And now I shall count down my ten favorite albums of the year!
10. Misery Index- Heirs to Thievery:
The first time I listened to this album, I was captivated. It combined death metal and grindcore but not as deathgrind. Rather, the two genres worked against each other. The final product had a very nice punk edge to it.
Several months later I decided to download this whole band's discography. It seemed that Heirs was their worst album! Even so, I hadn't listened to it in a while. A couple of months later I gave it another spin. It still sounded good, but something was wrong…I just couldn't put my finger on it. I kept listening to it and the 'something wrong' became more and more obvious, but I still didn't know what it was. Then, one day, my brother randomly commented how he hated the new Misery Index album because it had too many breakdowns.
Surprised, I realized he may be right. I gave it another listen, and discovered that he couldn't be more right. Most of their riffage was of the chug-chug variety, even when the band wasn't "breaking it down."
So why am I still including this album? Good question. Even I'm not completely sure, though I do have to say that Misery Index are damn good songwriters. A bunch of these songs are totally memorable, and not in the bad way, either. Anyways, I would especially recommend this album to those metal fans just beginning to like death metal.
Recommended songs: "Embracing Extinction," "Fed to the Wolves," "The Carion Call," "The Spectator," "You Lose"
9. Bison B.C.- Dark Ages:
Okay, so I'm not a huge sludge fan. I do like sludge that's different, though: the progressive sludge of Mastodon, the pshycadelic sludge of Kylesa, or in this case, the thrashy sludge of Vancouver 's very own Bison B.C.
This band differs from most of their contemporaries in that they have a much wider range of influences, and they wear them proudly. Furthermore, they have ample opportunity to display these influences, as most of the seven songs on this album are well over the five minute mark. I would have to say that the most significant influence in this album is thrash metal. Honestly, I am just amazed at the amount of thrash riffs on this record. In fact, the thrash works particularly well with the sludge. And their vocalist has some pretty awesome death growls. (that's right, death growls in sludge!)
I remember the first time I listened to this record in full, I immediately posted on the '2010 So Far' thread that it sounded exactly like Remission. Nat quickly corrected me, pointing out that while they did take some influence from Mastodon, they sounded far more like High on Fire, which I agreed with. Really, I think this just points to the amount of influence on this record. The best part, though, is that Dark Ages doesn't sound like a tribute album, nor does it a shameful ripoff. Bison B.C. integrates their influences into a kick-ass form of sludge metal that is by far the best thing on the market today.
Recommended songs: "Two-Day Booze," "Take the Next Exit," "Wendigo Pt. 3"
8. The Crown- Doomsday King:
I'm ashamed to admit that it was only on my fifth or so listen of this brilliant record that I noticed the similarities between The Crown and The Haunted. Obviously, they were both from Gothenberg; so what? Well, pretty much any band that comes from Gohenburg has that 'Gotheburg sound.' It was just much more subtle in Doomsday King, I guess.
This album is a raging death/thrash assault. First of all, the foundation of this record is thrash metal (particularly ripping thrash, at that). Layer on there some blastbeats and death growls and you got an album! Of course, this record has some killer death metal sections as well, but like I said, this is mostly thrash with some melodic death influence to boot. The songs do kind of blend in with each other, but there are some pretty memorable songs, too.
Recommended songs: title track, "Blood O.D.," "Desolation Domain," "Through the Eyes of Oblivion," "From the Ashes I Shall return," "To Light"