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Best Metal Albums of 2010

Discussion in 'RC' started by Dick Sirloin, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. einride

    einride your best friend

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    i think it's about 90% that they talk the talk, have a good sense of aesthetics, and are very effective at marketing to the right target audiences

    the other 10% is that their music is very easily digestible and constantly reminds the listener of music they already know, so they feel safe and cosy. i'm not going to claim it's totally devoid of merit but it is the flagrantly over-the-top hollywood take on black metal that appears utterly unappealing to jaded folks such as myself
     
  2. Dick Sirloin

    Dick Sirloin please... stay safe

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    That's exactly what it is, for me.



    Unrelated: aren't Swans supposed to be putting out something soon or did I just dream that?
     
  3. Dick Sirloin

    Dick Sirloin please... stay safe

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    Ah, Sept 14. SOON.
     
  4. Evil?

    Evil? omghaxlol!1

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    Not really comparing them.
    Even though I very much enjoy Watain, I would still say that I agree with this.
     
  5. Krilons Resa

    Krilons Resa High Infidelity

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    Favs so far....

    Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
    Areknames - In Case Of Loss...
    Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here
    Centurions Ghost - Blessed And Cursed In Equal Measure
    Yakuza - Of Seismic COnsequence
    Kayo Dot - Coyote
    Ufomammut - Eve
    Univers Zero - Clivages
    Resistor - Rise
    Rufus Wainwright - All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu
     
  6. J.

    J. Old Fart

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    i must say, after the abortion that was Spears of Heaven, my faith in Darken waned big time. Especially since Fire Chariot and Will Strong than Death were two of his best. but Cold Winter Blades (or the two new songs on it) are faith-reaffirming. the next full length isnt out until spring of 2011, so it seems he is finally taking his time instead of rushing out a full length every year.

    but we will get this:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Reign in Acai

    Reign in Acai Gnats before thy gums

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    Mael Mordha - Manana es manana
    Ares Kingdom - Incendiary

    Both of these recordings have solidified a spot in my top 5 year end. Manannan has great build and depth, just gets better after every consecutive listen, despite lacking that one mammoth track that pushes one to throttle a fist and meerkat violently. Incendiary is a full frontal assault that impales the listener with BME Olympian like precision, a surgical slice behind the ear, draining the fluid that clogs, and replacing it with femjack. Top shelf purchases!
     
  8. Unlorja

    Unlorja New Metal Member

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    Journal is the band and Unlorja is their new album. Where do I begin? Unlorja, so much like the anchoring fable that is its concept, embodies magic – To quickly usher its formal shell out of the way, the recognizable melting pot of technical death metal, emotive post hardcore, and outrageously mathematical fusion comes second to the grand sonic vision that is Unlorja. And yet these elements stand paramount in all their respective execution; instrumental precision in all disciplines prefers a canvas for overflowing ideas over flashy exercise. These are not brassy excesses or cold experiments, but prose that perfectly supports the 80 minute epic (perhaps the first time I have listened to an album in which the descriptive ‘epic’ is an epic understatement). The blast beat that marks a new bar by sliding into a single handed roll for a handful of hits, the stratospheric bass ascending into dual guitar pyramids, the guttural voice of central character Abaddon and his betrayed brother Cecil manically exorcising an excuse to give the rough edges of brutal death metal an emotional core… These are relentless ideas whose notations are a flawless transcription of the whimsical and addictive narrative that strings the various soundscapes into one satisfying tracklist. I cannot stress enough how secondary the staggering compositional value and audacious proficiency of what in many respects could merely be an above-average tech metal disc is to this earnest concept. However, this is an immense musician’s album, and through a majority of its runtime, also a euphoric carrying out of extreme music hallmark.

    To review Unlorja properly is to get at the heart of its structure. And that core is, as mentioned, its storybook/Squaresoft grand tale. Unlorja itself refers to a mythical sword, the usage of which is required in a yarn involving a celestial family splitting as a result of one bad apple, and the man who wishes to avenge his murdered siblings by slaying the hideous “remarkable abomination” his brother has become. Do we learn profound things about human nature and experience due to these treacheries, as well as the ultimate victory of good, peace, and all that? Good and Evil are so absolute in the lyrical world of this album, but in such a vivid way – the good cowboys wear white hats and the bad ones wear black, or in Unlorja’s case, the goodies get the cool sword and the baddy gets the death ribbon… How involved you get into Unlorja’s lore-like saga, or how much you wish to dissect on a literary level is an opportunity that is available (the entire narrative is recited via the beautiful 30 minute closer “Affinity”) to those who are curious – its value, for this reviewer, is that it is such an absolute tale, where its villains are less societal allegories and more final boss material. As mentioned, it’s whimsical, and though it has mostly the depth of a Hironobu Sakaguchi vs. Pseudo Joseph Campbell pulp, it is refreshing to have boyish imagination and genuine emotional focus giving such spring to the musical flourishes that translate it.

