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  #21  
Old 12-26-2013, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by illninoese View Post
One of the biggest letdowns of the year for me was the tour not coming to FL. I've never seen them on a venue live before. Bryan Ottoson died literally 2 days before they came to Orlando with Mudvayne and AHC dropped off. The Feeding had just come out and I was so amped to see some of the songs live. Extremely underrated band imo.
I'm still waiting to see them too. I might have seen them at Ozzfest '01 but I have little to no memory of that day other than it was rainy. Hopefully next year. I find that first album very underrated.
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  #22  
Old 01-01-2014, 10:17 AM
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Hopefully everybody had a good and safe New Years. I woke up at 10:30 and feelin way better now. Since we are starting our year end lists here I wanted to get this knocked out. On w/ the countdown.

#4 Dream Theater - Dream Theater



Over 20+ years of being together and I still think Dream Theater is one of the more consistent bands as far as albums go. From their first 4 albums, w/ the exception of Images & Words, those albums just seemed to lack a certain something. Everything after Falling Into Infinity have all been fantastic albums. Their new S/T does nothing put continue the great streak of albums that DT has had since 1999.

Out of 9 total tracks, subtracting 2 of the songs because honestly I'm just not a huge fan of instrumentals, there are 5 songs of the remaining 7 songs that I think are really great on this album. Alot of people probably already heard The Enemy Inside when it got released as the 1st single. I fell in love w/ that song as soon as I heard it. It just has all the elements that are great about DT into a great 6 minute song. It may not be the best song on the album but its very deserving of a Grammy nomination. The Looking Glass is another highlight, even more shocking, its only 4:53. Its more stripped down straight up metal/hard rock song w/o too many of their more proggy elements. For this song less is definitely more, great infectious chorus. Sometimes its kind of nice to have a DT song that isn't 6-7+ mins even though I do like the longer songs as well. Also really like The Bigger Picture & Behind The Veil. The Bigger Picture being a little more mellow and Behind The Veil being a little more uptempo but both w/ a common theme of having just huge infectious chorus'.

The gem of this album is the 22 minute monster that is Illumination Theory. Their longest track since the title track off Octavarium. There's so much to go into it's tough to know where to start. It's 1 song that is broken into 5 different parts. Part 1: Paradoxe de la Lumière Noire - starts out as a slower piece that really sets the stage for the whole song, starts slow and keeps building to the next part. Part 2: Live, Die, Kill - is a straight up hard rocker with some fantastic key work by Jordan. Part 3: The Embracing Circle - slows everything down and gives us a little break, has a very orchestral feel to it. Part 4: The Pursuit of Truth - this is where it gets even better, its even more uptempo than part 2. Crazy keyboard work, fantastic drumming, Petrucci doing what makes him so great. My favorite part of the song. Part 5: Surrender, Trust & Passion - this to me is kind of the inverse of part 1, starts out as uptempo and progressively slows down and finally ending w/ a beautiful piano outro. I'm not normally a fan of songs this long, usually half of it is just boring and drags. This one really doesn't do that at all. Part 3 is the only part that might drag a little, instead of it being 4 min piece, maybe cut it in half. But really that's my only minor complaint. For anybody who enjoys this type of music and hasn't heard this song, you owe it to yourself to take 22 minutes out of your day and give this song a shot.

Surrender to Reason didn't do much for me, kind of a mid tempo song that doesn't really go anywhere to me. Loved the keys in the song but the rest of it is just kinda meh to me. I knew after hearing it once I hated Along For The Ride. I love DT ballads when they are done right and this is just not one of their better songs. To me it reeks of radio ballad. But still not liking 2 out of 7 songs is pretty good to me. This is a band who really hasn't done too much wrong in the last 15 years (sans the Portnoy drama / drummer audition stuff on YouTube) and they continue to make beautiful amazing music.

Illumination Theory
The Enemy Inside
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  #23  
Old 01-01-2014, 10:57 AM
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#3 Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clock Work



This album to me seems like it's been one of those albums that has so many varying opinions, all the way from being considered one of the biggest letdowns of the year to this being one of the best things they've ever done. Obviously based on my ranking, I find this to be one of the better albums they've done in their career. After a couple listens I'll admit I was letdown as well. Having nothing short of an all star team of guests I was expecting something different. After giving it some time I fell in love and found it to be one of the best hard rock albums I've ever heard.

