original song by this name so you're probably Moose.

    It sounds oddly familiar but I don't recognize it and don't know the game sorry.

    4.5

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    38th place:

    Zander

    Powerman 5000 - When Worlds Collide

    I kind of hated this song when it was a radio single, and 23 years hasn't really changed my impression. I definitely get the thematic relevance but man it's soooooo repetitive and there's not much interesting going on to make that repetition a fulfilling experience to me. I'm down for some Rob Zombie for sure, but the Marilyn Manson worship does even less for me than Marilyn Manson. And that's sort of what I hear here any way I cut it. I think they even shipped themselves as Rob Zombie's musical kid brother. But Rob uses a lot of thick spacious tones and industrial edge to push his songs forward where this is a pretty empty soundscape that tries to deliver through Manson-esque theatrics. Ugh the two power chord chorus with literally nothing else happening is just insufferable to me even if I could develop some Stockholm syndrome embrace of his Disney villain persona in the verses.

    This actually popped on my coworker's radio while I was spinning the category through my headset and all I thought was God not again.

    4.8

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    37th place:

    Ampharos

    Utsu-P - MiKUSABBATH [2020mix]

    Well...

    This song actually prompted me to put on Cradle of Filth's Midian for the first time in probably 20 years and I stand by my opinion at the time that Cthulhu Dawn is a dope song. A skim of the rest of the album is giving me some strong Tommy Wiseau vibes.

    If kawaiicore has an aesthetic purpose I've yet to discover it and that's two strikes you're out.

    6.2

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    36th place:

    Rhand

    In-Quest - In for the Kill (Pro-Pain cover)

    This is... incredibly boring to me I'm sorry lol. I'd never actually heard Pro-Pain before despite seeing their name pop up a lot. This adds a little synth flutter over the original that I guess makes it more appealing to me because just about anything could. Solo aside the entire song is basically just this same two note riff repeated ad nauseam and it does nothing for me. If Dave Brockie was singing about shooting nuns out of a space torpedo over it I could get into the stripped down no frills head bangin' plod, but otherwise it's just not a sound I want to bop along to. My every song is the same thing but I'm into it anyway because I click with the aesthetic metal tendencies lean more towards hyper black metal and thicc bass doom.

    6.4

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    35th place:

    Bloobird

    Perturbator - Satanic Rites

    Perturbate me daddy.

    2:40 feels like it's inspired by scenes from Super Metroid. I liked that part and am totally not saying this because I just replayed Super Metroid. ...actually maybe it's legit because at 3:45 he starts channeling some Castlevania.

    Ok look there's nothing wrong with this song. It's got big full sound and that's enough to probably top half it in a cruising through futurecity category once I think I'm done scoring them and casually relisten with a glass of wine and go oh wow big full sound and bump it up. It just doesn't carry nearly as much weight for me here. I dunno, there might be something more subtle going on that doesn't make it rip for me right now, like the snare tone is kind of weak and the bass doesn't feel like it reaches down into the lowest register quite as much as I want it to, but I don't think I can fairly judge that in this style without comparable tracks in the mix. There's one other sort of like this, and putting it on now I think the observation holds?

    I got a ton of great subs to this category and even a lot of the misses were near misses where I appreciated the category relevance or enjoyed the base style more or loved the track and just didn't feel like it really hit the mark. There's no feature in this compelling me to give it some grace.

    6.7

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    34th place:

    Owner of a Lonely Heart

    Luke Vibert - I Love Acid

    Listen to this on repeat eight times and regret your decision.

    Ok so I do like this spin on the category quite a bit. There's some Hip Tanaka in Earthbound brain damage to it that I can see awkwardly unfolding into a wacky space walrus boss fight. But it's extraordinarily repetitive in a jarring way and I can only take so much of it. I do think it sounds substantially better if I just listen to it once and move on for a while.

    6.8

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    33rd place:

    MyNameIsNothing

    Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes - Âme Debout

    I certainly can't fault this on originality. Like Björk's asthma attack before it, that doesn't automatically make me enjoy the thing. Eight minutes of her making all these weird sounds wears on me. Eight minutes of it a dozen times is kind of irredeemable. This hit a mid-experience peak where I got over the uncomfortable first impression and acknowledged it was an interesting concept I didn't want to tank, but it fell off a cliff from there.

