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171.) Coheed and Cambria- The Afterman: Ascension
This is part one to a double disc album much done like what Stone Sour and Wintersun are also currently doing, release part 1 now, release part 2 a few months later. It's a good business strategy. Although many fans look at that only as a business ploy. It also helps you appreciate both albums as they are released rather than skipping over what could be some great tracks just because of the length of the thing. With Coheed an Cambria, I only like about an albums worth of material from the band. It's just not my bag to enjoy for more than a couple songs at a time, if that. With this though it is done in a different and perhaps better way. The vocals aren't nearly as Geddy Lee sounding, and the music has dome good dynamics. Even with the short length of this basically EP, It still doesn't do it for me. Although many C&C fans will see this as their best work to date. Which it very well could be.
172.) I Am I- Event Horizon
This is the new project for the former lead singer of Dragonforce, ZP Theart....and wouldn't you know it, it's not much different at all than Dragonforce. Sure it's not as nerdy and Techy as Dragonforce, but the feeling of the Power Metal is all there. In a way it reminds a lot of listening to early day Sonata Arctica. It's not the most original sound in Power Metal but it is pretty damn good for what it is, fun Power Metal. you can absolutely tell it's ZP doing vocals. Considering this band just got together this year and released an album, it's quite impressive. There is a lot of room to grow though as I am sure they will. Power Metal should love this album, as they should.
173.) Twelve Foot Ninja- Silent Machine
The Mutant Bastard Offspring of the two headed child that could of been if Mike Patton and Fredrik Thordendal started a band. If you couldn't figure out what I meant by that, Twelve Foot Ninja sounds like Mike Patton took over for Meshuggah. There is a lot of Faith No More influence all over on this bad boy, and its awesome. Yes there is some Djenty Meshuggah style riffs on songs, and most people seem to be turned off by that now a days (funny how no one has a problem when Meshuggah does it but when any other band does it....) but don't let it turn you away if you don't like that, the rest of the album more than makes up for it. It's an insanely fun listen all the way through and it deserves all the attention it gets and more. Alternative Prog Metal, is there anything more erotic?
174.) Diablo Swing Orchestra- Pandora's Pinata
The way I have described Diablo Swing Orchestra for years is if a band got inspired by Devin Townsend's Bad Devil and wanted to have a hot chick sing for the band. Just as the name suggest, it sounds like a demented Metal Swing Orchestra. Another very fun listen all the way through, although sometimes hard to comprehend. If you don't have enough Metallic Devil's sing music to listen to\, get this and enjoy now!
175.) Loch Vostok- V: The Doctrine Decoded
Fates Warning meets Emperor. There is no better way to describe it. It s Symphonic Black Metal, meets Melodic Progressive Metal album. It really sounds like Ray Adler is singing on this album with Ihsahn. I just discovered these guys this year and I wish I had years ago. It's fantastic and so is the 4 albums before this. If you like Prog or Black Metal, or even better BOTH; get this and enjoy it now!
176.) Ash Borer- Cold Of Ages
Black Metal with elements of Sludge and Doom Metal at times. With only 4 tracks on this album and the whole thing being almost 62 minutes long. It is a very epic album, unless you are a big Black Metal fan that loves very long songs, this may be a chore for you to listen to all the way through, but if you are a fan, this is a masterpiece. For me, It's kinda in between. It's spectacular, but long and more enjoyable one song a time. If you are up for it, check this out and enjoy!
177.) Havok- Point Of No Return
Arguably the best new Thrash band going right now. Havok released a very short but awesome 4 track EP this year, Point Of No Return. There is only two original songs on it plus two covers from Sepultura and Slayer. All 20 minutes of this is pure Thrash Heaven. Havok needs more love than they are getting and should be one of the biggest bands going, I hope that will happen soon. This is the perfect starting place to discover the new era of Thrash.
178.) Becoming The Archetype- I Am
I don't know too much about this band other than the fact they are a Christian Metal band who had one album produced by Mr. Devin Townsend. To me this album while not being bad at all, just isn't my bag anymore. A few years ago I would have been all over this, but today, not so much. It reminds me a lot of an unquirky Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza that likes being serious, Which I know some people love. If you are into that, this album is for you!
179.) When Icarus Falls- Aegean
Very Isis style Post Metal here. It's very dark, yet dynamic. The name makes you think it will be some majestic Power Metal, that is not the case, well except lyrically. It's a new spin on Mythology and a very cool one at that. Since Isis is gone, we need Post Metal like this, these guys are doing the job quite well filling in that void in our lives. pick this one up!
180.) The Safety Fire- Grind the Ocean
I first heard of these guys as they were opening for Protest The Hero and Periphery earlier this year. It is very cool Djenty style Progressive Metal, that like the new Periphery focuses more on being Proggy than Djenty. While these guys are still young as a band, they have room to grow with an album like this, and that will shine more as the years goes on. Pick this one up if you are a fan of the Djent Style Prog Metal, you will not be disappointed.
