Artuma
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Artuma Hits 10k! Top 200 Albums: 200-151

so this is it. i've finally hit the milestone of no-lifeness with reaching 10,000 shit posts m/ to celebrate it, i've started a really ambitious project: to rank my 200 favorite albums, and write a description for each. it is just so huge that i had to make it in four parts, and will release them one per week. this is the first one of them. as you'll see, sputnik has had a vast influence on my taste. this site is so fantastic and gotta thank for the great (and sometimes not-so-great) userbase.
50Knut
Challenger


#200: The Swiss metalcore band Knut's third album Challenger is quite an atypical metalcore album. It's relentlessly heavy and abrasive, as well as pretty technical, but what gives the album its mind-piercing power is their heavy leaning towards Isis-esque atmospheres. The intelligent usage of sludgy atmospheric riffs takes Challenger into a whole new dimension, as it took me with it.
49Bark Psychosis
Hex


#199: In the early 90s, when post-rock had just had its big bang thanks to Talk Talk and Slint, Bark Psychosis began to take the genre in its early stage to a completely new level. Their magnum opus, Hex, was arguably the most influential post-rock album of the early 90s, giving the most popular modern post-rock bands their base. Its beautiful melodies and complex song structures were and still are phenomenal.
48Pig Destroyer
Terrifyer


#198: Just look at Terrifyer's album cover and you know what to expect: a disgusting, painful and, duh, terrifying album. And that's pretty much what Terrifyer is. But it's not only frightening and puke-inducing; it's also a masterfully crafted grindcore album with thrilling and fast riffs, passionate vocal delivery and pleasant diversity. Terrifyer instantly amazed me and with repeated listens that feeling still stays.
47The Olivia Tremor Control
Dusk at Cubist Castle


#197: The Olivia Tremor Control's debut album, Dusk at Cubist Castle, is easily one of the most interesting lo-fi indie albums I've ever heard. The straightforward rock and pop songs like the opener "The Opera House" and the closer "NYC-25" are catchy yet have their quirkiness heavily on display, while on the other hand the album is full of psychedelic rock tunes, culminating in the 9-part extraordinary lo-fi masterpiece "Green Typewriters."
46Catch 22
Keasbey Nights


#196: I'm a huge Streetlight Manifesto fan and you will notice that later reading my top 200, so it's not a surprise that Keasbey Nights is an album I admire a lot. It was definitely a glimpse of what was to come with Tomas Kalkony & Co.'s magnum opus, Everything Goes Numb. Kalnoky's previous band, Catch 22, was exactly like Streetlight Manifesto, making extremely fun and intelligent ska punk tunes, accompanied by Kalnoky's charismatic voice and illogically bleak yet superb lyrics.
45Blut Aus Nord
Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With the Stars


#195: Memoria Vetusta II is definitely a lot more attractive that you might expect a black metal album to be. It is not only due to its above average production, but what the French long-term act Blut Aus Nord has created on their seventh full- length is musically nothing short of breathtaking. For sure, there is an evident amount of tremolo-picking and blast beats on the album but also memorable melodic, grandiose songs and moments which provide a truly entertaining and pleasant listen even for those who aren't necessarily black metal fans.
44Fair to Midland
Fables from a Mayfly


#194: Fair to Midland's major label debut made the relatively young Texan rock quintet one of the most promising alternative bands at the time. They simply had everything: incredibly catchy rock tunes, virtuosic musical talent (which they superbly utilised) and a charismatic singer with a quirky, unique vocal style. Every song is unbelievably enjoyable in its own way even though the album may suffer from being a little too centered around individual songs.
43Ulver
Perdition City


#193: Ulver's drastical change in their sound is one of the most well-known and praised stylistical changes in the underground scene. While listening to Perdition City, you probably wouldn't guess that they really once were one of the leading black metal bands in Norway. Perdition City is a highly experimental electronic album, but also an extremely pleasant one. The artistical diversity is absolutely remarkable, ranging from the extended usage of saxophone on Lost in Moments to the minimalism in the first half of Dead City Centres to Garm's climactic, intentionally over-produced voice on Nowhere/Catastrophe.
42Skepticism
Stormcrowfleet


#192: Skepticism's debut album, Stormcrowfleet, was groundbreaking. Pioneering the funeral doom genre, the album features frustratingly slow and dense guitar riffs, one of the lowest growling voices I've ever heard and a post-apocalyptic atmosphere no one has really crafted like. It's simply so dark that it feels like the Sun doesn't exist anymore. Terrifying, yet undoubtedly powerful.
41mewithoutYou
Catch for Us the Foxes


