I've spent nearly a decade building comprehensive genre-based playlists of my favorite music on Spotify. I aggressively curate these lists to be the best they can be, and in the process I've learned some reliable methods for picking up playlist followers without sharing or promoting the lists.
This page includes the playlists that are the most completely curated, that I personally listen to the most, and that have the most active, engaged, and fastest-growing audiences.
I maintain two Spotify profiles: one dedicated to old school metal (and dungeon synth!) and one to electronic music. Follow me on one or both accounts to check out all my playlists and see what I'm currently listening to.
You can also connect with me on Last.fm to check out my streaming stats.
NWOTHM / New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal
Sometime around 2002, I remember lamenting the death of traditional metal and the fact I'd never hear a new album I loved as much as Judas Priest's Defenders of the Faith or Armored Saint's Raising Fear. Mercifully, my fears were dispelled later that decade as music in the vein of '80s-era heavy/speed/power metal experienced a massive and massively worthwhile revival that is still running strong. My NWOTHM playlist is lovingly dedicated to traditional metal bands of the 21st century.
Power Metal / Speed Metal
Easily the most challenging playlist I've ever built, and the one that has been the most personally satisfying to finally dial in, this playlist carves a narrow path through the immense world of power metal for a collection of high-energy tracks with old school roots. This playlist represents the culmination of a direct music evolution from hard rock to heavy metal to early European power metal, and it celebrates that lineage with no-frills power metal tracks from the 1980s to the present.
'80s Underground Metal / Old School Metal
The '80s was a period of rapid evolution for metal music, and bands often blurred the lines between the still-developing sounds of heavy/speed/power/thrash metal and delivered the result with serious swagger. This playlist embraces that spectrum of early metal music with an emphasis on independent and small-label releases produced with dungeon-like grit. If I had to pick one playlist to listen to for the rest of my life, this would be the one.
Thrash Metal / Speed Metal From the Depths
A somewhat under-the-radar metal revival of the 21st century, music in this playlist represents a wonderful melting pot of influences from old school thrash metal, speed metal, black metal, hardcore punk, and other closely related styles of music. Unlike the more polished, mainstream thrash revival, bands in this style embrace a gritty, lo-fi sonic approach and experiment with a variety of genre combinations for an incredibly deep and satisfying world of music with a steady stream of great new releases.
Dungeon Synth / Fantasy and Medieval Music
An ultra-niche genre developed by black metal artists like Mortiis and Burzum in the early '90s, dungeon synth has seen an explosion of new music in the past decade, spreading out across a range of closely related styles including dark ambient and medieval folk music. My playlist focuses on melodic music within this realm and includes obscure, lo-fi creations alongside more popular fantasy-themed artists like Adrian Von Ziegler. This is a great playlist for gaming or working on art projects.
Darksynth / Dark Synthwave
'80s horror movie scores and chiptune melodies blend with metal, EBM, and EDM in this always surprising and eccentric contemporary music genre. Originally a splinter subgenre of synthwave music, darksynth has increasingly merged with modern EDM and cyberpunk music for a sound that defies eras and easy classification. It's violent, it's gritty, and it's enormously fun to play at high volume. My darksynth playlist emphasizes aggressive and energetic creations in this style.