181.) Sigur Ros- Valtari
I had no idea that Sigur Ros had a new album coming out until i got the promo for this album. It is one of the more dreamy albums to come out this year, which is tradition with Sigur Ros. There is a few moments of Electronica type drums, but those do not last. Like a few albums I have mentioned on this list, this is an album that is great to just kick back and relax to. it puts you into a great meditative state that is perfect to fall asleep to. Don't expect much dynamics in this Post Rock album, its not really their style. Just picture a beautiful, dreamy album to listen to right before or as you are going to sleep. Its the perfect album for that.
182.) Paradise Lost- Tragic Idol
It's somewhat of a shame this is not in my top 20 of the year, as it is absolutely indeed worthy of it. But a couple other albums beat it this year. This a very heavy and doomy Paradise Lost album. Ever since their self Titled album which was the last kinda Electronic style album, they've only been getting heavier and doomier which is never a bad thing. Its just as catchy as any of their material is, all while not losing it's touch. It really is one of the best albums of the year, but I'll let your ears judge for you.
183.) Overkill- The Electric Age
Many people say that this album is the best Thrash album of the year. As you may have read earlier in this thread, I feel Testament did a much better album this year. But that is in no way saying this isn't one one of the most badass albums out there this year. There a couple songs on this album that do make this album drag to me, and I do feel their previous album Ironbound is the best Thrash album of the 2000s so far. The Electric Age comes very very close, and it does have some of their coolest songs, but it's not the best Thrash album this year in my eyes. Feel free to debate me on the subject....although again that said IT'S AWESOME!
184.) Earthrise- Eras Lost
Earthrise is a local Twin Cities Post Metal band that is much more than that. There is so much dynamics in the heaviness to this band it's unreal and this album simply kicks ass from beginning to end. in a sense it reminds me of the heavy side of Long Distance Calling, with Harsh, early day Mastodon style vocals. That's a winning combination to me. This album is perfectly produced and polished that it should be heard by anyone into this style. I know a few people reading this should be drooling over this idea. Just wait till you hear this thing!
185.) Cryptopsy- Cryptopsy
Did somebody say MAJOR COMEBACK? Well it's probably not about Cryptopsy, haha. But seriously I love this album, but nobody know about this thing due to some kind of lack of promotion. Technical Death Metal is back after their much panned The Unspoken King. For Tech Death Metal this is one of the better albums of the year by far. Some say it sounds forced, to me, it sounds completely natural for Tech Metal. that is a rarity in and of itself. But again, unless you are into this thing, it will sound just like a bunch of random noise and scales and blast beats to you. If you can look past it, you should love this baby!
186.) Van Halen- A Different Kind Of Truth
NOW THIS IS A MAJOR COMEBACK!!!!! BEST HARD ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR, HELL YEAH, CAPSLOCK!!!! This again was in my top 20 albums for MONTHS but slide down in place for other albums. The only down side to this album is the lyrics to the opening track, Tattoo, they are simply bad and cheesy, not in a good way. Every other little thing about this album makes up for that in a huge way. There is some very heavy songs in here, there is some standard Van Halen tracks as well, but overall, it's the best comeback album of the year as well. And there is no reason why you shouldn't love this album as well, unless you hate Classic Rock, then you just suck! haha
187.) Manowar- The Lord Of Steel
This is umm........Power Metal. The cheesy stereotypes that you see in all Power Metal bands today. It's not as bad as I was expecting it to be, a few songs I actually do like. But it's the cheesiest thing that has come out this year. Which can be good or bad depending on the listener. For me, its something I can't take seriously at all as there is much better, non cheesy Power Metal out there. I'd happily take that. This on the other hand....Well it's a Manowar album, what else needs to be said?
188.) Evans Blue- Graveyard Of Empires
This band suffered one of the worst non-death things that can happen to a band....losing a powerful lead singer. And vocally, like their last album, it really makes the overall band suffer. It sucks saying that as the first Evans Blue albums are perfection in my eyes. Musically the music is just as good as ever, but it doesn't have the same impact as they used to. It sounds like a much heavier Hard Rock style now than previously done. they replace the high soaring vocals that were done with some screams. If this was their first album I'd be all over that, but knowing what they were before, it feels wrong. Again, it's not bad, but it doesn't feel right.
189.) All That Remains- A War You Cannot Win
To quote the end of one of my favorite Family Guy conversations "...Better?" there are some moments on this album that are great, but it suffers the same fate as the song Two Weeks...uninspired Pop Rock with technical solos. Forever gone are the days of The Fall Of Ideals and This Darkened Heart. They are never coming back. There are 3 songs that contain any kind of older style ATR and the rest is Two Weeks and the last album rehashed. it's basically how I feel about Avenged Sevenfold since the self Titled album. A couple good songs with rehashed filler for the rest. Unless you really love the Hard Rock stylings of ATR, this album isn't for you, for me it's not
190.) Miss May I- At Heart
I will be completely honest. I didn't think I would like Miss May I squarely based on the band name and song titles alone, But I was proven wrong. They are a very heavy, As I Lay Dying style band that kicks a lot of ass. They definitely aren't posers (my chat with Bassist, clean vocalist Ryan Neff, I had after our official interview proves that to a T) These guys are keeping the good spirits of Metalcore alive when in a world of bad Metalcore like Asking Alexandria and I See Stars are around. Many people won't be able to tell the difference, but I can and these guys should be where Asking Alexandria are, simply on the basis that they do not suck. look past the name and some song titles and give this a shot, you will be pleasantly surprised.
