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2011 albums

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by symphonyXjapan, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. symphonyXjapan

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    It's that time again for making the decision of what your favorite albums of the year are. As always list your 10 favorite/most listened to albums that came out this year. Also, feel free to list other albums that may not be on your list but you find worth mentioning.

    Here are mine:

    1) Insomnium - One for Sorrow
    2) Evergrey - Glorious Collision
    3) Opeth - Heritage
    4) SuidaKra - Book of Dowth
    5) Cynthesis - DeEvolution
    6) Amorphis - The Beginning of Times
    7) Fair to Midland - Arrows & Anchors
    8) Pain of Salvation - Road Salt Two
    9) Symphony X - Iconoclast
    10) Nightrage - Insidious

    Some honorable mentions: Rhapsody of Fire - From Chaos to Eternity; and Obscura - Omnivium

    I would also like to list some that I have heard a bit of but have not obtained in order to fully listen; however, from what I have heard I feel they could have had a good chance of making my list.

    Sun Caged - The Lotus Effect
    Leprous - Bilateral
    Nightwish - Imaginaerum
    Versailles - Holy Grail
    Norther - Circle Regenerated

    Everyone else post away and have fun!
     
  2. Phanto

    Phanto Alalalalalalalala.

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    I only got a top 6 so far. Very unsure about the last 4. I might edit the post later :p

    1. Steven Wilson - Grace for drowning
    The best of 2011. Subtle and detailed. It has grown on me - past everything Porcupine Tree/Blackfield/Wilson. Very good.
    2. Omnium Gatherum - New world shadows
    Very solid melodic death metal with a Swanö signature. Best heavy release of 2011.
    3. Devin Townsend - Ghost
    Relaxing and calm, yet interesting. Doesn't bore. Not a Ki 2, but still very good.
    4. Myrath - Tales of the sand
    Filled with excellent melodies and catchy shit I can't get out of my head. I'm not much for arab bullshit but it works quite well when it's incorporated like it is here.
    5. Amorphis - The Beginning of Time
    This album really excited me until I heard Skyforger. After that it feels like a much weaker album. But it's still a great album.
    5. Caligula's Horse - Moments from the ephemeral city
    The opening track alone would put this in my top 10.
    6. Heavenwood - Abyss masterpiece
    It's labeled gothic metal but I feel it's more than that. Symphonic and powerful, but not too much of that shit.

    I had some pretty intense periods with these albums as well:
    Haken - Visions
    Symphony X - Iconoclast
    Arch/Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance
    Pain of Salvation - Road Salt 2
     
  3. intergalactic

    intergalactic Member

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    not in
    order,they're all good to me
    Leprous:BIlateral
    Wolverine :Communication lost
    Arena :Seventh degree of separation
    Symphony x :Iconoclast
    Pagan's mind :heavenly ecstasy
    Dream theater
    Subsignals ( former sieges even members)
    Karmakanic :in a perfect world
    Pendragon :passion
    Neal Morse :testimony 2

    Best gig:
    Rush (Frankfurt)
    Neal Morse (Milan)
    Symphony x ,pagan's mind,DGM (Milan)
     
  4. Postulate

    Postulate Have a nice day! :)

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    No order.


    Pendragon - Passion
    Heavy neo-prog with various influences. Fantastic songwriting, lots of neat vocal harmonies.

    Subsignal - Touchstones
    Pop with lingering prog metal influences. Really, really melodic.

    Van der Graaf Generator - A Grounding in Numbers
    Still a great band, in some respects I think still getting better.

    Arch/Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance
    Traditional prog metal with lots of layered guitars and ridiculous syncopated vocals.

    Comedy of Errors - Disobey
    80's-style old-school neo-prog. Flashy, with keyboards from every decade since the 70's.

    Pain of Salvation - Road Salt Two
    This and Road Salt One have grown on me extremely quickly.

    Knight Area - Nine Paths
    Heavy neo-prog with metal influences in the guitar/drums.

    Legend - Cardinal Points
    Traditional prog album of four epics.

    Steve Hackett - Beyond the Shrouded Horizon
    Various stuff.

    King Crimson - A Scarcity of Miracles
    Stupid hipster bullshit.
     
  5. Liampie

    Liampie Member

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    2011 is weird, because with a decent harvest of new albums I just cannot decide which one I enjoy most.

    The Harvest of 2011:

    - Alestorm - Back Through Time: I don't know any other band that is this much fun, in the literal sense of the word. I love this album and this band. Christopher Bowes is a genius.
    - Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction: slightly too heavy for my likings, but when I'm in the right mood and love this album for the largest part.
    - Devin Townsend Project - Ghost: not really my genre, but I love the tranquil atmosphere and positive vibe here. And it has Dev's magic.
    - Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events: strongest DT album since at least Train of Thought, with Bridges in the Sky being the best DT song since Octavarium. Great surprise, and Mike Portnoy leaving is the best thing that could've happened to DT.
    - Symphony X - Iconoclast: Whereas most bands grow up as they get older, Symphony X gets more juvenile and aggresive. Symphony X is no more progressive metal with class. Still enjoyable though, I admit, and the old Symphony X I love so much is still present for a brief moment every now and then. I know they're not dead but something has to happen with the song writing.


