by Noobhammer on Dec.21, 2009, under Chainsaw
Greetings metal community, the Noobhammer here again with my top 10 albums which smashed open the gates of Hell with a hammer full of steel. This was no easy choice mind you. In a year where I almost went broke trying to buy all the good albums this year, it was not easy to pick my favorites. It was like trying to pick which video games you would save in a burning fire. That being said, here are my picks for a year during which some of the best albums came out.
10. God Forbid - Earthsblood
It’s hard to describe God Forbid. They are one of those really unique metalcore bands. I thought it would be almost impossible to top the juggernaut that is Constitution of Treason, but these guys did it, and with gusto. A truly remarkable band, who can only go anywhere but higher as they show the metalcore scene how to write an album.
9. Swallow The Sun – New Moon
Words can’t even begin to describe the feeling I got when i first heard that riff and that melancholic voice whisper those words in my ear, just before everything kicks in and blows you away. Another brilliant album from these Finns who have perfectly blended melodic death metal and doom metal, and even now on this latest album, incorporated some black metal. With guitars that seem to wail in the night, it seems that these guys could swallow the sun with their music.
8. Epica – Design Your Universe
Epica didn’t really impress me too much with their last album. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but just not great. Their latest album however is a totally different story . This album, and god I hate to have to use this, is epic. It is truly a work to behold. With powerful and blazing guitars and drums, mixed with the death vocals and Simone’s gorgeous voice, makes this one hell of an album.
7. Insomnium – Across The Dark
I had never heard of these guys before this album, and they won me over instantly with their brand of doom metal. The guitars and keyboard just meld together perfectly and just wash over you in a wave of sound. When you add the singer’s voice his mix of clean vox and growls, just makes this album catchy but also heavy as hell. The riffs are easy to comprehend, but the layers to them speak volumes about the music.
6. HORSE The Band - Desperate Living
Once again, another album that thoroughly surprised me. I was disappointed after their last album, but this one totally makes up for it. All the emotion that was lacking on the last one, is back on here in full force. All these songs seep with the struggle of touring and keeping a band together. A great evolution that keeps them true to their roots while evolving at the same time. A gem, and perfect album that describes emotions we all go through.
5. Pelican – What We All Come To Need
This album is a true piece of musical art. From the crunchy guitar riffs to the melodic bridges, even to the vocalist on the last track. This album is musical bliss where we can sit back and just relax enjoy what is running through our ears. The biggest surprise though was the vocalist on the last track, showing that this band can do more than just write crunchy guitar riffs.
4. Between The Buried And Me – The Great Misdirect
Maybe I’m biased because these boys are from North Carolina. No matter what you think about the band, you cannot deny that these boys can play their instruments. Returning again with another technical masterpiece, the boys in BTBAM raise the bar for musicianship and song composition. Once again this album is essentially one long song, pushing the band even farther into prog, Rush-esque realms.
3. Isis – Wavering Radiant
Goddamn. That is all that I can say about this album. It is a brilliant piece of work, sublimely beautiful yet at the same time crushingly heavy. These boys can write some damn fine music which border on the serene then immediately shift to crushing steel hammers. Aaron Turner has outdone himself again with his latest album, and I cannot wait to hear what they do next.
2. Mastodon – Crack The Skye
This was a very close contender for album of the year. The work that the band put in this album is staggering. All the songs held within the album are masterpieces in their own right. They are beautiful and moving and just downright amazing. Every song being dedicated to Dailor’s late sister. It is a truly fantastic album that is worthy of all it’s recognition.
THIS IS IT!!! MY ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!! IT IS……
1. Devin Townsend Project – Addicted
My god. Seriously. This album is essentially crack in music form. I have barely stopped listening ever since I got it. Devin Townsend is a god. He is once of the greatest musicians to ever live. His sheer musicianship as well as his ability as a lyricist allows him to write some of the best albums ever. Be they in Strapping Young Lad, or even his solo band, The Devin Townsend Project. His greatness cannot be denied, and this album fully showcases all his abilities, from his rage to his serenity. It is the work of a world class musician, and one who is not afraid to embrace his emotions, nor to experiment with sounds and different ways of making music. That is why this is my metal album of the year.
Jesu – Opiate Sun
This is the only time I have done a honorable mention. I couldn’t include it on the list because it is only an EP, so it’s not technically an album. However this is one stunning piece of work. The guitars drone out Justin Broadrick’s voice so it barely audible, but it makes clear all the pain that he sings about, making this a very emotional album that seeps with pain, and makes me excited to hear his next full release.
by Noobhammer on Sep.22, 2009, under Chainsaw
For the past few weeks, I have been playing a set that is quite different from normal metal. Don’t be fooled, it is indeed metal, but it is a thinking man’s metal.
There are so many bands out there in the metal scene all playing the same music that it sometimes makes me lose hope in the metal scene. Yet there are always those few bands who are bold enough and crazy enough to push not only the metal genre itself forward, but question what it truly means to make music.
I am, of course, talking about the subset of metal including Drone, Doom, Shoegaze, Avant-Garde, and Noise. While these genre names may seem crazy, boring, or downright depressing, they also help push us and question the music. These bands that play these styles are actually one of the few innovators in the metal scene. Where everyone else is trying to sound more brutal with breakdowns and blast beats, these guys achieve true brutality and even evilness with their music. With intricate harmonies layered over feedback, and deep moving lyrics superimposed upon a mournful guitar and lone drum, one can lose themselves in the music. All it takes is some patience and expanding of one’s mind.
And that is what I do during that segment. I force you to open your mind, and to truly question what you know about not just metal, but music in general. For I believe, that to truly be a metal-head, you need not only listen to metal and enjoy the music, but to really embrace it and appreciate all forms of it. For there is so much more out in the metal scene than breakdowns, blast beats, cookie monster growls, and dragons. There is actually true art to be found, and you only need to expand your mind to find it.
- Sunn O)))
- My Dying Bride
- Swallow The Sun
- The Angelic Process
Check it out! WKNC is always giving away tickets to great shows around the Triangle area and this summer is no exception! Here are the shows that WKNC is giving away tickets for during the rest of May:
Be sure to listen in for your chance to win tickets!! And don’t forget to check out WKNC’s Rock Report for a complete list of local shows around the Triangle!
by Noobhammer on Dec.11, 2008, under Chainsaw
Pelican is a band from Chicago on the amazing Hydra Head Label run and founded by Aaron Turner, founder of ISIS. Other bands on the label roster include Boris, Jesu, Kayo Dot, Lustmord, Merzbow, Zozobra, and Cave In. Past bands include Cult of Luna, Sunn O))), and Neurosis. Many of these bands are ambient drone bands or post-rock bands. Other bands which are similar to these artists are ISIS, Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, Anathema, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, Adai, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, The Angelic Process, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, North, Godflesh, and Mountains Became Machines. All these bands are pretty heavy, when it comes to emotional and moving music, and have toured with metal bands. Many metal heads listen to these bands and enjoy them. So is Post-Rock really Indie Music? Or is it just another offshoot of Heavy Metal. I’m going to say Metal, due to the sheer fact that most of these bands have metal roots. ISIS was a doom band as well as Anathema. Justin Broadrick, founder of Jesu and Godflesh, was the original guitarist on Napalm Death’s “Scum”. It just seems to me that Post-Rock should have it’s name changed. In this author’s humble opinion, to Ambient Metal. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go work on my Instrumental Ambient Metal Avant Garde band, Renob Sinep.