Saturday, June 5, 2010

Favorite Albums of 2009

I put this up on my main writing blog, but that was before I started this one. I've been thinking about my favorite albums of 2010 (so far) and I thought I'd post this list from last year just for fun. See if mine match any of yours! Probably not...

Now that the year is winding down, it’s time to recap some of my favorite albums of this year. Keep in mind, some of these discs came out this year and some of them didn’t, it’s just albums that I found this year that I’ve enjoyed.

1. The Devin Townsend Project – Ki: This is the first part of a four disc series that sees Devin Townsend (formerly of Strapping Young Lad) creating music sans drugs. Good news is, he does not need drugs to write good music. This is a quiet and mellow album as opposed to the pummeling metal masterpieces he usually produces. It’s also amazing.

2. Balance of Power – Perfect Balance: Mmmm… tasty, tasty power metal. Imagine if Dream Theater actually wrote songs and had a better vocalist - that’s kind of what Balance of Power sounds like. Lance King is an awesome vocalist!

3. Daniel Amos – Mr. Beauchner’s Dream: I’ve been listening to Daniel Amos a lot this year since I’ve been able to gain access to their back catalogue. I picked Dream though because it is the culmination of dang near thirty years worth of work by the band. It’s a double CD packed with 32 tunes and out of those 32 I can only think of one or two I don’t care for. If that’s not amazing I don’t know what is. I should also add that I’ve really been getting into Alarma!, Doppelganger, Vox Humana, Fearful Symmetry, Darn Floor-Big Bite, and Bibleland. I didn’t want this whole countdown to be about Daniel Amos though!

4. Megadeth – Endgame: Come on! This is Megadeth. Metallica had the spotlight last year, now it’s ‘Deth’s turn. Endgame is a technical metal monster, I’d say better than Death Magnetic.

5. Paramore – Brand New Eyes: It just came out, I know, but it’s pretty good. “Misguided Ghosts” is probably one of the finest songs they’ve done. It’s got that Sixpence None the Richer/ The Sundays sort of vibe that gives the album some variety. I guess they’ve been getting some crap about the new album but I don’t know why. Haley’s voice has improved and the whole album is a great listen from start to finish.

6. Crashdog – Humane Society: Crashdog is Christian punk. Real punk. Not radio watered down punk like Green Day or Blink 182. Real punk. Though on second thought, the guitar work is way too awesome to really be punk so maybe not. Can punk even have guitar leads?

7. Believer – Gabriel: Believer is back, and they still rock. Solid technical thrash with industrial elements. It’s almost like they never broke up! Also includes the vocalist from Killswitch Engage.

8. Fall Out Boy – Folie a Deux: Fall Out Boy wins with another catchy emo album. Can’t help it, love me those hooks!

9. Ultimatum – Into the Pit: It’s so nice to hear some good plain ol’ thrash. No frills, no epic anything, no artsy-fartsy crap, just pure adrenaline fueled thrash. Like grandma used to make. “Heart of Metal” alone fills me with glee.

10. Flyleaf – Memento Mori: This isn’t out yet and I haven’t heard it all, but based on the single “Again” I guarantee it will be something that my wife and I will be listening to at the close of this year.

11. The Devin Townsend Project – Addicted: Here’s another one that’s not out until November, but I will be buying it and will, most likely, be loving it. In contrast to Ki this record is going to be an epic, dense, layered hook laden slice of rock/metal. Oh, and it will also feature vocals from Anneke van Giersbergen who did vocals for a few of Ayreon’s albums. Devin himself described it as “Enya-core.” I’m totally down with that!

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