#191: mewithoutYou's sophomore LP, Catch For Us the Foxes can be seen as the mixture of the more atmospheric, indie-leaning sound of its follow-up, Brother Sister and the raw post-hardcore sound of their debut, [A-->B] Life. And it's near-perfect as such. Catch For Us the Foxes is full of catchy tunes, intelligent songwriting and Aaron Weiss' passionate vocal delivery. It's definitely an essential post-hardcore album.
40Nails
Abandon All Life


#190: While Abandon All Life is exactly as relentless and heavy as its predecessor, what really separates them from each other are the slow, sludgy riffs that were absent on Unsilent Death but shine on their sophomore effort. Even though it barely passes the 15-minute mark and suffers a little from its short length, this is powerviolence at its best. Ferociously crushing.
39Ulver
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


#189: Ulver's fourth album is the real oddball of their discography. Gone are the black metal and Norse folk of their three previous albums as is the pure electronica of their later ones and instead the Norwegian quintet crafts an experimental and highly industrial, even proggy and undoubtedly epic double album with lyrics based on William Blake's poem "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell". Often overlooked in Ulver's diverse catalogue, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is arguably their most underrated effort.
38Defeater
Travels


#188: Travels has to be one of the most interesting hardcore punk albums of the 2000s I've heard. The musicians are very talented and their melodies are frenetic yet catchy, but what really shines through is the vocalist Derek Archambault's fantastic shouts and his somber, conceptual lyrics. They definitely aren't just another run-of-the-mill hardcore band.
37The Dillinger Escape Plan
Miss Machine


#187: The Dillinger Escape Plan's second LP, Miss Machine, is an extremely interesting album in many aspects, most of them being related to their previous effort, Calculating Infinity. The new vocalist Greg Puciato is definitely more talented and diverse than his predecessor which adds odd twists into their previously so relentless, chaotic and often cacophonous sound. Of course, the chaotic elements and their recognizable technicality are as evident as ever but this time around, inevitably because of Puciato's more melodic vocal style, there are also a couple of slower and more melodic songs which makes Miss Machine in many ways quite a lot more interesting release than Calculating Infinity even though it's not without its flaws.
36Yndi Halda
Enjoy Eternal Bliss


#186: Enjoy Eternal Bliss could well be described as the Godspeed of the later 00s. Their song structures are very much similar to each other and both are, honestly, able to change lives. However, while GY!BE took a more pessimistic path in their arrangements, Yndi Halda's masterpiece is simply one of the most uplifting albums ever created. It serves me a warm, cheerful breeze for the days I'm not feeling good. Enjoy Eternal Bliss is elegant, lighthearted and compassionate.
35Protest the Hero
Fortress


#185: Fortress used to be one of my favorite albums when it came out six years ago. The album was incredibly technical, full of energy and held an enormous amount of memorable riffs and song structures. It's the charismatic vocalist, Rody Walker, who divides the listeners' opinions. He screams, growls and sings clean, and that clean voice is definitely something that can be terribly annoying to some. Not for me though.
34Between the Buried and Me
The Great Misdirect


#184: Between the Buried and Me are terrible, if you look at them in a certain way (which many users on this site do). They are definitely aware of their technical skills and have a compulsive need to show it. Their mish-mash of everything existing blending into ambitious progressive (death) metal might be too confusing. It's also nearly impossible to ignore their vocalist Tommy Rogers' weak half-growls. So, what makes these guys so good then? I really see them turning their phenomenal amount of creativity into something actually cohesive, in which their indisputable musical talent truly shines. The Great Misdirect is full of incredible riffs and melodies, the band is writing their funnest and most interestingly arranged songs ever and Rogers' clean vocals are, in fact, great. The closer gets sometimes lost in egoistic wankery but it's too little of a flaw for me to not love this album.
33Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...


