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02.02.10 The Most Immersive Albums01.27.10 Got Accepted Into College Today
01.26.10 Favorite Eps01.19.10 Dream The Mars Volta Setlist
01.19.10 Dream Every Time I Die Setlist01.14.10 Dream The Dear Hunter Setlist
01.14.10 Dream Radiohead Setlist01.10.10 Great Post-rock Albums, Want More
01.06.10 Need Hardcore Recs12.29.09 Favorite Album Covers
12.20.09 Merry Christmas Digs12.08.09 Top 10 Lyricists (not In Order)
12.08.09 Top 10 Lyricists11.28.09 Recent Digs
09.24.09 Which Of These Shouldn't I Get?08.28.09 Thrice's Albums Ranked
08.24.09 The 50 Best Albums (in Order)08.24.09 The 50 Best Albums
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The Most Immersive Albums

These are the albums that make me wish I lived in the world created by their songs... or at least, create a world at all. List heavily influenced by nostalgia.
Kid A

This should be fairly obvious to anybody who's heard this album. Combines the band's most consistent songwriting with the most unique instrumentation and the darkest overall mood. The vague concept also really helps bind everything together. Also: OK Computer
Master of Puppets

...And Justice For All has more interesting arrangements and songwriting but this album wins just for creating a more immersive experience... maybe something to do with the production value. The album follows its overall theme of "control" very well, bookended by vicious manifestos against the restraint of authority. Also: ...And Justice For All
Ghost Reveries

All Opeth albums create their own mood, but strangely it's this and not BWP that draws me in the most. The soft parts are so warm and compelling and they really unify the sometimes bizarre songs. In particular the greater technical complexity creates a feeling of following the album and exploring something unknown and powerful. Also: Damnation

Deciding between this album and Aenima has always been very difficult for me, but this album is undoubtedly more immersive to me because of its decreased dependence on guitar rock, the shift from harsh and critical lyrics to otherworldly themes of transcendence, and the reflective arrangements. The length and presence of filler actually helps by giving the listener more space and reflection. Also: Aenima
5Between the Buried And Me

Maybe it's just the "one song" thing but this is my favorite album and I feel like I'm exploring an old building or cave every time I listen to it. Similar to Ghost Reveries in that you feel like you're following the album and trying to stay a step ahead. Some parts are a little dull or overly wanky but the album never forgets to have fun despite its majestic designs. Also: The Great Misdirect
6Iron Maiden
A Matter of Life and Death

Some may prefer their 80s material, but in my opinion Iron Maiden's best work has all come out in this decade. They haven't stopped coming up with hooky powerful metal and this album's shift in a darker, more brooding direction, as well as its theme of war and death, creates a more unified and progressive take on the old gallop. Also: Brave New World

Along with Kid A, one of the production masterpieces of the 21st century. The songwriting and technicality calms down a bit by Mastodon's standards, but the band paces itself well by diversifying song structure, length and style. The album has a sort of loose sway to it that adds a lot to the nautical theme. Also: Blood Mountain
8Arcade Fire

It probably helps to know the story behind the album, but I find this album incredibly beautiful and meaningful. The lyrics remain absolutely great and the vocalists are engagingly personal while never overshadowing the music. This album is how to combine many elements together perfectly.
9Alice in Chains

Layne Staley's tragic self-destruction provides needed context to this 90s rock milestone. The songwriting became insanely consistent for the first time in AiC's career. With no boring songs and an impressive album flow, and of course one of the most distinct frontmen in the last 20 years of rock music, this album pulls you into a world of despair, hopelessness and regret. Also: Jar of Flies

I like to imagine that the band created a goal with this album to write no more than two songs that sounded at all similar. I still can't believe how well they managed to do each separate genre they aimed at. Black Sabbath's ominous trudge ("Mailman"), dark twists on the Beatles' psychedelia ("Head Down") and even Nirvana's grunge-punk ("Kickstand"). There are no album highlights. By doing so much, the band keeps you guessing and makes this one of the most fun listening experiences of the 90s.
11A Perfect Circle
Thirteenth Step

My first real "art rock" band. Diverse instrumentation, a dark but vague concept, experiments with song composition and style, and one of my favorite vocalists actually singing. What more could I ask for? "The Package" is like Tool's "Reflection" with serious balls. Also: Mer de Noms
12 Thrice
The Alchemy Index

Similar to Superunknown, this band set out to tackle extremely diverse material and created four sonic gems. Put all the songs from these EPs in a playlist and shuffle it to realize how talented these boys are. The albums themselves don't pander too much to their concept (with the possible exception of Earth) and form a tapestry of great periods in rock history. Also: Beggars
1310 Years
The Autumn Effect

Although this band is pretty generic in a lot of ways ("TOOL LITE HURR HURR"), it creates a mood absent from most radio hard rock. By including some interludes, a good use of ambience, and an excellent vocalist for their genre, 10 Years showed a lot of promise on their debut. Here's hoping they experiment a little more in the future... Division was a little disappointing.
Viva la Vida

Also a controversial choice, I'm sure, but this album made me wish I could go down to "Strawberry Swing" or walk through the ghostly "Cemeteries of London." Every culture and country in the world is represented here, from the Middle Eastern frenzy of "Yes" to the American arena rock of "Lost" and "Violet Hill." Makes me feel like traveling the world.
15 Slipknot
Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses

This rounds out the risky choices, and I'd probably hate this album if I heard it for the first time now... but I can't separate this album now from the badassness I felt when I headbanged to "Pulse of the Maggots" as a 15-year-old for the first time. The album does vary style and there are some cool rhythm/time signature choices. Also some surprisingly emotional and melodious stuff. The album still keeps me interested and Corey Taylor is unstoppable.
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