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Mik’s Best Albums of 2013, part 2


soilworkthelivinginfinitecoverlarge#10 Soilwork – The Living Infinite     Review

Soilwork is back, better and more inspired than ever before. With their speedy guitars, brutal drums and blasting choruses this double album is an uplifting and energizing and most of all a VERY FUN listening experience.  Listen here.

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a1111012061_10#9 Boysetsfire – While A Nation Sleeps…

Straightforward, heartfelt post-hardcore. The songs are very powerful, much thanks to the strong, captivating melodies and the vocalist with his charismatic attitude and emotional voice. Listening to this album gives me energy and strength and it’s perfect for a good, loud, headbanging sing-along. Listen here.

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karnivool-asymmetry#8 Karnivool – Asymmetry 

I know this is not the most accessible album. But once I took the time to understand it, it was very rewarding. I love the dark, murky atmosphere and the underlying, unsettling mood. The eeriness of the bass lines and the unconventional, complex drumming. I’m a big fan of their previous albums too, but this one gave me even more of a challenge and really hit the spot for me. Listen here.

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Benea-Reach-Possession#7 Benea Reach – Possession 

I loved their previous album and was very happy to find that ‘Possession’ is just as good and many times even better. The songs are unexpected and unique in their nature, the songwriting is creative and organic and the singer is definitely an important piece in this; he performs a wide range of styles with confidence and power. Listen here.

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a0934133983_10 #6 White Moth Black Butterfly – One Thousand Wings
       Review

Yay, I get to include my favourite singer on another best of the year-list, third year in a row now! Even though it’s far from metal, this album is very special to me in many ways. It’s dark, personal, honest and incredibly beautiful and not only because of the outstanding vocals. The lyrics are thought-provoking and ‘Ties Of Grace’ might be the best song ever created.  Listen here.

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OceanPelCV#5 The Ocean – Pelagial             Review

This is not a band that has interested me much before. But the effort of a concept album with meaningful, philosophical lyrics where every song is named after the different layers of the ocean, the much more proggy sound made me want to check it out. The massive, constantly changing and flowing sound grew on me, slowly. Very slowly. Until the whole album finally ended up in my top 5 of the year. Listen here.

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a3585520410_10#4 Earthtone9 – IV 

There are many bands that were new to me this year on my list, Earthtone9 is one of them. It didn’t take long for me to start to love their progressive, almost sludgy feeling, the effortlessly executed melodic hooks and the huge attitude. They have an intelligent, bass-y sound and together with the confident, edgy singing they have given me many unforgettable tunes this year. Listen here.

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a0976646613_10#3 Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury              Review 

Thrilling. Challenging. Intense. And extremely rewarding. This is an album packed with depth, darkness and tortured pain executed in the most beautiful way. Primitive and intimate music with a forceful and disturbing atmosphere. ‘Teethed Glory and Injury’ is very addictive and has been my number one choice all year when it comes to really dark, heavy music. Listen here.

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tesseract-alteredstate#2 TesseracT – Altered State             Review

‘Altered State’ is my most played album this year and I love it to bits, both the instrumental version and the original one. This is TesseracT forging their own unique path; this is a confirmation of their remarkable talent when it comes to creating strong, layered musical structures combined with an intense, emotional atmosphere. These songs are magical. Listen here.

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a2186825124_10#1 Caligula’s Horse – The Tide, The Thief & River’s End           Review

To place higher than TesseracT on my list, that’s quite the achievement! Caligula’s Horse managed to craft and put together a collection of songs that meets all my requirements for The Perfect Album. I have never heard songs that feel so honest and alive, amazing guitar solos with so much emotion and incredible vocals with equal amounts of mighty power and fragile beauty. I have never before owned an album that touched me so deeply. This was my big mindblowing surprise of the year. Listen here.

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Christopher Mammal’s Top Albums Of 2013: #10 – #1


Metal 2013

One day when I’m old and grey—.

Start again. When I’m even older and greyer or hairless, I’ll still be listening to all of these albums pretty often. I work alone in an office at home. I play music while I pretend to be busy. Often I get through ten albums a day. Without music, I’d go mad. My wife says that without metal, I might become sane, but she also says she’s used to my music making the panels on my desk vibrate. She’s lucky she can’t see what it’s doing to my insides.

May 2014 bring all of you great wealth, health, happiness and gut-thumping good metal. Read the rest of this entry

Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #15-#11


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#15 Colors by Between the Buried and Me

In the early and mid 2000’s I found myself a bit disenchanted with new metal. I had kept in touch with the established bands in my catalog, but anything new just ‘didn’t do it for me’. Then I stumbled on BTBAM and their newly released Colors. Never have I heard metal quite like this, ferocious, complex, organic, beautiful, chaotic, and so unorthodox. How each song flowed into the next created a neat flow and the musicianship in each one seriously blew my mind and gave me a new-found faith in modern metal. I also love while on one end the music and themes on this record are pretty serious, the band knows how to sit back and have some fun at times and get playful with the music breaking that ‘more brutal than thou’ mentality that was plaguing metal at the time in my eyes. After this record I became more adventurous with my music returning to actively seek out/check out music by stuff I never heard of in hopes I find something that blew me away like Colors. To quote Forrest Gump: “I must have drank me 15 Dr. Peppers”. Returning to this album 7 years after my big first impression it still holds up wonderfully and BTBAM received much deserved success and took the right path and upped their talent (seriously, check out the new record 😉 ).

Read the rest of this entry

Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #75-#71


Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#75: Grace for Drowning by Steven Wilson

Going from touching and heartfelt to eerie and scary this album just hits every emotion that one can experience while listening to music. He also takes you through journeys with unexpected twists and turns that will leave you with surprise and awe at every bend. The top-notch prog-rock borders on metal territory at times, and is welcome to cross over and visit anytime. The lyric writing is superb as well, while being a bit cryptic at times, Mr. Wilson uses his words to build an image or emotion and when placed upon the backdrop of his music they create a tightly woven listening experience. IMHO this is some of Mr. Wilson’s best work and fans of all music should give this a listen, it’s just, wow. I also love the trio of music videos released for the album, the work that Lasse Hoile does with Steven is just A/V bliss.

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