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SomewhereInTime72
12-09-2011, 07:25 PM
This is the cool thing to do lately, so I'm gonna do my own here. I'll do one album at a time from my own top 25 at the rate of something in the range of 0-2 albums per day. :tongue: I'll keep this first post edited with the whole list so far for convenience I guess.

Not sure how much interest this thread will garner because my taste is not completely in line with a lot of this board and for the most part my nonmetal picks don't really overlap with anyone else. And there will be a few noteworthy albums that just didn't make it (or I didn't like but sshhh). For example it is with significant regret that I don't have Despond on this list, but I just couldn't make them fit into a top 25 when I've heard over 50 albums that I liked this year.

The list so far:
25. Boris - New Album (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=423395&postcount=4)
24. Motörhead - The Wörld is Yours (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=423415&postcount=5)
23. Childish Gambino - EP (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=423777&postcount=10)
22. Opeth - Heritage (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=424214&postcount=21)
21. Boris with Merzbow - Klatter (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=425055&postcount=23)
20. The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Orchestra (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=425105&postcount=24)
19. Stratovarius - Elysium (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=425403&postcount=26)
18. Yes - Fly From Here (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=425466&postcount=30)
17. KMFDM - WTF?! (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=425999&postcount=32)
16. Megadeth - TH1RT3EN (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=426215&postcount=33)
15. Hiromi - Voice (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=427163&postcount=40)
14. Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=426790&postcount=39)
13. Anthrax - Worship Music (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=427838&postcount=44)
12. Stick Men - Absalom (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=428092&postcount=51)
11. Childish Gambino - Camp (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=427858&postcount=48)
10. Dir En Grey - Dum Spiro Spero (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=428099&postcount=52)
9. Evergrey - Glorious Collision (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=429246&postcount=55)
8. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=429253&postcount=57)
7. Boris - Attention Please (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=430684&postcount=60)
6. Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=430736&postcount=61)
5. Boris - Heavy Rocks (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=431309&postcount=68)
4. Amorphis - The Beginning of Times (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=431665&postcount=72)
3. Symphony X - Iconoclast (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=432115&postcount=75)
2. Pain of Salvation - Road Salt Two (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=432181&postcount=82)
1. Pete Davis - The Pottsville Conglomerate (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=432873&postcount=84)

And the list is done.
edit: moved some albums around just gonna edit the order here and the # on the review post

MPF
12-09-2011, 07:29 PM
I'll be checking it out.

powerslave_85
12-09-2011, 07:32 PM
I've been waiting for your list :metal:

SomewhereInTime72
12-09-2011, 07:33 PM
#25
Boris - New Album
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/metal/various/borisalbum1.jpg

This is not a typical album from our Japanese Drone Metal friends, or a typical album you would expect from any band affiliated with metal whatsoever. This album is basically crazy psychedelic J-Pop. I did not see this coming, and when I heard about it, I honestly wasn't sure I would like it. And speaking honestly, of the four (!!!) albums Boris released this year, this is my least favorite (spoilers for future entries oh no.) That said this album actually blew me away with it's awesomeness when I first heard it.

Since then, I've grown to like other albums a bit more and this one a bit less, but this album still holds up quite well enough to make it onto this list. I enjoy it a whole lot. It's definitely not for everyone because... well it's a fucking weird album just from the description. But it's better than the sum of it's parts. It sounds like a Boris album, despite sounding almost nothing like Boris. And that is part of the charm that makes it so good.

Recommended song:
"Hope" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVJ0YVkOAaA)

SomewhereInTime72
12-09-2011, 08:31 PM
Gonna do 24 while I have the time.

#24
Motörhead - The Wörld Is Yours
http://991.com/NewGallery/Motorhead-The-World-Is-Your-522221.jpg

Two short disclaimers here: First, as we all know is the nature of lists like this the "sureness" of an album's placement is less defined the further down the list you go, so lower ranking albums like this can move up and down pretty easily. I would say that until it reaches my top 10 this is really a loose ranking, just my impression of the order I think they should be at the time of decision. Secondly, I am counting this as a 2011 album because that's when it went on sale - just because it was put out in some magazine (and interweb) in the very end of last December does not make it a 2010 release.

Ok, so Motörhead - we all know what they sound like (and if you don't I'm not sure how you ended up on this site), and that's what this album sounds like. It's hard to say much about this album because I pretty much just described it already. If you like Motörhead, you'll like this. It's a great album that pulls no punches. The only reason I haven't ranked it higher is because, while stylistic differences are negligible, the raw "goodness" of the album when compared to other modern Motörhead albums fails to compete with 2004's Inferno and 2008's Motorizer.

That said, this is a very good Motörhead album. I am a fan of Motörhead. That's why this album belongs on my list. :rocker:

Recommended song:
"Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS2LD9gRQQk)

Dextrimental
12-09-2011, 08:39 PM
Good two records to start with, I'm still trying to figure out that Boris record, I stick it on every couple of days and a little more of it clicks with me each time! Motorhead are, as you say, Motorhead, so that album is worth its salt already really!

IrritatedTrout
12-10-2011, 12:57 AM
Good Motorhead album but, yeah, not as good as Inferno or Motorizer.

Epidemic Reign
12-10-2011, 05:57 AM
Not sure how much interest this thread will garner because my taste is not completely in line with a lot of this board and for the most part my nonmetal picks don't really overlap with anyone else.

:fist:

I can relate to this :lol:

SirLardsAlot
12-10-2011, 01:38 PM
:fist:

I can relate to this :lol:

Same, clearly. Hahah :D

SomewhereInTime72
12-10-2011, 08:18 PM
weallknowthatfeel.jpg

#23
Childish Gambino - EP
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lhqj00q1Mi1qb8oeu.jpg

Ok, I was having trouble deciding whether or not to include this, as it's not a full-length album, but I ended up deciding to count it anyway. I'm sure most people who would be interested in this have heard it already and such, but the gist is that this is Donald Glover (of Community and Derrick Comedy fame) rapping. Yeah that doesn't actually sound very good does it? That's what I thought before I listened to it, that I like what he does but I just couldn't imagine Gambino could be good.

Well, I was pretty fucking wrong when I ended up listening to basically the best collection of 5 rap songs I've heard in over 3 years. I'll admit I'm not too genre savvy, and my tastes generally fall in line with the more "old school" stuff which this is very much not. Still, I found myself pleasantly surprised with just how good this is. The lyrics still have that comedic edge to them a lot of the time which led a lot of people to not take him seriously, but I've always thought that plenty of good rap - like good metal - knows just when to be serious and when to be silly. Overall this is a very memorable group of songs that do not fail to entertain and kept me busy for a good deal of obsession early on in the year. The only failure here is that it's only 5 great (and short) songs so it can't possibly compare to other amazing albums that have twice as much great music.

Recommended Song:
"Freaks And Geeks (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otPxoVQiIGo)" (like most of you haven't heard this lol)

illuminatus917
12-10-2011, 08:25 PM
Ok, I was having trouble deciding whether or not to include this, as it's not a full-length album, but I ended up deciding to count it anyway.

I've always thought quality > quantity. An excellent 20 minute release will place higher on any list of mine than a "good" 40 minute release.

Epidemic Reign
12-10-2011, 08:37 PM
I've always thought quality > quantity. An excellent 20 minute release will place higher on any list of mine than a "good" 40 minute release.

Agreed 100%.

