Blog Archives

Mik’s Top 100 Favourite Albums of All Time #80-76


A while ago, at the same time as Matt and Reggie, I posted my Top 100 All Time Favourite (Metal) Albums over at the forum The History of Metal on FB. It took a good amount of time and effort to put it together, but it was so much fun! My taste in metal is always changing, so the list will not always look the same. In fact, it’s already a bit different than it was when I first put it together and posted it on the forum seven months ago.

I tried to limit myself to three albums per band to make the list a little more diverse and interesting. I don’t really consider the ‘test of time’-factor when selecting what albums that will go on my list, instead I measure it by how strongly the album has affected me emotionally and how much/often it has helped me through both good and bad phases in my life. That’s why you can find quite a few newer releases among my favourites too.


#80 Rishloo – Eidolon

Who left this way open?
Unguarded paths chosen

All guilty they stand in judgment of, those who would travel and
All are guilty, to swing the pendulum, to eat the temporal

It’s almost like a rock/prog/grunge-opera. I love their odd, melancholic and sometimes Tool-ish sound. Their unique singer is fantastic and the songs start out slow and build up so beautifully. Unsigned and self-promoted, I’m glad they seem to have reached some success among prog-fans. Unfortunately this band is no more, but at least they had time to release three albums, much to my pleasure.


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Full Album Streams: The Afterman Pt. II: Descension by Coheed and Cambria

coheedCambriaMere months after the release of The Afterman Pt. I: Ascension NY prog rockers Coheed and Cambria have the 2nd part to the album all primed for release tomorrow.  And as much as I loved Pt. I, based on the 2 spins I’ve given this record so far, I’m feeling Pt. II is the superior of the pair.  Tracks like the mindblowingly awesome “Sentry the Defiant” and “The Hard Sell” simply rock to Valhalla and tunes like “Dark Side of Me” and “Number City” really highlight how damn good CoCa are at writing some of the most catchy and accessible songs out there while still maintaining depth and interjecting some neat experimentation into the music.  Front to back a completely solid effort and you should check it out.  Click the link here or the album cover above to go to the stream and enjoy till your heart’s content.  Let us know what you though.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!

Matt’s Top 15 Albums of 2012

bestof2012I know every year I say that this was one of the best years in metal, but its true, and 2012 was no different.  I guess that says a lot about the state of modern heavy metal.  The genre has grown into something that was unfathomable at its inception.  In no other genre will you find such a diverse set of different acts all boasting such pure passion for what they do.  I was also exposed much more music than usual this year since Metal State kinda took off with a spike in readers (thank you!!!) and we started receiving promos from labels and bands looking for exposure (don’t worry, we won’t tell you about the crappy stuff or skew our opinions because a label hooked us up with some free music or a t-shirt).  So, when I think about 2012 in metal I can’t help but to return to reflecting on how diverse the genre has become.  You will see in my toplist that no single sub-genre really dominates (well I guess you can tell I am a fan a prog metal and was big into the female fronted doom metal bands this year) and there are some amazing albums all across the board in metal this year.  There were also a ton I left out which I will post about in the coming days in a quick honorable mentions post.  So enough dilly dallying, let’s get it on!  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

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Album Reviews: The Afterman: Ascension by Coheed & Cambria

coheed__20670_zoomI’ll be perfectly honest, while I love me some concept albums and follow the narrative of those which reach to tell a story more often than not, I’ve just about abandoned the sci-fi story that Coheed & Cambria have been telling since their first album.  Not that it’s bad by any means, but because between sometimes cryptic lyrics, out of sequence unfolding, and the fact that it sprawls into graphic novel and written novel form I just lost place in the convoluted tale and haven’t put much stock into it since Good Apollo.  So, what’s left of a band that puts so much stock into its narrative for someone who isn’t placing too much attention into their tale?  Well, the most important part of any musical output, the music, and on this end CoCa also deliver tenfold quite consistently allowing the listener to enjoy their music first and as an added bonus be able to delve into a deeper level and get a crazy sci-fi story too.  The NY quartet has recently released the first part their new double disc album, The Afterman, with part 2 to be in stores sometime early 2013.  Titled Ascension, this first part of The Afterman series recaptures that spark that really made CoCa special that I felt that their past couple outings were missing (No World For Tomorrow and Year of the Black Rainbow were decent, but could have been a lot better).  And beyond the excellent music, they also piqued my interest in rejoining the narrative of the whole CoCa saga with its character dossier style of storytelling.

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Full Album Streams: The Afterman Pt. I: Ascension by Coheed and Cambria

Are you still on the fence about picking up the new record from Coheed and Cambria after their lackluster effort on Year of the Black Rainbow (I didn’t think it was a horrible as many fans make it out to be, but compared to their previous offerings it was certainly a step back).  Well if you don’t trust me to tell you that The Afterman Pt. I: Ascension is damn good you can listen to it for yourself.  After a couple of listens I’m quite impressed.  They show a nice amount of diversity on the record and seemed to have captured that punch of their earlier records.  Click here to give it a listen or click on the album cover above to go to the stream.  Let us know what you thought.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Videos of the Week: Witchtripper, Domino the Destitute, Astral Bodies, and Devil’s Jukebox

I had a bit of trouble singling out this weeks video of the week, so, to take the path of least resistance, here all 4 videos that I watched and found damn awesome.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!!

