DON'T take my comments about women being in Metal seriously. I just felt the need to point it out. But dont take me to be a sexist fool, I'm not.
Top 10 Albums released in 2007:
10. The Way Of The Fist
- Five Finger Death Punch
Pretty good Groove Metal, though the lyrics are kind of bad and cliche (I mean, the ending of one of the songs ends with the vocallist saying fuck like 4 times). Oh well, it's a kickass debut by a new Groove Metal band. The guitar work is at least a lot like the Groove Metal formular Pantera left behind before splitting up, mixed with the formular Machine Head left behind before The Burning Red
. Standout tracks include Ashes, Salvation, White Knuckles and Death Before Dishonor. Pretty good debut album, though if this wasn't a debut, I wouldn't be so impressed.
9. The Last Kind Words
Looks like DevilDriver improved even more from The Fury of Our Maker's Hand
, which was an improvement over their self-titled. This Melodeath-influenced Groove Metal band manage to intensify their riffs, drum patterns and vocals slightly, and Dez Fafara's high pitched screams aren't as irritating as they were before, though they can get on your nerves a bit still. What I don't really like is that some tracks are fillers (some tracks, though), and 1 track...just isn't as good as the rest (even worse than the fillers). I'm still putting this album as my 9th favorite of 2008 because of the tracks that aren't fillers and are good.
8. Threads Of Life
- Shadows Fall
This album starts very strong with solid guitar work, sweet drumming and a very good set of vocals from Brian Fair. Knowing this, the band ended up kind of repeating themselves as the album went. The Great Collapse...Filler, or a short and sweet piece? I'd say filler, as it's not very innovative or adding to the album (well, except that it opens the next track well, but I think the two tracks should've merged into 1). Oh well, when repetition deals with me, IT BETTER BE DAMN GOOD REPITITION! I'd say it's good, but gets slightly boring after some time. However, as repetitive as every track gets, they're still good (except for the filler song). I'd rate this higher, but because of this super kickass album they released called The Art Of Balance
, well...I can't, because I'd expect more. Oh well...still good in it's own way. =D
Wow, there's a chick in this band. =D But seriously, the chick (Kaiza Jhouhki) has a pretty good voice, which suits the quieter parts of this album well. Her voice can also do well in the not-so-heavy-but-still-heavy parts, but when it comes to the heaviest parts of this album, she better let Tomi Mykkanen take it from there until the crushing riffs of Jussi Rautio and Jyri Vahvanen calm down some. See, Mykkanen suits the heaviest parts well, because his vocal style is...yep, you guessed it, growling! Anyway, yeah, Rautio and Vahvenen's riffs are kind of crushing, and are able to switch between heavy and the middle (not soft). And during the soft moments, Maria's keyboard takes over. She isn't that bad with the old keyboard, but her real skill is within her flute playing. The times and tracks that the flute exists in escapes my mind right now, but I do know that they're kickass. The reason why this album isn't rated as high as it feels like it should be is because, other than some catchy lyrics, guitar riffs and bass lines (House of Heroes is a perfect example), the tracks aren't all that memorable. Half the tracks are kind of forgettable. The reason this album is here at all is because the tracks are good when you do listen to them, and also because the more memorable tracks stick to your head better.
6. Rise of the Tyrant
- Arch Enemy
Woo, another Metal band with a chick in it! Damn, she's got a set of lungs on her. Yeah, we all know her as...Angela Gossow! Normally, she's a very good growler, but in this album, they don't sound so great. They kind of remind me of Dani Filth's vocals, only deeper, and much better, but still not as good as what she could do in Anthems of Rebellion
. The guitar work is awesome, but (and I think this might just be the production of the album) they sound...well, they still sound good, but not as good as they should. =( I'd also say that about four tracks are about average in my books, because they just aren't as good as the rest of the songs. Might add that fillers should NOT exist...the 2:51 minute track Intermezzo Liberte should've merged with the 3:18 minute track Night Falls First, that way, we'd be done with the filler track, and just have 3 below-average tracks. I'd say it's half a step down from Doomsday Machine
(or in Gossow's case, about 1 1/2 steps). But it's still a good album for this year, and the guitar riffs and drumming are still pretty sweet, though I'd say Doomsday Machine and Anthems have their better riffs.