    Where the fable becomes words is in the writing and energetic performance of Journal as a band. Unlorja features far more of a dedication to the death metal spectrum than the generally by-the-numbers teched-outing that was the previous Casualties Of War (a competent effort, despite some rudimentary melodies that sacrificed energy for intricacy). This is an aggressive disc, and while a little too stylized to truly represent brutal death (and too intelligent to be enveloped into deathcore), blast beats and tremolo dissonance supply enough of a death metal uppercut to offset the daydream with some welcomed metallic muscle. Rounding this out is some core-inspired groove and crash driven techisms that morph in and out of polyamorous beatdowns, hammer-on chaos, and rabid Dillinger start-stop (all of which makes Option Paralysis out to have the ferociousness of a welsh corgi puppy) best exhibited in “Festooned With Snakes” and “Conducting With Passion From The Grave”. Opposing the extremity is an early aughts style of emo-tinged metalcore – yes, I am relating moments such as the intro to “Unlorja” and a majority of “Viela” to the spacier acts at the turn of the millennium like Hopesfall, and even a pupated Alexisonfire. This emocore (to use such a crude vernacular) is potentially the largest strength of the album’s formal characteristics. Journal’s painterly skill with melody borrows more from riff-driven and short-haired metal styles a decade in age over the theatrical melodrama available to the youth-oriented metal acts today – again, I encourage this choice wholeheartedly, finding this endearing and sensitive school of riffing to be challenging as well as emotionally gratifying (an ability I thought only Tera Melos and Misery Signals possessed these days). To cap these elements is fusion-based clean work that serves as interludes and occasionally as solos in the more active fully-fledged tracks. “Tragic Aura” and especially the wonderful “Illuminance” are stunning, involving an orchestral majesty despite their brief lengths… And yet wish-fulfillment is in full effect when “Affinity” enters, progging in and out with moments that recall Holdsworth’s synth axe, finally closing with a recurring acoustic motif that soothes for its nearly 20 minute extended play.

    A few words on Unlorja’s secrets: spliced into the musical body of work are various (and unheralded) riffs snagged from NES era video games. Call it a gimmick, I call it damn fun (there are only seven after all) – especially when these moments fit so seamlessly into the original song structures and tone of the tracks (sometimes enhancing and driving them specifically in one of the latter tracks) “Viela” begins as we save our progress, delving into the overworld that is this titular country– Collective memories are tapped and instantly we understand we have to start pushing buttons to survive. Not stop or pause, for the record. Releasing an unabashed loooong-play album, Journal deserve special mention for their DIY knowhow. I became aware of this album’s completion when my cell received an email from Journal: a giddy page-length summary of the album’s creative process spelled out a project made for passion’s sake, exhibiting a joyous reclamation (to use naivety would be a misnomer, and frankly, cruel) of creator developed, out-of-major-distribution sales pitches that Hearwax champions as the smartest marketing dynamic in the not-too-distant future (recalling recent likeminded efforts from The Armed and maudlin Of The Well). Increasingly less surprising, the quality of production lacks a certain flavour (adopting a near-perfect but sterile Necrophagist gloss) but all the right departments get their due mix, a precise clarity, and juicy tone (God, those toms are pure ear candy as is the consistently puncturing bass drum and tastefully devastating 808 mayhem – if only Lye By Mistake went this route with their percussion). Production quality less and less depends on bigger studio budgets, yet matches the intensity of determination a hard-working outfit is willing to place before image and cut corners. Journal can stand with their contemporary trailblazers as leaders in producing independent work of immense production and musical quality.