SomewhereInTime72
12-10-2011, 08:38 PM
That's why Reign in Blood is a classic. :D :tongue:

Epidemic Reign
12-10-2011, 08:42 PM
That's why Reign in Blood is a classic. :D :tongue:

:highfive:

illuminatus917
12-10-2011, 08:45 PM
Just put my Reign in Blood CD in the car to listen to tomorrow. :D

powerslave_85
12-11-2011, 10:59 AM
I was pretty disappointed with Camp, but man, that EP is fantastic.

JRA
12-11-2011, 11:00 AM
Good Motorhead album but, yeah, not as good as Inferno or Motorizer.

I thought Motorizer sucked. The World Is Yours was a vast improvement.

DethMaiden
12-11-2011, 11:01 AM
I was pretty disappointed with Camp, but man, that EP is fantastic.

Pretty much agree. There's a few too many R&B verses on the EP for me, but not on the principle of it, I just don't think Glover's a great singer.

Freaks and Geeks absolutely owns, though, obviously. :D

IrritatedTrout
12-11-2011, 11:53 AM
I thought Motorizer sucked. The World Is Yours was a vast improvement.

Motorizer is actually one of my favorite Motorhead albums.

SomewhereInTime72
12-11-2011, 08:06 PM
Yeah, Motorizer is really really good IMO.

edit: fyi Camp does make this list despite me agreeing that it was a disappointment, but more on that later

SomewhereInTime72
12-11-2011, 08:42 PM
#22
Opeth - Heritage
http://bandmill.net/bandmill/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Opeth-Heritage.jpg

Alright speaking of disappointments I'll get to this album. Of all the albums released this year, this one is probably the most difficult to rate honestly. Because it's by one of the great kings of Prog Metal, Opeth. You know what, I do like this album - but I almost kept it off this list entirely because it's hard not to be clouded by how much of a disappointment it is. To elaborate, you can look at ANY previous Opeth album, and if I were making a top 25 of their respective years, there is NO WAY that each one wouldn't make the top 10, probably top 5 (and Blackwater Park is probably my favorite album of 2001). Heritage comes in at somewhere half as good as the rest of Opeth, not breaking it's way into my top 20 for this year.

Thus it's difficult for me to admit that I do like this album, because when I try to talk about it I compare it to other Opeth albums in my head and end up wanting to shit all over it for being such a letdown (I suspect this happens with a lot of us :lol: ). BUT, trying to be as legit as I can, I say that this is actually a pretty good album. It's soft Opeth, so no growls or really metal parts whatsoever (this is a plus for some, a minus for others - I'm personally neutral towards it). However it's nothing like Damnation, and barely sounds like Opeth at all at some times. It adopts a more 70s psychedelic vibe, and is probably accurately described as a 'rock' album because it doesn't go completely soft despite dropping all affiliation with metal. There are moments on this album where it really does come together quite splendidly. But the glaring fault is that quite the opposite happens just as often. It's worth an honest listen though, and when looked at without Opeth-tinted glasses it does stand on its own as a good album in my opinion.

Recommended song:
"Häxprocess " (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiWjE3KYfro)

Epidemic Reign
12-11-2011, 08:50 PM
Good summary there. I pretty much agree with your view of the album.

SomewhereInTime72
12-13-2011, 08:07 PM
oops skipped a day

#21
Boris with Merzbow - Klatter
http://www.tokafi.com/static/2011/06/Boris%20Merzbow%20Klatter.jpeg
The second appearance Boris make on my list is their collaborative effort (one of many) with Merzbow from the Japanese Noise scene. This album represents a side of Boris (and their relatively frequent collabs with Merzbow) all fans would be more familiar with. This is a noisey droney album that does a lot of crazy things to your ears when you listen to it. Featuring a cover and alternate versions of 2 songs from Boris' magnificent 2003 album Akuma no Uta, you would think that this album lacks new material. But the AnU songs represented are wildly changed to the point that if it weren't for the same title or 1 or 2 trademark riffs noticed in them, they wouldn't be quite the same at all. This almost isn't a "new" album considering it was recorded in 2007, but it did remain unreleased for 4 years which makes it still quite fresh to hear. There's not much else to say about this album, it's just a 44 minute trip into the chaotic and blissful drone, making occasional stops at RockTheFuckOut Avenue.

Recommended Song:
"Akuma No Uta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zDKwj2SHg0)" (I choose this song because it's fucking awesome, no matter how many different variations it has appeared in.)

SomewhereInTime72
12-13-2011, 09:06 PM
Moving on to the top 20!
#20
The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony
http://admintell.napco.com/ee/images/uploads/gamertell/the_legend_of_zelda_25th_anniversart_symphony_conc ert.jpg

HATERS GONNA HATE.

I've always been a fan of soundtrack music generally speaking, and I love lots of film soundtracks and happen to have a big gigantic soft spot for Video Game soundtracks, particularly the Zelda series. A lot of people love that music too, for good fucking reason. This came as a bonus to a fucking game, and I decided it was good enough to include, and pretty damn high up at that. This takes so many classic Zelda themes and arranges them - splendidly, at that - into pure orchestral goodness and actually dropped my jaw when I first decided to give it a spin.

With two 10+ minute songs that cover entire games in medleys, while not sounding cheesy or unfulfilling in the slightest - this whole set is holyshitawesome. It comes with the game, if you get the bundle edition, and if you don't want the game but like Zelda music even the tiniest bit you should at least pirate it. ;) Some people might say this doesn't count as a "real" album, and to that I say: Fuck you. This is awesome. And I ain't lying.

Recommended song:
"Great Fairy's Fountain Theme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7JQgyNw068)" (not too fond on linking a 10:30 length song as a sample so this is fantastic as well)

Dextrimental
12-13-2011, 09:09 PM
Fuck yes, incredible album, very glad to see it get a little bit of recognition! I had to download it, but am getting an official version for Christmas..!

SomewhereInTime72
12-14-2011, 07:05 PM
Haha, yes! I am not alone!

#19
Stratovarius - Elysium
http://carlbegai.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Stratovarius_Elysium_800px.jpg

In their follow up to 2009's comeback-ish album Polaris, Stratovarius basically repeat what they did on their last album, but a little more consistently. I consider it pretty awesome that a band who left a historical impact on power metal in the past can lose their main songwriter, and then have their next two albums be better than their previous two. Despite losing Timo Tolkki, who was once the driving force behind the band, Stratovarius have for 2 albums straight now proved that they still have what it takes to write great power metal in their trademark style.

There are a couple of noticeable differences in a few heavier riffs, and an increase in keyboard-oriented moments that older Strato didn't feature as often, not to mention closing with a song so epic in length that it dwarfs other Stratovarius "epics". In this way, it still compares more to Polaris than any other album, but on Elysium the high points are lower, and the low points are higher, which is more consistent, but ultimately a tad less exciting. Still, an incredibly solid power metal album from a classic band with a signature sound. It may not be Visions, but it can stand alongside it proudly.

Recommended song:
"Infernal Maze (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZE2nI24mRU)"

Maiden33
12-14-2011, 07:31 PM
I liked Polaris - but I love Elysium. The consistency is definitely part of it - but I also firmly believe the title track is easily the best song they've recorded since "Infinity", 11 years ago. The self-titled album in '05 was a disaster, and the drama nearly made me never want to listen to Strato again. Polaris was a big step back in the right direction with a few very strong tracks, but I think the new record may actually be up to par with their classic 1996-2000 output, something I never expected to say.

