The first decade of the new millennium was a big one for me, and also for the metal community. After the nu-metal craze and all the hoopla about grunge music, many metal acts began to feel disjointed, releasing boring or bad albums that stagnated them instead of letting them progress further. But metal always prevails, and in these first ten years it has seen a resurgence of bands that are the future. Some bands on this article are not “metal”, but are a type of rock music that is heavy in it’s message and lyrics, and not necessarily guitar tone. This list is dedicated to what I think are the most important albums of that first decade, and I hope you enjoy!

[#10 & #9]

[#8, #7, #6]

[#5, #4, #3]

02. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – COLORS

There are no words to describe what BTBAM have achieved in the past 10 years. Going from a simple underground act to being one of the biggest names in progressive metal, these guys have done the unthinkable, putting out album after album of pure, unadulterated prog metal that throws in a little bit of everything. But in 2007, after the release of their album Alaska, which also debuted three new members, Between The Buried And Me put out what nearly all their fans consider their opus, and what I consider a modern classic if there ever was one.

This album is over one hour’s worth of awesome spread out over eight tracks. Every song has a place in which it fits into the story, and there is no such thing as filler on this CD. Tommy writes some of the best lyrics, and on this album he managed to mix both reality and fiction delicately through each song, matching every change in time signature, and every peak and trough in intensity. Even the heaviest song on the record has a sort of “chill out” section, which I think is nice, because any album that is just relentless may take a while to grow on me.

Speaking of intense, Tommy’s screams have also improved drastically from Alaska, akin with his cleans. Though it’s not to discredit the other players on this release, because every guy is on point throughout, especially the rhythm section, which is my favorite part about this album. The entire song ‘Viridian’ is really just a bass solo, but it’s my second favorite track. ‘White Walls’, however, captures the album in a nutshell. If I ever need to introduce someone to this band, I give them this song. Great lyrics, even better musicianship, and still my favorite BTBAM song.

The best part about this album? THEY PLAYED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY AND MADE A DVD OUT OF IT. Seeing all of these songs, played so perfectly and effortlessly, is just immaculate. If you pick up Colors, also get Colors_Live, because they really do go hand in hand, and the entire second set is a great introduction into earlier BTBAM stuff, even some songs that they really don’t play anymore (‘Aspirations‘, anyone?).

In the ever-increasing quest for the best music out there, you cannot go wrong with this album. Regardless of taste, you cannot even deny that this album possesses some of the best musicians to come around in the past decade, if not the past 20 years. I have never been so moved by an album the very first listen, because that was all it took. One listen, and I was hooked, and I don’t see any signs of my becoming detached anytime soon.

-SS

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