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12.31.17 Sab's fast 2017 list 08.31.17 Mountain and sea // digs of old and new
01.04.17 Sab's cute 2016 list01.01.16 Sab's lazy 2015 list
07.04.15 Toto last night

Mountain and sea // digs of old and new

I've been virtually dead for more than a month, stuff happened. Meanwhile, I took a trip to both the mountains (Veneto) and the seaside (Abruzzo). Music was a constant theme, so I decided to make a list full of stuff I have listened to in that period. Expect a lot of Paradise Lost. The second half of the list will likely be more interesting, because the first trip had a bigger partying feel, not much exploration music-wise. Descriptions will be mostly brief. All in all this list is just an excuse to throw together a bunch of things, there wasn't really much effort. The final part of the list will have a few more 2017 digs that weren't necessarily from the two trips. ~
1Paradise Lost
Draconian Times

Rules hard though I'm still more of a death PL guy. Very cool stuff in the related singles/EPs too, like "Another Desire", "Fear" or "Master of Misrule". In dreamland I would probably switch them with a couple songs from the main album that don't convince me 100%.
2Paradise Lost
Shades of God

My favorite PL at the moment. Far from virtuoso playing but the amount of memorable passages and evolving structures wins me over. Riffs aplenty too. Really really love Holmes' vocals here, heavy but also very "human". It dips in quality in the second half though, so in the end I may not give it a particularly higher rating than the rest. "Mortals Watch the Day", "Crying for Eternity" and "Pity the Sadness" are all in my top 10 PL and one of them is likely to be 1st spot.
3An Autumn For Crippled Children
The Long Goodbye

Who knew they could drop such a beast of an album, and I already loved them before. Definitely my favorite "blackgaze" band, unexpectedly tasty playing especially in the rhythm section.
4The Birthday Massacre
Nothing And Nowhere

Honestly I just wanted to have this album on a list. We shuffled the band during a heavy downpour, pretty cool experience. Either "Under the Stairs" or "To Die For" (N&N version absolutely) is my fave TBM song. It's probably the former, the guitar is just scorching.
5Pat Metheny Group
Still Life (Talking)

"Last Train Home", it's self-explanatory. Except that I played it during the outward journey. The madman. Or maybe there's a mysterious deeper meaning???? Anyway if you like jazz fusion give a shot to at least "Minuano" and "Third Wind".
Chicago V

Very accessible jazz with catchy vocals. "Goodbye" is the best song ever written, most likely. "A Hit by Varèse" also slays.
Power Windows

Such a great feel good album ("Grand Designs") with also more pensive twists ("Middletown Dreams"... damn). There really is no band like Rush. ~feelings~
35th Anniversary Tour - Live In Poland

Why do you bother to play gigs when this band is already out there playing theirs? The way they toy with their music leaves me stunned. You never really know Toto until you see them live, but this album is a very valuable alternative. Many hits but also some cool deeper cuts, and anyway the hits here are played like you never heard them before. See you this March my dudes, you better play Hydra again. They are about to start a big 40th anniversary tour and there should be some surprises. I know Sputnik doesn't care but really, if you can, go see them live while you still have the possibility. Obviously if you dig some sugar in your rock, but also if you are a fan of prog and jazz (or simply virtuosity), because that's often the kind of show it feels you're attending. (I once linked a live medley to Jethro and he approved! :D)
9Death Angel
Killing Season

Underrated thrash. There are dodgy tracks admittedly and it's far from old school but "Soulless", "Carnival Justice" and "Resurrection Machine" are killer.
10John Scofield and Pat Metheny
I Can See Your House from Here

"The Red One"
Excellent rocky number. What a gem of an album in general btw. Jazz fusion lovers avoid at your own risk!
11Ghost (SWE)

"He Is"
Can't say I'm the biggest Ghost fan but this song's sweet
Cowboys from Hell

"The Sleep"
that one riff
Vulgar Display of Power

"This Love"
14Premiata Forneria Marconi
L'isola di niente

My favorite PFM song, and possibly album. This band could really use a discog review, uh...
15Black Sabbath
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

always a good choice
16Black Sabbath
Cross Purposes

"Immaculate Deception"
underrated album
17Nanowar of Steel
A Knight at the Opera

"Giorgio Mastrota (The Keeper of Inox Steel)"
Italy where are your Sputnikers?
(yea this is dumb)
De ferro italico

epic blackened power metal
19Nova (IT)
Il Ritorno

"D'in sulla vetta"
black metal

20Sonata Arctica

"Kingdom for a Heart"
+ random songs
Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!

