|Artuma's Top 200: 150-101|
|50||Rage Against the Machine|
Rage Against the Machine
#150: Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut was never meant to be a
commercial success. It was a left-wing political manifestation by its whole heart,
but the album is just way too good to not have been such a huge success by all
odds. Tom Morello's guitar work is prominent, Zack de la Rocha's rap vocals and
catchy punch lines are passionate and Tim Commerford's bass riffs are always cool
jams. Not to mention that the album has some of the catchiest guitar riffs I've ever
The Midnight Organ Fight
#149: Frightened Rabbit aren't musically much different from their indie rock
contemporaries. It's the mindlessly intelligent lyrical output and emotional
expression with the amazing Scottish accent of the vocalist Scott Hutchison that
make Frightened Rabbit such an unforgettable band. And The Midnight Organ Fight
is full of indie rock gems that are a must for anyone keen on the genre.
|48||Jimmy Eat World|
#148: Jimmy Eat World isn't really a band that is made for my taste, but with
1999's Clarity they struck gold. It's not as raw as its predecessor, Static Prevails,
nor as poppy as their later albums. It's the perfect balance of atmosphere, catchy
hooks and emotion. Just listen to the 7-minute "Just Watch the Fireworks" and
you'll see what makes Clarity something that JEW will probably never top.
You Fail Me
#147: After the underground punk masterpiece that was Jane Doe, the
expectations for You Fail Me were enormous. It was a clever move to change a bit
from what ruled on Jane Doe, yet it is still definitely a Converge album. The sound
and overall tone are quite a bit darker than anything they have ever made and
that's what makes You Fail Me such a successful album. It's not Jane Doe (in
overall quality either) but really, it's not even supposed to be.
Marrow of the Spirit
#146: It's horrible to look at the average rating of Agalloch's fourth full-length,
Marrow of the Spirit. Honestly, I don't get it what makes it so much inferior to their
previous outings. It's definitely more cenetered around black metal than their other
albums and is another near-perfect album for Agalloch. The closer, "To Drown",
drags quite a bit but hell, the rest is pure gold and easily as great as Agalloch has
Songs About Leaving
#145: Songs About Leaving is easily one of the saddest albums I've ever listened
to. Their lyrics are pure "fuck-my-life" attitude and the female and male double
vocals are simply soothing. The music is ethereal, slow and melancholic rock with
the accompaniment of orchestral instruments. Perfectly suicidal stuff.
Si Monumentum Requires Circumspice
#144: After releasing a couple of basic, fairly average black metal albums,
Deathspell Omega changed their style to something completely unique. The music is
still pure black metal but with Si Monumentum Requires Circumspice, they add
twists that make it one of the most insane and phenomenal black metal albums I've
ever heard. Experimental, absurd, freakingly haunting... essential.
#143: Sister is often overshadowed by its successor Daydream Nation, which is
quite appalling since Sister isn't really any weaker. It's haunting, noisy and still
pretty catchy just as Daydream Nation, with a couple of gems that make it even
top that album. "Schizophrenia" shows exactly where it's at.
Seasons in the Abyss
#142: The thrash titans Slayer were always known as the band that made faster
and more ass-kicking music than anyone else at the time. And Seasons in the
Abyss is the fastest and most ass-kicking album they have ever made. Fantastic
hardcore-style riffage and unrelenting attitude are what make it my favorite Slayer
album. Punches you in the face so damn hard.
Those Who Fear Tomorrow
#141: With Those Who Fear Tomorrow, Integrity made something that no one else
had managed to create. It's a hard-hitting hardcore album with memorable metal
riffs and attitude that not many hardcore bands have expressed. Those Who Fear
Tomorrow is also undoubtedly influential, with being the starting point for what
would in the end become metalcore and what bands like Converge would have a lot
to thank for.
Under a Funeral Moon
#140: Under a Funeral Moon is just like raw black metal should be like. Relentless
tremolo-picking guitar work, raw and intentionally poor production and some of the
most evil vocals in the Norwegian black metal scene are what made Darkthrone one
of the most essential second-wave black metal bands, and Under a Funeral Moon is
them at the top of their game.
