I can definitely see why in the 3 plus years of the sites existence I’ve never done one of these ‘best of’ lists for the end of the year. I struggled with this thing for more then a week. Originally it was only going to be a top 10 but with all of the music I’ve listened to this year there were too many bands that were going to get shortchanged. Then it was going to be 15 and I finally settled on a top 20. Even with that I struggled with who to leave out. So this is my final order and though I’ll most likely go back and want to switch things around again I’m just going to put it up here and deal with the consequences. I’ll go over my reasoning for each as I get to them as it stands now but since it is twenty bands I’m going to spread this out over the next few days in the vein of a countdown. Those are usually more interesting and it saves my fingers from cramping up by typing 5000 words. So without more babbling here are 20-16 and you can proceed to berate me in the comments.
20. Toxic Holocaust – Conjure and Command
My thrash listening for the year was pretty light actually but Toxic Holocaust always delivers with short dirty tracks. On Conjure and Command there was actually some variance in the tunes and dare I say some progression. You can catch the review here.
19. Within Temptation – The Unforgiving
I did not want to like this album as much as I did initially. Gothic metal is all but dead these days or at least quality Gothic metal and with every album Within Temptation got more and more pop friendly. I ignored the comic book tie in and just listened to the music and I actually like it more now then I did when I reviewed it. The whole thing is so damn catchy and enjoyable.
18. Ava Inferi – Onyx
Speaking of Gothic metal, Ava Inferi came out of nowhere and surprised me. This is more of the doom variety but every song is atmospheric in nature. I went back and listened to earlier albums and Onyx by far is the best. If you haven’t heard this Norwegian/Portugese collorboration yet check it out by either reading my review or checking out the video posted yesterday or earlier in the year.
17. Dream Theater – A Dramatic Turn of Events
I can hear it now. Why the fuck is Dream Theater so low on the list? It’s simple. ADTOE is a standard Dream Theater album. For all of the Portnoy/Mangini drama and the hype leading up to the release what was delivered was standard Dream Theater fare. But an average Dream Theater album is still better then most of the music being released today. For more of my stance on this album check out the review.
16. Blood Ceremony – Living With the Ancients
The big trend this year was the retro 60’s and 70’s rock bands that rose to prominence. Blood Ceremony’s style of occult rock dug up the sides that were very reminiscent of Jethro Tull and Jefferson Airplane to name a few. Catchy and makes you want to smoke a ton of dope and spin around and around while being haunting at the same time. Check out Draeden’s glowing review here.
Check back soon as we delve into 15-11. There should be more surprises in store.