I like new music just as much as any other person, but there are times in life where you need to fall back on something that is comfortable and known for you, and there are some albums that you can always depend on, they’ll always be there for you and always make you feel good. Today, I want to share these albums with you.
8. Dark Tranquility – Haven
Dark Tranquility are consistently good with their albums, but their songwriting could definitely be separated into two periods. Their old melodeath phase, and their new Gothenburg metal phase. Haven is the perfect bridge in between, and it’s also at a time when all members were at their best. Mikael’s voice is amazing, heart-wrenching yet heavy, and every song is just perfect. Every song is so incredibly emotional and well-crafted, and all of them are masterpieces. Even though there’s nothing over the top in their playing, the album is still insane simply because how intense it is, emotionally.
7. Dream Theater – Train of Thought
This album is less than popular among traditional Dream Theater bands, but that doesn’t make it less of an excellent album for me. It’s really interesting how heavy a “vanilla” band like Dream Theater can be when they want to, and putting that together with their formal musical approach and off-the-charts technical ability, this album is a really weird masterpiece. The songs are all meaningful, and each passage, each riff is a joy to listen to. I’m not the biggest DT fan, but this one is really special for me.
6. Behemoth – Demigod
Behemoth’s albums are more than the music to me. It’s the imagery, the lyrics, the history, the mysticism in them. Nergal sells all of it perfectly with his image, and my opinion on this album was greatly influenced when I looked into its booklet. The songs are quite heavy, but they never are heavy for heaviness’s sake, they’re heavy because it feels just right. Nergal is an absolute mastermind, and the songs are just the right length, each riff fitting perfectly in its place. For me, a great albums is more than the sum of its parts, and this one definitely achieves that status. The drumming is insane, the guitars are crazy fast and Nergal absolutely wrecks with is voice. Yes, his voice is processed, but I don’t care how real it sounds. For me, it’s how right it sounds, and this album sounds absolutely right.
5. Nevermore – This Godless Endeavor
My jaw dropped on the floor when I heard this album. I was a huge Nevermore fan already, but this album was insane! The guitar playing is Loomis at his finest, and the composition is the best Nevermore’s ever done. Warrel’s voice is haunting, and his lyrics are better than ever. The songs are slow at times but usually really fast, yet they’re not trying to be artificially fast and it’s not even death metal! This is just what happens when ridiculously talented musicians get together and do everything absolutely perfectly. And the title track is just a haunting progressive masterpiece.
4. After the Burial – Rareform (original version)
Many people have expressed dislike for the production of this album and the vocals, but it sits just fine with me. The crushing tone of the guitars is augmented by the rasping vocals and mechanical drums. To me, it isn’t about how real the album sounds, but how “in sync” it sounds. The songs aren’t graceful or elegant, they’re very blatant and blunt, which is why the production goes well for me. The insanely low breakdowns never get old because of the rhythmic displacements, and the shredding is also just the right amount so it doesn’t lose its point. It’s a heavy, crushing machine that completely obliterates you with its wall of sound.
3. The Faceless – Planetary Duality
There are few albums that blew my mind like this one. The alien melodies and excellent playing, the ridiculous speeds and precision, the delicate but heavy songwriting, it’s all amazing. This isn’t your average tech death album that’s always on 100%, which gets old really fast. It’s got its highs and lows, and it has them at the right places. This is just the right amount of everything for me, and every time I listen to this album, my mind gets blown again. Yes, there are more technical and intricate albums out there, but none of them are as perfect as this one to me. Michael Keene is a bloody mastermind, and he has the chops to make it count too. If I could change anything about this album, I wouldn’t that’s how good it is.
2. Trivium – Shogun
If I didn’t limit myself to one album per band, there’d be more Trivium in here, but this will have to do. Shogun is a masterpiece. Every song has a lot of things going on, the melodies and harmonies intricately crafted, the lyrics of each telling a tale. There are ballads, heavy thrash songs, epic progressive songs. Matt Heafy’s voice is excellent, and the songs are all perfectly constructed with each section flowing into each other and each guitar and vocal line wrenching your heart. Everything is in the right place in this album.
1. Born of Osiris – The New Reign
For me, this album is pure excellence. There is nothing else like it, many have tried to imitate it, but none have come close, and even BoO’s other albums pale in comparison to the raw quality of this one. Each song is a journey both rhythmically and melodically, neither of them overcoming each other, which is something that is very rare. No breakdown is too long, no melody is too short, and every melody is great. The album is very short, but that also works in its favor, as it doesn’t overstay its welcome. And each song is a unique, distinguishable masterpiece. Each time I listen to this album it’s a journey for me and it is unlike anything else in this world.
As a closing note, I want to say that #1 and #2 are very close to each other and change place depending on my mood. Both are amazing albums that I will never get tired of.