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  #21  
Old 12-25-2009, 07:49 PM
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huh.... i thought the pregnant woman was just obese...
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  #22  
Old 12-25-2009, 08:15 PM
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huh.... i thought the pregnant woman was just obese...
I definitely read somewhere that they were pregnant.
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  #23  
Old 12-26-2009, 04:13 PM
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1. Behemoth - "Ov Fire and the Void"


Death and black metal bands doing high-minded conceptual videos and electing to star in the them as well is probably a good idea one time per every million attempts. "Ov Fire and the Void" happens to be that one time. Nergal and his grim compatriots grope their way (at times literally) through a barren landscape filled with tarot cards, whips-and-chains torture, a woman carrying the Antichrist in her womb, and a fallen angel with some delicious-looking wings. Just when you think they couldn't add one more thing to the video, they do, and while it could come off as over-the-top, it remains mostly in the realm of tastefully evil. Even if the new record was something of a disappointment, this video is the best of the year, hands down.
http://www.rocktube.us/bjosZCO83Wh/B...deo_2009_.html
Yeah, that Behemoth video is definitely fucking badass.
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  #24  
Old 12-26-2009, 04:33 PM
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huh.... i thought the pregnant woman was just obese...
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  #25  
Old 12-28-2009, 07:01 PM
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Top Ten Songs of 2009

This is always a fun exercise because, especially with metal, it's exceptionally hard to break music down to the song level. Some people think that music is meant to be experienced as a part of a live set or as a part of an album and that is that, but I think it's acceptable to single out certain songs as exemplary of where a band is when they recorded it, so without further ado, here are my ten favorite songs of 2009 in no order of any kind.

Between the Buried and Me - "Obfuscation": I'm not sure if BTBAM would even appreciate someone calling this the best song they made this year. Of the six tracks on their new masterpiece, The Great Misdirect, "Obfuscation" throws by far the fewest curveballs and is perhaps the only song on that record that wouldn't be out of place on 2003's The Silent Circus or 2005's Alaska. It's just a perfect track of progressive metal brilliance and instrumental virtuosity, all held together by a shouted chorus (the only non-screamed lyrics in the song, too) of "Close one eye/Step to the side," and despite being an insane roller coaster ride, it's almost a chance to relax compared to the songs that follow it. Simply BTBAM playing at their highest level; nothing more, nothing less.

Propagandhi - "Dear Coach's Corner": Start a song with a sample from Canada's SportsCenter equivalent, Hockey Night in Canada, follow it up with a minute or so of insane Slayer riffage, then turn all the knobs to "clean" and start singing in a desperate pop-punk moan about the great sport of hockey and its corruption into something inherently propagandist. It doesn't sound like a winning formula, but the guys in Propagandhi pull it off flawlessly in what ends up being a totally heart-wrenching and brilliant song. Without the proper context, the lyrics might seem like a stretch, but I suspect that unless you're Canadian you won't quite understand lines like "Every fond memory of childhood that I know is somehow connected to the culture of this game/I just can't let it go." What a non-Canadian can understand, however, is that every ounce of conviction put into this song is genuine, and its fusion of punk and metal is the sound of a great band performing at their pinnacle.

Mastodon - "The Last Baron": Dammit, this is easily the worst Mastodon full-length and it still totally rules. They're threatening to turn into Iron Maiden with this crazy run they're on. "The Last Baron" is a perfect example of why that is: it's way too ambitious, it has an acoustic intro and is thirteen minutes long, it has a part that sounds like it could be in a Dream Theater song, it utilizes clean singing exclusively (not unlike much of the album, but still), and it's about God-knows-what. Why is it so awesome? In a nutshell, it's because Mastodon are the most capable band in metal today, and they know it. They tackled something that they never should have tackled and made pure gold, and they were suspicious that it would be pure gold all along. Spoils to the victors, I suppose.

