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DethMaiden
12-11-2009, 10:14 AM
Alright, I'll re-up this once I start doing the posts. Not doing a full list. I heard 62 albums and that just doesn't sound fun, plus, finding the differences between, say, #37 and #38, would ultimately come down to minutia and be a waste of time. Expect well-written (by my standards, anyway) blurbs for all this stuff. I'm trying to make it a writing exercise to keep me sharp between semesters. Here's the schedule:

12/26- Top Five Album Covers of 2009
12/27- Top DVD and Top Five Music Videos of 2009
12/28- Top Ten Songs of 2009
12/29- Top Ten Live Performances of 2009
12/30- Top Ten Albums (And Five Honorable Mentions) of 2009
12/31- 2009 Man of the Year
1/1- Top Five Most Anticipated Albums of 2010

es156
12-11-2009, 04:13 PM
12/31- 2009 Man of the Year


Dave Mustaine!

:rockdevil

DethMaiden
12-11-2009, 04:40 PM
Dave Mustaine!

:rockdevil

:lol: If he was, it would be like when Time gives Man of the Year to dictators. Sure, he had an impact, but it wasn't for the better. ;)

mankvill
12-11-2009, 04:46 PM
12/31- 2009 Man of the Year

Me!

Also, thanks: I forgot about top DVD's of the year. Even though we pretty much know who's got it in the bag. :lol:

Maiden33
12-11-2009, 04:50 PM
Top Five Music Videos of 2009

Haha, I'd be surprised to find out that five bands I like made videos this year, let alone any of them being good.

DethMaiden
12-11-2009, 04:52 PM
Haha, I'd be surprised to find out that five bands I like made videos this year, let alone any of them being good.

I didn't watch music videos for the longest time but since we opened a lot of Metal Club meetings with them this year, and since the Deciblog has been premiering a bunch, I found myself watching more and more. Most of them suck but I think there's been five that have been at least marginally enjoyable. And one on my list will be from a song that I know you like. Hint: it's Flag in the Ground.

mankvill
12-11-2009, 04:55 PM
Oh jeeze, I just realized I only bought 5 DVD's this year and only 2 of them were from 2009. :lol:

DethMaiden
12-11-2009, 05:06 PM
Oh jeeze, I just realized I only bought 5 DVD's this year and only 2 of them were from 2009. :lol:

Yeah, that's why I'm doing a "top one" rather than a list. I think I have two 2009 DVDs, both of which rule, but one of which is potentially the best DVD I own.

SomewhereInTime72
12-11-2009, 05:20 PM
I bet the DVD will be a complete surprise!

;)

DethMaiden
12-11-2009, 05:32 PM
I bet the DVD will be a complete surprise!

;)

Well, it's either gonna be Coheed or this obscure British band from the 80s. :dorky:

rjturtle9
12-11-2009, 06:21 PM
12/31- 2009 Man of the Year


Me!!!!!

zgodt
12-11-2009, 09:47 PM
Coheed put out a new DVD?


You like Coheed?

DethMaiden
12-12-2009, 07:04 AM
Coheed put out a new DVD?


You like Coheed?

Two discs, four nights, each night a full album. It's AWESOME.

And yeah I like Coheed. :D

DethMaiden
12-15-2009, 02:43 PM
http://flatlinemusic.blogspot.com/

I'll be putting my shit on here. I folded my blog and now I'm a part of an existing, active blog. Keep an eye on the blog, I'll post links to the entries when I post my year-end stuff too.

DethMaiden
12-21-2009, 10:15 PM
Top Five Album Covers of 2009

5. Nile - Those Whom the Gods Detest

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CaIELRuWGlM/Stcv_0k-b_I/AAAAAAAAAe0/ZM5mMNyN6Sk/s400/Nile+-+Those+Whom+The+Gods+Detest+(2009).jpg

Karl Sanders has always been a master of creating an atmosphere for his albums, both as a member of Nile and as a solo artist, that goes far beyond the music, and his impeccably tasteful album art is a big part of that. The newest full-length in the Nile canon features the band's best album cover since its 1998 debut, Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka, simply for the fact that it utilizes a photograph rather than a drawing. Egyptian history, however improbable, actually happened, and nothing drives that point home quite like seeing an actual crumbling relic from that great empire.

4. Dark Funeral - Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus

http://www.metalargentum.com/foro/files/thumbs/mid_2ca6031f92601f93b8e94aedac064356_a329347d68024 f74f68ab4efd0a16dd8.jpg

This is one of those album covers that would have sold thousands of records to teenagers trying to find cool new metal in the pre-Internet, vinyl-dominated era. The striking shades of red seem to jump out of the artwork, which is only complemented by the presence of the Great Horned One, lording over the wasteland with his left hand aloft, seeming to channel the demon from one of the greatest heavy metal album covers of all time, Mercyful Fate's Don't Break the Oath. This is what a heavy metal album cover should be.

3. Cobalt - Gin

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Gp5g_1tmyS8/SfDVaNMn-4I/AAAAAAAAArY/IS1x4jMoRj0/s400/Cobalt+Gin.jpg

Properly used, old photographs can be the most compelling visual medium imaginable. The sepia tones of Ernest Hemingway's World War I military picture placed on the front of a vicious, warlike album like Gin more than qualifies for "proper use". With Hemingway's steely gaze piercing you and Cobalt's vertical logo looking on, this already complex album throws a few more dimensions of depth into the mix, and that's before even thumbing through the liner notes and turning the case over to take in the back cover. Gin is an intense package all the way through.

2. Baroness - Blue Record

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tfvcUyu0VpM/SrAZ8_huUAI/AAAAAAAAAFI/aVqLUhQBTSA/s400/Blue+Record.jpg

While John Dyer Baizley will probably never have a year quite as incredible as 2007 as an artist - he wrote and recorded Baroness' transcendent Red Album, and did the artwork for that album in addition to the then-new LPs from Skeletonwitch, Pig Destroyer, and Darkest Hour - as an individual piece of artwork, the cover to Blue Record may be his masterpiece. The theme of fertility prevails in the art: pregnant women, eggs, including one that has been cracked open to reveal a phallus, and sperm grace the painting, and it's all done with the utmost attention to detail and that instantly recognizable style that Baizley has become known for.

1. Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_bisjm3Bvuqs/SbsJSV5eGEI/AAAAAAAAAYk/QIpAjhPEcFA/s400/emosoeurs.jpg

Understatement and simplicity can be key in creating a truly memorable image, and perhaps no one grasped this better than Neige and Company for the first (and apparently last) Amesoeurs full-length. The album is characterized by a seamless blend of traditional black metal and the stirring, urban sounds of modern France, and the artwork reflects this in every way. The black metal color palette, featuring only shades of white, gray, and black, is still very much intact, but rather than showing vast, snow-covered landscapes or battle-ready men in makeup, a stark, gaunt skyline is put on display. Mountaintops may have been replaced by skyscrapers, but the tone is just as bleak. Even the band's logo is a perfect reflection of their music: elegant, French, and of course, understated. You would be hard-pressed to find an album whose cover matched its contents better this year, or one whose cover is so strikingly beautiful yet utterly bleak. Rest in peace, Amesoeurs. You will be missed.

TonyD
12-21-2009, 10:49 PM
The theme of fertility prevails in the art: pregnant women, eggs, including one that has been cracked open to reveal a phallus, and sperm grace the painting, and it's all done with the utmost attention to detail and that instantly recognizable style that Baizley has become known for.

I think that was a coincidence, same as Death Magnetic.

DethMaiden
12-21-2009, 11:08 PM
I think that was a coincidence, same as Death Magnetic.

Do you have interview evidence for this? Because I'm sorry, but there's waaaaaay too much fertility in that art for me to think it wasn't deliberate. Also, @ Death Magnetic, wut?

DethMaiden
12-25-2009, 02:47 PM
DVD of the Year: Iron Maiden - Flight 666
http://hardrockheavymetal.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/iron-maiden-flight-666-dvd.jpg

If you're a fan of heavy metal, you're probably a fan of Iron Maiden, and if you're a fan of Iron Maiden, you probably think that 2008's extensive Somewhere Back in Time tour was a near-flawless tour for them. The setlist was amazing, even it was a little predictable, everyone in the band was on top of their game, the performances were unparalleled, and the tour was undertaken in the most metal way imaginable: in a private plane dubbed Ed Force One piloted by Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson. Flight 666 is famed metal documentary filmmaker Sam Dunn's video tribute to this awe-inspiring tour and the legendary band that decided to undertake it. Disc one is an insightful, hilarious, inspirational, and fascinating documentary regarding the tour, the band, and the unbelievable way in which South American and Asian fans receive their heroes. If you thought a Maiden concert in North America was intense, watch this documentary and see your mind change before your very eyes. Disc two is the most novel idea for a concert DVD I've ever seen: each song in the setlist - which appears in full - is taken from a different city on the tour. I personally saw Maiden in Toronto on this leg of the Somewhere Back in Time tour, so the recording of "Hallowed Be Thy Name" from that night is particularly poignant, and nearly redelivered me to the tears that it produced the first time around. Simply put, this is potentially the best music DVD of all time, and a testament to the sheer godliness of the best band on the planet. Up the Irons.

Top Five Music Videos of 2009

5. Merrimack - "In the Halls of White Death"

With this video, French black metal squad Merrimack focused less on story and more on aesthetics and imagery. A lot of it feels over the top, partially because it is, and there's no plot to the video, nor is there any reason for a lot of the graphic content. But that's kind of the point, I think. Merrimack's music is extremely visceral, and the video is just providing some visual carnage to accompany the audio extremity. The product isn't always appealing, but it certainly doesn't pull any punches and it does its job as a visual counterpart to a solid black metal song.
http://www.rocktube.us/gtUngDIyJoA/Merrimack___In_The_Halls_Of_White_Death_Uncensored __New_Video_2009_.html


4. Isis - "20 Minutes/40 Years"

If Isis are always going to be accused of Tool influence anyway, they might as well embrace the best parts of that act. This video, and to a certain extent the song it represents, is the embodiment of the post-metal act's headfirst dive into all that is Tool. The band doesn't appear in the video, the style is bizarre, animated, and trippy, and the peaks and the valleys of the song align beautifully with the peaks and valleys in the imagery that the video provides. This is certainly one of the more unique videos of the year, and it elegantly showcases the timelessness that is Isis.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS3NkhjsBf0

3. Sonata Arctica - "Flag in the Ground"

Alright, so this is a ridiculously cheesy video for an unbelievably upbeat (read: flowery) power metal song. There are moments where it is acceptable to laugh at what's going on onscreen, but at the end of the day, a music video is supposed to be an accurate reflection of the song that it accompanies, and if the new Sonata Arctica video doesn't do that, then I don't know what does. Keytars, guyliner, ponytailed men planting flags in the ground, and, yes, bouncing around on the balls of one's feet are all prominently featured in this video, but there is nothing self-aware or smug about this cheesiness. Sonata Arctica embrace it, and that's why their brand of power metal is among the best.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kObI4XuTR2o

2. Dark Funeral - "My Funeral"

Maybe it's the corpse paint, maybe it's the blood on the walls, maybe it's the incredibly professional camera work, and maybe it's the stage presence of the band, but this is easily the best "band playing their song in a room" music video of all time, and one of the only videos of this kind that is actually worth watching more than once. The graphic content warning at the beginning of the video might be a little unnecessary, but somehow adds to the aesthetic the band puts forth. There's not much else to say about this one, it just rules. Hard.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEVodXzNmPM

1. Behemoth - "Ov Fire and the Void"

Death and black metal bands doing high-minded conceptual videos and electing to star in the them as well is probably a good idea one time per every million attempts. "Ov Fire and the Void" happens to be that one time. Nergal and his grim compatriots grope their way (at times literally) through a barren landscape filled with tarot cards, whips-and-chains torture, a woman carrying the Antichrist in her womb, and a fallen angel with some delicious-looking wings. Just when you think they couldn't add one more thing to the video, they do, and while it could come off as over-the-top, it remains mostly in the realm of tastefully evil. Even if the new record was something of a disappointment, this video is the best of the year, hands down.
http://www.rocktube.us/bjosZCO83Wh/Behemoth___Ov_Fire_And_The_Void__New_Video_2009_.h tml

PowerMaiden
12-25-2009, 03:44 PM
I'm with you on FLIGHT 666 buddy, I was at the Toronto and New Jersey shows btw on that dvd




Cheers !
PowerMaiden

DethMaiden
12-25-2009, 03:58 PM
I'm with you on FLIGHT 666 buddy, I was at the Toronto and New Jersey shows btw on that dvd




Cheers !
PowerMaiden

One of the best nights of my life. :fist:

Div
12-25-2009, 07:49 PM
huh.... i thought the pregnant woman was just obese...

