I have known quite a few musicians in my time; they are all better at music than I am, which is why they record and perform while I clumsily put fingers to frets, give up and then put finger to keyboard. There are two things that set the great musicians apart; they are passionate and prolific. To be truly exceptional in your craft, you have to put in the hard work; it isn’t how many years you have been playing, but how many hours in a day and how many days a week you put in that matter.

Adam Emanon considers himself a music geek. He picked up a guitar ten years ago and taught himself to play. Then he mastered the bass, learned to write pieces for drums and piano, acquired the ability to record and mix albums and hasn’t looked back. Putting out an album a year since 2008, 2010 concluded with his release of Subterranean, showcases Emanon’s ability to create an experimental and instrumental metal soundscape.

Heavy distorted guitar and bass coupling is the meat and potatoes the album, but there are layers of guitar riffs, string section backgrounds, piano interludes and stark drumming to fill out every song. The result is something that seems practically unachievable: fantastic metal background music that doubles as productivity music. If I have 500 or more words I want to crank out while typing, or get legitimate work done in the office, this is the album to make that happen.

The sound itself is melodious and dark metal that bleeds into cacophony; a harder soundtrack to dreams, but not the essence of nightmares. The metal is deliberate and thoughtful; distortion is used to broaden the sound instead of being there to make noise and to just be loud. Emanon takes his time on every song; his sound is more movie score than metal speed.

Subterranean has a mixed at home quality, but the product is sound. And for someone like Emanon, who is a student in all aspects of music – from composition to the end product – it is quite an achievement. I look forward to seeing how this artist grows in his next project, Skeye, and urge you to discover for yourself the developing sound of Adam Emanon. His music is available for free at bandcamp, and for podcasters, he has sound clips you can use in your shows, you lucky so-and-so…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to listen to some more of his work and to be productive.