First up is the new video from Down in support of their new, and totally kick ass E.P., Down IV, Pt. I – The Purple E.P.  “Witchtripper” shows Phil, Pepper, Kirk, and Co. getting their LARP on with this silly video clip.  It was funny enough to see the doomsters in costumes, but when they took the title of the song literally and tripped a witch, man did I laugh my ass off.  The song is damn catchy too.

Next 3 after the jump.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #50-#46

So, now I’m into the Top 50, as much as I adore all the records previous to this half, this is where things start to get good.  The albums in this half are a handful of records that I could not see myself being without.  These 50 make up the top ~3% of the 1500+ albums I have in my music collection, so needless to say, they are all of the highest quality in my eyes.  While there a few more modern releases in here, you’ll see that the test of time was a big factor for me as I approach the coveted #1 spot.  I hope you enjoy reading my list as much as I enjoyed making it.  And if you happen to be doing one of your own, let me know, I’d be keen to check it out.  Hopefully this list will make you return to an album you haven’t listened to in a while or discover something new to check out.  Enjoy!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

#50 Meddle by Pink Floyd

Meddle is the Pink Floyd album where I think the band really found their sound. They are able to be both wildly experimental and cohesive at the same time. Gilmour’s signature guitar style sounds wonderful as he creates some of the best musical textures of Pink Floyd’s catalog on Meddle. This album has always been a favorite of mine especially in my ‘experimental’ days where I always enjoyed sitting back in a haze, completely zoned out to the soothe sounds of tunes like “A Pillow of Winds” and “Fearless” and tunes like “One of These Days” and “Echoes” would take me on magical journeys. Even when I stopped ‘experimenting’ Meddle remained as one of my favorite ‘chillin’ out’ albums, hence its spot on my list.

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Song and Video of the Week – In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth and Welcome Home

Ahhh, good to be back.  Since I’m still jetlagged to all hell I’m just going to be lazy and smash the song and video of the week into one post, hope you all don’t mind 🙂

I’m on a Coheed and Cambria kick right now so today you will be getting a double dose of them.   For some reason these guys get a lot of hate which I don’t really get.  So if you have been avoiding checking them out over all these years, do yourself a favor and ignore what the haters are saying and give this great band a chance.  Anyways, love or hate them, there is no denying that these guys got some prog rock chops and the nerd in me that has a thing for sci-fi, fantasy, and long series drawn out throughout multiple books/comics/concept albums absolutely loves this band. Here’s a couple of my favorite tracks by them.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!

Bands I Should Like, But Do Not!

So don’t throw a hammer at me or anything because of this list.  I think of myself as an equal opportunity metal fan, but there are some bands out there that I have heard numerous times and/or seen in concert and I still can’t get into them.  So if you asked me if i liked any of the five bands I am about to list, I would either say no or shrug my shoulders in uncertainty.  This list is in no particular order.

1. Lamb of God.  There is no underestimating this band’s popularity.  I want to really like them, I really do because they are a no frills metal band.  They kind of remind me a bit of Pantera.  I even saw them three times in concert with Anthrax, Slayer, and at Download 2010.  I also own two of their albums and still…just can’t be crazy about Lamb of God.  This is one of the shrug my shoulders bands.  I think I am missing something here.

2.  Mastodon.  This is another one I just do not get.  I saw them once with Slayer, but do not own any material from them.  I feel I should like them, but again, not sure what I am missing with this band.  When I saw them, they were loud and heavy live, but I sat in the bleachers patiently waiting for Slayer to come on stage.

3.  Avenged Sevenfold.  I have seen probably all of their videos on Scuzz and Kerrang.  I can see that this band has some talent individually, but as a group I think they are missing the mark. I heard that their earlier stuff was more heavy than it is now.  They seem so popular today, but more with the younger metal crowd.  Maybe it’s because I am pushing 40 that I do not get this band.

4.  Coheed and Cambria.  I like when bands come out with a different style of music.  I like some prog bands and I think this is where Coheed and Cambria fit…so why is it that I can’t get into them?  I am not sure why.  I see that they are wildly popular with their fans and that they are highly talented, but when I hear them I find myself scratching my head.

5.  Meshuggah.  No way.  I tried, I really did, and this is one band I feel I should like, but no.  I bought an album, gave it the three customary listens (for proper judgement), and no.  This band is a no-go for me.

I could probably name a few other bands, but I went with a list of bands that I know reached a certain level of popularity and/or success in the metal world.  I should like them, but either I am still uncertain or I just do not like them.  Do you think I am missing the mark here?  What are some bands you feel you should like, but do not?  Chime in, let’s talk about it.