New version without reviews. This is the one I will continue to update. - http://www.last.fm/user/hurricane_mario/journal/2010/09/01/3vx1pl_my_favorite_albums_of_2010._updated_91
I am fairly open-minded (as you should be), so expect any genre in here, though metal is definitely my favorite. However, I usually won't bother to review non-metal releases unless it's one of the extremes - really good, or really bad and I feel like trashing it.
Keep in mind, I am rating these albums as a whole, not judging it based on the quality of particular songs. For example, if there are no songs that stand out as good, but the album is a concept album that reveals to me the meaning of life through music, it would probably be #1. Production is a BIG part of my review process as well, it's 2010 so I want my albums to sound futuristic, refined and shiny!
And please comment, either to debate my reviews or to recommend me albums I don't know about!
* = These albums are on my blogspot... click the link in my profile if you want to hear them.
- WALL OF TEXT WARNING - (for myraus)
... I'm going to make a new one with no reviews, since reviewing them has been not happening anyway the past 2 months.Recently added albums: I'm lazy and I'll move these later and/or need another listen to decide.Soilwork - The Panic Broadcast
(Metalcore / Melodic Death Metal)
Upon first listen, I think the songs towards the end of the album are the best. I've found this, on popular bands that get mainstream the bonus tracks are often best - Dragonforce, Five Finger Death Punch come to mind. I think it's cause they're like ok albums over so enough trying to make songs as marketable as possible, and play with our passion instead and have some fun. "Enter Dog Of Pavlov" is a great epic progressive sounding track, Sweet Demise is a softer somber song. The rest of the album tries so hard to make one hit single after another... failing mostly. I like their older albums better.Nils Patrik Johansson - A Night For Ronnie James Dio
(Heavy / Power Metal)
Have to throw a shoutout in here because here is another Dio-inspired vocalist who did a tribute album, in this case live. He is massively underrated and you have to listen to his stuff. Right now he is in Astral Doors
and Lion's Share
, and has been in many other albums such as Space Odyssey
and even Mägo de Oz
's "Belfast". I feel the track listing is better here than Jorn's album, IMO. Only a bootleg is out, but he says he recorded this and may release it officially, I hope and even pray he does, and soon, it just shows how amazing he is, and covering all these amazing songs... *hyperventilates*Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare
Make your fans wait 3 years after a great self titled then release this. Rehashed riffs and passages from other songs, lots of playing fast for the sake of playing fast, acoustic parts for the same reasons. But if you like the other albums you'll still like this. I mean it's solid just uninspired and unoriginal.VersaEmerge - Fixed at Zero
(Female Fronted Alternative Rock)
I randomly found this band on tumblr yesterday, and I am so glad I did. The closest comparison I can make is Paramore
so if you like them (As most people on earth do..) you will love this. IMO this is even better, just a unique edge Paramore doesn't have. Top 10 maybe?? It was awesome nonetheless.Heaven Shall Burn - Invictus (Iconoclast III)
(Melodic Death Metal / Hardcore)
This is not poser heavy, this is real heavy. They continue to advance their interesting blend of genres.Darkthrone - Circle the wagons
I know it's supposed to be "true" death metal or whatever but they never did anything for me. This album even less so. Besides Nanowar of Steel
is the only true metal of steel.Deftones - Diamond Eyes
I don't generally like mainstream music but they have this otherworldly sound. Beautiful yet brutally heavy and dark/atmospheric.
(8/26 - Gee this journal is falling to shambles. Heres some more recent listens stuff I'll never get to categorizing or reviewing.):
Drudkh - Handful of Stars
Folkodia - Battlecry
Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
Angra - Aqua
Blind Guardian - At The Edge of Time
KHY - Volver a Creer
Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons
Lissie - Catching a Tiger
Heaven Shall Burn - Invictus (Iconoclast III)
Want to try: Reinxeed -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------10.0-9.5 (Top 10)
*1. Lantlôs - .neon
(Depressive/Suicidal/Atmospheric/Shoegaze Black Metal)
Yesterday I discovered this came out, and since I had listened to their album and demos before and liked them, I thought ok I should get it. But if someone had ran my face over with a steamroller I would not have been more surprised. This is a band who has matured so much over the past 5 years, from an almost blast-beat-fest on every song, to... this. Every song brings this wave of emotions, varying from anger to introspective to sad. The musical content varies along with it, there are moments of the fast aggressive black metal everyone loves, then there's passages with progressive-sounding beats and also minimalist parts. I don't know what more to say except it must be heard to be believed. New song of the year: "These Nights Were Ours."2. Alex Band - We've All Been There
(Alternative Rock)The Calling
fans have waited 5 years for this but the wait is over. Even if you are not a fan I'd say check this out as IMO it is better than The Calling's albums as a whole. The songs do all seem to blend together especially if you turn on 12 second crossface... referring to what I wrote at the top, I think an album should feel like one coherent vision rather than a collection of songs. The songs are all great, and I become a pubescent fangirl when I hear his voice, and I bet you will too. It is a grower album (the best kind) and getting better with each listen! As for the genre I'd have to say Alternative rock, but most songs are ballady and melodic, which I love, and clean vocals rather than the post-grunge vocals everyone in the US does nowadays (Like Godsmack and Nickelback and all that crap). Buy signed album
(I did!)3. Kalmah - 12 Gauge
(Melodic Death Metal)
This band has always been one of my favorites since I first discovered the genre of melodic death metal. They seem to prove with this, their SIXTH album, that they can do no wrong. They just keep getting better. Unlike the new Dark Tranquillity
which was a huge letdown for me. This band just has these epic melodic guitar riffs and epic solos and keyboard countermelodies and amazing death vocals. Let the face-melting commence.4. Pretty Maids - Pandemonium
(Heavy / Power Metal)
One of those albums where every song gets better all the way through to the end. Not sure what else to say, you have to experience it for yourself.
