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View Full Version : DethMaiden's Top 10 Albums of 2006: A Retrospective of the Year That Was Awhile Ago


DethMaiden
01-18-2008, 02:48 PM
I felt like reassessing my old picks once we started thinking critically of the 2007 releases, so I cranked out a list and some reviews in the vein of Brady's big thread in about an hour earlier tonight. Enjoy, and comment at will:

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1. Mastodon- Blood Mountain- Even with the benefit of an additional year's listening and reflection, I can safely say that the finest album to come out in 2006 was Mastodon's magnum opus to date, Blood Mountain. The blend of hardcore punk aesthetic, heavy metal swagger, post-whatever meander, prog rock spazz-out, and brilliantly utilized guest performances from members of Neurosis, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Mars Volta prove that Mastodon have what it takes to go the extra mile and, in a crowded nowadays metal scene, stand out from the pack.

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2. The Decemberists- The Crane Wife- I hadn't actually heard this album at the end of 2006, but when I did come across it I was greeted with shock at how unbelievably good it was: after all, it's just indie rock, right? Wrong, and while I have come to enjoy a good deal of indie now, this Portland quintet are not limited to that genre. In truth, The Crane Wife sounds a lot like a long-lost Jethro Tull album much of the time, with prog-bombast mellotron explosions weaving in and out of folksy acoustic melodies, all beneath frontman Colin Meloy's one-of-a-kind warble. The Decemberists released their masterpiece in 2006, and anyone who hasnít heard it is missing out.

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3. Iron Maiden- A Matter of Life and Death- Itís tough to judge the legend that is Iron Maiden objectively, but I'll try. Their umpteenth (fourteenth, actually) full-length is a mature perspective on the horrors of war, with the epic slow intro building to metal crescendo followed by guitar solo sound they've been honing since 2000's Brave New World sounding arguably as good as it ever has. Not much new ground is actually tread on the album, but they're just so damn good at what they do that itís impossible not to love them. And God knows I do.

http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2006/07/07/Cash_060706105953346_wideweb__300x300.jpg
4. Johnny Cash- American V: A Hundred Highways- Johnny Cash was more than a man; he was a legend. This collection of recordings, the last songs he finished before his death in 2005, is a testament to his strong will even in his darkest hour. The songs are appropriately melancholic, and range thematically from death to love, with heartfelt singing and a gently weeping acoustic guitar comprising nearly the entire sonic atmosphere. If you can't get into this, you probably lack some synapses that permit human beings to know what true sorrow sounds like.

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5. Tool- 10,000 Days- Tool are a band that famously only work sporadically, and while albums may be few and far between, the result always justifies the wait. 10,000 Days is another brilliant Tool album, building even more on the aggressively progressive sound of 2001's masterpiece, Lateralus, and taking cues from early 90s shoegaze and modern post-rock, whether intentionally or not. The incredible rhythm section paired with the syncopated technical brilliance of guitarist Adam Jones continue to prove that Tool are one of the best bands, able to work off of each other's strengths and produce music that will truly stand the test of time.

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6. Mouth of the Architect- The Ties That Blind- Post-metal has become a crowded genre lately, but the bands in that field that most readily cross the lips of most people (Isis, Pelican, Jesu) have yet to put out an album able to match the caliber of Dayton natives Mouth of the Architect's most recent full-length. Syrupy sludge riffs in the vein of EyeHateGod have come to characterize the bandís sound just as much as the traditionally post-metal interludes. The vocals on here sound like they were recorded three rooms away from the mic, and the distant drone works to great effect. MOTA have much more in common with classic prog than any of their contemporaries (guitarist Greg Lahm once said his favorite bands were Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, and Yes), which may be why I like them so much, but regardless: this is music that deserves to be heard on a much larger scale than it has been.

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7. Edguy- Rocket Ride- Humor isn't easy in music. You have to be willing to sacrifice some integrity and pray that the end result comes off tongue-in-cheek and witty rather than just plain stupid. While not all of Rocket Ride is comedic, the parts that are succeed like all hell in being truly goddamned funny. Rock-n'-roll lampooners "Fucking With Fire (Hair Force One)" and "Rocket Ride" as well as palm tree pop song "Trinidad" are hilarious without losing an ounce of catchiness or good songwriting. The serious power metal numbers on the record are just as strong, and show that Edguy can have a good time, but also be dead serious, and rule at both.

