• Favorites of 2010

    28 dec 2010, 09:23

    This was one of the more difficult end of the year lists I had to do because there was a lot of music released in 2010 which I really enjoyed. What a way to start off the decade! What made it difficult was that there were a lot of albums which I loved but it was hard to pin down one real stand out to name my album of the year. The fact that I’m making a top 30 list instead of 10 or 20 kind of shows how much good music was released this year, haha. Without further to do, here is my Top 30 of 2010;

    30. This Is Hell - Weight of the Worlds

    I’ll admit I was a bit worried when I heard This Is Hell signed to Rise Records but it turns out that was all for nothing since they haven’t lost their touch at all. I wasn’t into a lot of hardcore releases this year, but TIH were one of those bands that’s always stuck with me for whatever reason. This Is Hell haven’t changed much on War of the Worlds but they did make some nice additions to improve their sound; guitar solos, more metal-influenced riffs and even an instrumental interlude. I also think the clean vocals on “Snake Eyes” are a nice touch and it makes me wonder if they can make it work on future albums. We shall see.

    29. Off With Their Heads - In Desolation

    The production is a lot more polished than From The Bottom and whether or not that’s a good or bad thing is up to you. Personally, I don’t think it hindered their sound too much aside from the effects on Ryan Young’s vocals. One of the things I do enjoy about In Desolation is that it’s more varied than From The Bottom and their lyrics have gotten much better too. This is just another solid pop-punk record with 12 catchy songs about self-loathing, which is really what OWTH are best at.

    28. Crime In Stereo - I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone

    It’s a real shame they had to call it quits after releasing this. Crime In Stereo had perfected their melodic hardcore sound on The Troubled Stateside so branching out was a smart thing. They did that well on …Is Dead but on this record and continued to build on that with this record. The band really push their limits on this album and made a record that no one really saw coming. It reminds me a lot of Brand New’s Daisy with more post-hardcore and some space rock influences. I appreciate CIS making the record they wanted to make and pushing their boundaries even more. It’s just too bad it had to end on a bad note (the band not the album.).

    27. Electric Wizard - Black Masses

    The more I listen to Black Masses, the more I feel that it sounds like a continuation of Witchcult Today. Electric Wizard are continuing to expand on their doom metal sound they built on Witchcult Today and take it to new levels. What’s strange is that Electric Wizard were always a band who are best known for their crushing riffs and overall heaviness and that isn’t the strongest part of Black Masses. While every track is definitely heavy, most of the tracks on Black Masses have a pretty solid groove to them, imagine an album full of “Dunwich’s.” Sure, it’s not the wall of noise that was Dopethrone, but I really like what Electric Wizard tried here. If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed about this band, it’s their love for weed and Satan.

    26. The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever

    Franz’ departure didn’t harm the band as much as I thought it would since The Hold Steady didn’t miss a beat on Heaven Is Whenever. Sure, I’ll miss his piano playing but Craig Finn can still tell a story better than no other and his songwriting has always been the best thing about The Hold Steady. There’s a few draggers but the good far outweighs the bad. Plus, I love an album that’s full of awesome hooks and this album is full of them!

    25. Alcest - Ecailles De Lune

    Alcest play one of the most unique brands of music you’ve heard in awhile. Neige, the mastermind behind the band, has always been one to get creative with his black metal projects created something excellent with Ecallies De Lune. It’s a combination of black metal, post-rock and shoegaze, which you really have to listen to to get a feel for it. This album is more focused on black metal in a lot of areas compared to their first album, which I thought a great direction to go in. The beauty of the mellow parts are a nice contrast to the intensity of the heavier sections. I’d really wish more bands would try this sound because I only know of three and Neige is in two of them.

    24. Make Do & Mend - End Measured Mile

    These guys won me over with their EP last year and their full-length didn’t disappoint at all. End Measure Mile isn’t terribly different from their EP but they are well on their way to finding their own sound. While their EP was great, there were a lot of moments where I felt they were trying to sound too much like Hot Water Music, that isn’t the case with this record. Make Do and Mend have gotten a lot better at songwriting as you can tell the songs on End Measure Mile are a lot less derevative and their lyrics have greatly improved, as well. I’m not on the hype train as much as other people are but Make Do and Mend still have a ton of potential and I can’t wait to see what they do with future releases.

    23. Hammock - Chasing After Shadows…Living With The Ghosts

    Post-rock is hit-or-miss with me but when I find a band who does it right, they’re usually something I listen to a ton, Hammock is one of those bands. I didn’t think group featuring only two members could make such relaxing, beautiful music. I think that’s what’s great about Hammock. The music’s foundation is very simple but so enjoyable. Most songs are based on drums, bass and guitar with some effects but not too much layering. It definitely makes them easier to take in and it helps tha ttheir music is very well constructed and enjoyable.

    22. Lungs - The Two Chief World Systems

    These guys are everything what’s great about A Wilhelm Scream, only with better vocals but a little more emphasis on having songs carried by “shredding” and musicianship rather than songwriting skills. That’s only a minor complaint, though since this is a very enjoyable record that sticks out among other bands who do the same thing. At any rate, I love me some technical skate punk and that’s pretty much what this record is. Lungs have definitely improved a ton as The Two Chiefs World Systems is a lot more memorable than their debut record.

    21. Howl - Full of Hell

    The album’s title couldn’t be more appropriate because “Hellish” was the first adjective I thought of when I listened to this album. It’s one of the most evil sounding records I’ve heard out of this year. Howl remind me a more aggressive version of early Isis as their sound is focused on heavy, violent riffs and punishing vocals. It’s some of the best elements of stoner and doom metal all in one package. Relapse hit a home run with another artist here.

    20. Stephen Egerton - The Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton

    Definitely a cool concept from one of the forefathers of pop-punk. “She’s Got Everything” is probably the closest thing to a new Descendents song that we’ll hear in awhile. If you don’t know the song, listen to it to find out what I mean or at least look at the tracklisting to see who is featured on it. What I really liked about this was that Stephen sort of worked with the collaborating artists on each track to incorporate the sounds from their bands along with him. The cowpunk sounding “Fire’s On” featuring Jon Snodgrass is a great example of that. Other cameos include Dan Andriano, Tim McIllrath, Chris Demakes and Chad Price. If that’s not enough to convince any pop-punk fan to listen to this then I don’t know what will.

    19. The Gamits - Parts

    I heard someone describe Gamits as “what pop-punk should sound like” and I agree 100%. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about them earlier since I’m usually really up-do-date on which pop-punk bands are worth listening to. These guy wear their Descendents and Jawbreaker influences on their sleeves and do so loudly and proudly. Parts has no shortage of great hooks, melodies and has that perfect production for pop-punk records. Still pretty raw but polished enough to let the best elements stick out. It’s definitely one of the catchiest records of the year.

    18. Black Tusk - Taste the Sin

    Sometimes little variety is a good thing. Black Tusk don’t exactly change things up on Taste The Sin but there’s little need to since it’s a good idea to not tamper with something that isn’t broke. Among this new wave of stoner metal bands who have been coming out of the woodwork lately, I think Black Tusk stand out a lot. They play a faster brand of stoner metal which still hasn’t gotten old for me as Taste The Sin was one of my most listened to albums this year. Imagine older High On Fire with more hardcore influence and sped up a bit, that’s basically what Black Tusk is. Yes, that’s a compliment.

