Zack H. is the main songwriter and guitarist/bassist/banjist in Vit. When he isn't leading the congregation in hymns, you can most likely find him drinking beer, lifting weights, or playing Mortal Kombat. He also works on a comic book with fellow Vit member Nate Burns.
His playlist is quite varied, and is gonna leave some of you scratching your heads perhaps, but I dig it. And fucking hell, he's wearing a Hulkamania t-shirt in this picture, so the dude is okay in my book.
If you haven't heard, there are two demo tracks from the forthcoming Vit album The Dry Season up on their Bandcamp page, linked above. Check them out - two pretty cool songs.
For now, enjoy the playlist. I sure did.
1. Arghoslent - Galloping Through the Battle Ruins
This album easily tops this list and holds its place well. It is my favourite album. Ever. Period. Arghoslent is probably my favourite band of all time, and I think this album is their crowning achievement. Melodic, catchy riffs that hook you through the whole album, and there's so damn many of them. I listened to this album in my car for three straight months without ever changing the CD and never got tired of it. I highly recommend this album to every one, even the squeamish PC crowd. If you like metal of any variety, this album is worth checking out.
2. Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill
This is another always in the car CD. This album fucking destroys everything. It's so good reviewers on Metal Archives had to give it a high rating, and those guys hate Pantera. The riffs and solos on this album are fucking stupid. There's no reason they should exist, and to be gathered in one place is absolutely ludicrous. That's not to sell short the drums or bass or Phil's scathing vocals, but I'm mainly a guitar dude. This album also has my absolute favourite Pantera song, "10s".
3. Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies
It's hard to pick with AIC, but I'm going to go with the Jar of Flies EP. The more somber side of the band is what really appealed to me, especially on this release. The album has a strange mood to it. I can listen to it if I'm feeling down or feeling happy and it seems to fit the situation.
4. Absurd/Grand Belial's Key/Sigrblot - Weltenfeind
I bought this record for the Grand Belial's Key tracks, but ended up liking them second to the Absurd tracks. I like both GBK and Absurd, but the Absurd tracks are really exceptional on this split. There are four songs from each band, and the entire thing rules. The marching on the end of Absurd's "Ulfhednir - Todesschwadron" gets me cracking up at the awesomeness every time. GBKs tracks include two new ones and a really old one. "It Bribes the Heavens" has an opening that reminds me a bit of Deathspell Omega, and then ends with a ridiculously jammin' lead section with a killer solo and accompanying riff. Lastly, we have Sigrblot. I had never heard them before I bought this release, but I liked their tracks a lot as well. It's also funny that their lineup has a similar functionality to Vit's lineup.
5. Stone Temple Pilots - Core
This is another band where it's hard for me to choose an album. I went with Core because it's what I'm feeling at this particular moment. This is actually one of the first cds I bought for myself with my own money, back when I was but a wee lad. STP have always been a favourite band, and this is a good starting point. I always hated how they were considered grunge ripoffs. But whatever, this album is sweet. Also, Dean DeLeo is a weird guitar player.
6. Jackyl - Jackyl
I love this album to death. It's like a southern fried AC/DC. While it does have a bit of cock rock elements, I don't really see a problem with it. The album jams from start to finish. Plus there's a chainsaw solo. Fuck you. .
7. Lynyrd Skynyrd - (Pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
This is an album that I think is hard to beat. From start to finish, this is a masterpiece. Every song has such feeling in it. Tuesday's Gone and Simple Man are two of my all-time favourite songs, and they're both here...and even on the same side if you have the old crappy record like I do. That thing pops and skips and all of that, but it's still awesome. Oh yeah, Freebird is on this one too, if you're one of those guys. No, we will not play it live.
8. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
I can only imagine the reaction to this album when it was released. It's a time when people were still rockin' out to Led Zeppelin and The Beatles and whatever else. You pop this thing on the turn table and are immediately scared shitless. Slow and brooding, with that bell tolling. It's like a funeral march from Hell. Then Ozzy starts crooning and screaming and sounding pretty much horrified. And that's just the first song. This is definitely the best Sabbath album as far as I'm concerned.
9. Goatwhore - Carving Out the Eyes of God
I think Goatwhore is a really underappreciatedmeh". I've always been a fan. I really like their first wave approach to black metal, or I guess blackened death metal if you're a genre whore. This album I feel is their best. It fucks your face as soon as it starts. Apocalyptic Havoc is thrashin' as hell and then goes into a straight up Celtic Frost worshipping section. The whole album is pretty much like that. Highly recommended.
