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Last Active 11-03-18 3:53 pm
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10.06.19 Arche's great 2019 bm catch up 09.12.19 2019 ambient for comfy sleeps and peace
12.23.18 Arche's 2018 12.23.17 Arche's 50 from '17
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10.09.17 Diddle Arche Round 2: Finland10.08.17 (a comp) Diddle your boi Arche's earpie
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4 years, 101 albums: time well wasted

When I signed up for this site 4 years ago under the moniker AaronIsCrunchy, I didn't think it'd become as large a segment of my life as it has done. This was initially gonna be a 2 year one for when I started community-ing, but it turns out 4 years worked out a lot better. If I've chatted to you on Dubtrack, you've offered me support on a review, or we've simply had some kinda positive interaction across this site: thanks. You're awesome :]
De Zwaarte van het Doorstane

Best track: Duett -
100Pierce the Veil
Collide with the Sky

Best track: One Hundred Sleepless Nights -
99Black Sabbath
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

Best track: A National Acrobat -
The Space Between Your Teeth

Best track: The King -
97Cult of Luna

Best track: In Awe Of -
All We Love We Leave Behind

Best track: No Light Escapes -
95Damien Rice

Best track: Delicate -
Master of Puppets

Best track: Battery -
Grand Morbid Funeral

Best track: Famine of God's Word -
92Roxy Music
For Your Pleasure

Best track: In Every Dream Home A Heartache -
Afterimage of Autumn

Best track: River Metempsychosis -
90Tarsius Tarsier
Ceremonia de Atadura de Manos

Best track: Mataviudas - (whole thing)
Mass III

Best track: Némelèndèlle -
One Day Son This Will All Be Yours

Best track: Our Last Common Ancestor -

Best track: C.O.T.E. -
The Mantle

Best track: Odal -
You Fail Me

Best track: In Her Shadow -

Best track: In Fiction -
The Last Resort

Best track: The Very Last Resort -
82The Smith Street Band
Throw Me in the River

Best track: Calgary Girls -
81Downfall of Gaia
Suffocating in the Swarm of Cranes

Best track: Drowning By Wing Beats -
80Jeff Buckley

Best track: Dream Brother -
79Dir En Grey
Dum Spiro Spero

Best track: Decaying Crow -
Mass V

Best track: Boden -
77Carissa's Wierd
Songs About Leaving

Best track: They'll Only Miss You When You Leave -
76Queens of the Stone Age
...Like Clockwork

Best track: I Appear Missing -
Breaking the Fourth Wall

Best track: Ladder Theory - (It's actually Red Diesel but I couldn't find a vid for it)
74Inside The Beehive
Drink Bleach; Live Forever

Best track: Bio-Feedback -
73The Dillinger Escape Plan
Ire Works

Best track: Lurch -
72A Forest of Stars
A Shadowplay for Yesterdays

Best track: The Underside of Eden -
71Pig Destroyer

Best track: Carrion Fairy -
Be Human

Best track: Damocles -
69The Great Old Ones

Best track: Antarctica -
Hvis Lyset Tar Oss

Best track: Det Som En Gang Var -

Best track: Clutching Revulsion -
66Black Sabbath
Master of Reality

Best track: Into the Void -
65Queens of the Stone Age
Songs for the Deaf

Best track: A Song for the Dead -
64Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

Best track: You Won't Know -
63Coheed and Cambria
No World for Tomorrow

Best track: The Hound (Of Blood and Rank) -
62Cara Neir
Portals To A Better, Dead World

Best track: Closing Doors -
61Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket
Den sorgligaste musiken i varlden

Best track: Vi Som Försvann -
In the Nightside Eclipse

Best track: I Am The Black Wizards -
59The Cure

Best track: The Figurehead -
Born of Slime

Best track: Slime Traveler -
Though I'm Alone

Best track: Wither -
56Captain, We're Sinking
The Future Is Cancelled

Best track: The Future is Cancelled, Pt. 1 -
55Coheed and Cambria
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3

