Windhand are usually categorized as playing doom metal, which is to say that they kind of follow in the footsteps of Black Sabbath or at least Sleep. There's aspects of the sound here which really kind of blur into adjacent genres, which is to say that there's a certain psych-rock thing going on here, as well as more than a little grunge. Genre categorization aside, this is pretty easy listening for heavy music, and is just kind of pleasant. At least for me.
Obscura is considered a landmark in the metal underground, a discordant masterpiece that showed how far out there death metal could get. Everything is just kind of beyond what anybody else was doing at the time, from how challenging the guitar and bass lines were, to the weird rhythms, to the brutal vocals. As extreme metal has moved on and gotten more, uh, extreme, this doesn't sound quite as crazy. But it's still pretty outré, for all that.
Mastodon, "High Road"
ALL METAL FIVE SONGS LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOO
Kacey Musgraves, "Butterflies"
YOU HAD ONE JOB, SHUFFLE
Kacey Musgraves's 2018 album Golden Hour appeared on a lot of Best Of lists that year, so I picked it up. I don't listen to a lot of country, but don't have any objection to the genre particularly, so I try and pick up albums here and there. But I think that, in general, I like my country a little more grimy than this. It's pleasant enough, and I don't mind it, but I don't crave listening to it either.
Shellac, "The End Of Radio
The opener of Shellac's majestic Excellent Italian Greyhound typifies Shellac's oddball approach to their career. There's no attempt by them to water down their approach or make things accessible. They're going to make the music they want to make, and you can like it or not. An abstract, stretched out song like this will repel most, but people who like it will immediately grab onto it.
This version comes from The End of Radio, a live album collecting a couple of sessions from BBC Radio. Shellac live is pretty amazing, and the album does a good job of capturing that. So, while the official Five Songs stance is that live albums are inessential, this is one of the better ones. The pre-order came with a bitchin' t-shirt, too.