Lists! - Heavy Blog Is Heavy

Category: Lists!


best-of-melodic-death

Welcome to the first in a series of Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s “Best Of” selections where we explore a genre of music and each of our dedicated authors pick a favorite album to share a personal experience with. For our first round, we have chosen a genre close to the hearts of many—Melodic Death Metal. Conceived in the early 1990s in Sweden by pioneers like At the Gates, melodic death metal was a way to combine the memorable, harmonized riffing of British heavy metal with the harsh edge of death metal creating a sound that was unlike any other at the time.

Over the years, the genre has expanded and given birth to many other styles, melding with progressive acts to provide a harsher edge and creating what we now call metalcore. Nowadays, it’s a broad enough label that very distinct bands can exist under its umbrella, so the diversity of the genre should make our first pass at this format quite interesting. It’s also the genre that brought many of us into the metal fold, and has always reigned as a favorite among the staff here. So, without further ado, here are our favorite melodic death albums!

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25-albums-part-11

Here we are, dear readers, just one post away from the last in the series, the coveted top five. But don’t set your eyes on the prize too soon, as you might miss the brilliant offering that this part has as well. Each and every album on this list is definitely something to check out and if you only broaden your horizons, you’ll see that there are plenty of surprises in store. We think the diversity on this list, ranging from grind to death or even electronic, speaks volumes about the amazing year we’ve had so far. So let’s get to it, the end is in sight!

Without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily arranged list of awesome albums from 2014 so far. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.

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25-albums-part-11

We’re back! Yesterday, we kicked off our mid-year list with some truly crushing albums, ranging from the heavy to the progressive to the down right insane. As this list keeps going, it’s going to become quite clear just how good 2014 has been to us. Seriously, can any of you remember a year filled with more amazing and exciting records? And in the first half of it, as well? We’re not planning on stopping any time soon!

Without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily arranged list of awesome albums from 2014 so far. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.

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25-albums-part-11

Lists! What unruly, yet wholly necessary beasts. On the one hand, they offer a great opportunity to get a bearing on the amazing year 2014 has been so far. Just so you get an idea of exactly how awesome it’s been, the master list for these final 25 included over 100 albums. On the other hand, lists always have an arbitrary nature to them: why 25? Should they be ranked, un-ranked, color-coded, digitized or sent via smoke signal? However, we here at Heavy Blog is Heavy feel that most contentions can be resolved with just a pinch of salt: this is our list, derived from the entirety of our contributors and then voted upon. Yay, democracy!

So, please use this list as more of a guide than a definitive rule book for what’s cool and what’s not. If even one reader walks away from these posts with an extra album or band in tow, we’ll consider our mission accomplished. These posts will air all across the upcoming week, in installments of five at a time. The posts are unranked, although the final five was reserved for albums that enjoyed overwhelming consensus among our staff. You can also find a short list of albums that didn’t quite make the list but are still well worth a listen at the beginning of each post.

So without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily arranged list of awesome albums from 2014 so far. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.

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Prog 100

I’m sick and tired of all these “Best ____ Albums Of All Time”. They’re always voted on by staff, and never even consider the popular opinions of their readers, who mostly disagree. It’s like reading Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list and seeing the top ten albums consist of 8 Beatles and 2 Bob Dylan albums. It’s stupid, and quite frankly keeps me from ever subscribing to their magazines. However, PROG Magazine are deciding to do something different.

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alkahest

Here we are at the end of our fifth year at Heavy Blog. I remember at one point in high school (circa 2005-2006), I listened to Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for my Valentine and thought death metal was unmelodic noisey garbage that tried way too hard to be offensive. I even wrote a rant about the matter on my MySpace blog, which served as a precursor for Heavy Blog. Embarrassing, I know. So why talk about it now?

I feel like if you look back on every year-end list I’ve done for this site (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), you can see an evolution take place from metalcore kid just getting his feet wet in the online metal community to someone who I feel is more well-rounded and respective of all genres. You won’t just be catching prog and djent, I assure you. This list has more diversity, and likely includes the heaviest albums of any list I’ve done before. This blog has some depth in that regard, as you can chart the taste of our writers as they change over the years. I like to think that’s pretty neat, and it allows for this site to grow and change with the genre we all associate with so closely. Thankfully, music taste is fluid, and I’m glad that there’s more and more music available every year for us to enjoy.

