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12.31.18 Worst Top 50 List Ever

Worst Top 50 List Ever

Here's a list of my top 50 albums of 2018
50Nine Inch Nails
Bad Witch


Starting this list off is an album that almost didn’t make it on in the first place. When I was going through the albums that I had picked to be on the list, there were three albums that I couldn’t decide on to be album 50 (the other two being Acoustic 2 by Bayside, and You Won’t Get What You Want by Daughters). This one stuck out to me mostly because there isn’t a moment on the album that I don’t particularly like. Instead, we get six solid songs that come together to make what is so far my favorite Nine Inch Nails record to date (this may change once I finally get around to the rest of their discography). It’s heavy, raw, and catchy all at the same time. The only reasons why it’s not higher is because one, it’s short, and two, it’s not an album that I have gone back and listened to besides the handful of times I’ve listened to it when it came out and when I was making this list.

Favorite song: God Break Down the Door
49Coheed and Cambria
The Unheavenly Creatures


This album dropped pretty dramatically from where I initially had it when I started making the list. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad album by any means, there are just some things about it that I didn’t really like. It’s too long for one. It would’ve been better in my opinion if they cut four or five of the songs. Secondly, at least for me, it failed to grab my attention with every listen I gave it. Sure, there are some good songs, and the musicianship is great, but it fails to reel me in, and I usually stop listening half way through.

Favorite Song: Queen of the Dark
48Trophy Eyes
The American Dream


It’s really hit or miss when a band chooses to change their sound, and this new Trophy Eyes is kinda in the middle. Going for a more pop punk/rock sound, they do an alright job. There are some great songs with catchy choruses that will sound great live. However, there are some moments that are a little too cliche and a little too predictable. The lead singer has a great voice, but I miss some of the rougher vocals from their last album. The album isn’t bad by any means, it’s just missing some things to truly be great.

Favorite Song: Friday Forever
47Tremonti
A Dying Machine


This is one of the more disappointing albums that made the list this year. I love their last album, Dust, and it is still an album that I listen to on a fairly regular basis. This album is almost as good, however, it feels too similar to it, which is A Dying Machine’s greatest downfall. There are some bangers on here, as well as some great guitar riffs, but it lacks the creativity that Dust has, and for that it sits at #47.

Favorite song: Throw Them to the Lions
46Thrice
Palms


From the moment the first song Only Us begins, you can tell that this is album is going to different than its predecessor, To Be Everywhere is to Be Nowhere. It’s an album that has more pop and rock influences than that album (which leans more towards a post-hardcore sound), and is full of songs that give a chill or relaxed vibe, while also showing off some fantastic guitar and bass playing. This is a great rock album, and everyone can find something that they like in it. However, it ranks this low due to it feeling a little too simplistic at times, and it sometimes lacks the lyrical substance compared to their last album.

Favorite song: Just Breathe
45Deafheaven
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love


Deafheaven is probably the most beautiful sounding black metal band you will ever hear. There’s just something about their music that is almost dream-like. Their unique sound is why they are one of the most beloved bands in the metal world right now. Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is a return to what made them so popular to begin with, while also adding new elements to their sound that adds to the sound that they have perfected. It is probably the perfect album to listen to if you want to dive in the abyss that is black metal.

Favorite song: Honeycomb
44Horrendous
Idol


This is a good old school death metal album. It’s fast, thrashy, and heavy, all things that make enjoyable death metal. The vocals aren’t really my favorite style of screaming, but they work well in the album and are mixed in perfectly to my liking. Musically, the playing is fantastic, with some great bass and drum playing throughout.

Favorite song: Devotion (Blood For Ink)
43Remo Drive
Pop Music


Remo Drive has been killing it with their recent releases. Greatest Hits is one of my favorites from last year, and this EP is just as good. All three songs are solid from top to bottom, with my only minor complaint being the singing is a little too polished in my opinion. I am really excited to see what they put out next, and hope that they continue down the path they’ve started.