*5. Burzum - Belus
This misanthropic Aryan guy is out of prison after 17 years. While on that note, read the story
about why he was in there. It was just self defence from some psychopath. One of them was going to die that day whether they liked it or not. I'm sure we've all been trapped in a horrible situation like that... That is where his music comes from I believe.
So, we have what I beleive a lot of feelings trapped up over the years he was in jail, culminating in this record. It is definitely a spiritual successor to his masterpiece "Filosofem" released in 1996, and is 100% metal because he was not allowed guitars in jail, so I'm sure he missed it. Even the long ambient peice, similar to "Rundgang Um Die Transzendentale Säule Der Singularität" from "Filosofem" is completely electric guitar-driven. That song, "Belus' Tilbakekomst (Konklusjon)" actually reminds me a lot of "Coma" by Austere. Just this droning, repeated melody of a few notes but it really makes a solid song.
This whole album is not only solid, but a fantastic trip through the intricacies of this man's mind and emotions. I'd say download it if you are a fan of any type of metal, and definitely a candidate for top album of the year. I'm on play 5 or 6 now and every song still feels fresh and amazes me every time. Surprisingly bright cover for a black metal album... makes me think he wants to start fresh, like the sunrise on a new day... Favorite is either track 3 or 6.6. Senmuth - Секененра (Sekenenra)
(Symphonic Industrial Metal)
This is an album of epic proportions. It just amazes me how one person can make such a full sound, like there's an entire band or even orchestra. And even more amazing is he made this album in about a month and a half!! This is much different from his first release this year "Chambers" (review elsewhere on this journal). It retains the Egyptian influences but does not utilize them quite so heavily. He still focuses on atmosphere but instead of ambiance, most of the album is Symphonic Industrial Metal (which I didn't realize existed...) then it all culminates in the 16 minute doom-metal-like "Хор Ка-Ем-Уасет". But the best song on it is "Секененра Taa II". This album will just keep slapping you in the face harder and surprising you. Download free off his site!!
*7. Les Discrets - Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées
(Post-Black Metal / Shoegaze)
A very unique take on what is already a very unique genre. Blackened Shoegaze or Post-Black-Metal. They only have black parts when appropriate. No screams, but blast beats and depressive guitar parts only when they feel appropriate. The album starts out really mysterious, then very heavy and dark. After 20 minutes of amazingness, we get to the title track, which is something straight out of suicidal black metal's book. A crow cawing. A sad acoustic melody. It makes me feel like I'm laying face down in the middle of a forest, lost for a week, and the crow is just waiting for me to die so he can peck at me. It's such an amazing feeling that this song, and this while album gives. Finally, you have another heavy song, like a struggle. But then things start to look a lot brighter, a really light and content, almost cheery melody, like a new beginning after a time of terrible tribulation. I've been through feelings like that, so to relive it and know that I got through and I'm alive is just great. I can connect to it probably more than most people. If you don't like this album, I'd say its because you can't connect with the feelings it evokes.
*8. Sofa Surfers - Blindside
(Alternative Rock / Trip-Hop / Downtempo / Chillout / Experimental)
After a long delay, the trip-hop gone chillout-rock quartet is back, as of yesterday. They keep their downtempo and relaxed rock style from the previous album, but sound like they are going back to their roots a little, on songs like "Hardwire" and "Heavy Water". Hardwire is a trip-hop song with that relaxed style of rapping that sets this band apart, and Heavy Water is a speedy instrumental rock song. Their lyrics are often unbelievably deep, which keeps you coming back for more, wondering what the true meanings are. My only complaint is the album is too short.
Edit: Every time I listen I notice new things. I swear this entire track didn't exist the first 4 times I listened. Amazing.
*9. Analog Rebellion - Ancient Electrons
(Indie / Electronic / Pop / Rock)
I can't express this album by ex-PlayRadioPlay!
in words, but I'll try. This really proves the fact that without a record label choking an artist, creativity runs free and we get a masterful and unique album as a result. Each song gives off a different emotion, and the songs are all interconnected seamlessly, making it feel like a unified whole rather than just some songs. The best analogy I can give to how this makes me feel, is the 15 waking hours in a day. It never stops, but it changes. Unexpected things happen, say with the rain interlude in track 7, but then you pick yourself up, re-evaluate things, and move on to track 8. I'm on my second listen now, and I'm sure there will be many more to come. This is one of those albums where you just cannot listen to one song, or you will end up listening to the whole album. The production is just stupendous as well, it sounds... shiny. :D Make sure to check this out, and you owe it to yourself to get it in at least v0 quality. (Or better yet, buy the CD! Direct from his myspace
*10. Alcest - Écailles de Lune
(Post-Black Metal / Shoegaze)
In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger (Actually, Austrian Death Machine
- Jingle Bells), "why write a new
review, when I can take whatever
review I want!!" ...Here's what others are saying about the album.
WhatCat wrote: I...f*cking...came. Holy shit!
BleedBeliever wrote: i`m wet.
MishMog wrote: Etheral in the right meaning of the word, this is the stuff that dreams are woven by !
