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Last Active 12-04-14 4:21 am
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2011 Yazz Fluting

Delayed as I sporadically restored my itunes. This feels about right though. Not as strong a year as the past few were in my opinion.

This was a really good year for EPs. This didn't get repped as much as I would
have liked though. The songs here are every bit as good as those featured on
Roads to Judah

Black metal for people who don't like black metal. Not sure if that's good or bad
in the long run, but I really enjoy this.
Signals From the Void

Not many have heard this (I think I'm the only one who's rated it here
actually). That should change. They sound a good deal like Isis do, maybe not
quite as varied in instrumentation.
22Cave In
White Silence

I still think the psychedelic-acoustic last three songs are a bit of an odd way to
close the album after the first six songs are fantastic cuts of sludgy
hardcore/metalcore but most of the material here still rules, and it's easily their
best album since "Jupiter." I feel like it could have been better though, it feels
short and incomplete to me.
21Colin Stetson
New History Warfare, Vol 2: Judges

If you haven't seen this guy perform, I suggest you do so now. New History
Warfare is a challenging listen, but my god, I'm not sure I've ever heard
anything quite like it. A man and his various saxophones basically.
I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone

IWHFAMTIWG (that looks hilarious now that I took the time to type the
anagram) isn't quite as emotional or moving as Sing the Word Hope In Four-
Part Harmony (fuck their long album titles) was. Nor does it get as
instrumentally heavy or "metal" in its climaxes. Maybeshewill create accessible,
standard instrumental post-rock better than any of their contemporaries
though. The highs on this album, however, come from the little, subdued
nuances. The repeated dweedly guitar motif in the middle of "Red Paper
Lanterns," for example.
19Ash Borer
Ash Borer

Atmospheric Black Metal? Atmospheric Black Metal! Album cover rules also.
18Beyond Creation
The Aura

Tech-death? Tech-death!
17Uneven Structure

Post-metal/Ambient/. Februus focuses less on blowing their listeners' mind with
their technicality than they do at crushing their heads under a monolith of
sound. Februus is a massive wall of sound. It's like a djenty Rosetta with the
vocalist from Textures. Fewer albums have aurally hit harder this year than
Februus has.
Paragon of Dissonance

I would have placed this album higher, but with its immense nearly 100-minute
run-time and its constant doom-metalness, I'm rarely in the mood to listen to
it. You'd be unlikely to find a doom album better-constructed and more gripping
than this, however.
15Submotion Orchestra
Finest Hour

Fuck yeah trip-hop with female vocals. Album is sexy.
Life From Dead Limbs

The token post-rock/screamo album that I seem to have had one of on each of
my previous year-end lists. Life From Dead Limbs is very well-executed, and a
gorgeous emotional album.
13Pulling Teeth

It's all thrashy and hardcore and grindy and even black metally for the first half
but then it's a fucking sludgy doom metal album. And the transition works.
12Symphony X

I seem to enjoy this album much more than most other users here do. There's
little variety compared to their past-works, especially when considering its two-
disc run time. On Iconoclast, much of the neoclassical/power metal that
Symphony X became known for have been dropped for a much heavier, prog-
thrash sound. Yet, where on past albums the heavier tracks were bogged down
by their general cheesiness, the sound here is completely natural. Symphony X
pull off heavy music incredibly well.
11Between the Buried and Me
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

Despite the uber-pretentious title, Parallax is probably the least pretentious-
sounding BTBAM release since Alaska. As such, it is their most enjoyable, at
scarcely 30 minutes in length. "Augment of Rebirth" drags slightly, but both
"Specular Reflection" and "Lunar Wilderness" are very well-written.
Instrumentally, of course, they shred.
10An Isle Ate Her

Album is fucking mess. Tech-grind that doesn't let up. Slays.
9The Speed of Sound in Seawater
Underwater Tell Each Other Secrets

Each of TSOSIS's three LPs are all 5-6 tracks of less than 30 minutes of
material. They do not ever feel the need to be any longer though. TSOSIS craft
mathy indie-rock similar to bands like Minus the Bear or old Tera Melos. The
vocal stylings are as close to the insane high-pitched saccharinity of Coheed
and Cambria. Bands needs more love. This will be my next review most likely.

