Monday, December 21, 2009

My Top 13 Albums Of 2009

I'm not doing the decade-end list so many other people are doing because, quite frankly, that requires a lot of though. It was tough enough for me to compile of list of the best albums of this year, let alone the entire decade. There were a LOT of great albums that came out this year. Most of which I didn't even listen to. But, out of the ones I did make time to listen to, here's the 13 best.

#13 - Scar Symmetry - Dark Matter Dimensions
Even with the loss of their dynamic singer, Scar Symmetry dusted themselves off, got 2 great singers to replace him and did a great job at it. Dark Matter Dimensions is every bit as good, if not better than their previous albums. It's everything you expect from one of their albums. Great hooks, epic solos, and heavy growls. Kudos to them for making such a great album with new singers. We can all be so lucky.

#12 - X-Mas - Let The Dead Bury Their Dead
Ok, so what if this is technically a 5-song demo from a local band in my area? What, you think the list has to only be label debuts? Well you are wrong. Because, I listened to this album more than the new Killswitch album, and the new Mastodon album put together this year. The hooks are great and they do an amazing job of staying away from a predictable formula from song to song. Not to mention Justin Johnson's elastic scream that just makes your spine shiver. I have the pleasure of actually being able to call these guys friends. And, if we can organize it properly and find a club at a reasonable price, they will be playing at my 18th birthday party next month so, I'm excited for that. And, for these guys to get signed in the future. If they keep putting out killer music like this it's bound to happen.

#11 - Insidious Decrepancy - Extirpating Omniscient Certitude
Who says big words aren't metal? This one-man tech death juggernaut is back with his first album in 4 years. Not only is this probably one of the most brutal things that came out this year, it's among the most brutal things I have in my iPod. The riffs are amazing, the lyrics, if you read them, are genius, and, it's just so, so heavy. I don't think I need say any more.

#10 - Lamb Of God - Wrath
I must say I'm a little surprised to not see this album on more year-end lists. Is it because it came out so early in the year and you forgot that it came out in 09? Well, I didn't. Everything about this album just screams Lamb Of God. The riffs are as heavy as ever and Randy's vocals are just crushing. Just listen to 20 seconds of "Broken Hands" and tell me it doesn't deserve to be on this list. I think the fact that, they only released one single from the album and it debuted at #2 on the charts speaks for itself how amazing this album is. If you haven't listened to it, I don't know what you're waiting for.

#9 - Giant Squid - The Ichthyologist
I don't even know what to say about this album. It totally took me by surprise how good it was from the first song. And, even though it's not really heavy, more like trippy stoner "dungeon metal" it has just as much right to be on this list at the all might LoG does. I found out about this band through a conversation with one of the guys from Cormorant and he told me to check them out and I'm so glad I did. Every song seems to blend seamlessly into the next. And, I'm told that it's supposed to be a concept album and I'm not even gonna pretend to know what the story's about or, for that matter what the title means but, I love it.

#8 - Mudvayne - Mudvayne
I waited so much longer after everyone else to do my list just because, based off the two songs I'd already heard from this album, I had a feeling it was gonna chart. And, boy was I right. I listened to this album 3 times all the way through today and I'm convinced that this marks the return of The End Of All Things To Come-era Mudvayne. And I couldn't be happier for that. The songs no longer have that angsty formula that the last two albums seemed to have. And, the songs are HEAVY. With the exception of "Scream With Me" which is the radio song of the album. And, the albums closer "Dead Inside." This album absolutely slays compared to The New Game. And, I'm so glad to have the Mudvayne I know and love back.

#7 - Cannibal Corpse - Evisceration Plague
Another album I'm shocked to not see on too many year-end lists. I mean, it's Cannibal Corpse! I think it's the same thing as with the Lamb Of God album; because it came out in February, everyone forgot it came out this year. But, it did. And I'm so glad it did. Even after more than 20 years Cannibal Corpse are still out there playing brutal death metal, and still doing it better than everybody else. The songs are great Corpse songs and classic tunes. This should truly go down in history as one of the great death metal albums. Long live Cannibal Corpse!!