2013 was an insane year. I graduated college, landed my first job from of my major, and started living on my own. With so much going on, you may have noticed a bit of a dip in content once summer rolled around. That wasn’t a coincidence. Even with a 8-4 job, I still try to keep Heavy Blog afloat, though I’ve considered stepping down or closing our doors on more than one occasion as the stress got a little hard to handle. Who knows what 2014 will hold, but I do know that 2013 was unforgettable. I can’t believe it’s almost over.

So without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily numbered list of awesome albums from 2013. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.

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damientheomen

2013, what a year. Seriously. As of writing this introduction, it’s the 10th of December and I’m staring down the barrel of a list of around thirty releases that I still have yet check out and by all accounts could probably destroy the order of this list but, oh well, c’est la vie. Maybe some day I’ll catch up, but it won’t be any time soon.

Once again, this year I made everything extremely hard for myself by only picking ten records in an effort to counter the fact I enjoyed such a huge selection of metal. This list represents ten records that, when I pick up my iPod to put something on before heading out the door, are the tried and true selections that I tend to opt for — it’s an odd measure, but one that for me tends to pick out the records that I truly love and have listened to enough to know inside out. So, check them out, or don’t, it’s up to you — I just hope you guys had as much of a good year as I did.

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NAYON

Due to work circumstances, I haven’t really been able to write a lot for HBIH in the second half of the year, but music is what kept me going through the long, tiring days at work the entire year. Without further ado, I present you the 15 albums, 3 EPs and 1 video that really became a part of my daily routine and made my life much more colorful. I really enjoyed listening to these over and over and I feel like they’ve become a part of me. That’s what matters with music, right? Also, I put a link/embed to listen to my favorite track from each album, so you can enjoy them like I did!

Without further ado, bring on my arbitrarily ordered list of enjoyable albums from this year that you should take seriously!

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INHUMED

I’m going to skip the intro because I know most of you just want to read the list.

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dan wieten

Man, what an INSANE year this has been. I’ve undergone some major life overhauls and taken some huge risks, both personally and with my band The Omega Experiment. So many dreams have been fulfilled this year. The Omega Experiment re-released our debut on Listenable Records in February, appeared in the likes of Metal Hammer, Terrorizer, and PROG magazines, and toured Europe with Fates Warning and played ProgPower and Euroblast. Touring Europe was my first ever time out of the country besides Canada (does that even count?), and it was also my first time ever flying. I switched majors from mathematics to writing (yay), finally moved out on my own again after spending a few years with my dad trying to recover from a haggard ten year drug addiction, moved back in with him for a month between places, moved back out, almost had a nervous breakdown trying to recuperate financially from tour… I’m sure there’s more but that’s the gist of it.

I can’t begin to think how next year will top this year as far as taking risks, change, and accomplishments. So far I’m looking forward to continuing writing our second album, maybe playing a few shows, seeing where I’ll live when my lease is up, and forging ahead with my writing career. But before I venture too far into the future, I’ll reminisce on this past year in music for me. I spent the better part of it listening to and adding to my usual Spotify playlists (80s, black metal, etc.), and sifting through tons of stuff people told me to check out or that I kept seeing in my Facebook feed. I sometimes feel like Facebook is a real killer of music, because if you keep getting fed the same shit everyday and people are raving about something, if you’re anywhere near as rebellious as I am, you’ll run like hell. I adore Deafheaven. I really do. I preordered Sunbather and listened to it all the way through maybe once; one reason being that I was pretty swamped with school/recovery/band/work/etc, but also because people just kept talking about it and talking about it. I still have no desire to put it on and give it the fair shot it deserves. I suppose the same could be said for other albums on my list, but this one in particular was just overwhelming. So it’s not here. Sorry.

The most memorable part of the year musically for me was over the spring and summer, when from out of nowhere Letlive’s album Fake History knocked me on my ass for the first time and instigated a rekindling of the hardcore flame that burns inside me. So I took suggestions from friends and scoured their picks, coming out of it with a new favorite band in Counterparts. This also just in time for their latest album, The Difference Between Hell and Home. This was the best album of the year for me. It spoke to me on a level I haven’t felt from a band like that in a long time, and at a crucial point in my life when I needed it most. The rest of my picks have no particular order. So, without further ado, here are the albums that made this year bearable for me:

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