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  #131  
Old 12-23-2011, 03:30 PM
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I should also note that I didn't care THAT much for the production of Snowfall either. To me the best sounding Redmeption album is EASILY The Origins of Ruin.
I wasn't really implying that, I was just going in running order.

But yeah The Origins of Ruin is my 2nd favorite Redemption album, and Memory is still my favorite Redemption song.
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  #132  
Old 12-24-2011, 09:12 AM
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#8: Iced Earth - Dystopia

This is my personal vote for comeback album of the year. I used to love Iced Earth when I first got into them in like 2004-2005, but I had all but given up on them as of about a year ago. I thought Framing Armageddon was OK, and The Crucible of Man sucked. Then with all the singer changes and whatnot, things just didn't seem promising. What seemed like the ultimate sign of their demise for me was the addition of Into Eternity vocalist Stu Block. I had to see Into Eternity live six times between 2005 and 2008, and I hated them, partially for Stu's vocals, so I pretty much put Iced Earth in the "done" bin upon the announcement of Stu's arrival.

I could not have been more wrong. The truth of the matter is that Iced Earth have put out their best record in a long time, if not, and I can't believe I'm about to say this - their best record ever. Jon Schaffer truly recaptured the balanced, song-based approach of their classic Something Wicked record, with a great bunch of songs with virtually no filler, a rare feat for an Iced Earth record. The band is great, featuring Troy Seele, possibly my favorite Iced Earth lead guitarist to date, as well as the unbelievable, shockingly great vocals of Stu Block, who manages to come off with a mixture of about 40% Barlow, 30% Ripper, and 30% of his own style and flavor. This album has completely re-energized the group and made me want to see and support them, and pull my Iced Earth shirts out from the back of my closet and wear them again. This is truly the perfect comeback.

Featured Track: "Dystopia" (Official Video)
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  #133  
Old 12-25-2011, 04:33 AM
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Wow, I didn't expect this album to get no responses, haha. I guess it's because of Christmas. Either way, #7 will be up within the next hour or two.
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  #134  
Old 12-25-2011, 11:18 AM
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#7: Toby Hitchcock - Mercury's Down

Toby Hitchcock is an American vocalist who has done a good deal of session work for AOR artists like Pride of Lions, but this album is his first solo endeavor, featuring the songwriting and musicianship of Erik Martenssen (W.E.T.). I do really enjoy some AOR and Melodic Hard Rock, but I approach most albums very hesitantly, as I find it nearly impossible for someone to craft an AOR album which doesn't start to bore me by around track 5 or 6 - which is what I was expecting from this, but I was dead wrong. Through twelve outstanding tracks, this album never loses steam, every song completely stacked with powerful vocals, great guitar playing, and formulaic but catchy and memorable songwriting with top-notch hooks. Many people want to put this sort of music down, but I think songwriting (especially catchy songwriting) is a skill you can not teach someone to develop, so I do really appreciate stuff like this. Sure, it's AOR/Melodic Hard Rock, which means there's always going to be people whining that it's neither metal enough or interesting enough, but I personally don't particularly care. Toby is undoubtedly my favorite new vocalist I discovered in 2011.

Featured Track: "A Different Drum"
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  #135  
Old 12-25-2011, 02:57 PM
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Loved Dystopia, haven't checked out Mercury's Down yet.
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  #136  
Old 12-25-2011, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
#7: Toby Hitchcock - Mercury's Down
Even I like this one. Which, for gay-metal, is rare
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  #137  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:02 AM
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#6: Subsignal - Touchstones

This is my "wild card" album for this year. I admittedly strongly gravitate towards albums by bands I already know and love - it's very rare that an album can crack my top 5 or even 10 if I didn't know of the band prior and build that fanship in advance, so the fact that an album by a band I had never hear of prior to August managed to rank 6th here is a huge deal for me, especially considering Subsignal are pretty different from what I usually go for. There's a lot of Progressive Rock in this, reminiscent of bands like Yes, and neo-Prog Rock bands like Marillion and Pendragon - but overall it defeinitely takes on a more metal vibe. I've been describing these guys to friends as "Neo-Prog Rock gone Metal". Either way, it's fantastic, and this has been one of my most-played albums of the year, with something new and fascinating revealing itself to me upon every listen. Fantastic vocal melodies and harmonies, really great expressive guitar playing and very interesting rhythm section work can be found throughout the disc. I can't fully explain quite why I like this so much, but I do.

Featured Track: "Con Todas Las Palabras"
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  #138  
Old 12-26-2011, 04:48 PM
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Dystopia is great. Their last album I thought was OK but it certainly wasn't enough for me to lose any faith in the band. Schaffer has proven time and again, no matter who the singer or the rest of the lineup is, he always comes out with something that will be good to great. I'm not an Into Eternity fan but Stu's vocal performance is amazing on this album. It's given the band a new life and energy that Barlow, while still a very good singer, couldn't deliver at this point.
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  #139  
Old 12-26-2011, 04:51 PM
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I've never really been into Iced Earth but I checked out that song and it's actually pretty good.
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  #140  
Old 12-26-2011, 06:05 PM
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Top 5 begins tomorrow! Anyone think they can guess the 5 albums?
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