My 2004 sucked big time. I spent it in the army but that's only half the story. A real low point of my life and it lasted some 365 days. Buuuuut... It was a ridiculously good year for music! Just narrowing down my choices brought me to 16 awesome records and from there on I've had to weigh pros and cons between each album.
Death Angel - The Art Of Dying
Thrash metal was going through a revival in 2004. Along with this, two of my favorite releases in the genre from the same year were Megadeth's triumphant return with The System Has Failed and Gwar's War Party. The Art Of Dying gets the nod out of these as it's my favorite Death Angel album and really made an impact on first listen. I was spending a friday night driving some off duty army higher ups around town and had a late night metal radio show on when "Thrown To The Wolves" came on. That was the best thing about that night, I had to buy the album.
Death from Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine
I saw these guys perform the song "Romantic Rights" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien with Max Weinberg playing the drums for the second half of the song. Obviously that left an impression, the song was good and the performance energetic. This album was such a promising start for the band but they would break up two years later. Death From Above 1979 could have been big, they were pushing all the right buttons but it was not meant to be. Now they have reunited and their second album is scheduled to be released...actually on this very day that I'm writing this (September 9th, 2014). What a coincidence. This is a great album, let's see how their sophmore release fares in comparison.
Eagles of Death Metal - Peace Love Death Metal
With a name like that and a funky album cover, you had to be intrigued. Josh Homme is a member of EODM - he plays the drums?! Some people called it a waste of his talent but who gives a shit. Peace Love Death Metal is low key, no frills, no bullshit, bare bones, rock'n'roll music. Good stuff through and through with highlights including but not limited to "I Only Want You", "Stuck In the Metal" and "Miss Alissa". The band lost some of the mystique surrounding this album with their next release and subsequently my interest dropped significantly. I'm sure the others are good albums as well but this one, this one is great.
High on Fire - Blessed Black Wings
The bestestest metal band of the ´00s for me and Blessed Black Wings is their breakthrough album in my eyes. Sticker on the cover said it was like a mix of Slayer and Motörhead, and I agree wholeheartedly. And still High On Fire sounds like no other band. Blessed Black Wings is epic grass roots heavy metal battery. The opening of "Devilution" still gives me goosebumps, I have distinct memories of listening to "Brother In the Wind" at otherwise nondistinct moments of my life, "Blessed Black Wings" slays everytime without fail and "To Cross the Bridge" is one of my all time favorite High On Fire songs. Epic riffage, epic drummage, epic lyrics, it's all pure gold.
Jello Biafra & The Melvins - Never Breathe What You Can't See
If I were just compiling a list of my favorite albums of all time, this would be on there without question. Why? I suppose because this is what 'modern punk rock' should sound like (and it was recorded by a bunch of 40 year olds). It's both the best Jello Biafra album and the best Melvins album I've ever heard. That's saying a lot. The perfect marriage. In 2004 the sound of this album was cutting edge and as always you could count on Jello to deliver topical lyrics, yet even ten years afterwards it doesn't sound at all dated. Start with the opener "Plethysmograph", turn it up to 11 and go from there. This album is worth your time.
Now then, seeing as 2004 was musically A-M-A-Z-I-N-G in my opinion, do you (yes, you - the person who somehow ended up checking out this post) have any specific favorite albums from this year?