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Johnny Reaches 6000: Fave Albums

Well, it took a while but I finally got to 6000 comments (which, for some rreason, feels like more of a milestone than 5000), so here's a celebratory rlist of my 25 favorite albums (limited to 1 per band for the sake of variety). rI was gonna do 20, but I had a shortlist of 25 and couldn't bring myself to rcut anymore

Well, my top album came as a surprise to me to begin with; I first heard it having
bought it with Cynic?s Traced in Air, an album which I had very high expectations
for, and wasn?t expecting it to be anything special. However, when I realised that
Traced was ultimately an underwhelming album, I started giving this more time, until
little by little it grew on me and didn?t stop for several months, by the end of which
time I could tell that I had discovered a masterpiece. The emotional depth of the
album is vast and it is so immersing that it generates huge replay value. The
gorgeous alt rock aesthetic is the perfect means of conveying the bleak sorrow
that plagued the Cavanagh brothers after their mother?s death, and the way the
tracks are all distinctly different and still incredibly cohesive is a whole is masterful.
The Illusion of Safety

Narrowly beaten out by Judgement, Thrice?s finest hour succeeds through intense,
barely-refined passion. It is catchy, heavy, open-hearted and nostalgic all at the
same time and the lyrical themes of betrayal, disillusionment and misplaced trust
are conveyed perfectly; when I listen through this, I can connect with the pain and
anger so well that I can imagine myself writing Kensrue?s lyrics (not that they?d be
nearly as good). The guitar leads are an added bonus, and I greatly enjoy playing
many of the songs (especially In Years to Come and So Strange I Remember You)

I love this album so much because ? unlike Homogenic ? it feels like a patchwork of
ideas (or, if you like, a collection of letters) that tell a load of different stories and
display a collection of Bjork?s crazy thoughts. It?s not as cohesive or slick as her
aforementioned third album, but it?s fun and diverse enough to surpass it.

This is a perfect example of one of the things that I consider to make an album
great; variety, cohesiveness and consistency all combined. From the upbeat
Unfamiliar, to the mysterious An Old Friend of the Christy?s to the disarmingly
strange Only Twin, each song offers something different, whilst feeling part of a
whole. Oceansize?s talent for turning such bizarre musical ideas into wonderfully
fluid songs never ceases to amaze me
5Coheed and Cambria
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3

If there was ever an album that was written to be hooky it was IKSSE:3, but with
ambitious songs like The Crowing and The Light and the Glass, Coheed proves that
it is more than a collection of catchy tunes; it?s fun, energetic and borderline epic,
solid from start to finish and impossible not to enjoy. I have a great deal of
memories of this album during the summer, and still find it somewhat fresh

Ok, I know I said only one album per band, but Eternity is so special that I felt like I
had to make an exception, especially since it is rather different to Judgement. It is
so full of bleakness, despair and depression that it can feel somewhat overwhelming
at times, and the combination of the unusual production and the slightly rough
vocals gives it a unique feel that turns it from another unhappy, doomy Anathema
album into what I can only describe as a different plane of being; this sounds
ridiculous, but I find it frighteningly easy to lose myself in it that I can just close my
eyes and feel myself drifting through the cover artwork blissfully
7Children of Bodom

A while back, this would have been #1 by a huge margin, but I?ve changed quite a
bit since then and the all-out craziness of Alexi Laiho?s wild solos and manic
screams doesn?t do as much for me as more mature, deep albums. Nevertheless,
Hatebreeder remains a long-time favourite that is thoroughly chaotic and energetic
from start to finish and infectious as I don?t know what

My introduction to post-metal got shipped across the Atlantic and took a long, long
time to arrive, so by the time I finally received it, I had an unbelievable amount of
hype. I?m still slightly amazed that it managed to satisfy this hype, but it remains a
beautiful, crushing, immersive work of art that I can come back to again and again
and enjoy throughout its course
Ashes Against the Grain

What makes this album really special for me is how Agalloch use the same sound to
convey a great variety of feelings, from the chilling Limbs to the reflective Fire
Above, Ice Below to the haunting Bloodbirds to the upbeat Not Unlike the Waves, it
offers a well-structured experience that continues to fascinate me
10Arcade Fire

I have not yet heard an album that uses nostalgia as effectively as Arcade Fire did
on their debut; I don?t know how they managed to write songs about digging
tunnels through snow, lamenting over forgetting baby names, power cuts, girls
called Alice dying in car crashes and goodness-knows-what about lies that hit so
close to home, but I don?t think that my heartstrings have yet recovered from my
first listen, and it is still fresh today.
11Circle Takes the Square
As the Roots Undo

I don?t know how I came to love this, but now that I do, I can connect with its mix
of undiluted energy, passion, chaos and nonsensical subject matter so much that I
consider the album to be a part of me. Circle Takes the Square?s debut is an
accidental masterpiece that is incredible to experience and impossible to
Through Silver in Blood