#139: It's safe for me to say that Passenger is the best album I've heard this year
so far. Even though it is a lot compared to Deafheaven because of being lead by
their touring member, these two really have nothing in common. Passenger is a lot
darker, delving more into the black metal sound and harsh d-beat riffs in a
terrifyingly great way. However it's the album closer that takes the cake. The
surprisingly epic and bright ending of "Eris" is shivering and perfectly upbeat way to
end otherwise such a dark album.
#138: Homogenic is the soundtrack for the beauty of winter. The experimental
electronic arrangements are fantastic, but it's the beautiful voice of Björk that
really gives the most chills. Her icy-cold image and voice and the lovely Icelandic
accent are what make this so perfect for beautiful and extremely cold winter days.
I just started to miss winter.
#137: Document #5 is just so fucking punk. It's inherently aggressive straight out
of their hearts, spitting emotions with such adrenaline that they could really kick
anyone in the nuts. The music is completely out of tracks, but that's what it's all
about. Document #5 is full of raw hardcore riffs, passionate vocal delivery and
simple yet powerful aggression.
#136: It's really hard to tell anything new about Physical Graffiti. Luckily, I don't
even have to. This is really an album that doesn't need a description, pretty much
everyone knows Physical Graffiti's influence and rock classics such as "Kashmir." It's
easily one of the best albums by one of the most essential rock bands of all time.
|35||Strapping Young Lad|
#135: Strapping Young Lad is silly and hilariously parodical but still so mind-
blowingly heavy and technically masterful it's hard to overlook their best album,
City. It features some of the hardest hitting riffs and songwriting that proves that
Devin Townsend is one of the most ingenious progressive metal masterminds ever.
#134: What is there to be said about Dopethrone? It's widely considered as the
heaviest album ever made, and not without a reason. The guitar has the most
down-tuned sound I've ever heard, the overall tone is full of fuzz, the vocals are
raw and heavy, and the drums are pounding like a thunderstorm. It's ridiculously
powerful and definitely an essential album for any metal fan.
I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
#133: Ah, Conor Oberst. He can be considered as the Bob Dylan of our time, with
the ingenious ability in songwriting yet he is quite flawed in his vocal delivery.
However, Conor turns his weak voice to a strength, as I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
is really a story of a weak man. The folky, acoustic and undeniably memorable indie
music is accompanied by Conor's fantastic lyrics and songwriting.
#132: Bleeding was the swan song of one of the most overlooked progressive metal
bands, Psychotic Waltz. Their first two albums were progressive masterpieces but
their third album, Mosquito, was a more straightforward album and frankly a big
disappointment. Bleeding continued at the vein of Mosquito's sound, but something
had changed. Bleeding as Psychotic Waltz at their best, the songs are tighter, the
riffs are catchier and the album is way more consistent than Mosquito.
#131: Hemispheres might not be Rush's most accessible album but it's definitely one
of the most rewarding. There is an unbelievable amount of pure talent wrapped in
the four songs of Hemispheres, two of which are considered as some of the biggest
achievements ever. The two shorter songs between "Cygnus" and "La Villa
Strangiato" provide a nice break between the two prog mammoths but aren't really
that memorable. However I couldn't agree more that "Cygnus" and "La Villa
Strangiato" are definitely some of the best pieces of music these prog giants have
|30||The Dismemberment Plan|
Emergency & I
#130: Emergency & I is a real oddball in the indie rock history. It was released in
1999, but provided something that has extremely rarely been heard even in the
2000s. While its base lies deeply in accessible and catchy rock tunes, Emergency &
I has its fair share of inaccessibility as well in the shape of odd electronic bleeps
and weeps, as well as unorthodox rhythms. A lot of it sounds even robotic, as if the
album could have been made in the 2100s. Eccentric and essential indie rock.
|29||Boards of Canada|
#129: If Music Has the Right to Children is the perfect starting point for Boards of
Canada, Geogaddi most definitely isn't like that. It demands multiple listens to
reveal all of its treasures but damn are those treasures gold. Geogaddi is far more
experimental than MHtRtC but it's probably even more consistently excellent as
well, and that's what makes it such a fantastic listen, along with the feeling when
you "get" it.