Best track: The Crowing -
Axe to Fall

Best track: Reap What You Sow -

Best track: Story -
52Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures

Best track: Elephants -
Grand Unification

Best track: Waste A Moment -
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

Best track: Ensorcelled by Khaos -
49Coheed and Cambria
From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness

Best track: The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut -

Best track: Dancers to a Discordant System -
Symphony of the Vampire

Best track: Sonata -
46Harvey Danger
King James Version

Best track: Loyalty Bldg. -
45Altar of Plagues
Teethed Glory and Injury

Best track: Burnt Year -

Best track: Heliogabalus (duh) -

Best track: Aorte. Nous Sommes et Mèmes Sang -
42A Forest of Stars
The Corpse of Rebirth

Best track: God -
In Nothing We Trust

Best track: Three Hail Marys -
40The Pogues
Rum Sodomy & the Lash

Best track: A Rainy Night in Soho -
Jane Doe

Best track: Heaven In Her Arms -
Mental Funeral

Best track: In The Grip of Winter -
Very Fast Very Dangerous

Best track: Return of the Jedi -
When Forever Comes Crashing

Best track: Year of the Swine -
35Ben Howard
I Forget Where We Were

Best track: End of the Affair -
34Fall of Efrafa

Best track: Dominion Theology -

Best track: Monstrance -
32The Mortal
I Am Mortal

Best track: Pain Drop -

Best track: Monument -
Racecar Is Racecar Backwards

Best track: Fall of the Bastille -

Best track: Grissecon -
28Fall of Efrafa

Best track: Pity the Weak -
The Destroyers of All

Best track: Cold Becoming -
Ride the Lightning

Best track: Fight Fire With Fire -

Best track: Boiled Frogs -
24The Smiths
The Queen Is Dead

Best track: Bigmouth Strikes Again -
Under a Funeral Moon

Best track: Inn I De Dype Skogens Fabn -
22The Ruins Of Beverast
Rain Upon The Impure

Best track: 50 Forts Along the Rhine -

Best track: They Stretch Out Their Hands -
No Heroes

My first exposure to Converge remains my favourite. The first tracks of 'No Heroes' pumps me up like very few other things do, and the title track remains, in my opinion at least, one of their finest moments (alongside Heaven In Her Arms and In Her Shadow). The drumming on here in particular is nowt short of staggering.

Best tracks: Vengeance -
No Heroes -
To The Lions -
19The War on Drugs
Lost in the Dream

Why do I like this as much as I do? Absolutely no idea. It's repetitive and doesn't really seek to push itself further than it deems necessary. Yet, I keep coming back to it, to the point that it's now arguably my favourite album from the last 3 years. Something about it puts me at ease, taking me back to sunny days.

Best tracks: Burning -
In Reverse -
Under the Pressure -
This is Hardcore

Pulp's 'anti-pop' album, 'This Is Hardcore' is actually pretty damn bleak. Jarvis Cocker's vocals are still mesmerising, the tunes are still (largely) catchy and less-than-glamorous outlook still remains, but this eschews the hit-appeal of 'Different Class' for something far less pleasant. Could honestly do without the 10 minutes of sweet sod all at the end, but aside from that this is a sobering look inside Jarvis Cocker's head, told through humour, self-awareness, and an uncomfortable presence.

Best tracks: The Fear -
This Is Hardcore -
Glory Days -
17A Forest of Stars
Opportunistic Thieves of Spring

A bizarre album, 'Opportunistic Thieves of Spring' is arguably A Forest of Stars' most convincing foray into their self-styled 'Victorian Black Metal' sound. Melancholic, sometimes kinda sideshow-y strings bounce seamlessly off of furious blast beats and a mixture of howls and very British snarls to create a sound unmistakeably theirs; for 72 minutes, it truly is. I always get a feeling of wanting more after listening, and while their entire discography is impressive, this is definitely their finest moment.