#183: Lift Your Skinny Fists? is probably the most massive album these post-rock legends have ever released, not only because of its demandingly huge overall length, but also because of its ultimately grandiose sound. Not that their music hasn't always been vastly ambitious but LYSF's build-ups and climaxes are some of the most colossal ever recorded. It's definitely classic GY!BE, and sometimes even more, but the album demands such patience it's really, really hard to fall in love with it if you're not fully focused.
32Genesis
Selling England by the Pound


#182: To be quite honest, I never was a big fan of Genesis nor have I ever considered them to be one of the big four of prog. It's still hard not to appreciate their magnum opus, Selling England by the Pound. It's a truly remarkable conceptual album and epic in every single way. Each musician plays at top-notch quality, the harmonies are fantastic and Peter Gabriel's vocals are a pleasure for ear. It's not a miracle that Selling England by the Pound stands as one of the most praised progressive rock albums of all time.
31Stella Luna
Stargazer


#181: Thank you, Keyblade. Stella Luna's only album, the Stargazer EP is one of the most beautiful shoegaze albums I've ever heard. It's short but sweet, as every single track comprises breathtakingly gorgeous, fuzzy melodies and, as so typical for the greatest shoegaze bands, immediately lovable female/male double vocals. Stargazer isn't anything groundbreaking but it's impossible to not like it.
30Ne Obliviscaris
Portal of I


#180: This Australian prog sextet is definitely one of the most promising metal acts around. Their music is a very melodic and epic fusion of progressive rock song structures, high technicality, death metal aggressiveness, interesting instrumental diversity and even black metal rawness. All this is put together in an extremely catchy way, and Portal of I is easily one of the most enjoyable progressive metal albums recently released.
29Manic Street Preachers
The Holy Bible


#179: The Holy Bible was one of the defining alt rock albums of the 90s. At first glimpse it might seem like just some great, enjoyable rock but beneath lies the bleakness and even pure hatred in the lyrics, which reveals the true heart of The Holy Bible. In a nutshell, this is some of the most masterfully executed melancholia ever made.
28Anathema
We're Here Because We're Here


#178: Having had their evolution from the doom metal roots to extremely melancholic alternative/progressive rock and creating a flock of consistent releases, Anathema went on a hiatus in 2003 and came back seven years later with a bang. The atmospheric, dreamy elements now play the main role while they are still maintaining their progressive rock sound. It feels like their whole career culminates in the song "A Simple Mistake".
27Envy
All the Footprints You've Ever Left...


#177: Envy were one of the pioneering bands in the now-popular post-rock influenced screamo music and All the Footprints? is one of the defining albums of the genre, as well as easily one of the best. It is extremely tight, emotional, beautiful, intense and ever changing the pace, breaking new ground for numerous bands that came after.
26Fair to Midland
Arrows and Anchors


#176: In almost every way, Arrows and Anchors is just as good as its predecessor, Fables from a Mayfly. Catchy rock tunes, tight songwriting and Darroh Sudderth's powerful, nasally voice stand out again. However there is one little (or maybe not so little) detail that makes Arrows and Anchors even better than Fables: the 10- minute closer "The Greener Grass", easily the most epic song they have ever made, and sadly, will probably ever make.
25Cynic
Focus


#175: Without a doubt, there is no band quite like Cynic. They have always been in their own league of progressive metal, and their debut album, Focus, shows exactly why they are such a special band. You see, it was years ahead of its time. Released in 1993, when death metal had just really developed, it was full of elements that had never been used in death metal before. Fusion jazz influences and electronic vocals on a highly technical death metal album? Cynic makes it work so well that it's just ridiculous.
24State Faults
Resonate/Desperate


#174: State Faults' sophomore release was easily one of the best albums last year. Not that it was anything groundbreaking nor was it something of which existence we'll remember like 20 years later. However, it's hard to find another screamo album so fully enjoyable. Everything on this album is executed so well, so passionately, so appealingly, it's every time a huge pleasure to hear Resonate/Desperate. I don't mean that it's an upbeat album, not at all, but sadness hasn't often sounded as spectacular.
23Queens of the Stone Age
Songs for the Deaf


#173: Songs for the Deaf was the album which at the latest spawned QotSA to mainstream success but it's not only an incredibly catchy album to hit the charts. It's also extremely fun and diverse, as well as it has a fair share of memorable riffs. The raw shouts in the opener quickly change to the bluesy feel of "No One Knows" which set up the fun journey that will end up as one of the cornerstones in the "stoner rock" genre.
22Slowdive
Just for a Day


#172: Always overlooked and overshadowed by its successor, Just for a Day is a fine glimpse of what was to be perfected on Souvlaki. It's dreamy, poppy and melancholic shoegaze, just as Souvlaki, and even if it could hardly be called a classic, Just for a Day is really consistent and has some clear standout tracks as well, such as the depressive opener, "Spanish Air".
21Kashiwa Daisuke
Program Music I


