|StaffReviews 279Soundoffs 786News Articles 364Band Edits + Tags 3,729Album Edits 4,823Album Ratings 8765Objectivity 88%Last Active 10-18-17 12:51 amJoined 07-09-07Forum Posts 6,912Review Comments 17,277
|Willie's 2017 So Far|
These are my top albums of the year, so far. These are the albums I've rated 3.4 or higher, in order. As always, recommendations are welcome.
|1||Pain of Salvation|
In the Passing Light of Day
4.5 - For those that feel like this band went off the deep end somewhere around Be, this is total redemption. I hear the heaviness of Entropia, the epic-ness of Concrete Lake, the ultra-catchy melodies of Perfect Element, and the emotion of Remedy Lane... but this is better than all of those. All the youthful mistakes and Dream Theater wanking that would ruin songs in the past is gone.
4.5 - I haven't heard any of the older albums because the band name is kind of stupid, and so I assumed the music was just as bad. These guys remind me of modern prog bands like Tesseract mixed with the traditional prog of bands like Porcupine Tree and Riverside, and they manage to take the absolute best from both versions of the genre.
The Assassination of Julius Caesar
4.5 - My favorite Ulver tracks have always been the ones with vocals. This whole album has vocals and it kind of mixes their Blood Inside sound with an almost 80s style synth pop sound. Definitely another new sound for them.
I'm Only Dreaming
4.0 - Eisley have gone back to the chill, melody-drenched, sound of their first two releases and it's a welcome return. Easily their best since Room Noises.
4.0 - Awesome technical death metal that transitions between chaotic dissonance and disonant atmospherics. The key here is the unrelenting heaviness…. And dissonance; defintely dissonant.
|6||Cradle of Filth|
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay
4.0 - Cradle of Filth prove their previous release wasn't a fluke or tempered by low expectations. This one takes everything that was good about that album and pushes it through a 'Vempire'-style filter while also making what is easily their most musically dense album. Every song has multiple awesome riffs, great melodies, and (surprisingly) every song has some really awesome solos. This album definitely puts the band back at the top of their game.
3.7 - Leprous is a Norwegian progressive metal band formed in 2001 in Notodden, Norway. They originally made their mark as Ihsahn's (Emperor vocalist/guitarist) backing band in live situations. Don't let that mislead you, though, because Leprous don't play progressive black metal. Their first four albums could broadly be categorized as the kind of quirky progressive metal that only seems to come from Norway, but even that doesn't describe Malina. On Malina, Leprous has dropped any pretense of simply being a progressive metal band and opened their sound to elements only hinted at before -- mainly electronic music. It shouldn't surprise fans of the band that this has finally happened considering the band count Radiohead, Massive Attack, and The Prodigy among more standard influences such as Porcupine Tree and The Dillinger Escape Plan.
3.7 - Anomalie's debut was definitely on the primitive side of the post black metal genre, but there was something endearing about it as well. The sophomore release didn't really build on that foundation, and kind of felt like a step back -- Visions definitely builds on the band's promise. It takes the melodic post black metal foundation of the debut and expands on it to include more melody, heavier riffs, and an all around more entertaining listen without any of the dead spots that plague most post black metal music.
The Selected Breed
3.7 - Meldodic, Aggressive, atmospheric, and diverse. Everything a good progressive death metal album should be. Excellent production, too.
|10||Within the Ruins|
3.7 - These guys play Djenty, techy, metalcore; that hasn't changed. They are definitely getting better and better with every release, though, and the addition of clean vocals is definitely welcome.
3.6 - Kind of reminds me of a heavier version of Flyleaf's debut without any screaming. Having said that, this album also seems to be a little saturated with power ballads which is why the score drops a little bit. The female vocalist definitely has some range and will probably be the point that makes people either enjoy it or dismiss it.
|12||The Birthday Massacre|
Under Your Spell
3.5 - Easily The Birthday Massacre's most subdued album and not nearly as instant as anything they've done before. This one is going to take more than a few listens to truly start getting into, which is hard to do, because at first everything seems to blend together with the same tempo and vocal delivery. It's worth the extra 'work' though.
3.5 - The album definitely has a cool sci-fi vibe that runs through it. I love all the really well done synth and the drummer is all over the place. If there is something that make take some time to appreciate, its the vocals... but they do fit these songs perfectly.