Favorite song: Blue Ribbon
42Wiegedood
De Doden Hebben Het Goed III


As much as I claim not to like black metal, I am always surprised that I like most black metal albums that I listen to every year, and this is no exception. Wiegedood is different from your typical black metal band. Their great production, at least when talking about this genre, makes them feel unique. There is also some progressive elements to their sound that gives me a Moonsorrow vibe to this album, especially in the vocals. But overall, it’s a pretty solid album, and my favorite that they have released so far.

Favorite Song: De Doden Hebben Het Goed III
41Hail the Sun
Mental Knife


Hail the Sun is a relatively new band for me. I’ve known about them for a few years now, but I had never listened to them till Secret Wars, their last EP, came out. I loved that EP, and still listen to a couple of the songs on it. This album feels like a combination of that EP and their last album, which was much simpler musically. You sill get those moments of post-hardcore freak outs, but juxtaposed with moments that would feel at home on their last full-length. It’s a good combo that works on some levels, but it’s ultimately not as fun to listen to. It’s good, but I know they can do better.

Favorite song: The Stranger in Our Picture
40Mayday Parade
Sunnyland


To be honest, I thought this album was gonna suck before I listened to it. I loved the direction that they went with Black Lines, and when I heard the first single, Piece of Your Heart, I was not impressed. However, I could not be more wrong about this album. This is one of the most fun pop punk albums to come out in a while, and there are a lot of great pop punk albums that came out this year. Yes, there are some slower songs mixed in, and a gut wrenchingly sad one too, but overall this is a fun album full of pop punk anthems.

Favorite songs: Is Nowhere, Where You Are
39Anthony Green
Would You Still Be In Love


Anthony Green has become one of my favorite artist of over the last couple of years. Everything he is in I love, whether it be his solo stuff, Saosin, or Circe Survive, it’s pure gold. This is a very relaxed album, perfect for a rainy day inside with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. His voice works really well with the acoustic guitars and piano that’s sprinkled in from time to time, and has almost a dreamy feel at certain points in the album. Check this one out if you haven’t yet, it’s good.

Favorite song: Vera Lynn
38God Alone
Bent Shoulders


Post-punk is a genre of music that has never really grabbed my attention in the past. Sure, there are some good post-punk bands and albums, but nothing that I have found pulls me in. This is the first one that I have thoroughly enjoyed in a while. God Alone is a side project of some of the guys from The Devil Wears Prada, which is one of my favorite metalcore bands of all time, so when I heard about this I had to check it out. There is some great production on this album. It feels raw, and it knows when to bring out a part and to give the music a really chunky, hardcore punk-ish, feel to them. One complaint tho is that the vocals do feel one-dimensional at times, and there is little variation from his usual, almost spoken word style, aside from the occasional scream or shout.

Favorite song: Stay Away, Professor
37Brockhampton
Iridescence


BROCKHAMPTON is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in rap. After dropping three fantastic albums one after another last year, the bar was set high for this release among fans, including yours truly, for their next album. However, this feels like a bit of a step back for the group. The album lacks the fun and energy that was all over the SATURATION trilogy, and you really can’t blame them. They’ve gone through a lot over the past year, and it shows in the music. There are some bangers, and some great moments on the album, but it’s a sadder album overall.

Favorite song: J’OUVERT
36Judas Priest
Firepower


This was the first Judas Priest album I have ever sat down and listened to, and I was not disappointed. The metal legends have blessed the world with another solid release. It’s almost a miracle that these guys, for as long as they’ve been making music, are still able to make great metal. Every musician in the band have wonderful moments on the album, but it wouldn’t be a Judas Priest album without Rob Halford’s fantastic performance. He really makes this album from the moment it starts.

