While there was certainly no shortage of influence & inspiration over the years I spent writing & recording “Grimoire of Oak & Shadow“, there were definitely a few stand out albums I looked to for reference. Without these sonic standouts, I don’t believe my album would have shaped into its identity quite as concise as it did towards the end of its production.

Chelsea Wolfe

Abyss

From the moment I first heard Carrion Flowers, this album played on repeat for weeks after its release. The dark unrecognizable soundscapes made for such a unique listening experience that further fueled my creative energy behind the keys.

Amesoeurs

Amesoeurs

An album that celebrates darkness and its ability to produce moving melodies that are just as haunting as they are beautiful. Definitely an album that I referenced for atmospheric influence.

Satyricon

The Age of Nero

To produce such power and ferocity with such basic production techniques was something I admired with all their work, but this album in particular made a special connection to the darkest depths of my creative consciousness.

Soilwork

Verkligheten

There is so much low end in this album that your ass almost detaches from your torso when listening at loud volumes. How they pulled it off is still a mystery, but needless to say, it definitely inspired me to give my own album a much needed kick in the bass department.

Blut Aus Nord

Hallucinogen

This is one of those bands you discover late to the party, after everyone has feasted on their catalog long before you arrive, but holy hell was I eating well once I dove into their discography. There is a lot to digest, but this album had a certain magic that could not release its hold from my own psyche.

Celtic Frost

Monotheist

It took an album like this to remind me how evil metal should be. There are times writing music when melody tries to stay in the sunlight, but albums like this remind you how much fun it is to play in the shadows.

Mastodon

Hushed and Grim

They truly hit their stride the moment they let drummer Brann Dailor start singing with the band. There are a few albums which could have landed here, but the somber tones took me deeper into the production on this one.

Baroness

Yellow & Green

The raw grit this band captured is what inspired me to keep certain musical moments more vulnerable. This is a spectacular example of a band that carefully walks the line between rock and metal. Whatever you choose to call them, it really doesn’t matter, because it’s just really good music.

Opeth

In Cauda Venenum

I’ll admit, I was a real prick when it came to commenting on this album. I was stubborn. Angry. Also just plain stupid and selfish. Opeth is one of those bands I grew up listening to, and I always held their music close to the chest. So much that I took it personally when they opted to explore a different sonic personality as a band. I didn’t give this album a fair shot until a couple years ago, but I am so glad I did. Not only did it help me learn how to be less of a gatekeeping asshole with music, but it was truly one of the most inspirational pieces of work I had ever come across as a person who loves to write heavy melodic music.

Hans Zimmer

The Dark Knight Rises

One of my favorite scores of all time lands on this list simply because it represented a monumental shift in how I produce synthesizer sounds. Up until my introduction to Zimmer’s work, I was under the impression synths were just a digital zap of 80s sounding keyboards. His techniques and compositions helped me embrace not only more realistic orchestral sounds, but embracing the power behind them to help drive the music into a space I had always strived to reach.

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