|29 Albums I've Heard This Year|
With a brief opinion of each.
3.5 - Nice and light. Ghostly acoustic guitar paired with some spacey vocals that make for a pleasant (if non-threatening) experience.
Last Fair Deal Gone Down
4 - While Katatonia employ the verse-chorus-etc. song structure throughout this thing, they achieve a dark mood with masterful precision. If melancholy were what we perceive happiness to be, this would've been a Top 40 hit.
4 - Weird as hell. For me, the bass on this was a highlight from the get go. Along with the dial up glitchiness and frenetic vocal delivery, it makes for a zany and memorable take on noise rock.
|4|| ||Hell Darkness|
3.5 - Straightforward black metal. Despite how meat and potatoes it is, the 2 songs on here make for a nice 8 minute jam.
4.5 - The best of Frank Zappa's solo work that I've heard. Every song is unique, and of equal greatness. An essential listen for all.
|6||We Lost The Sea|
The Quietest Place On Earth
4.5 - The raw emotion captured is superb. Add some excellent song-writing and creative delivery, and you've got one of the most unique post-metal releases of our time.
Thick As A Brick
4.5 - Just as good as it's made out to be. The humor is especially nice, and the vast instrumentation is great as well. I also love that this was a concept-as-a-joke by Ian Anderson, and it turned out to be one of the most essential prog epics.
4 - The guitar sound here is thick as... a brick. It's pummeling, monolithic, and a brooding piece of doom.
4 - Elton John knew how to write pop that wasn't the least bit pandering. As far as I'm concerned, Amy has to be one of the most overlooked songs of his career.
|10||Emerson, Lake and Palmer|
4 - While this fits the general public's perception of prog-wankery in perfect fashion, Tarkus is a great piece of music, and the grab-bag of side 2 is full of treats.
3.5 - Although Black Sabbath have been out of it for around 30 years (as far as releasing good material), this album is a nice return to form. Not amazing, but worth a listen for metal diehards.
3.5 - Check out the review.
Loud City Song
4 - This album has Bohren atmosphere, with a wonderfully seductive voice atop, and really endearing songs.
4 - Mathy, post-rocky, heavy, pretty, and cohesive.
3.5 - Very accessible melo-death. This album succeeds in having fairly wide appeal, while having to really awesome riffs, and technical soloing that doesn't ever sound pretentious.
3.5 - A little overrated, but I can definitely appreciate it for what it would lead to.
Voices of Omens
4.5 - Excellent sludge, with a southern tinge that I'll always love. Some really epic songs on here, with good variety, and unique vocals.
Diamonds and Rust
3.5 - Full of covers, but the originals on here are very nice as well. Judas Priest did not lead me astray.
4 - Had this at a 3 for a while, but I felt it deserved a revisit. Obviously this grew on me a bit. Love the darkness of this album, and the dramatic singing, also a few gems of guitar leads.
The Grand Wazoo
4 - The title track alone is worth the price of admission. A great journey through Zappa's jazzier tendencies.
|21||St. Vincent |
4 - Astounding art-pop. It has enough edge that it's not sterile, but it's sweet enough that you can throw it on almost any time.
Heart of Oak
4 - Canada's answer to Intronaut. There's some real greatness here, and a versatility that'll be good in the long run.
3.5 - Much like Hell Darkness, this is very white bread, but it's crossover thrash. Very angry stuff, and riffs to spare.
4.5 - Holds up powerfully. Great album when you want to feel the feels, or just burst out of whatever calm you may be in.
4 - Like Unknown Pleasures, had to relisten to this. The sparseness was what left me bored originally, but it aged well, and creates a great mood.
|26||Sunn O))) and Ulver|
3.5 - Really Eternal Return put this in 3.5 territory, the other tracks are good, but felt a little too reserved to be great.
Ashes Against The Grain
4 - A solid follow up to their defining album. The last 3 songs are simply beautiful.
4.5 - Wow. This album is a thoroughly unique thrash opus. The vocals can be alienating, but the riffs are creative, intense, and technically astonishing, while maintaining their humanity.
Kind of Blue
4.5 - Waited too long to listen to this legend. Kind of blue is cool as it gets, and this will certainly be the gateway to a new form of musical addiction.