"Chosen Ones"
One thing led to another and we pointed horns towards a burning fireplace

the right morning alarm
In Trance

It's exceptional, especially when it hits the right mood. Pumps you up but also has some incredible gloomier tunes. I imagine this is their darkest album. "Evening Wind" is immense, almost doomy too. Plus there is some sweet bass playing in this album.
Seasons of the Black

2017 dig. Catchy hooks ("Justify") and cool solos ("Serpents in Disguise"). However songs like "Septic Bite" are... kinda bad, I'd say. And god it sounds muddy, the last album sounded better to me. All in all, I'm probably going to give it a 3 just like the last one. It's good but idk about calling it great. It is an improvement though, in some ways. Enjoyable power/thrash. Fans should dig.
25The Birthday Massacre
Under Your Spell

2017 dig. Possibly their best since Walking with Strangers (not by a huge margin, admittedly). It doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel and a few songs feel like you heard them before, but when it's good, it's really bloody good. I'm obsessed with "Hex".
26Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost

Cool stuff but pretty rigid, it doesn't always convince me. However I dig the pop/doomy/goth blend. "Sun Fading" is fantastic, one of my favorite PL songs. "Forever After" is another favorite.
27Rise Against

2017 "dig". "Wolves", "Megaphone" and "Broadcast[Signal]Frequency" are sweet, shame the vast majority of the rest is bland. Anyway this entry is mostly for Rise Against in general, I've been listening to some of their songs recently. I really like "Alive and Well" off the debut. Siren Song could be my favorite RA album.

It drags so much. I like it, but I hope I'll never spin it in full ever again. The best tracks off this plus the best tracks off Talk would make a great album.

be the one
giving in to loooove

My point of entry was Here Be Monsters, which I loved. Now I'm trying to work my way into this band. Listening to Blissard at the beach at 6:30 AM was a solid choice. If you like dredg (CWA sound), you may dig this too.
La Fabbrica delle Nuvole

2017 dig. Intimate progressive rock with various influences like symphonic touches and pop (fear not). There's even a medieval sounding song. Some of the riffs are relatively heavy.
31Jethro Tull
Heavy Horses

Songs from the Wood is my favorite JT album, of course I love this too.
Chicago VII

A tough double album. It begins as jazz fusion but then goes into pop and soul territory. Check the 10 minutes of "Devil's Sweet", sweet jamming in there and definitely not the Chicago you'd expect. This could be seen as the last great (or at least the last ambitious) Chicago album.
33Museo Rosenbach

An RPI classic that I can't say to be completely in love with, as it feels scatterbrained in structure. That random fade out inside of "Superuomo" should be punished by law. However the individual sections are excellent and often stunning, and the drums sound godly.
34Paradise Lost
In Requiem

In my eyes a stronger, heavier, version of the self-titled. "Prelude to Descent" is formidable.
35Depeche Mode
Songs of Faith and Devotion

Far from my favorite DM but still great. I love "One Caress".
None So Vile

I haven't listened to the actual album, but instead I went to a live show where they played it in full. We had fun, I drank even though I promised myself not to, and I got the CD signed.
37Naked Sun
Naked Sun

Super underrated progressive rock from the... 90s. Yet I wouldn't really call it prog metal.
38Barbara Gogan with Hector Zazou
Made on Earth

Trip hop for nervous late night walking.
The Sentinel

Infectious neo-prog
40Living Colour
Time's Up

Funk metal
41Shining (NOR)
International Blackjazz Society

I heard "Last Day" and it sounds like alternative metal with sax. Eeh not sure how much I dig.
42Crown of Thorns
Crown of Thorns

AOR. "Dying for Love" rules and I don't feel guilty.

Chamber jazz, give it a shot if you feel jazz fusion is too indulgent.
44Paradise Lost

Haven't checked the leak. Anyway "The Longest Winter" grew a lot on me and "Blood and Chaos" is cute. So I'm hyped again.
45Diamanda Galas
All the Way

2017 dig. I imagine this is one of her most accessible releases. I only know this, Plague Mass and Litanies of Satan. It's really impressive what she can still do with her voice and how she controls it. "O Death" is my pick. She is a banshee.
Slough Of Despond

2017 dig. Funeral doom. Strong melodies and a pleasant usage of clean vocals and mellow passages, quite atmospheric ("Funeral Waltz" a good example). Don't forget the guitar riffs though, they're there too ("White Widow"). I'm really surprised, I gave this a shot on YouTube and I wasn't expecting much from an unknown bandcamp one-man act. There is some good taste for melody ("The Ravensong") in here. The songs range from 7 to 12 minutes but it's not fatiguing, also thanks to the polished production. Did I mention that it's name your price?
47Led Bib
Umbrella Weather

2017 dig. Jazz fusion / free jazz / jazz rock / a few weird touches. One of my 2017 favorites so far. Overlong maybe but it's always a pleasure, there are some very memorable moments. People are also digging the new Angles 9 album but personally that one doesn't tell me that much.
48White Ward
Futility Report

2017 dig. Blackgaze blended with dark jazz for which the band has a dedicated saxophonist. There are also some cool touches of electronic sounds. I heard people complain about the vocals, and I understand why. They feel a bit "core" in a sense, but I'm not bothered. Another 2017 favorite so far.
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