Alright, here goes. I got lazy on a bunch of these, and the brevity of certain blurbs reflects that. I'm going to post 50-11 now, but you'll just have to wait for 10-1 because I'm an asshole
Like last year, I heard exactly the number of albums I'm listing here; nothing got left out.
50. Edguy - Tinnitus Sanctus
The only album I heard all year that actually straight-up annoyed
me from start to finish. I don’t even hate Edguy that much, but I absolutely hated listening to this, and I barely made it through without turning it off.
49. Judas Priest - Nostradamus
Ugh. Did we learn nothing from that god-awful abomination Manowar put out last year? This nearly two-hour spectacle has something like, oh, two or three good riffs. OUT OF TWO FUCKING HOURS. The rest consists of mostly incompetent symphonic arrangements on top of guitars which are barely present at all. This is not progressive, this is like Glenn Tipton letting out a fart he’s been holding in for 60 years.
48. Destruction - D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.
This album starts strong with its thrashing title track, but immediately after it all comes crashing down (beginning with the ironically titled “Elevator to Hell”). Destruction has gotten worse with every album following their 2001 masterpiece The Antichrist
, and this turd continues the trend.
47. Motörhead - Motorizer
Well… it’s another Motörhead album. It’s not particularly good. It’s just kind of… there. It does feature Lemmy saying “Rock out with your cock out”, though, and that’s gotta be worth something.
46. Metallica - Death Magnetic
(blurb copied from Death Magnetic thread)
Ok, reality check here, folks. Yeah, this album is alright. If you judge it against St. Anger, hell, it even seems great. But let's remember a few things. Since the release of the Black Album, Metallica has been marked as a band that shifts with trends to garner mainstream success. Death Magnetic is no different. The market is ripe for this kind of album right now--just take a look at what's popular. Master of Puppets-worship like recent Trivium. Middling melodeath that is rooted in 80s metal, like Arch Enemy. So although Metallica manage to vaguely imitate the Metallica of circa 20 years ago, I can't help but feel that the whole "returning to our roots" thing is just a convenient label to smack on yet another cashgrab, just like St. Anger was (being an attempt at nu-metal, it also fit right into a profitable trend of the time).
Now, as to the actual quality of the music on the album, as I said, it's alright. But the universally positive reviews it's getting (see the "Professional Reviews" sidebar on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Magnetic
) are somewhat puzzling to me. Allmusic.com's review says it sounds "as if it could come after ...And Justice for All". Fine. But aren't we forgetting that if it really had come out right after Justice, it would've sounded extremely familiar (excepting the modern groove etc. influences), and would seem a big step down in quality from the albums before it? Yes, Death Magnetic was a reasonably fun listen, if overlong, and the first track actually had me pumped. But I can't see myself listening to this (at least all the way through) more than once. You can get the same exact stuff in much higher quality from other bands (including Metallica themselves), without the annoying modern groove influence; the Metallica name shouldn't skew our perceptions of how worthy this album really is. I think everyone (and by that I mean mainstream music media) wanted Metallica to rehash Master of Puppets so badly, that when they finally managed to crap out something close to just such a rehash, everybody jumped on on James' and Kirk's dicks. I'll pass.
45. Ihsahn - angL
Sometimes the all-over-the-place feel of this album works to its credit—wisps and chunks of familiar-sounding ideas are put together like some kind of unique puzzle. However, too many of the ideas here are just plain bad, and as one might expect, there’s too much prog-for-its-own-sake going on.
44. In Flames - A Sense of Purpose
I don’t hate new In Flames. I really don’t. But I don’t particularly like the stuff, either. This album could be good for what it is if it had more variety, but 50 minutes of the same melodeath-based, hook-laden modern rock gets very tiring very quickly.
43. Dismember - Dismember
I share Brad’s feelings on this album—there’s nothing wrong
with it, per se, but therein lies the problem. For such a legendary band, this album is painfully nondescript. 42 minutes of plain old death metal that will slide right by if you’re not paying attention—and this album doesn’t make
you attention, like good death metal should. Also kind of tragic considering it’s self-titled; in no way does this thing represent the mighty Dismember, as an eponymous album should.
42. Unearthly Trance - Electrocution
Ugh, what happened to this band? Prior to hearing this album, I was only familiar with Season of Séance, Science of Silence
, which was a dark, terrifying doom machine with a healthy dose of Hellhammer influence. This is just… I don’t even know. It sounds so flaccid compared to that album.
41. Unleashed - Hammer Battalion
I thought I was gonna like this one more. It starts out great (just listen to that guitar tone!), but the songs begin to run into one another for me, and sometimes Johnny Hedlund’s ridiculous vocals are just too much to take. Still, definitely a solid slab of old-school death metal and worth hearing if you’re a fan of the band and/or the style.