SomewhereInTime72
12-14-2011, 09:18 PM
I guess I just favor Polaris a bit more because the absolute best songs on it wreck super hard. Elysium doesn't have anything as awesome as "Forever Is Today" imo, which makes it not quite as good. I love em both though.

ChildrenofSodom
12-14-2011, 09:20 PM
Lo(L)Z!

SomewhereInTime72
12-14-2011, 09:52 PM
#18
Yes - Fly From Here
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PSl8u4-iRmU/Ti-5vesUhBI/AAAAAAAABhQ/R2OONIN4Xwk/s1600/YES_-_FLY_FROM_HERE_COVER-600x6001-e1309691605723.jpg

This is an album where, quite simply, Yes prove that they do not need Jon Anderson to make great music. To be honest I didn't care about this album and wasn't intending to listen to it. It's been 10 years since the last Yes album, and God knows how many more than that since the last truly great Yes album - and without Jon Anderson I was sure it was destined to be a failure. And yet here it is, ranking 18th on my year-end list. I'm glad that I ended up giving it a try after seeing a random post about it on another forum because this turned out to be awesome. Benoit David is a suitable replacement, completely nailing the technical difficulty of singing Yes material, while having a great vocal timbre for the band and still not sounding like a clone of their previous lead singer.

More important than that is the composition of this album. Yes did get pretty heavy at times in the past, but this album retains very little of that, opting for the softer, more atmospheric side of the band with a huge emphasis on their progressive aspects - think Fragile rather than 90125. In fact, a major high point of the album is the first 6 tracks, which comprise of one suite with the same title of the album, flowing together as one epic song while each standing out as their own piece. While not quite the absolute masterpiece that is "Close To The Edge," (and I will stand by the "absolute masterpiece" statement;)) it does call that epic from the past to mind to remind you that this band still exists in a good way. Oh yeah, and the last half of the album is pretty great too.

Recommended songs:
"Fly From Here - Pt. II - Sad Night at the Airfield (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWyYILKevbA)"
"Fly From Here - Pt. III - Madman at the Screens (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x05mMqpgYKY)"

illuminatus917
12-14-2011, 10:43 PM
Holy shit I can't believed I missed out on this. I just listened to all of the "Fly From Here" suite, and damn, excellent stuff.

This definitely would've made my list if I'd known about it.

Great pick.

SomewhereInTime72
12-16-2011, 09:52 PM
Good to know I "helped" someone! ;) :fist:

#17
KMFDM - WTF?!
http://www.fearnet.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/2011326/KMFDM_WTF.jpg

You can sort of tell from the album title, but this album is very KMFDM. With WTF?! the German industrial group bring the Ultra Heavy Beat just as hard as ever. Their style remains somewhat generic, yet completely unique to themselves (I guess because no one blends typical electronic music with typical metal quite like they manage to). It's a little bit more guitar and riff-oriented this time around, but that doesn't change much of the formula. Somehow they keep marching on as they always do, and they (and their music) manages not to get tired in any way.

There are moments when they stray from their trademark sound, especially the closing number which is quite slow and somewhat trippy. The odd part is that the strongest songs still are the most typical ones, because they just pull them off so damn well. They sometimes sound like metal (or heavy rock I suppose) with a high amount of synths, or dancey electro with sick riffs. It's tough to discern really! It's just another great album that is pretty dark sounding, while being simultaneously danceable and headbangable. In my eyes, that's good shit.

Recommended song:
"Amnesia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Id-U60oxc)"

I was going to post another song but I can't seem to find many on youtube, sorry. Well chances are you've heard this if you're into it.

SomewhereInTime72
12-16-2011, 11:50 PM
As I'm getting a bit tired of the economic discussion of how Tom G Warrior's semen equates to roughly 200 euros, I'm going to continue with the next entry in my list.

#16
Megadeth - TH1RT3EN
http://www.metalinjection.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Megadeth_-_TH1RT3EN.jpg

Depite me ranking it pretty damn high, I have to come out and say that this album is quite a disappointment. Half of that may be the fact that it has one of the worst album titles of all time, but a more notable half of it is the obvious rushedness of the albums music. I mean, a pretty damn decent amount of songs on this album is music that Megadeth fans have known for YEARS, as previous bonus tracks. And the album lacks the musical depth and complexity that other Megadeth works have. And it makes sense, as Megadeth's last album for Roadrunner, they just want to get the fuck out of being on that label.

Now, I know I just said a lot of bad things, but really those are just reasons why this album is number 16 instead of in the top 10 like their last album, Endgame, was. Every song on this album is good. Some are even awesome. It's not as thrashy as Endgame, but still quite reminiscent of Countdown to Extinction, rather than a legitimately bad Megadeth album like Risk. And even though I complain about the inclusion of old songs, they are all really good songs and seem to fit rather well on the album stylistically. As per usual Dave Mustaine flair, the lyrics in more political subjects tend to dive into "wtf r u talkin bout bro" territory - and as usual this still fails to take away from the song.

Perhaps this album is a testament to Dave Mustaine's strength when it comes to songwriting. Even on a rather obviously rushed release, where it's arguably "phoned in," the songs turn out to be pretty awesome. Or maybe it's just a testament to how much I personally mesh with his songwriting style. Either way it's a testament to something, and I like that.

Recommended songs:
"Sudden Death (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95UT6EbkHzI)"
"Public Enemy No. 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q3gUUs33wY)"

slapguitarer
12-16-2011, 11:58 PM
As I'm getting a bit tired of the economic discussion of how Tom G Warrior's semen equates to roughly 200 euros, I'm going to continue with the next entry in my list.


:lol:

Anywho, I thought th1rt3en was a disappointment and nothing more. There are maybe two songs that I like on the album.

Dextrimental
12-17-2011, 12:38 AM
That KMFDM record is on my list to check out still, hopefully get around to it soon!

I genuinely did not enjoy 13, but for obvious reasons I can forgive it!

IrritatedTrout
12-17-2011, 02:08 AM
Like I've said before, Thirteen is a great record.;)

es156
12-17-2011, 08:49 AM
Like I've said before, Thirteen is a great record.;)

:fist:

street_burial
12-17-2011, 09:19 AM
I like Thirteen a lot more than Endgame :eyes:

SomewhereInTime72
12-17-2011, 08:52 PM
#14
Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You
http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/rhcp-im-with-you.jpg

It seems every list has that one sort of 'pop' album on it. The one you don't necessarily feel good about liking, but you have to include it anyway because you do like it goddammit! I'm With You is basically that album for me. With the departure of John Frusciante, and the induction of a new guitarist, the members of RHCP kept saying that this album was a sort of reinvention for them and things of that nature. I'll just say that that is absolutely false and this album basically sounds the same as they have sounded since Californication. But in my opinion that isn't a bad thing.

In fact this album manages to avoid a lot of the traps that recent RHCP albums have fallen into, such as when what was a potentially great album -Stadium Arcadium was bogged down by too many songs (and thus too many mediocre songs), and By The Way had long stretches of songs where nothing exciting happened. This doesn't happen here. The songs are in no way inspired or particularly creative, but they do a good job in the soft-rock-that-sometimes-remembers-funk-roots niche that RHCP have been known for. I happen to like that style, and this album works better for it than most, so it can't be helped that I would like I'm With You this much. Very fun listen.