Corelia sound like if Protest the Hero weren't so perpetually drunk. Nostalgia is
technically only an EP, but at 30 minutes of length, it doesn't need to be any
longer. The "djent" genre-title (which I'm not at all a fan of) gets thrown
around by those describing this band, but unlike bands such as Periphery, After
the Burial, Animals as Leaders or Vildhjarta, Nostalgia doesn't needlessly chug,
wank, or shove tech as fvck polyrhythms into your ass. No, Corelia are actually
fun and unpretentious. The instrumentation is highly impressive, but the song-
writing doesn't take a backseat to endless noodling.
7Laura Stevenson and the cans
Sit Resist

Laura is just so goddamn adorable and charming and I just want to hug her and

The transition Thrice made from "Beggars" to "Major/Minor" is the least drastic
they've made on any of their albums. However, Thrice are now so good at
creating their own brand of art-fag alternative rock that it doesn't matter at all.
Major/Minor is dripping with passion, and I quickly latched onto as it became one
of the major relatable musical records to my summer. Anthology is their
greatest song since For Miles in my opinion, though it may have to do with how
personally I relate it to my summer and the ensuing months.
Edge of the Earth

This pseudo-thrash is going to look lol compared to the next album that follows,
but ever since this dropped, I've dug the hell out of it. I didn't really expect to
like it as much as I did either: Conclusions of an Age was an undeniably good
album but was bogged down by it's lame core-ish moments. On Edge of the
Earth, the core-moments have been cut to a minimum. The 72-minute run
time is a bit much more sure, but I enjoy all the material here. Procession,
Dystopia, Apparations, and the title-track especially.
Outer Isolation

This was a late addition to my list, but in a year where no metal album really
blew me away, this was pretty damn refreshing. I'm not even much of a thrash
fan, but this is an impressive album. It sounds like if Atheist were less technical
and more thrash or Voivoid if they were interesting now. And it has sci-fi
concept lyrics. Essentially, \m/
Coloring Book

I'm really going to combine both Coloring Book, and the Our Color Green EP as
one release. I always listen to the two simultaneously anyway, liking to pretend
that Glassjaw finally released their third fucking full-length. But alas. Needless
to say, the material on Coloring Book is the most interesting material Glassjaw
have ever recorded. Long-gone are their days of simple melodic hardcore and
violent misogyny. While "Our Color Green" does feature tracks more akin to
Glassjaw's original hardcore aesthetic, the material on "Coloring Book" is much
more difficult for me to classify to a single genre. Fuzzy-soul-trance-sludge-
altcore? Fuck descriptions I'm tired already. Daytona White has probably
become my favorite Glassjaw song though, the rhythm section grooves so
2Bomb the Music Industry!

All of BTMI!'s releases have been growers for me, but Vacation fulfills this term
to its highest extent. It is, per say, their most "normal-sounding" rock album.
It's not as immediately satisfying or catchy as an album like "Goodbye, Cool
World" or as experimental and chaotically fucked like "Scrambles." In the seven-
eight months since Vacation has been out, it has become the BTMI! album that
I've become most personally attached to. BTMI!, and this album in particular,
were the soundtrack my summer of 2011 and Rosenstock's song-writing
maturity and lyrical themes are as empathetic and relatable as they ever have
been. Less angry than they are accepting and heartstring-tugging, Vacation will
have something for any young person frustrated and worn by society.
1Fair to Midland
Arrows and Anchors

While I was underwhelmed for the first few listens, Arrows and Anchors really
improved with age. The general sound isn't necessarily unique or ground-
breaking, but the energy and variety emitted throughout every single track is
astounding. Fables From a Mayfly was immediately satisfying, but lacked the
edginess in production and identity which is so poignantly displayed on Arrows.
The Greener Grass is likely my song of the year.
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