DethMaiden
12-25-2009, 08:15 PM
huh.... i thought the pregnant woman was just obese...

I definitely read somewhere that they were pregnant.

Natrlhi
12-26-2009, 04:13 PM
1. Behemoth - "Ov Fire and the Void"

Death and black metal bands doing high-minded conceptual videos and electing to star in the them as well is probably a good idea one time per every million attempts. "Ov Fire and the Void" happens to be that one time. Nergal and his grim compatriots grope their way (at times literally) through a barren landscape filled with tarot cards, whips-and-chains torture, a woman carrying the Antichrist in her womb, and a fallen angel with some delicious-looking wings. Just when you think they couldn't add one more thing to the video, they do, and while it could come off as over-the-top, it remains mostly in the realm of tastefully evil. Even if the new record was something of a disappointment, this video is the best of the year, hands down.
http://www.rocktube.us/bjosZCO83Wh/Behemoth___Ov_Fire_And_The_Void__New_Video_2009_.h tml
:agree: Yeah, that Behemoth video is definitely fucking badass. :rocker:

JRA
12-26-2009, 04:33 PM
huh.... i thought the pregnant woman was just obese...

http://thefurtiveglance.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/rim-shot-johnny-utah.jpg

DethMaiden
12-28-2009, 07:01 PM
This is always a fun exercise because, especially with metal, it's exceptionally hard to break music down to the song level. Some people think that music is meant to be experienced as a part of a live set or as a part of an album and that is that, but I think it's acceptable to single out certain songs as exemplary of where a band is when they recorded it, so without further ado, here are my ten favorite songs of 2009 in no order of any kind.

Between the Buried and Me - "Obfuscation": I'm not sure if BTBAM would even appreciate someone calling this the best song they made this year. Of the six tracks on their new masterpiece, The Great Misdirect, "Obfuscation" throws by far the fewest curveballs and is perhaps the only song on that record that wouldn't be out of place on 2003's The Silent Circus or 2005's Alaska. It's just a perfect track of progressive metal brilliance and instrumental virtuosity, all held together by a shouted chorus (the only non-screamed lyrics in the song, too) of "Close one eye/Step to the side," and despite being an insane roller coaster ride, it's almost a chance to relax compared to the songs that follow it. Simply BTBAM playing at their highest level; nothing more, nothing less.

Propagandhi - "Dear Coach's Corner": Start a song with a sample from Canada's SportsCenter equivalent, Hockey Night in Canada, follow it up with a minute or so of insane Slayer riffage, then turn all the knobs to "clean" and start singing in a desperate pop-punk moan about the great sport of hockey and its corruption into something inherently propagandist. It doesn't sound like a winning formula, but the guys in Propagandhi pull it off flawlessly in what ends up being a totally heart-wrenching and brilliant song. Without the proper context, the lyrics might seem like a stretch, but I suspect that unless you're Canadian you won't quite understand lines like "Every fond memory of childhood that I know is somehow connected to the culture of this game/I just can't let it go." What a non-Canadian can understand, however, is that every ounce of conviction put into this song is genuine, and its fusion of punk and metal is the sound of a great band performing at their pinnacle.

Mastodon - "The Last Baron": Dammit, this is easily the worst Mastodon full-length and it still totally rules. They're threatening to turn into Iron Maiden with this crazy run they're on. "The Last Baron" is a perfect example of why that is: it's way too ambitious, it has an acoustic intro and is thirteen minutes long, it has a part that sounds like it could be in a Dream Theater song, it utilizes clean singing exclusively (not unlike much of the album, but still), and it's about God-knows-what. Why is it so awesome? In a nutshell, it's because Mastodon are the most capable band in metal today, and they know it. They tackled something that they never should have tackled and made pure gold, and they were suspicious that it would be pure gold all along. Spoils to the victors, I suppose.

Isis - "Hall of the Dead": If there's a weak link in this list, it's this song, but it gets special consideration because it's oddly-timed opening riff is hands-down the Riff of the Year. Aaron Turner has been doing this for a while, and he has developed an impeccably Adam Jones-like (sorry again, Isis aren't Tool, but they're a damned easy point of reference) sense of how to combine complexity with catchiness, and it pays off in spades here. It's a good sign when a song inspires you to headbang, but the time signature makes it difficult to actually headbang to. The rest of the song is pretty good as well, with Turner performing at the peak of his skills as a clean/growl vocalist, but damn. That opening riff. Damn.

Slough Feg - "Ape Uprising": The 2000s have basically been a duel to the death between The Gates of Slumber and Slough Feg over who can perfect an old-school sound in the most original and most infectious way. 2009 went to Slough Feg, hands down, and this 10-minute chunk of Thin Lizzy worship and twin lead mayhem is a great example of why. Mike Scalzi has a rugged voice that can't really be described accurately in terms of other singers, but it fits Slough Feg's music perfectly. Even though the guitars steal the show as with every Slough Feg song, the tribal drumming that would be annoying coming from so many bands fits the album's theme perfectly, and the bass demands your attention with its very capable playing. This is basically a perfect old school heavy metal song. Your move, Karl Simon.

