2009- Closing of an amazing year for music!


19 Nov 2009, 1:42

So 2009 is nearing its end and I think it's time that I started my end of year conclusion.

First of all let's take a look at the albums I purchased (physically) from this year (in alphabetical order)

1. Between the Buried and Me-The Great Misdirect (Deluxe Edition)
2. Dashboard Confessional-Alter The Ending (Deluxe Edition)
3. A Day to Remember-Homesick (Deluxe Edition)
4. The Devil Wears Prada-With Roots Above and Branches Below
5. Dream Theater-Black Clouds & Silver Linings (Deluxe Edition)
6. Every Time I Die-New Junk Aesthetic (Deluxe Edition)
7. Isis-Wavering Radiant (Vinyl)
8. Moneen-The World I Want To Leave Behind
9. Thrice-Beggars
10. Baroness-Blue Record

Secondly, let's go through the new, notable bands I discovered this year who released a new disc this year(in alphabetical order)

1. As Tall As Lions-You Can't Take It With You
Although this band is definitely not new, I only took the time to check them out this year and I was really impressed with their nice blend of experimental and indie music. Go check out Duermete.

2. In Fear and Faith-Your World on Fire
I started the year 2009 constantly listening to this new disc by this relatively young band. They perform some of the best post-hardcore I've come across. Amazing vocals, beautiful soaring vocal melodies, destructive breakdowns, huge metalcore riffs all combined to make one hell of a sick album. Go check out Relapse Collapse.

3. Manchester Orchestra-Mean Everything To Nothing
I checked this band out after the 5/5 rating they got in AP, although I wouldn't personally give them a 5/5 on their latest disc, I must admit that they are one of the best indie bands I have heard. Go check out I Can Feel a Hot One.

4. Owl City-Ocean Eyes
I found out about this artist in May this year, yes before everyone knew about fireflies and it hit #1 on the billboard. I was immediately captivated by the sweet and catchy hooks of Adam Young (The man behind Owl City). And although there is much controversy about Young using auto-tuned vocals and making computer-based music, I still have huge amounts of respect for this man who, in the end, is clearly a great composer and an innovator in his field. Go check out West Coast Friendship.

5. We Came As Romans-To Plant a Seed
I started off by listening to this band's 4 song EP in the summer of this year and really liked it so I decided to give their full length a spin. I was really really impressed by this new effort by this young band. They were named the top unsigned band of 2009 by AP and with good reason! Their new album reflects post-hardcore at its finest with amazing moments of soaring vocals, pianos and crazy riffs, a definite must! Go check out Roads That Don't End and Views That Never Cease

6. Within the Ruins-Creature
My jaw literally dropped after hearing this band's first full length; rarely have I ever come across a band that plays technical music at such high speeds with such precision. On record, at least, I have yet to see them live to finalize my opinion. Definitely a great record for fans of technical music in the vein of Protest The Hero and Between The Buried And Me. Go check out Arsenal

Now let's take a look at the comebacks of the year, what I mean by this is the bands that have pulled themselves back up after a disappointing or nowhere-near-as-great previous release (in alphabetical order):

1. Born of Osiris-A Higher Place
Now putting this band in here, I am not saying that their previous album was bad, on the contrary, they were one of the bands that had captured my interest in 2007. However, this new release is miles above their previous album, all musicians have refined their skills and the composition is amazing, incorporating synth into progressive deathcore, something you don't see a lot of in these days' deathcore bands. The result is some of the most interesting, beautiful and brutal progressive/technical music I have heard all year! Go check out Now Arise.

2. Converge-Axe to Fall
Once again, putting this album in here I am not saying that I was disappointed with 2006's "No Heroes", it was an album that I really liked. But the level of this album really caught me off guard. On this effort, Converge keep the signature mathcore sound that they have carefully crafted throughout their career, however, one thing I noticed is the incorporation of much more developed song structure. Indeed, on No Heroes, many songs were under the 1:30 mark and I had difficulty remembering which songs were which etc. On this album, one will notice that most of the songs are well above the 2:30 mark and have a much more defined structure, a factor of this album which made me enjoy it all the more. Go check out Dark Horse.