AFI (The Blood Album)
3.5 - I've never really liked AFI. The vocalist used to sound like an angry chipmunk. This album is good, though. They've changed their sound to a more post punk kind of sound that reminds me of New Model Army or certain The Cure tracks. Definitely a welcome direction, as fas as I am concerned.
3.5 - So, this guy plays all sorts of funky looking guitars and delivers some of the coolest instrumental music I've ever heard. It's not metal by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely has an edge. It's like progressive rock/jazz/metal/unique shit. The twitchy rhythmic nature of the songs and the out of left field melodies just appeal to me.
Renaissance in Extremis
3.5 - Akercocke make their comback. Honestly, I've never really heard their other stuff so I don't know how it compares, but I do know this is so really well done, unique, progressive death metal.
|17||The Monolith Deathcult|
3.5 - Monolith Deathcult have an interesting sound. They play industrialized atmospheric death metal that is also pretty progressive. They do it really well, too, but it's just a little too repetitive.
3.5 - It's like a 50/50 split of modern prog and technical death metal, but without any of the excesses of either genre. Very well done and surprisingly melodic while still being pretty damn riffy.
3.5 - After "Night is the New Day" Katatonia decided to take their compact little sound and expand it with progressive and atmospheric elements. For everyone that thought that it was a good idea, but hated the actual execution, there is Distant Landscape. This was the sound I had in mind when I was reading about Katatonia taking their sound in a more atmospheric/progressive kind of direction.
3.4 - This reminds me of a more accessible and mainstream version of Vildhjarta meets Killswitch Engage. The tones and the groove are very Vildhjarta-like, but the songs are accessible and catchy like Killswitch.
The Place I Feel Safest
3.4 - Modern Prog/Djent/Metal. There's nothing that really sets these guys apart from all the similar bands, but the level of conviction and talent is definitely up there.
3.4 - Old school thrash with some really cool riffs. The vocals could be better and all the songs are roughly similar, but it's still really good.
3.4 - Grungy, abrasive female fronted post punk/alt. rock. I like it. Throughout the album I heard The God Machine, Hum, Nirvana, The Pixies , and The Cure but it's all wrapped up in a more abrasive sound and washed in shoegaze feedback.
If I Don't Make It
3.4 - Really well done melodic hardcore. The coolest part of this is that the melodic parts aren't just your normal standard melodic lead. They're more of a post rock/reverb-drenched kind of thing that gives this release a unique edge.
As Embers Turn to Dust
3.4 - I'm sorry. Enough is enough. This is the same fucking thing as before and before and before. Is it good? Yeah, it's good. Is it in any way a deviation or even a continuation of their sound? No.... it's the exact same album they keep releasing. It's time to seriously sit down and figure out how to think outside of their tired (albeit good) formula.
Out of This World
3.4 - Very good post rock with a progressive edge. It is also very melodic and catchy without being repetitive. Another thing this album has going for it is that the songs feel like they're focused and not just a meandering jam like a lot of post rock.
|27||Mors Principium Est|
Embers Of A Dying World
3.4 - Really solid melodic death metal with a strong keyboard presence and occasional black metal influences. Unfortunately, with few exceptions, it is largely by-the-numbers stuff.
|Goo stuff worth checking out. Any additional recommendations before the end of year?|
|Threshold - The Legend of the Shires|
Jorn - Life on Death Road
Witherfall - Nocturnes and Requiems (I think you'd like this one Willie)
Serenity in Murder - The Eclipse
Nothing But Thieves - Broken Machine
|The new Spectral Voice sounds like it'll be worth checking based on the first two tracks which are available now.|
|Father Befouled - Desolate Gods |
for your osdm cravings
|1 will no doubt be top 5 for me at the end of the year. Needing to check more of these but Ulsect was pretty good.|
You might like Amorphis' live album An Evening with Friends at Huvila.
