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Staff Picks of 2005

Discussion in 'Metal Reviews' started by circus_brimstone, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    Adam

    Cathedral - The Garden of Unearthly Delights
    Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
    Green Carnation - The Quiet Offspring
    Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness
    Nile - Annihilation of the Wicked
    Exodus - Shovel Headed Killing Machine
    Judas Priest - Angel of Retribution
    Bruce Dickinson - Tyrrany of Souls
    Frantic Bleep - The Sense Apparatus
    Gojira - From Mars to Sirius

    Amanda a.k.a. The Metal Chick

    1. Kamelot - The Black Halo
    2. Opeth - Ghost Reveries
    3. Allen-Lande - The Battle
    4. Zero Hour - A Fragile Mind
    5. Pagan's Mind - Enigmatic: Calling
    6. Circus Maximus - The 1st Chapter
    7. Russell Allen - Atomic Soul
    8. James LaBrie - Elements of Persuasion
    9. Warcry - Donde Esta La Luz
    10. Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor

    Jason a.k.a. circus_brimstone

    1. Buried Inside – Chronoclast
    2. Ephel Duath – Pain Necessary to Know
    3. Pelican – The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw
    4. Red Sparowes – At the Soundless Dawn
    5. Rosetta – The Galilean Satellites
    6. Crowpath – Son of Sulphur
    7. Watchmaker – Erased from the Memory of Man
    8. Crimson Moonlight – Veil of Remembrance
    9. Frantic Bleep – The Sense Apparatus
    10. Novembers Doom – The Pale Haunt Departure
    11. Yob – The Unreal Never Lived
    12. Deathspell Omega – Kénôse
    13. Meshuggah – Catch Thirty Three
    14. Witchcraft – Firewood
    15. Norma Jean – O God, the Aftermath
    16. Sunn O))) – Black One
    17. Minsk – Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive
    18. Twilight – Twilight
    19. Solefald – Red for Fire: An Icelandic Odyssey Part I
    20. Circle of Dead Children – Zero Comfort Margin
    21. Slough Feg - Atavism
    22. Gojira - From Mars to Sirius
    23. August Burns Red – Thrill Seeker
    24. Symphony in Peril – The Whore’s Trophy
    25. Losa – The Perfect Moment

    About my picks:
    I listened to over 220 albums (ones released in 2005 only), and came up with diverse results. If your picks didn't end up gracing my list, it's because I either didn't hear them or didn't like them. But it's most likely the former because I have an ever-present review queue, so I don't have much time to seek out what I don't receive.

    About my selection methods:
    Narrowing the list down was easy. I just went through it, and chose what stood out at first glance. Surprisingly, the final positioning was easy too. I worked backwards this time, starting at 25 and gradually moving up to 1.

    About my number one pick:
    Buried Inside - Chronoclast. I was taken aback that the latest from Buried Inside edged out the other competitors. Chronoclast was a sleeper hit, but I can't get over just how stunning it is. Perfect blend of serenity and chaos rolled into a whole, which captures me every single time I listen to it. Overall, though, 2005 was a strong year for metal.

    Josh a.k.a. Opeth17

    1. The Project Hate MCMXCIX – Armageddon March Eternal (Symphonies of Slit Wrists)

    The Project Hate returns in 2005 with an album that only confirms that they are pretty much the best band on the planet. Every album is different than what came before it, but just as good, and AME is no exception. The most groovy riffs imaginable flow consistently, accompanied by beautiful melodic leads. Insane death metal vocals by way of Jorgen Sandstrom (Grave, Entombed) and angelic female vocals courtesy of Jo Enckell create a truly apocalyptic sound to match their blasphemous lyrics. Keyboards used like a grand piano and bits of industrial thrown in for fun. Creates a startling, wicked atmosphere and transfers into melancholy passages to leave you caught in a reverie. As good as it fucking gets.

    2. Opeth – Ghost Reveries

    To me, this is quite possibly the best Opeth has ever put out. Despite the criticisms and disappointments of others, this album strikes me as the record that the band has been trying to create since 2001. Honestly, for as good a metal riff as this band can write and as mean as Akerfeldt’s vocals are, Opeth is a better prog band than they are a metal band. It’s the soft passages, the beautiful sounds that make Opeth so good. It’s “Atonement” and “Hours of Wealth” and the stirring chants of “Ghost of Perdition.” The extreme metal, thrown into the mix, keeps things interesting and creates the offset that this kind of music needs, and Opeth do it very well, but the heart and soul of their music lies elsewhere. Amazing album where Opeth have found their true sound, hit their stride and stunned me with what is perhaps their best album EVER. Akerfeldt’s vocals are stunning in both realms and Opeth have finally created a warm album with an enchanting atmosphere that strikes me as close to perfect. Congratulations.