ExistenceMagick wrote: This is the kind of music I literally feel like I couldn't live without. It spreads over your thoughts and memories, and makes everything beautiful.
LZJH wrote: The last part of this song was surprisingly fitting to watching my dog eating fish skin. 9.4-9.0 (Honorable Mentions)Alesana - The Emptiness
(Post-Hardcore / Screamo)
I am a sucker for concept albums, and this seems to take their already good post-hardcore/screamo sound and take it even further.Ancient Bards - The Alliance Of The Kings
(Female Fronted Power Metal)
This is worthy of a solid 9.0 but just doesnt quite match the bands in the top 10. This is an underground, unknown band, but it deserves to be as big as Nightwish
. It is female-fronted epic symphonic power metal, and the vocalist sounds like Anette... except better. If this is what they can do with money they scraped together from under their couch, I'd love to hear what they could do with 1 million dollars, like nightwish's latest album! I found this only completely randomly, was browsing one of my good friend's last.fm page and thought the name sounded interesting. I'm so glad I did!The Breathing Process
- Odyssey (un) Dead (Symphonic/Electronic Deathcore / Melodic Death Metal)
I guess you can't judge a book by it's cover. This album cover is, ironically, an old and tattered book... but this is some really fresh and unique music. It's Melodic Death Metal primarily, but there's many other elements such as doom, electronic, symphonic, and the best part in my opinion is when the female vocalist jumps in for a duet. She has a beautiful voice and it's perfect to contrast the aggressive music going on behind her. Definitely a grower album because you've never heard anything like it. I didn't like it at first and with each time I listen I like it more.Counterparts - Prophets
(Progressive Melodic Hardcore)
Progressive Melodic Hardcore. Enough said. No wait. From the intro track I could tell this album would be great. And it is. In a sea of mediocrity (-Arch Enemy
lyric) this band proves there is still lots of innovation to be made with hardcore. And it's not just generic heavy hardcore beat for 60 minutes with a guy screaming to cover up the fact that he's an emo... There's actual musical content here, guitar solos, changing tempos and riffs only when it feels appropriate, and even some acoustic interludes. Checked a few of their "similar" artists to be sure... they don't come close.Decrepitaph - Beyond The Cursed Tombs
(Traditional Death Metal)
Raw, traditional Death Metal in 2010? Lies. From TEXAS?? More lies!
But it's not lies, and I am loving this sound. They don't try hard to sound like some other band, the compositions feel natural, and the sound is so heavy it actually does make me want to die ("DEATH metal"). A guitar solo that there is truly no hope of survival to be found in. Vocals from the pits of hell. This is truly how death metal should be (REAL death metal, not the watered down melodeath crap (which I do like, but there's really no skill involved in making it)). Download this right now. This truly is a unique sounding band, I listened to some similar artists to be sure.Rage - Strings To A Web
How can a nearly 30 year old band sound so full and epic? The 5 part "Empty Hollow" is just so amazing. As is the rest of the album. Every song has these hooks that literally grab you and force you to listen to the songs, and before you know it the album is over and you are sad. Thankfully god invented the repeat button.
*Rhapsody of Fire - The Frozen Tears Of Angels
(Symphonic Power Metal)
While I could argue that their songs sound rehashed from old riffs on old albums, and some of the song structures seem tired...
And, I wish they had utilized the Narration more as they did in previous albums. Their albums are each supposed to tell a story - for example the last one was about a band of heros questing to find some ancient book in a cave on a mountain, then when they get it they find out its cursed and try to run out with it. More or less. - but this album just seems like a bunch of songs with similar themes...
However, this is still a great album from the Epic Power Metal kings. However, it's the non-power metal songs that really shine through for me. "Crystal Moonlight," "Danza Di Fuoco E Ghiaccio" (Dance of Fire and Ice), "Lost In Cold Dreams," "The Frozen Tears Of Angels." They all have a very fresh feeling and I've never heard anything like them from Rhapsody, or any band for that matter.
The album is growing on me as a whole though, I'd say my favorite song is "Reign of Terror" where they dabble in melodic death metal, quite successfully I may add. You can tell by the length of this review they are one of my favorites, well for good reason.8.9-8.0 (Great)Black Sun Aeon - Routa
(Doom Death Metal)
Nice doom/death metal from Before the Dawn
's vocalist. I need stuff like this to hold me over until new Rapture
releases come out... in about 40 years...Christopher Lee - Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross
(Epic Symphonic Film Score Metal)
After hearing that the infamous Christopher Lee... who has done everything from being the original Dracula and Frankenstein in the 1950s, to Lord of the Rings in the 2000s, to singing in a Rhapsody
song... was doing a Symphonic Metal Opera/Concept album, I could not believe it. I love concept albums, I love metal/rock operas (there are far too few of them in existence) and I love him (no homo). Even more amazing is the fact that he's like 80 years old, I think. The intro and first two acts were really slow, and barely symphonic or metal at all, and I was starting to think we might have another Saana (Timo Tolkki
) on our hands. But I was so wrong. Track 3 ramps right up with a really epic Heavy Metal masterpiece, and it does not let up for the rest of the album. I will definitely have to check out his older two albums sometime, and I hope he releases another album like this in the very near future. I'm not sure if "Iberia" is a bonus track, or a hint at a second album because it ends with "They have betrayed us!". Charlemagne part 2??Damn - Forbidden Anger
(Traditional/Experimental Death Metal)
This was good enough to warrant my first update in 2 months. Been so busy. It's traditional raw sounding death metal, but they try so many unique and new things I've never heard I had to call it experimental. Perhaps lacking a bit in focus/direction, but that was just based on one listen through. If you want to hear something truly fresh, give this a listen.Dolarhyde - Dolarhyde
It's cool to know someone's keeping that classic care-free punk sound alive. For fans of old blink-182
. Almost a dead rip-off of their sound but just the fact it's done so well, and that it's 2010 and this music sounds straight out of 1993. Only complaint is perhaps some songs sound a little too similar. Recommended even if you don't think you're a fan of the genre, it's just fun and great music.Jorn - Dio
(Heavy / Power Metal)
A tribute album recorded in less than a month... with that in mind it's really great and a must-listen if you are a fan of either Jorn or Dio. I just wish it had some more non-Dio songs (Black Sabbath, Rainbow, etc.) but I can't argue with the almighty Jorn's song choices... Dio was his main influence to become a singer and sing in this style.