    17. The Menzginers - Chamberlain Waits

    This is another band who I think play pop-punk the way it’s supposed to sound. If you like punk that’s full of catchy hooks similar to The Lawrence Arms and don’t mind the vocals being a bit rough, then this is the album for you. Chamberlain Waits shows The Menzingers take a few steps forward with their songwriting, as the lyrics on this album really hit home for someone who’s feeling down on theirselves a lot, like me! The Menzingers have taken some influence from The Gaslight Anthem on this record with the stories of the songs tell. I think that’s what the strongest part ofthe album is. Although, the similarities to The Lawrence Arms and Broadway Calls don’t hurt either.

    16. The Flatliners - Cavalcade

    For the most part, The Flatliners have dumped their ska-punk influences on Cavalcade and it’s definitely for the better. There’s still a few songs with them, but the majority of this record is non-stop skate punk with no shortage of great choruses and wouldn’t be too out of place on Epitaph or Fat Wreck’s roster in the early 90’s. Hell, they aren’t out of place on the latter’s roster right now. Definitely an awesome record for those looking for some straight up punk with no bullshit.

    15. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis

    Best record they’ve done with Greg and this is coming from someone who liked both Miss Machine and Ire Works. One of my favorite things about The Dillinger Escape Plan was that you never really knew what they are going to do next and that’s what Option Paralysis is like. This record is DEP at their heaviest and their softest, sometimes in the same song like the shape-shifting “Farewell, Mona Lisa.” Then you have songs which are among the band’s heaviest like “Crystal Morning” and “Endless Endings.” There’s also poppy songs a-la Faith No More (“Gold Teeth On A Bum”) and even a piano ballad (“Widower”). Overall, this record reminds me a lot of Miss Machine only a lot more stronger.

    14. Jimmy Eat World - Invented

    Honestly, Jimmy Eat World haven’t let me down as a band and Invented is no different. This is really just another great album to add to JEW’s discography that has about what you would expect from them. A lot of upbeat, pop-rock songs, a couple of feel-good ballads and a few driving anthems which you’ll usually find on their recors. One thing that makes Invented different from their other records is that there are more tracks which focus on building an atmosphere and have a more mellow vibe, similar to the sound they had on Clarity. The last two tracks are a good example of that sound. I still haven’t determined on where I rank it in JEW’s impressive discography but it’s definitely somewhere in the top half.

    13. Cough - Ritual Abuse

    Imagine if Electric Wizard and Eyehategod got together and made a band, that’s what Cough sounds like. Ritual Abuse is 53 minutes of fuzzed out riffs, downtempo guitars and droned-out vocals. Cough are one of those bands who have two sides to their sound. Sometimes, they’ll sound like a wall of heaviness complete with painfully shreiked vocals and some of the most monstrous riffs you’ll hear out of this year. Then sometimes, they do their best Black Sabbath impression with droned out clean vocals, groove-filled riffs and guitar solos which have a psychadelic feel to them. The two sides compliment eachother nicely. Well worth a listen if you’re a fan of stoner, doom or sludge metal.

    12. Murder By Death - Good Morning, Magpie

    Wasn’t quite the follow-up I was expecting to The Red of Tooth & Claw and I was disappointed there wasn’t a cool background story on this record but I did grow to love it after a few listens. Good Morning, Magpie is probably the most folk-influenced record they’ve done and, oddly enough, their most upbeat sounding record. It’s something new for Murder By Death and I really love the older folk elements they used on this album which gives it a more natural sound. It definitely takes some getting used to though for older fans, I’ll say that.

    11. Anathema - We’re Here Because We’re Here

    I’ve always had mixed feelings about most of Anathema’s newer records but I was blown away with We’re Here Because We’re Here. Such a beautiful album and one of the most enjoyable progressive rock albums I’ve heard in awhile. It’s hard to pin down what the best thing about this album is; the wonderful piano riffs, the harmonization between vocalists Lee Douglas and Vincent Cavanagh or the Pink Floyd-like atmosphere almost every song has. It’s a great piece of work that was well worth the long wait between albums. Oh, and Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree produced it if that interests you.

    10. Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle Part II

    Genre debates aside, I think Nachtmystium are one of the best metal bands in America at the moment. They have always been a “Do whatever we want to” band and continue to be that way on Addicts. There are songs on here that stray even further away from the black metal genre than they did on Assassins. In fact, it wouldn’t be stretching things to say that there are a lot more industrial, rock and dark ambient influences on here than black metal. The funny thing is, Nachtmystium can pull off this sound really well and can incorporate some of their black metal roots while doing so. Metal has always been one of the most diverse genres in the world, which is why I love bands like Nachtmystium who push their sound into unmarked territory and make it work like they’ve been doing for years now.

    9. High On Fire - Snakes For The Divine

    This is High On Fire’s attempt at a “classic heavy metal” album and while I don’t think it will be remembered as such, they made a pretty damn awesome album. The production is noticably cleaner than their past records and thankfully, it doesn’t hinder HOF’s sound at all as they’ve embraced this change well. Matt Pike can still shred but I hear a lot more influence from Iron Maiden and Metallica in his guitar work than I have on past records. Snakes For The Divine is also a lot more melodic than any of their other albums as well and it makes for a very fun listen. Don’t get me wrong, HOF are still heavier than most bands even on this record but this is probably their most accessible record to date. I will say that I don’t think it’s a better record than Death Is This Communion but it’s hard to live up to that record, at least for me. I was hoping this record would get HOF some more recognition outside the metal community since it was released on a bigger label but no dice.

    8. The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang

    I was bound to like this no matter what but objectively speaking, I think American Slang it’s a better record than The ‘59 Sound and a solid album in general. Brian Fallon’s vocals are one thing that’s improved a lot and he really showcases his voice on this album. The record also feels a lot less “gimmicky” than it’s prodecessor if that makes sense. Brian writing more personal songs instead of lyrics longing for the older times had a lot to do with that. American Slang is also a lot more rock influenced, as well and while Gaslight’s Springsteen influences are well on display, they aren’t as overwhelming as they were on past albums. One thing I’m wondeirng is what direction they’ll go in after this record.

    7. None More Black - Icons

    This was one of my most anticipated records of the year and it took a few spins to click with me but I’ve grown to love it. To me, this sounds a perfect combination of their first two records. The speed of File Under Black is there and the experiementation of This Is Satire is also present. Also of note is that guitarist Colin McGinniss stands out a lot more here than on their previous releases. His riffs and hooks on the record are wonderful and beyond catchy. He also has a couple solos thrown here and there. Also, can anyone think of a better melodic hardcore vocalist than Jason Shevchuk? One thing I do wish is that there were more slower songs in vein of “Here Comes Devereux” since that is the album’s clear standout but there aren’t too many other tracks like it. Then again, that’s also the track which reminds me the most of This Is Satire so yeah… Anyway, None More Black delivered with Icons for sure.

    6. Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit

    Agalloch has always been a band who like to change their approach with every album and they do just that on Marrow of the Spirit. Here we see Agalloch make what is their most black metal sounding record to date as it’s evidenced by the lo-fi production, chainsaw guitar riffs and blast beats which fill sections of the album. They have always had heavier sections in their music but this is definitely Agalloch’s most intense and most evil sounding album to date. These moments are balanced with folk based interludes and dark ambient passages relying a lot on orechestral instruments, all of which are nice touches. They also incorprated some field recordings they experimented with on their last EP, The White, to add ambience to some tracks. Agalloch are a band who don’t like to re-create the same album but whatever style they play, they make sure to do it with perfection. While I wouldn’t call this perfect yet, it’s an excellent record and another addition to the already fantastic discography of Agalloch. It’s not for people with short attention spans, though. Six tracks, 65 minutes is what the album clocks in as.