Cobalt - "Gin": Probably more than any other great album from 2009, it's tough to separate Cobalt's latest opus into distinct songs, but the opening track sets the tone for the rest of the album so well that it's hard not to call it a highlight. It tricks you into relaxation with its clean guitar intro, then tears your balls off and feeds them to you for the better part of seven minutes (hell, for the better part of 70 minutes when it's all said and done). Phil McSorley (we'll get to him later) steals the show as usual with a vicious, whiskey-soaked vocal performance that coats your soul with a thick layer of grime. This is beautiful; this is art.

Wolves in the Throne Room - "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog": It gets bonus points of the bat for the wonderful title, taken from the name of one of my favorite paintings of all time. In typical WITTR fashion, this song is all about taking its time to get where it's going, and at glacier speed it reaches a glorious climax, with riffs layered upon riffs like classic Darkthrone and ambient, post-rock beauty oozing out of every note like any of Neige's projects. The vocals are the definition of black metal rasp, and it does its job as an opening track on a terrific album by setting the stage for what's to come.

Immortal - "All Shall Fall": Three black metal songs in a row, whew. 2006 Brad sees this list and rolls his eyes, but black metal has adapted far better than death metal in every conceivable way during this decade. Even Immortal, one of the first-wave stalwarts, figured out a way to update their sound and become excellent in a totally new way on 2002's instant classic Sons of Northern Darkness. While the reunion record isn't quite as good, the title track tries some new things out to huge levels of success. The epic arrangement and buzzsaw guitar sound are still there, but Abbath adds to the mix some - wait for it - clean vocals! The whole thing is a reminder to the world of Immortal's continued relevance, their ability to adapt, and their apparent readiness to carry the flag of black metal into the next decade.

Baroness - "A Horse Called Golgotha": This one took some time to grow on me. I knew I liked it right away, but I was pretty uneasy about the weird sound in the guitar solo, the arrangement of the song, and the overwhelming presence of clean vocals in the song. It didn't quite seem like the Baroness I knew and loved. Once I realized that was all stupid, my mind opened to what would probably be the song of the year if this list were ranked (which it isn't). Without aping any formulas or sounding derivative, Baroness created a classic heavy metal song that would probably sound out of place in the 80s, but not by much.

Megadeth - "Head Crusher": The new Megadeth album isn't quite good enough to get mentioned when I get around to talking about the best albums of 2009, but it has to be noted that it is easily their best effort since 1994, and that "Head Crusher" is their best song since 1997. While we're at it, "This Day We Fight!" is also better than anything they've done since 1997, but that's partly because of how generally terrible the last decade has been for Megadeth. None of that affects this startlingly refreshing headbanger, though, and it seems to all but declare that Megadeth is "back" without ever leaving. The riffs are crisp, the solos are crazy, the lyrics are violent, the vocals are old-school, and everything is said and done within three minutes. The new wave of thrash has already started to wear out its welcome, and it's with the help of classic bands making such great thrash tunes as this that their grave is being dug.

Natrlhi
12-28-2009, 08:24 PM
Mastodon - "The Last Baron"
Yeah, that's my favorite track from "Crack the Skye", too.

Isis - "Hall of the Dead": If there's a weak link in this list, it's this song
You shut your trap, you. :nonono: Nothing Isis ever does (or will do) shall be referred to as a "weak link". Evar.

Isis - "Hall of the Dead"...It's a good sign when a song inspires you to headbang, but the time signature makes it difficult to actually headbang to...
:lol: Yeah, you've gotta be careful headbanging to Isis and Tool and the like. This song is mainly in 5/4, so I usually bang on the 1 and the 4 - that way I don't get hurt. Plus, it fits when they throw the 6/4 in there from time to time, but you have to know it's coming and wait an extra beat in that measure or you'll snap your damn fool neck. ;)

Isis - "Hall of the Dead"...The rest of the song is pretty good as well, with Turner performing at the peak of his skills as a clean/growl vocalist, but damn. That opening riff. Damn.
...and what some of you folks don't know is that it's not even the best riff on the album. :D

Cobalt - "Gin"...This is beautiful; this is art.
Pig Destroyer's lawyers would like to have a word with you about copyright infringement. ;)

Immortal - "All Shall Fall": Three black metal songs in a row, whew. 2006 Brad sees this list and rolls his eyes, but black metal has adapted far better than death metal in every conceivable way during this decade. Even Immortal, one of the first-wave stalwarts, figured out a way to update their sound and become excellent in a totally new way on 2002's instant classic Sons of Northern Darkness. While the reunion record isn't quite as good, the title track tries some new things out to huge levels of success. The epic arrangement and buzzsaw guitar sound are still there, but Abbath adds to the mix some - wait for it - clean vocals! The whole thing is a reminder to the world of Immortal's continued relevance, their ability to adapt, and their apparent readiness to carry the flag of black metal into the next decade.
Very nice observations here (and for what it's worth, I think John Baizley agrees with you and me on this :D).

Baroness - "A Horse Called Golgotha"
What a choice to make, eh? Personally, I couldn't decide to give the pick of best track on the album to this, or "Curse", "Swollen" or "Gnashing", but that's just me. "Horse" is awesome, though - no doubt.

(PSSSSST - It's even better live...Nat says as he twists the knife ;))


Seriously, though - lots of excellent picks. :fist:

idrinkwine732
12-28-2009, 08:35 PM
Listen to Cormorant's Metazoa and that list will be dramatically different.

Natrlhi
12-28-2009, 08:41 PM
Listen to Cormorant's Metazoa and that list will be dramatically different.

:lol: Not that you're biased or anything. ;)

Seriously, though - I do agree to an extent. There's bound to be something off "Metazoa" that could unseat one of the songs on Brad's list. "Scavengers Feast" is awful fucking good, for example. :rocker:

EDIT: Hey, how many albums is this for Cormorant anyway? I'm having trouble getting background info on them...

DethMaiden
12-28-2009, 08:44 PM
:lol: Not that you're biased or anything. ;)

Seriously, though - I do agree to an extent. There's bound to be something off "Metazoa" that could unseat one of the songs on Brad's list. "Scavengers Feast" is awful fucking good, for example. :rocker:

I can't get over the guitar sound on that album. It just makes no sense. I hate to dislike something that I should like, and I guess I don't dislike it - it is good, it just didn't shake my earth.

