301.) Sylosis- Monolith
It's a sad state in today's world when you ask the average kid about British Metal, they start talking about Bullet For My Valentine. Screw that! I'm hoping with the tour that they just did with Lamb Of God and In Flames that Sylosis will be getting some much needed recognition. I've been a fan of these guys for a few years and they deserve all the attention they can get. This is great Technical Thrash Metal. Lots of melody and harmonies amongst the Thrashin'. You should check this out if you haven't already, its too good to ignore.
302.) Moonspell- Alpha Noir
Unlike the other album reviewed earlier, this album is a lot more of the traditional Moonspell sound. Melodic Death metal, but also with Alpha Noir, it also has some thrash elements as well, although they are not the main focus of the album. For the average Moonspell fan, this is the Moonspell album to have. Omega White is awesome as well, but it is very different from what they are known for. Check this out and enjoy!
303.) Dragged Into Sunlight- Widowmaker
This is THE Doom Metal album of the year. Separated into 3 parts, and all one song, Widowmaker (a nearly 40 minute epic) goes through 3 major changes, the instrumental drone, the heavy as hell middle and the epic ending. Dragged Into Sunlight is a Doom metal band that will never let you down, unless you read the lyrics, they will bring you down into depression, but that's what you get with Doom Metal. If you can give a nearly 40 minute Doom album a chance, please check this out. It's one of the best Doom Metal albums you'll ever hear.
304.) Dublin Death patrol- Death Sentence
Ah yes, Chuck Billy of Testament and Steve Zetro of Exodus are back together again for their second album together under the DDP name. This is a different album then you would expect. It's definitely a thrash album, but it's different. It's a lot lighter then both bands. All the songs are rockers for sure, but it almost feels like a mid 80's Thrash album, which is a great throwback to the style. It's a very fun album to listen to. It won't get much praise, but it's worth the listen.
305.) Demon Hunter- True Defiance
I love Demon Hunter. I couldn't care less if they are a Christian Metal band or not, they write great Metal music. As with every single one of their releases, this has gotten even heavier and overall better songwriting and musicianship. The music doesn't sound preachy to me, no more than any Behemoth album trying to make you go against God. It's about the music to me. And they did it right again. A fantastic album and a band I wish would be a As I Lay Dying status.
306.) Semargl- Satanic Pop Metal
The description is in the album title. That's exactly what it is. Pop Metal Electronica over Black Metal and Death Metal vocals with the occasional female vocals. Like all pop music since the 80s this is a very one sided, gimmicky album. I don't hate it, I don't love it. but when i hear it, I can withstand it for a while. You find a catchier Pop Metal album....I'm not saying that makes it good, but there is nothing catchier. So yeah, if you dare, check it out
307.) Dimension Act- Manifestation Of Progress
Dream Theater, Pagan's Mind, Symphony X, and Evergrey all in the same band. This is a Quadruple Dip cream dream for me. This I hope will make it onto some people's lists once they actually get the chance to hear them. These guys are doing everything right in the Prog World, with no cheese or Pretentiousness (unless you feel longer songs are pretentious, then you are just dumb). Please, Please, Please check these guys out this is one of the best albums of the year and by the time of their second album, they better be opening for Dream Theater as main support on their world tour!
308.) Tetrafusion- Horizons
I am still not used to these guys having vocals, haha. It's fantastic Progressive Metal. In a way if Scale The Summit had vocals, this it what it would sound like. Funny enough, Mark Mitchell is now the bassist of Scale The Summit. While a short EP, it is very damn good and should be right up your alley in the Prog Rock/Prog Metal world. No screams or growls, all clean vocals. Its a very appropriate Prog EP to make, and it's awesome.
309.) Against The Wall- Things Are Not Like They Said
Against The Wall on their previous albums have been more Pop Rock with some Metal influences. On this album it is the English version of Daniel Jakubovic's Elef Kirot. While not the same songs, he is carrying out what he did on that album, the perfect blend of Pop Rock and Prog Metal, but with English vocals. There is absolutely no reason why this should not be on Mainstream FM radio, other than the fact hat Mainstream FM radio sucks. this is such an incredible album that will go past a lot of people, and it's a damn shame. If you can appreciate some of the catchiest Prog Metal, or very damn Proggy Pop rock, check out the new album from Against The wall, then get the rest of their albums and EPs, and Daniel Jakubovic's solo albums.
310.) Lehto & Wright- November
The best damn Folky Progressive Rock band that you do not know about yet, unless you live in the Twin Cities. it's criminal that Progressive Rock fans do not know about these guys. They are phenomenal and they write some very emotional, heart felt, and catchy songs that should be up every Prog fan's alley. November is actually on the lighter side this time around, but just as good as every album they have out. It's an album to have in the background and play while watching the fireplace on a winter's night. Wouldn't you know it, epsecially where I live, that is very appropriate. Only one album beats this for y favorite Non-Metal album of the year and you will read about it in my top 20 thread, till then, enjoy this masterpiece!