*Mägo de Oz - Gaia III: Atlantia
(Folk Power Metal / Folk Rock)
While not quite up to par with their epic masterpiece "Gaia II: La Voz Dormida" this is an amazing album. This album quite simply has everything, while still feeling like a unified album. There are somber and slow parts, there are epic power metal songs with flutes in the background, synthesizer solos, there are Folk Rock songs. The song that particularly stood out for me though was "El Violín Del Diablo" featuring Patricia Tapia (ex-Nexx
) on vocals. It's a haunting song, much different from their usual happy partying and dancing style.Red Sparowes - The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer
(Instrumental / Post-Rock)
I found this band through seeing their epically long song titles on someone's page. Sadly, the longest song title on this album is 5 words. However, the band retains their completely solid and unique post-rock instrumental sound. I have a feeling this will be moving up my charts. It's just so easy to listen to and relaxing and engaging.Royal Hunt - X
(Progressive Power Metal)
Mark Boals surprises me yet again. Towards the beginning of the album he uses growling low vocals rather than the constant high screaming we're used to, and it sounds great. ... need to give this album some more time though.Senmuth - Chambers
(Ambient / Atmospheric) ... Ankhiteru is similar
The number of albums this guy puts out is just retarded. He will probably end up being in this journal about 10 times. But somehow they are consistantly solid. And all free off his website!!
Not sure how he makes a living, maybe he has another band. Well, the concept of this album just intrigued me so I had to try it. It's like you are going deeper and deeper into chambers of an egyptian pyramid and getting completetly lost and seeing all these old carvings on the wall. The imagery I'm getting is just amazing. It's traditional egyptian type music but it focuses so much on creating atmosphere and ambiance and it does a great job of it.Story of the Year - The Constant
Really great album from one of my favorite artists in this genre. Not sure what more to say.Six Magics - Behind The Sorrow
This is one of the best Power Metal albums I've heard in years. These guys have it down to a science, and they have their PhDs. It's primarily a female fronted album but there are lots of duets with a male vocalist. It is melodic, epic, atmospheric, sometimes heavy and even political (halfway through track 1). Favorite on first listen is either track 1 or track 10, which is the last track and a really great conclusion to a great album.The Sun Came Up Upon The Left - And The Dreams So Rich In Color
(Atmospheric/Drone/Depressive Black Metal)
Unknown band in the truest sense of the term. But by being so unknown they try out some of the most unique ideas I've heard in any genre. Mostly it is just drone/ambient black metal, really raw, and actually rather disturbing emotionally. But then riffs and melodies emerge out of the noise, and you are just sucked further into their musical landscape as the album progresses. You must try it if you like these genres.Troll - Neo-Satanic Supremacy
(Epic Black Metal)
I found this album was really hard to get into... at my first skim through I hated every song. It is just so evil-sounding, foreboding, and intimidating. But by the third listen, the album has definitely creeped into my soul. This is definitely an Epic Black Metal album similar to Lunar Aurora
, Dimmu Borgir
, take your pick. "Burn the Witch" could very well be song of 2010. I feel the best albums, in fact, are hard to get into and really "feel" at first listen. A grower album, so to speak. You need to listen to this right now. And if you hate it, just put it on repeat until it's punched you in the face enough times that you love it. It certainly did for me.True - Still Life
(Spanish-themed Death Metal)
I could tell from the intro this album was going to be different. It's death metal, but there was a melodic acoustic intro more like you'd hear in power metal. Then the first track started up, and it went into a real heavy death part almost like grindcore. Just when I was about to give up and go to the next track, this acoustic flamenco-sounding guitar came in and brought a smile to my face. This genre definitely needs originality and I've found some here. Also, neat album cover...Vincent Diamante - Flower: Original Soundtrack From The Video Game
(Atmospheric / Ambient)
This game came out 1-2 years ago but just was released recently. If you are a fan of Ambient stuff you will cream yourself when you hear this. And buy the game if you have a PS3, it is a real journey and so is the soundtrack. Basically you are a gust of wind blowing through the landscapes and bringing life back to a dying world. If this sounds cool to you or even if not, check it out.
*Wilds Forlorn - The Great Loss
(Atmospheric Black Metal / Neoclassical)
Angry and intense, yet with almost post-rock sounding guitars at times and a lot of melodic piano parts. One track is completely acoustic, in fact. It is so intense and epic that I could not believe when I saw it was just one guy. The drums are clearly from a machine but you'll forget about that quickly as it is the masterpieces of composition that draws you in. This album will slap you in the face then give you a bottle of milk. Then knock it out of your hand and make you cry.
