Isn’t it true that sometimes you listen to some modern music and say to yourself: “Well, this music of today is so boring (bad, awful, uninspired, put whatever adjective you like). It was a lot better in the…” 2000’s? 90’s? 80’s? 70’s? It depends on which period in the history of music you find more appealing.

Probably for most people it would be a period of their youth, the music they grew up listening to. But my case is a bit special.

Because my favourite musical period is the 90’s. It may seem like a paradox, but I was hardly listening to any music back then. The reason was that both the TV and the radio in Moscow provided more or less two alternatives: Russian pop music and foreign pop music. I liked neither.

But then, in 2000-2001 I entered the Internet, and with the access to the World Wide Web came the discover of completely different type of music. The type of music that captivated me.

It all started with the bands that had fantasy-inspired lyrics (because fantasy literature mesmerized me for as long as I can remember), the bands like Nightwish, Blind Guardian and Rhapsody (now Rhapsody of Fire). Then I went on to discover the wonderful world of metal music with its kaleidoscope of bands that differ one from the other like night and day.

My infatuation with metal still continues and shows no signs of fading away. I love discovering new bands and listening to new music. But it’s the period of the 90’s that holds a special place in my metal heart.

Why is that? Because most of my all-time favourite bands saw the light of day in the early-mid 90’s.

It was a difficult time for traditional heavy metal with it being overshadowed by grunge. But, at the same time, metal underground in Europe flourished. I can name a lot of the bands that were founded in that period and went on to achieve recognition in the metal community, but the most important for me is that the bands back then had a real spirit of discovery and experimentation.

It was in the 90’s that Moonspell released Sin/Pecado and The Butterfly Effect, Tiamat released Wildhoney and A Deeper Kind of Slumber, Samael released Passage, My Dying Bride released 34.788%… Complete, Paradise Lost released One Second, Anathema released Alternative 4, Opeth released some brilliant records… I could go on and on and on.

But what’s essential is that there was that hunger for the music, that will to be different, to be daring that appeals to me to this day and fills me with the sweet sense of nostalgia… Just typing these words makes me to go and listen to those albums once again.

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