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8. Sparrows Swarm and Sing- O' Shenandoah, Mighty Death Will Find Me- While a lot of this album's greatness comes from the fact that the live performance of it I saw in August of 2006 in the basement of Stillwater Photography remains the best live performance I have ever seen, the home version is nearly as awe-inspiring. It's probably a cop-out since thereís a genre for just about everything these days, but this music is literally unclassifiable. Its long, ambling pieces which disregard every musical "rule" every set forth are so indescribably organic that the final product is probably the truest, realest thing ever put on tape. In terms of mind expanse, this is incomparable to almost everything but classic Pink Floyd, and in a few respects, is even better.

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9. Katatonia- The Great Cold Distance- When Katatonia frontman Jonas Renske sings "I am ice, I am clear, let the world be cold," on the fantastic "Deliberation", he might as well be describing the bandís most recent album. Yes, it's true that Katatonia are no longer the death-doom metal band that released such classics as Dance of December Souls and Brave Murder Day, and that they've taken a turn towards brooding gothic rock, but such a style change doesn't always spell disaster, and The Great Cold Distance proves it. Shoegazing melodies and distant, delicate vocals complement each other in an icy world of sound that is worth visiting over and over again.

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10. The Devin Townsend Band- Synchestra- Devin Townsend has proven time and again that he is the Frank Zappa of our day: his albums range from the beautiful to the bizarre, his projects can't be counted on just two hands, and he is more prolific than any other recording artist in progressive music. Unfortunately also like Zappa, the result is generally a gloriously kitschy but mostly forgettable pseudo-masterpiece. Synchestra is an exception. From beautiful opener "Let It Roll" to acid-washed hidden track "Sunshine and Happiness", Hevy Devy grabs you by the balls and doesn't let go until he's done saying what he intends to, and you'd be insane to argue with him judging by the greatness of this album.

ChildrenofSodom
01-18-2008, 02:57 PM
Who would have thought an indie band would be a little prog? They really stray from home, dont they?

DethMaiden
01-18-2008, 03:01 PM
Who would have thought an indie band would be a little prog? They really stray from home, dont they?

Indie is a bullshit term, just like grunge was. The Mars Volta sound nothing like The Decemberists who sound nothing like Modest Mouse who sound nothing like The Arcade Fire who sound nothing like The Raconteurs, but they all manage to fall under the same category.

JRA
01-18-2008, 04:14 PM
I was actually listening to reunion Maiden albums today, and AMOLAD went way up and DOD went waaaaay fucking down. I actually understand that they were trying to perfect that sound with DOD but they didn't quite cut it, as some of the melodies and lyrics were a little half baked. But with "Life & Death" everything crystalized.

SomewhereInTime72
01-18-2008, 05:22 PM
I was actually listening to reunion Maiden albums today, and AMOLAD went way up and DOD went waaaaay fucking down. I actually understand that they were trying to perfect that sound with DOD but they didn't quite cut it, as some of the melodies and lyrics were a little half baked. But with "Life & Death" everything crystalized.

Whoa, its like your opinion reversed. :eek: :D

theWolfisLOOSE
01-18-2008, 06:11 PM
Indeed, Mastodon is the best band ever.

Div
01-18-2008, 07:06 PM
woah 2006, jeez i dont even remember what my list was.

JRA
01-18-2008, 07:23 PM
Whoa, its like your opinion reversed. :eek: :D

Yea, I think this transition took place during the song "Dance Of Death." :hecho: Wow, I can't believe I actually thought it was a good song once.

Div
01-18-2008, 09:24 PM
Dance of Death pwnz

zgodt
01-18-2008, 09:42 PM
Interesting reconsideration. There are at least 3 albums that came out in 2006 that I never heard until 2007 that would have certainly made my top 10 for that year -- including what I now find to be 2006's best album, Waiting for the Next End of the World by Channels. The same thing happened the prior year, when I didn't hear Leviathan (Mastodon) or Funeral (Arcade Fire) until well after the year ended, and they're hands down the best 2 albums that year.

So who knows what else I'll find out about later that would overturn my list for 2007.

zgodt
01-18-2008, 09:42 PM
Dance of Death pwnz
No.