Isis - "Hall of the Dead": If there's a weak link in this list, it's this song, but it gets special consideration because it's oddly-timed opening riff is hands-down the Riff of the Year. Aaron Turner has been doing this for a while, and he has developed an impeccably Adam Jones-like (sorry again, Isis aren't Tool, but they're a damned easy point of reference) sense of how to combine complexity with catchiness, and it pays off in spades here. It's a good sign when a song inspires you to headbang, but the time signature makes it difficult to actually headbang to. The rest of the song is pretty good as well, with Turner performing at the peak of his skills as a clean/growl vocalist, but damn. That opening riff. Damn.

Slough Feg - "Ape Uprising": The 2000s have basically been a duel to the death between The Gates of Slumber and Slough Feg over who can perfect an old-school sound in the most original and most infectious way. 2009 went to Slough Feg, hands down, and this 10-minute chunk of Thin Lizzy worship and twin lead mayhem is a great example of why. Mike Scalzi has a rugged voice that can't really be described accurately in terms of other singers, but it fits Slough Feg's music perfectly. Even though the guitars steal the show as with every Slough Feg song, the tribal drumming that would be annoying coming from so many bands fits the album's theme perfectly, and the bass demands your attention with its very capable playing. This is basically a perfect old school heavy metal song. Your move, Karl Simon.

Cobalt - "Gin": Probably more than any other great album from 2009, it's tough to separate Cobalt's latest opus into distinct songs, but the opening track sets the tone for the rest of the album so well that it's hard not to call it a highlight. It tricks you into relaxation with its clean guitar intro, then tears your balls off and feeds them to you for the better part of seven minutes (hell, for the better part of 70 minutes when it's all said and done). Phil McSorley (we'll get to him later) steals the show as usual with a vicious, whiskey-soaked vocal performance that coats your soul with a thick layer of grime. This is beautiful; this is art.

Wolves in the Throne Room - "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog": It gets bonus points of the bat for the wonderful title, taken from the name of one of my favorite paintings of all time. In typical WITTR fashion, this song is all about taking its time to get where it's going, and at glacier speed it reaches a glorious climax, with riffs layered upon riffs like classic Darkthrone and ambient, post-rock beauty oozing out of every note like any of Neige's projects. The vocals are the definition of black metal rasp, and it does its job as an opening track on a terrific album by setting the stage for what's to come.

Immortal - "All Shall Fall": Three black metal songs in a row, whew. 2006 Brad sees this list and rolls his eyes, but black metal has adapted far better than death metal in every conceivable way during this decade. Even Immortal, one of the first-wave stalwarts, figured out a way to update their sound and become excellent in a totally new way on 2002's instant classic Sons of Northern Darkness. While the reunion record isn't quite as good, the title track tries some new things out to huge levels of success. The epic arrangement and buzzsaw guitar sound are still there, but Abbath adds to the mix some - wait for it - clean vocals! The whole thing is a reminder to the world of Immortal's continued relevance, their ability to adapt, and their apparent readiness to carry the flag of black metal into the next decade.

Baroness - "A Horse Called Golgotha": This one took some time to grow on me. I knew I liked it right away, but I was pretty uneasy about the weird sound in the guitar solo, the arrangement of the song, and the overwhelming presence of clean vocals in the song. It didn't quite seem like the Baroness I knew and loved. Once I realized that was all stupid, my mind opened to what would probably be the song of the year if this list were ranked (which it isn't). Without aping any formulas or sounding derivative, Baroness created a classic heavy metal song that would probably sound out of place in the 80s, but not by much.

Megadeth - "Head Crusher": The new Megadeth album isn't quite good enough to get mentioned when I get around to talking about the best albums of 2009, but it has to be noted that it is easily their best effort since 1994, and that "Head Crusher" is their best song since 1997. While we're at it, "This Day We Fight!" is also better than anything they've done since 1997, but that's partly because of how generally terrible the last decade has been for Megadeth. None of that affects this startlingly refreshing headbanger, though, and it seems to all but declare that Megadeth is "back" without ever leaving. The riffs are crisp, the solos are crazy, the lyrics are violent, the vocals are old-school, and everything is said and done within three minutes. The new wave of thrash has already started to wear out its welcome, and it's with the help of classic bands making such great thrash tunes as this that their grave is being dug.
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  #26  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
Mastodon - "The Last Baron"
Yeah, that's my favorite track from "Crack the Skye", too.

