OK. Here is a compromise - five more now, and five more later...if I stay awake. I'm starting to feel a major case of Chinese disease (dragon ass) coming on here.
50. U.S. Christmas - Run Thick in the Night
My first experience with this band was when I saw them open for Baroness in 2009 in Detroit. I was impressed. There were about six or seven people on stage, playing many guitars, a violin and a variety of percussion instruments. They made a wall of sludge that was a force to be reckoned with. On album, however, the sheer scope of what this band does – or perhaps more specifically what they are
– is somewhat lost…or at least it is on me anyway. This album just didn’t blow me away like the band themselves did when I saw them live. It’s good stuff – don’t get me wrong – and fans of sludgy bands such as Minsk would do well to take notice.
49. A Silver Mt. Zion - Kollapse Tradixionales
I really like ASMZ. I was thrilled when I heard they had a new album coming out in 2010. However, after listening to this album a few times, I really didn’t hear anything that grabbed my attention and demanded it such as the track “God Bless Our Dead Marines” from 2005’s “Horses in the Sky”. Such is the conundrum with bands such as ASMZ or their forbears, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Hooks are not what they do. It’s all about emotion and atmosphere with bands like this. Their songs often develop slowly, and sometimes there isn’t a whole lot going on. I’m a fan of this style sometimes, but still there has to be something on an album which just grabs me and doesn’t let me forget to come back for more. That didn’t really happen with this album.
48. Withered - Dualitas
Like U.S. Christmas - and many other bands - my first experience with Withered was at a live show of theirs (opening for The Ocean in 2008). As with USX, I was impressed. My thoughts at the time were that I had never heard a band quite like Withered before, and to this day, that assessment still holds. At their core, I suppose they are a black metal band, but they definitely exhibit a heavy post-rock influence as well. Their previous two albums have been critically acclaimed, and there is no reason to believe this one won’t be as well. Every time I listen to this album, I uncover more and more to like. It’s heavy, dense and extreme – as well as very well-executed and well-produced.
47. Zoroaster - Matador
I have to laugh here at this point. The arrangement of this list has nothing to do with the following statement, I swear. My first real experience with Zoroaster was seeing them live opening for Burst (sound familiar?
). The thing I’ll always remember about Zoroaster from that show is how incredibly LOUD they were (are). They are also as heavy as a lead shot put – ten feet in diameter – on Jupiter. On album, this is my first real listen to them, and I have to say I’m impressed. All of the howling, doomy, riffy, stoner-y, sludgy goodness I remember from that first night in Detroit is present and accounted for on “Matador”. Recommended for fans of Sleep, Acid Bath and Eyehategod.
46. Coliseum - House with a Curse
What to say about this one? Well, how about this – I’m almost ready to reprise the open letter to Melvins and do yet another take on the same theme, but let’s face it…Coliseum just isn’t in the same category as Melvins in terms of status – at least, not yet. However, if they keep making albums like this – coupled with their literally relentless touring work ethic – it won’t be long. I’ve missed or passed on numerous opportunities to see Coliseum play live, and based on this album I think that’s about to change soon. There is a bit of a groove here that beckons me back for more. It’s not just another modern punk wannabe effort with some metal tendencies sprinkled in to increase its appeal to a wider audience. This album is a true D.I.Y. piece of work, and a damned fun listen to boot. Cheers to Coliseum – I hope to finally see you soon.