311.) Jeff Loomis- Plains Of Oblivion
I've heard this album so much that I forgot that it came out this year, haha. Jeff Loomis decided to add vocals to about half of this album, and honestly, it was a great decision to make. It is chalk filled with guest appearances from the likes of Ihsahn, Marty Friedman, Tony MacAlpine, etc. It carries on the same way that Loomis was going on his first solo album and totally expands on it. It's a guitar virtuoso album without question, very proggy and shredy. If you have ever been a Jeff Loomis fan, this is for you.
312.) A Forest Of Stars- A Shadow Play for Yesterdays
Atmospheric Black Metal, once again. While musically it is great, I really can't take the vocals, which is odd for me considering who I am. The music does stand out over the vocals, but they are noticeable. And they do focus more on the Black Metal side them the Atmospheric side. If you dig this, you will like this a lot. For me. it's on par.
313.) The Royal Veil- The Royal Veil
A fantastic Progressive Rock band from the Twin Cities that also incorporates a lot of Alternative Rock as well. While still a very young band, I think if they can get some build up behind the band they will be getting a lot of attention by the time of their next release. The first 3 tracks while still very proggy are pretty laid back in comparison to the 12 minute final track while, like the name suggests, takes you on the Trip, like the Mars Volta covering Dream theater while Soundgarden helps with songwriting. This is a killer EP that I hope because of this will get them noticed. If anything above suggests you might be interested, I advise checking this out asap!
314.) Chrome Waves- Chrome Waves
Another fantastic example of Post Metal meets Black Metal. his album is nowhere near as moody as a lot of albums in the genre, it rocks really damn hard! of course there are a couple interlude pieces but the real songs are in your face and Metal. Combining the best of both worlds in Post Metal and Black Metal. Fans of either genre should love this album whole hearted. I know I do. Give these guysa chance!
315.) Fang Island- Major
One of the most poppiest, and let's face it. Indie albums I have heard all year. I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard these guys. But I actually dig them a lot. it sounds like something NPR should be going gaga over. It's catchy, its fun, its a great overall Indie Rock album. It's not normally my bag, but sometimes an album comes my way from a genre I don't pay attention to and it grabs me, this is one of those times. You just might as well.
316.) Blinded In Bliss- Constancy
A side Project of Mutiny Within, Threat Signal, and Soilwork. THis band is very damn cool. every single day they give away a free CD copy of their album. But I actually bought this album on my own after hearing a couple songs on youtube. While it may not stand out to some people. This is an excellent album filled with Metalcore, Melodic Death Metal and Prog Metal all rolled into this album. If Mutiny Within sounded like Soilwork essentially. That is in no way a bad thing. besides their own promotion, and me playing them on my show, I don't see anything about these guys which is sad. It robably is because this will most likely just be a studio project with no touring behind it, hopefully I am wrong about that. Till new info is updated. pick this one up!
317.) Wintersun- Time I
Everyone I know of who is a Metal fan has been waiting for Wintersun to release their new album. This year we kinda got blue balled. We got HALF of the new album released as an EP called Time I. Time II will be released in Spring 2013. While there is only 3 real tracks on this album, to me, it was worth the wait. It's even more Majestic than the debut album and I didn't even think that was possible. Some people are criticizing the album for all the symphonics and almost, as a lot of people have it it, Mulan sounding moments. I guess I don't hear it, or if I do, I don't care because it rocks. Wintersun made this genre proud and they will keep on making great music....I hope. I'm looking forward to Time II, but bands gotta stop blue balling us by separating albums into 2 parts. There is nothing wrong with Double Disc albums!
318.) Christian Alvestram- Self 2.0
People know Christian as the frontman of Scar Symmetry, less know him for Solution .45, and even less know him for his other projects. But who knew he could be a pop star? This EP is the combination of Pop music and Prog Rock that has yet to be tried these days. When I first heard this I didn't know what to expect, when I heard this my jaw dropped to the ground. but then I started to appreciate it for what it is, a fantastically written EP of Pop music. Another artist who should be on the pop charts, but there not enough about drinking and sex in these songs for that to happen. That and these songs are acutally well written, so it will never make the Top 40 charts in the states. But if you wanna hear how pop music should sound, and have it not suck. Alvestram is the man to make it happen.
319.) Mass Culture- Amoralism
Experimental Sludge Metal. Its an odd combination that works very damn well. the songs are long but it doesn't feel that way. there is a lot of experimentation going on with tempos and dynamics that make the songs fly right by. And this is just an EP at 35 minutes long, but it's worth the journey You won't hear Sludge Metal in the same light again, and trust me, that's a good thing!
320.) Toundra- III
Yes this is the 3rd album from the band, as you may have guessed by the name. This is Instrumental Post Rock, kinda similar to Long Distance Calling. It has the Progressive Post Metal vibe of LDC but done in their own brand of Post Rock.I will keep promoting Long Distance Calling till the day I die, and any band that has the same kind of vibe is all good in my book. You may dig these guys as well. check them out!
19 or so albums to go before my Top 20. Anyone excited about it?........Anyone
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