    5. Bad Religion - The Dissent of Man

    Here we see what is sort of a “retrospective” album for Bad Religion, only with new songs instead of a compilation of older favorites. The Dissent of Man sounds much more similar to Recipe For Hate and Generator than any of their other recent albums and that’s a very good thing as mid-90’s Bad Religion has always been an overlooked gem. Some of the lyrics leave a lot to be desired but overall, there’s not much to complain about with this album. The Oozin’ Ahh’s are as strong as ever and so are Greg Graffin’s vocal melodies. It’s the best album they’ve released since Process of Belief. Hard to believe they’ve been active for 30 years now, it’s been quite a career for them.

    4. Intronaut - Valley of Smoke

    Now here’s one band I didn’t expect to be impressed at the beginning of the year. I always thought Intronaut didn’t stick out among the many “progressive metal” bands out there but they’ve won me over with Valley of Smoke. This record is full of some very creative atmospheric melodies and post-rock overtones which their last album didn’t have much of. Also, the clean singing has gotten a lot better as the singers have gone with a more choral singing style similar to Baroness’ later albums. The bass playing on the record is also very impressive. It’s on this record where I think they’ve created something that’s characteristic to themselves rather than being Isis or Neurosis-lite.

    3. Deftones - Diamond Eyes

    One of the few bands I liked in middle school who are still making music that interests me. Diamond Eyes takes the best moments of White Pony and mixes it with the elements they experimented with on Saturday Night Wrist. They are another band where you don’t know what they’ll bring to the table next and on Diamond Eyes, there are some of their heaviest songs to date (“Royal”) and beautiful songs like “Sextape” as well. It’s basically Deftones giving everything they have and holding nothing back on this release and it comes forth with fantastic results.

    2. Alkaline Trio - This Addiction

    I fully understand that this is a huge biased pick but I probably listened to This Addiction a lot more than other records this year and that’s not just because Alkaline Trio are my favorite band, it’s a damn awesome record. You could say that this is a “return to form” for them which is pretty accurate. The Trio definitely took a more “back-to-basics” approach with this record and it’s evident with the stripped down production and returning to more of the methods which made From Here To Infirmary and Good Mourning so great. That’s not to say they still aren’t thinking outside of box since This Addiction has some surprises on it but they come off as way less awkward than they did on the last two albums. I’m very glad they decided to go in this direction seeing how middle-era Trio is some of my favorite music ever and that’s what this record reminds me of. Just one complaint; needs more Dan! Though his bonus tracks on the deluxe edition make up for it a little.

    1. Kvelertak - Kvelertak

    It’s weird how some of my favorite records from this year have come from nowhere. I had no idea who Kvelertak were when I first found out about them and decided to check them out because I liked the album’s artwork. Shallow reason yes, but I found out about one of the best records of the year that way. Kvelertak’s style of black metal mixed with hardcore punk may sound like a mess on paper but once you listen to it, you’ll find yourself loving it too. This is probably the catchiest stuff with black metal influence I’ve heard that doesn’t suck. This is one of the most enjoyable records I’ve listened to this year and you’ll keep coming back from more after you’re done listening to it. Plus, all of their lyrics are in Norweigan and about Norse Mythology. What’s not to love about that if you’re a metal fan?

    Honorable Mentions

    Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - The Brutalist of Bricks
    Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons
    Comeback Kid - Symptoms + Cures
    Thou - Summit
    Cathedral - The Guessing Game
    Ceremony - Rohnert Park
    Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
    Melechesh - Epigenesis

    Top 5 EP’s Of 2010

    5. Torche - Songs For Singles

    More of Torche being themselves here. It’s the same catchy metal that they’ve always played and they haven’t strayed from the path at all. The last two tracks were definitely interesting and make me look forward to their future releases, though.

    4. Brendan Kelly/Joe McMahon - Wasted Potential

    Brendan playing acoustic versions of some of my favorite Lawrence Arms songs..what could be better than that? I also liked Joe’s side of the EP well enough even though I’m not a huge Smoke or Fire fan.

    3. Gallowbraid - Ashen Eidolon

    If someone disguised this as the new Agalloch, it would fool a lot of people. That’s not to say that it’s a complete Agalloch rip-off because Gallowbraid does have their own sound. It’s good to know there’s more artists out there playing this brand of “dark metal” since it’s a very interesting concept.

    2. Banquets - This Is Our Concern, Dude

    From the remains of Let Me Run, The Stand In and The Banner come Banquets, a band with only one 7” on their resume but boy is it an impressive one. Fans of melodic punk should be able to get into this band easy, which is why this was a big hit with me.

    1. Let Me Run - Broken Strings

    Let Me Run’s gone through more member changes than I can keep track of but they really hit it home with this EP. It’s one great hook and chorus after another. Just listen to “Brocomotive” to find out what I mean. Dumb song title, aside. After I heard that track, I needed to hear more and kept coming back. Like Banquets, if bands like The Loved Ones are you’re thing than this is right up your alley.

    Bands to look out for
    Born To Lose

    Most Disappointing Albums
    Fireball Ministry - Fireball Ministry
    Remember how I said Anathema was well worth the wait? Unfortunately, this wasn’t worth the five year gap between records. It’s not a bad record but I was definitely expecting more from them.

    Four Year Strong - Enemy of the World
    I don’t know if I’m just over this style of pop-punk or what but I couldn’t get into this it all no matter how many people tell me how good it is. I’m sure it’s still fun as hell ot see live at the very least.

    Melvins - The Bride Screamed Murder
    I really got into Melvins the last couple of years, unfortunately this wasn’t one of the albums I digged. Maybe my problem is I haven’t listened to much of their later stuff so this came off a shock compared to their older material? That’s my theory at least,

    Dark Tranquillity - We Are The Void
    Solid Dark Tranqullity album but not much more than that. DT haven’t broken their mold that much in their careers but they have consistently released excellent albums and I thought Fiction was no different. Unfortunately, We Are The Void didn’t exactly live up to my standards even if I do think it’s a solid effort. At least I still have most of their catalog.

    Against Me! - White Crosses
    I got into this later but this is hands down the biggest disappointment of the year for me and I really liked New Wave, too. I honestly think it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the terrible production. Butch Vig, what in the world were you thinking when you produced this album? I also thought the record sounded very sloppy and lazily done, especially after listening to a lot of the guitar-work. I’m willing to let Tom and company slide here though since most bands have that one album I like to forget existed.

    Bleeding Through - Bleeding Through
    So, I really thought Declaration was a step in the right direction for them and thought they would continue to build on that with this record…..shit was I wrong.

    Corey’s Favorite Songs of 2010
    15. Banquets - Eleanor, I Need A Garden
    14. Darkthrone - I Am The Graves of the 80’s
    13. Deftones - Beauty School
    12. Sara Bareilles - King of Anything
    11. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Farewell, Mona Lisa
    10. Sundowner - As The Crow Flies
    9. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - One Polaroid A Day
    8. Anathema - Summernight Horizon
    7. Kvelertak - Fossegrim
    6. Let Me Run - Brocomotive
    5. Alkaline Trio - Dead On The Floor
    4. The Gaslight Anthem - Bring It On
    3. Bad Religion - The Pride and the Pallor
    2. Stephen Egerton feat. Jon Snodgrass - Fire’s On
    1. High On Fire - Frost Hammer

    Other favorite songs:
    Intronaut - Miasma
    Nachtmystium - Addicts
    None More Black - Here Comes Deveruex
    Agalloch - Black Lake Nidstang
    The Flatliners - Bleed
    Jimmy Eat World - Stop
    Murder By Death - Foxglove
    The Menzingers - I Was Born
    The Hold Steady - Hurricane J
    Street Dogs - Bobby Powers
    Gallowbraid - Ashen Eidolon
    Drive-By Truckers - Drag The Lake, Charlie
    Crime In Stereo - Not Dead
    Black Tusk - Red Eyes, Black Skies

    Records and Things That Surprised Me This Year
    The Menzingers - Chamberlain Waits
    Kvelertak - self/titled
    I actually liked the new Yeasayer album
    Finally getting new music from Blake Schwarzenbach!
    Intronaut - Valley of Smoke
    Descendents playing shows again……in Australia

    Most Anticipated
    Dave Hause
    Pulling Teeth
    Rise Against
    No Trigger

    Albums I should have heard last year
    Frank Turner - Poetry of the Deed
    Teenage Bottlerocket - They Came From The Shadows
    Amesoeurs - self/titled
    Immortal - All Shall Fall
    Om - God Is Good
    Pulling Teeth - Paranoid Delusions/Paradise Illusions
    Shrinebuilder - self/titled

    Originally written for:
  • What says are my favorite albums

    15 jun 2009, 05:47

    Somewhat accurate...