    3. Blood Red Throne – Altered Genesis

    Blood Red Throne IS the best death metal band on the planet right now, no questions asked. They mix brutality with the mid-paced, headbanging grooves that create the perfect extreme metal formula. As fun as full-throttle brutality can be, it tends to not leave the lasting impression that a band with either a lot of groove or a lot of emotion can. Well, BRT have a whole lotta groove and as they break it down in each song, I can’t help but smile. There is not a single bad track on this album, it’s just pure heavy fucking metal domination.

    4. Falkenbach – Heralding the Fireblade

    A surprisingly amazing album. My first experience with Falkenbach and I can say gladly that I’m hooked. The perfect pagan atmosphere shines through on this record and the high use of clean vocals surprised me, but works better than growled vocals ever could for this band. Absolutely everything that viking metal should be. The incredible “Havamal” sums up entirely why this is such a great album, as it simply embodies what bands of this type should aspire to be.

    5. Oathean – Fading Away into the Grave of Nothingness

    My Korean brothers! What an album this is. A mixture of black and folk metal in a completely different way. Whereas the majority of folk influences we hear in metal come from Scandinavia or Europe in general, Oathean gives us a taste of the Far East. Excellent black metal that becomes amazing when the band breaks into an enthralling folk session. “Wandering Soul” the second track on the album shows the band’s blackened side while mixing in their other elements and “Road To…,” with its pure traditional sound, is like traveling the road to home.

    6. Deathspell Omega – Kénôse

    As if having the best death metal band on the planet release an album this year wasn’t enough, we got this long EP from the best black metal band on the planet to accompany it. Though made up of only three songs, the EP clocks in at over 36 minutes, longer than many “full” albums though short for a Deathspell Omega release, considering their last album clocked in at over 77 minutes. Kénôse still retains many of the charms that made Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice great, including the haunting minimalism and dark atmosphere that dots their work. The unique vocals, powerful production and black metal brutality all remain as well, and all I can do is wish for more. The fact that half a DsO album can grace my list this highly is testament to how great a band they are.

    7. Yyrkoon – Occult Medicine

    Best album of the year that NOBODY knows about. Death metal that is a sort of mix of Behemoth and Blood Red Throne but with a focus on doing nothing but creating the most ridiculously grooving fucking riffs imaginable. Talented musicians who can craft a great song. If your neck doesn’t just about snap at some point listening to this album, you suck. Great melodic solos thrown in on occasion make for a catchy album that eclipses most music I’ve heard this year.

    8. 1349 – Hellfire

    1349 really surprised me with Hellfire. I had liked Liberation, but had never given it too many spins, but Hellfire hit me like a ton of bricks. For all the blazing, hellish intensity, this is actually a really catchy, memorable album as well. Beneath the surface there are a lot of great melodies and they are of course blanketed with a wall of intense battering that is extremely fun to listen to. This album has a lot hidden beneath the surface and this band epitomizes extreme metal.

    9. Taake – Hordaland Doedskvad

    Taake surprise the hell out of me everytime I listen to them. Not only because it’s a great band, but because I end up concentrating on how great the guitar work is, which just seems odd for a black metal band. I mean some of this stuff just flat out rocks. Listen to the second song, where the hell does that riff (you know which one) come from? Just as the opening riff of Nattestid hooks me everytime, Doedskvad had me from to beginning to end and shows exactly how amazing black metal is and can be.

    10. Nokturnal Mortum – Weltanschauung/Mirovozzrenie

    This is the best Nokturnal Mortum album outside of Goat Horns, yet it is completely different from that album. Whereas Goat Horns has this dark, majestic aura, Weltanschauung has a bright, almost sunny day type atmosphere on display at many times and I personally thought the cover art was a wise choice and great fit for the music on the album. Less black metal, more folk elements, this is the soundtrack to a crazed renaissance fair, and it fucking owns.

    11. Asguard – Dreamslave
    12. Coram Lethe - The Gates of Oblivion
    13. Cryptopsy – Once Was Not
    14. Kaamos - Lucifer Rising
    15. Moonsorrow – Verisakeet
    16. Primordial – The Gathering Wilderness
    17. Hate – Anaclasis
    18. Grimfist – Ten Steps to Hell
    19. Beheaded - Ominous Bloodline
    20. Vreid - Kraft
    21. Six Feet Under - 13
    22. Ondskapt – Dodens Evangelium
    23. Ingurgitating Oblivion – Voyage Towards Abhorrence
    24. Vile – The New Age of Chaos
    25. Domination Through Impurity - Essence of Brutality

    *List created using U.S. release dates.