    7.0

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    32nd place:

    sOHiJK

    The Toxic Avenger - My Only Chance

    Is it just me or has the Furi soundtrack seen a ton of representation in walruses over the years? I guess it helped put Carpenter Brut on the map, so that's a thing.

    There isn't much substance to this song. I'm either feeling the mood it sets from the get-go or I'm not. I think it's... pleasant and relatively unobtrusive, though the vocal sample began to wear on me over repetition. But it's not really doing anything for me above and beyond that. It doesn't move me in a deep way or stick with me after it's ended, and in the absence of anything particularly interesting happening there's nothing compelling me to engage with it further anyway. It's nice.

    7.2

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    31st place:

    Ace Marvel

    Pink Fantasy - Poison

    When this busts out into fast-paced pop I love it. The rest of the song exists though and that's a problem. This gets off to a really rough start. The tick tock tick tock napkin napkin part is painfully contrived. The programmed drumming is just wretched and would it have killed them to use a studio musician for 45 seconds and transition when it's actually appropriate. The guitar is so bland and I guess there can be worlds for that but they're singing like it's supposed to be dark or hard or something and it just isn't. At 0:37 it evolves to more like a cut from a 90s racing videogame, and I can live with that. But my goodness this song starts off on the wrong foot for me in so many ways.

    It's weird too because when they try to be hard again at 1:12 they're relatively successful? There's a cool out of tune high pitched tone in the background that gives it some flavor. And it acknowledges that this is never going to ship hard as metal, relying more on electronic effects to get the job done. But that's short lived and at 1:25 we have to revisit the dubious introduction briefly before the song returns to something I want to listen to. Eh. This feels half baked like the producer knew how to write kpop and said "ok and our gimmick is we're going to do metal things" and asked Google what that's supposed to sound like. I only enjoy it when it's not trying to be anything but a pop tune. That being said, as a pop tune it does totally kick. Probably not much of a category fit.

    7.7

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    30th place:

    soah 2

    Seth - Hymne au Vampire (Acte III)

    My first conscious awareness of this song in the new subs playlist was a moment where I was enjoying one track and then another and went wait wasn't the first one like ten minutes ago? It's a cat fit for sure, but nothing in this is standing out as distinct or original or even the same old with above-average execution. I listened to this song a ton--last.fm says 16 times--mainly because every time I put it on I forgot it was playing within a minute and it would end and I'd go oh, huh, guess I should try again. I suppose it's an inherent risk in the genre I am most familiar with. If it's not bringing anything original to the table and I'm not connecting with something in the production choices then it just washes out into a thousand songs like it that I've heard before.

    Yeah I'm coming back to this again another week later and it just does nothing for me. Previous placement stands.

    7.8

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    29th place:

    MyNameIsResub, no points

    아이브 - Love Dive

    I think? this was the kpop track that got replaced, but I'm not sure why I thought that so I might have just made it up after the fact. Anyway I wanted to listen to both. Yeah this is just a bit rough on the category relevance. It kinda slaps though, definitely enjoyed it.

    7.9

  13. ISO #413
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    28th place:

    birdwithteeth11

    Alex Terrible - BFG Division (Demon Vocal Cover)

    I thought the original BFG Division was cool when it dropped, albeit more like lol they went djent how appropriate respect than any sort of deep love for it. Watching a few in-game sequences just now definitely enhanced the appeal. And this guy's vocal addition is admirable for not ruining it.

    I dunno I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this as something other than a meme lol. I really admire what Mick Gordon accomplished crafting a metal game soundtrack that aesthetically fits--something that goes this hard but remains mindful of its task to enhance the atmosphere of a particular setting. The repetition and ambient breaks and focus on rhythm over melody serve a purpose that's lost a bit when transformed into something meant to be enjoyed more as a single. The vocals work here but at the expense of altering the song's intended venue. It's just a lot less interesting to me this way because my head keeps approaching it as a cut on an album meant for some Century Media sampler instead of a really heavy atmospheric track. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I mean, the guy's clearly just having fun with it and accomplished what he intended well. I can go "lol nice" and enjoy it with him, but it doesn't supplant the original.