    C_Sznajder's top albums
    1. Alkaline Trio - From Here to Infirmary (489)
    2. Thrice - The Illusion Of Safety (443)
    3. The Lawrence Arms - Cocktails & Dreams (417)
    4. The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or Swim (392)
    5. Jawbreaker - Dear You (383)
    6. Thrice - The Artist In The Ambulance (377)
    7. Broadway Calls - Broadway Calls (357)
    8. The Loved Ones - Keep Your Heart (356)
    9. Tiger Army - Music From Regions Beyond (331)
    10. Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning (330)
    11. Hot Water Music - Caution (326)
    12. Gallows - Orchestra of Wolves (322)
    13. Rancid - And Out Come The Wolves (312)
    14. Murder by Death - In Bocca Al Lupo (307)
    15. Jawbreaker - Unfun (302)
    16. AFI - The Art of Drowning (291)
    17. Darkest Hour - Deliver Us (290)
    18. None More Black - This Is Satire (284)
    19. The Lawrence Arms - Apathy and Exhaustion (283)
    20. Rise Against - Revolutions Per Minute (283)
    21. The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta! (279)
    22. Alkaline Trio - Goddamnit (278)
    23. Rise Against - Appeal to Reason (275)
    24. Descendents - Everything Sucks (274)
    25. AFI - Sing the Sorrow (272)
    26. AFI - Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes (269)
    27. Darkest Hour - Undoing Ruin (266)
    28. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound (263)
    29. The Loved Ones - Build & Burn (259)
    30. Descendents - Milo Goes to College (258)
    31. Killswitch Engage - Alive or Just Breathing (258)
    32. Tiger Army - Tiger Army (254)
    33. Alkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch Fire (248)
    34. Rancid - Life Won't Wait (242)
    35. Thursday - War All The Time (242)
    36. The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told (237)
    37. No Trigger - Canyoneer (235)
    38. Tiger Army - III: Ghost Tigers Rise (235)
    39. Dillinger Four - Situationist Comedy (234)
    40. Thursday - Full Collapse (232)
    41. Baroness - Red Album (230)
    42. Off With Their Heads - From the Bottom (229)
    43. AFI - Black Sails in the Sunset (227)
    44. Bane - Give Blood (224)
    45. At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command (223)
    46. Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies (222)
    47. Propagandhi - Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes (221)
    48. Four Year Strong - Rise or Die Trying (219)
    49. Hot Water Music - A Flight and a Crash (216)
    50. A Perfect Circle - Mer De Noms (215)

  • NIN/JA 2009 Tour; Merriweather Post Pavillion

    10 jun 2009, 20:54

    Tue 9 Jun – NIN|JA 2009

    Yesterday, I went to the NIN/JA tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Best concert I've ever been to. We got there pretty early to avoid waiting in a long line. After getting food and waiting in line for another hour or so, it started to rain really hard. This storm was the whole nine yards, wind, hail, lightning and heavy rain. Fortunately, we and a bunch of other people hid under the awning under the ticket booth until the lightning stopped. The storm settled down after a half hour and we went back to the line, which was pretty short but it began to grow pretty quickly. Gates opened thirty minutes later than scheduled thanks to the lightning but we got in with plenty of time to spare and found pretty good seats/standing area in the lawn, despite all the mud.

    Street Sweeper Social Club: I was really, really impressed with them. They kind of sound like a less rebellious, but still politically conscious version of Rage Against The Machine. Tom Morello has still got it! Played an absolutely insane solo on their last song, played part of it with his tongue! He also made a speech before it about SSSC and made a funny RATM reference, haha. It was also funny how Boots Riley kept saying "We're Street Sweeper Social Club, not just a band but a social club!" between every song. Either way, they were awesome. Great way to kick off the night. Will be checking out their album in a week.

    (Thank you
    Fight! Smash! Win!
    Somewhere in the World It's Midnight
    Paper Planes (M.I.A. cover)
    The Oath
    100 Little Curses
    Nobody Moves (Til We Say Go)

    Nine Inch Nails: Incredible. They were spot on the whole time and had a crazy light show going. They also played "Sin" which I was hoping for. Trent sounded perfect on "Something I Can Never Have" and "Hurt." The only song I wasn't really into was "Echoplex" but it was still pretty cool. Crowd went crazy during "Head Like a Hole" and "Wish." There was also not a lot of talking between songs, they just kept playing and playing and playing. Loved it. I think Trent's mic went out on "Survivalism" but it got fixed pretty quick. It was also great to see them play "The Becoming" and "La Mer," the latter was pretty chill. I'm so glad that I finally got to see NIN live before they go on hiatus. It was without a doubt, the best performance I've ever seen. Their touring drummer (Ilan Rubin) was very sharp last night, too. I was impressed. One thing I was annoyed with was the amount of chattering in the crowd during "Right Where It Belongs." That was obnoxious. Either way, amazing show, even from the lawn seats.

    (I think this is right...)
    Letting You
    March of the Pigs
    Something I Can Never Have
    The Becoming
    Gave Up
    La Mer
    Right Where It Belongs
    The Way Out Is Through
    Dead Souls (Joy Division cover)
    The Hand That Feeds
    Head Like a Hole

    Jane's Addiction: Wow. I'm a casual fan of this band (Mostly of Ritual de lo Habitual) but they were phenomenal last night. How they opened with "Three Days" was fantastic. Dave Navarro was on fire, too. Holy shit, can he shred. I'm not sure who was more impressive guitar-wise; him or Tom from SSSC. Perry was also funny on-stage too. Took a shot of wine between songs and made some funny jokes. "Hey ladies, you ever get with a man *crowd screams*...I wasn't done with my sentence. Do you ever get with a man and he doesn't get up. Who's problem is that? It's like a combination fixing a car." No fucking clue what that means but everyone laughed. I got a kick out of this, "Ah, who am I kidding, I don't know shit. But I am 50!" Eric Avery played every song perfectly but he looked really aged out there. Stephen Perkins was wearing a skirt behind the kit. Their whole set was a blast, so much fun. I'm pretty sure Sam and I were the youngest people in our section. Just about everyone around us was at least over 25, and the two dudes in front of me knew every single word to every song they played. I mostly knew the words to the singles and the songs off Ritual, but it was still a really fun set. Almost seemed like it went on forever too. Definitely surprised with how well JA was, and Dave Navarro was a fucking machine. Nailed the solo in "Three Days" to a T.

    (I think I got this right..)
    Three Days
    Ain't No Right
    Pigs In Zen
    Then She Did
    Up The Beach
    Mountain Song
    Been Caught Stealing
    Ocean Size
    Ted, Just Admit It
    Summertime Rolls
    Jane Says

    Again, this was the best show I've been to. It was kind of a fiasco dealing with the storm and all of the mud in the lawn area, but it was so worth it. NIN's setlist was even better than I was expecting and Jane's Addiction blew me away. Not sure if I'll ever go to a show that'll top this.
  • Top Artists Journal. I'm bored

    10 apr 2009, 15:34

    01. How did you get into #31?
    I always heard people talking about them so a friend burned me Situationist Comedy and it grew on me after a few listens. Then I got the rest of their discography in due time. New album was awesome, too.

    02. What was the first song you ever heard by #22?
    Head Like a Hole I heard it a bunch of times on the radio and it took me forever to find out who it was, haha.

    03. What's your favorite lyric by #41 ?
    "Are we running so far from facing
    The numbers who crash in an empty room.
    False visions we search
    And the reflections consume.
    But the mirror is everyone's tomb." Infrared

    04. What is your favorite album by #49 ?
    Invalid Letter Dept.

    05. How many albums by #13 do you own?
    Two albums and an EP.

    06. What is your favorite song by #50 ?
    Okay, I believe you but my tommy gun don't

    07. Is there a song by #4 that makes you sad?
    Outlaw Heart Also one of my favorites from them.

    08. What is your least favorite song by #15 ?
    Pretty much anything off the newest album. It was so boring. :(

    09. What is your favorite song by #5
    Brickwall Views
    One out of 20 favorites. haha.

    10. Is there a song by #6 that makes you happy?

    11. What is your favorite album by #40 ?
    Blackwater Park

    12. What is your favorite song by #10 ?
    Trusty Chords

    13. What is a good memory you have involving #33 ?
    late Winter-Spring2007

    14. What is your favourite song by #37 ?

    15. Is there a song by #19 that makes you happy?
    The Spicy McHaggis Jig and Boys on the Docks brings makes me happy sometimes. I need to start listening to this band again.

    16. How many times have you seen #24 live?

    17. What is the first song you heard by #23?
    It was either Don't Lose Touch or Miami.

    18. What is your favorite album by #11?
    Keep Your Heart. Absolutely flawless album.

    19. Who is your favorite member of #1?
    Dumb fucking question.

    20. How many times have you seen #14 live?
    Zero. I can only dream. :(

    21. What is a good memory you have involving #45?
    Well, I listen to them whenever I'm in a shitty mood. If Ted Leo can't cheer you up, then nothing will.

    22. What is your favorite song by #16?
    Sometimes the Line Walks You

    23. What is the first song you heard by #47?
    Walk. Lulz.

    24. What is your favorite album by #3?
    The Illusion Of Safety

    25. What is your favourite song by #18?
    Signals Over The Air

    26. What is the first song you heard by #38?
    Panasonic Youth because I got Miss Machine before hearing anything else by them, haha.

    27. What is your favourite lyric that #21 has sung?
    "There was a time when I could say it right to you
    That I was never going to leave this place
    But now its I was wrong
    And I dont wanna fucking talk about it
    Cause it feels like things have changed" Never Going Back To New Jersey
    28. What is your favourite song by #2?
    Another tough one. Of Greetings & Goodbyes

    29. What is the first song you heard by #32?
    No One Knows and that was back in 6th grade, haha. I got into them years later.

    30. What is your favorite song by #8?
    Behind Closed Doors Hard for me to narrow it down to one.

    31. How many times have you seen #17 live?

    32. Is there a song by #44 that makes you happy?
    Hell, almost everything by Kid Dynamite puts me in a good mood.

    33. What is your favorite album by #12?
    Alive or Just Breathing

    34. What is the worst song by #29?
    The only Propagandhi song that I remotely dislike is The Only Good Fascist is a Dead Fascist. Not a bad song, though.

    35. What was the first song you heard by #34?
    My Friends Over You I think I just finished 5th grade when I heard this song first....

    36. What is your favorite album by #42?
    Tough decision between Blood Mountain and Leviathan. New album slays, too.

    37. How many times have you seen #39 live?
    Zero. They were coming here in October of 2007 but I couldn't get a ride up to Baltimore. It was on Halloween too.

    38. What is your favorite album by #36?
    Jane Doe

    39. What is the first song you heard by #28?
    Take This Life Ugh.I thought it was awesome at the time...

    40. What is your favorite album by #7?
    No Control
  • My Albums of Summer 2008

    20 sep 2008, 03:06

    I've been doing a lot of college and scholarship searching this summer, as well as staying up way too late for my own good so I've been listening to a lot of music. I figured I'd look back and think about what my favorite albums to listen to this summer were. I'm not going to get too descriptive with these, and some of these descriptions/summaries kind of suck but whatever.

    The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or Swim

    My top album of summer 2008. I only found out about this band in March and started listening to them more frequently while on a car ride to Ocean City on the first week of June. It's such a chill album to listen to whenever. Every song is hard not to sing along to.

    Alkaline Trio - From Here to Infirmary

    My favorite Alk3 record and one of my favorite albums ever. Well, pretty much every Alkaline Trio album has been in heavy rotation this summer but this record was the one that I listened to most. Seeing them in July was a blast too.

    New Found Glory - New Found Glory

    Yes, I know it's lame but that's what I love about it. I was listening to it while filling out this blog too. haha.

    Broadway Calls - Broadway Calls

    I had wanted to get this record since last December but I couldn't find it anywhere until late June. So glad I picked it up. The first 10 tracks or so are pure gold in my opinion. The last few tracks are good too, but I always see myself listening to the first 10 more. Needless to say, this record has become pretty standard for me to listen to when I pull an all nighter, which is often.

    Darkest Hour - Undoing Ruin

    I was pretty big on this record last summer too, as well as Deliver Us. I've been listening to a lot more punk this summer than metal though. But whenever i'm in the mood for metal this record is the first one I listen to. It's almost perfect in my eyes.

    Bad Religion - Stranger Than Fiction

    I don't know why I put off listening to this record for so long. Maybe it was the fact that it was on a major label? Whatever, I don't care. This is slowly becoming one of my favorite BR albums. No Control will always be my favorite but this one is creeping up there. Love the title track and Better Off Dead.

    Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - Shake The Sheets

    No idea why I didn't start listening to Ted Leo earlier. If this record doesn't put you in a good mood, nothing will. Need to get some more records from him if all of them are this good.

    The Bouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Well, all 3 Bouncing Souls albums I own have been in pretty heavy rotation this summer but I chose this one because, well, the title just fits haha. Such a fun band to pick you up when you're down. I also chose this record because of how it combines their fast, fun songs of their earlier records with their catchy, but more serious song on their later records.

    Iron Maiden - Powerslave

    Nothing beats going down the highway at 70mphs while blaring "Aces High" on your car stereo. Spent a lot of nights listening to start a long Iron Maiden listen. Maiden's become one of my favorite bands this summer too.

    Hot Water Music - Caution

    Yet another band that I wanted to get into earlier but never did until this year. I got this and Fuel For The Hate Game at the start of the summer. Fuel For The Hate Game is great too but i've been listening to Caution more. "Remedy" is such an awesome album opener. "I need a remedy! Of diesel and dust, something I can taste with the things I can trust!" I think the video for that song is still on my myspace haha.

    The Loved Ones - Keep Your Heart

    My favorite find of the year next to The Gaslight Anthem and The Lawrence Arms. Keep Your Heart has been in constant rotation ever since I got it in April. Not really much else to say right now as I've been plugging this record and this band for nearly 4 months now haha.

    Deftones - Around the Fur

    This has replaced the self/titled record as my favorite Deftones album. Love how intense it is, I listen to it a lot when I'm pissed off and with all the college searching and parents being on my case about everything, I've been pissed off plenty of times this summer. "Be Quiet & Drive" has become my favorite Deftones song as well as one of my favorite songs of all-time but i'll save that for another list.