Best tracks: Sorrow's Impetus -
Summertide's Approach -
Starfire's Memory -
None So Vile

RUH RUH RUH RUH RUH. Riffs. Savage drumming. Yeah. Shit rules.

Best tracks: Benedictine Convulsions -
Phobophile -
Lichmistress -
The Galilean Satellites

Even when placed alongside Michael Armine's throat-shredding roars, there's something incredibly mournful about the guitar work on Rosetta's 'The Galilean Satellites' that really creates a fascinating juxtaposition of emotions, culminating in a truly desperate sound. The whole 'one disc post-metal, other disc ambient, but they can be played together' thing doesn't even come across as all that gimmicky. Fantastic stuff.

Best tracks: Departe/Deneb -
Absent/Beta Aquilae -
Au Pays Natal/Sol -
Today is a Beautiful Day

'Today Is A Beautiful Day' seems to revel in taking the listener on an emotional rollercoaster of sorts - up, down, up, down, all seemingly at the whim of Ryo and his band of versatile Japanese troubadours. It's Yanagi Nagi who truly steals the show here though, with a truly impeccable vocal performance that can switch between fun and carefree (see Love & Roll) to bittersweet (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari).

Best tracks: Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari -
Love & Roll -
Utakata Hanabi -
Sound Awake

The first album I remember thinking was 100% totally perfect. While I'm not quite as hyperbolic about Sound Awake nowadays, I still feel it is a ridiculously good album. Ian Kenny's vocals are absolutely majestic, and the usage of bass - especially in Simple Boy and Umbra - is simply fantastic. Is ageing very well for me.

Best tracks: Simple Boy -
Umbra -
Deadman -
Yume Miru Uchuu

The bookends of Yume Miru Uchuu highlight perfectly what makes Buck-Tick's 18th LP such a fantastic listen. Opener 'Elise no Tame ni' makes a statement with a boisterous, infectious hook right off the bat and an equally catchy chorus, while 'Yume Miru Uchuu' at the other end of the album utilises their innate capacity to sound huge to absolutely breathtaking effect. What these two highlight (and indeed the rest of the album) is how Buck-Tick refuse to make the same song twice on Yume Miru Uchuu, yet nearly every one is an absolute joy to listen to, through being fun, beautiful, or even a little bit pervy. If Ningyo isn't the most fun song ever I don't know what is.

Best tracks: Ningyo -
Kinji Rareta Asobi -
Yume Miru uchuu -

Absolutely flooded with compositional nuances in every section, MARS is particularly notable for how perfectly created it seems to have been. Listen once just for the bass, and you'll have a blast. Do so again for the strings, then for the guitars, then for the synths... and that's not even counting Gackt's fantastic vocal performance. Indulgent it almost certainly is, but it's still totally brilliant.

Best tracks: U+K -
Freesia ~op.1~ -
Mirror -
10Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Murder Ballads

Murder Ballads appeals to my morbid sense of humour. Nick Cave's distinctive croon is the perfect vehicle for stories of mass murder and revenge killings; only this album could get away with a musically repetitive 14 minute romp about shooting up everyone in a bar. It's absolute best feature though is how it mixes the blackest of humour with some genuinely affecting tales - Song of Joy is legitimately creepy, and The Kindness of Strangers brings out the horror of the songs events in a mature, respectful manner.

Best tracks: Song of Joy -
Curse of Millhaven -
O'Malley's Bar -
9Yanagi Nagi

'Euaru' just makes me really, really happy. Following her collaboration with Supercell and then working with Jun Maeda gave Yanagi Nagi some extra funds and materials to work with, and it shows. An eclectic mixture of J-Pop, downtempo, rock, metal and jazz, her voice seems to work with everything equally well. Euaru is an album I can listen to if I want something familiar and cosy, but it warrants closer listening just as easily.