Maiden33
01-19-2008, 06:25 AM
I've come to think Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death are about equals. I'd say AMOLAD is more of a consistant album, but there's next to nothing on it as good as say, Paschendale or Rainmaker.

Div
01-19-2008, 03:31 PM
Face in the Sand is also the only Maiden song with double bass drumming

SomewhereInTime72
01-19-2008, 03:32 PM
Either way, I think DOD and AMOLAD both shit on BNW.

JRA
01-19-2008, 06:52 PM
Either way, I think DOD and AMOLAD both shit on BNW.


We need a smiley where one smiley poops on another smiley.

DethMaiden
01-19-2008, 06:57 PM
DOD > AMOLAD > BNW. But they're all very close to each other. And honestly, they're all inferior to the first album the band did in that style, The X-Factor.

Div
01-19-2008, 07:54 PM
while we're classify maiden, here's what i tend to think of it like

Emerging Maiden - first two ablums
Classic Maiden - notb up to 7th son
Experimental Maiden - no prayer, fotd
Suck Maiden - the blaze shit
Cultured Maiden - bnw to present

Human_Metal
01-20-2008, 04:31 AM
I've come to think Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death are about equals. I'd say AMOLAD is more of a consistant album, but there's next to nothing on it as good as say, Paschendale or Rainmaker.

hmm...i would say that everything on AMOLAD is better than Rainmaker.

metal_man1019
01-20-2008, 05:06 AM
but there's next to nothing on it as good as say, Paschendale or Rainmaker.

:eyes:

DethMaiden
01-20-2008, 05:24 AM
Experimental Maiden - no prayer, fotd
Suck Maiden - the blaze shit

You got these backwards. NPFTD and FOTD suck, and TXF and VXI (to a lesser extent) were experimental.

JRA
01-20-2008, 06:15 AM
You got these backwards. NPFTD and FOTD suck, and TXF and VXI (to a lesser extent) were experimental.

SIT and 7th Son were the experimental albums, they just happened to rule very hard.

DreamEvil001
01-20-2008, 09:52 AM
SIT and 7th Son were the experimental albums, they just happened to rule very hard.

thats true. While I do like FOTD and NPFTD has a few great songs, there is nothing experimental about either.

DOD>BNW>AMOLAD they're all fairly close though


Blaze sucks

Maiden33
01-20-2008, 10:04 AM
DOD > AMOLAD > BNW. But they're all very close to each other. And honestly, they're all inferior to the first album the band did in that style, The X-Factor.

Brave New World is not only the best of the 3 reunion albums, but the second best Maiden album in general

Div
01-20-2008, 11:24 AM
I just called no prayer and fotd experimental because bruce changed his singing style, the lyrics seemed to get more "real world" and the guitars sounded to be toned differently.

es156
01-20-2008, 11:53 AM
We need a smiley where one smiley poops on another smiley.

No

And honestly, they're all inferior to the first album the band did in that style, The X-Factor.

And no.

overkiller
01-20-2008, 12:03 PM
Do we really need to have this stupid, tired Maiden debate again and again? :hecho:

DreamEvil001
01-20-2008, 12:04 PM
I just called no prayer and fotd experimental because bruce changed his singing style, the lyrics seemed to get more "real world" and the guitars sounded to be toned differently.

I see what you're saying, but I think it was more of a return to old form and a departure from 7th son rather than experimental

JRA
01-20-2008, 12:19 PM
Brave New World is not only the best of the 3 reunion albums, but the second best Maiden album in general

I wouldn't go that far.

Maiden33
01-20-2008, 01:34 PM
I wouldn't go that far.

Well I suppose I should mention that I always have been and always will be partial to Brave New World, being that it was my first Maiden album. Jeez that was a long time ago now. Pardon my nostalgia haha.

DethMaiden
01-20-2008, 04:29 PM
Do we really need to have this stupid, tired Maiden debate again and again? :hecho:

Yeah, this isn't a Maiden thread, but we kinda turned it into the same thing the IMBB had a thousand of. :(

ADD
01-21-2008, 10:14 AM
:lol: Haven't seen an old fashioned Maiden album debate in too long :party:

Maiden33
01-21-2008, 10:37 AM
Yeah, this isn't a Maiden thread, but we kinda turned it into the same thing the IMBB had a thousand of. :(

Ah, I remember that board. How much better it was than this one.