    Rancid - ...And Out Come The Wolves

    I didn't listen to this album too much this summer but over the years, it's become my favorite summer album of all time. So this list wouldn't be complete without it. Making this list made me want to put on this album right now. I enjoy it more and more every time. haha
  • Alkaline Trio at Rams Head 7/11/08

    12 jul 2008, 21:35

    Fri 11 Jul – Alkaline Trio, American Steel

    I saw Alkaline Trio last night and it was an awesome show. This was my first time seeing the band live, I’ve been listening to them for awhile but I didn’t become a huge fan until a couple years ago. I got to Rams Head about a half hour after the doors opened after a little confusion in finding the venue. While waiting for the first band to start, I walked around and got a jacket from the merch stand, since I don’t have any Alkaline Trio merch yet.

    The first band that played was The Fashion. They wern't as bad as I thought they would be judging by their name and what I listened to on their myspace page. They’re a basic poppy rock band from Denmark, nothing new. They did have a pretty cool stage presence only their singer looked kind of stupid with some of his dance moves, or whatever you want to call it. Not something I would listen to but not terrible. Next up was American Steel who were pretty good. They played a lot of songs for an opening band, didn’t talk much, just kept going along to the next song. It was my first time hearing them. I was kind of expecting something like hardcore punk with a name like “American Steel” but they were pretty different, sort of reminded me of The Lawrence Arms. I was thinking about buying a CD from them after their set, but I decided against it because there were a lot of people there and I didn’t want to lose my spot in the crowd.

    Alkaline Trio didn’t take the stage until about maybe a half hour later. They kept teasing us by dimming the lights, slower and slower each time. Then they finally took the stage opening with track Calling All Skeletons. Let me just say that the songs off the new album (especially this one) are 10 times better live than on CD. A lot of singing along during this song, we helped out with the handclaps too which was cool. Next up was an old song from Goddamnit, Nose Over Tail, sounded almost identical to the album version. This is also where everyone in the crowd decided to “mosh.” It wasn’t exactly moshing, more like people shoving each other in no particular direction. A lot of people seemed drunk, so that might be a reason for a lot of that. Anyway, I didn’t let all the pushing and shoving stop me from having a good time.

    They played five songs from the new album, which as I said earlier, are a lot better live than on CD. Three off From Here To Infirmary, self/titled and Good Mourning and one off Goddamnit, Maybe I’ll Catch Fire and Crimson. They also played Warbrain which was a nice surprise. I would have liked a few different songs off From Here To Infirmary like Mr. Chainsaw or Hell Yes and a couple more songs off Goddamnit but I liked the setlist overall. I was a bit surprised that they played a good amount of songs from the self/titled record. One of the encores was For Your Lungs Only which Matt said was only the second time they played that live in the past 11 years. I was a little pissed that I didn’t know all of the lyrics to that song so I couldn’t sing a lot to most of it. I made up for it by shouting along all of the closer, Radio along with the rest of the crowd. That was definitely the best song they played that night in terms of live performance. I loved the crowd interaction as well, they let us do that “I’ve got a big, fat fucking bone to pick with you my dear” in the final chorus. They also had us do the “love for fire” part in This Could Be Love.

    It was an awesome show, aside from dealing with all the drunks in the crowd before and at the beginning of the set, who were actually pretty fun after awhile. Really fun night, lots of singing/shouting along and socializing with random people. Definitely see Alkaline Trio if you’re a fan and they come to your area, they put on an awesome show and you’ll have a great time. (especially if you’re a drinker haha.) I like the new album even more now after hearing how good the new songs are live, been listening to it ever since I got home. My back hurts, my shoes and jeans still smell like booze but it's all good. :)

    Set List (in almost the right order)

    Calling All Skeletons
    Nose Over Tail
    I Lied My Face Off
    I Found A Way
    In Vein
    Mercy Me
    Blue Carolina
    Do You Wanna Know?
    Old School Reasons
    Help Me
    Private Eye
    Dead And Broken
    Goodbye Forever
    This Could Be Love
    For Your Lungs Only
  • The Top Ten Albums From Bands That Start With C

    12 maj 2008, 21:02

    Yes, this is a direct "ripoff" of Nick Avon’s blog of the "Ten Best Albums From Bands That Start With A" but I wanted in on the list making fun too so I thought I would do the same thing, only for bands that start with C. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion, nothing official.

    10. Corrosion of Conformity-Blind

    This is the only record i’ve heard from CoC and it is rad as fuck. I prefer Pepper Keenan’s work with Down more than this band but I do like this record a lot and it’s a great mixture of southern, doom and thrash metal. I haven’t heard any of their other material yet, but I plan to. Hopefully it's as good as this album.

    9. Cannabis Corpse-Blunted At Birth

    Funniest shit ever. Probably one of the best parody bands I’ve heard in awhile but I don’t listen to that many parody bands in general. For those of you that don’t know, it’s Municipal Waste’s bassist, Landphill’s side project that does Cannibal Corpse parody songs. It’s only 8 songs long but it’s still heavy and funny as fuck. The message inside the CD is great too, ""This recording was done entirely on a Boss BR 900 digital 8 track. I am definitely not a pro engineer, so if you don’t like how it sounds, FUCK YOU!"

    8. Converge-No Heroes

    Converge really took awhile to grow on me. I didn’t like them at all at first but then I re-listened to them months later and I listen to them for hours a day now. I love how No Heroes is really just one long song and every track blends together so well. The first six songs are so crazy and intense and they all clock in at under 10 minutes.

    7. The Cure-Disintegration

    I could never really get into The Cure except for this album. I really like the longer songs like "Pictures of You," and "Homesick." The overall dark sound of this album is another thing I like a lot along with the fact that it’s really long haha. I listen to this album a lot whenever I do my homework or study since I never have to change the music whenever the album ends.

    6.Circa Survive-Juturna

    This one is a favorite among a lot of my friends and it’s becoming one of my favorites too. I was really skeptical to check out this album because On Letting Go took awhile to grow on me when I had to review it, so I thought it would be the same with this album, but I was wrong. I was hooked at first listen and it’s am album I listen to regularly.

    5. Coheed and Cambria-Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Vol 1: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness

    It was hard for me to choose which Coheed album to put on here, but this album is what got me into Coheed awhile ago and I think I memorized the whole thing from start to finish. I know, i’m a loser haha. Even if it overuses prog wankry a bit, I still think it’s a great album, one of my favorite albums too.

    4. Carcass-Heartwork

    I’ve had this album for less than a few months and I already think it’s badass as fuck. Carcass really mastered the art of grindcore turning into melo-death metal and they did it very well too. I enjoyed Necrotism a bit, but I really like Heartwork more since I’m a fan of melo-death more than straight up death metal. Gotta love a lot of the riffs and solos in this album too. Michael Amott for the win!

    3. Children of Bodom-Follow the Reaper

    I’m not the biggest Bodom fan in the world but this record slays. It’s such an awesome combination of power metal, melo-death and neo-classical metal. I also love how the guitar solos in this album alternate with the keyboard solos so well. This is really the only Bodom record that I could get into.

    2. The Clash-London Calling

    Need I say more?

    1. Converge-Jane Doe

    Two Converge albums on one list? Fuck yes! Why the hell would I forget this album anyway? It’s a completely flawless record in my opinion and a classic in hardcore. I can never listen to this album only once and it feels like I just got pumbled by a tornado whenever I finish listening to it for the second, third, fourth or however many times I listen to it. Yes, that’s a good thing.
  • Corey's Top 25 Albums of 2007

    9 dec 2007, 19:27

    2007's actually been a really good year for music, so here's what I thought were the best albums of the year. Actually it's more of a combination of my favorites from the year and what I thought were the most impressive albums. Going to be a lot of people that disagree with this.

