Post-Holiday Round Up: What We Unwrapped in 2010

As I mentioned yesterday, Viola and I enjoyed some time off with family and some quiet time with each other.  We celebrated well and like good music geeks, we gave each other and received and nice eclectic mix of things.  So to start things off, I thought I’d share what we’ve been listening to that past few weeks.


Viola and I often take advantage of this time of year by finding something new and different to us.  It’s the way we’ve managed to expand our musical horizons.  We’ve been doing for several years, which is how we’ve learned about groups like Pain of Salvation, Symphony X, Kamelot and several others.  This year, these are the rock metal albums we exchanged.

Karnivool – Sound Awake:  After a couple of solid listens, the music definitely is Tool inspired at the very least.  The arrangements are solid and complex.  So far, I’m really digging the song, “New Day”, which you can here on the band’s website.  Here is a review from

Shadow Gallery – Digital Ghosts:  Before I gave this to Viola I’d heard of Shadow Gallery, but never really given the band the time of day.  I heard a few snippets when I was searching for a gift and the band impressed me enough to give it to her. I’m still getting through the album, but the music reminds of a mixture of Queen meets Dream Theater.  Here is a review from Heavy Metal blog on   I’ll be giving this band a little more attention in 2011.

Oceansize – Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up: This was my surprise as a gift.  I confess, until I received the album I hadn’t heard of the band, so this served as my introduction.  I’ve taken a couple of listens, but there is still plenty to absorb. Here is a good review from

Classical Music

We wouldn’t be The Contrapuntist without adding some classical music to our collective ears. It’s simply the way we roll. As metalheads and classically trained musicians, would you expect anything different?

Kronos Quartet – Winter Was Hard: If you know classical music, then in all likelihood you know about Kronos Quartet.  There are very few chamber ensembles with the breadth and fame of this ensemble.  The band has several albums available, but this was on my wish list this year because of the eclectic music that it offered.  I haven’t heard the whole thing quite yet, as you can tell we have plenty to get through.  Here is a brief review from Starpulse (sadly, it’s the best I could find).

Thomas Larcher – Madhares:  I selected this CD to give to Viola primarily because it features her favorite violist, Kim Kashkashian.  However, I must confess, with so much great things to listen to the CD is still in the wrapper.  Since I can’t describe the music, here is a good review from


Rascal Flatts – Nothing Like This: Is it bad for metalheads to listen to country music? Not all of it is bad, right?  I’ll be the first to admit, country isn’t much my thing.  But you can consider this album a guilty pleasure thanks to Viola, who does like Rascal Flatts.  With the group’s catchy tunes, sadly I find myself tapping my foot when I’ve listened to it.  Yes, both of us bow our heads in shame admitting we like this tiny bit of country.  Here is a review from a fellow MOGger,

Music Books

When Giants Walked the Earth (Biography of Led Zeppelin) by Mick Wall: This is a book that’s been on my reading list for some time and now I finally get to read it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a bit more about one of the godfathers of heavy metal?  I’m finishing another fun read at the moment, but will dig into this bad way very soon.  Here is a review of the book from the NY Times.

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2 comments on “Post-Holiday Round Up: What We Unwrapped in 2010
  1. thanks for the kind words. We always like hearing about new fans to SG’s music. Queen is a band favorite and SG and Dream Theater have worked on some joint projects in past years. There are many subtle influences that weave into SG’s music, too many to mention them all here!

    We also are proud of SG’s “Room V” album, and “Tyranny” has long been a fan favorite. SG recently toured Europe and will be releasing a Live DVD sometime this year. Welcome to the Shadow Gallery family. I will pass your positive comments

    Rick Fisher
    SG Promotions

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