    8.0

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    27th place:

    roro__b

    Facebreaker - Mutilator

    I never guessed this would be a metal song.

    Don't mistake the placement for a suggestion that I disliked this. They've got big crisp chonky tones that make my ears happy, and that's all a song like this needs really. Is it every death metal song ever? Sure, but that's a fine aspiration if you can nail the execution. They sound like the sort of opening band that would impress me with their intensity and sell me an album to spin once and then forget exists forever. Maybe I'm guilty of drooling all over black metal bands that are no more groundbreaking, but that's just an aesthetic preference.

    8.2

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    I loved all of these sorry there are too many of you to top half everyone

    Angrypotato
    BLOODYRAIN10001
    Kane
    ladd
    LordQuas
    marmot
    Mischief
    MyNameIsKPOP
    Newcomb
    nutella
    Owner 2
    Psycho666Soldier
    PunchyTheCat
    Relm
    Roman
    Schiavetto
    shubaka17
    soah
    staypositivefriend
    tane
    Tanner_FromHighschool
    tonystarkprime
    vanity.
    Visorslash
    Zack
    Zarathustra

  16. ISO #416
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    26th place:

    soah

    Mesarthim - Absence, Pt. 3

    I had a strong Violet Cold and Kaatayra subber read on this before I saw the cover art to The Degenerate Era and went oh that one. Maybe bandcamp metal should be its own genre tag. They also appear on the Summoning tribute album In Mordor Where the Shadows Are, which makes them like the seventh band on that compilation that I ended up diving in to elsewhere.

    I try to not talk about other subs to the same category when I write these because then I move things and have to write something else but oops and I don't feel like rewriting so

    This is really pretty and has obvious space vibes. Similar to King Gizzard in a very different way, they aren't particularly category-relevant space vibes. I don't know that I'm fighting to save the universe here so much as blissfully cruising through it checking out galaxies like they're a pacific coast sunset. Although between the two of you I might have convinced myself to run a space category next year after all...

    (If it's any consolation, you didn't move down. The other track moved up. The really quiet mix made this easy bait for the bumping.)

    9.0

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    25th place:

    tonystarkprime

    Joe & Rose Lee Maphis - Orange Blossom Special

    lol nice

    9.1

  18. ISO #418
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    24th place:

    Angrypotato

    Shanghai Symphony Orchestra - Rage Beneath the Mountain

    I can say this; I'm very interested in picking up one of those comprehensive fan rip 10 hour compilations of the complete Genshin Impact score and just letting it roll for a day once the dust has settled on walrusing and I have time to follow other whims. This is a rad merger of rock and symphonics and traditional instrumentation and I think it could completely steal the show in a game setting on a level comparable to how Masayoshi Soken transformed so many technical and mechanically fun FF14 combat sequences into edge of my seat visceral experiences.

    As a concert hall cut, the production here was destined to not live up to the scope of the song. Orchestral music often pans out that way, which is a shame because live performance is so fundamental to it. I think it's one of those things where if I was already invested in the tune, live would be better, because I'd detect every creative flare of deviation from the original and I'd get the visual experience of watching them execute something I already love. It's not always my ideal venue for a first encounter though.

    Maybe another thing is while this is an excellent suspense/combat track there's nothing unique to it that really speaks to the category outside of that for me. I'd love to give it a higher spot, but this round was sooooooooooo competitive.

    9.2

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    23rd place:

    MyNameIsKPOP

    Bébe Yana - Space Mulan

    Structurally, the transition into breakcore has category relevance, but as I'm actually experiencing it, it never quite gets off the ground in that context. It's modestly foreboding and it builds, but the most climactic moments are the most chill to me. I can't imagine the scene here any way I cut it, and I was open to pretty quirky interpretations. I think maybe in a different setting I could have gotten into this track more. I do like it, but I'm diving in looking for elements that aren't there instead of just appreciating what it is.

    But damn this keeps growing on me and growing on me and I regret not allowing extra subs from the beginning so I could absorb it more completely. It keeps trending up every time I put it on.