Here we have a band that is so unknown that they have not been added to metal-archives yet (Actually, due to metal-archive's stupid rule that you need a physical CD, it cannot be added). Not a band, rather a solo project. He does not deserve this unknown status, in fact with this album he has proven he can play with the big names of black metal, such as Lunar Aurora
, Dimmu Borgir
, just to name a few off the top of my head. It's wrong of me to compare this to anyone, because here we have a very unique black metal album. Wurm - Insomnies
(Atmospheric Depressive Black Metal)
I have only heard one song but I know I will love the rest. Track 1 was over 22 minutes long. It set the mood with heavy rain coming down outside an open window, with a guy playing a depressive piano riff. Then the mood was set, so they hit you with the classic heavy depressive black metal sound with blast beats. You can tell I've reviewed one too many albums tonight lol but I have to say this sounds like a great album for fans of the genre.7.9-7.0 (Very good)Angels & Airwaves - Love
(Emo / Post-Punk)
It's more of the same as previous albums (in fact, "Shove" has the same exact melody as "Everything's Magic"), but it's just such a great sound/atmosphere. Some of the themes are VERY emo though. And they are actually serious about it unlike someone like Hawthorne Heights
who cannot possibly be serious. On first listen, "Epic Holiday" is my favorite. Some complete throwaway songs "Clever Love" for example, and the overly long intros/outros of each song bring it down. Anyway, the album costs whatever value you think it's worth, from free to 1 billion dollars. Download!Avantasia - The Wicked Symphony + Angel of Babylon
(Symphonic Power Metal Opera)
The Wicked Symphony sounds the most like "The Metal Opera Part III" that I've heard from Tobias Sammet since 2004's Edguy's "Hellfire Club." Tracks 2 and 3 are epically amazing, so you need to get it at the very least for those.
Angel of Babylon definitely shows his experimental side... while it is good, it is nowhere near many of his other albums, including TWS.
A great collection featuring some of my favorite musicians, HOWEVER I am just realizing I am grading albums here, not songs. The new avantasia albums are a bunch of songs with random themes, with a random guest singer owning each track. The genres vary a lot as well and there is no coherent sound throughout either album.Bitter Frost -
(Melodic / Neo-classical / Blackened Power Metal)
When I got this it was a name-your-price download from their site, but a bonus tracks edition was available for 5 dollars minimum. A pricing scheme I really appreciated. As I had no job I took the free option. Now I see there's only a 3 dollar minimum option, lame... Anyway, this is a highly recommended album simply because it is so unique. It's worth 3 dollars, probably more. Basically really solid Black Metal with every other genre of metal blended seamlessly into it. You'll hear folk melodies, power metal riffs, clean vocals, dirty vocals, screams. It's just all great and executed so well.Coheed and Cambria - Year Of The Black Rainbow
(Progressive Rock / Metal)
They are not my favorite but this is a really cool and atmospheric type album. May have to try some more older albums eventually.Crematory - Infinity
(Melodic Death Doom Metal)
Never listened to them before but they have a decidedly epic sound. They call themselves Gothic Rock/Metal on their myspace, but this sounds more like Melodic Death/Doom, which I love.
- In Silence Somber Solace (Groove / Black Metal)
A very interesting Groove Metal/Black Metal hybrid with raw guitars yet great melodies throughout. COMPLETELY unknown band (it is not one of the 7 listed on the last.fm Deep page), so give them a listen!Freedom Call - Legend of the Shadowking
Love them, but I have to be honest, this is their worst album to date, with only 2 or 3 standout tracks. However, it's been growing on me as I listen more.Myrath - Desert Call
(Indian-themed Heavy Metal)
Deserves brownie points for sheer originality. The indian music + metal combination has been done before (See: Xandria - India) but this is it's own sound. Hampered by a few weak songs though, primarily at the beginning of the album.Negură Bunget - Maiestrit
(Progressive Black Metal)
I really enjoyed this album. It seems they are moving more back towards their roots, which I really like. Nice raw atmospheric progressive black metal album. I forgot to review this as I was listening but I'm sure I'll listen again and write a better review here. Probably. (Actually this is a remake of a 2000 album... have to knock it down the chart for that, it doesnt even sound that much different!)Orphaned Land - The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR
(Middle-Eastern-themed Progressive Folk Metal)
First of all, strange title. I really liked their previous album, but could never really get into it. This one is kind of proving to the the same. I applaud them for something so unique, and it definitely has it's great moments, but for now it's going in the "good" category. Perhaps it will grow on me.Ozzy Osbourne - Scream
(Heavy / Doom / Alternative Metal)
