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03.25.10 Yes, I Still Buy Cds12.23.07 Damrod's Top15 Albums Of 2007

Damrod's Top15 Albums Of 2007

My Top 15 albums of 2007
The Alchemy Index: Vols. I and II...

I recently read in a magazine that Thrice present THE Hardcore/Post-Hardcore epic with the Alchemy Index EPs. And to be honest, I tend to agree in a way. The first half is spectacular for sure. The furious tunes of the Fire Disc in stark contrast to the dreamy soundscapes that are the Water Disc. With two really grand epics in "The Arsonist" on Fire and "Night Diving" on Water. Those two songs alone are worth it for me. This one has the full right to be one of the most celebrated and anticipated albums of 2007. Definately looking forward to Earth and Air.
2The Kidcrash

"An infusion of new life to the genre of screamo." That is what you will read most about this album. This is a really dense album, calm and silent, furious and exploding with emotions. It's a very interesting ride, which is only a bit flawed by the production of the album, as the songs soun a bit too similar production wise. Still, this album is a behemoth on it's own, and anybody into the genre should check this one out.
3The Fall of Troy

A lot of people complained about this album. For many, it was one of the most anticipated releases of early 2007.The echoes of the incredible guitar lines found on Doppelganger still ringed in everyones head, and people were craving for more of that kind. But the audience was disappointed when they got served something different. Most of the songs are not that fast and crazy anymore. More settled and subtle if you want to call it that way. I have to confess, I thought the same way too. But the album began to sink in, and it turned out to be an absolut grower. In fact, I now think that the album overall is much more consistent and thought through than Doppelganger was. It's a great piece of music, and absolutely deserves to be on this list.
4Hot Cross
Risk Revival

Before breaking up in mid-07, Hot Cross presented what was basically my favorite Emo album of the year. After it sunk in it even beats Cryonics as my favorite Hot Cross album. And though it is a shame that these folks will no longer put out stuff like this, it's nice that they left us with such a great final output. From the guitar work to the honest and heartfelt lyrics and vocals, this is what people should understand as Emo. Still my favorite: "Finance Fuels The Sickness At Heart"
5This Is Hell

In terms of interpretation of old-school Hardcore with slight new-school influences, This Is Hell made it for me this year. With the new Comeback Kid record being quite disappointing, it was a joy when I got this CD for reviewing on my desk. It's raw, it's energetic, and it feels really honest. And though it is far away from being innovative or ground breaking, it's just a lot of fun for me to listen to it. And in the end, that's what counts for me
Magnetic North

Another highly anticipated album. With another massive line-up change, this is yet again a Hopesfall record that is and is not Hopesfall at the same time. I find it quite spheric, and quite soothing despite it's sometimes energetic songs. It's a record for good moods and for relaxing, to just let your mind wander and strive without the music being too soft.
7Minus The Bear
Planet Of Ice

Minus The Bear are well known to many as a band, that plays mellow and fun tunes that are at the same time quite technical and sophisticated. Albums like "Highly Refined Pirates" deliver the constant feel of vacation, chill out and good times. In a way, Minus The Bear are still that band, though their sound has changed anno 2007. Overall it feels a lot more progressive and more layered than before. Cute and catchy melodies go hand in hand with droning ambient sounds. It feels different, and still catchy like Minus The Bear used to on their previous albums. It's an interesting change, and a very good progression of the bands sound. Good stuff.
8Machinemade God

Maybe no one on this site heard of the band or the album. Machinemade God are from the German area known as "Ruhrpott", which is quite a breeding place for many bands of the genre (e.g. Caliban). Apart from being really cool guys (played a show together with them with my band), they put out a really solid record with Masked. One might wonder, "why is this so good? It sounds similar to X or Y!". Yes, that is correct. The point is, that this band may sound like well known acts of the genre. What they lack in originality, they make up with execution of their songs. On some moments, I got the feeling that they do it better than the bands that formed the genre before them, putting out an album that is apart from the lack of an original sound absolute top notch. The songs are well thought through, the album flows almost perfectly, the production is Grade A. It's a great piece of music, which rivals the big ones if you ask me.
9Fair To Midland
Fables From A Mayfly

A very interesting band I discoverd here over the forums/Sputnik. They mix the interesting aspects of many genres and bands into their own little blend of Alternative. It's a bit like Dredg, a bit like Kaddisfly, you can spot some slight hints of Incubus here and there. And it's nice what they turn all those influences into. Although it has a very epic touch in terms of riffing, song structures and production, it does not sound over the top. Well, maybe sometimes, but not all the time. An enjoyable album.
10A Wilhelm Scream
Career Suicide

It's Punk, it's Hardcore. Means it must be simple, unsophisticated music. Wrong, for many reasons. One of the bands you can list as counter argument? I vote for A Wilhelm Scream. Their albums and songs are generally fast paced, and feature many of the so called typical melodic Punk/Hardcore elements. The songs are quite accessible, and at the same time on a quite technical niveau. It's a real joy to listen to it, be it with the technical side of music in mind or not. This is how I picture modern melodic hardcore, gimme more of this!
11 The Pax Cicilia
Blessed are the bonds

Sometimes I wonder why so many people have problems with ambient music. Is a voice to hold on to so important for music to work? I think it's not necessary so, and The Pax Cicilia are a good example for this. The mix of ambient rock and metal, spiced up with strings here and there is a wonderful piece of music. Yes, some vocals are there as well, but mostly it's pure instrumental. And it works in so many aspects. Fast and furious as well as slow and calm. That the band gives their music away for free adds to the sympathy.
12Chuck Ragan
Feast Or Famine

Brilliant album. Somewhat of a Dylan meets Cash thing. I found this to be probably the best album of the year to just pop it into the CD player of your car and then drive. Part country influenced, here and there it sounds like Irish folk, or like straight singer/songwriter like material. Easy listening to relax and unwind to.
In Rainbows

The new Radiohead album. There are many reasons this album is on this list, as well as probably a lot of other lists as well. One for sure is that Radiohead write good music for what music they play. The other reason is probably that this album stirred up the ways albums usually are distributed. For many months Radiohead gave away this album on their website, only asking for donations what people would be willing to give. Though the album stands as CD in stores now, it really shook a lot of people, following in the wake of this action. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails to name just one. Interesting move that has in turn moved many people in a way.
14 Kenzari's Middle Kata / Nihilists

I just recently got this, but it won my heart in a way. Both bands play their mix of Post-Rock paired with Indie elements for the former, and Hardcore/Screamo for the latter. It's not really an album you "let just play" in the background, but if you let yourself in on what both groups have to offer, you're in for a good time.
15Dustin Kensrue
Please Come Home

In a way this is quite similar in style to the solo record of Chuck Ragan. And like Ragan, Kensrue is usally more known for his aggressive shouts and energetic vocals for a Post-Hardcore outfit (Thrice here opposed to Hot Water Music with Ragan). It's really interesting to see people like them do more or less completely different things. But though I liked this album, Chuck Ragan pulled it off better in comparision. Still, a solid output.
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