One thing was sure after 1 listen. "Keep Your Eyes Peeled" was one of my favorite songs I heard this whole year. That is the most Kyuss-ish thing I have heard from Josh Homme since he was in Kyuss. That song is just so slow and heavy with one of the most amazing bass sounds that I've ever heard. Even if you gave up on QOTSA but love Kyuss, I would strongly suggest atleast giving this song a listen. I Sat By The Ocean sounds exactly like a song I would want to listen to while lounging by the ocean. Just a great hard rock song with a great chorus. Its a pretty simple song with a lot of groove. First few times I heard My God Is The Sun I was a little underwhelmed but again after a few times it finally stuck w/ me. A really great choice for a first single. Kalopsia was initially a disappointment to me when I saw that was the song Reznor was in. I expected so much more, then after another listen I was in love w/ it. Starting off so slow and quiet with the best chorus in this whole album, and with Reznor putting in some guitar that have that Reznor sound and him also doing some backup vocals as well. Its kind of half really beautiful mellow song and then half harder edged song. Smooth Sailing, goddamn there haven't been too many songs I've heard that are catchier than this song. Probably one of the catchiest songs they've ever done in their career. With one of the best lyrics of the year "I blow my load over the status quo". If this isn't catchy to you then you might be dead.

Obviously I, much like other QOTSA fans, long for the Rated R/Songs For The Dead days. The thing of it is, I don't think we are going to get albums like that anymore. I think there will be elements of those albums into future albums but I don't see it happening and honestly if they make gems like this I am more than ok with that. This album went #1 when it came out and there's few times where I see someone w/ the #1 album where I think yea that album deserves to be #1. This does deserve all the praise that it's got. This might just be the album that moves them up to that next level. I was just amazed at seeing the picture posted on here where the Barclays Center (Arena? I don't remember) was so packed for them. I love that they are getting those sized crowds because I think they deserve it. If you are someone that has an open mind when listening to other genres of metal/hard rock give this one a chance.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Kalopsia
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  #24  
Old 01-01-2014, 02:13 PM
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#2 Black Sabbath - 13



Well when I first heard this was going to actually happen I was just as nervous about it as I was excited (which was alot). It is a ballsy move to try and release a new album at this point for Sabbath. Their legacy is obviously already set, there's really no way to dent that armor. But if they released some shitty half assed album then that's something that the 3 of them would have had to live down the rest of their lives as the last thing they put out under the Black Sabbath name. IMO this album has more than exceeded my expectations. Here's where alot my find this blasphemous, I even enjoyed this more than I did Vol. 4. Truth be told I just don't like a whole lot of songs from Vol. 4. There's a few I like on it, but overall I just don't like that album very much. And obviously its stronger than Technical Ecstasy & Never Say Die as a whole.

What got me excited from interviews is that Rubin wanted them to go back to their early bluesier sound. I love the Sabbath that are just balls out like "Symptom of the Universe" but where I love them the most are like alot of the very first album where you can really hear the blues influences. "End Of The Beginning" has a similar quality to the song "Black Sabbath" just not quite as eerie/doomy sounding as the original. But damn that Iommi riff in that after the song picks up, absolutely crushing. Obviously alot of us have already heard God Is Dead?, the 2nd half of that song is another Iommi crushing riff. Loner is ok, seems like they almost ripped themselves off as it has a very N.I.B. feel to it, not my favorite song, its just ok. Zeitgeist doesn't do much for me in the same way that Planet Caravan doesn't really do much for me. You like one, you'll like the other. If you don't like one, you won't like the other. Age of Reason & Damaged Soul are 2 of the best songs on the album, and frankly it's not even close that those are the best 2 songs. Age of Reason has one of my favorite Iommi riffs in the middle of that song that is just so incredibly heavy and Damaged Soul is Tony with a bluesy riff that just makes that whole song absolutely amazing. I liked seeing that they were starting to play Age of Reason on some of their more recent shows, now we just need to hope they do Damaged Soul next. The part I found the coolest about the whole album was the last minute or 2 of Dear Father. I think the song is alright, not great, not bad but alright. The part I love is after the song where you start hearing the bells from the song Black Sabbath, then they started in with the rain. I had goosebumps the first time I heard that. I kinda hope this is the last album. Hearing that at the end felt like Black Sabbath closure, like in the last (soon to be) 44 years that the first album came out they've come full circle and they are going to end right at the same place they began. Can't think of a better ending than that.