    9.3

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    22nd place:

    Owner 2

    Kamelot - Ghost Opera

    Slowly but surely, I definitely connected with this the most out of the second wave of subs to this category. I haven't listened to Kamelot in so long they aren't registering on my last.fm charts, and I registered in 2003. I have a bad habit of categorizing all bands from my turn of the century transition into enjoying metal as Blind Guardian, Opeth, or mediocre. They definitely have the trappings of a band I would struggle to get into today, but damn that chorus is just too catchy to resist. The symphonic elements don't just enhance the song but really drive it forward and blend with the chugging guitar as a core source of melody, reminiscent of, well, Blind Guardian among others. This was a tough field to go deep in, but this is well within the range of subs I enjoyed.

    9.4

  21. ISO #421
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    21st place:

    BLOODYRAIN10001

    Imperial Circus Dead Decadence - 嚮導BRING+瞳EYES=死DEATH+齎INVITE

    I kept forgetting this was playing, which is really #debate's fault not the song's, but the thought definitely amused me when I turned my attention back to my ears and heard piggy squeals.

    The lip-puckered clean vocals are really at odds with how hard the rest of this goes and I'm not sure it's a complementary contrast. I mean, by design there's absolutely nothing holding back on this so I don't think I'm missing something; I think they're just not a great fit for the song.

    Otherwise this is awesome. It doesn't offer anything in the way of a memorable melody, but it's so tight. The tempo almost never relents. Every transition is built to pack a punch, and it's a song with countless transitions. I love the way the guitar flies over everything and then synth responds to the rhythmic screams back and forth and then the whole thing flips into a sick death metal breakdown and none of it lasts for more than a few seconds. I don't know what the hell happens to the vocals at 2:03. It's like some electronic whirl takes over for four notes and the guitar squeals on the last one and God this song has so many moments. Everything is so precise. It's really exceptionally executed instrumentally.

    The chorus really does suck. It stands out so bad because everything else is so good. Why did they do this? The guitar solo's maybe a bit limp too but at least in a benign forgivable way. Eh. This wasn't quite what I was looking for in terms of mood. Cat 2 was really the place for this to shine. But I could easily never have that thought if I unconditionally loved it. Why oh why does this chorus exist. I had a blast experiencing the rest though.

    9.5

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    20th place:

    tane

    Sarin Snow - Mighty Lightning

    This is exactly the sort of thing I would be quite satisfied to hear playing in a scene leading into the encounter I described. I half imagine the artist had something similar in mind composing it. Probably not a giant space walrus but you never know. If we're riding this the whole way through from diabolical introduction to real time combat, I can see the fight starting at 2:10. Although... it's kind of one-dimensional towards that end. The in-context statement here is that absolutely nothing is going to change when you start fighting this thing because you're just that insignificant. I love it as a category fit. It's not a particularly interesting piece of music, at least not strung out across five and a half minutes.

    9.6

  23. ISO #423
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    TOP HALF

    Kane
    ladd
    LordQuas
    marmot
    Mischief
    Newcomb
    nutella
    Psycho666Soldier
    PunchyTheCat
    Relm
    Roman
    Schiavetto
    shubaka17
    staypositivefriend
    Tanner_FromHighschool
    vanity.
    Visorslash
    Zack
    Zarathustra

  24. ISO #424
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    19th place:

    shubaka17

    King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Kepler-22b

    I don't think I'd ever heard a Gizzard Lizard song I would listen to voluntarily before. This is a lot more appealing than what I'm used to out of them. It's a categorical risk that was probably dead at conception (I sometimes point to this band as a prime example of psychedelic music I don't like), but trying to give it a fair shot here. I think that if I had set up a theme along the lines of groovy space travel I would be writing like wow hey they can write music I like after all and giving it a good spot. But I would never run that category for reasons uh. This has some cool subtle features. The clicky percussion that gets loud at 1:23 and 2:32 stood out. I'm appreciating the minimal production in a way I never got invested enough to notice with them before. This feels like a creatively crafted song where the stuff I heard during their 2017 spamfest seemed a lot more like aimless 60s-worship wankery. I'm walking away from this intrinsically enjoying it with higher hopes for the band than I used to have.

    Actually kind of fell in love with this over the course of the category. Probably going to pick up the album now.