Favorite song: Evil Never Dies
35The Armed
Only Love


I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this one. On one hand, I love this album. It’s noisy, chaotic, fast, and just everything I love about this style of metalcore. On the other, it’s too much of those things, and it gets a little overwhelming at times. This is not an album that you can just sit down and relax to. I can’t really think of any normal circumstance that this album really fits. But this is not your usual album, and it doesn’t want to be. It’s meant to make you uncomfortable. It’s meant to grab you by the collar you and pummel you with blast beats, throat shredding screams, and utter noise. It’s only when you embrace the chaos that the album presents itself for the true beauty that it is.

Favorite song: Parody Warning
34Terror
Total Retaliation


Hardcore is almost like a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s not that it’s bad or something, it’s just that I always prefer it to things that I think are objectively better. This Terror album is an example of that. There’s nothing that distinguishes Terror from the rest of their counterparts, but their music is just fun to listen to. The music is generic, the vocals are generic, the lyrics are generic, but it’s still an album I listen to pretty regularly, so it has to be on the list.

Favorite song: Total Retaliation
33Fit for a King
Dark Skies


Fit For A King has been a band I’ve liked for years, all the way back to the Creation/Destruction days. They’re your typical metalcore band, but their last few albums have had a few things that really set them apart from the rest of the pack. Deathgrip was fantastic, and this album continues what they started, albeit in a more accessible way. There’s more singing, and more poppy choruses, but the musicianship and songwriting has never been better.

Favorite song: Backbreaker
32Pennywise
Never Gonna Die


Going back to the whole “hardcore is almost like a guilty pleasure of mine”, we come to Pennywise. Pennywise, at least on this album, feel like a combination of Bad Religion and Propagandi, but a worse version of both. Never Gonna Die is a great skate punk album, but does nothing to distinguish itself from the bands that made the genre popular in the 80s and 90s. To be fair, Pennywise is one of those bands that was making music at that time, but that give them an excuse to make music that is no different from 30 years ago.

Favorite song: American Lies
31Between the Buried and Me
Automata I


Between the Buried and Me was one of those bands I was really into a few years ago. They pretty much pioneered the sound that a lot of progressive metalcore bands have, but have done little to do much else. Coma Ecliptic, as uninspired as it was, at least was an attempt at trying something different. Automata I is BTBAM returning to the sound they’ve crafted over the years. As per usual, the musician ship is superb, and the vocals aren’t bad either. There’s just nothing here that would make me choose to listen to this instead of their old albums like Colors and Alaska.

Favorite song: Condemned to the Gallows
30Big Ups
Two Parts Together


Big Ups plays a style of post-hardcore that I really can’t get into. In my opinion, most bands that play this style lack the energy of more modern post-hardcore. Big Ups is a bit different though. They bring that energy in songs, and they don’t make the softer parts of their songs too boring to listen to. They’re engaging, but at the same time dynamic, bringing you in, then releasing you just as fast.

Favorite song: Tell Them
29Zao/Yashira
Zao/Yashira


The only split EP on the list this year. These are two killer songs from two amazing bands. Zao is a legendary band with a legendary career, and Hide from the Light just shows that they are on the top of their game. The guitars are fantastic, and the screams are still as blood chilling as they are on Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest. I was not aware of Yashira before listening to this, and I am excited to see what else they have. They sound great, and really work well coming after Zao on Led to Ache.

Favorite songs: Both songs
28Converge
Beautiful Ruin


I always enjoy it when a band releases some of the songs that didn’t make an album. I am one of those people that loves to hear everything that my favorite bands make, and Converge is definitely one of those bands. Although The Dusk In Us isn’t an album I listen to too often, it’s a great album, and so are the songs that were cut out. Coming in at less than seven minutes in length, Converge made four fast, heavy, near perfect songs that are great for quick glimpses into their sound.

