I’ve been playing guitar for 21 years now, and I’ve recently decided that I need a refresher. I’ve fallen out of regular practice, so my skills have fallen off a bit. But all musicians will relate to this feeling: I just need more gear, and I can justify it to my wonderful wife better if I’m playing a ton (kidding, not kidding). I also want a new challenge with guitar, so I’m looking at 7 and 8 string guitar reviews on YouTube. I find this awesome YouTube channel called ArnoldPlaysGuitar to see all those awesome guitars in action. His reviews are great since he tells you exactly what you need to know about these guitars while also blasting out awesome fun riffs. Lo and behold, he mentions in a video he’s released an album, so I check it out. I can’t think of what I was expecting, but holy crap in a bag was I blown away.

This right here is some dark ass black metal, and I friggin’ love it. It really feeds into my deepest desire for the most evil sounding chugging riffs underneath screeching vocals that I only assume is about the most depressive thoughts I can think of. I mean, it is called A Profound Disdain for Life after all. There’s bound to be some real dark thoughts in there somewhere. But even if there isn’t (there totally is), it’s about the feeling you get from the record in general. Heavy moments run the gamut from oppressively fast tremolo picked riffs of doom to slow open spaces of darkly introspective chords. And it all lives under the guise of some really neatly written progressive stylings.

What really blows my mind most about it is that this genuinely gives me hope for my own hobby. As an amateur guitar player myself, I frequently have these moments where I engage in dreams of recording my own music, jamming with friends, and that sort of thing. When I see ArnoldPlaysGuitar’s videos, I see someone not too different from myself: a man obsessed with a lifelong hobby who’s also happily willing to encourage, enable, and motivate others through his own work. I appreciate him both for the (too short) EP and the super fun videos of guitar gear reviews. Thanks, ArnoldPlaysGuitar. And hey, if you find yourself with, I dunno, an extra Aristides, *strandberg., or Caparison 7- or 8-string guitar, holla at ya boi. Please, Arnold? I’m asking, like, SUPER nicely.