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No album managed to top my AOTY from 2009 but this was a very solid year for music. The strong, unexpected released I stumbled upon greatly outnumbered some of the disappointments released. 12-23 is a little foggy but i'm pretty satisfied with the overall ranking.
30Mutiny Within
Mutiny Within

Pretty standard melodic metal album with above-average musicianship and
fantastic vocal melodies. Not a whole lot of substance, but it's a lot of fun to
listen to. Best track: Oblivion

I don't know how this guy manages to make instrumental technical metal so
interesting for 50 minutes. Best track: Oh, God
28The Ocean

Much better than Heliocentric. Best track: Heaven TV
27Barren Earth
Curse of the Red River

Solid melodic doom metal with members of Amorphis and the vocalist of
Swallow the Sun. Sounds a lot like early Amorphis except it's a lot more
interesting. Whenever I give this a listen I like it more than I remember giving
it credit for. Best track: Flicker

It's like Converge, but even crazier if that can be fathomed. Best track:
Marrow of the Spirit

Well after three straight classics Agalloch finally show some signs of humanity.
Still this is a pretty damn good album that just happens to lack the power and
originality of their other releases. Best track: Black Lake Nidstang

I didn't like this much at first but it grew on me like crazy. Very solid melodic
metalcore coming from these young guys. The drummer is excellent. Best
track: Goodbye, Megaton

It gets a little repetitive towards the end but this is a fun fucking album.
Hardcore/black metal/classic rock never sounded so good. Best track: Offernat
22United Nations
Nevermind the Bombings, Here's Your Six Figures

I really wish this weren't an EP, it's better than their self-titled debut. Best
track: Pity Animal

And the tech-death bands from the early 90's keep returning to form stronger
than ever. Best track: Fictitious Glide
20The Dillinger Escape Plan
Option Paralysis

I overplayed this early in the year when it was one of my top contenders and
yeah I don't think this needs a description really. Best track: Gold Teeth on a
Majesty and Decay

\m/ Best track: The Comfort of Cowards
We're Here Because We're Here

Absolutely gorgeous record that is hindered slightly by its loss of steam in the
middle to the end. The opening four songs are some of the best i've heard all
year though. Best track: Thin Air
Cold and Distant, Not Loving

This was an excellent year for hardcore. Best track: The whole album's 16
minutes long just listen to all of them really.
12 Gauge

After the disappointing "For the Revolution," Kalmah release arguably their
strongest effort to date. This is melo-death done the right way, and some of the
most fun i've had listening all year. Best track: Bullets Are Blind
Diamond Eyes

You guys know this all rules. Best track: Beauty School

Just read my review for a full analyzation. Best track: Black Over Gold

His first two solo LP's were unspectacular but the Emperor frontman really
stepped it up with his third and final solo release. I might actually take After
over any Emperor release. The sax-playing makes the record for me. Best track:
12Deathspell Omega

Their most focused and enjoyable release yet. They cut the additional 30
minutes of bullshit on their other albums and instead released 45 minutes of
ridiculously dense blackened death metal. Best track: Abcission
11The Tallest Man on Earth
The Wild Hunt

To quote tombits: "I would cry to this if I didn't have a huge penis.
". Best track: King of Spain.
10In Vain

At the beginning of the year, I saw this as being my 2010 AOTY easily. I ended
up overplaying the shit out of it but Mantra still remains a very strong, focused
release and an improvement over their first full-length despite that native-
american bullshit in the middle of the album. The bookends are spectacular
though. Best track: Sombre Fall, Burdened Winter (if only for that one guitar
interlude in the middle...you know the one if you've heard it).
9Shining (nor)

Black Metal/industrial/noise/jazz/ambient that is fucking insane. Think of a black
metal Mr. Bungle. Best track: Blackjazz Deathtrance
Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up

Self Preserved is probably the weakest out of Oceansize's four LPs. The fact that
it still managed to crack my top 10 of the year is a testament to their high
standards. Best track: Oscar Acceptance Speech
7Sed Non Satiata
Sed Non Satiata

French screamo/post-rock. I wish I understood the lyrics, the music is incredibly
powerful. Best track: Osogo Oro.
Axioma Ethica Odini

It took 20+ years, but Enslaved may have released their strongest album to
date. Axioma Ethica Odini solidifies Enslaved as the most consistent and prolific
black metal band of the past few decades. Best track: Singular
A Determinism of Morality

A Determinism of Morality has a lot more in common with post-rock infused
hardcore than Rosetta's more metallic predecessors. It may not be as crushingly
heavy as The Galilean Satellites, but Determinism still manages to be a massive
album in its own right, and at an easily digestible 50 minutes in length too. Best
Track: Revolve
4Amia Venera Landscape
The Long Procession

I've written a lot about this album already. Great find by Trey that only grows
on me with repeated listens. Best Track: Marasm
3More Than Life
Love Let Me Go

I'm going to go out and make a pretty hyperbolic claim: Love Let Me Go is the
most powerful melodic-hardcore record since Everything You Ever Wanted to
Know About Silence. It's raw, pissed, heartbroken, and a whole other mess of
emotional crap. Take solace and scream along like the angst-ridden broken
pussy you know you are. Best track: Scarlet Skyline

Calculating Infinity + Fortress + the clean vocalist from Textures + nintendo 8-
bit music + crack = Unlorja. You won't know what the fuck is going on at first,
but repeated listens uncover a surprisingly ample structure behind the chaos.
Its wank factor isn't entirely hindered by a lack of song-writing, which is the
critique every technically-able band receives now. No other mathcore band has
ever sounded so complete and even majestic as Journal have though. Best
track: Viela
Asleep Next to Science

It seems that this album has been disregarded slightly as it was leaked well over
a year ago, but that hasn't stopped it from being my AOTY pretty much wire to
wire. I can't think of any album that has annoyed, challenged, and intrigued my
mind as much as this has while simultaneously causing me to sing along like a
fucking lunatic. This supergroup has reached the pinnacle of creativity releasing
an amalgam of batshit-spacey-progressive-jam-post-hardcore. Adam Fisher's
poindexter vocal delivery paired with the acid-trip sci-fi lyrics give the album an
irritatingly nerdy atmosphere. Underneath it all though it some how grabs you
and forces you to empathize with its hysteria. Best Track: Undecided...It's
between Sayer of the Law, Something Beautiful, and Eclipsical.
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