Friday, June 25, 2010

Who Decides: mid albums of the year

Well it's that time again to look at some of the better albums of the past 6 months. Some will make it on the final list I am sure, but others...not so lucky.

1. As I Lay Dying - This Powerless Rise: not as good as An Ocean Between Us, but still the best album I have heard this year from start to finish. More death vocals than before, but that's ok. I don't know if it will end up number one though. I have been listening to some newer albums that might take that spot.

2. Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy: Definitely not on par with This Godless Endeavor, but still it's Nevermore, they really don't release anything that is bad. It is average. I don't know where I would put this album if I ranked their discography. It has everything you would want in a Nevermore album though, solid riffs, great solos from Jeff Loomis, and killer drumming. Warrel Dane does another great job on vocals. It isn't as thrashy as TGE, more of the mid tempo stuff like on Dead Heart in a Dead World.

3. Bullet for My Valentine - Fever: I talked about this album a few weeks ago and it isn't going anywhere. First off most of the screams are gone. They show up, but very sporadically. The music though is as catchy as ever. Betrayal is probably my favorite song of the year.

4. Blaze Bayley - Promise and Terror: For those who don't know Blaze, he was in Iron Maiden for a couple albums when Bruce Dickinson left the band. People bash those albums constantly, but after he left Iron Maiden he started making solo albums and they kick ass. Starting with Silicon Messiah til now, they have been classic heavy metal albums. Promise and Terror is no different. The musicians have all changed since the first album, but this is probably their best since Silicon Messiah. If you liked X-Factor, check out Comfortable in Darkness it could have easily been on that album...dark, slower, and the vocals fit in perfectly.

5. Periphery - Periphery: Now I never heard of this band, but then I kept seeing it pop up on metal boards, so I checked it out. Basically it is Meshuggah mixed with Animals as Leaders...with more Meshuggah. It is interesting because they also released an instrumental version of the album like Protest the Hero did with Fortress. I don't know which I like better, but this is definitely one of the albums I just got wind of a couple of weeks ago and it is groing on me.

6. Levi/Werstler - Avalanche of Worms: another instrumental album. This one is from the guys from Daath. It is a great album for metal fans. This probably has more in common with Animal as Leaders in terms of the guitar tone and soloing than Periphery. If Daath could put out an album like

7. Silent Civilian - Ghost Stories: second album from these guys. It's better than their first and if I were to describe it I would say it is a cross of Chimaira and Trivium-type bands. It's solid, but will it be here in 6 months? Probably not.

8. Solution .45 - For Aeons Past: Former lead vocalist of Scar Symmetry's new band. Sounds pretty much just like them as well. I would love this album a lot more if the keyboards weren't pushed to the front so much. I mean keyboards are ok, but not when they take away from the guitars.

9. War of Ages - Eternal: this was the album that I was listening to heavily before AILD released their album...why? Produced by the vocalist from AILD and some guest spots from the guys as well. How does it sound? Like As I Lay Dying. More of the metalcore sound though with the breakdowns. This album might make another return in 6 months because everytime I put it on, I end up listening to most of it.

10. ReVamp - ReVamp: "chick/gothic/symphonic" metal. Former lead singer of After Forever's debut. It's pretty solid. Nothing special to be honest. Catchy at times, but forgetable at other times.

Honorable Mention
God of War III Soundtrack: This thing is really good, but only 6 songs. Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Dream Theater, Opeth, Taking Dawn, and Mutiny Within all have great songs on this album. Obviously, my favorite is Trivium's, but Opeth's song is probably the most shocking as they go back to their days of Damnation with their track. It works nicely in this album where the other songs are pretty fast and brutal.

It will be interesting to revisit this list in December.

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