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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