3. Dashboard Confessional-Alter The Ending
I was a little skeptic as I was going through my first listen of the band's new album. After the album was over, I was not convinced, so I turned to the acoustic disc of the deluxe edition and gave that a spin. And holy shit was it worth it, the acoustic disc is an absolute marvel. It really feels like all the songs on this disc were written as acoustics and should have been left that way, the full band versions aren't bad but they are nowhere near the level of emotion that can be felt in the acoustic versions. Unlike 2007's The Shade Of Poison Trees, I didn't only enjoy a few tracks from the album, I loved this new album in its entirety! Welcome back Mr.Carrabba! Go check out Belle Of The Boulevard (Acoustic).

4. The Dear Hunter-Act III: Life and Death
I'd Thoroughly enjoyed this band's 2006 EP and for some reason I hadn't checked out their second release. Somehow I got around to listening to their third album and I am immensely glad I did. On this third disc, The Dear Hunter have taken the sound that they had begun to develop in their EP and have literally perfected it, thereby creating some of the most innovative and original music I have ever heard. It's the perfect mix of progressive rock, experimental and indie! Go check out In Cauda Venemum.

5. Drop Dead, Gorgeous-The Hot N' Heavy
As much as I loved 2006's In Vogue, I had been really disappointed by 2007's Worse Than A Fairy Tale. But this time around they really came back in my good graces! The new album is filled with the brutality, the screeching vocals and the melodies you have come to expect of the band. But what this new album has that others did not are hooks and a greater emphasis on vocal melodies. Almost every track has a memorable chorus with beautiful vocals and intriguing vocal harmonies. And just like all their other albums, the disc ends with a superb, long and epic track that leaves you wanting more after it's over. Go check out Two Birds, One Stone.

6. The Number Twelve Looks Like You-Worse Than Alone
Two words: Holy Shit. I really didn't like Nuclear. Sad. Nuclear and I really liked Mongrel but this album was just out of the planet. They took the experimentation of Mongrel cubed it and multiplied the whole thing by latin/funk music. There is brutality, complexity, jazz/latin/funk sections in practically all the song, there are clean vocals, something that was lacking on mongrel. And as a drummer, this album particularly speaks to me because the drumming on this disc is phenomenal! Some of the best drumming I've heard all year, if not in my life! Go check out Marvin's Jungle.

7. The Used-Artwork
Now I'm a huge The used fan, I've been listening to them since I was 13 and they're one of the bands that kind of pushed me in the direction of heavy music. I had loved their self titled, fallen in love with In Love And Death but I was pretty disappointed when Lies For The Liars came out, an album that was way overproduced. Because of that, I wasn't expecting much of this new release. But The Used delivered, the threw away all that overproduction and stripped back down to their old days using only guitars, bass, drums, piano and vocals. And the result is an amazing album that reminds of their of their older days but with more mature lyrics, more developed songwriting and greater musical ability. Undoubtedly one of the best discs I've heard all year. Go check out Kissing You Goodbye

Now let's take a little look at the more disappointing albums of the year (in alphabetical order):

1. Alexisonfire-Old Crows/Young Cardinals
It wasn't a bad album at all, in fact I listened to it several times but after the jewel that was Crisis I expected more out of the band. Go check out Accept Crime.

2. All Time Low-Nothing Personal
All Time Low is one of my few guilty pleasures, there's just something about So Wrong, It's Right that made me fall in love with every single song on that album. Because of that, I had huge expectations for this album, but I was rather disappointed, none of the tracks have that hook factor or that young innocence in the lyrics that So Wrong, It's Right had, a lot of throwaway tracks here. Go check out Weightless.

3. Maylene and the Sons of Disaster-III
I had absolutely loved their previous album and so got my hands (figure of speech) on this one as soon as it came out. Three tracks in I was sold, they were all amazing, but after those three tracks the album seems to go downhill with no signs of picking back up, better luck next time! Go check out Just A Shock.

4. A Skylit Drive-Adelphia
Their 2007 EP She Watched The Sky was one of my albums of the year, 2008's Wires... took me a while to get into but I eventually came to love it. But this release really didn't cut it for me. Jag's vocals sound forced like he's trying to sing as high as possible as opposed to where it feels comfortable and there are no hooks or beautiful sections like their other two albums had. Go check out Those Cannons Could Sink a Ship

Now let's take a closer look at all the other albums that were worth a mention that didn't fit any of the above categories (in alphabetical order):

1. Between the Buried and Me-The Great Misdirect
So my favourite band released a new album this year, which I went to buy the day it came out in stores. After the first listen I had my hmm moments where I wasn't convinced of certain things that they'd done. But for some reason I kept going back to the disc just because somehow my brain was telling me to and the more I came back to it, the more I got into it. BTBAM have really pushed their boundaries and explored new aspects of music, such as with the avant-garde intro of Fossil Genera, or the latin/jazz sounding Mirrors, the country-like ballad of Desert Of Song, the Pink Floyd-like interlude of Disease, Injury, Madness and the Asian melodies/crazy progressive sections of Swim To The Moon. And now after having sat through the entire disc 13 times (this number will keep on increasing dramatically) I have come to the conclusion that it is definitely not at the level of Colors but it is still an amazing progressive metal album and definitely one of the best of 2009. Go check out Disease, Injury, Madness.