There's been plenty of great death metal too (Sunless, Venenum, Lantern, Phrenelith). Other than that, you could check Super Snake and Aether Realm.
|Check out Foscor |
|good list willie|
23 sounds like something i'd dig
|Caligula's Horse is a great name dude |
|I tend to line up with your taste in music, dude, so I'm checking some stuff on here and liking a few of these quite a lot|
|"the traditional prog of bands like Porcupine Tree and Riverside"|
Wait, what? Since when did either of those bands play traditional prog? Steven Wilson may have done some throwback (read; tribute to) traditional prog on his solo albums but Porcupine Tree are one of the last bands I'd describe as traditional prog.
|Perhaps I would change ulver to number 1 and PoS to number 2. Agreed with CoF pretty good stuff. And i would probably add Paradise Lost's Medusa. Good list!|
|Gonna have to check 1-5. Nice list.|
|So, I added the rec's I've been given so far. I'll report back after I've checked them out.|
--Amorphis' live album An Evening with Friends at Huvila--
I haven't heard that one yet, but I'll definitely check it out. The live albums/EPs/Re-Issues can't be on my end of year list, though, so they won't be on here either.
--Check out Foscor--
I checked them out already. They're a 3.3 for me. They remind me of Novembre.
--I tend to line up with your taste in music, dude, so I'm checking some stuff on here and liking a few of these quite a lot--
What have you checked out?
--Since when did either of those bands play traditional prog? Steven Wilson may have done some throwback (read; tribute to) traditional prog on his solo albums but Porcupine Tree are one of the last bands I'd describe as traditional prog.--
Personally, I put those two bands and similar things into the 'traditional prog' category in iTunes and then bands like Tesseract and Periphery are in the 'modern prog' category. They just fit better there when on shuffle. Obviously, there are plenty of sub-genres and nuances that could dictate where a band fits.
--Paradise Lost's Medusa--
I like it, but it was definitely a big step backwards. I didn't really like their 'roots' to begin with, and I'm not a huge fan of the band going back to them now.
--Gonna have to check 1-5. Nice list.--
They're all pretty different from each other.
Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns
|bumping so i can remember to check #26 since i'm obligated to cheq post-rock|
|so far i've checked in reverence, currents and mechina...|
tried to start Leprous but wasn't in the mood, so i'll check later
didn't even know Mechina released anything this year. their last two before this year's i've enjoyed a lot
currents and in reverence i enjoyed, but then i jammed them in the gym and wasn't feeling it, so maybe not making my gym jams, but i'll give 'em another go
|"Personally, I put those two bands and similar things into the 'traditional prog' category in iTunes and then bands like Tesseract and Periphery are in the 'modern prog' category. They just fit better there when on shuffle. Obviously, there are plenty of sub-genres and nuances that could dictate where a band fits."|
Fair enough, I know our views and tastes in prog differ greatly. For me, prog-rock (and essentially what I would describe as traditional prog) pretty much died at the end of the 70's and what we've been left with since (besides some throwback acts trying to recapture that 70's sound) is essentially various offshoots of the prog movement such as neo-prog and prog mixed with other genres such as prog metal which of course is still very much alive. I'd probably describe Porcupine Tree as alt-prog.
|Also somewhat surprised not to see the new Soen album on here. I thought that was pretty decent and this is coming from someone who had no interest in the band prior to giving the new one a listen, which I did after having heard the band were no longer straight up Tool worship.|
|--Fair enough, I know our views and tastes in prog differ greatly. For me, prog-rock (and essentially what I would describe as traditional prog) pretty much died at the end of the 70's and what we've been left with since (besides some throwback acts trying to recapture that 70's sound) is essentially various offshoots of the prog movement such as neo-prog and prog mixed with other genres such as prog metal which of course is still very much alive. I'd probably describe Porcupine Tree as alt-prog.--|
I don't even listen to 70s prog, so my idea of prog doesn't start until Fates Warning and Dream Theater and things like that. I have an alt. prog genre on my itunes, too. It has bands like Anathema, The Apex Theory, BATS, Coheed, etc.
--Also somewhat surprised not to see the new Soen album on here. I thought that was pretty decent and this is coming from someone who had no interest in the band prior to giving the new one a listen, which I did after having heard the band were no longer straight up Tool worship.--
I thought it was decent, too, but I only included 3.4 and above on this list.
|didn't realize there was a new eisley out, very nice|
check out TOPS - sugar at the gate and the fazerdaze album for that female pop kick i know u like
|--Father Befouled - Desolate Gods |
for your osdm cravings--
Checked it out. It's not bad, but OSDM definitely isn't my thing.
Glad you gave it a shot at least