Thursday, June 14, 2007

Top albums...mid year

Alright, last year I forgot to give my mid year top albums list, but this year I won't forget. I have been pretty impressed so far with the albums that have been released, mainly due to the return of the guitar solos in most metal releases. I will try to find some songs from the albums...most likely through their Myspace page. So here we albums (so far)

1. Machine Head - The Blackening: this was a tough one between this album and Megadeth's United Abominations. What made this one #1? The guitar sound came across a little thicker than Megadeth's. Plus the songs are so complex with time/tempo changes. I mean when you have the guts to have a 10+ minute song to start off the album you know you have a solid album.
Machine Head's Myspace (Aesthetics of Hate)

2. Megadeth - United Abominations: a close second. This is another solid Megadeth album. Sleepwalker is a song that could have easily have been a R.I.P. leftover. Washington is Next, United Abominations, You're Dead, Burnt Ice, and the A Tout Le Monde remake all classics. The boys seem to be on a roll right now, hopefully they can keep this line-up together and see what they can do next.
Megadeth's Myspace (Washington is Next, Sleepwalker & A Tout Le Monde)

3. Susperia - Cut from Stone: Now first off this is not better than Unlimited. What we have here is another slice of modern thrash metal. Insane drumming throughout all of the tracks, heavy guitar riffs, and more Chuck Billy vocals makes this a solid album. The build up on the first track More is classic headbanging.
Susperia's Myspace (nothing from this album, but 3 songs from Unlimited)

4. Nightrage - A New Disease is Born: Ok, this is the 3rd album by this band. The first 2 had a classic Melodic Death Metal (ala At the Gates) feel to them. Right away you know this is different because one the first track you hear some clean singing vocals. You might be tempted to say this is a metalcore album, but it's not. Musically, it's still melodic death metal, but the clean vocals might turn off some. For me, it adds another dimension that Tomas couldn't give them.
Nightrage's Myspace (Scathing plus some others from their 1st 2 albums)

5. Sanctity - Road to Bloodshed: Did Testament release an album finally? No, but that's what this band reminds me of. Solos galore, solid drumming, and vocals that bring back memories of Chuck Billy. This is what Trivium's The Crusade should have been.
Sanctity's Myspace (Beneath the Machine, Zeppo, & Seconds)

6. Deadlock - Wolves: ok imagine At the Gates with a sprinkle of Lacuna Coil thrown in and you have Deadlock. Well I guess I could throw in some industrial elements as well and then you would have Deadlock. Their previous album featured 2 songs with a female vocalist, this album they have her on pretty much every song. Now this isn't opera style vocals or female screaming vocals, just a female clean singing along. It me it works. The trade off between male/female vocals seems effortless something that I have found is not that easy to achieve.
Deadlock's Myspace (Code of Honor)

7. Fear My Thoughts - Vulcanus: Where did this album come from? FMT were a Killswitch Engage clone on their last 2 they release what can only be described as a melodic death album...once again in the same vein as At the Gates. All of the breakdowns and metalcore tendencies are gone. Very nice change of pace.
Fear My Thoughts' Myspace (Culture of Fear & Blankness)

8. Shadows Fall - Threads of Life: ok now if you read my blog you know that Shadows Fall was the band that opened me up to a ton of they will always have a special place in my musical heart. As for this album, nothing new. If you liked The War Within, then you will like this album. I can't knock them though because if they change people will scream sellout & when they don't change then people complain because they are afraid to try something new. Once again tight drumming, nice guitar solos, and top notch production.
Shadow's Fall's Myspace (Redemption)

Disappointments so far
1. Mnemic - Passenger: seriously this guy could be the worst vocalist ever. Their previous album Audio Injected Soul was a classic industrial metal album. It was perfect in everyway...why change it? Just disappointing.
Mnemic's Myspace

2. Chimaira -Resurrection: ok musically, nothing wrong again. Vocally I can live with it. But I am running into the same problem I had with their self-titled album...nothing sticks. After I turn it off I can't remember one song. It is a solid metal album that while listening to it you head bang, air drum, etc. but afterwards...nothing.
Chimaira' s Myspace

3. Becoming the Archetype - The Physics of Fire: I go back and forth with this one. Maybe it's because their debut Terminate Damnation was so strong, but this one is lacking something. Their debut was a classic metalcore album with some progressive elements thrown in. This album I would categorize as progressive death metal. Maybe I needed the metalcore...who knows? Still very solid and after a few more listens it could end up in the top 10.
Becoming the Archetype's Myspace

Still looking forward to
1. 3 Inches of Blood - Fire up the Blades (myspace page Goatriders Horde from upcoming album)
2. Darkest Hour - Deliver Us (myspace page Demons from the upcoming album)
3. Devildriver - The Last Kind Words (myspace page)
4. Beyond the Embrace - TBA (myspace page)
5. Biomechanical - Cannibalised (myspace page)
6. Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy (it's a joke that thing will never be released)

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