Favorite song: Churches and Jails
27Kids See Ghosts
Kids See Ghosts


I have never been the biggest fan of Kanye West or his music. I thought Life of Pablo was pretty bad, and nothing from the rest of his discography has ever caught my attention til Ye. That was first Kanye album that I enjoyed, and it made me excited for what he had coming afterwards. This album is the best thing I think he’s ever made. From the moment it starts he gabs your attention and doesn’t let go. This is Kanye being as creative as he’s been in years. Is this the next To Pimp a Butterfly? No, but it is a near perfect rap album.

Favorite song: Feel the Love
26Between the Buried and Me
Automata II


There’s not too much else I can say that I didn’t say about the first album that Between the Buried and Me made before this one besides that part two is a lot better. It scales down the metal aspects from the last album, and embraces BTBAM’s progressive rock influences instead. There is a lot more instrumental variation in this album, and overall just a better listen than the first part.

Favorite song: The Proverbial Bellow
24Foxing
Nearer My God


This album was weird for me and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. On one hand it’s a pretty good album. there are some great things that foxing is doing that is really a breath of fresh air for alternative indie music. They’re pretty good songwriters and there are several songs on here that really show that. however I feel that Foxing is really limiting themselves by the sound that they have crafted in this album. There is little to no variation from the same style/structure from song to song with few exceptions. It’s those few exceptions where this album shines and where I hope their next effort will focus on.

Favorite song: Gameshark
23Emery
Eve


It’s been three long years since we’ve gotten anything from Emery, and I don’t think anyone was expecting this. This is easily their most experimental album to date, and arguably the best one they’ve made since In Shallow Seas We Sail. I really missed Devon’s voice in the last album, but he is back and better than ever on this one. Him and Toby make this album as great as it is, especially when they sing together. I love the direction of this album, and let’s hope we don’t have to wait another three years to hear what they bring next.

Favorite songs: Jesus Wept, Safe
22Riverside
Wasteland


This is the point of the list where I pretty much love every single album past this point, and it was really hard for me to come up with the order. Riverside is a relatively new band for me. I stumbled upon them a couple years ago, and I wasn’t too thrilled with the album, Eye of the Soundscape, but I was still excited to see what they were gonna come out with next. the thing that makes this album special is that there is not one single aspect of this album that really makes it unique or stand out from the rest. rather it’s the culmination of all the instruments, production, songwriting, and overall balance of the album that makes it feel special. Riverside knows how to pull the listener into what they make and are able to keep you reeled in the entire time.

Favorite song: Veil of Tears
21Dance Gavin Dance
Artificial Selection


Dance Gavin Dance came into this year with some pretty high expectations from me. Their last album, Mothership, is my favorite album they ever put out and it was really close to being my AOTY for 2016. This album was weird for me however because it took me a few months to get into it, but when I did I fell in love. This album is the most different album they’ve made since Tilian joined the band and definitely lives up to the expectation I had for them.It’s not as wild and chaotic as their last album, but their musicianship and overall songwriting is just as good as it has been if not better. This could be a start of a new era of Dance Gavin Dance and I’m excited to see what’s coming next.

Favorite songs: Son of Robot, Suspended In This Disaster
20Kamasi Washington
Heaven And Earth


Jazz is a weird genre of music for me. I really enjoy Jazz, but it’s never something that I Listen to on a regular basis. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but I think it’s mostly due to the fact that I think Jazz is supposed to be listened to live. The same thing applies to this album and Kamasi Washington in general. I really enjoy the music he creates, it’s just not something I will actively listen to regularly. Other than it’s length, this album is near perfect; there’s nothing that I don’t like about the album. Every musician featured on here, especially Kamasi, is fantastic and adds to the overall album. However, as mentioned earlier, it’s length is an issue to me. It’s too long for a causal listen.

Favorite song: Hub-Tones
19Slaves
Beautiful Death


As much as I like Jonny Craig, I did not expect to love this album as much as I do. It’s no the most technically impressive or genre defining album by any means, but it is easily the best album Jonny has made in a long time. This album is him at his most catchy, most creative, most vulnerable, and most impressive I think he’s ever been. He makes this album. This album wouldn’t be the same without him. This doesn’t mean that the other musicians are sub-par, it just goes to show how fantastic Jonny is on this album.