#171: The Japanese composer Kashiwa Daisuke almost hits perfection on Program Music I, a two-track album best described by its album cover. Come on, just look at it. Wouldn't it be just euphoric to feel that picture as music? The first track, "Stella," is simply everything you'd want ambient music to be. It builds up to mind- warming climaxes and gorgeous instrumental arrangement, so that'd I could easily listen to that song for that song until the end of my life. The second song, "Write Once, Run Melos" is a more experimental piece of art, excellent as what it is, but not quite as hard-hitting as "Stella."
20Mayhem
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas


#170: Mayhem were hands down the most infamous second-wave black metal band. The Deathcrush EP was one of the most influential albums in the Norwegian black metal scene but what the band is really the most known for is the murder of their frontman Euronymous, their violent live shows and easily one of the most famous black metal releases of all time, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. It was the only full-length album Mayhem released in the 90s and stays as one of the most remarkable black metal albums of those years. It is raw, poorly-produced and satanic Norwegian black metal at its most "kvlt", and it definitely doesn't sound or feel good, but in the end it doesn't have to. It's the full embodiment of the Norwegian black metal scene's violent crimes, disgusting performances and chill- inducing sickness. That's just something frightening.
19Death
Human


#169: Human or Symbolic? The squabble about Death's best album is endless but either way, both were absolute pinnacles in progressive death metal. My favorite one of these two, Human, sees Death make a basically flawless death metal record. Their technical prowess, song structures and riffs are beyond amazing, and even if this is not a mammoth in its length, it makes that up in sheer quality. Essential.
18Stars of the Lid
And Their Refinement of the Decline


#168: Stars of the Lid's return from the hiatus resulted Refinement of the Decline, an exhaustingly long double album of droning ambient music. They aren't definitely going for huge build-ups and massive climaxes, but instead have written here some of the most beautiful minimalist ambient compositions (no exaggeration) of all time. The music is extremely droning, sometimes it seems like there is nothing going on in the tracks, but each one is a very pleasant listen. The songs usually have a very spacious feel to them and at their best, it's purely trance-inducing.
17Swans
Children of God


#167: In the 80s Swans had gained a status as one of the most crushing noise rock bands to exist, but with Children of God they add some interesting twists to the frightening nature of their music. The haunting feel is definitely still there and Michael Gira's voice is as terrifying as ever, but something has changed. On Children of God, the approach is musically much more gentle than their early, cacophonous settling. Beneath the noisy, droning surface, lies beauty they probably haven't quite managed to disclose on their other albums.
16pg.lost
It's Not Me, It's You!


#166: pg.lost might seem like just another post-rock band, and they really aren't anything original. However, what It's Not Me, It's You! succeeds in isn't really pg.lost's own style of making post-rock music, but how they perfect other artists' ideas to create a stunning collection of achingly beautiful and epic songs. Easily the best example of these is "Yes I Am," which features one of the most gorgeous instrumental moments I've ever heard.
15Extol
Undeceived


#165: Undeceived is so criminally overlooked in the progressive metal scene it hurts. It is an album full of influences from pretty much everything metal but instead of becoming a complete mess, Undeceived has its own solid sound which inevitably makes up an extreme metal masterpiece. They draw influences especially from black metal and thrash metal to create a melodic death metal mammoth with a clear progressive take on it.
14The Angelic Process
Weighing Souls With Sand


#164: It's so fuzzy it makes you dizzy. Weighing Souls With Sand is probably the worst album ever for curing your headache, but it's definitely an essential listen for people who love shoegaze. My Bloody Valentine's Loveless is a clear influence in their music, but The Angelic Process takes Loveless' sound to more extreme. It's heavier and even more fuzzy so that the pop tendencies aren't really on display, even though the melancholic melodies can easily be heard. Powerful stuff.
13Thrice
The Artist in the Ambulance


#163: Thrice's breakthrough release, The Illusion of Safety was a technical, catchy and energetic post-hardcore album able to delight pretty much everyone. Despite its charm, The Illusion of Safety was quite immature and a little na´ve in its all open-mindedness. The Artist in the Ambulance expands upon The Illusion of Safety's sound and ends up having a better procution, being overall catchier, slower, less technical, more lyrically effective and in every way more mature than its predecessor.
12Manchester Orchestra
Simple Math


#162: Manchester Orchestra has always had potential to do something big, and they clearly know it. The ambitious indie rock compositions felt massive already on Mean Everything to Nothing, but Simple Math goes further in that. It's incredibly solid and every track is a really enjoyable indie rock tune. However, some tracks just are true hints of their ability to write a "classic." The emotional ballad-style title track and the prog-influenced closer Leaky Breaks are such.
11Rosetta
A Determinism of Morality