    25. Dropkick Murphys-The Meanest of Times

    Obviously not the best Murphys album but it's pretty damn good. Reviewing this album made me want to check out more albums from the band and they became one of my favorite bands. They will probably stay one of my favorite bands as they have been topping my charts since October haha. Anyway, The Meanest Of Times is nothing disappointing at all if you're a fan of the band, a fan of punk or Celtic punk. Whatever suits you.

    24. Thrice-The Alchemy Index

    This album took a few listens to grow on me, mainly the Water portion of it. It came across as dull and over-produced as first but like their last album Vheissu it grew on me after a couple listens. The Fire disk is plain awesome, combining sounds from their previous four albums together to make one energetic and kickass album (Or EP whatever you want to call it). It's nice how it contrasts with calmness of the Water disk too, showing how diverse Thrice can be and how they have changed so much over the years. Thrice is also becoming one of my favorite bands this year, but I will discuss that in another category.

    23. Strung Out- Blackhawks Over Los Angeles

    Not exactly the most "punk rock" release in their catalogue, but it's by far their most impressive in my book. There is some unexpected great guitar work in here especially on the opening track, "Calling." Blackhawks Over Los Angeles is consistent at 42 minutes, no filler tracks and again features some pretty damn impressive musicianship. Despite the lyrics being somewhat politically charged, they are still well written. Good score for Fat Wreck Records on keeping this band on their label, always good to know a band can still sound this good after fifteen years in the business, even if they sound a little more melodic than hardcore. Best of luck to the band on recovering their lost tour bus too.

    22. The Showdown-Temptation Come My Way

    One of my favorite finds of the year, this is nothing but good old southern rock/metal. Sure, a lot of fans hate them now for dropping the death metal elements from their debut album, but I don't care. I think Temptation Come My Way is a great album and better than their old material. I've given this album quite a few spins over the past year, shame that Ozzfest was too far away and I missed out on seeing them there. If you're into southern rock you might want to check these guys out, even though there seems to be a large number of "southern rock" bands infesting the scene right now, hopefully these boys wont be overlooked because they are a lot better than quite a few others.

    21. Porcupine Tree-Fear of a Blank Planet

    I was expecting a boring prog album, but I was proved wrong big time. Fear of a Blank Planet may only have six tracks clocking in at a whopping 50 minutes, but it's not dull for a single second. Even the 17-minute epic, "Anetheize" had not a single dull point. Fear of a Blank Planet showcases Porcupine Tree's heavier and softer sides, plus a showcase of their music complexity, ranging from atmospheric and moody to monstrous. The cutting edge lyrics describing the dark side of one's life and social criticism make this album great too. A must get of 2007 for prog fans.

    20. Blaqk Audio-CexCells

    The debut album of the electronica side project of AFI's Davey Havok and Jade Puget is nothing but excellent. While I'm not a big fan of the electronica genre except for a handful of bands, (Blaqk Audio being one haha) CexCells is a fantastic album for what it is. It took me a couple listens before I really got "into" it though, not always a bad thing. It has such a great, calming vibe that I listen to whenever I need to relax or chill out or something like that. Not something I would listen to every day but it's good every now and then and I could start to explore more of the electronica/techno genre. I'm starting to get into Depeche Mode thanks to them.

    19. MxPx-Secret Weapon

    Probably the best pop-punk album to come out of 2007, well MxPx we're one of the pioneering bands of the genre so it makes sense. Some might not see this as great compared to other punk bands that outshine them but others (like me) see this as one of their best releases to date. It has elements of pop punk, oi!, hardcore, and some street punk thrown in too. Lyrics covering a variety of topics like self confidence, technology, corporations, spite, and others. It might be seen a bit cliche from the description but once you listen to it. To sum it all up, it's a great catchy punk-ish record.

    18. Demon Hunter-Storm The Gates Of Hell

    Another one of the very few Christian Metalcore bands that actually impressed me a lot. The first two tracks are badass and then a lot more of the album has it's melodic sides which I like a lot. Mainly because Ryan Clark can actually sing well, instead of copying the sound of other bands. This album actually goes out into a few genres, there are a good amount of metal songs with some hard rock overtones mixed in ("Thorns," "Carry Me Down"). The rough vocals are also top notch and didn't sound like the vocalist of 20 other bands. It's always good to know that there are some good bands in a lackluster genre, but Demon Hunter along with As I Lay Dying are carrying the torches in Christian Metalcore, although they seem to be breaking away from the genre.

    17. The Fall of Troy-Manipulator

    This album got loads of mixed reactions from their fan-base with some loving it and a lot hating it, I am one that loves this album. I think it's equally at the same greatness as Doppelganger with how they took thier previous sound and went in a completely different direction and made a completely diverse record compared to their past releases. Adding influences from bands like Saves The Day, Weezer, Mars Volta and The Blood Brothers. Every single track on here is very un-expecting and different which is what I like about it along with the band's crazy musicianship and creativity. The Fall of Troy is kind of an acquired taste so it's not for everyone but personally, I think they are one of the most talented young bands of today. I hope they can make a great follow-up to this even though Tim left the band. But yes, great album, and great evolution for the band.

    16. Say Anything-In Defense Of The Genre

    I am probably going to get a lot of shit for having this album on here since apparently it's "cool" to hate Say Anything now, but who cares? They did one hell of a job on building off of ...Is A Real Boy with this by not making one but, two discs. There are a few filler tracks here and there but a good majority of the songs will pry into your head and not get out for a long time. That with the best lyrics Max Bernis' has ever written and the hilarious album cover is what makes In Defense of the Genre great. (joke on the latter). The thing to wonder is, just what genre is Say Anything saving here? The album incorporates a lot of different styles of music. To sum it all up it's a rock record with some added bonuses.

    15. Municipal Waste-The Art of Partying

    This is nothing but good, old school thrash in a modern day setting. Municipal Waste is one of the best newer crossover thrash bands for sure and The Art of Partying proves it with seventeen head-banging tracks. Killer riffs, hilarious lyrics and song titles and raging vocals reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies are what to expect from this. There's not much else to say except, "Municpal Waste is gonna fuck you up!" Enough said.

    14. Arch Enemy-Rise of the Tyrant

    Arch Enemy has to be one of the most improved bands over the past few years. After their falter of an album Anthems of Rebellion, they rebounded nicely with Doomsday Machine and have now officially marked their territory in the metal scene with Rise of the Tyrant. With help of producer Fredrik Nordstrom (who helped produce albums for some of Sweden's best metal bands over the years), Arch Enemy sounds nearly as good as In Flames did back in their glory days. There was a lot of speculations that they would go more "mainstream" but it's the exact opposite here. Rise of the Tyrant is Arch Enemy's heaviest and most impressive album to date. Top Candidate for Most Improved Band of the Year.

    13. The White Stripes-Icky Thump

    I am not a White Stripes fan in any way, shape or form but Icky Thump is really a fantastic album. Anyway, it's a great showcase of The White Stripes talent that appeals to a large audience of listeners. Definitely one of the biggest surprises of the year as really nothing else by The White Stripes except this album, I even thought the title track was great. The band explored a lot of different musical styles and genres ranging from their normal blues rock to mariachi and even Celtic folk, while still sounding good (except for the mariachi song). The song I liked the most on here was the final track, "Effect and Cause," probably one of the most upbeat tracks to come from this band, has a nice acoustic guitar chord progression too. It's a shame the band's other albums couldn't be so good.