    9.7

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    18th place:

    Visorslash

    Makeup - The Inborn Spine

    This is fabulous as an intro track. I instantly loved it. Unfortunately, it's only that. I would have loved to hear them not necessarily "progress" this but just string it out across six minutes and do some more experimental noise effects over the top, get some high pitched feedback layered in there, make a proper feature experience of it. I tried the next song on the album to see if I could cram it in here too, but it doesn't really flow.

    9.8

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    17th place:

    PunchyTheCat

    Mahito Yokota - Melty Molten Galaxy

    I finally got to play Mario Galaxy the whole way through this past year. Think I'd put it second only to Odyssey among the non-RPGs, but its soundtrack never leapt out at me the way I'm used to in pretty much anything heavily influenced by Koji Kondo. Maybe it's just a bit more subtle, because this is certainly good. I was instantly impressed not only by how chill this is for a distinctly action-oriented track, but by how incredibly appropriate it is for that game's unique setting despite that I never directly noticed it as I played the game.

    Pretty much every time this came on rolling through the category as a playlist I was instantly happy to hear it and sad to see it end. Cheesy but idgaf I love it. I think it's a creative category fit too. Haters are destined to hate but you did great imo.

    9.9

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    16th place:

    Tanner_FromHighschool

    Michel Chion - Dies Iræ

    This could pass for the final battle music for Giygas in Earthbound. I haven't heard much like it before but it seems very Tangycore, Ground Zero vibes but it never turns into people playing music. I found it extremely replayable and listened to it more than any other sub to this category. Sincerest apologies to the dozen of you with whom I'll now be sharing that experience, but this is a fabulous cat fit if you ask me, and unfortunately you did.

    10.0

  28. ISO #428
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    TOP 15

    Kane
    ladd
    LordQuas
    marmot
    Mischief
    Newcomb
    nutella
    Psycho666Soldier
    Relm
    Roman
    Schiavetto
    staypositivefriend
    vanity.
    Zack
    Zarathustra

  29. ISO #429
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    15th place:

    Zack

    Phoenix - Love Like a Sunset (Part 1)

    I clicked this going "how the hell is Lisztomania going to work" and have absolutely no recollection of this track from the album haha. Does a lot of their music sound like this? Obvious association bias but it sounds like it could be a cut from the Lost in Translation soundtrack. Nice progression that jives with the category. Yeah if they ever want to release an album that's all this with no pop cuts count me in.

    We're into the thick of it now. Final boss is gonna have 15 stages I guess because I fell in love with every single one of these from here on up.

    10.6

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    14th place:

    Psycho666Soldier

    Suffering Hour - Strongholds of Awakening

    As soon as I saw Profound Lore my eyes lit up like fluorescent gum drops and my ears braced themselves for exactly what I wanted to hear. I would call this Veilburner worship if they weren't contemporary. What a spectacle. Does it start to lose the plot a bit 3 minutes in? I dunno. It's a meandering mess on purpose and that keeps me going up to the first chorus-ish climax. The lead into the second one... is it more structured or am I just normalizing things now? Not sure, but it starts to devolve in my head to something more like a song some dudes wrote rather than an ear-infused touch of madness. It's a distinction only relevant for hair-splitting; what they do in the rare moments they aren't being eclectic as hell doesn't flow smoothly enough to appeal to me above and beyond my normal high expectations for the genre.

    10.7

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    13th place:

    Roman

    Neptunian Maximalism - TO THE MOON : VAJRABHAIRAVA Part I - The Summoning (Nasatanada Zazas!)

    That is some packaging. I am really tempted to buy this even though I don't think I really want to listen to 2+ hours of it just because they made it look so intriguing. I still might. The only other Belgian group I know is apocalyptic folk drone darlings Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat, so I'm going to assume this is the sort of stuff everyone there listens to at the dinner table.

    10.8

  32. ISO #432
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    12th place:

    LordQuas

    Nadja - In the Shadow of the Wing of the Thing Too Big to Be Seen

    I think this is the first time I heard a Nadja song under 15 minutes but I'll take it.

    Will I take it?

    Actually no I won't take it. I'm force-subbing Sunwell to this too because they're both short and belong together. Don't worry it just means you get more points.