#6 - Chimaira - The Infection
Chimaira released another great album this year. Not to mention another shift in the sound of Chimaira. Every Chimaira albums is exciting because their all different. In this one, they kinda slowed down the songs. And, no that doesn't mean they went softer and made a Nickleback album *shiver*. It means the tempo is slower and therefor more crushing. Some people complain that the songs aren't heavy enough. These people don't deserve the ears their listening to the album with. If you can't see yourself moshing "Frozen In Time" or "On Broken Glass" then, you obviously don't mosh often.

#5 - Cormorant - Metazoa
I can't even talk about how much I love this album. The album hangs together so nicely and, every time I listen to it I love it even more. I can't find a single fault with this album. The guitar work is absolutely serene. I get lost in this album from start to finish and I find it hard to listen to anything else for a few hours after because it's just so beautiful you have to reflect upon it. Every element of this band's music is blended so perfectly. Hopefully I'll have an interview with a member of this band posted soon, as soon as they get back to me with their answers to the questions.

#4 - Dethklok - Dethalbum II
Ya know, I tried to stay away from including Brendon Small's virtual ode to death metal, Dethklok and his second full length album because of the whole "Cartoon band" thing but, honestly, I just can't. The album is so damn great and fun to listen to I have to include it on the list. Everything from Hoglan's drumming to Small's effortless guitar work is so superior to the first Dethalbum. Not only are the song heavy as Hell, but their catchy. In the classic Dethklok manner. I can't wait to see what Dethalbum III eventually has for us.

#3 - Daath - The Concealers
I know, I'm surprised too. This album came out of nowhere and just decimated the competition. "Sharpen The Blades" along with "Wilting On The Vine" are sure to go down as not only death metal classics but, metal classics in general. This album is sure to stand the test of time and surely marks the start of a very long career for Daath and their new singer in Sean Z. This album really makes me want to see this band live. I can just imagine how epic these songs are live. But, for now, we have a great album.

#2 - Iwresltedabearonce - It's All Happening
This band is so polarizing in the metal community. It's unreal how many people hate this band. I don't really understand it because I love this band so much. The songs, though may seem chaotic flow so perfectly. And, even though the band seems hell-bent on not taking the band or the music too seriously that doesn't show through in Krysta's lyrics. Though the song names and approach may seem a bit cartoony at times, the lyrics, as far as I can tell, are dead serious. And, if they're trying to be funny it's going completely over my head. Great music anyway. Sure to go down as an innovative band.

#1 - Revocation - Existence Is Futile
We've reached the end of my little list. And, what a ride it's been. Ending in what was, without a DOUBT the best album of the year. I knew this was the most amazing album to come out in a long time since the first time I popped the CD in. The intricacy of the guitars, bass, and drums are perfect. And the vocals are so sharp and crisp while still being brutal. The songs are memorable and catchy as anything that's been put out and better. This album will go down in history as one of those albums that unified the metal community and will stand the test of time as being one of the greatest metal albums ever written. And, to close out the list, I give you the first video from our winner. Here's Revocation's "Dismantle The Dictator".

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Top Album Of The Week Via Last.FM: Nine Inch Nails' "The Fragile"

So I know I'm late on writing... Anything. I don't have a good excuse. Oh well. Anyway, according to my Last.FM account, my top album of this week is Nine Inch Nails' 2-disk masterpiece The Fragile. Nine Inch Nails completely dominated the list this week, taking not only the #1 spot, but the top 4 spots. And, this one is not just the #1 album, but it has broken the record for most plays in a single week with an impressive 80 plays. Which is 40 more plays than the #2 album which was Nine Inch Nails' Year Zero.

How do I even begin to describe why this album is so great? There's no way I have enough time to sit here and go into all 23 songs like this album deserves. And yet, there's no real way to give a cursory over-view of this amazing album. I think it's the catchiness of songs like "We're In This Together" and "Where Is Everybody" that first draws you in. Then songs like "I'm Looking Forward To Joining You, Finally" that are so haunting and makes the album stick with you.

Or maybe it's the constant build that each song seems to go through. All you have to do is listen to the open track on the first disk to be instantly captured. It starts off with a very simply acoustic guitar riff and just keeps building and building until it's just an assault of hard alt-rock. Then you just have the pure heaviness of songs like "Starfuckers, Inc." and "No, You Don't" that sets this album apart from the other albums. This album is Nine Inch Nails in their most raw, and pure form. The fact that this album isn't more famous just baffles me.

I don't usually put videos in these blogs but I feel I must for this one. Here's them playing "No, You Don't" live.