Another album that took a while to get into, there?s not much to say about Through
Silver in Blood that someone hasn?t already said for me; it is crushing, colossally
heavy and every second of it reverberates with a terrible, post-apocalyptic power
that makes it borderline terrifying to listen to. Yeah, basically it?s fucking epic
Dreaming Neon Black

Now here is an album that made a massive first impression and lived up to it ever
since; Nevermore?s final album without 7-string guitars is scathingly aggressive and
utilises a raw sound that their (excellent) future releases failed to achieve. Warrel
Dane is at his most passionate here, using his hauntingly unique voice to its full
potential and Jeff Loomis? virtuosity completes it. I find this disturbing, fanatically
aggressive and masterfully executed throughout that is raised above generic thrash
by its interesting, slightly progressive songwriting and enchanting acoustics that
are used sparingly to huge effect
Worship and Tribute

This album is an absolute mess on first listen, but I gradually came to understand
that everything was written and performed so as to be precisely executed whilst
sounding chaotic, and that gives it a slick feel with a fantastically scappy overtone
that marks it as a firm favourite
15Pink Floyd

Floyd?s final true masterpiece (The Wall isn?t quite up there) is genius. It is so
genius that it?s easier to comment on why it isn?t higher rather than why I love it so
much; firstly, Sheep isn?t nearly up to the mammoth standard of Dogs and Pigs, and
secondly it has a rather conspicuous lack of replay value due to the enormous song
lengths (I do return to it quite often, but not nearly as often as other albums on
the list). Oh yeah, the ambient section on Dogs is a little bit long. That?s it;
everything else is perfection.
16In Flames

This album has been a favourite for so long that I can?t imagine the metal part of
my taste without it. It beats out the Jester Race through being far more diverse,
with each song its own entity rather than a different version of another song (it
might have made it consistent, but monotony really held TJR back imo), Whoracle
may have a few slight slip-ups (Morphing Into Primal and Everything Counts), but it
has so many moments of pure gold (Jester Script Transfigured, The Hive, Worlds
Within the Margin and many more) that I can easily overlook its flaws
17Rise Against
Siren Song of the Counter Culture

Aside from Love Over Gold, this is the album on the list that I?ve been listening to
for the longest, which means that its boundless energy and passion are augmented
with nostalgia. It still has the same effect on me as it did however many years ago
and makes me want to stand up, play air guitar, headbang and sing along all at the
same time like no other album (except possibly #2)

A folk-metal powerhouse that hits home from start to finish, Ensiferum?s debut has
a plethora of good riffs and folky acoustics but what really makes it stand out for
me is Jari Maenpaa?s voice; to this day, he is probably my favourite harsh vocalist
and I cannot think of a more impressive display of screaming than the ?is written in
the realms of noooooooooooooooooorth? in Treacherous Gods; this album is still my
preferred call to battle
19My Dying Bride
The Dreadful Hours

A recent addition to my favourites, My Dying Bride deploy a range of ideas on this
that are linked by their doom-laden sense of?well, doom. The selling point of this
album is basically that it?s pretty damn powerful: from the devastatingly heavy The
Raven and the Rose to the softly haunting Le Figlie Della Tempesta, the band
succeeds with whatever variety of doom they choose to perform and it?s a real pity
that The Return To the Beautiful is such a long way below the magnificent standard
of the other songs
20The Dear Hunter
Act II: The Meaning Of...

What I love about this is how every song tries something different, and generally
succeeds, but how they are all driven by Casey Crescenzo?s passionate voice,
which conveys the storyline extremely well. The album is well-structured and makes
the concept easy to understand and enjoyable rather than pretentious and boring
(as it could easily have been), and although it?s rather long it is still a great work of
21Dire Straits
Love Over Gold

An album that I grew up with, I?ve been listening to this for the greater part of my
life. It?s beautiful, has some pretty interesting ideas (Private Investigations and
Telegraph Road) and wonderfully well-composed. And the It Never Rains has one of
the greatest guitar solos of all time
Century Child

Just like a lot of this list, Century Child surprised my with how much I came to enjoy
it; cheesy Finnish symphonic power metal is fun, but not top-quality. Or so I
thought; the epic scale of this album coupled with Tarja Turnen?s awe-inspiring
voice hits the mark very squarely; songs like Bless the Child, Ever Dream and
(especially) Beauty of the Beast have come to hold a special place in my heart,
where the fantastical triumphs over the mature
23Porcupine Tree

Most of my first prog albums feel like stepping stones into the genre that have
grown off me, but Porcupine Tree?s finest hour is one of the few that has stayed
strong. Deadwing has far more character than the bland In Absentia or the rather
predictable Fear of a Blank Planet and balances mystery, beauty and heaviness
very well
Still Life

There is so much to love about this; Akerfeldt?s voice is sublime, the acoustics are
wonderful and the The main problem for me is that most of the songs
have a very similar feel, but the album is so awesome that I don?t mind much
25Dream Theater

Ah, Dream Theater; the band that seriously got me into music. They?ve grown off
me over the years, but I felt compelled to put Awake here, as it is their most subtle
release and the most rewarding in the long term
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