Recommended songs:
"The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtBbinpK5XI&ob=av3e)"
"Police Station (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml6Io35s4Rk)"

SomewhereInTime72
12-18-2011, 09:42 PM
#15
Hiromi - Voice
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ra4SjOQTyCw/TY3BkeIGORI/AAAAAAAABEA/mJI5LDjdXtI/s1600/Frontal.jpg
Hiromi Uehara is without a doubt my favorite modern Jazz musician. Her talent as a pianist/keyboardist is overwhelming and obvious. And her style draws lots of influence from Fusion bands, particularly calling to mind Return To Forever (to the degree that she has worked with members of RTF on occasion), but also shows flashes of rock, funk and classical sounds - all revolving around a deliciousy chewy jazz center. Voice is sort of a "back to the roots" jazz album, with just a trio of bass, drums, and grand piano playing the entire album.

In this album, the piano very much takes the main stage, though the other instruments are appropriately played with varying vigor and minimality. (Weird fact, the drums are played by Simon Phillips, the very same studio drummer from Priest's classic Sin After Sin.) There is a very calm vibe throughout this album, and I think it really fills you with a warm feeling when you listen to it. Even in the moments when certain instruments get rather frantic (and Hiromi's piano often does), the song as a whole just feels really soothing. This album maintains a brilliant balance of excellent musicianship and beautiful melodies.

Can't find any clips from the album on youtube, so I apologize for not being able to include any.

Dextrimental
12-18-2011, 09:49 PM
Fucking yes, Hiromi rules! Unfortunately I discovered this album only a month ago and as such I didn't have the time to digest it as much as I would have liked to, so it just missed my top 25, still, great to see her getting some recognition on here!

Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSRELqtY-Cc ;)

slapguitarer
12-18-2011, 10:34 PM
#14
Hiromi - Voice
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ra4SjOQTyCw/TY3BkeIGORI/AAAAAAAABEA/mJI5LDjdXtI/s1600/Frontal.jpg
Hiromi Uehara is without a doubt my favorite modern Jazz musician. Her talent as a pianist/keyboardist is overwhelming and obvious. And her style draws lots of influence from Fusion bands, particularly calling to mind Return To Forever (to the degree that she has worked with members of RTF on occasion), but also shows flashes of rock, funk and classical sounds - all revolving around a deliciousy chewy jazz center. Voice is sort of a "back to the roots" jazz album, with just a trio of bass, drums, and grand piano playing the entire album.

In this album, the piano very much takes the main stage, though the other instruments are appropriately played with varying vigor and minimality. (Weird fact, the drums are played by Simon Phillips, the very same studio drummer from Priest's classic Sin After Sin.) There is a very calm vibe throughout this album, and I think it really fills you with a warm feeling when you listen to it. Even in the moments when certain instruments get rather frantic (and Hiromi's piano often does), the song as a whole just feels really soothing. This album maintains a brilliant balance of excellent musicianship and beautiful melodies.

Can't find any clips from the album on youtube, so I apologize for not being able to include any.

This is another one I forgot about! Damn. I'll have to listen to it later.

SomewhereInTime72
12-21-2011, 03:21 AM
Pretty awesome to know there are other Hiromi fans on here despite this being a metal board, haha. :cool:

Also wow, got bumped off of page one in just a couple of days. I'll be updating more often now that I'm done with my egregious finals schedule so hopefully no more of that.

SomewhereInTime72
12-21-2011, 03:36 AM
#13
Anthrax - Worship Music
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61fyxTx3arL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
After listening to this album, I felt like I owed Anthrax an apology. After going 8 years without making a new album, and following ridiculous lineup changes - I genuinely expected this record to suck. All my bad expectations outweighed the return of Joey Belladonna to the band (partly, because I think John Bush was also a fantastic singer). Having heard it, I realized I could not have been more wrong. While not a complete thrash album like Among the Living, this album contains a decent dose of thrash riffs behind a very strong traditional metal package. The riffs, songwriting, singing, and overall sound of the album conveys a band still in their prime, rather than a band whose best work is almost 25 years old.

The album does have a few segue tracks, which honestly I could take or leave because they don't add much to the music as a whole - but all of the full length songs are great metal tunes. When I put this album on, I find myself headbanging excitedly from the first moments of "Earth on Hell" to the last moments of "Revolution Screams." It is honestly beyond any expectation I could have that this abum completely lacks dull moments. Worship Music, manages to display Anthrax shoving away Slayer, Metallica, and even Megadeth to prove themselves as the most relevant of the "big four" thrash bands.

Recommended songs:
"The Devil You Know (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TT76uz21TNg)"
"The Giant (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O84qJTcA4cY)"

IrritatedTrout
12-21-2011, 04:12 AM
Good to see so many people with Worship Music in their lists.

treghet
12-21-2011, 04:25 AM
(partly, because I think John Bush was also a fantastic singer)

His voice makes me want to set myself on fire.

SomewhereInTime72
12-21-2011, 04:27 AM
His voice makes me want to set myself on fire.

:finger2:

This represents a fault on your end. :)

SomewhereInTime72
12-21-2011, 04:59 AM
#11
Childish Gambino - Camp
http://www.culturetease.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Childish-Gambino-Camp-500x290.jpg

This will probably be the most unpopular choice I've put on this list. Admittedly, of the albums that made my top 25, it's the most recent addition and the one that I've had the least opportunities to listen to - and thus the album I'm least sure about the standing of. Still as of now, I simultaneously think that #12 is a fair spot for it, while considering it one of the greatest disappointments of the year (after Heritage I guess). First the bad before the good. EP was an amazing tiny little bundle of songs - and I was honestly hoping that Camp would turn out to be this mythical awesomeness of that EP multiplied almost 3 times. This is very much not the case, because where EP was a little drop of concentrated awesome - Camp is a giant pool of rap that contains more total awesome, but spreads it out much further along the way.

This album is an expansion - it takes everything and makes more of it, which is meh in some cases and great in others. At times the production is so over the top that it becomes distracting on what is supposed to be a rap album, at times the songs rely on Donald Glover's (passable, but not so good) singing uncomfortably too much. However, ultimately I feel that the amount of times where the aforementioned issues actually work dwarfs the amount of times it doesn't. A certain infamous review (http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16074-camp/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PitchforkAlbumReviews+%28Pitc hfork%3A+Album+Reviews%29)* of this album criticizes the lyrical content and the Childish Gambino persona established on this album. However as someone would would be able to seriously enjoy a metal song about worshiping the cock of Satan, I find these criticisms to be largely irrelevant and in fact falling for one of the worst musical traps that exist - judging a creation by the creator.

Ultimately, I put Camp here because of how much I enjoyed it as an album fits around here. I liked it the most of the hip-hop albums I've heard this year, more so than any of the Odd Future related releases (though admittedly, Goblin only slightly falls short of making my top 25). As such, I don't think it's a stretch to say that the hip-hop album I enjoyed the most this year falls firmly at #12.

Recommended songs:
"All The Shine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEpAFdSAxNM)" (softer more singy song where it actually works)
"You See Me (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJFBGpCNvRQ)" (dat third verse)

*side note: my favorite part is that the longest paragraph of the review is dedicated entirely to taking offense that a single line on the album carries the implication that indie music is not exactly equally popular among all races

BloodoftheKings
12-21-2011, 05:12 AM
I thought Camp was universally hated. I could never get into this guy.

Dextrimental
12-21-2011, 06:12 AM
Worship Music - YES

Never listened to Childish Gambino, not setting my world on fire at first listen, but I'll give the record a couple of going's over and see if anything clicks!