Favorite song: Deadly Conversations
18Turnstile
Time and Space


This is probably the most surprisingly fantastic album to come out this year. I HATE their last album and expected to do the same with this one, but I’d be damned if I didn’t say this is the most fun punk album to come out in years. This album is fast, it’s heavy, it is extremely energetic and every time I listen to it I want to jump into a mosh pit. It reminds me a lot of older hardcore punk albums that came out in the 80s, but with a more modern approach to it. Turnstile is not afraid to try new things and try to experiment with the sound that has been played by bands for 30 years and they do a fantastic job doing so.

Favorite songs: Big Smile, I Don’t Wanna Be Blind
17Ghost (SWE)
Prequelle


Ahhhh ghost. Everyone’s favorite Satan worshippers are back with their fourth album. I’ll be the first one to say that I never really cared for Ghost until this album. I was never a big fan of their satire filled worship music but I decided to give this album a try and I’m glad that I did. Overall it’s a pretty fun album to listen to. There are plenty of catchy choruses and great musicianship from Ghosts vocalist Papa Emeritus as well as great guitar and synth playing. One minor complaint that I have about the album however is that it sometimes goes a bit overboard with their 80s influences and feels like a blatant copy of 80s hair metal bands in some moments.

Favorite song: Dance Macabre
16Marissa Nadler
For My Crimes


There’s just something about Marissa Nadler’s music that I just love. Just the stripped down nature of her songs is almost magical. It’s simple, and it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be anything more than what it is, her and her guitar. Now, that combination can be pretty dangerous if the artist writing is careful. It’s not a bad combination, just one that has been used for so long it can feel stale. Marissa is able to avoid that completely on this album, and created something simply timeless. This album is sad, and it’s really portrayed in more ways than just the lyrics. The way Marissa sings and the guitar playing amplifies that feeling so that the listener feels that sadness along with her. Feel artists are truly able to control their listener’s emotions, Marissa Nadler is one of those artists.

Favorite song: All Out of Catastrophes
15Florence and the Machine
High as Hope


Florence + the machine is another one of those bands that I had incredibly high hopes for this year. I loved their last album and I have been patiently waiting for their next project to finally be released. However I would say that they met my expectation. More that they surprised me with a direction that I didn’t expect them going. You can’t really say that this album is better or worse than their last one because there is so much different between the two. It’s hard to compare them. This album really just is a culmination of all of their sounds and all the progress they have made thus far in their career. There are moments that remind me of their last album and there are moments that take their sound in a completely different direction than that album. I have no clue where they’re going to take their sound next but I am eagerly waiting to find out.

Favorite song: Grace
14Waterparks
Entertainment


There’s a lot of reasons to why I consider Waterparks as one of my guilty pleasure bands. They make music that really is just undeniably fun and catchy and pop punk in general is just something that I’ve always never been picky about. Sure they are the genre that I don’t really care for but overall it’s one of my favorite genre and waterparks is one of my favorite bands. There’s not many differences between this album and their last album besides the fact that there’s a bit more experimentation in this one compared to the last one. This is still the same band that makes unapologetically pop punk music that I fell in love with a couple years ago.

Favorite songs: Peach (Lobotomy), Lucky People
13Makari
Hyperreal


I’m always confused as to why people say “Post-hardcore is dead”. Sure, it’s no where near as popular as it was 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that the genre has died. Makari is a perfect example of that. This is their debut album, and a spectacular one at that. Every member of the band is great at what they do, especially the guitarists, who really define the sound of the band. The main focus of the band seems to revolve around their singer, who really steals the show on many songs. He has a great voice, and really stands above the rest of Makari’s counterparts. This is definitely a band to watch over the next couple of years.

