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I’m not going to go on about how great 2012 was for music, because everyone of my co-writers has already done that and then some. There’s no denying it was great, so let’s just move on. I’m writing this list pretty last minute, as I’ve had my choices locked in for some time, and I thought, “Hey, I’m not confused about anything, so I can push it back as far as possible”, and that was a terrible idea, as I’m now scrambling to get this thing finished, and having a hard time really talking about why I like these albums. However, I was the one who reviewed a lot of these, so if you find what I have to say on each individual one lacking, just go read  my review or the reviews of the other albums written by my fellow contributors.

Honestly though, I did not love 2012 as much as everyone else. Maybe it was the events in my personal life that caused me to have such a poor outlook on a lot of the earlier releases of the year, but it’s hard to deny the fact that I just did not connect with nearly as many metal releases this year as I did last year. It’s a shame, but not something I’ve overly thought about, because I’ve found other music to enjoy throughout the year. That being said, I did happen to find a good handful of great albums that I anticipate listening to for many years. Like I said, I’ve had my choices for my list picked out for some time, and that’s because I knew which albums I loved, and which albums I wanted to continually listen to for many years to come. I wasn’t wowed by a lot of the big name bands; I found Meshuggah and Gojira lacking a bit, which were two of my my anticipated albums of this year, but that’s okay. Sometimes you just can’t connect with certain albums. And even  though metal wasn’t all that great for me this year, I still love the genre, and it’s still my favorite type of music to listen to. Anyways, that’s why I listen to metal, and that’s really all I have to say on the matter, so here’s my top ten albums of the year.

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We at Heavy Blog love concept albums. There’s something special and thought-provoking when a band is able to communicate a good story through music and lyrics, and it’s a phenomenon that seems to be most prevalent in progressive rock and metal, which just so happens to be our main collective genre of interest. *prognotes is a play on the idea of *sparknotes, a website that aims to help readers understand the context and story of books. We’ve always wanted to highlight and detail the stories of our favorite concept albums, and we’ve finally gotten around to doing just that. Have a suggestion for an album you’d like us to cover? Let us know! – Ed.

Well, here we are kiddies, the final part of this arduous article series. It’s been quite a ride, and I gotta say, I’m pretty damn happy to be able to put all of this behind me — until I interview Tommy Rogers and I undoubtedly question him in-depth on the validity of my thoughts…. For those unaware of what this article series is, I am currently dissecting the massive concept album from Between the Buried and Me, The Parallax II: Future Sequence. The first two parts in this series went over the basics of the story, and the back story for the band’s EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, with parts three and four dealing with the first eight songs from Future Sequence. We only have four songs left for this article, but there’s still a lot to discuss. So strap in!

Oh and here’s one last final disclaimer. We apologise if some of the explanations are aimless, or even completely incorrect. The theories and interpretation in these articles are simply that; our interpretations. Everything outlined here is subject to change if enough evidence to the contrary is presented. Please feel free to elaborate and come up with your own ideas of the story and continue the discussion in the comments section below.

Part I|Part II|Part III|Part IV|Part V

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 We at Heavy Blog love concept albums. There’s something special and thought-provoking when a band is able to communicate a good story through music and lyrics, and it’s a phenomenon that seems to be most prevalent in progressive rock and metal, which just so happens to be our main collective genre of interest. *prognotes is a play on the idea of *sparknotes, a website that aims to help readers understand the context and story of books. We’ve always wanted to highlight and detail the stories of our favorite concept albums, and we’ve finally gotten around to doing just that. Have a suggestion for an album you’d like us to cover? Let us know! – Ed.

Last week I undertook the monumental task of deciphering Between the Buried and Me‘s latest release, the immense concept album, The Parallax II: Future Sequence. While I broke over four thousand words in that article, I really only made it through two real songs on the album, and one song from a completely different album! Pretty nuts. In this article  I will hopefully make it through the majority of the album, and continue on my path of offering in depth analyses of the songs.

Once again we apologise if some of the explanations are aimless, or even completely incorrect. The theories and interpretation in these articles are simply that; our interpretations. Everything outlined here is subject to change if enough evidence to the contrary is presented. Please feel free to elaborate and come up with your own ideas of the story and continue the discussion in the comments section below.

Part I|Part II|Part III|Part IV|Part V

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So the murmurs were true and you can all sate your prog-boners come 2013, when prog-rockers Coheed And Cambria and prog-metallers Between The Buried And Me join up to head out across America through February and March. Also, in tow are post-rock icons Russian Circles whose meandering and emotive soundscapes should be the perfect warm-up for a few hours of fully explicit, XXX-rated hardcore prog. You can check the dates after the jump and argue wildly about how the line up is in the wrong order in the comments… Or you could use your time wisely and listen to The Afterman: Acension or The Parallax II: Future Sequence again.

Feb 04 2013 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Feb 05 2013 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Feb 07 2013 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
Feb 08 2013 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
Feb 09 2013 – Chicago, IL – Congress Theatre
Feb 10 2013 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Feb 12 2013 – Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom
Feb 14 2013 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Feb 15 2013 – Salt Lake City, UT – SaltAir
Feb 17 2013 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Feb 18 2013 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
Feb 19 2013 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Feb 21 2013 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theater
Feb 22 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
Feb 25 2013 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Feb 26 2013 – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
Feb 27 2013 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theatre
Mar 01 2013 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s
Mar 02 2013 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
Mar 03 2013 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom
Mar 05 2013 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Mar 06 2013 – Saint Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
Mar 07 2013 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
Mar 08 2013 – Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore
Mar 10 2013 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
Mar 11 2013 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Mar 14 2013 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Mar 16 2013 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall

 

- DL

Between The Buried And Me are, by and large, the house favourite around here at Heavy Blog — maybe even surpassing Devin Townsend in sheer fanboy praise. But, for me, I never really got the appeal, I never even saw the thrill. That was, until The Parallax II: Future Sequence.

A hugely expansive piece of work that twists and turns unlike anything I’ve heard before. It’s manic, but cohesive, heavy, yet catchy and despite it’s inability to ever settle into a groove, they still managed to catch my imagination on the first listen. So consider me a convert, with the spaced out video for ‘Astral Body‘ being the cherry on the proverbial cake. I’m sure resident head honcho Alkahest could tell you everything and anything about the beautiful and trippy imagery in the video, which was directed by drummer Blake Richard’s brother Wes Richardson, but from an outsider’s perspective the whole thing brings to mind a Tool/Born Of Osiris vibe and it looks absolutely fantastic. You can watch the video here over at Alternative Press and you can read Heavy Blog’s review of the album right here. I bet you can’t guess the score without looking!

 

- DL

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