SomewhereInTime72
12-22-2011, 07:21 AM
#12
Stick Men - Absalom
http://i26.lulzimg.com/98a20d.jpg
King Crimson are my second favorite band. Given how much I obsess over Maiden and all their members, it's safe to say that the level to which I do that for Krimson is just a small step behind. So it was only natural that this year I would check out the "King Crimson Projekct" of Jakszyk, Fripp, & Collins' A Scarcity of Miracles - and it was only natural that I would be disappointed by it's merely decent quality.

That's where Absalom comes into the picture. Stick Men are a prog rock project comprised of Tony Levin (tied with Adrian Belew for my favorite KC musician post-70s) on Chapman stick, Pat Mastelotto (also amazing) on Drums, and Markus Reuter (who?) on Touch Guitar. What you get is basically the continuation of the modern King Crimson sound (gtfo prog if you don't like The Power To Believe), with more emphasis on the rhythm sections and low-end bass sounds. Chock full of bizarre time signatures and polymeter, constantly wandering melodies shaped by every instrument simultaneously, and sections of both dissonant and consonant beauty - Absalom is the God of Prog's gift to the fan of modern King Crimson.

At only just barely over 30 minutes, and only 6 songs, Absalom is sort of a small package. But its size is perfect, keeping you entertained the whole time - and honestly after listening to it it feels like it kept you interested just as much as most 70 minute albums do. The album knows not to overstep its boundaries, while making sure it gets the most out of what it does. The vocals on the non-instrumental tracks aren't anything special, but oddly appropriate for the parts they fill on an album mostly centered on instrumental passages. Absalom very much achieves what it sets out to do - embodying a short yet fantastic 3-piece prog rock album.

Recommended songs:
"Absalom (http://iapetus-store.com/track/absalom)"
"Time's Insane Ashes (http://iapetus-store.com/track/times-insane-ashes)"

SomewhereInTime72
12-22-2011, 08:11 AM
And now comes the good ol' top 10 countdown.

#10
Dir En Grey - Dum Spiro Spero
http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m566/new_music_albums/ddac613c683a95d19e5aec69e7120251.jpg

If I had to describe this album in one word, it would be "deliberate." If I could use three words, it would be "weird as FUCK." Japan's Dir En Grey have always had a bizarre edge to them, exuding a certain level of weirdness and progressiveness, but it all finally comes to a head in the grand experiment of Dum Spiro Spero. After listening to this album for the first time my initial reaction was genuine confusion. :eek: But upon subsequent listens, this album grew stronger and stronger in my eyes.

I say deliberate because, for all the bizarre sounds on this album, whether it be haunting guitar or piano melodies, unusual rhythm sections, or the weird interjections of harsh screaming and atmospheric falsetto - you can tell that it's all meticulously planned. This is something which a lot of work has gone into, even the fleeting dissonance and growls are performed with a solid intention. Even in the more straightforward moments on the album, the riffs and leads are all great, and vocalist Kyo proves that he knows what the fuck to do at all times in some of the best vocal performances I've heard in metal (even if I have no idea what the fuck he is saying). This is a unique album, that I could completely understand someone hating, but definitely deserves a listen (or many listens ;)) from anyone who's into the experimental or prog side of metal.

Recommended songs:
"The Blossoming Beelzebub (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGAm-14aCmM)"
"Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBeG_P3yD2w)"
"Vanitas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5PCRZYvZFY)"

jhdeity
12-22-2011, 09:43 AM
#12
Childish Gambino - Camp
http://www.culturetease.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Childish-Gambino-Camp-500x290.jpg

This will probably be the most unpopular choice I've put on this list. Admittedly, of the albums that made my top 25, it's the most recent addition and the one that I've had the least opportunities to listen to - and thus the album I'm least sure about the standing of. Still as of now, I simultaneously think that #12 is a fair spot for it, while considering it one of the greatest disappointments of the year (after Heritage I guess). First the bad before the good. EP was an amazing tiny little bundle of songs - and I was honestly hoping that Camp would turn out to be this mythical awesomeness of that EP multiplied almost 3 times. This is very much not the case, because where EP was a little drop of concentrated awesome - Camp is a giant pool of rap that contains more total awesome, but spreads it out much further along the way.

This album is an expansion - it takes everything and makes more of it, which is meh in some cases and great in others. At times the production is so over the top that it becomes distracting on what is supposed to be a rap album, at times the songs rely on Donald Glover's (passable, but not so good) singing uncomfortably too much. However, ultimately I feel that the amount of times where the aforementioned issues actually work dwarfs the amount of times it doesn't. A certain infamous review (http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16074-camp/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PitchforkAlbumReviews+%28Pitc hfork%3A+Album+Reviews%29)* of this album criticizes the lyrical content and the Childish Gambino persona established on this album. However as someone would would be able to seriously enjoy a metal song about worshiping the cock of Satan, I find these criticisms to be largely irrelevant and in fact falling for one of the worst musical traps that exist - judging a creation by the creator.

Ultimately, I put Camp here because of how much I enjoyed it as an album fits around here. I liked it the most of the hip-hop albums I've heard this year, more so than any of the Odd Future related releases (though admittedly, Goblin only slightly falls short of making my top 25). As such, I don't think it's a stretch to say that the hip-hop album I enjoyed the most this year falls firmly at #12.

Recommended songs:
"All The Shine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEpAFdSAxNM)" (softer more singy song where it actually works)
"You See Me (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJFBGpCNvRQ)" (dat third verse)

*side note: my favorite part is that the longest paragraph of the review is dedicated entirely to taking offense that a single line on the album carries the implication that indie music is not exactly equally popular among all races

If someone would have told me the kinda funny guy from Community would write so many sick rhymes I wouldn't have believed it. I only like some of his music but he's the Steel Panther of the rap scene to me and that's a cool thing.

SomewhereInTime72
12-28-2011, 10:37 AM
If someone would have told me the kinda funny guy from Community would write so many sick rhymes I wouldn't have believed it. I only like some of his music but he's the Steel Panther of the rap scene to me and that's a cool thing.

That's an interesting way of putting it, and I think I can mostly agree with it, nicely said.

Anyway I'm back from a rather long hiatus not just from this thread but from this board so I should be able to finish up pretty soon.

SomewhereInTime72
12-28-2011, 11:07 AM
#9
Evergrey - Glorious Collision
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Uq88KCPTbPs/TOWq-_Tq4BI/AAAAAAAAFL8/MkQGRUYzqZI/s1600/Evergrey%2BGlorious%2BCollision.jpg

When I first heard this album, I thought "AOTY" to myself. Granted, it was an extremely early release in the year (one of the first 5 albums I got around to listening to in 2011) - so if you told me it wouldn't be #1 by end year I wouldn't be too surprised. If you told me it would only be #9, I would've pooped myself and that's what I'm doing right now thinking about how low it is. To elaborate: I don't like this album any less than when I first heard it, in fact I kind of like it even more. This is an album of high enough quality to be called Album of the Year. For most years that aren't 2011. This is my favorite year period since I've been actively following new releases in music (since roughly 2006), so unlucky Evergrey had 8 albums I just liked even more than Glorious Collision.

On to the album itself, Glorious Collision is Evergrey doing what they do best. They have their own brand of both emotionally and musically heavy progressive metal with just a hint more power metal influence than other prog metal bands. In a sense it is a step back for them in terms of style, but for Evergrey this is a good thing. While still a pretty good album, I consider 2006's Monday Morning Apocalypse to be the weakest point of their career, sacrificing too much of the softer and melodic aspects of the band to further their heavier side. In that sense, each album since has been a small step back and that leaves Glorious Collision as one of their best albums, possibly their best since In Search of Truth. Glorious Collision is fantastically heavy, beautifully melodic, and emotionally powerful on each and every song. Tom S. Englund is one of the best singers in the modern metal scene. Seriously.