5. The Blackening
- Machine Head
Wow! A couple of songs were asking to be skipped (Slanderous
mostly, but sometimes, Now I Lay Thee Down
gets skipped), but the rest are phenonemal. Some of the best Groove Metal since Pantera
, though now they've proven that they're not Pantera with teen angst lyrics (though there's hints of those sorts of lyrics, but at least they're not overloaded with swearing compared to Through the Ashes of Empires
was). How? 4 or 5 of their songs are at least 8 or 9 minutes long. They're not boring either, they're actually pretty entertaining! Actually, the only fault would be Slanderous. Just...mediocre at best, and nowhere near as good as the rest of The Blackening. Still, it's a pretty kick-fucking-ass album.
This is some of Lord Tim's best work! Not joking either! Although this isn't the end-all be-all best album ever, this at least shuts up the people who think the Australian music scene is all...well, I bet the reader would know what I'm talking about. Well, Lord is like Demons & Wizards
meets Iron Maiden
. The songs are quite well executed, and I'm surprised Lord Tim hasn't been asked to join a Black Metal band or to boot Alexi Laiho out of Children of Bodom and get them back in the right track after hearing the song Limb From Limb. That's right folks, he doesn't just sing. He can shriek as well. Better than Alexi Laiho, hell, I think he's better than a fair amount of Black Metal vocalists (just him alone, too). And I have to say, his riffs are pretty sweet too. I'd say he's a better shredder than Yngwie Malmsteen, and a better singer too. But really, Lord Tim's riffs are sweet as and his solos, while a bit wankey, are fucking excellent. If there's anything wrong with the album, it's...probably the fact that the bass doesn't exist, plus Limb From Limb might turn people away from Lord/Dungeon as it has shrieking vocals. Plus, aside from the shrieks, Lord don't really take that many risks, they just stay within their comfort zone. But since their comfort zone is still kickass, I wouldn't really call that much of a problem, though a bit more experimentation would be good too.
3. Paradise Lost
- Symphony X
This warrants a HOLY FUCK THIS IS GOOD! rating. 8/9 tracks are extremely kickass! The 1 not-so good song (which is still a good song) would be The Serpent's Kiss. I don't know why, but it doesn't hit me as well as the other 8 songs did. Revelation (Divus Pennae ex Tragoedia) is an extrmemely epic ending song, second only to Iron Maiden
's beyong epic Hallowed Be Thy Name
. Oh, and I guess Robb Flynn isn't the only one who's vocals sound a lot like Phil Anselmo's. Pretty sure that, when Russell Allen hits one of his raspier, harsher notes, he sounds a lot like Phil Anselmo when he hits those sorts of notes. Like Flynn, Allen does one hell of a job with his vocals. The Michael trio make use of their instruments to add to the near-orgasmic atmosphere of the songs, and Jason Rullo's drumming isn't your simple "keeping a beat", but also adds to the atmosphere well. Hell, if it wasn't for the next 2 albums, this very album would be my favorite release of 2007...