Favorite songs: Fractals, Hyperreal
12Kamasi Washington
The Choice


I always prefer it when Kamasi Washington releases albums that are 40 minutes instead of three hours. It makes it so I can sit down and enjoy a bit of Jazz casually instead of spending half my day listening to one album. It’s not the only reason why I prefer this album instead of Heaven & Earth. The vocal performances on this album are far better. Not only that, but Kamasi himself is featured far more in this than in his other effort that was released on the same day. This album overall is just more enjoyable to listen to than its counterpart.

Favorite song: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
11Deaf Havana
Rituals


I’m not sure if I like having this album this high up on my list. I shouldn’t like it as much as I do, but I can’t escape it. All These Countless Nights made Deaf Havana my favorite band. Rituals doesn’t even compare to that album, but for same reason I’m still in love with it. There’s nothing on it that, musically, justifies it being above Kamasi Washington or Florence + The Machine, but I can’t get myself to place this album below them. Deaf Havana just speaks to me on such a personal level that no matter what they release I’m in love. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great musical aspects of this album that feels like something they’d use on Old Souls, especially with some of the vocal melodies scattered throughout the album. It’s just that this album is a disappointment for me, but I still love it anyways.

Favorite songs: Saviour, Holy, Worship
10Haken
Vector


It seems as though I was introduced to Haken at the wrong time. I stumbled on them not too long after their last album, Affinity, came out. I enjoyed the album enough that it made my top 50 back in 2016, but never something that I listened to all that often later on. I didn’t even know about this album until a week after it came out, and wasn’t too excited before listening to it for the first time. But wow is this album good. This is some fantastic prog rock/metal. Everything is just so well done, and the musicianship is some of the best I’ve heard all year. Not only that, but there are some great hooks and choruses on a couple of the songs too that really took me by surprise. It’s an album that nearly any rock or metal fan can find something that they enjoy.

Favorite songs: Puzzle Box, A Cell Divides
9The Wonder Years
Sister Cities


Some albums are always better in certain situations. I’m not talking about moods or life events, I mean like if you’re sitting at home, at the gym, or, in the case of Sister Cities, on the road. There’s just something about this album that is perfect for a long road trip. I love this album in any situation, but it’s meant to be played in a car. In terms of the sounds the album has to offer, it’s different than anything else that The Wonder Years has ever done. They’ve scaled back their sound to create more dynamics in the music, and giving those already epic choruses even more power when they come. This is also one of their saddest albums yet, really diving in to some deep stuff throughout the album. Overall, it’s a beautiful album, and one that everyone should check out.

Favorite songs: Flower Where Your Face Should Be, The Orange Grove
8Senses Fail
If There Is Light, It Will Find You


Senses Fail is a band that was never able to grab attention until this album dropped. Their last couple releases haven’t been bad, and I really enjoyed the acoustic EP, but this album is Senses Fail really hitting the bullseye. Yes, this is a straight up pop punk album, with plenty of angsty lyrics, catchy choruses, and overall high energy, but Senses Fail does that a step back on some songs. There’s some pretty dark stuff that is talked about on this album, mostly due to recent events that have happened to members of the band. Even with the dark parts of the album, this is the best album Sense Fail has put out in years.

Favorite songs: Gold Jacket, Green Jacket…, Stay What You Are
7Andy Mineo
I: The Arrow


I was really disappointed when I heard next to nothing coming from Andy Mineo in terms of solo projects last year. Uncomfortable is probably my favorite rap album of all time, and Andy Mineo is one of the most unique characters in rap right now. When he surprised us with this EP, I was beyond excited, and the wait was well worth it. This is the best Andy has ever sounded. His verses on here are the most impressive stuff he’s ever done, and it’s also his deepest. We really get a look into his struggles with family, faith, and fame on this album. The musical direction Andy takes on this EP feels new and refreshing, and he wasn’t afraid to take risks with his choice of beats. My only complaint is that the second EP that was released afterwards was no where near as good.

