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  #41  
Old 01-15-2008, 05:53 AM
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Only in places. "State of Grace" and even "Red Star Rising" were Saxon by numbers, but stuff like "I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)" were just shit.

Just Candlemass from that last lot in mine.
Well, I found State of Grace and Red Star Falling to be great but nothing new, If I Was You and Ashes to Ashes are solid, and the rest is pretty much skipable.
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  #42  
Old 01-15-2008, 06:06 AM
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That's what I said. Saxon by numbers. Red Star Falling is the best song on the album, and it's a carbon copy of Beyond The Grave.
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  #43  
Old 01-15-2008, 06:45 AM
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That's what I said. Saxon by numbers. Red Star Falling is the best song on the album, and it's a carbon copy of Beyond The Grave.
I don't know I'd say that specifically, but it's easily safe to say that:

Lionheart >> Inner Sanctum
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  #44  
Old 01-15-2008, 01:15 PM
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60-51

60. Grails - Burning Off Impurities



Just one of several instrumental post-rock albums I’ve heard this year, Burning Off Impurities is decent—there is some good stuff to be found on this album, but overall not a whole lot of its playing time grabbed my attention. It kind of wants to be Pink Floyd, it kind of wants to be post-rock, and it’s steeped in (Middle) Eastern atmosphere, but overall it just doesn’t convince.

59. High On Fire - Death Is This Communion



Yet another album whose popularity I don’t understand. I don’t hate this one though; I’m just not as thrilled with it as everyone else seems to be. Some of the songwriting here is great (the title track, for example), but not all of the riffs are that exciting to me and the whole thing just reminds me too much of Mastodon. I don’t really think of this as any better than what High On Fire has done before, as many seem to do. As usual, Pike’s lyrics and songtitles are full of badassery and his vocals recall Lemmy perhaps more than ever. The heavy Iommi influence is still there. I dunno. All in all it isn’t a bad record, but I’ll pass on this one.

58. Type O Negative - Dead Again



Eh. Four years for this? Dead Again is like a weaker version of Type O’s previous album Life Is Killing Me, which was their weakest one to begin with. Like its predecessor, it has a couple gems, plus a few OK tracks, but the rest don’t really live up to Type O standards. The title track, which is upbeat and infused with punk energy, provides a typical Type O dichotomy—the happy-sounding melodies contrast comically with the lyrics about being a worthless drug addict. “Tripping a Blind Man” is a pretty decent track with plenty of usual Sabbath and classic rock influence, and “The Profits of Doom” is fucking heavy, with great dynamics—doomy riffs and kickass rock segments balance eachother perfectly, crescendoing into a glorious finish with Peter belting out “My soul’s on fire!”. “September Sun” is another standout, beginning with a poppy piano line that borders on parody, and building into an epic ballad that is total classic Type O, and would not have been out of place on one of their better albums. After the first four tracks, however, things start to go downhill. “Halloween in Heaven” is another up-tempo track that almost recalls the Misfits in Pete’s vocal delivery, but really doesn’t go anywhere interesting. “These Three Things” meanders around for 14 minutes, managing to find some great riffs here and there but falling short as a whole, and the rest of the album isn’t especially mentionable. Type O fans should definitely hear this if only for “The Profits of Doom” and “September Sun”, but Brooklyn’s Rehab Four have put out works of far higher quality in the past, and you should look to them before touching this.

57. Pelican - City of Echoes



Pelican is a band I’ve tried to get into to no avail. The majority of their music simply fails to move me; it all kind of drifts by without seeming special or even interesting. I think the main problem I see in them is they fail to capture what’s great about each of the genres they combine—they lack the emotional, vocal instrumentation of great instrumental post-rock bands like Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, while also missing the sheer heaviness and monolithic power of sludge-doom bands like Neurosis. All that being said, City of Echoes does have some pretty enjoyable material on it (I absolutely love the title track), but it’s very hit-and-miss.

56. Amorphis - Silent Waters



Stylistically this doesn’t differ much from their previous release, Eclipse, which I enjoyed immensely, so it’s difficult not to judge Silent Waters against that album. This is no Eclipse. It doesn’t quite match the powerfully infectious catchiness that so many of the tracks on that album had, and in most ways just seems like a slightly weaker duplication of its predecessor. That being said, it’s a relatively solid album on its own, and has some genuinely fun melodic metal to offer.

55. Ensiferum - Victory Songs



With the departure of their primary songwriter, Ensiferum seems to have balked and simply fallen back on formulas they’ve already used. There are a few standout tracks that definitely match the quality of their previous two albums, but on the whole this just feels like a paler imitation.