Also, thanks for all the well-constructed comments. ;) :fist:

idrinkwine732
12-28-2009, 08:49 PM
:lol: Not that you're biased or anything. ;)

Seriously, though - I do agree to an extent. There's bound to be something off "Metazoa" that could unseat one of the songs on Brad's list. "Scavengers Feast" is awful fucking good, for example. :rocker:

EDIT: Hey, how many albums is this for Cormorant anyway? I'm having trouble getting background info on them...

That was their debut. They have an EP out called the Last Tree which has some other amazing stuff too, and yes, I am completely impartial.

DethMaiden
12-30-2009, 07:36 PM
A band's worth can't always be determined by the strength of a live performance, but it certainly helps. Of the fifty-two live sets I saw this year, these ten stood out the most.

10. Baroness - Cincinnati, OH - July 7: Although Baroness were slightly underwhelming when I saw them play with Opeth and High on Fire last December, six months of practice, a member change, and a new album gave them the edge necessary to blow my mind.

9. Overmars - Dayton, OH - August 17: For the last time I was able to go to the Dayton Dirt Collective (probably my all-time favorite venue) before I started school in August, this French doom metal band destroyed my expectations and played disturbing footage of a stillbirth, among other things, on a makeshift projection screen made of a bed sheet. Raw as fuck, gritty as the streets outside the venue.

8. Matisyahu - Columbus, OH - July 15: The Hasidic reggae-rap-rock sensation dragged his songs out a little bit too long at times - probably thanks to the fact that Dub Trio is his new backing band - but incredible renditions of "Youth" and "One Day", as well as the fact that my brother and I were pulled on stage during the encore along with much of the front of the building to dance on stage made this show extremely memorable.

7. Between the Buried and Me - Louisville, KY - September 30: BTBAM are an incredible live band, and of the three times I've seen them (so far), this was by far the best set they put on, thanks mostly to the fact that they played all of their best songs as a setlist. All Bodies, Selkies, Obfuscation, Foam Born, and White Walls. That's unstoppable.

6. Cynic - Cincinnati, OH - April 26: DragonForce were a hell of a lot of fun, but they had an unbelievable act to follow after Cynic spent forty minutes on the stage dropping the jaws of every open-minded member of the audience. The band's stage presence has been criticized, but the music of Cynic is timid and complex. If they ran around the stage while they played, it would look ridiculous. The stage presence fit the setlist, which was flawlessly executed. Welcome back, guys.

5. Rob Zombie - Columbus, OH - November 25: It's hard to walk out of a Rob Zombie concert without having a smile glued to your face for the next several days. No one has a better stage presence as a frontman, no one aside from Iron Maiden puts more sweat and energy into a show, and no one (again, aside from Iron Maiden) has a more impressive stage show. Simply amazing every time.

4. Jucifer - Bloomington, IN - October 31: I couldn't have possibly had a more evil Halloween if Satan himself rose up from his abode to say hello. Amber Valentine and Edgar Livengood did things on that stage that should be illegal. In fact, domestic abuse, which may have been happening, is illegal. The music shifted between doom and grind and punk and was essentially one hour-long piece. I still can't quite describe what was going on up there, but it was a night to remember.

3. Clutch - Cincinnati, OH - July 7: The closest equivalent I can think of to what Clutch did at this show (my fourth time seeing them) is if Tiger Woods took bogeys on the front nine then came back and won the tournament. Clutch opened their set with the snail-paced "Who's Been Talking?" in the biggest "wtf" moment of the year in concerts, but stormed back with rarities like "(In the Wake of the) Swollen Goat" and incredible set closer "Animal Farm" to put on one of the best shows of the year. It's almost like they were challenging themselves to win the crowd back after opening with such a bizarre song. They pulled it off, to say the least.

2. Grayceon - Columbus, OH - August 11: I have to admit, I was knocked the fuck down by this progressive metal trio. When you manage to blow Kenoma and Giant Squid off the stage, you've done something right. That something happened to be making an electric cello (!) the centerpiece of all of your songs and playing with a sense of chemistry unmatched by any other trio not called Rush. This entire set was incredible, and inspired me to immediately buy their discography and slap their logo sticker on my notebook. (Side note: Jackie Perez-Gratz is a very underrated candidate for "hottest chick in metal," and unlike someone like Cristina Scabbia, it's far less for her looks (although she is quite attractive) and more for the amazing command she has over her instrument and the way she simply owns the stage, and from a chair, no less.)

1. Carcass - Cleveland, OH - March 14: This is top three live sets of all time material without a doubt. After arriving late, we still managed to end up right against the stage, eyeball to eyeball with one Mr. Bill Steer for the rest of the evening. From that position, we saw Carcass remind us how they reinvented death metal five times in their five album career, blowing through key cuts from each disc and slaying every naysayer and infidel in the room in the process. Standing face to face with Bill Steer while he unleashed from the bowels of his lungs the opening verse to "Exhume to Consume" pretty much made the rest of the year worth living. Keep on rotting, indeed. :fist:

Natrlhi
12-30-2009, 11:11 PM
I was a bit underwhelmed by Cynic. I get the whole "stage antics aren't their thing", thing - but still. I don't know. I'm a big fan of theirs, but they didn't exactly blow me away live. They were "just OK" to me. My opinion.

However...

I guess I gotta go see Jucifer after all.
Clutch is always the shit, so that one you get for free. ;)
Yay, Grayceon!
Carcass was bad as balls.

That's all. (Miranda Priestly)

TonyD
12-30-2009, 11:16 PM
I was a bit underwhelmed by Cynic. I get the whole "stage antics aren't their thing", thing - but still. I don't know. I'm a big fan of theirs, but they didn't exactly blow me away live. They were "just OK" to me. My opinion.


troof

DethMaiden
12-31-2009, 08:25 AM
I was a bit underwhelmed by Cynic. I get the whole "stage antics aren't their thing", thing - but still. I don't know. I'm a big fan of theirs, but they didn't exactly blow me away live. They were "just OK" to me. My opinion.