    10.9

  33. ISO #433
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    11th place:

    Relm

    Colin Stetson - Judges

    I picked up that the percussion was him slamming keys pretty quick, but I had to watch a live performance to figure out the vocals aren't modified. I... thought he was somehow using the reed like some sort of a kazoo but that didn't make any sense and then I watched another video where he explains it and he's directly micing his vocal chords so I guess his neck is the kazoo uh

    uh

    This is pretty insane thanks for sharing. I can see it in the category for sure and I am so absolutely fascinated by what he is doing here. It's basically an acoustic performance with conveniently placed microphones.

    11.0

  34. ISO #434
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    TOP 10

    Kane
    ladd
    marmot
    Mischief
    Newcomb
    nutella
    Schiavetto
    staypositivefriend
    vanity.
    Zarathustra

  35. ISO #435
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    10th place:

    Newcomb

    Lunar Spells - Obscured Reign

    This is really well attuned to the micro-genre specific sort of things I like in black metal, from the instantly riffing crust punk beat intro to the background-relegated cheesy keys to the uncompromising tremolo execution of every note. The drumming's tight and intense. It's mixed into a thick raw sound soup where I can distinctly hear every element and enjoy the archaic aesthetic like it was scribed on a piece of weathered parchment before transposition to crumpled cassette tape. Not quite A Diabolic Thirst-tier abandonment of modern black metal trends to execute a classic sound flawlessly, but I'm not going to tire of this any time soon and look forward to giving their 2022 release a spin.

    ...Apparently I have literally dozens of releases on Northern Silence Productions despite not recognizing the label's name.

    11.1

  36. ISO #436
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    9th place:

    marmot

    Merkabah - The King

    This is pretty awesome for the category. It moves forward at such a plod that I barely even notice how frantic it becomes. Was the sax always squealing like a stuck pig or did that just happen? It's this destructive force that slides closer and closer on its own terms with no interest in ear bait triggers, and it's going to plow us right over into the abyss if we don't do something.

    What's up with all the sax subs this year, anyway? I'm going to keep thanking Kenny G's late career comeback.



    11.2

  37. ISO #437
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    8th place:

    Kane

    Æther Realm - Craft and the Creator

    This is so chill and it goes and goes and goes and goes. I could make the same category claim as Mesarthim and King Gizzard before it, but something in the heaviness kind of jives with me, like, it's not remotely dark or sinister but it still has an air of suspense to it that's close enough for me when the tune's this epic. This is the good ending. This is the part where we still think we're winning, before $%#! really hits the fan.

    I looked these guys up thinking they have to be on the map for something else somewhere and I found nothing except that the guitarist is as of 2022 a member of.... Cradle of Filth uh... Not the band I expected to mention twice in this category write-up lol

    11.3

  38. ISO #438
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    7th place:

    nutella

    Nihiloxica - Endongo



    wtf is this cover art?

    This isn't giving me spacecow vibes, but I don't think that was the point of the category anyway so much as trippy encounter with menacing mind$%#!. And I could see some voodoo god casually mulching humanity to this so we're good.

    ...Really vividly actually. This is cursed.

    11.4

  39. ISO #439
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    6th place:

    vanity.

    A Place to Bury Strangers - I Lived My Life to Stand in the Shadow of Your Heart

    That is one hell of a progression. I love that it starts out as post-punk because it sets the bar low for chaotic noise hell expectations and tricks my ears into expecting a perpetuity it is anything but. Loveless level of I don't know how you can create tones this $%#!ed but now we're appropriately applying them towards the complete devastation of human-kind.

    11.5

  40. ISO #440
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    TOP 5

    ladd
    Mischief
    Schiavetto
    staypositivefriend
    Zarathustra

  41. ISO #441
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    5th place:

    Mischief

    Lorna Shore - To the Hellfire

    Well, this is awkward.

    I've had two people sub the same winning track to the same category twice, but I've never had a track I gave #1 to pop up again down the road in the same walrus. I don't know what to do with this song haha I'm totally smitten at this point. It's so beyond ridiculous and so incredibly well crafted. I don't know if its relevance to both categories means I need to diversify more or if at the end of the day I'm less of a cat fit nazi than I pretend to be as long as you send me something I goddamn adore.