    - gap -


    - Nightwish - Imaginaerum: not even half as good as the old Nightwish albums (Oceanborn - Century Child was incredible), and there's more orchestra than band... I hate how Tuomas uses Nightwish as a vehicle to write film scores consisting of orchestra with a metal rhytm section. Where's the band!!?? What happened to the keybaords? Shame, shame. Although it's not Nigthwish as it should be, there are some seriously awesome things on this album.


    - gap -


    - Edguy - Age of the Joker: quite fun at times, but definately nothing special and quite boring as well. Typical Edguy stuff.
    - asfgfa - Beef: this is fun shit that I seriously enjoy, but comparing it to the albums above would be an insult.

    I could've added Yes and Opeth but I haven't listened enough of those albums yet... Doubt it'll happen though. Heritage drags and is just not my style and Fly From Here just can't hold my attention for very long except for Fly From Here Part III: Madman at the Screens which is great.


    Best album would be Back Through Time, Deconstruction, Ghost, A Dramatic Turn of Events or Iconoclast. Yeah, five albums at #1. Imaginaerum would be #6, and everything after #7 is not very important. Best songs are:
    - Alestorm - Death Throes of the Terrorsquid: amazing! I even don't mind the two minutes death metal part because the rest of the song is so awesome.
    - Symphony X - Reign in Madness: one of the few songs where the keyboards play a role larger than just an intro, a solo or atmospheric chords in the background. Some guitar parts that almost kill the song, but overall this is really good and a proof that Symphony X still has SOME class.
    - Dream Theater - Bridges in the Sky: "Sun! Come shine my way!" Woah, beautiful. Every single second of this song is.
    - The Devin Townsend Project - Feather: So beautiful.
    - Nightwish - Scaretale: yes!!!! An original song with actual surprises! Great from start to finish, I wish the whole album was this good.

    Can't pick one, and that's so not-me-style. I apologize...
     
  6. intergalactic

    intergalactic Member

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    I like"Reign in madness"too,unfortunately they didn't play it in tour.What a pity
     
  7. symphonyXjapan

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    I heard Omnium Gatherum was supposed to be good and also similar to Insomnium. Insomnium's new album was probably the "surprise" of 2011 for me as it came out of nowhere and I have found myself playing it over and over again. Maybe I should check out Omnium Gatherum then?

    I also feel that Skyforger is overall better than tBoT; however, not by a huge enough margin that tBoT didn't make my list.
     
  8. Detective Clarence Beauregard

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    :lol:

    The problem with the songwriting is that the only one doing it is MJR! No offense to him, but often when one person writes all the music, it tends to get predictable. Sometimes songs start sounding the same, too (more so with Iconoclast than Paradise Lost).

    I liked their previous album better, although it had a similar problem with the orchestra thing. I loved that Islander song, though. On this new one it really gets ridiculous; there's a part in one of the songs that sounds exactly like Iron Maiden's Dance of Death, and then there's that one song that is six minutes of coolness and six minutes of some dude talking about random shit. What the hell were they thinking?!

    Nothing says class like "Strike them down! Strike with power!" Nah, I really do like this song. The synth sound on P's keyboards is different for Symphony X, but it fits this concept very well.

    I like this song because unlike most of their other stuff, it doesn't contain a full-on wankfest five-minute interlude. Outcry is a good example of this; great song until the circus monkeys banging each other in space part starts.
     
  9. Liampie

    Liampie Member

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    Agreed. End of Innocence? Fine. Electric Messiah? Fine. Copypaste 10x on the album? Not fine! I'm quite bored with Iconoclast already, except for a few songs maybe.

    My thoughts. I was really anticipating Song of Myself, even if the title is shit, because long songs tend to be good. I was disappointed because this is not a long song. I like the song part a lot but it's just not as intense as I hoped... I skip the poem. I don't care for Tuomas' emo rants.

    I wasn't referring to the lyrics of course. :p It's the music. There are keys that actually add identity to the song for once, there are some classic Symphony X solos, there's a weird instrumental part where guitars and keys play TOGETHER (not one on top of the other), and the chorus is the best on the album. Best chorus since The Odyssey perhaps? Paradise Lost was cheesy.

    Lol. I think Breaking All Illusions works in a similar way as Bridges in the Sky, though it's not as memorable. Simple riffs, even I can play along the keys. Subtlety over LOUDNESS. Every note written and played with care. That's how it should be done. :) The long guitar solo doesn't bother as well because it's not a wankfest. I see Dream Theater making progress again. Hope they continue this on their next album!
     
  10. Detective Clarence Beauregard

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    There's just not enough variety. I think writing 12 full songs about the man vs. machine concept was just too much. Thematically it sounds like every song is depicting a Terminator-style robot war. While Paradise Lost is far from my favorite Symphony X album, at least every song felt a bit different.