    12. The Dillinger Escape Plan-Ireworks

    One of the craziest bands on the face of the Earth today, you never know what you're going to hear when you pop in a Dillinger Escape Plan album. IreWorks is just that only it gives one element that DEP lacked in their previous albums; melody. How they added some melodic, funk-prog songs to their new album. Sounding literally nothing like their usual grind-mathcore tracks that are present as well. The few atmospheric interludes are also a nice touch. Topping everything off with the catchy "Milk Lizard" and "Horse Hunter" to prove that this band doesn't need to play their instruments as fast and technical as they can to make one kickass record.

    11. Dinosaur Jr.-Beyond

    Another surprise, I decided to review this album because I thought it would be cool to check out and wasn't expecting anything and it turned out to be one of the best albums i've heard this year. It has some excellent musicianship, grungy vocals and some great lyrics. The overall feel of this album is what did it for me though, it's very relaxing but still has it's hard rocking moments. Great for rocking out or chilling out. Dinosaur Jr. have made their comeback and made a great one too.

    10. Coheed and Cambria-No World For Tomorrow

    Coheed has always been able to put out one solid album after the other and this one is no different, especially with it being the closer to their saga, The Armory Wars. The band finally managed to combine their catchy songs with the long progressive ones instead of keeping them separated. How well every song seems to come together is another thing great about this album too, then again, there are very few weak points. Coheed and Cambria may now be considered a top band in the world of progressive rock if they can continue their streak of improving with each album. This is probably my second favorite album from the band, how shortly it took me to get hooked to this record is what made me like it so much, along with how they took a lot more of their past influences into note when recording the album. Who knows how what to expect from them in the next few years?

    9. Behemoth-The Apostasy

    Behemoth are at the top of the food chain in the world of modern death metal, out-doing their counterpart Nile. The Apostasy was everything I expected from them and more, fast, technical and mind-blowing much like Demigod. Demigod is the better of the two but The Apostasy is still fantastic. Behemoth have evolved so much from their black metal roots back when they first started out and now have become an amazing death metal band although there are still some black metal elements present. By far one of the best death metal albums of the year.

    8. Down-Down III:Over The Under

    I wasn't expecting anything less from Phil Anselmo and company with Over The Under. The one thing different is that the lyrics are much more personal than Down II and the sound is bit more sludgier. The added doom and sludge elements were probably thrown in to show that this is a completely different album and they are not trying to re-create their 1995 masterpiece, NOLA much as it seemed they were trying to do with Down II. The only problem is that I feel down will never be able to top that album but it would take something more than a giant to top NOLA. Nonetheless, Over The Under is a great newer sound for them and possibly a new beginning for them.

    7. Amorphis-Silent Waters

    They've gone through so many changes in sound over their careers, it's almost hard to remember what exactly Amorphis sounds like. With Silent Waters, found a sound that will hopefully stick with them for awhile. Silent Waters nearly sounds like an Opeth album and anytime you can sound like the masters of progressive death metal, you know you are great. The overall atmosphere of Silent Waters is one of the other factors that make this an amazing album. It's just a great collaboration of death metal, progressive metal with some doom elements thrown in too. Has it's melodic moments and some mind blowing solos too, the piano and keyboard use is also great in parts used as well. Amorphis haven't sounded this good in years.

    6. Gallows-Orchestra of Wolves

    I would have never guessed Gallows would be as awesome as they turned out when I first heard about them. I was little expecting a hardcore punk sound reminiscent of Black Flag to come from this band. I thought they would be just another "hardcore" band and I was way wrong. Gallows's debut album Orchestra of Wolves is one of the best punk albums to come out of a UK band in quite some time. When I first got this record, I listened to it, then listened to it again, then yet again. Believe it or not it still hasn't got old. Some of the best "in your face" punk anthems are on Orchestra of Wolves. One of the best bands that I found out about this year, it's too bad I missed them at Warped because they probably will be touring the UK for awhile since they seem to be getting big there. Gallows sure did show that they are going to be around for awhile with an awesome debut.

    5. The Unseen-Internal Salvation

    Again with the punk bands, only this band has been around for awhile. The Unseen's Internal Salvation is a huge step up from the politically charged State of Discontent. Lyrics being a lot more personal than political and the production being better than ever. This was one of my favorites to listen to over the summer, great for dealing with frustration and whatnot. A lot of people do say that "The Unseen is the perfect band for pissed off 16/17 year olds." haha. Well, I guess that can be considered a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, I love this album.

    4. Between the Buried and Me-Colors

    Somehow, Between the Buried and Me pulled off a miracle and managed to make an album better than the progressive masterpiece, Alaska with Colors. They went about 10 steps further by doing more than just "pulling out the acoustic" to make an amazing progressive metal album. Not only did they pull out the acoustics for some songs, they pulled out Egyptian temple chants, an accordion, banjos and many more. I was wondering how they could make an album better than Alaska, and they somehow pulled it off. You have to listen to it the whole way through to really get the album though. It works better that way than listening to a single track. Colors is full of so many surprises that it's hard to believe that you're listening to just one band make this album. Between The Buried and Me has officially stepped out of metalcore with Alaska and are looking to compete with the big dogs in progressive rock/'metal like Opeth, Dream Theatre or maybe even Symphony X. We'll just see.

    3. Dark Tranquillity-Fiction

    The rulers of Gothenburg metal never seem to fatigue. While a lot of other Gothenburg bands like In Flames have sort of broken away from the style, Dark Tranquility still comes out strong with their signature melodic death metal style. Some think this band is boring for playing the same style of music for so long. I think different, as every album is different in it's own way and Fiction is just like that. It's their most melodic of the past few years, as it features clean vocals for the first time since Haven. Fiction is also a great album to get for those looking to check out Dark Tranquillity, this or Character would be your best bet. Anyway, Fiction is by far one of the best albums i've listened to this year. It's always great to see Sweden's best melodic death metal band still sounding strong.

    2. Tiger Army-Music From Regions Beyond

    This is one of my favorite albums from one of my favorite bands and my favorite album of the year for sure. I was stoked for this album once I heard "Afterworld" on their myspace page a couple months before it's release. I think the band did a spectacular job at taking their usual psychobilly sound and expanding it to a whole other level, the improved production also helping with that. This album was my most listened to on my for the summer apparently, which isn't a surprise seeing how I listened to it a couple times a week during that time. Yeah, a lot of good times and good memories will go along with this album, will probably stay as one of my favorites from Tiger Army along with Power of Moonlite and one of my favorite albums of all-time.

    1. Darkest Hour-Deliver Us

    While Tiger Army's new one is my favorite of the year, I personally think Darkest Hour made the best CD of 2007 with Deliver Us. Deliver Us completes Darkest Hour's full evolution from a metalcore band into a melodic death metal band. It was clued by some of their earlier releases and mostly by their 2005 album Undoing Ruin that the band is making their way to become a melodic death metal band rather than metalcore. This album is next to perfect, vocalist John Henry actually sings a few lines which is a nice surprise and their guitarist have some of the best dual harmonies in the business. The guitar-work is what drives the album mainly, whether it's the acoustic intro in "Doomsayer" or the dual solo in "Fire In The Skies" it's easily clued that the guitar harmonies are the main focus. Melodic Death Metal is the main focus of Darkest Hour's genre but they also incorporate some thrash and power elements in there as well. The power metal elements coming mainly from the guitar solos. Each song fits together perfectly even the melodic bonus track which comes in the middle of the album for some reason. Darkest Hour finds themselves at the top of the mountain this year with Deliver Us, which is the closest thing to perfect you'll find this year.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Queens of the Stone Age-Era Vulgaris
    A Wilhelm Scream-Career Suicide
    Iced Earth-Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Pt. 1)
    Maylene and the Sons of Disaster-II
    Bayside-The Walking Wounded
    Circa Survive-On Letting Go