However...

I guess I gotta go see Jucifer after all.
Clutch is always the shit, so that one you get for free. ;)
Yay, Grayceon!
Carcass was bad as balls.

That's all. (Miranda Priestly)

@ Cynic: :( I'm seeing them again in January and I expect to have an amazing time, so whatever. ;)

@ Jucifer: Yeah, you kind of do. I think I paid 7 dollars. It's worth at least that.

@ Clutch: LISTEN UP YOU STINKING MAGGOTS, et al.

@ Grayceon: :bowdown:

@ Carcass: One of the best nights of my life, no exaggeration.

:party:

DethMaiden
12-31-2009, 09:16 PM
Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings
http://barrydean.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/dream_theater_-_black_clouds__silver_linings.jpg

After 2007's wretched Systematic Chaos, I had nearly lost faith in Dream Theater. So much, in fact, that I was hesitant to even listen to Black Clouds & Silver Linings when it came out. When I did, I was struck by a few things; primarily, holy shit, this is the best thing they've done since Scenes from a Memory and holy shit, these lyrics are awful in an awesome way. Some of the songs still drag on a little bit too long for their own good (four of the six tracks clock in at over twelve minutes), but the music is solid all the way through, and every last song has at least one revelatory moment that proves that Dream Theater has still got it.
Key tracks: "A Nightmare to Remember", "A Rite of Passage", "The Count of Tuscany"

Immortal - All Shall Fall
http://atlmetal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Immortal-All-Shall-Fall-300x300.jpg

Well, it would have been nice if the seven-year hiatus from black metal's grimmest warriors would have yielded their masterpiece, but All Shall Fall is a more than competent album, and easily the most rockin' maelstrom of sound the Norwegian trio has ever committed to tape. The trend has been continuing since the release of Damned in Black, but this is the culmination of the original epic black metal sound of Immortal's fusion with thrash and classic heavy metal. From the moment that Abbath first offers clean vocals in the title track, it's clear that this is going to be a winter for the ages.
Key tracks: "All Shall Fall", "Norden on Fire", "Unearthly Kingdom"


Shrinebuilder - Shrinebuilder
http://ihrtn.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Shrinebuilder-S-T-300x300.jpg

Supergroups this intense are rarely a good idea, but the combination of Scott "Wino" Weinrich, Scott Kelly, Al Cisneros, and Dale Crover turned out to be exactly the stoner doom powerhouse that it is on paper on record, and the quartet's debut rumbles earth and shakes bowels effortlessly. Elements of Earth, Neurosis, Om, The Hidden Hand, and others from the members' impressive collective resume are all present, but the band has already managed to forge a unique sound all its own, and the the whole package is awash in a sense of grandfatherly know-how that threatens to overwhelm any young bucks who think they can do this better.
Key tracks: "Blind For All to See", "Solar Benediction", "The Architect"

St. Vincent - Actor
http://www.einsteinmusicjournal.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/actor-st-vincent.jpg

American singer-songwriter Annie Clark has been favorably compared to Kate Bush in numerous music publications over the past year, but even that gushing compliment sells her versatility a little bit short. Easily one of the best lyricists in the business right now, Clark (under her stage name St. Vincent) uses ordinary emotions to express complex issues with an arsenal of vocal acrobatics hardly seen outside of the classical discipline and a huge palette of dark rock, pop, and electronica to drape it over. Perhaps the album title is the most telling thing of all: Annie Clark is all of the people she sings about, and she is none of them.
Key tracks: "Laughing With a Mouth of Blood", "Actor Out of Work", "The Party"


Struck By Lightning - Serpents
http://www.teethofthedivine.com/site/uploads/2009/10/struck_by_lightning_-_serpents.jpeg

Blame personal bias if you must, but I can't help but think that Greg Lahm (formerly of Mouth of the Architect, now the frontman for Struck By Lightning) is going to be one of the most important dudes in underground metal in the coming years. With this record, he shows his ability to seamlessly transition from playing syrupy, sludgy post-metal to playing pissed-off crust and D-beat without losing the lessons he learned in the process as the MOTA influence seeps in on a number of the songs. It's also very encouraging that this album is the band's debut; it seems unlikely that they won't dominate the Ohio metal scene over the next decade.
Key tracks: "The Watchful Eye", "Supercell", "Becoming Earth"

DethMaiden
01-01-2010, 07:17 PM
10. Baroness - Blue Record
http://www.zmemusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/baroness_-_blue_record.jpg

It might not be as instantly soul-owning as Red Album, but once you give it a few (dozen) spins, the greatness of the new album by Savannah prog-sludge monsters Baroness begins to reveal itself. The leitmotif recurring throughout the album is immensely satisfying, and the songs work with their interludes and intros, making them a part of the experience rather than a useless track that earns a skip every play. Boiled down to its essence, Blue Record is a celebration of the album as it once was, and it seems to spell great things for the future of its creators.
Key tracks: "A Horse Called Golgotha", "The Gnashing", "The Sweetest Curse"


9. Nile - Those Whom the Gods Detest
http://www.leavethehall.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/v4p1tf-Custom.jpg

2007's Ithyphallic, while still awesome at times, can be regarded as a misstep by the best band in death metal today, South Carolina's unstoppable, Egpyt-obsessed trio Nile. Those Whom the Gods Detest sets them firmly back on the right path (left handed though that path may be). Everything that one might seek in a Nile album is here in droves: the Egyptian chant choir vocals, the unusual instrumentation, the brutal vocals, the PhD-level lyrics and liner notes, the light-speed guitars and drums, the unparalleled lead playing of Karl Sanders. It's all here, and it's all as good as it's ever been. The gods may detest them, but no sane death metal fan should after hearing this.
Key tracks: "Kafir!", "Those Whom the Gods Detest", "Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend Into the Underworld"