#128: Signify was probably the weirdest of Porcupine Tree's albums compared to
the rest (let's not count On the Sunday of Life). Not that it was anything more
difficult to get into, but it was nothing like the rest of their albums. It's their most
psychedelic-sounding, but the haunting atmosphere is what makes Signify so
superb. It's probably Porcupine Tree's most coherently successful release as most
of the tracks, especially "Sever" and "Dark Matter" are easily some of their best and
most complete-sounding compositions.
Prowler in the Yard
#127: Prowler in the Yard is definitely ridiculously mindless grindcore, but also
enchantingly captivating. It's disgusting, obviously, but it is some of the most
atmospherically full grindcore albums ever made as well. It's always an adventure to
listen through Prowler and even though Terrifyer comes close, it stands as Pig
Destroyer's biggest musical achievement.
#126: Whoracle wasn't only the pinnacle of catchiness in the In Flames catalogue,
but in melodic death metal as a whole. It is easy to appreciate Whoracle because
of its instant accessibility and fantastic, catchy riffs. What makes a huge
difference though is how tight the musicianship is throughout, not like their later
albums which have been quite sloppily executed radio metal. Whoracle also features
their top of epicness in the relatively slow "Jester Script Transfigured," one of the
true melodeath anthems.
#125: Camel were never big like their fellow proggers like Yes, King Crimson and
Pink Floyd, but they certainly would've deserved to be. Mirage is arguably Camel's
best effort and one of the greatest progressive rock albums ever made. It never
feels forced or cheesy, and even the longer songs just naturally flow for that
length. Mirage has its fair share of prog classics, arguably the biggest of which is
the 12-minute epic closer, "Lady Fantasy."
#124: Gorguts have always been more than just your typical death metal band.
They push the boundaries of their respective genre with their sheer technical talent
and insane chaoticness that no other death metal band has quite managed to pull
off. Obscura is often claimed to be their magnum opus and not without a reason
even if it's an incredibly tricky one. It was a remarkable release in death metal with
its often cacophonous sound and technical prowess, which made Obscura an
exceptionally powerful a totally lunatic album.
#123: Vheissu marked a huge departure from Thrice's post-hardcore sound to a
slower, more less punk-ish sound. Even though the change was relatively sudden,
Vheissu stands as the best and most focused album Thrice has ever released. It is
as hard-hitting as their earlier albums with songs like "Image of the Invisible" and
"Hold Fast Hope," as well as more emotionally delivering ("Red Sky") and crushing
("The Earth Will Shake"). Vheissu is full of their most captivating songs and the
change really couldn't have turned out to be any better.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
#122: It's sometimes actually hard to see what makes Yankee Hotel Foxtrot a
classic. It's definitely enjoyable for its whole running time, but what is so utterly
special with it may not be immediately distinguishable. It took me many listens to
start to appreciate Wilco's magnum opus like it should be appreciated but when I
did, all things beautiful in Yankee Hotel Foxtrot opened like a lockless door. Songs
like "Jesus etc." stand out with their subtlety and vulnerability, as well as with the
band's ability to write achingly touching indie rock tunes.
Chaos Is Me
#121: Chaos Is Me is easily one of the most remarkable emotional hardcore albums
of all time. It is full of intensity and abrasiveness which definitely doesn't make it an
easily digestable album, but when you let it all just hit, it becomes one of the most
striking hardcore albums ever made. This is pure passion.
#120: Too often, Red stays unnoticed compared to King Crimson's groundbreaking
prog masterpiece, In the Court, but it should never be forgotten that Red was one
of the most important progressive rock albums ever just like its "big brother." Red is
the real pinnacle of King Crimson's excellent songwriting abilities and complexity,
and it features something that could be considered as one of the greatest songs of
all time: the epic closing track, "Starless."