54. Middian - Age Eternal



Though perhaps I hear a bit too much Mastodon and Opeth influence than is to my liking, this is decent, American-scene-style sludge. Not really my cup of tea, but it’s got some good material. The nasal, almost diminutive-sounding sung vocals are a nice touch, and they carry some great melodies. I really didn’t like the last track, though, and being over 15 minutes long, I thought it would never end.

53. Nile - Ithyphallic



Well… it’s Nile, alright. Karl Sanders and company don’t vary much from their previous couple of efforts, and while this is not soul-crushing like, say, In Their Darkened Shrines was, it retains Nile’s positive qualities of creative riffs and monster atmosphere. Some of the breakdowns are killer, and as usual, the song titles and lyrical themes are utterly awesome. If you’re already a fan of Nile, you should probably hear this (and you probably already have), but otherwise, this is similar enough to other releases that you can just stick with them and not miss out on much.

52. Blut Aus Nord - Odinist: The Destruction of Reason By Illumination



After a more extreme experimental foray into industrial on 2006’s MoRT, Blut Aus Nord return to a more black metal-oriented approach, closer to their 2003 album The Work Which Transforms God, with Odinist: The Destruction of Reason By Illumination. Similar in style to the new Deathspell Omega, Mayhem, and Xasthur albums, Odinist is still very much “experimental” black metal, testing the limits of dissonance and nightmarish atmosphere, much like its aforementioned style-mates. It differs from them, however, in its use of subdued guitar tone and mid- to slow tempos, further enhancing the ambiance of mysticism and unreason. Despite having such great elements all in place, though, Odinist does fall short of its contemporaries; its riffs and progressions simply don’t match the quality of those other releases (though the new Xasthur does have similar shortcomings). Regardless, if you’re keen on this new style of über-dissonant experimental black metal, give this a listen and decide for yourself. It’s difficult music and in all likelihood requires more than one listener to judge.

51. Zweizz - Yawn of the New Age



I wanted this album to be better than I think it actually is. Ex-Dodheimsgard member Svein Egil Hatlevik has created a one-man experimental project that, like many experiments in music, has garnered mostly useless reviews from both extremes on the internet—the typical, ignorant “arrgh this are not music, this are just noise” review, and the annoyingly unhelpful “OMG, this is an amazing piece of art!!1 a total headfuck!!!!1!1”. Ignoring those, Yawn of the New Age is essentially an experimental electronic/noise album, into which Zweizz attempts to fuse black metal ideas. You have your elements of IDM, industrial, noise, and what have you, but if you keep in mind Zweizz’s background, you can definitely detect rhythms and phrases that come from black metal. Unfortunately the experimentation on this album often wanders into pointless noodling and wankery, lacking the sense of purpose that is still necessary even if—perhaps especially if—your music consists of jarring electronic noises. I kinda feel like this guy just wanted to make a Merzbow album and yet keep his black metal roots. It sort of works, it sort of doesn’t. Sidenotes, the Nintendo-esque cover of Immortal’s “Blacker Than Darkness” is good for a laugh or two, and the garish electric pink version of a black metal band-logo on the cover is a great touch.







Halfway there
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  #45  
Old 01-15-2008, 01:49 PM
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City Of Echoes and Silent Waters are both way better than Ithyphallic.
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  #46  
Old 01-15-2008, 03:36 PM
overkiller overkiller is offline
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City Of Echoes and Silent Waters are both way better than Ithyphallic.
The precise spot of each album isn't so important as its general area in the list. I only had so much time and energy to devote to this stuff, and seeing as I'm on break from school and I don't have much to do, I devoted way too much to it as it is. So, way better? I don't think so, but if I gave all of those more listens maybe they would pull ahead of Ithyphallic.

That's not to say the order doesn't matter, of course. But for the bottom 50 especially, give me some flexibility
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  #47  
Old 01-15-2008, 03:40 PM
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Brady, have you listened to The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw much? I didn't like City of Echoes, but I love that one.
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  #48  
Old 01-15-2008, 03:48 PM
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80. Rush - Snakes & Arrows
I thought it was a good album. Not in the upper echelon of their catalog though.


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79. Saxon - The Inner Sanctum
A big step down from Lionheart. Again its not bad, but its not very memorable.


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78. Dekapitator - The Storm Before the Calm
The first half of this record absolutely destroys, it slows down after "Run With The Pack" though. And cheap-shots at Relapse are intolerable


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77. Behemoth - The Apostasy
So fucking boring, totally uninspired shit. Even Demigod kills this.


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76. Watain - Sworn to the Dark
Agreed.


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75. Shining - V: Halmstad
Agreed.


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74. Baroness - Red Album
I agree that this was a step back from the EP's, well maybe not a step back but definitely a step in a direction different than what I had hoped. Red Album shows a ton of potential though, and there's some really outstanding moments.