Favorite song: Clarity
6Silent Planet
When the End Began


I can’t really say that this album is a disappointment. I love this album, but it does not meet the standard that Silent Planet has established off of their first two albums. The Night God Slept is my favorite album of all time, and Silent Planet one of my favorite bands, but it lacks what makes them unique for most of this album. It’s a great metalcore release, and almost every member of the band is extremely talented, but it feels like Silent Planet took a simpler approach to their music on this album. The guitars are no where near as technical as they have been, and the lyrics feel less unique. There are moments where they shine on this album, but this release has made me concerned for the future.

Favorite songs: Northern Fires (Guernica), Lower Empire
5Rivers of Nihil
Where Owls Know My Name


This was a very early AOTY candidate for me. I really feel in love with this album the first time I heard it. It is a good embodiment of the style of progressive death metal that I enjoy: heavy, with a lot of experimentation. Rivers of Nihil use their non-metal influences perfectly, and the moments where the band changed their sound don’t feel out of place. However, what really makes this album shine is the vocals. Both the screams and clean vocals are great, and the band does great not overusing the cleans, which I feel happens far too often. I do feel that the bass and drums can feel a bit stale at times, but I attribute that to the very clean production.

Favorite song: Hollow
4The Story So Far
Proper Dose


The Story So Far has always been one of my favorite pop punk bands since I first got into the genre. Their first two albums have always been ones that I routinely listen to, and I consider some of my favorite albums of all time. This album is just as good as those two, but in a different way. There are a few songs that feel like The Story So Far of old, but overall this is a different band. I wouldn’t say that they have slowed down by any means, but their songs are more varied, and they don’t have to use the same song formula that they have done in the past, giving them a more diverse sound. This album shows a band maturing, and really finding a new sound that fits them.

Favorite songs: Keep This Up, Out of It, Take Me As You Please
3Hopesfall
Arbiter


These last three albums are all albums that could’ve been my AOTY. It was hard to put them in any particular order, and will probably change it within six months. In terms of comeback albums, Hopefall’s is one of the best. It doesn’t come back with a bang necessarily, but instead, the band chooses to start where they left off. Every one of the band members has a huge impact on the album, and the production does a great job balancing everything out, as well as giving the album some great energy. The vocals are what make the album though. The vocals are excellent, and the singer has great control over his voice, both when singing or screaming. Overall, this is a fantastic album, and one that I can see becoming a classic.

Favorite song: Bradley Fighting Vehicle
2mewithoutYou
[Untitled]


I should have checked this band out a long time ago. I liked Pale Horses when it came out, but never went back and listened to their previous works. I almost didn’t listen to this when it came out, expecting the same thing as their last album. This seems like an entirely different band relative to that album. There’s so much more emotion expressed on [untitled], and it’s overall a much more angry album. There’s a lot in common with that album, but mewithoutYou made a near perfect album combining the ideas from Pale Horses with some of their older stuff. The crazy thing is that there’s not one member of the band, at least sonically, stands out as the driving force of the album. Every song shows the band in near perfect cohesion with each other, and it’s beautiful.

Favorite songs: Another Head for Hydra, Winter Solstice
1Night Verses
From the Gallery of Sleep


Instrumental albums are weird for me only because I have to be in a particular mood to listen to them. I am a huge fan of vocals, and feel they really make or break an album. To not include them in an album however is still just odd to me. This is different. There’s never been a purely instrumental album that has captivated me like this one has. Everything is near perfect, and there’s nothing that I can complain about. The entire time I listen to this album I always find new things that grab my attention. Whether it’s a guitar riff or a drum fill, there’s always something new. This is a pretty dense album. All three musicians are going at 110% the entire time, and only on few occasions do they give the listener a chance to breathe before pummeling them with utter walls of sound. This a near perfect album, and a fitting addition as AOTY.

Favorite songs: Trading Shadows, Vice Wave, Phoenix IV: Leviathan
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