#161: A Determinism of Morality has some serious balls. From the opening riff of "Ayil" to the last notes of the title track, it constantly kicks your ass with its rhythmic ferocity and tremendous riffs, never leaving you cold. Well, at least almost constantly since the one break between the heaviness comes in a shape of "Blue Day for Croatoa," a beautiful instrumental track that is set for sunny summer days.
10Melvins
Bullhead


#160: The opening track of Bullhead, Boris, is more than just an essential track. I mean, even a now-widely-acclaimed drone band took its name off the track. It also features one of the most famous riffs in the doom metal history, and also one of the best. "Boris" is an inspirational piece of music. The rest of the album doesn't pale much in front of it, as the riffs are crushing and the musicianship is top-notch.
9Touche Amore
...to the Beat of a Dead Horse


#159: Much like their fellow post-hardcore bands Defeater, Pianos Become the Teeth and La Dispute, Touche Amore are an extremely emotional band. With ?to the Beat of a Dead Horse's main role being played by its lyrics and the emotional manifestation, the catchy melodies and hardcore edginess are almost as notable. The album is coarsely short yet incredibly effective and it can be pretty much summed up with "Nine" a song clocking at a modest 45 seconds, containing some excellent lyrical lines and a great representation of their sound.
8Windir
Likferd


#158: Likferd is easily one of the most pleasant black metal albums I've ever heard. Not only does it have a great production but incredible, soaring riffs and atmosphere as well. It is simply elegant in many ways and is able to capture pretty much any metal listener's attention. Essential for anyone interested in black metal.
7Pianos Become the Teeth
The Lack Long After


#157: The Lack Long After shows such emotional value and depression that it has rarely been heard. The music is very atmospheric and melancholic post-rock influenced post-hardcore, as bands such as City of Caterpillar have so many times made irresistibly captivating. Even though the music is fantastic, it's the devastating lyrics and the desperation-exuding screaming vocals that make The Lack Long After one of its kind. Lyrics such as "It seems we all get sick/we all die in some no name hospital with the same colored walls/and I guess that's fine" are, um, duh.
6Opeth
Blackwater Park


#156: Everything that can be said about Opeth's breakthrough album, Blackwater Park, has been said. It's one of the most acclaimed albums in the history of progressive metal, and deservedly so. The musicianship is excellent, the song structures are magnificently well done, Mikael ┼kerfeldt's use of both clean vocals and death metal growls is astonishing, and then we have the riffs. Tasty, enjoyable, melodic and heavy riffs. Of course the album has its flaws in a sense that tracks like "Harvest," end up being completely forgettable but there is no doubt Blackwater Park not having some of the most effective moments in metal ever.
5City of Caterpillar
City of Caterpillar


#155: Being another innovating factor in post-rock nuanced screamo, City of Caterpillar only album may be the most essential one just to establish how influential this album is. It is perfectly balanced and beautiful yet it has its old- school screamo style rawness.
4Sonic Youth
Daydream Nation


#154: Daydream Nation is extremely engaging in its noisy musicianship, brooding melodies and gloomy vocals. It is at many places surprisingly with its enjoyable riffage yet it's also shamelessly underground. After all, Daydream Nation, despite being full of noise, strange song structures and somewhat lo-fi production ended up being one of the most commercially successful and defining post-punk albums of the 80s.
3The Menzingers
On the Impossible Past


#153: To be honest, two years ago I could've never thought that some day I'd actually love On the Impossible Past. Easy-going melodic punk rock used to have a really repulsive impact on me. Now I couldn't be more happy that I gave this another shot. They have insanely catchy hooks, witty lyrical lines throughout the album and absolutely perfect vocals by Greg Barnett. The Menzingers really are one of the most promising and already one of the best melodic punk bands around.
2Enslaved
Frost


#152: Enslaved might have become more well-known as an astonishingly consistent progressive metal band, but we shouldn't forget how essential they were as a raw black metal act back in the early 90s. Frost is a significant viking black metal album with its engaging atmosphere and effective folk elements yet it holds a sound that is relentless and aggressive.
1Boards of Canada
Music Has the Right to Children


#151: In 1997, the Scottish masters of IDM released something that could be regarded as their magnum opus, Music Has the Right to Children. It's astoundingly diverse, but succeeds in molding to a cohesive and pleasant listen in every way. The hip-hop beats are accompanied by sweet sampling and delicate melodies, and listening to Music Has the Right to Children is a pleasure to anyone, regardless of whether you are into electronic music or not.
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