Recommended songs:
"Frozen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwAe0kxWt4U)"
"To Fit The Mold (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SQrqjiqgeI)"
"The Phantom Letters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUg5mWhQ6Bs)"

Maiden33
12-28-2011, 11:14 AM
That's what I'm talking about. :tongue:

SomewhereInTime72
12-28-2011, 11:40 AM
#8
M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
http://thenoiseis.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/hurry-up-were-dreaming.jpg?w=480&h=480

And now for something completely different. Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is a double album by the French electronic/dream pop/80s pop worship band M83. If that description doesn't really sound good to you, then you can probably skip over this one. If you think it sounds kind of great, like I do, then you probably would love this album. Spanning 2 discs and 22 songs (plus one downloadable extra "interlude" track), HUWD is one hell of a journey to listen to. It brings out excitement, happiness, beauty, a lot of atmosphere, and even the rare mournful moment.

At 22 songs, HUWD features a lot of short "segue" or "filler" songs. But anyone familiar with M83's previous work knows that this is not a bad thing in anyway. I believe there are 3 types of the short segue/filler song: 1. A song that actually disrupts the flow of the album (BAD.) 2. A song that while unnecessary to the album as a whole, sounds kind of nice and doesn't take away from the experience (see the segue tracks on Worship Music for a recently mention example of this), and 3. Those that are so integral to the album that despite not being full length songs, the album as a whole would greatly suffer without their presence. Every single short song on HUWD is that third type. This is an achievement considering just how many of them there are. And the full length songs are fantastic, containing a lot of variety. Some are dancey electronic pop songs, some are borderline rock or acoustic, and some are quiet blissful ballads. Every song is somehow synthetic, yet completely organic. This album itself is an wondrous achievement and absolutely deserving of being called one of the best of the year... in fact such praise almost feels small.

Recommended songs:
"Intro (http://soundcloud.com/m83/intro-ft-zola-jesus)" (soundcloud link, lol)
"Soon, My Friend (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIq1MmnJOW4&feature=related)" (This is basically how the shorter tracks are)
"Year One, One UFO (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DdmtfsCqKk)"

DethMaiden
12-28-2011, 12:19 PM
This was the publication I was so recently editor for's #1 of 2011, try as might have to stop that from happening. :tongue:

Can't believe you don't recommend "Midnight City" though. It's the shining moment on an album that mostly bored me.

SomewhereInTime72
12-28-2011, 02:44 PM
That's what I'm talking about. :tongue:

:horns:
This was the publication I was so recently editor for's #1 of 2011, try as might have to stop that from happening. :tongue:

Can't believe you don't recommend "Midnight City" though. It's the shining moment on an album that mostly bored me.

Midnight City is a great song, but I consider a lot of other parts of the album to be higher points than it. It might be the catchiest song on there though. Not sure how the album managed to bore you though. It's kind of like hipster black metal without the black metal. ;) :tongue:

SomewhereInTime72
01-02-2012, 07:20 PM
#7
Boris - Attention Please
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/metal/various/borisalbum3.jpg
This was the album that made me think "oh hell, I am gonna listen to a lot of music this year..." when I heard it. Likewise this is the year that solidified harder than ever that Boris are definitely one of my favorite bands ever. This album is not metal in any way, almost less so than New Album (don't worry the next few are pretty damn metal). It's pretty unique sounding pop music hybridized with noise music and the other expected sounds Boris like to bring to the table. If I could compare it to an earlier album, I'd say it sounds a lot like their previous Wata(aka the hottie)-led album, Rainbow. Except it's even better this time.

I can't describe this album and what's good about it really. Some songs are airy and other songs are real toe-tappy. It's definitely a lax listen. It's just a great sonic experience if you ask me. Hard to describe but one of the best things to just put on and listen to and feel great about it. I guess that's why I love Boris, they're all about more than just songwriting and riffs or whatever but just about creating something that sounds awesome and crazy no matter what they do. Attention Please exemplifies that.

Recommended songs:
"Attention Please (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm9IYwzEBvY)"
"Party Boy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FavcckYnXMw)" (significantly better than the New Album version IMO)
"Tokyo Wonderland (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTKS9vl2sZ4&feature=related)"

SomewhereInTime72
01-02-2012, 09:54 PM
#6
Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions
http://mehtakyakehta.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/archenemy-khaos-legions.jpg
This is probably the easiest album to talk about on my list. If you like metal at all, you probably know who Arch Enemy are by now. This sounds like Arch Enemy. Their sound changes in subtle ways at best. However, this made it easy for me to notice that in terms of straight quality, this album is absofuckinglutely superb. This goes beyond the limit of any Arch Enemy album since their decade-previous melodeath masterwork Wages of Sin. The riffs, melodies, solos, and just everything about the songs are basically the same thing Arch Enemy have done for the past 10 years.... but also the best versions of them they've come up with in 10 years.

I honestly wasn't expecting to put this album so high on my list. Being not remotely innovative, and of a style I've been mostly drifting away from in my preferences, my expectations for Khaos Legions was just to be of acceptable quality. After one listen I was basically left with my jaw on the floor from hearing a melodeath album that impressed me more than I've been impressed by the genre in... well, a really long time. There's nothing new about this album, and it's only unique in one way. It may not offer any unfamiliar sounds, but it's uniqueness is just its raw quality which is off the fucking charts in terms of the sheer awesomeness this album brings.

Recommended songs:
"Through The Eyes of a Raven (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99kzQOYiMl8)"
"Cruelty Without Beauty (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngT6EbeNKRc)"
"Thorns In My Flesh (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9toRPPuH-8)"

Epidemic Reign
01-02-2012, 11:36 PM
Really digging your list with the inclusion of KMFDM, Dir en Grey and Boris, and I've never heard of M83 till now but I'm listening to it on Spotify and it's pretty awesome :D

hellawaits77ny
01-03-2012, 01:06 AM
Worship Music, manages to display Anthrax shoving away Slayer, Metallica, and even Megadeth to prove themselves as the most relevant of the "big four" thrash bands.



Bold statement.

SomewhereInTime72
01-03-2012, 09:34 AM
Most relevant nowadays is pretty obviously Anthrax for me. Megadeth are the only one whose most recent album comes close to being half as good as Worship Music, and they're still left in the dust. Anthrax aren't my favorite historically but if we're talking the last 3 years or so, then they probably are. :cool:

mastodon421
01-03-2012, 11:32 AM
Damn, that's pretty much exactly what I thought about Khaos Legions. Glad to see it in someone else's top 10. Fucking awesome record.

ravenheart
01-03-2012, 11:37 AM
Damn, that's pretty much exactly what I thought about Khaos Legions. Glad to see it in someone else's top 10. Fucking awesome record.

It's on my list too, but not quite top 10.

Dextrimental
01-03-2012, 11:47 AM
Most relevant nowadays is pretty obviously Anthrax for me. Megadeth are the only one whose most recent album comes close to being half as good as Worship Music, and they're still left in the dust. Anthrax aren't my favorite historically but if we're talking the last 3 years or so, then they probably are. :cool:

I agree with all of this. 6 months ago I wrote Anthrax off, but now..!