#119: Precambrian is a double album with two quite different discs in it. The first
one of them features a lot of hardcore influences and terrific heaviness, while the
second disc opens up a whole new world in metal epicness. Songs like "Calymmian"
(my personal favorite) contain ultra heavy riffage as well as soothing atmospheric
sections, forming cohesive and hard-hitting entities. Precambrian is a highly
enjoyable and extremely heavy album that never fails to disappoint.
#118: Neon Bible was the best imaginable follow-up to Funeral, an indie classic that
is regarded as one of the most important albums of the 2000s. Neon Bible shows
that Arcade Fire weren't a one album miracle. As Funeral aimed to the stars, Neon
Bible aims to another galaxy. It's ridiculously ambitious with Win Butler's bombastic
vocals, organ riffage ("Intervention"), rock opera ("No Cars Go") and blown-up
melodrama ("My Body Is a Cage"). In other words, Neon Bible is huge. This time
around, the ambitious take paid off, and the album succeeds in about every level
Leaves Turn Inside You
#117: Leaves Turn Inside You is just one of those albums that no one can hate. It
has something to offer for basically anyone. "Leaves" is a post-hardcore mammoth
that draws influence from various different genres like noise rock, post-rock and
even shoegaze music to create a brooding and melancholic masterpiece where not
a single minute seems wasted. That makes it pretty safe to say that Unwound hit
all the right notes with their last album.
#116: With The Seer, Swans made something that brought them back to the
spotlight, having been considered to be the masterpiece of the long-lived no-wave
act. In many ways, it is true that The Seer is where all their influences amalgamate
to form a terrifying and haunting piece of art. With its one-and-a-half-hour length
and extremely brooding nature, The Seer is absurdly ambitious. For example, take
the nauseatingly repetitive opener "Lunacy," or the 30-minute album centerpiece
carrying the album's name and you will without a doubt have a musical experience
you'll never forget.
Raising Your Voice... Trying to Stop an Echo
#115: Hammock is one of those post-rock bands that really don't try to be gigantic
or necessarily epic like GY!BE and all their followers. It's just ambience all the way.
What makes Hammock such a pleasing band and Raising Your Voice one of their
most successful releases is simply their approach to make post-rock music with the
uplifting melodies and effective ambience. Hammock is a band for those moments
when you don't want to think too much, it's just passionate 100% musical beauty
#114: XO marked a stylistic change for Elliott Smith as he had just reached his top
in commercial success and went for a full-band line-up and a different recording
company. Even though that might take something away from the beautiful
innocence of his previous releases, XO is executed absolutely perfectly. His lyrics
are as great as always, the production is a lot more easily appealing and it contains
many of his biggest gems.
|13||A Bunny's Caravan|
Draining Puddles, Retrieving Treasures
#113: It's a shame Draining Puddles remains the only album A Bunny's Caravan ever
put out. The band had massive potential to become one of the biggest and most
appreciated emo bands, and much of this potential is shown on Draining Puddles.
It's a beautifully melancholic post-rock album, but at the same time it contains a
fair share of captivating indie rock melodies and soothing vocals. Draining Puddles is
simply euphoric and the track lengths inherently grow big. Essential album but way
#112: Mercyful Fate's influence on extreme metal can't be overlooked. Melissa's
fantastic and energetic metal riffs and frenetic pace it paved way for the
forthcoming success of thrash metal, while the vocalist King Diamond's corpse
paints and his satanic lyrics were highly influential on what would later be known as
black metal. One of their most unique characteristics was also King Diamond's hig-
pitched screams and howling, which were something that had never been heard in
#111: Surfer Rosa and Doolittle are widely considered to be Pixies' masterpieces
and two of the most influential indie rock albums of all time. However, they are not
similar albums to each other at all. While Doolittle lived on with some of the most
massive hooks ever created, Surfer Rosa is a more abrasive and raw album. It has
all the elements that made Pixies such a unique band with its captivating riffage
and in-your-face attitude, executed in a way it becomes both energetic and subtle.
The Glow Pt. 2
#110: The Glow Pt. 2 is not an album to click with someone on first listen. It took
me multiple listens for The Glow to reveal all its subtleties and ingredients that
make it one of the best lo-fi indie albums I've ever heard. It might seem like an off-
beat and randomly put together indie rock album with a poor production, and to be
quite honest it really is like that (except for the "randomly put together" since the
album is actually incredibly cohesive). There is nothing redundant on The Glow: it is
simple but hypnotic enough to become an amazing musical adventure.
