All righty then. The level of insanity at work has finally leveled off to "head above water" status, which is as good as it's probably going to get, so let's see if I can't get my album list done in about the next week or two. (The rankings have actually been finalized for quite a while now, I just haven't had time to make the official list with comments for each album.)
Before anybody makes any smart-ass posts about how late it is to be doing this, I offer the following:
Natrlhi's Forced Ranking of Fifty-Eight Metal Albums I Listened to Which Were Released in 2010, Several of Which Were Fucking Awesome, Many of Which Were Quite Good, and a Few of Which...Well, Not So Much
- You're right. So what. Fuck off. It's my list. Go read about how scary girls are or look at pictures of lasagna if you don't like it.
- I didn't get started on last year's list until January 26, but it took me until March 6th to complete - so there's technically still room for improvement over last year's performance.
- The music I like is much more awesome than the music you like, so you should be honored to even be reading this thread.
- In cases where the music I like is the same as the music you like, it is merely a coincidence. My tastes in metal are correct. Yours are merely "randomly accurate at times".
- If you're still reading at this point, you're obviously one of the folks who wants to be here, so thanks for reading and enjoy. Sorry it took so long.
Like last year, just a few caveats before I begin:
- I included non-metal albums in a separate category this year, as I mentioned previously in this thread.
- Live albums, EP's and compilation albums are also in a separate category this year, again as I mentioned previously.
- The stuff that I really feel strongly about is in the top thirty or so albums, and the bottom five or so. I didn't stress out too much about the relative ranking of the middle twenty or so, and neither should you. It would have taken me forever to analyze the shit out of the relative rankings of albums in the middle, so if a band or album you like gets ranked higher or lower than another one in the middle of the list, you can file a complaint through the proper channels, and I will probably ignore it.
So that's it - here goes nothing.
Oh, and one more thing - I usually give special mentions to albums that I didn't have time to listen to, and although I'm sure they would have made my list, I couldn't give them a fair shot, so I just leave them out. This year, that happened with just two albums (which would have made the total an even sixty):
Burzum - Belus
Alcest - Écailles de Lune
Apologies to those two albums, and their fans. The Nat only has so much fucking time on his hands.
All right - enough screwing around...
58. Grave – Burial Ground
I've said before that if you want to listen to a death metal band that's still around making music today that sounds like old-school Death (music-wise, that is - there is no vocalist that will ever match Chuck), then Grave is your band. I still stand by that statement. The difference is, I still listen to my early Death albums, but every time a new Grave album comes out, I listen to it and say to myself, "yup - sounds like old-school Death", and then that's it. I rarely return. I don't hate this album, there's just not a damn thing about it that makes me want to come back for more.
57. 1349 - Demonoir
I've never really gotten into 1349 before. I listened to this in preparation for their tour with Triptykon. It's OK. Watain kicks 1349's ass all over the place, though - in every conceivable way - and other bands are also capable of the task as well. Oh well, looks like I'm still not a 1349 fan. As Owen Wilson said in "You, Me & Dupree" - we tried, right?
56. Cephalic Carnage - Misled by Certainty
Nothing pisses me off more than technical-for-the-sake-of-technical death metal. OK, that's not true. Many things piss me off a lot more than that, but not many things make me turn around and head the other direction more quickly when it comes to extreme metal. Cephalic Carnage's previous album almost did, but I did like it to at least some degree. Not so much with this one. They went full retard here. It's just a lot of skill without any real reason to come back and listen to it again. Frankly, it makes me just a little sad. This band could be awesome if they had that "je ne sais quoi" that bands like Necrophagist, Origin and a few others possess, but sadly I'm still looking for it with these guys. The silver lining is, at least I'm still looking.
55. Ihsahn - After
Ah, shit. This one. I don't want to do this one - I really don't. All right, fuck it. Here goes. The music is awesome (most of the time). The vocals fucking destroy this for me. That's it. I was loathe to say it because I'm sure at least someone will assume that I don't like anything with clean vocals in it, but as I've said many times, that's just not the case. I like tons of stuff with clean vocals (The Ocean's "Heliocentric" is this year's #3, for fuck's sake), but when I hear clean vox that sound completely out of place, or don't have a purpose in the song, or sound forced, or are just plain grating to my nerves without any real explanation other than that, then I cringe and turn away. Such is the case with some (and I repeat - SOME) Opeth, and BTBAM, and Enslaved, and a ton of other shit that I'd probably otherwise like. But not this. Sorry, kids - I just couldn't get into this album at all. Satan knows I tried.
54. Brain Drill - Quantum Catastrophe
I wrote a review
of this for Jukebox:Metal earlier in the year. Let me try to paraphrase here without looking back: "Good album. Better than their last - in fact, best from them so far. Not bad if you're really a fan of this sub-genre, but there are others in the game who do it much better." Now I'll click on the link and see if I got it right...yup, pretty much nailed it. So, we're done here.
53. Melvins - The Bride Screamed Murder
Oh, Melvins. Why don't I like you guys more? I feel like I should, but I just don't get what you do sometimes. There are flashes of brilliance throughout your catalog of music, including this album. You're kooky. You're wierd. You're different. You're not afraid to take chances, and you don't give a fuck what anybody else thinks. You're talented. I should love you guys...but sadly, I don't. I respect you all day long - and I'll probably even see you live one day - but somehow I just don't see me ever actually owning a Melvins album. I'll keep listening, though - just in case I finally "get it".
Your most humble and apologetic almost-fan,
52. Unearthly Trance - V
I've tried these guys on for size before as well, and nothing ever came of it. Sadly, this album isn't going to change that. I can see the appeal for some folks. It's heavy, dense, sludgy stuff - to be sure. It's like molasses that has lots of long-chain organic stuff in it. It's like a heavy, dense beer such as Guiness. There's a lot floating around in here, and it took some craftsmanship to make it, but it ain't for everybody. Fans of super-sludge - this may your thing - but I'm pretty sure it ain't mine.
51. Jucifer - Throned in Blood
See also, "Melvins".
This album marks the third time I've tried to fall in love with this band, and the third time the experiment has failed. I totally get why people love them, and I've heard their live performances are the stuff of legend. I will definitely see them live one day - and maybe on that day, I'll finally fall in love. Until then, three strikes and...I don't know what happens after that.
EDIT: Amber definitely gets to stay on my "Females in metal that really BRING IT!!!" list, though - because I've seen videos and she really does fucking bring it.