Here’s my best of the best, the worst, and the middle ground. I know it’s been a shit load of time since we last posted so I’ll make this a good one and explain my choices quickly unlike how I did on last.fm, so here we go.
1. Blut aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With the Stars
This is black metal at it’s finest, in very many ways. Everything works together to create atmosphere. A ridiculously disturbing atmosphere, which lets up, only to lock you back into the suitcase and throw you in the dungeon again.
2. Sunn O))) – Monoliths and Dimensions
This is a lot similar to the reason why I chose Blut aus Nord. The atmosphere. But it takes normal Sunn O))) to another level, and then some. It goes from the evil, provocative drone to something beautiful, and they did it well. Very well done infact.
3. Isis – Wavering Radiant
I don’t know how to explain this, it’s just fucking good. As silly as it seems.
4. Portal – Swarth
This is possibly the most evil album ever. This shit makes Satan look like a bitch. A lot of atmosphere here too and excellent use of 8 strings.
5. Human Mincer – Degradation Paradox
This is kind of a big step for brutal death metal. It would have been bigger if Wormed didn’t release Planisphaerium yet. Anyway, this is one of the few brutal death album that use brutality as a means, and not an end point to start at. It’s very smart, well done, and has purpose. Phlegeton needs to be vocalist more often.
6. Devin Townsend Project – Addicted
Devin Townsend is obviously a brilliant musician, and when he said he was going to do a pop record I was a bit baffled. But this is just an extension of the interesting ideas he has coming into flesh. It’s how pop sounds if a really angry, confused, drug addict metal musician would make it. It’s him exploring new territory, and it’s actually pleasing.
7. Despondency – Revelation IV (Rise of the Nemesis)
Similar to why I chose the Human Mincer release. It’s brutal death with a purpose. I feel something from it and the songs stick with me. Not only that, but it’s a massive step up from the crappy God on Acid album.
Honorable Mentions (In no particular order.)
Cormorant – Metazoa
This takes a lot of interesting ideas, good musicianship and songwriting and throws it over a post-black foundation, and it’s good. Arthur is a pretty cool guy too.
Cannibal Corpse – Evisceration Plague
It’s just a standard CC album. All the tracks are extremely listenable death metal and have great riffs, and bass lines. The title track is especially bangin’.
Obscura – Cosmogenesis
This is basically Death if they were interesting or Pestilence on the Spheres album if it wasn’t ruined by bad production, guitar tone, and vocals.
Between the Buried and Me – The Great Misdirect
It’s a BtBaM record all right, but it’s not quite the album that Colors and Alaska were. I was really expecting more. Desert of Song is a fucking terrible song too. That really knocked it down here.
Dagon – Terraphobic
I usually hate melodic death metal, but this album sticks with me. It’s interesting, they have a H.P. Lovecraft reference for a name and they love the ocean. Every riff is a keeper, the bass is tight and has growl and the duel vocals are awesome. These guys put on an amazing show as well. I wish the tiny crowd was more into it when I saw them. They deserved that.
Vomit the Soul – Apostles of Inexpression
This is just what deathcore should be, watered down catchy brutal death. That’s what it is, and it’s a step in the right direction for the shit genre. It’s also only like 10% deathcore at most.
Dying Fetus – Descend into Depravity
It’s a kickin’ album with some wicked switches between technicality and breakdowns. I really like the vocals too.
Lividity – To Desecrate and Defile
This album isn’t very special, it’s just really fun.
The Biggest Dissapointments
Nile – Those Whom the Gods Detest
This isn’t Nile at all. It’s just crappy death metal. What happened to Annihilation of the Wicked and In Their Darkened Shrines?
Mastodon – Crack the Suck
This shit really, really sucks. It’s the worst (real prog, not what all you idiots think when you call Obscura or shit like Veil of Maya prog. Because they aren’t.) prog metal album I’ve ever heard. The first two songs are remotely entertaining but nothing special. I liked the banjo. The rest of the album is like improv by a bunch of drunk high school kids. It never goes anywhere, the songs drag, it sounds like crap. Another band turned to poop.
I hope to be posting more on this. I had actually forgot about it until I made a comment on metalsucks today.