In short if you liked the previous album you will love this. It's more doom-like but as you can tell by track 2 it is still trying to be overall as commercial as possible. Despite this I really enjoyed the whole album. "I love you all", at just 1 minute is the stand-out for me. Rather than try to describe it I'll let you listen. He is just being humble but it makes a really great song and I wish it was longer. Also "Soul Sucker." Some don't like his processed vocals (he needs it because he's too old to sing right, I guess) but I think they sound cool and appropriate for the type of music.Sinbreed - When Worlds Collide
(Melodic / Heavy / Power Metal)
Seems like a solid album in this genre.Темнозорь - Haunted Dreamscapes
(Pagan / Folk Metal)
This is a band that is definitely not in it for the money and is not afraid to make something new and unique. I definitely appreciate that. It is folk-black metal but what makes it so unique is the instrument they use, it's some pagan type pipe instrument and it's just enough off tune to make you tilt your head.Xasthur - Portal of Sorrow
(Raw Ambient/Depressive Black Metal)
Seems like he's going back to his old, raw, sloppy sound. A tad too sloppy. But it's annoying that all my favorite bands always break up! This is his last album with this band name.6.9-6.0 (Good)Dark Tranquillity - We Are The Void
(Melodic Death Metal)
I like it, but it doesn't feel fresh and original like their previous album.December Peals - People Have Demons
Yeah it says punk on here, but it's a pretty heavy hard rock album. I really like the uniqueness of the singer as well. And great album name, artist name, and album cover.Derdian - New Era, Pt. 3: The Apocalypse
It's actually underneath my expectations but it's more of the same as their other albums and they have a really solid and unique sound.Dream Evil - In the Night
I have loved these guys since I heard 2004's masterpiece "The Book of Heavy Metal". Any album that starts with a screamed "METALLLLLLLLLLLL" has to be amazing. But the quality of their releases has been decreasing since then. However, you are quite simply not going to get better Cheese Metal (short for Cheesy Power Metal) than this. The singer sounds a lot more like Primal Fear
's vocalist, which is definitely a good thing. The screams in "Bang Your Head" are simply amazing. "The Ballad" is actually quite possibly the most solid song on the album. It's a ballad about drinking beer and wine. Overall, the album sounds a bit stale, but it's still a solid release.Edenbridge - Solitaire
(Symphonic Female Fronted Metal)
Not my favorite type of music but when it's done well I like it. So this I like. I guess I did too many reviews today cause I can't think of whatt else to say.Eluveitie - Everything Remains as it Never Was
(Melodic Death Metal)
After hearing the intro and the first track of this album I had pretty high hopes. It is melodic death metal with these folk instrument melodies in the background. But as the album went on it was just more of the same over and over. I was gonna see this band at paganfest a couple years ago but they couldn't get into canada for some reason. Maybe I'd like them more if I had but this is just a decent-good album. I definitely like it, but too much repetition and not enough originality. Helloween - Unarmed - Best Of - 25th Anniversary
(Symphonic Power Metal / Etc.)
This released in December 24, 2009, but the US release date was March 30th, 2010, so why not...
This album is creating a lot of controversy. Metal purists are crying like a baby, whereas people with an open mind are defending the band for trying something new. I was really upset at first because 1- This is NOT EVEN CLOSE to what I would call a "best of" for the band. These are my ideas for a true Helloween best of (Scroll down).
2- Why would a band that made one of the most epic true power metal albums of 2007 purposely mutilate their own songs into different genres? But after a few listens, I can confirm this is a solid album. I am open minded, so I like that they tried something different. I'm still rating it objectively, though. This is a weak collection of songs for a "best of" and the reworked versions are for the most part fairly weak. The exception would be "The Keeper´s Trilogy" (Halloween, Keeper of The Seven Keys & King Of 1000 Years) and the really nice female duet "Eagle Fly Free."HIM - Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice
(Gothic / Heavy Metal)
I like it, but the songs tend to bleed together as they all sound similar.Krokus - Hoodoo
(Traditional Heavy Metal / Hard Rock)
Still keeping that early 80s metal sound I love alive... that being said, its the same thing we heard from 100s of bands during that time period, and continue to hear from bands like Saxon
as well. Everything has been done already in this genre/style.PlayRadioPlay! - Besides, Nothing (B-Sides And Rarities, 2003-2009)
(Electronic / Etc.)
Nowhere near as good as his full length (Analog Rebellion
- Ancient Electrons), but that's to be expected because this is just a collection of songs that didn't make albums so he just had them lying around, and decided to master and release them. And they do sound great quality wise... but they're mostly weak songs musically.
HOWEVER, there are some really spectacular tracks interspersed with piles of dump. I highly recommend...