SomewhereInTime72
01-04-2012, 02:52 PM
#5
Boris - Heavy Rocks
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lgqgvfG4L61qg2879.jpg
Finally my top 5 comes around. Starting us off is Boris' 2011 successor to their 2002 album also called Heavy Rocks. It's not the same album, and not even too similar to it's predecessor, but it still is the most logical "next" album for the band of the 4 releases they made this year, sounding like a mix of 2008's Smile, the previous Heavy Rocks, and a little bit of "not sure where that came from but it's definitely Boris." The 2011 Heavy Rocks has a wide variety of music on it, despite being perfectly described by its album title as heavy rock. Some songs are straight up headbanging rockers that can excite the listener to their very core, while others have the airy slow and sludgy heaviness with a melodic core that Boris love to explore. Other songs are almost pop-like with their catchiness but still maintain quite a degree of heaviness and metallic sonic bliss. And then after all that the album culminates by ending with a one and a half minute complete thrash metal face melter. Yeah, this album gets a lot of awesome shit done.

Boris may not have taken my album of the year, but if such a thing were possible they would take my vote for band of the year. Heavy Rocks is an amazing effort by an amazing band, and one of their best albums ever... ever. This is not the kind of music that was good for the year but eventually you stop hyping, this kind of music is timeless. It's absolutely bizarre that this album doesn't get to stand on the top of my list, but that only means there's 4 more to go who's beautiful genitals I can worship even harder. :eyes:

Recommended songs:
"Jackson Head (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw8Bp4YWbNg)" :rocker:
"Missing Pieces (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fp2V53vkAg)" :drool:

hellawaits77ny
01-05-2012, 12:57 AM
Most relevant nowadays is pretty obviously Anthrax for me. Megadeth are the only one whose most recent album comes close to being half as good as Worship Music, and they're still left in the dust. Anthrax aren't my favorite historically but if we're talking the last 3 years or so, then they probably are. :cool:

I see what you mean. I didn't mean any disrespect, just saying it's "bold" to say that. Most people would be fearful of getting ripped by fans of the other 3 bands.

es156
01-05-2012, 06:22 AM
I see what you mean. I didn't mean any disrespect, just saying it's "bold" to say that. Most people would be fearful of getting ripped by fans of the other 3 bands.

SIT72 laughs at fear!

:mad:

SomewhereInTime72
01-05-2012, 09:07 AM
SIT72 laughs at fear!

:mad:

:lol: :cool:

SomewhereInTime72
01-05-2012, 09:29 AM
#4
Amorphis - The Beginning of Times
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/amorphisnewcd.jpg
Amorphis are one of my all time favorite bands. I don't mean this as a way of saying I like them a lot, I mean that for me there's Maiden, Crimson, Priest, and then you've got Amorphis. Historically, as a band they have shifted style plenty of times, while still having a unique Finnish folk+metal core that is pretty tiny... but noticeable. Since acquiring their current singer, Tomi Joutsen in 2005 and releasing Eclipse in 2006, these guys have been on a storm of amazing music that most bands will never achieve. Of the four albums since 2006, The Beginning of Times is one of the best, and possibly the best. Doing what is kind of their 'thing' TBOT is another concept album based on Finnish mythology. ....But that barely even matters to be quite honest.

Each song here is amazing in it's own way and contributes to the album as a whole being an incredibly satisfying listen. Some songs are particularly "epic", even for Amorphis, notably the opening and closing tracks, but most of the songs are standard modern Amorphis in style, weaving back and forth from crushingly heavy to soft and melodic as Tomi Joutsen manages to absolutely bellow monstrous and intense (yet controlled) growls and seamlessly transition into beautiful crooning. Yeah, that 'standard' style is actually unique and fantastic prog metal and in no way disappointing. But this album has "more" to it. Some of the heavier moments and songs are their most headbangiest mindfucking things they've written since their (almost) pure death metal debut The Karelian Isthmus, and the lead single "You I Need" is probably their poppiest/catchiest/simplest yet awesome song yet (MAYBE Eclipse's "House of Sleep" comes close). Very few bands can have such a trademark sound and manage to never get stale, but even fewer bands can manage to make it super fresh and exciting every time. The Beginning of Times is even better than that. :cool:

Recommended songs:
"Battle For Light (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GMo5nuh250)"
"Song Of The Sage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER34tHaSGL8)"
"Crack In A Stone (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_amnpCnR9Qs)"

JRA
01-05-2012, 08:17 PM
#6
Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions
http://mehtakyakehta.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/archenemy-khaos-legions.jpg
This is probably the easiest album to talk about on my list. If you like metal at all, you probably know who Arch Enemy are by now. This sounds like Arch Enemy. Their sound changes in subtle ways at best. However, this made it easy for me to notice that in terms of straight quality, this album is absofuckinglutely superb. This goes beyond the limit of any Arch Enemy album since their decade-previous melodeath masterwork Wages of Sin. The riffs, melodies, solos, and just everything about the songs are basically the same thing Arch Enemy have done for the past 10 years.... but also the best versions of them they've come up with in 10 years.

I honestly wasn't expecting to put this album so high on my list. Being not remotely innovative, and of a style I've been mostly drifting away from in my preferences, my expectations for Khaos Legions was just to be of acceptable quality. After one listen I was basically left with my jaw on the floor from hearing a melodeath album that impressed me more than I've been impressed by the genre in... well, a really long time. There's nothing new about this album, and it's only unique in one way. It may not offer any unfamiliar sounds, but it's uniqueness is just its raw quality which is off the fucking charts in terms of the sheer awesomeness this album brings.

Recommended songs:
"Through The Eyes of a Raven (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99kzQOYiMl8)"
"Cruelty Without Beauty (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngT6EbeNKRc)"
"Thorns In My Flesh (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9toRPPuH-8)"

I don't mean to piss on your parade but what did Arch Enemy ever do that was revolutionary musically? Seriously, not trolling. What did it do that Heartwork and Slaughter of the Soul didn't?

SomewhereInTime72
01-06-2012, 03:13 PM
I don't mean to piss on your parade but what did Arch Enemy ever do that was revolutionary musically? Seriously, not trolling. What did it do that Heartwork and Slaughter of the Soul didn't?

Absolutely nothing. They just did it better.

SomewhereInTime72
01-06-2012, 04:35 PM
#3
Symphony X - Iconoclast
http://www.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width/hash/Symphony%20X%20-%20Iconoclast%20%28Front%29.jpg

This is possibly the most 'obvious' choice for an album to put on my list. For good reason. This is my favorite metal album of the year (sorry to anyone who wants more metal after this) and it has burned itself into my brain harder than any other metal has this past year. Much like Evergrey's Glorious Collision, this album is in a way a step back from Symphony X. Where their last effort, Paradise Lost diluted itself in heaviness (this sounds like it doesn't make sense but given the prog sensibilities that have always been the big draw to SX, it makes a crapload of sense), Iconoclast takes a step back, but not without dragging the good chunks of Paradise Lost with it. There were good ideas in that uberheavy album, but its subpar execution turned it into merely a 'good' album from a band we all expect 'great' from. Iconoclast takes all the good ideas and throws out all the lame ones.

Many people have said Iconoclast is the album that Paradise Lost should have been. I think this is actually pretty accurate because when listening to it, you know that Iconoclast achieves everything PL set out to do and then some. The softer moments are still as pretty as SX have ever been at their best (in fact "When All Is Lost" is one of the most amazing songs they have EVER put out), and the heavier moments are epic headbanging chaos and never fall for the "dumb" (I have no better way to describe it) trap sound that "heavy" music often falls for. What comes out is an album that is intricate, yet heavy, but knows when to give you a break. If I could think of one flaw for this album, it's that it's REALLY long. But there is no wasted time on Iconoclast, because literally every song is great. It just means you have to have more time set aside than usual if you want to listen to it in one go... which is 100% worth doing, because it's amazing.