10. Gorguts - Obscura
If you haven't heard this album yet, do me a favor: First, go listen to the first two Gorguts albums. Then, listen to this. The difference will fuck you up. I liken it to upside down Meshuggah, as in this is what Meshuggah would probably play if they played the same way but turned their guitars upside down. Obscura is chaotic as fuck but so good. It has that perfect blend of technicality and death metal which a lot of tech death bands are unable to achieve, not to mention the noisy chaos elements that no band has ever replicated without sounding wanky.
11. Norman Blake - Back Home in Sulphur Springs
Norman Blake is one of the best flatpickers of all time. This dude rips it up. Fuck shred. If you want to learn how to play guitar like a man, listen to Norman Blake. This is a must have bluegrass album.
12. Frightmare - Bringing Back the Bloodshed
I was never a big Razorback guy, but there were a few gems on their roster all those years ago. I think this was the shiniest gem. This one was a fucking diamond. It's thrashy as fuck, the solos are sweet, the riffs are catchy, the lyrics are hilarious, the vocals are disgusting, and the samples are long as hell. It's god damned perfect. This was another one of those albums that had a hard time leaving my car. I actually devoted a weekend to copious alcohol consumption and marathoning every movie covered on this album in track order. Nate was there. It ruled.
13. Modest Mussorgsky - Pictures At an Exhibition
Yep, now I'm that pompous guy who puts a piece of classical music on a list. Suck it. It doesn't get much better than Pictures at an Exhibition. Mussorgsky is my favourite composer and I feel this is his best work. If classical isn't your thing, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer have an album based on it in a more prog rockin' way. Both are excellent, but I prefer the full orchestrated version.
14. Queens of the Stone Age - Queens of the Stone Age
I actually got into this album when I was on an Alice in Chains mailing list. Every week they would recommend a band. It was usually some lame band I didn't give a fuck about, but I checked this out because they had a cool name. This album is a flawless victory. I still think it's the best one QOTSA ever did. Another funny story, I once worked with a guy who said he loved QOTSA. I asked which album was his favourite and he said their first one. I got excited thinking we had something in common, but he thought Songs for the Deaf was their first album. We sacrificed him a week later.
15. Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, & Ricky Skaggs - The Three Pickers
This is another must have bluegrass album. I think it's a DVD as well. Get the DVD if you can. It's awesome music played well by men, and occasionally Alison Krauss. I'd like to have Krauss guest on one of our songs, but I doubt that will happen. Regardless, there's lots of classic songs on here.
16. Shining - V: Halmstad
If Alice in Chains were a black metal band, they'd be Shining. This is another one of those perfect albums. It's actually the first Shining album I heard and I immediately loved it. I pop this in every now and again. It's an album I like to forget about and rediscover. It's still great every time I listen to it.
17. Akira Yamaoka - Silent Hill 4: The Room
Even if you aren't into video games, you should listen to this. It's more like a real album than most video game soundtracks. The Room isn't my favourite Silent Hill game, but it has my favourite soundtrack. Akira Yamaoka has this weird thing going on where it's like a mix of grunge, industrial, and trip hop. Little known Vit fact: A lot of the acoustic stuff that I write is inspired by Yamaoka and these soundtracks.
18. Reverend Bizarre - In the Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend
This is the best doom album ever. This is the best doom album ever. I needed to get that across twice. If you don't like this album, you don't like doom. Reverend Bizarre is an all time favourite band. If they reunite at any point in time, anywhere in the world, I will be there. This is their best album and it's perfect. Perfect albums is the theme with this list, I think.
19. Macabre - Gloom
I'm going to go ahead and dust off a classic with this one. Gloom is a very young album, but it's a very awesome album. Corporate Death is another one of my favourite players, and even in these early years you could see brilliance forming. They went on to make some pretty killer albums, this is just the one I was feeling at the moment. "Holidays of Horror" is constantly stuck in my head.
20. Metallica - Load
Load. Yeah, that's right. Load. Load is my favourite Metallica album. Sue me. Load is great. It's heavy as hell, with just the right amount of full on jammin' thrown in. Seriously, every one should give this album a chance. I don't see what's not to like. But maybe that's just me.
21. Doom 64 Soundtrack
Okay, this one is kind of a bonus since you can't actually purchase this one or attain it by any other legal means short of buying the game itself. But this soundtrack had a lot of influence on me. Doom 64 is not only my favourite Doom, it's my favourite video game of all time. The main reason it's my favourite is because of the soundtrack. It's this really creepy, uncomfortable ambient music that still gives me chills and makes my heart pound. A lot of times it just sounds like babies crying or demons raping pigs or something akin to that. It's fucked up. If you can obtain this somehow and enjoy ambient music, I highly recommend it.