191.) Apathy- Ghost Light
Very dark Progressive Death Metal. It borders on Doom Metal at times in a Daylight Dies/Opeth kinda way. This is a bit of a short album at 32 minutes long. But it is very damn good. the promo copy I received does sound like a web rip, but the real version is quite stellar. Its an unexpected surprise that grabs you and holds you in for all 32 minutes. Give it a fair shot, it is quite awesome and will keep your attention!
192.) Cyclamen- Memories, Voices
Another Djent style Progressive band that has some of the finest musicianship in the entire genre. The one downside to these guys is the screaming style, at times. It sometimes fits, other times, not so much, but the cleans are very damn good on this EP. Its a short 22 minute EP that is well worth the listen if given a chance. They are only really known for Djent fans but this could crossover.
193.) Constants- Pasiflora
I'm usually not into Shoegaze music that doesn't have some kind of Metal attached to it, and I think I figured out why. It gets very, very samey after a while. In small doses, it is great. A full album would make me a Emo Hipster kid. That thinks I'm better than everyone else, all while being severely depressed. I wish there was more dynamics on this album, but then I remembered, Shoegaze is not about dynamics, its about atmosphere, which is why I only like it attached with Metal. If you are into Shoegaze, you'll love this.
194.) Weapon- Embers And Revelations
This is a killer Black Metal album that really feels like a Blackened Death Metal album. I saw these guys open for Marduk and 1349 earlier this year, and I've been a fan ever since. Its very creative Black Metal that should be given a real chance. It's quite worth it, and the live experience is even better. I recommend this one very high in terms of Black Metal, creativity is rarely a bad thing.
195.) Bane- The Acasual Fire
No this is not the Hardcore Punk band, this is pure Heavy Black Metal. I went into this album thinking it was the American band Bane, and was blown away with this. Again, this is creative Black Metal that should be getting huge recognition right now. If you need something different I praise this album as being one of the best Black Metal albums of the year and sadly, not many people will hear it, prove me wrong and check it out.
196.) Down- Down IV Part 1- The Purple EP
Its been way too long since Down III: Over The Under came out. This somewhat fills the void until the next two parts come out. It's Dark, heavy sludgy and pure DOWN. Anselmo and Co. have done it again and it is fantastic. While the EP is a bit one sided (as it should be as all three EPs showcase the three sides of Down) it does not get old. Its Pure Metal and it should be regarded high. I know I do.
197.) AEGES- The Bridge
Spelled /-EGES, Ages is a bit of a Post Hardcore tip for me. I can't stand most Post Hardcore as it is usually quite whiny, and I can never relate to 15 year old kids crying about their girlfriends. This is actually quite listenable and not whiny. It also contains some pretty poppy Alternative Rock and some Post Rock moments which helps balance out the dynamics. Overall, not something I'd normally like, but this is pretty cool and worth checking out.
198.) Vanisher- Unbound
A Very Heavy Hard Rock/Metal album. Somewhat like All That Remains, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold style band. It has all the makings of a radio band that doesn't suck. Considering this is their first album, I can imagine them getting some notoriety in the next couple years or so. While it's a bit too commercial for my usual tastes, listening to this all the way through, its quite good and I dig it a lot. for a more commercial, yet underground bad, check this out.
199.) Pyramid Theorem- Pyramid Theorem
I'm a bit biased on this album as they are good friends of mine. But this Canadian Progressive Rock/Metal band will be the next Dream Theater, MARK MY WORDS! This album is pure and utter perfection, and I feel even I don't support these guys enough. I have had their first EP for a couple years now and this debut album blows it away. Their final track, The Dream, is a Half hour of pure Prog Heaven. The only reason this is not in my top 20 is because It feels way too biased to put this in my top 20, because it would be right at the top, where it belongs. If you want pure unadulterated Prog, and damn it, I won't be happy until they are the opening band for Dream Theater on their World Tour. They deserve it.
200.) Tremonti- All I Was
One of the best Hard Rock albums of the year. Besides Creed. Mark Tremonti can do no wrong. He plays guitar and lead vocals on this album, and he excels at both with precision. It's nearly criminal that not many people know about this album, and the fact the majority will not love this album like they do with Creed and Alter Bridge (this generation's best Hard Rock band) This is heavy as Hell, and also commercial enough to sell. This should be win win for both sides. Give it a fair shot, it is very damn badass!
200 albums down. Hot Damn! And I still have 16GBs of music to go, plus other albums I am getting sent to me. It. I'm pretty sure it is half over by now. and if there is demand for it. I will post my top 20 as well before January 1st, but that's on you guys if you want it.
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