Recommended songs:
"When All Is Lost (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw4SdGv5UzI)"
"Electric Messiah (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOu_tWJVC0)"
"The Lords Of Chaos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87N1NdSyvEM)"
"Reign In Madness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZlP8yX8XGs)"

DethMaiden
01-06-2012, 04:42 PM
Shit, your top 2 aren't metal albums? WHO'S THE FUCKING HIPSTER?

ravenheart
01-06-2012, 04:48 PM
WHO'S THE FUCKING HIPSTER?

You are. That was easy. Ask me another ;)

JRA
01-06-2012, 05:57 PM
Absolutely nothing. They just did it better.


Oh. Well...Banjo-Tooie did 3d platforming better than Super Mario 64. :eyes:

Maiden33
01-06-2012, 06:04 PM
Absolutely agreed with pretty much every word of your Iconoclast review - hence how it ended up being my own #1.

BloodoftheKings
01-06-2012, 06:04 PM
Banjo-Tooie did 3d platforming better than Super Mario 64. :eyes:

This is an undeniable fact.

SomewhereInTime72
01-06-2012, 07:04 PM
Shit, your top 2 aren't metal albums? WHO'S THE FUCKING HIPSTER?
You are. That was easy. Ask me another ;)
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Oh. Well...Banjo-Tooie did 3d platforming better than Super Mario 64. :eyes:
This is an undeniable fact.
:hmm: ...I might be okay with this statement.
Absolutely agreed with pretty much every word of your Iconoclast review - hence how it ended up being my own #1.

:fist:

SomewhereInTime72
01-06-2012, 09:14 PM
#2
Pain of Salvation - Road Salt Two
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iZ2sI6Qj5iM/TigfXVFUA5I/AAAAAAAABTY/IXZQNuMHyzw/s1600/tumblr_lom2uyZ3Z41qj85uxo1_500.jpg
Ok, so I said Iconoclast was the highest ranked metal album on my list, but my #2 album is by a band known for being prog metal. Thing is, I don't consider Road Salt Two, or their aptly named previous album Road Salt One, to be metal whatsoever. PoS have moved completely on to being pretty much a Prog Rock band, with only moments of the metalesque shining through. Needless to say, this genre shift has lost them a lot of fans in the metal community, especially after their metal-yet-mediocre album Scarsick in 2007 ended (for now) their saga in progressive metal. Personally, I found RS1 to be an absolutely amazing album that RS2 doesn't surpass, but merely ties.

Pain of Salvation aka The Daniel Gildenlow Band have always done tons of different things on every album, but RS2 does it in a way that seems even more impressive than average. Everything about this album seems... thoughtful almost, and well constructed in composition, arrangement, and performance. Even the very melodies the songs are built around are unique, flowing in bizarre ways that somehow feel completely natural. I seriously love that kind of thing, and RS2 is chock full of it. Despite definitely not feeling metal overall, it does get dirty and distorted pretty often and even heavy at times, almost in a grungey way - and a lot of the aggressive blues sounds from RS1 are kept here. But this sounds more like a Pain of Salvation album with the way the songs flow in very loose structure and occasionally climax with absurdly complicated instrumental and vocal segments. And it's crazy but, it's hard for me to describe the different sounds you can here on this album without straight up summarizing all 12 songs individually - but it's still a damn cohesive album with amazing themes. I find it a shame that so many people have given up on PoS when the two Road Salt albums are some of the best music they have made as a band ever.

Recommended songs:
"Softly She Cries (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9rbNatT3LY)"
"Eleven (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68B88CfBl9k)"
"The Deeper Cut (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaPTH4O9sSY)"
"End Credits (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcpqwaYLkgw)"

JRA
01-08-2012, 11:00 AM
bring on #1 dammit!

SomewhereInTime72
01-08-2012, 09:17 PM
bring on #1 dammit!

Ok! :tongue:

#1
Pete Davis - The Pottsville Conglomerate
http://f0.bcbits.com/z/11/76/1176183590-1.jpg
After I got Road Salt Two out of the way, I cared a bit less about trying not to let the voting thread spoil my list because I doubt many (or any) people here have heard this album anyway, and it's not metal. It's also better than any metal album I've heard this year by a fairly wide margin. With a massive 16 songs, The Pottsville Conglomerate is an epic album in every sense of the word. Pete Davis is just one guy who recorded and wrote everything himself over the course of several years, describing his music as "orchestrated acoustic." That's a pretty good summary of his sound but misleading on both parts - it's "orchestrated" in the sense of bombastic arrangements and meticulous use of many instruments and countermelodies rather than with instruments from an orchestra (though the cello is used in many songs), and "acoustic" is true most of the time but there are a few times it lies considering how common the clean electric guitar is on the album (and even electronic drums in "A Bathhouse for Bloodhounds"!).

Being a concept(ish?) album, there are a few repeating lyrical and musical themes over the album... and that's awesome. Despite being twice as long as an album that could be considered normal length, this helps it feel like one cohesive package, and never ever ever gets to be boring or repetitive (most songs don't even have choruses) anything like that despite it's length. Sound-wise this album is kind of out of place on my list, being most comparable to other indie rock acts like Anathallo and Sufjan Stevens (only merely "ok" in my eyes), but Pottsville pulls out a level of awesome songwriting and performance that I feel other artists in the genre have yet to accomplish. Pete Davis used pretty much every instrument he could get his hands on... and used it well, from the oh-so-prominent accordion, to ukelele, to stomps and claps. Every one of the many melodies in Pottsville accomplishes something special, whether it be joyous or mournful, it's always passionate. I know this is not going to be everyone's "thing" here, but I still think it's worth a listen for all of you because it's amazing to the point of breaking genre boundaries and climbing to my #1 spot without a care in the world. Like if you listen to this album and you don't think the "TAKE MEEE-E-E-EEEEEE" at the climax towards the end of "Behemoth" is one of the greatest moments you've heard in music, you need to go to an ear doctor. To get euthanized. It's godly.

Recommended songs:
"What Does Your Heart Do? (http://petedavis.bandcamp.com/track/what-does-your-heart-do)"
"A Bathhouse For Bloodhounds (http://petedavis.bandcamp.com/track/a-bathhouse-for-bloodhounds)"
"Behemoth (http://petedavis.bandcamp.com/track/behemoth)"
"What Does Your Blood Do? (http://petedavis.bandcamp.com/track/what-does-your-blood-do)"

also actually just listen to the whole album when you have an hour and a half to spare honestly, it's streaming on his bandcamp and it's fantastic.

SomewhereInTime72
01-08-2012, 09:22 PM
Well that wraps up my whole list, I hope it was enjoyable to read for everyone and at least did one of introducing something cool to people, giving something nice to talk about, or making someone who disagrees mad. ;)

Rocco44
01-08-2012, 09:22 PM
I checked out a couple songs on their bandcamp when you posted it and I remember being underwhelmed. I will listen when I have a chance.

Fe Maiden
01-13-2012, 08:55 AM
I llike that YES was in this list......I'll have to pick that up.

Dextrimental
01-13-2012, 09:25 AM
Your no.1... Wow, awesome, I've been on a Greg Graffin buzz the last couple of days, so this is right up my alley right now!