2. In Requiem
- Paradise Lost
I have to say, if there was any Gothic Metal album I could listen to forevermore, I'd say this is THE album. The vocals of Nick Holmes are spectacular, and at times, sounds a fair bit like the Metallica
vocalist/guitarist, James Hetfield...when he's not mourn-singing or growling, but in his normal singing voice, just reminds me of James Hetfield's. Unfortunately, that's all of Metallica that is similar to this near-masterpiece. The rest, well, isn't really that much like one another, and Paradise Lost gives Metallica a run for their money. Anyway, I have to say, the crushing riffs from guitarists Gregor MacKintosh and Aaron Aedy, as well as the kickass bass rhythmns from bassist Steve Edmonson and the incredible drumwork of Jeff Singer's, put together, create the album that we're listening to. The keyboards are usually there to add atmosphere, and they, along with the other instruments and Holme's vocals, add one hell of a sweet atmosphere. Just...wow! Awesome! Every track is as good as the other, and they're all 2007's best IMO...well, if Dethklok's Dethalbum wasn't around, they would be...Oh well, this is still one hell of an album...Dethalbum
Goddammit, this album is orgasmic on a level Symphony X just didn't reach. Dethklok just kick the shit out of their competition with this album. They are based off the band from the TV show Metalocalypse (which should be shown in Australia) of the same name. It isn't required to watch the show to get the lyrics of some songs, though if you call yourself a metalhead, you better watch the show by ANY MEANS NECESSARY! Anyway, every song is executed perfectly, without a need to go super technical. But yeah, their riffs and drum patterns are way too technical to be considered slack, though their technicality isn't through the higher roofs. Just about at the middle. Brendan Small is one hell of a guitar player and grolwer, as well as a pretty sweet keyboard player. Ehh...I can't really judge bass playing, as it's not heard too much. When it is, the bass playing is just extremely sweet! Looks like they decided to ditch the drum machine, as Gene Hoglan was hired to do the drumming to...well, make the drumming seem more human. Hey, he did the drumming for Strapping Young Lad
(in all but the demos and first album) and Death
(only in Individual Thought Patterns
), and they were fucking awesome efforts! And would you look at that, he still has it for the Dethalbum. I don't know what songs stand out, to be honest, they're all as orgasmic as each other, with Murmaider being a killer opener and the Deththeme being a great closer (well, technically, Dethharmonic was, but Deththeme is last on the track list, so Deththem it is, though both are really good closers). I guess my favorites would be Awaken, Birthday Dethday and the epic-as-hell Thunderhorse. Well, the closer of this would be that Dethalbum deserves all the praise it gets, and if you call yourself a metalhead, you will get this album and watch Metalocalypse.
Well, that about wraps up my favorite albums of 2007. If there's an album I don't have on there and you think it should be...well, either I haven't listened to it yet, or I really didn't like it as much as The Way Of The Fist.
Looking forward to in 2008:
We Are The Nightmare - Arsis
I really like whatever of Arsis I could download (just can't find their albums in stores which leaves a sad face on me...). I'm just hoping this improves from the rest of their discography.
Blooddrunk - Children of Bodom
I just hope this band gets their act together! If this flops, I ain't gunna be interested in them again until they do get their act together. No...seriously...Are You Dead Yet?
was just bad. But if it's going to be as thrashy, speedy and aggressive as Alexi said it will be, then this album will probably have a place somewhere...well, it'll be high, but not like Follow the Reaper
or Hate Crew Deathroll
high, just at about Hatebreeder
's ninth album
God, don't let me down now! After reading that they're going to be making this new album a lot like their older stuff, before Bob Rock decided to do their studio work, I became stoked! Again, GOD, DON'T FUCKING LET ME DOWN NOW!
obZen - Meshuggah
I'm hearing that Meshuggah's returning to their old sound in this album...Much as I like Catch 33 and the like, their older stuff was a bit better better, and with the increase in talent they got lately, they'll pull it off for what I'm thinking will be their best release yet!Opeth
's ninth album.
I just hope this doesn't become a second Ghost Reveries
...I'll cry if it does. =( Okay, but seriously...Ghost Reveries wasn't that bad, but I liked their old stuff better! Actually, now that I think of it, I guess a blend of their old stuff and Ghost Reveries would = kickass album!
Holographic Universe - Scar Symmetry
Well, I have to say...Symmetric in Design
and especially Pitch Black Process
would have to be some of the best modern Melodic Death Metal albums I have ever listened to. I'm hoping Holographic Universe keeps the awesomess level up!
Time - Wintersun
Man, this has been delayed quite a lot. This just makes me want the album more! Just hope it's worth it though...like Symphony X's Paradise Lost was!
Well, that about sums up my thoughts about 2007 in general and what I'm expecting in 2008 as far as music (mostly Metal) goes. let's all have a happy 2008.