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Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
Isis - "Hall of the Dead": If there's a weak link in this list, it's this song
You shut your trap, you. Nothing Isis ever does (or will do) shall be referred to as a "weak link". Evar.

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Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
Isis - "Hall of the Dead"...It's a good sign when a song inspires you to headbang, but the time signature makes it difficult to actually headbang to...
Yeah, you've gotta be careful headbanging to Isis and Tool and the like. This song is mainly in 5/4, so I usually bang on the 1 and the 4 - that way I don't get hurt. Plus, it fits when they throw the 6/4 in there from time to time, but you have to know it's coming and wait an extra beat in that measure or you'll snap your damn fool neck.

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Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
Isis - "Hall of the Dead"...The rest of the song is pretty good as well, with Turner performing at the peak of his skills as a clean/growl vocalist, but damn. That opening riff. Damn.
...and what some of you folks don't know is that it's not even the best riff on the album.

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Cobalt - "Gin"...This is beautiful; this is art.
Pig Destroyer's lawyers would like to have a word with you about copyright infringement.

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Originally Posted by DethMaiden View Post
Immortal - "All Shall Fall": Three black metal songs in a row, whew. 2006 Brad sees this list and rolls his eyes, but black metal has adapted far better than death metal in every conceivable way during this decade. Even Immortal, one of the first-wave stalwarts, figured out a way to update their sound and become excellent in a totally new way on 2002's instant classic Sons of Northern Darkness. While the reunion record isn't quite as good, the title track tries some new things out to huge levels of success. The epic arrangement and buzzsaw guitar sound are still there, but Abbath adds to the mix some - wait for it - clean vocals! The whole thing is a reminder to the world of Immortal's continued relevance, their ability to adapt, and their apparent readiness to carry the flag of black metal into the next decade.
Very nice observations here (and for what it's worth, I think John Baizley agrees with you and me on this ).

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Baroness - "A Horse Called Golgotha"
What a choice to make, eh? Personally, I couldn't decide to give the pick of best track on the album to this, or "Curse", "Swollen" or "Gnashing", but that's just me. "Horse" is awesome, though - no doubt.

(PSSSSST - It's even better live...Nat says as he twists the knife )


Seriously, though - lots of excellent picks.
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  #27  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:35 PM
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Listen to Cormorant's Metazoa and that list will be dramatically different.
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  #28  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:41 PM
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Listen to Cormorant's Metazoa and that list will be dramatically different.
Not that you're biased or anything.

Seriously, though - I do agree to an extent. There's bound to be something off "Metazoa" that could unseat one of the songs on Brad's list. "Scavengers Feast" is awful fucking good, for example.

EDIT: Hey, how many albums is this for Cormorant anyway? I'm having trouble getting background info on them...
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Last edited by Natrlhi; 12-28-2009 at 08:45 PM.
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  #29  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:44 PM
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Not that you're biased or anything.

Seriously, though - I do agree to an extent. There's bound to be something off "Metazoa" that could unseat one of the songs on Brad's list. "Scavengers Feast" is awful fucking good, for example.
I can't get over the guitar sound on that album. It just makes no sense. I hate to dislike something that I should like, and I guess I don't dislike it - it is good, it just didn't shake my earth.

Also, thanks for all the well-constructed comments.
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  #30  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:49 PM
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Not that you're biased or anything.

Seriously, though - I do agree to an extent. There's bound to be something off "Metazoa" that could unseat one of the songs on Brad's list. "Scavengers Feast" is awful fucking good, for example.

EDIT: Hey, how many albums is this for Cormorant anyway? I'm having trouble getting background info on them...
That was their debut. They have an EP out called the Last Tree which has some other amazing stuff too, and yes, I am completely impartial.
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