THERE'S JUST TOO MUCH MUSIC OUT THERE:
Part I had my favourite albums of 2009, 50 of them, however I somehow need to explain the "music retrospective" part of the title, and this is my lame attempt. We got more albums, live gigs and whatnot...
Favourite free album
Adolf Plays The Jazz – Dirty waters: greek post-rockers Adolf Plays the Jazz continue giving out their wonderful soundscapes for free, thumbs up!
Favourite thrash metal album
Slayer– World Painted Blood: And they say that the older the people, the mellower they get... bullshit!
Favourite extreme (i.e. I'm too old for this shit) album
Architects – Hollow Crown: I am basically unable to listen to most metalcore, however these young lads seem to possess a bit more quality than the rest.
Favourite live album
Hallucinogen – In Dub Live: So like, this dude, Hallucinogen, is an electronic musician in goa trance and psytrance and this other dude, Ott, is a producer in ambient and dub. The latter released in 2002 In Dub which was an album with dub remixes of Hallucinogen's music. In Dub Live features both of them and a full band playing these as well as some new tunes and damn, dub remixed psytrance never sounded more electronica post-rock-ish. Thanks tsango! ;)
Favourite covers album
Θάνος Μικρούτσικος & Υπόγεια Ρεύματα – Τους έχω βαρεθεί / Thanos Mikroutsikos & Ypogeia Revmata - Tous echo varethei (en: I've Gotten Tired of Them): Thanos Mikroutsikos is one of the best contemporary greek composers and Ypogeia Revmata an honest and steadily good rock band. Their collaboration on record and on live stages around Greece gives an interesting second reading on several Mikroutsikos' songs.
Pain of Salvation – Linoleum: Pain of Salvation had a weird year, they released a DVD (Ending Themes: On the Two Deaths of Pain of Salvation) that documented the departures of long time members, bassist and leading Pain of Salvation figure Daniel Gildenlöw's brother, Kristoffer Gildenlöw and drummer Johan Langell while by the time of the release Kristoffer's replacement had already departed as well, their scheduled Progressive Nation 2009 US tour with Dream Theater was cancelled because of SPV's bankruptcy (InsideOut Music, the band's label was an SPV subsidiary) which also caused the delay of the release of their next album. However Century Media picked up InsideOut and thus the band managed to release Linoleum in November as well as, and no matter how weird that might sound, secure a place in the next year's Melodifestivalen, Sweden's Eurovision preliminary contest... So now after all these ups and downs and eurovision weirdness what about the music? Well, it's pretty awesome! The songs have a nice 70s feel distilled through PoS' unique music identity and Scorpion's Yellow Raven is masterfully covered. Let's see what 2010 has in store...
The Nofairs - Cities and Closed Doors: Friends of a friend, N and Peter, are based in London and they make particularly beautiful acoustic music. I really hope they manage to get some serious attention.
Favourite live performance
I am split between 2:
Faith No More at Vrachon Theater, Athens, this August. Watching them perform live produced sheer excitement, and Mike Patton... what a guy!
Opeth at Fuzz Club, Athens, this December. To tell you the truth in a small corner of my mind I kept the possibility of getting negative results because of my Opeth overexposure, however they blew my mind, playing even better than their last gig in Athens past April.
Favourite live experience
So, like this July the Scorpions took their greek tour all over Greece and through Mytilene, Lesvos. The fact that our friends Reverse Split were one of the support bands was enough to take us there, and it was worth it! :)
Discoveries of the year (i.e. long-time active awesome bands & artists that for some reason I ignored till last year)
This year I finally listened to progressive rock band 3 (I am just not able to describe how awesome The End Is Begun (2007) is!), Hallucinogen and related psychedelic trance artists such as Ott and Younger Brother thanks to tsango, Giant Squid (Metridium Fields (2006) ftw!), Cripple Black Phoenix (the best way to get into a band? To watch them perform live! ;) ).
Re-discoveries of the year (i.e. long-time active awesome bands & artists that for some reason I realised their awesomeness this past year)
This year I managed to give the required attention to post-hardcore/experimental rock Thrice and realise how great they are as well as be heavily drawn by the groove of Disturbed, thanks to Komotini's Valhalla & its DJs.
Favourite rock/metal bar
Valhalla, Komotini. It helped me keep my sanity while in the army. Much love to Sicasanath, krizz & the rest of the boozers! Cheers to Sakis, Magda & the rest at Valhalla! May the blessings of Odin be with you all!