    I have no idea how much more I would have loved this song right here right now and sung its praises as a perfect selection for the theme if I hadn't just listened to it a dozen times five categories ago, but suffice to say I've continued to go back and listen to it a fair few times since leaving the rest of that category behind me and my experience of it between now and then is fundamentally different. Would that have been enough to bump it up? There's no way to say. Does pigsnort boy better express the dam breaking on my seething hatred or on my nihilistic overlord's esoteric commitment to the annihilation of sentient life? It's kind of perfect for both of them honestly. Maybe cat 2 by a hair?

    Anyway, this submission was not winning this category. In consideration of the very real possibility that I would have given it second place had I not overexposed myself to it in cat 2, you can have the points for that.

    11.6 + 0.3

  42. ISO #442
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    4th place:

    Zarathustra

    Yasunori Mitsuda - One Who Bares Fangs at God

    This was probably one of the best ideas for a final boss battle theme in the history of game music. I mean, I have zero recollection of the plot to Xenogears. It was a difficult format for my 13 year old brain to follow. Slow-paced combat, anxiety-inducing PSX load times, and a giant wall of text that I speed skimmed assuming it was background to the pending meat and potatoes before I realized Square never finished the game. I remember beating it and thinking "I have no idea what happened but people tell me it's good so maybe I should play it again". I tried a few times but never got far before it was relegated to the boatload of things I would like to try some day but will probably never find the time to.

    But this song speaks volumes without need for further context. In a world where most RPGs deferred to giant badass smash your face for the final conflict, this was something altogether different. Alive and otherworldly, threatening but not sinister, hinting at esoteric motivations I can't help but feel I might empathize with if I understood them. I love the heartbeat drum pulse. A brief plot synopsis suggests the Urobolus encounter stuck to Square's pet trope of Buddha battles Huey Lewis, but that didn't stop Mitsuda from taking a crack at something more alluring.

    11.7

  43. ISO #443
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    3rd place:

    Schiavetto

    Rolo Tomassi - The Hollow Hour

    I gave Where Myth Becomes Memory a decent number of spins this year. It had a persistent knack for feeling good while I was hearing it and completely dumping from my brain the moment it passed. Five full plays through the album I can't easily tell you what it sounds like. I had a similar experience with this track.

    But it's certainly no drag along the way, and maybe something in occupying that liminal space of engageability and background mood makes it feel just right here. Sometimes it fades to the back of my mind in a way I just want to let happen because I enjoy how it feels. But then the frantic transition at 2:45, the piano sweeps at 4:50, the sweet vocals while everything else starts pounding at 6:15, there's always something pulling me back to an attentive state before long. Makes for a song I can listen to quite a lot and never tire of despite that it's, well pretty damn epic if I focus on it the whole way through.

    11.8

  44. ISO #444
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    2nd place:

    ladd

    BRUIT ≤ - The Machine is Burning -Live-

    I haven't been watching videos at all this year because mp3 playlists. I flipped this one onto youtube near the end and was shocked to see a bunch of white dudes. It vibes Mono so hard I took it for granted they were Japanese.

    Choosing a live studio recording over the album cut was a bold move that I wasn't sold on at first, but this version has a warmer, more encompassing bass that gets me wrapped up in the climax a bit more immersively than the original, I think. Hard to say. Wouldn't have changed your position. Either way, damn. This is like, the final tether to the world we once knew dissolving away. Win or lose there's no going back from here.

    11.9

  45. ISO #445
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    1st place:

    staypositivefriend

    black midi - bmbmbm

    And at this point we've all lost our goddamn minds.

    Hellfire was my first encounter with lower case black midi, and I've largely put off diving heavy into it in order to finish up this Walrus, so good timing to get them in while it's still quite foreign to me.

    Never mind space sea cows and all that thematic junk. I asked for a song that flowed from menacing curiosity to desperate struggle for survival without a coherent statement getting us there. This is $%#!ing incomprehensible.