I really don't care about the other bs politics that seem to come up when Sabbath are brought up. I don't care about the Bill Ward crap. The petty back and forth legal crap has been going on with bands for probably as long as records have been made, it is what it is, its unfortunate. If they think that Bill would have sounded like shit and didn't think he had the chops to record or tour then they are looking out for the album which I'm fine w/. All I want is a new Black Sabbath album that sounds just as good as their '70s stuff and in my mind they have no doubt accomplished that.

Age of Reason
Damaged Soul
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  #25  
Old 01-01-2014, 04:20 PM
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#1 Clutch - Earth Rocker



Sometimes when I think about end of year stuff I struggle trying to come up with what I enjoyed the most out of that year. Tell you the truth, this wasn't really even in doubt for me. After this came out in March I pretty much knew that nothing will better than this. Before a band's album comes out you always here the cliches "are best album" "our heaviest album" or whatever, we've all read the press releases. We all hear the same shit and how often do we hear something and become disappointed with it (ahem Mr. Mustaine I'm looking at you) where the final product is nothing like it was described in press releases/interviews? This is everything that it was hyped up to be and Clutch absolutely delivers on their promise.

2009's Strange Creatures From the West had it's moments (like all Clutch releases have) but it really felt to me as the weakest link in the Clutch catalog. Apparently having toured w/ Thin Lizzy & Motorhead gave them that much needed kick in the ass to make a kickass rock record. Beginning to end this is an album that hits hard and never lets up, with the exception of Gone Cold which I'll get to later. This is the 1st Clutch album that I didn't have to bother skipping a track or 2 since the s/t album.

Earth Rocker was a perfect song to release as the first single and to put as the first track on the album. This song pretty much sums up what this whole album is about which is just a straight ahead rocking song w/ tons of groove. Crucial Velocity is easily one of the highlights of the album, I haven't heard very many people who love Clutch that don't find this to be one of their favorites on the album, I can only imagine how well it goes over in a live setting. Personally, D.C. Sound Attack is my favorite song on this album, I love the cowbell jam in the middle of the song, its just one of the catchiest numbers they've ever done, for a band like Clutch that has made a career on making alot of catchy songs that is a huge compliment. The only thing I don't like about this is Gone Cold. Alot of people love this song, I don't get it. I get that on an 11 song album you put a slow song in the middle to break it up and allow the listener a break. Lyrically it is dull, I love the almost rubbery sounding bass in the song. Thats cool they want to do an acoustic song but this just doesn't work. Better lyrics and I'm sure I'd love it, I can still listen to it but its just not my favorite. The other highlight of this is Cyborg Bette which is another very uptempo song which talks of girls not treating him well, and robot women and it is lyrically one of my favorite songs Clutch has done. I could really go on about every song on the album but I figured I would try to keep from rambling and just hit the high points.

Thank you Clutch for being one of the few bands who has actually followed through on the pre hype of an album. I feel sorry for Clutch who has to actually follow up this monster of an album.

Full Album
Crucial Velocity
D.C. Sound Attack
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  #26  
Old 01-01-2014, 04:41 PM
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Not too mention the album art for Earth Rocker fuckin' rocks! The songs also translate live very well.
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  #27  
Old 01-01-2014, 09:03 PM
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Awesome top 2. I didn't love 13 that much, but pretty much everything you said in the review is spot on. And it's hard to really say anything about Earth Rocker that hasn't been said. It's just the best album of the year, no contest.
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  #28  
Old 01-01-2014, 09:37 PM
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Awesome top 2. I didn't love 13 that much, but pretty much everything you said in the review is spot on. And it's hard to really say anything about Earth Rocker that hasn't been said. It's just the best album of the year, no contest.
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  #29  
Old 01-02-2014, 05:09 AM
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Very nice review of '13'. I personally thought the album was great, and am suprised it's not on more AOTY lists here. The way you describe 'The end....." is perfect.
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  #30  
Old 01-02-2014, 05:27 AM
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Iommi's riffs will crush you all
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