DethMaiden
01-21-2008, 10:39 AM
Ah, I remember that board. How much better it was than this one.

Yes, because countless tired repeats of old threads and infectious likemindedness are good things. :hecho:

Maiden33
01-21-2008, 11:29 AM
Yes, because countless tired repeats of old threads and infectious likemindedness are good things. :hecho:

No, I meant more the fact that there were so many people on that message board that you could have a conversation about anything and have people to interestingly talk to without some elitist jackass sticking his unneeded nose into your discussion.

DethMaiden
01-21-2008, 11:49 AM
No, I meant more the fact that there were so many people on that message board that you could have a conversation about anything and have people to interestingly talk to without some elitist jackass sticking his unneeded nose into your discussion.

:hmm: Who posted this thread again.

theclansman1114
01-21-2008, 12:38 PM
No, I meant more the fact that there were so many people on that message board that you could have a conversation about anything and have people to interestingly talk to without some elitist jackass sticking his unneeded nose into your discussion.

Remember EvilInvader? :lol:

SomewhereInTime72
01-21-2008, 12:47 PM
Yeah, I would really prefer if people that didn't agree with me would just never talk.

:tp:

powerslave_85
01-21-2008, 12:48 PM
Yeah, I'd argue that most of the IMBB was just as close-minded, if not more so, than anyone here.

Maiden33
01-21-2008, 12:56 PM
Remember EvilInvader? :lol:

The name is definately familar.

Maiden33
01-21-2008, 12:58 PM
Yeah, I would really prefer if people that didn't agree with me would just never talk.

:tp:

You're completely missing my point. I'm not talking about argueing. I like a good friendly arguement over a topic where both sides have something intelligent to bring to the table.
However, I'm talking about how people here will come into a thread about something they couldn't care less about and don't really know anything about and just shit all over the discussion like an ass hole.

powerslave_85
01-21-2008, 01:05 PM
However, I'm talking about how people here will come into a thread about something they couldn't care less about and don't really know anything about and just shit all over the discussion like an ass hole.That happens to just about everyone here.

Div
01-21-2008, 01:09 PM
whats the problem with debating maiden, isnt it better this than another politics or religion thread?

theclansman1114
01-21-2008, 04:40 PM
The name is definately familar.

Doucheeeeeeeeeeeebag x10 he was

JRA
01-21-2008, 06:14 PM
Yeah, I'd argue that most of the IMBB was just as close-minded, if not more so, than anyone here.

I would too for that matter. Although I do distinctly remember some guy posting a thread about the Greatest Hits Britney Spears album, and asking if anyone else liked her. Much to my surprise at least 10 people came into the thread and went "Yea she's not bad, I like song x and song y." :lol: :lol:

JRA
01-21-2008, 06:18 PM
whats the problem with debating maiden, isnt it better this than another politics or religion thread?


To be honest I only remember about 4 Maiden debates the entire time I've been on this board: Ozzfest 2005, A Matter Of Life & Death, my Maiden Short Song Contest, and Brad's Long song contest.

EvilCheeseWedge
01-21-2008, 07:15 PM
I just felt this thread could use a little :ecw:

zgodt
01-21-2008, 09:08 PM
Doucheeeeeeeeeeeebag x10 he was
I liked him just fine. :)

overkiller
01-21-2008, 09:12 PM
I liked him just fine. :)

If his name's a Razor reference, dude's bound to be cool.

theclansman1114
01-22-2008, 01:07 PM
No he was a prick, not cool at all.

powerslave_85
01-22-2008, 02:14 PM
If EvilInvader is who I'm thinking of, then he was pretty awesome. My memory of the IMBB is a little hazy these days, though.

SomewhereInTime72
01-22-2008, 03:04 PM
If EvilInvader is who I'm thinking of, then he was pretty awesome. My memory of the IMBB is a little hazy these days, though.

Same.

Div
01-22-2008, 03:06 PM
well whoever he is, hes got a good taste in music

http://www.last.fm/user/evilinvader/

ADD
01-22-2008, 06:00 PM
If his name's a Razor reference, dude's bound to be cool.
:fist: