|UserReviews 63Approval 98%Soundoffs 11News Articles 3Band Edits 4Album Edits 14Album Ratings 944Objectivity 82%Last Active 08-02-11 3:54 pmJoined 03-12-10Forum Posts 7Review Comments 3,471
So, this year had an incredible amount of good music, and now that I've got my hands on just about all of the releases I was looking forward to, here's my end of the year list.
|1||The Tallest Man On Earth|
The Wild Hunt
No matter what I'll write here, I won't be able to describe how much I love this album. AOTY by far.
Majesty And Decay
Immolation don't change very much on Majesty and Decay, but rather refine their sound. Everything from the riffs to the production feels heavier and even more mesmerizing than on most past albums. Second only to Close to a World Below. Also, seeing this live was nothing short of incredible.
|3|| ||Les Discrets|
Septembre Et Ses Derni?res Pens?es
Les Discrets take what was done by Alcest, with whom they are closely associated, and improve it ten-fold. The ethereal, nostalgic atmosphere is there, but the whole album feels much more concise and focused than Ecailles.
Almost out of nowhere, Atheist come back and release an album that can stand up to anything in the back catalog. Intelligent, mind-bending, proggy death metal at its finest.
I was very skeptical about this album, mainly because End Times was a huge disappointment and because Eels' happier songs never fascinated me very much, but this turned out to be the biggest surprise of the year. Everything from the lush instrumentation to the brighter tone works perfectly.
This is one hell of an improvement. The Sword was always decent, but they never were anything more. This album sees them improving in all fronts: the lyrics (usually one of the blander facets of the band) tell a rather fascinating space opera, the vocals (which ultimately ruined a lot of the band's older songs) are stronger, and the riffs become finally become more than Black Sabbath worship. Excellent stuff.
Scenes From Hell
Aside from Imaginary Sonicscape, I've never seen gotten the hype behind Sigh, who always seemed to be a bit boring, until this album came out. The symphonic elements are better integrated and better written, and they elevate merely above-average black metal to greatness.
Ecailles De Lune
Ecailles is saved by its absolutely otherworldly, ethereal atmosphere. Neige's voice ranges from an airy croon to a harsh black metal rasp, and it all works. Ultimately, the metallic segments could have been just a bit better and the album could have dragged a bit less, but those are relatively small complaints. The title track is one of the ten best songs of the year.
Just recently got into these guys after picking up Fas on a whim at a local record store, and they're absolutely mind-blowing. This is perhaps a bit weaker than Fas, but it's still an incredible release. I first heard this recently, so it might grow on me some more with future listens.
The Tomb Within
Masters of doom/death return with this year's strongest ep. It's marred a bit by the occasional weak vocal, and I like the muddy production of Mental Funeral more than the cleaner tone here, but it's still a great release.
Dryad is only a three-song demo, but contained within is some of the best black metal I've heard in ages. Oddly relaxing, but at the same time grandiose and energetic, Petrychor manages to do what most of their contemporaries fail at.
|12||The Tallest Man On Earth|
Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird
Yup, this Swede of average height made it onto my list for a second time. With absolutely no media coverage prior to its release, this EP came out absolutely unexpectedly. It sees The Tallest Man experimenting with electric instrumentation (The Dreamer), but still retaining the warm, folky sound that made him so endearing in the first place.
Rock & Roll
Frank Turner doing what he does best: releasing impossibly catchy folk punk. A five-song long ode to rock and roll, this EP reminds me just why we listened to rock in the first place: it's bloody fun.
Speaking of fun folk-punk, it's hard to top these guys. Eastern European motifs blend with Bomb The Music Industry! styled punk to make one hell of a ride.
Black metal with a hell-load of atmosphere. Incredible, despair-ridden vocals and mournful riffs make this an absolute delight.
Axioma Ethica Odini
A lot of this has been done before, but it's still done very well. Lightening is Enslaved's masterwork.
|17||So Hideous, My Love|
I Balance Daydreams On The Tip Of A Knife
Post rock, emo, and black metal all converge together to form a stunning, passionate cacophony. Definitely a band to look out for in the future.
It pales in comparison to the band's past albums, and it's a bit too long (the middle third, perhaps, should have been trimmed), but this is still a highly enjoyable work. Title track is one of the band's best.
30 Years Live
This served as my introduction to the band, and it certainly got me interested in the rest of their discography. Very energetic performance and many entertaining songs. Also, it's free, so what's there to lose?
The Final Frontier
Some songs drag a bit and some (The Alchemist) aren't as good as I'd hope, but this is still a fine effort. It's great that the band wants to, at this age, experiment with their sound and progress a bit, rather than just rehash The Number Of The Beast.
|19/20 album art? I'll take it. 20 is the only 3.5 on here, everything else is 4 or higher. Pretty good year.|
|Sweet list, i haven't actually listened to 11 yet, but you have me interested.|
|A lot of good stuff here. I would have included 19 on my list if I could.|
|17 is going to be on mine, albeit much higher. |
|2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, and 16 all range from really good to amazing. Nice list Vander.|
|Looks great. Have you considered Pineapple Thief???|
|wait Scenes From Hell was brilliant too you but not Imaginary Sonicscape? wut?|
@Jethro: Haven't listened to their new one, thought it was 2009, for some reason. My bad.
@Butchered: Misleading description. Imaginary Sonicscape and a couple songs from Hangman's Hymn was really all that I enjoyed from Sight prior to Scenes.
| 2 weeks left to get it!|
|oh ok but I feel SFH just complimented their winning streak of releases, Imaginary Sonicscape blew apart my world and re-built it like and audio version of Inception|
|Just got 3. I love how I'm using these lists to gather more albums before I make my own list. |
It'll be my next purchase.
SFH was my first Sigh album, and it blew me away, so I might be biased, but for me it's about as good as IS.
Yeah, I also used other peoples' lists to get some new stuff. Glad that you got 3, I could easily see you enjoying it.
|Some really awesome albums on here bro. Glad to see another metalhead who's as into The Tallest Man as