Ambient/Soft/Introspective: "We've Been Searching The Sky For Answers (Original Version)",
Electronic/Dance: "I'm Guessing There's A Pill For That" "The Great Baltimore Fire Of 1904 (Re-Done Version)"
Hard/Alternative Rock: Last three songs on disk 2. I want a whole album with songs like these three!!!Scorpions - Sting In The Tail
(Traditional Heavy Metal / Hard Rock)
The fact that it's their last album ever makes me sad. but from the sounds of it they were starting a downward descent anyway. Whereas their last album Humanity was a melodic heavy metal concept album, here they have gone back to the 80s traditional metal/hard rock style. Which I normally love, but here' it comes off a bit generic and cheesy. Nearly half the songs in the album have "Rock" in the title. Ok, we get it you can rock. Get over yourself and give me a real song. Every song has a nearly identical hard rock beat, there is a lack of melody, but the solos are really nice. Still, they wanted to end on a high note, and it could be argued they did that. They still have a very unique sound especially the singer, and they will be missed.Senmuth - Deathknowledge & Lifeperception
(Symphonic Ambient? lol)
Quite literally 19 days after the release of his previous album, Секененра, we have a much more chill album, it is mostly ambient stuff, still with the trumpet/orchestration though. I have to say a respectful, tone it down a notch with the releases. Take a week off, or something, you'll burn out. That's kind of what's happening here. Solid, but a tad boring. But, I'm sure we'll have at least 10 more releases before 2010 is done.Sigh - Scenes From Hell
(Experimental Black Metal)
I like that they are trying to expand the genre of black metal, but most of the time it comes off cheesy, like trumpets... why?The Vision Bleak - Set Sail To Mystery
(Gothic / Doom Metal)
This is a gothic/doom metal band with horror themes. I am kind of let down by this album. It's not bad, just mostly boring. I have always loved their older stuff more like "Night of the Living Dead" and they are obviously continuing to trend away from it. :(We Are the Ocean - Cutting Our Teeth
Kind of generic post-hardcore Killswitch Engage
type stuff, but I rarely listen to this type of thing so I'm really enjoying it. Really nice driving beat and cool melodies, that's all you need.6.0-4.0 (Decent)Alkaline Trio - This Addiction
(Punk / Crap)
After hearing the great punk title track/single, I was really excited for this album. It turned out to be a boring letdown, with the exception of the title track and "Eating Me Alive".Astral Doors - Requiem of Time
I really loved this band's last album. This one however sounds tired. Really cheesy song titles like "Metal DJ" but nothing engaging to back it up. Nils Patrik Johanssen's voice is really the only reason to listen to this. However, I wish he used the perfect clean voice more and not the growling "I'm so metal" barking dog voice.Blaze Bayley - Promise And Terror
(Heavy / Power Metal)
Music is pretty good but very generic, and I just don't understand how people think he is anything better than a decent vocalist.Greeley Estates - No Rain, No Rainbow
Nice heavy sound, nice title, but where's the originality here? (Hint - It isn't here, lol)Hoarfrost - Nattlig Självmord (Demo)
(Ambient / Atmospheric Black Metal)
A poor attempt, at best, at the ambient/atmospheric black metal genre. HOWEVER, they have some really unique ideas here, such as clean female vocals (in black metal? Almost unheard of), and I am really digging their uber-raw yet very listenable production.Ihsahn - After
(Experimental Black Metal)
Another band that feels the need to add weird avant garde and experimental elements not because it adds to their music, but simply because they can. I think the one song had like a 5 minute improvised saxophone solo, lol. It's pretty good music, but weird stuff like that... just like, why?Nàttsòl - Stemning
(Black / Viking Metal)
Seems solid, but the whole album has the same tempo and same beat and the album feels like a lack of effort overall. They have potential but i'd like to hear something with more feeling.Orden Ogan - Easton Hope
(Epic Melodic Power Metal)
Nothing new here, but it's a very solid power metal album and worth checking out for fans of the genre. Nice riffs and the choruses have er... choruses (many vocalists), which is pretty cool. Favorite is probably "All These Dark Years".Setherial - Ekpyrosis
(Extreme Black metal or something)
Wasn't listening too close, but it sounded pretty good. I'm keeping it but I doubt I'll ever listen again. Solid stuff but nothing mindblowing.Slash - Slash
"Hey, lets get all the mainstream singers together and I'll play generic riffs with generic song structures along with them" - Slash. Why this is self titled I have no idea because the only reason to listen to this is if you like a specific few singers, and Slash's guitar is just an accompaniment. There is Ozzy Osbourne
(track 2), The Cult
's singer (1), Wolfmother
's singer (6), Chris Cornell
(5)... the rest are throwaways for me because I don't know the singers much.Tarot - Gravity Of Light
A solid heavy metal album, but nothing more. There is nothing special or new here, and it just sounds like a bunch of songs rather than an album. It can't live up to the previous release, "Crows fly black" and certainly not to Nightwish
's Dark Passion Play.3.9-0.0 (Burn it to a CD, then burn the CD... throw it into a fire)Apati - Morgondagen Inställd I Brist På Intresse
Another dissapointment. Their previous album was an intense depressive black metal album with some rock elements, but here seems like an attempt at blending doom, indie, who knows what else, there's almost no metal to be found here. Not that that's a bad thing (take Alcest's Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde as an example) I appreciate what they tried to do with this album but i wish this album had sounded a bit more like Souvenirs...Bifrost - Heidenmetal
(Folk / Black Metal)
Very generic folk/black metal. The playing is good, but the songs sound tired and boring and have been done many times before by better bands. I'm probably deleting it because there's nothing special here.Black Autumn -
Decent but ultimately underwhelming go at the DSBM genre. Kind of boring, not really grabbing my interest. Maybe you'll like it though?Dead Channel - Destroyer
They are a completely unknown band (703 plays on here), and for once I'd say for good reason. They just sound like they are trying sooo hard to combine hardcore, electronic sounds, and nu-metal... and it just doesn't work. I think this combination had a lot of potential, but it just wasn't pulled off well. But if the combination sounds appealing to you, definitely check them out.The Decaying - Binary Assault
I got this because I was wondering what "Experimental Industrial Metal" was. Now I know, and I don't like it. If you might be interested, definitely check them out because no legitimate band deserves as few listeners as 18!Fear Factory - Mechanize
I could never get into their other albums, and this is no different. They just sound like they are trying way too hard rather than letting music flow naturally. Song structures make no sense, the singer is screaming like LISTEN TO HOW HARDCORE I AMMMM IM SCREAMING TO COVER UP THE FACT I CUT MY WRISTS TO FALL ASLEEEPPPPPPPP. The exception being "Final Exit". While I don't think it's phenomenal, it does have some musical content. But then they ruin it again because they're like OHAI we have an ambient side too, so listen to our 5 minute garbage outro annoyingly appended to the track rather than in a new song called "Outro".Immolation - Majesty And Decay
I'm starting to wonder where and why I downloaded all this crap. I must have been drunk. If you want generic boring death metal, look no further.Ignite The Ibex - Ignite The Ibex
So far, no good. These guys aren't bad but SOOOOOO generic. Nothing new to bring to the table whatsoever.