    Nathan a.k.a. Nate The Great

    1. Meshuggah – Catch Thirty Three
    2. Akercocke - Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone
    3. Thralldom - Black Sun Resistance: Six Strain Ceremony
    4. Gojira - From Mars to Sirius
    5. Watchmaker – Erased from the Memory of Man
    6. Arcturus - Sideshow Symphonies
    7. Pelican – The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw
    8. Swarm of the Lotus - The Sirens of Silence
    9. Crowpath – Son of Sulphur
    10. Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
    11. Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness
    12. Red Sparowes – At the Soundless Dawn
    13. Twilight - Twilight
    14. Jesu - Jesu
    15. Buried Inside – Chronoclast
    16. Deathspell Omega – Kénôse
    17. Cursed - II
    18. Earth - HEX: Or Printing in the Infernal Method
    19. 1349 - Hellfire
    20. Opeth - Ghost Reveries
    21. Ulver - Blood Inside
    22. Deadbird - The Head and the Heart
    23. Green Carnation - The Quiet Offspring
    24. Sunn O))) – Black One
    25. Ion Dissonance - Solace

    Phil a.k.a. dill_the_devil:

    1. Akercocke - Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone
    2. God Forbid - IV: Constitution Of Treason
    3. Hate Eternal - I, Monarch
    4. Mistress - In Disgust We Trust
    5. Between the Buried and Me - Alaska
    6. Pelican - The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw
    7. Candlemass - Candlemass
    8. All Shall Perish - Hate.Malice.Revenge
    9. Napalm Death - The Code is Red...Long Live the Code
    10. With Passion - In the Midst of Blooldied Soil

    Rodrigo

    1. Moonsorrow - Verisakeet
    2. Taake - Doedskvad
    3. Sigh - Gallows Gallery
    4. Akercocke - Words that go Unspoken, Deeds that go Undone
    5. Circus Maximus - The 1st Chapter
    6. Nokturnal Mortum - Weltanschauung/Mirovozzrenie
    7. High on Fire - Blessed Black Wings
    8. Red Sparowes - At the Soundless Dawn
    9. Crowpath - Son of Sulphur
    10. Ephel Duath - Pain Necessary to Know
    11. Pelican - The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw
    12. Deathspell Omega - Kénôse
    13. Cryptopsy - Once Was Not
    14. Twilight - Twilight
    15. Drudkh - The Swan Road
    16. Ulver - Blood Inside
    17. Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
    18. Cephalic Carnage - Anomalies
    19. Darkane - Layers of Lies
    20. Anthony Curtis - The Book of the Key
    21. Bruce Dickinson - Tyranny of Souls
    22. Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force - Unleash the Fury
    23. Nile - Annihilation of the Wicked
    24. Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutation
    25. Rob Rock - Holy Hell

    Russell

    Top ten in no particular order:
    Opeth – Ghost Reveries
    Ulver – Blood Inside
    Between the Buried and Me – Alaska
    Kekal - Acidity
    Carnival in Coal – Collection Prestige
    The Waking Cold – Doorways of a Fading Heart
    Lazarus Blackstar – Revelations
    Aphotic/Dusk - To Find New Darkness/The Slumber Split
    Pushmeunder - The Day Lacks Colour, The Night Lacks Promise
    Necrophagia – Harvest Ritual Vol. I
    Spiritual Beggars - Demons

    Honourable mentions:
    Shellshock – Injected into the Hive
    To-Mera – Demo (although the fat bassist put me off a bit)
    Yob – The Unreal Never Lived
    Ephel Duath – Pain Necessary to Know
    The Secret Chief’s Three - Book of Horizons

    Stuff that I only got into this year so I’m putting in anyway:
    Godspeed You Black Emperor! – F#a#Oo
    Cry Cry Cry – Cry Cry Cry
    Void of Silence – Human Antithesis
    Covenant – Northern Lights
    Apoptygma Berserk - Welcome to Earth
    A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms
    Finntroll – Nattfödd
    Mono - Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined
    John Frusciante - Shadows Collide with People

    Sam a.k.a. Hopkins-WitchfinderGeneral

    In no particular order:
    Frantic Bleep - The Sense Appartus
    Porcupine Tree - Deadwing
    Rotten Sound - Exit
    Bohren and der Club of Gore - Geisterfaust
    Burst - Origo
    The Project Hate MCMXCIX - Armageddon March Eternal (Symphonies of Slit Wrists)
    Dark Tranquillity - Character
    Shining - IV: The Eerie Cold
    Meshuggah - Catch Thirty Three
    Clutch - Robot Hive/Exodus
    Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
    When Day Descends - Transcend
    Adrian Belew - Side One
    Peccatum - The Moribund People
    Rosetta - The Galilean Satellites
    Darkane - Layers of Lies
    Earth - HEX: Or Printing in the Infernal Method
    Gojira - From Mars to Sirius
    Corrosion of Conformity - In the Arms of God
    Larsen - Play


    More lists to appear soon!
     
  2. Scourge of Malice

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    It's depressing that "Verisakeet" is only on one of those lists!
     
  3. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    Sadly, I never got to hear it, though judging by the general consensus, it's probably good. I know that album is on Josh's (Opeth17) list, which is still forthcoming. ;)
     
  4. Scourge of Malice

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    It's quite the album. Very epic!
     
  5. Victim of Deception

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    Burst's Origo would have to replace one of the albums on my list because it rules. Gojira maybe...
     
  6. Redstar

    Redstar New Metal Member

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    Hmm, Bolt Thower didn't make anybody's list. Must have been a great year for metal if thats not up there.
     

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