    There are some solid tracks on Iconoclast (I'm partial to Prometheus, Dehumanized, Heretic, and Reign), but they all just seem to bleed together. Also, unlike Paradise Lost, there's quite a few fillers on Iconoclast (Light, Lords, Electric).

    I agree. The "tortured poet" thing is so cheesy that I have trouble listening to it. You want to make poetry, Tuomas? Great, write a damned book or something. And as much as I like orchestral stuff, turn the damned band up! And go back to writing cool parts for the guitar and bass so they stop sounding like they're just in the remote background while the orchestra steals the show!

    The Opeth part?

    The chorus is nice, but the use of the word "we" makes it sound uber-metal cheesy. Come on, a 7-year-old could write most of this album's lyrics...

    Breaking All Illusions is the other song that I really like from that album. The rest are filler (aside from the good parts of Outcry), just like a lot of recent Dream Theater. The problem is, though, that the majority of DT fans actually like that wankfest garbage stuff! I'm from the school of thought that believes music should make you feel something, not be an equation.
     
  11. reidie

    reidie Member

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    Arch/Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance
    Primus - Green Naugahyde
    Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events

    Would be my top 3 with Devin, Mastodon, Macine Head, Opeth, Anthrax et al all worth a mention too
     
  12. manticore999

    manticore999 Member

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    DT's new album is the only stand out album this year, for me. Looking forward to the new Nightwish, but it hasn't been released in the US yet. If it's at all on par with the last one it'll be oustanding. I didn't care for their stuff with Tarja - her voice is too bland compared to Annette's.
     
  13. Sauna

    Sauna Member

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    It's way too early to decide on a personal top ten of 2011 since I haven't even gotten around to some releases from bands that are really important to me, like Moonsorrow's Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa.

    It's easy to point out some major letdowns, however. First and foremost, the new Antrax album had a lot of hype behind it with Belladonna returning and all, but it's not even better than their previous one. The same pretty much goes for Dream Theater's A Dramatic Turn of Events. I really don't see how it has people raving about how DT is on the right track again. As for the new Queensryche album, I would be disappointed, but that's just not sensible anymore.

    On the positive side, at least Opeth, Cynic, Devin Townsend and Mastodon have been delivering some really awesome music as always. I've also been digging Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay, Sympathetic Resonance by Arch/Matheos, The Ghost You Gave to Me by 3, This Mortal Coil by Redemption and of course Iconoclast.

    You guys like to give Iconoclast and Paradise Lost a lot of grief, but face it, they're nothing but awesome.
     
  14. Postulate

    Postulate Have a nice day! :)

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    Agreed. This is the same stuff DT has been peddling for over a decade. I see no change whatsoever.

    Here, have some more grief.
     
  15. Wander

    Wander 10+2=6

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    Here's a bunch of stuff:

    Top 20 albums

    1. Cynthesis - DeEvolution
    2. Anathema - Falling Deeper
    3. Primordial - Redemption at the Puritan's Hand
    4. Moonsorrow - Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa
    5. Lunatic Soul - Impressions
    6. Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning
    7. Tenhi - Saivo
    8. Devin Townsend Project - Ghost
    9. Ulver – Wars of the Roses
    10. Anna Järvinen - Anna Själv Tredje
    11. Tori Amos – Night of Hunters
    12. Falloch - Where Distant Spirits Remain
    13. Other Lives - Tamer Animals
    14. Pain of Salvation – Road Salt Two
    15. Leprous - Bilateral
    16. Paatos - Breathing
    17. Mastodon – The Hunter
    18. Mr. Gnome – Madness in Miniature
    19. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
    20. Opeth - Heritage



    Top EP's

    1. Riverside - Memories in My Head (EP)
    2. Cynic - Carbon Based Lifeforms (EP)
    3. Heather Findlay - Phoneix Suite (EP)
     
  16. donKyle

    donKyle Member

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    I've only gotten a few 2011 albums, and Heavenly Ecstasy by Pagan's Mind really stands out. It is easy to forget about this album it seems, but whenever I find my way back to it, I still dig it.

    I got the new Myrath album, and there still isn't anything that really grabs me with this band.

    There's like 12 threads for Iconoclast, so I don't need to say anything.

    I'm going to sleep
     
  17. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    Same here. Like Dream Theater, their music just doesn't do anything to me no matter how flashy they try to sound. I also don't like how they try too hard to sound Arabic/Tunisian. Just another band with decent technical abilities but lack of understanding of what true progressiveness is all about, imo.
     
  18. Detective Clarence Beauregard

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    I like their first album the most, since they didn't go overboard with the Arabic stuff. Only so many songs can have that tonality before they all start to sound the same to me.
     
  19. Postulate

    Postulate Have a nice day! :)

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    Do you feel that way about metal bands playing in E-minor, though? (Probably). :D
     
  20. Sauna

    Sauna Member

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    Probably because you look at it as "that Arabic stuff" or something. Any style generally sounds like it's all the same to a person who's heard only a little bit of it or doesn't have a proper understanding of it.

    You'd be surprised at the amount of people who'll tell you that they think all metal sounds the same.
     

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