---- Can't say it better myself. But if that sounds appealing to you, check them out, they need more listeners.Nachtmystium - Addicts Black Meddle Pt II
(Disco indie pop generic mainstream garbage crap from a former raw brutal depressive black metal band)
Destined to be my biggest disappointment of the year. I could not finish track 4. Their first demo, in 2000 on tape and mono-only sound, is the rawest and most brutal black metal I ever heard with screams that will pierce your skull. Apparently living in the USA was too much for them to handle... but even their previous album in 2008 was really black and grim, despite clearly moving in a new direction. But now their music has completely degenerated into indie pop garbage. That's what the mindless idiots here love, that's what they want, that's what's on the radio all the time on every station and playing in every small venue nationwide. Some douchebag picks up a guitar, plays a couple notes, sings some retarded lyric over 2 notes and people eat him out. Just no, ok. Just no. Maybe I'll give it a second chance when i feel like being a fa*got.The Seed - From Nowhere to No One
Again, generic. Probably deleting because there's nothing special.Unholy Archangel - Obsessed By War
With a band name so awesome, I expected something amazing... I could not have been more wrong. After a fake sounding MIDI flute intro, you are treated to a guitar riff so raw it's hard to distinguish that it is a riff and not just someone sharpening a pencil or something. Then the drums come in, and they are so sloppy, changing tempos constantly, followed by what sounds like a cross between grindcore vocals and a bear attacking a moose. I'd only say check this out if you are on some kind of shrooms and desire a really bad trip.Wolfsmond - III
Very generic Black Metal. Quickly going through, really don't hear anything worthwhile here. They do have a Burzum cover from 2005 which sounds pretty good, however. So they play well, but they should stay away from composing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"Top 10" Updates:
March 17 - Almost time for someone to get kicked off the top 10! How exciting.
March 20 - Rage + Troll kicked. Replaced with Alcest + Les Discrets. I knew they would make it into my list.
March 27 - True kicked because I simply haven't listened, whereas other albums have been on constant repeat. Replaced with Sofa Surfers.
April 24 - Sorry I've been pretty busy with school and whatnot, so I am not trying as many albums as I want to, and definitely am not even touching this journal even though I want to. Wilds Forlorn kicked for Mago de oz. Finally, cause i heard this album 2+ weeks ago.)
June 16 - Tough choice, but had to make room for Lantlos. Sorry Kalmah.
June 17 - Kicked 8,9,10... Mago De Oz, Counterparts, Six Magics, cause I'm realizing they don't quite match up to the others. Added The Breathing Process because I suddenly realized how revolutionary it sounds.
July 10 - Not reviewing Senmuth albums anymore unless there's something phenomenal, as the rate of releases is overwhelming. If he takes his time to really flesh out his vision we get something amazing and unique like "Секененра" but most of his releases are good (7/10) at best.
July 27 - The Breathing Process re-kicked (lol) for some new stuff that I have been very addicted to (Including kalmah which I previously kicked but now I love more, go figure). Tough choice but there's only 10 slots. Have a feeling I'll extend it to 15 or 20 by years end.Most Looking Forward To (definite top 10 potential):
? - Shaman
29 - Alex Band
- We've all been there (vocalist of The Calling)
2 - Jorn
31 (Japan) - Angra
(Power Progressive Metal) - Aqua
10 - Kelli Scarr
- Piece (Listen here
- click add to playlist under each song)
24 - The Devil Wears Prada
- Zombie EP
? - Allen-Lande
- The Showdown
? - Conspiracy
? - Corpus Christii
- Luciferian Frequencies
? - Virgin Steele
14 - Weezer
20 - Dragonland
- The Return
28 - Jimmy Eat World
30 - Disturbed
16: Bruce Springsteen
- The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story
? - Virgin Black
- Requiem - pianissimo
- Anderz Wrethov
(Pop but amazing voice, sounds like Andre Matos somewhat)
(Power Progressive Metal)
- Anjos Sem Asas (Power Prog Metal)
(Power Progressive Metal... not to be confused with Alchemist)
(Ian Van Dahl) (Dance)
(Symphonic Power Metal)
(Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal)
- Dexter Freebish
- Far Beyond
(Epic Black Metal)
(Whole album of Michael Kiske
+ Amanda Somerville duets as on two songs in Indigo Dying
, composed by Matt Sinner of Sinner
and Primal Fear
, and Magnus Karlsson best known for Allen-Lande
. Epic written all over it! Now just write a release date all over it please!!)
- Eyes Of Sand (Power Metal)
(Technical Death Metal)
(Epic Atmospheric Doom Metal)
- Savage Circus
(Heavy Power Metal... Blind Guardian
clone except better)
- Serj Tankian
- Music Without Borders (Alternative)
(Epic Black Metal)
(Epic Atmospheric Doom Metal)Soulspell
- The Labyrinth of Truths (Power Metal Opera including Edu Falashi among others)
(Epic Black Metal)
- Thriving Ivory
(Pop Rock but so good at it and such unique vocalist)
(Michael Kiske, Dennis Ward, Mandy Meyer and Kosta Zafiriou)
(Melodic Speed/Black Metal)
(Symphonic Epic "Film Score" Metal)