#109: Even though Fugazi were one of the most groundbreaking and forward-
thinking hardcore punk bands of the 90s, their debut LP, Repeater, is a punk album
with its soul firmly in its roots. With its anti-commercialistic attitude and hard-
hitting punk energy it is rightfully hailed as an underground punk classic. However
there are some songs on Repeater that really show that they weren't just another
punk band, but a band to break some new ground (e.g. "Two Beats Off").
#108: In many ways, Takk? isn't quite as experimental as Sigur Rós' previous
albums. While it doesn't lean fully on ambience like its predecessor, ( ), Takk?
takes the sound and expands upon it to create huge uplifting post-rock anthems
like "Hoppípolla" and "Glósóli." The ambience plays the main role in songs like
"Milanó," but what makes the vast difference between Takk... and ( ) is that while (
) was an absolutely devastating listen, Takk... makes you really want to live again.
The Inalienable Dreamless
#107: The Inalienable Dreamless is easily one of the most ragingly in-your-face
albums I've ever heard. The music is extremely fast, rabid, screeching, discordant
(well lel), so that listening to The Inalienable Dreamless feels like you're being hit in
the back of your head with a short whip in a speed of 200 hits per minute. We
should also not forget the high-pitched, violent screams of the mastermind behind
the band, Jon Chang.
|6||Coheed and Cambria|
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
#106: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is, even if sometimes lacking in musical
creativity and Claudio Sanchez's vocal delivery, one of the most personal albums for
me. It's impossible to count all the times I've listened to this album, or how many
times I've had shivers on the title track and been repeatedly jamming the
magnificent "The Crowing," and even though it's mostly the nostalgia that keeps
me getting back to this album every now and then, it has to be admitted that
these guys are pretty damn talented.
#105: Panopticon's dense soundscapes and brooding atmosphere are basic
ingredients for its huge success, but it is the song structures and the ambitious
approach that make every composition on Panopticon so epic. It is heavy, lengthy,
ferocious and simply devastating. Flawless.
#104: It is not often when I get excited of pop music. Frengers is one of the few
albums that has made me do so. It is an album full of poppy hooks and light vocals
but it also has its fair share of musical complexity, fantastic songwriting and terrific
atmosphere. The album's overall sound is represented in the album opener, "Am I
Wry? No" but every individual track has something new to offer, and the band's
sense of atmosphere is culminated in the album closer, the melancholic and
powerful "Comforting Sounds."
When Forever Comes Crashing
#103: I don't know if I have ever heard an album with so many ass-kicking metal
riffs on such a deeply hardcore album as on When Forever Comes Crashing. While
the band's previous effort, Petitioning the Empty Sky was an energetic and violent
hardcore album, When Forever Comes Crashing leans more on the metallic side of
Converge with its raging riffs and full-blown heaviness. However he album's biggest
advantage is how consistent it is. Every single song is amazing and there really are
no low points on this album, and the sound never becomes stale since there are
also tracks to have a different approach, like the doom-like "The Lowest Common
Denominator" and the album's ballad (yes, a ballad) "Ten Cents."
Everything Is Fire
#102: Ulcerate's debut album, Everything Is Fire, is easily one of the most
interesting death metal albums I've ever listened to. It's not only a masterpiece in
its sheer brutality and relentless riffage, but it also has an evident inclination on
atmospheric music. As Ulcerate perfectly combine these two styles to create a
massively heavy and dense sound, the band members are also incredibly talented
technically. On Everything Is Fire, they have nearly hit perfection and found their
own, intriguing sound.
|1||Explosions in the Sky|
The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
#101: Explosions in the Sky's master product, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place,
is both gigantic and elegant. The lengthy and epic post-rock compositions feel
always as massive as ever but it wouldn't really be such a special album if it
weren't for its warm acceptance. The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place is beautiful
and uplifting (aptly titled as well), like "the first breath after coma."