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73. Skeletonwitch - Beyond the Permafrost
I'm glad someone else out there realizes that this is nowhere in the vicinity of black thrash, this is melodeath. However, in my opinion it's kickass melodeath and I thoroughly enjoyed this album. Lots of good tunes.


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72. Malevolent Creation - Doomsday X
Suck. Suck. Suck.


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71. Akercocke - Antichrist
Words That Go Unspoken Deeds That Go Undone is one of my favorite progressive death metal albums, but this was a letdown. Too bad.

Last edited by ADD; 01-15-2008 at 04:52 PM.
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  #49  
Old 01-15-2008, 03:56 PM
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60. Grails - Burning Off Impurities
This almost made my top 10. Therefore it is fantastic.


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59. High On Fire - Death Is This Communion
This album crushes so hard that you just probably weren't able to comprehend it At least that's what I'm hoping the case was.


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58. Type O Negative - Dead Again
Eh, very middle of the road stuff. "She Burned Me Down" is tops though.


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57. Pelican - City of Echoes
This is actually my favorite Pelican album, I hope they start doing more shit like "Winds With Hands"


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56. Amorphis - Silent Waters
Didn't capture me at all.


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55. Ensiferum - Victory Songs
Yeah this stuff just doesn't really do it for me like it used to. Not bad at all though.


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54. Middian - Age Eternal
Phenomenal album in my opinion, probably would've made my top 10 if not for that last track as you mentioned.


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53. Nile - Ithyphallic
Much like with the new Behemoth, I was severely let down by this. Annihilation Of The Wicked is a landmark album I think, but this didn't even serve as a mildly interesting follow-up.


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52. Blut Aus Nord - Odinist: The Destruction of Reason By Illumination
Better than MoRT, but nowhere near The Work Which Transforms God. Very forgettable.



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Halfway there
I expect a better showing in the second half

Last edited by ADD; 01-15-2008 at 04:53 PM.
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  #50  
Old 01-15-2008, 04:36 PM
overkiller overkiller is offline
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50-41

50. Forgotten Woods - Race of Cain



Even if it’s not one of the stronger black metal releases this year, I have to give Race of Cain credit for forcing me to think about it. At times this is a difficult release, but at others it lacks enough of its own identity. The noisy, disturbing intro, which is especially unsettling if you have the eerie cover art in front of you, leads into the jarring “One Day”, whose riffs and songwriting feel as if they’re intentionally primitive and regressive. Thereafter we move into more standard raw BM, coming to a few great tracks but running into too many ideas that lack individuality. “Intolerance Is the New Law” and “Here, In the Obsession” stand out the most from this section of the album. “The Principle and the Whip” is a nice switch, favoring ethereal female vocals and floating, clean post-rockish arpeggios (though still fraught with gritty lo-fi noise, which actually creates a nice effect), and eventually moving into a folky 70s-psychedelia jam that kind of recalls Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan”. After that the black metal returns, and during the impressive last track “Third Eye (New Creature) there is a long break for a nearly 7-minute sample from the old Evangelist Christian radio show Talkback with Bob Larson. He’s interviewing Boyd Rice, an avowed Social Darwinist who you can look up if you’d like, but I’m not going to get into his views here. The whole point of the sample is the Social Darwinism theme (plus, it’s funny to hear Rice arguing with an Evangelical Christian media figure), which pervades their lyrics. Again, if you want to look these up yourself go for it, but I’m not going to begin debating their take on Social Darwinism and Fascism here.

49. Pig Destroyer - Phantom Limb



Probably the best thing to come out of “mainstream” metal this year, but that isn’t saying much. Phantom Limb delivers up another dose of essentially the same thing as their last two albums, with maybe a few more thrash breaks and even heavier hardcore influence. Latter-day Pig Destroyer is pretty good if you want your grind infused with modern hardcore, but I don’t, so this album probably won’t get many spins from me in the future.

48. Earth - Hibernaculum



Not exactly a proper full-length but generally considered one anyway, this album consists of three Earth classics redone with clean guitars and a western, desert-rockish approach, and a previously unreleased track in the same vein. Definitely a solid release and fun if you’re looking for something different, but I think I’d really rather listen to the originals. Also, the country-twang guitars seem oddly out of place to me. And though I haven’t heard it myself, from what I gather you’d be better off going for their previous album Hex if you want to hear how Earth does this style.