    The personnel involved with Unlorja adopts a new bass and guitar presence post-Casualties, but it is the triadic vocal delivery that proves the most dynamic of the past few years. Jesse Alford was probably the reason I found Embrace The End’s latest disc surprisingly competent and enjoyable, as he performs with a human edge not unlike Dimitri Minakakis. “Labyrinth Of Betrayal” sets fires with Cecil’s (Alford) outraged questions, straight from the funky swagger turned urgent tech metal in the opening riffs. Intertwined is the stylish melodeath range of Drew Winter. But it is the voice of Akoni Berman that unites the emotive foil of Journal’s tech death soup – Playing atop the insanely memorable and evocative passage into “Viela”’s second minute with heroic and mournful highs – it is the stuff of legends and heartwrenchingly poignant. Full marks. Of course, Joe Van Houten, Tony Juvinall, and Danny Paul craft riff structures and solos that outclass some of the most competent musicians in extreme metal – Unlorja is at times, musically, on par with Feeding The Abscess. Finally, Justin Tvetan supplies the force of movement that unites the pastiche riffwork into unrelenting metallic juggernauts, complete with intelligent kick habit, well timed blasts, and surprisingly liberal tom fills. Unlorja, the musical phenomenon, the story, the event, and the passion equate to a collective magic – a grand and often beautiful concept album that contemporary metal undeservingly can claim into its canon. Accessible despite its rich and dense composition, Unlorja is the heavy music blockbuster of the year (narrowly beating out other immensely proficient releases) and one that will remain in memory long after all is said in done. Magic.
     
  9. J.

    J. Old Fart

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  10. NAD

    NAD What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

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    I never knew you could teabag yourself. Magic!
     
  11. Agalloch

    Agalloch The Purest of Doom

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    Self-promotion is fine, but not that kind.
     
  12. Krilons Resa

    Krilons Resa High Infidelity

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    :lol:

    The new Arcade Fire has leaked.
     
  13. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Cynical.

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    ^ I will look into this now.
     
  14. Dev

    Dev UTF-8 professional

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    Thanks for the news. I wonder if it's better than their last one, which, I thought sucked big time.
     
  15. EricT

    EricT Don't you ever get...

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    Listened to the new BG via the leak... this album is fucking schizophrenic. It's like it's 2 different EP's that were written at different points in the band's history were smashed together and placed in a random order as one album.

    You've got tracks like Tanelorn, Ride into Obsession, A Voice In The Dark that take you back to 92-95 BG, then there's tracks like Valkyries, Road of No Release, and Control The Divine that bring you back to reality and tell you "Yep, this is post-2000 BG".

    The rest of the tracks kinda spread themselves throughout their career... with the opener being reminiscent of Opera's material (a bit heavier on the orchestrations though), and the fucking closer very reminiscent of the title track on Imaginations.

    Just not sure what to think with this album. Considering their last 2 albums, I was not expecting shit like Tanelorn to rip like it did.
     
  16. Krilons Resa

    Krilons Resa High Infidelity

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    After 3 spins of the new Arcade Fire, despite the critical fellating going on, my opinion is that the first 5 or so tracks are pretty good, the middle tracks blur into redundant staleness, then their is glimmers of something towards the end. It's a lot more subtle than their previous albums anyway.
     
  17. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Cynical.

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    This was my thought on my first (very quick) listen. I do like Month of May and Ready to Start, which have been getting played on the radio, but I'll have to give the album a more comprehensive listen before deciding my full opinion. Tomorrow.

    Right now it's time to get pumped for LCD Soundsytem. Five years ago, I never would have thought I would be excited to see an electronic band.:Spin:
     
  18. General Zod

    General Zod Ruler of Australia

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    He has four posts on UM, all self-congratulating.
     
  19. NAD

    NAD What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

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    I only made it to track 2 of the Watain album before shutting it off. I'll try it again later, but it sounded like new Dissection to me. That's not a compliment.

    I really enjoyed the Maiastru Sfetnic remake. Not enough to bother with typing the correct accent marks, but it's still pretty god damn solid, and the acoustic tracks are fucking awesome. I was expecting acoustic treatment of those two songs, but instead they just played heathen/black/plague/whatever metal using acoustic instruments. Neat. Either way, I don't think it could possibly surpass the original, as that album is mmmmmmagic, but overall it's pretty keen.

    The new Yakuza shows a lot of promise, one track in particular (track 4 maybe?) was particularly good. They usually take several spins to "get" so it will hopefully build like Transmutations did. I don't expect it to be better than that one though, that album is probably the best I've heard over the last 5 years. Unfuckinggoddamnbelievable it is be.
     
  20. Krilons Resa

    Krilons Resa High Infidelity

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    Yeah, it's not as good as TRANSMUTATIONS. But, it's still good. Everyone praises the production though, whereas I think it totally detracts from the album. It just sounds weird to me.
     

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