    12.0

  46. ISO #446
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    Scoring through 7

    38. 52.6 Zack
    37. 53.4 Zander
    36. 53.9 Moose
    35. 54.0 PunchyTheCat
    34. 55.5 shubaka17
    33. 55.6 Owner 2
    32. 57.5 Angrypotato
    31. 57.9 Rhand
    30. 58.1 sOHiJK
    29. 58.4 Owner of a Lonely Heart
    28. 59.1 Ace Marvel
    27. 59.5 Ampharos
    26. 59.7 tonystarkprime
    25. 60.3 Relm
    24. 61.4 roro__b
    23. 62.3 Visorslash
    22. 63.5 LordQuas
    21. 63.8 soah 2
    20. 64.1 MyNameIsKPOP
    18. 64.2 MyNameIsNothing
    18. 64.2 Tanner_FromHighschool
    17. 64.4 Bloobird
    15. 65.6 BLOODYRAIN10001
    15. 65.6 ladd
    14. 66.0 Mischief
    13. 66.2 tane
    12. 66.3 Newcomb
    10. 67.2 birdwithteeth11
    10. 67.2 staypositivefriend
    9. 67.3 Roman
    8. 67.9 Kane
    7. 68.0 nutella
    6. 68.9 Psycho666Soldier
    5. 69.6 soah
    4. 69.8 marmot
    3. 70.1 vanity.
    2. 71.5 Zarathustra
    1. 72.6 Schiavetto

  47. ISO #447
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    8. Betwixt the Filters of the Baleen Oracle

    "Open your eyes."

    "Open your eyes child."

    "Be filled with the tranquility and rapture of the cosmos. Divinity gazed into the abyss this day and rose her fins triumphant."

    No one knows what the hell is going on at this point, but it doesn't really matter. We won, and it feels really good. Give me a credit roll worthy of the occasion.

  48. ISO #448
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    39th place:

    Rhand

    Green Day - Still Breathing

    Yikes. I came into this with an open mind. Yeah Green Day wrote the encyclopedia on uninspired factory farmed commercial rock, but they did give us Dookie, and braindead though it may be, I won't deny it has some entertainment value. They should be... at least conceivably capable of popping off a fun earworm now and then.

    ...Or not.

    I'm sorry if Still Breathing has some personal sentimental value to you, but I felt really silly for giving Illenium a 1.0 in cat 4 after hearing this. I actually went back and bumped it up. Illenium at least wanted to sound good. I don't think a song this soulless can be written by accident. It's like they started with the most morbidly bland pop country hit and said "even the slide guitar and fiddle accents must die to truly appeal to the masses". I'm being snarky but I really do think that's the goal. Like my ex-wife's brother was all about the rock star image and got his senior photos taken holding a Flying V and would tell people he was a guitarist, but the only thing he'd ever play was the first five power chords of Brain Stew over and over again. Songs like this can form a fun power fantasy for people who have never had any actual interest in sound but enjoy the fashion and the celebrity gossip and the social role as the go-to trivia night music guru who can name all four members of Led Zeppelin and three different albums by The Who. There's a market for it, and that's fine.

    And you know, this stuff enters into the pop culture circuit and I learn to enjoy things I never would in a vacuum by way of broader experiences and association. It just has no inherent value. None. Zippo.

    1.0

  49. ISO #449
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    38th place:

    Zander

    Nine Inch Nails - Closer



    The instrumental back half of this song is great but not enough to compensate for how obnoxious I find the radio single front half after 300 involuntary listens in a post-oh-my-gosh-this-is-so-edgy-I-can't-believe-it's-maintstream environment. Trent Reznor is probably not a great go-to for gushing optimism and partying hard anyhow.

    4.0

  50. ISO #450
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    37th place:

    PunchyTheCat

    Dora The Explorer - We Did It!

    I've been long befuddled by my absence of any encounter with the infamous explorer. Far too young for me and a bit too old for my kids, she also managed to elude me when my nephew was binging Thomas the Tank Engine in the early 2010s. I took her fame to indicate PBS, but I would surely have caught a rerun laced between Peg + Cat and Wild Kratts by now. Nick makes sense, but she never cropped up during our deep dives into the dominion of Peppa Pig, nor did fate unite us in my tortured encounters with the brain-bleaching cesspools of Paw Patrol and PJ Masks. Universal Kids too--that obscure but fertile world that gave us Masha and the Bear and the shining crown of children's entertainment, Sarah & Duck--left her behind. Where in the world is Dora The Explorer? Here at last, in my walrus, life finds a way.

    5.0

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