8. Mastodon - Crack the Skye
http://hatedpig.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/crack_the_skye.jpg

When a band puts out what is easily the worst album they've ever done and it still cracks the top ten in a hyper-competitive year, you know you're looking at one of the greatest bands ever. Mastodon stripped away a lot of the heaviest elements of their sound and attacked their newest full-length with a prog-drenched, clean-vocals-only approach, to startlingly terrific results. What it lacks in the balls-out metal of the previous three albums it makes up for with its moments of melodic beauty and epic scale. Depending on my mood, there are between three and six masterpieces on this seven-track album, the transition to the band's new style appearing to have gone off without a hitch. Long live the '90s Bulls of modern metal, and may they forever rock.
Key tracks: "The Last Baron", "Oblivion", "The Czar"


7. Propagandhi - Supporting Caste
http://www.musicemissions.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/dscanland/2009/01/3bw1_propagandhisupportingcaste3x3coverpr.jpg

It would be easy to point to this record as the token non-metal album in my top ten, but it's possible that that isn't totally accurate. While it's true that Propagandhi are known for their stripped-down political punk, this album is without a doubt their most polished and actually has lots of fantastic riffs that wouldn't seem out of place on a new Slayer album - you know, if Slayer were still any good. Back in the early 80s, metal used to wear its punk influences on its sleeve, so it's nice to see punk returning the favor, and even though the politics in the lyrics are sometimes spread on a little bit too thick for my liking, there's still a level of poetic brilliance there that can hardly be rivaled in music today.
Key tracks: "Dear Coach's Corner", "Supporting Caste", "Potemkin City Limits"

6. Wolves in the Throne Room - Black Cascade
http://www.metalkingdom.net/album/img/d13/22962.jpg

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the past decade has proven that, in faux-evolutionary terms, black metal has proved itself remarkably adaptable, whereas death metal has by and large proven itself to be a dinosaur with little to offer except more brutality, more technicality, and more tepid attempts at fusing the two. A band like Wolves in the Throne Room highlight this phenomenon all too well. In 1994, a band that fused elements of post-rock with traditional black metal, lacked a bass player, worshiped the environment, and exclusively wrote ten-minute-plus songs would never be able to exist. In 2009, they do exist, and they're perhaps the best black metal band on the planet right now. With yet another near-perfect album now under their belts, it's becoming hard to imagine a world without them.
Key tracks: "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog", "Ex Cathedra", "Ahrimanic Trance"

5. My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire
http://www.heavymusic.pl/serwer2/2/MyDyingBride-ForLiesISire.jpg

There's not a whole lot of metal bands whose resurgences can be described with the phrase "thank God they brought back a full-time violinist, that was just the shot in the arm they needed to make their masterpiece." For My Dying Bride, that pretty much covers it. I'm all about their classic Turn Loose the Swans and The Angel and the Dark River albums, and I'm even pretty much in love with their 21st century gothic doom metal albums, but the new record from the saddest men and women in Britain is probably their best yet from my perspective. Aaron Stainthorpe's vocals are more tortured than they've been in a decade, violins are taking back some of the leads from the guitars, and comparisons can accurately be drawn to sources so diverse as Swans and Iron Maiden. If you're a fan of My Dying Bride's previous work, it really doesn't get much better than this.
Key tracks: "Santuario di Sangue", "Fall With Me", "Death Triumphant"

4. Redemption - Snowfall on Judgment Day
https://www.insideoutshop.de/images/Snowfall300.jpg

Big-name traditional progressive metal is, for all intents and purposes, in the doldrums right now. Queensryche are releasing mid-tempo propaganda for the troops, Dream Theater and Symphony X think they should be emulating Metallica and Pantera respectively (with the new DT as a notable exception), Evergrey is a shell of their former self, and Fates Warning are recording nap-time prog of the first order. The rush of adrenaline that the genre so desperately needs has arrived in the form of California's Redemption. Now, I don't typically go for this kind of uber-melodic, clean-vox-only metal - Jeff Teets Music, as only those in the know are allowed to call it - but this is a really tremendous album on every level. Also, it earns the unofficial title of Coldest Non-Black Metal Album Cover, which should definitely count for something.
Key tracks: "Black and White World", "Love Kills Us All/Life In One Day", "Walls"

3. Slough Feg - Ape Uprising!
http://www.metalkingdom.net/album/img/d14/24313.jpg

Massive credit has to be laid on Slough Feg, the best traditional metal band on the planet, for taking a concept that could have been so goofy and making it so incredible and not the least bit contrived. This loose concept album can be summed up pretty well by one of its lyrics: "We shared your ancestors/You kept us caged like monsters." That's right, folks: Slough Feg have recorded a revenge fantasy from the perspective of apes! Taking their cues from the less ubiquitous St. Vitus and Thin Lizzy rather than Sabbath, Maiden, and Priest, the California quartet has created a true gem for their previously somewhat inconsistent career. It's not even impossible that this is the best traditional heavy metal album since Judas Priest unleashed Painkiller. Unlikely, but not impossible.
Key tracks: "Ape Uprising", "Simian Manifesto", "The Hunchback of Notre Doom"


2. Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect
http://www.progarchives.com/progressive_rock_discography_covers/2480/cover_4425152392009.jpg

Now, I've made it abundantly clear that 2009 is probably the best year for music in my time as an active listener and seeker of tunes, but only this album and the one outranking it left me unconscious on the ground from a tidal wave of awesome. Every moment of the new opus from BTBAM (and would-be magnum opus if it weren't for the somehow even more awesome Colors) is incredible. Despite throwing seemingly every curveball that exists at some point in their previous career, they throw at least two dozen new ones on this record. They play an admittedly throw-shit-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks style, but it would be wrong to fault them for it because it works so damn well. If I could find a criticism to offer I would, but I really can't. Keep doing what you do, boys.
Key tracks: "Obfuscation", "Desert of Song", "Fossil Genera - A Feed From Cloud Mountain"


1. Cobalt - Gin
http://mediaportal.ru/uploads/posts/2009-04/1240775100_f300.jpg

My next post will offer a lot more insight on the record, but I'll give you a few words to hold you over. Ugly. Grim. Raw. Fucked-up. Dark. Classic.
Key tracks: "Gin", "A Starved Horror", "Arsonry"

Dishonorable mentions:
Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
Queensryche - American Soldier
Slayer - World Painted Blood
Heaven & Hell - The Devil You Know
Pestilence - Resurrection Macabre
3 Inches of Blood - Here Waits Thy Doom
Sonata Arctica - The Days of Grays
Porcupine Tree - The Incident

These albums all basically sucked. None of these have more than one song that I genuinely like.

mankvill
01-01-2010, 07:43 PM
Pestilence - Resurrection Macabre

;_; Should I even bother?