2. Brand New-Daisy
So I'm a huge Brand New fan, have been for many years now, but I still haven't decided whether I like this new record or not. So far it seems that with every listen I've been getting more and more into it, I reckon a couple more focused listens and I'll be sold. Go check out Bed.

3. The Devil Wears Prada-With Roots Above and Branches Below
I've been listening to these guys ever since their first album and so I was really able to witness their progression through their albums. And because of this, I can safely say that this is the best and most amazing album TDWP could have written at this time. It is an absolutely flawless melodic metalcore disc and it is a huge step forward from their previous discs. One notable thing is the introduction of click tracks in their recording, this has just improved the production massively. The vocals are just as amazing as they were on Plagues, although I have yet to hear these live. The vocal melodies and harmonies have been pushed and perfected once again, for example in Sassafras where the chorus switches from a minor key to a major key for a single bar solely through the use of vocal harmony. Granted, the riffs aren't the most original aspect of TDWP's music but on this album, the songwriting, the musicianship, the brutality and the beauty have all increased extraordinarily from their previous cds. Go check out Ben Has A Kid.

4. Every Time I Die-New Junk Aesthetic
On this album ETID have kind of lost the 'fun' edge they had on their two previous discs and changed it to an even more brutal sound. The vocals on this album are really really good and you can hear that vocal melodies have been crafted with much more care on the disc. Another very strong point of the album are Keith Buckley's lyrics which are phenomenal in this new release especially in songs like Host Disorder. Go check out Wanderlust.

5. Moneen-The World I Want To Leave Behind
I had absolutely loved The Red Tree and this release only reinforced my love for this band, they deserve to become huge...seriously. This band writes some of the most heartfelt, beautiful, while at the same time somewhat complicated songs I have ever heard. Go check out Hold That Sound.

And now it's time to declare my final top albums of the year 2009:

10. Converge-Axe to Fall

9. Born of Osiris-A Higher Place

8. In Fear and Faith-Your World on Fire

7. The Dear Hunter-Act III: Life and Death

6. The Number Twelve Looks Like You-Worse Than Alone

5. Dashboard Confessional-Alter The Ending

4. Moneen-The World I Want To Leave Behind

3. The Used-Artwork

2. The Devil Wears Prada-With Roots Above and Branches Below

1. Between the Buried and Me-The Great Misdirect

Once again, the album of the year goes to Between The Buried And Me, there's just no other band that compares to them!

Hope you enjoyed reading this, and please comment!



  • kurashu

    Except for Portal and Ornassi Pazuzu for two.

    19 Nov 2009, 5:52
  • ThroughTheDawn

    What genre are they?

    19 Nov 2009, 6:05
  • kurashu

    Experimental Blackened Death and Psychedelic Black Metal respectively. The Great Misdirect is a lesser Colors -- which wasn't even that great of an album in retrospect.

    19 Nov 2009, 22:57
  • Hardcorey1990

    Do yourself a favor and check out August Burns Red's new album Constellations. It's a big step forward for that band. Also, I second that Portal album, it's got atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a knife.

    20 Nov 2009, 7:03
  • ThroughTheDawn

    Nice, definitely will check out both of those thanks!

    20 Nov 2009, 7:04
  • mrstuprigge

    great list. i have listened to most of these albums and they are all great. i know a lot of people love ETID's new album but i have never been able to get into them.

    20 Nov 2009, 22:34
  • neonbedlite

    Dude, you seem well into your music and you only physically purchased 8 albums this year?! Am I the only one left buying CD's regularly!?

    14 Dic 2009, 23:57
  • ThroughTheDawn

    In my defense I lived in Thailand up until August of this year where it's really hard to find good cds, then I moved to Vancouver and the cds I've bought have been from like September onwards... It may not look like it but I would much rather buy cds than download :)

    15 Dic 2009, 0:19
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