Best tracks: Ao No Parade -
Concent -
Laterality -
Different Class

I think I mentioned how much I liked Jarvis Cocker's voice, didn't I? My parents used to play this in the car when we went on holiday so this kinda holds a special place for me because of that, but this is definitely the best album from the Britpop era. Funny yet bitter, it's possibly to be greatly amused by this, yet simply by taking a different perspective becoming somewhat morose.

Best tracks: I Spy -
Monday Morning -
Bar Italia -
Everything Is Fire

N.B. - Anything from this point upwards could feasibly have been number one.

The Kiwis' masterpiece, Everything Is Fire is basically all I could want from a death metal record, and quite a bit more. Monstrously heavy riffs and crushing atmosphere is one thing, but Jamie Saint-Merat's ridiculous drumming ability and the excellent way that Paul Kelland and Michael Hoggard intertwine their guitar and basswork truly puts this on a whole other plane.

Best tracks: We Are Nil -
Withered and Obsolete -
Everything Is Fire -
6The Cure

As soon as the synths break out in opener 'Plainsong', Disintegration grabs me like very few other albums do. Where the first half offers up at least something remotely resembling light, from 'The Same Deep Water As You' onwards, this is pure synthy bleakness. With the exception of the slightly less good 'Love Song' (which is still excellent), it's hard to find flaw with a single second of this.

Best tracks: Plainsong -
The Same Deep Water As You -
Disintegration -
Kurutta Taiyou

A surging rock album, 'Kurutta Taiyou' is what happens when you take post-punk, J-rock, a smidge of goth and severe sleep deprivation and decide to make gold from it. It's not an instant love - Speed and Sakura stood out early on for me - but it all starts to come together gloriously. Catchy choruses and excellent guitar lines are found everywhere. For me, this album is the embodiment of 3 a.m. bursts of manic energy, where nothing is quite level, but everything seems so right.

Best tracks: Machine
Angelfish -
Sakura -

Can't find a decent Machine, so Jupiter is a damn fine track too -
4Fall of Efrafa

I wrote a review on this which basically puts my love for this album in much better perspective, so I will refer you to that instead of writing another monolith, but yeah - the perfect end to a stunning trilogy.

Best tracks: Fu Inle -
Republic of Heaven -
The Warren of Snares -
13-kai wa Gekkou

Loosely based on Stravinsky's ballet 'Petrushka' (allegedly... I haven't seen it), Buck-Tick's '13kai wa Gekkou' is a fantastic mixture of theatre and music. Some of the most impeccably performed J-rock is interspersed with genuinely creepy atmosphere, and it's well worth looking up the lyrics to this as some of the imagery (particularly in Passion) is amazing. The live performance of this, 13th Floor with Diana, is the very final piece in a truly special jigsaw.

Best tracks: Ijin no Yoru -
Passion -
Romance -incubo- -
2Cult of Luna
Somewhere Along the Highway

This album took ages for it to finally click with me. It was never an album I disliked (I wouldn't have listened to it enough if I did hate it), but I thought segments meandered, opportunities were wasted and the vocals were, frankly, a bit dull. However, this past 18 months, I've started to appreciate it as a compositional masterpiece. Through not listening closely enough, I missed the gorgeous layering, the hugely important drumming... 'Back to Chapel Town''s bassline. 'Dark City, Dead Town' is arguably one of the best things put to record.

Best tracks: Finland -
Back to Chapel Town -
Dark City, Dead Man -
1Giant Squid
The Ichthyologist

Giant Squid's tale of a man losing his humanity to the sea is, quite frankly, an incredible work of art. Sitting loosely within the post-metal bracket, I suspect that's because trying to figure out where to actually put it would be far too much ballache. Aaron Gregory's hoarse musings and manic episodes are absolutely captivating, especially when used as a counterpoint to Jackie Perez Gratz's jazzy vocals. The variety, power and excellent instrumentation here means I still get excited about listening to this 5 years after my first time. If I had one desert island album, it'd be this.

Best tracks: Sevengill -
Dead Man Slough -
Rubicon Wall -
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