Every year I like to do a top 20 of my favorite albums from the year. It's sometimes hard to pick just 20, so I pick a few honorable mentions. I listen to a lot of music and this year I spent a good amount of time catching on some stuff. I bought a lot of old Depeche Mode and went back to purchase a lot of the old Earache catalog. I even got into a new genre of electronic music called chip music. It's made completely on 4 or 8 bit computers (gameboy advance and old commodroe and atari computers). Fun stuff! I did manage to listen to a lot of new music and this year was EXCELLENT. So here's my list of faves:
- Ayreon-Human Equation
- Assemblage 23-Storm
Wow! Assemblage 23 continues to impress with his brand of Depeche Mode inspired electronics. The lyrics and music are such a perfect fit. This is not happy music. Everything is damn near perfect. This is the way to do quality electronic music.
- Vader-The Beast
GRRRRR! The album that got me back into extreme metal. This will rip you a new one and keep coming.
- Trevor Rabin-National Treasure
Cheese and pomp. What more do you want in a movie soundtrack. I love this. It's overblown and ompous. Great arrangements and melodies with a hint of modern rock and electronics. Gorgeous to these ears!
- Black Label Society-Hangover Music Vol. 1
Moody guitar driven southern rock. No one does it better than Zak.
- Ozric Tentacles-Spirals In Hyperspace
Another album from the masters of space rock! Swirling arrangements of rock guitar and keyboards. The perfect mix.
- Dream Evil-The Book Of Heavy Metal
Cheesy 80's metal with tongue in cheek lyrics. This album just makes me smile. I love it! Anyone who doesn't think these guys are having the time of their lives, needs to check themselves into the funny farm.
- Into Eternity-Dead Or Dreaming
Prog metal, death metal, and a healthy dose of ass kicking thrash. I love it!
- Dillenger Escape Plan-Miss Machine
Not what I expected. The music is still crazy, but in a different way. More like Mr. Bungle and I like the direction change. Lots of sick math rock still, and more unpredictable.
- Decapitated-The Negation
Death metal that doesn't stop punishing. This is played with such vigor that you can't help but not bang your head.
- Megadeth-The System Has Failed<
Megadeth comes back with an album that I never thought they would. This should have been the follow-up to Rust In Peace. It just flat out rocks. Dave remembers how to do metal right. Great to hear afterthe slew of bad albums (4 to be exact).
Grandoise metal that still remains to be melodic and memorable while beating you into submission. This is not for one with heart problems.
- Cradle of Filth-Nyphetamine
Cradle of Filth has to be the most consistent band ever. A new album and still not one disappointing moment. I love this band.
The rightful heirs to the throne left by Mr. Bungle. In fact, i think these guys have surpassed them. Rock with everything thrown in. These guys know no boundaries. A rollercoaster ride that always surprises and never a dull moment.
ROCK! Extreme rock with lots of crazy drumming. This time its a little more subtle and it allows the songs to breathe more. Love it!
- Vehemence-Helping The World To See
Melodic death metal that stays close to the brutal edge of things. Lots going on and lots of head banging.
- Damageplan-New Found Power
Dimebag will be missed. His swansong was not his finest work, but not too many can come close to Pantera's great albums. A great album is what he left us that was varied and showed off his chops. The metal worlds has lost another great.
- Exodus-Tempo Of The Damned
The exodus attack returns and shows us how thrash is made! WOW! These guys along with megadeth are the come backs of the year. Lots of reunited bands have done awful albums. But, this exceeded all expectations. It was great seeing them live too.
- Arsis-A Celebration Of Guilt
Surprise of the year. Super melodic, but very fast and brutal. The new breed of death metal.
- Kataklysm-Serenity In Fire
These guys vary up a lot on this release and this one sticks to you like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth. WOW!
My absolute favorite album this year. I can not praise it enough! A modern progressive masterpiece. Nuff said!
- Cannibal Corpse-The Wretched Spawn
A guilty pleasure. Brutal florida death metal. These guys keep getting better and more complex with each release. Forget the horror movie lyrics...Listen to those guitar lines! DAMN!
- Alabama Thunderpussy-Fulton Hill
BIG RIFFS. Southern metal steamroller style. One of my fave bands of the genre. I love the new vocalist!
For those of us who miss Atheist and Cynic, meet Alarum. Progressive death that will keep you on your toes. Good stuff!
The finest grindcore.
- Saliva-Survival Of The Sickest
This is 80's metal updated with a 90's sound. I loved this!
- Killswitch Engage-The End Of Heartache
A repeat of their earlier albums, but these guys have the melodic hardcore style down.