DethMaiden
01-01-2010, 07:44 PM
;_; Should I even bother?

Maybe it's similar to the old, old shit, but it's nothing like Spheres or Testimony of the Ancients, and imo, it totally blows.

Natrlhi
01-02-2010, 09:49 AM
Maybe it's similar to the old, old shit, but it's nothing like Spheres or Testimony of the Ancients, and imo, it totally blows.

It's actually VERY different from the old stuff, but in my opinion it was surprisingly good, considering Martin van Drunen isn't on it. It's heavy as fuck, I'll tell you that. It won't break my top ten or twenty or what have you, but IMO it definitely did not suck.

Ditto the last sentence in the above comment for World Painted Blood.

larvtard
01-02-2010, 02:42 PM
struck by lightning kick ass. along with Lazarus A.D., best debut of the year. I wish more bands played music like this.

....are there any bands that play the same style of music as these guys? I would be very interested to know haha.:tongue:

ChildrenofSodom
01-02-2010, 05:36 PM
You're crazy Brad. THe 40 ounces of politics spread on Propagandhi's music is just right.

DethMaiden
01-02-2010, 05:41 PM
struck by lightning kick ass. along with Lazarus A.D., best debut of the year. I wish more bands played music like this.

....are there any bands that play the same style of music as these guys? I would be very interested to know haha.:tongue:

Doomriders and Disfear are the first two that spring to mind.

DethMaiden
01-02-2010, 05:41 PM
You're crazy Brad. THe 40 ounces of politics spread on Propagandhi's music is just right.

:lol: Delicious.

Natrlhi
01-03-2010, 01:42 PM
Doomriders and Disfear are the first two that spring to mind.

:agree: Those were the two I was gonna say as well. :D


EDIT: Maybe Akimbo, Saviours, Cave-In, Young Widows would be a few others.

DethMaiden
01-03-2010, 04:13 PM
:agree: Those were the two I was gonna say as well. :D


EDIT: Maybe Akimbo, Saviours, Cave-In, Young Widows would be a few others.

:fist:

And if you dug Struck By Lightning, you owe it to yourself to check out Mouth of the Architect if you haven't already (especially the split with Kenoma and The Ties That Blind LP) to see where Greg Lahm's background is. It lends a whole 'nother dimension to the already awesome music.

idrinkwine732
01-03-2010, 06:24 PM
Each and every one of those bands just mentioned is fantastic.

Natrlhi
01-03-2010, 06:29 PM
:fist:

And if you dug Struck By Lightning, you owe it to yourself to check out Mouth of the Architect if you haven't already (especially the split with Kenoma and The Ties That Blind LP) to see where Greg Lahm's background is. It lends a whole 'nother dimension to the already awesome music.

I assume you're telling Loganarchy this, cuz I'm already all over MotA ("Quietly" was my #15 pick on my own personal "Best of 2008" list last year :fist:).


EDIT:

Each and every one of those bands just mentioned is fantastic.

That is correct. :D

DethMaiden
01-03-2010, 06:54 PM
I assume you're telling Loganarchy this, cuz I'm already all over MotA ("Quietly" was my #15 pick on my own personal "Best of 2008" list last year :fist:).


Yeah, I know you're privy to all the hottest shit already. :cool: :allan:

mastodon421
01-04-2010, 02:07 PM
I got to say i check out Doomriders and Saviours for the first time over the weekend and that is some good shit!

larvtard
01-05-2010, 06:50 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'm not really a fan of Doomriders or MoTA but I'll give them another listen. Saviours is all right. Disfear is pretty good but kinda annoying honestly. Maybe i'm not a d-beat fan? (what is d-beat, by the way?) I haven't really listened to Akimbo or Young Widows, though.

mankvill
01-05-2010, 06:56 PM
\Maybe i'm not a d-beat fan? (what is d-beat, by the way?)

If I remember correctly, it's the drum beat that's popular in several hardcore punk genre's that goes something like "bassbdrum-bassdrum-snare, bassdrum-bassdrum-snare" and it was popularized by the band Discharge, hence the name "D"-beat.

edit: thanks Wiki

C:|x--x-x--x--x-x--:||
S:|--o---o---o---o-:||
K:|o--o-o--o--o-o--:||
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & S=snare K=kick C=crash

SomewhereInTime72
01-05-2010, 08:44 PM
C:|x--x-x--x--x-x--:||
S:|--o---o---o---o-:||
K:|o--o-o--o--o-o--:||
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & S=snare K=kick C=crash

change the cymbal pattern = aces high. that bass-snare pattern will always mean aces high to me. :D

DethMaiden
01-06-2010, 11:57 AM
Decided to not do a "most anticipated" because Maiden pushing theirs to 2011 renders it irrelevant, and decided to make a new thread for my Man of the Year piece, so I'll leave this thread with my hypothetical 16-20 because this year had way too much great shit to only give props to 15 albums. So, here's five more:

Fen - The Malediction Fields
Clutch - Strange Cousins from the West
Megadeth - Endgame
Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster
Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs

Sanitarium78
01-07-2010, 10:52 AM
struck by lightning kick ass. along with Lazarus A.D., best debut of the year. I wish more bands played music like this.

....are there any bands that play the same style of music as these guys? I would be very interested to know haha.:tongue:

If you like Lazarus A.D. then you should check out Mantic Ritual. They're new just like Lazarus and I think only got one album so far as well. Warbinger may be another one you should check out. I just rencently listened to their two albums and it's very good. All these bands play very good modern day thrash and are proof that the thrash metal that made 80s metal what it was will be carried on into the furture by bands like them.