47. Immolation - Shadows in the Light



Immolation are one of those bands whose influence and status I’ve always respected, yet whose music I could never get into. Shadows in the Light doesn’t change that. While I respect it for being straight-up old-school death metal, I just can’t say I dig it that much. The leads are definitely great and are part of what sets Immolation apart I think, however, the production of these is questionable—I can barely hear the guitar except for the leads, which are considerably louder in the mix. In fact, I almost think I got a messed-up early leaked version of this, haha. Anyway, if you like Immolation, get this. It’s good, there’s just something I can’t put my finger on standing between me and my total enjoyment of it.

46. Villains - Drenched in the Poisons



Hyped partially due to having a member of doom icons Unearthly Trance as their guitarist, Villains puke out 28 minutes of gritty, alcoholic blackened thrash that is intense but a bit inconsistent. Some of the stuff on this album is awesome, but some of it loses me somehow. Regardless, if you’ve got a half hour to burn, give this one a spin and enjoy the madness.

45. Moonsorrow - V: Hävitetty



Moonsorrow’s fifth album takes them in a slightly different direction, toning down the bombastic folk elements and focusing more on the melancholy and ambient aspects of their music. While some are bound to be disappointed by this move, it does work well to a certain degree. The album features only two tracks, each clocking in at about a half-hour. I prefer the first one, “Jäästä Syntynyt/Varjojen Virta”, which to me seems to explore ambient territory more so than the second. It sees the band utilizing more “electronica” keyboard voices which I don’t believe they ever had before (catch the Burzum tone at the end of the first track? ), and while its lengthy 30-minute duration finds it wandering into weaker moments here and there, overall it’s a strong piece with nice development. The second track, “Tuleen Ajettu Maa”, sounds more to me like usual Viking metal material, just with a minimal amout of folk elements. And as for those folk elements they retain, don’t worry, there are still the same old drunken choir vocals and folk instruments, they’re just used more conservatively on this album. As with many other new albums this year, fans should hear it, but newcomers should look to the previous releases first.

44. Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today



A fairly status-quo effort for the Wizard, with one extremely unfortunate change: the vocals. Jus Oborn’s desperate, nihilistic voice used to be a big part of Electric Wizard’s sound, but on this album he just takes a backseat, sounding lazy and weak. It really detracts from the album—at every turn you want him to just belt it out like he used to, but he never really does. Anyway, besides that you’ve still got the thick, drug-laden Sabbath grooves and Sleep drones that this band does so well, so I can’t really complain there. A couple of the tracks are weaker, namely “Torquemada 71” and “Black Magic Rituals and Perversions” (which should’ve been good but ends up being stupid, probably thanks to the cheesy voice-over for the most part), but there’s enough solid satanic stoner groove to satisfy your saturnine listening needs.

43. Witchcraft - The Alchemist



This album strikes me as a bit trendy, but jaded cynicisms aside, this is pretty cool retro-rock/metal. They definitely managed to get that 70s vibe; judging by sound alone this could very well be straight out of that era. Unfortunately this all gives The Alchemist a bit of a novelty-act feel. While plenty of the riffs are great, not all of them are, and the vocals get to feeling a bit silly. Besides these flaws though, the album is entirely enjoyable and is a worthy tribute to old-school sword-and-sorcery rock and roll.

42. Manes - How the World Came to an End



One of the weirder releases of 2007. Once a black metal band who’ve since gone experimental, Manes offer up a veritable blender of genres on the avant-garde How the World Came to an End—present are elements of industrial, dance, hip-hop, jazz, metal, R&B, and who knows what else. The lyrics are mostly abstract and are communicated in a diverse number of ways, ranging from soulful R&B wailing to rapping to tender female singing to computer voices. There is some truly impressive music to be found here, however, not every track works, and a few end up sounding unfortunately like some kind of mainstream techno/rock/hip-hop. The best track on here, which totally flattened me the first time I heard it, is “Come to Pass”, a 6-minute dark hip-hop epic with half French/half English lyrics. I’ve always though it was a great language for rap since the first time I heard it done, and considering that Manes are Norwegian, the French on this track is a pleasant surprise which yields awesome results. Give this album a try if you’re looking for something weird and distinctly un-metal from 2007, but come prepared.

41. Xasthur - Defective Epitaph



Nightmarish, cold, depressive, experimental, droning—all words that could describe Xasthur, and this latest offering is no exception. This album shares some significant similarities with the contemporary experimental material out of the French scene by Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord, but overall Defective Epitaph sounds like, well, Xasthur, more than anything else. Malefic (the man behind the project) has managed to sculpt a fairly unique sound for himself; however, this stuff is just good, not great. My main criticism goes to the songwriting—he has some difficulties maintaining a progression of musical ideas that successfully communicate his themes and keep the listener’s attention. Often where there should be aural darkness there just ends up being Halloweenish cheese. Regardless, the good outweighs the bad here, and this one’s worth a listen. If you’re already a fan of Xasthur it will not disappoint.
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