It’s only April and this is the fourth double album (of sorts) to find its way into my music library; though it’s not a standard double album like Soilwork (The Living Infinite) and Biffy Clyro (Opposites). Stone Sour’s House of Gold and Bones Part 2 comes about six months after the release of Part 2. This collection of 12 songs makes the complete package at 24 total songs and the continuation of a story…not a bad set at all. On the first few listens, I find the second installment to be more on the mellow side that it’s Part 1 predecessor. Here are my thoughts on the band’s fifth studio album.
Just when I thought 2011 was a banner year for metal, I think 2012 might be equal to or better in terms of both quality music and sheer volume of albums released. It surely was not a dull moment if you ask me; it seemed like I was listening to at least a couple new albums each week. Interestingly, I can probably look at half my list and tell you that some of these albums, I had no idea were coming. They completely snuck on me or I never expected them like Kreator…a band I nearly forgot about came out with a killer album. The band at #15 I never knew existed until just a few weeks ago and I am still impressed with them. There are definitely some surprises on my list this year. Some of these bands have been around for years and I am only now getting into them. I hope you had a great 2012 in metal! Here are my Top 15 albums of 2012.
Tags: A Band of Orcs, A Eulogy for the Damned, Adding Heads to the Pile, Baroness, Biker, Clockwork Angels, Dark Roots of Earth, Eluveitie, Ensiferum, Equilibrium, God Forbid, Helvetios, House of Gold and Bones Part I, jeff loomis, Kill Devil Hill, Kreator, metal, Orange Goblin, Overkill, Paradise Lost, Phantom Antichrist, Plains of Oblivion, Rock, Rush, Six Feet Under, sludge, Stone Sour, Testament, The Electric Age, Thrash, Top 15 of 2012, Tragic Idol, Undead, Unsung Heroes, Yellow and Green
This is one of those reviews where I wish I could go back and readjust the rating of their previous album. When I reviewed Audio Secrecy, I was thrilled about it and gave it a 5 out of 5 Devil Horns. I was (am) impressed with their ability to create songs with some kick to them and also make the cool mellow ones. It was also one of the very first reviews here at A Metal State of Mind which you can read here. In the last two years, I have become more restrictive with my ratings, therefore not diluting what 5 out of 5 should mean. So, today here I sit and write a review of Stone Sour’s latest release, House of Gold and Bones Part I, an album that may receive an overall lower rating than Audio Secrecy, but I think it is better work.
Stone Sour appears to be releasing a new album in the near future. I am not exactly sure of the date, but a new video release is a good indicator something new is around the corner. They have a new video for a track called Gone Sovereign, featured for this week’s Video of the Week. Stone Sour’s last album, Audio Secrecy, was one of the very first reviews we ever wrote here at A Metal State of Mind – we have been up and running for just a tad over two years. Where do you stand when it comes to Stone Sour? Do you prefer Slipknot?
As far as this new song, I dig it. I like the guitar solo about halfway though the song. Overall, it’s a much more heavy vibe than anything off of Audio Secrecy. I think you might like it too. Based on this song, I am looking forward to their next release. Have a great weekend.
Much like last month, one particular band dominated my top 10. It’s no surprise since a couple of metal albums were released in August in the form of Trivium and Chimaira. Both bands complete albums were the top two bands on my iTouch this month. Instead of listing the songs out I will do it like this. My favorite song on the new Trivium album (In Waves) is Caustic are the Ties That bind. My favorite song on the new Chimaira (The Age of Hell) is Born in Blood. At least at the moment that’s where it stands.
So let’s highlight 10 other songs that scored high on the playlist in no particular order
Jasta – Walk the Path Alone
Six Feet Under – Murdered in the basement (good for working out)
Nevermore – The Termination Proclamation
Nevermore – Without Morals (my favorite on the album)
Opeth – Hope Leaves
Stone Sour – Imperfect
Megadeth – How the Story Ends
James LaBrie – I Need You
Pain of Salvation – Of Two Beginnings
Metallica – To Live is to Die
The year is about to close, and I am about to lose internet until Sky gets me online at my new house; so I thought I would post my top 10 of 2010 to close out my year in metal. The only rule is that the bands I select had to release an album in 2010 and I have to own it. Sorry, I can’t buy everything so this is comprised of music I own which was released this year. Ok here goes:
Number 10: Death Angel – Relentless Retribution
This is a quality CD and easily the best DA has put out since Act III 20 years ago. Placing Relentless Retribution at number 10 on my list is in no way degrading this CD.
Number 9: Helloween – 7 Sinners
Perhaps benefitting from its recent release, this album beat out some other tunes I have been listening to all year so that says a lot about helloween…a band I lost track of for more than a decade. 7 Sinners is a great album and will be in my car stereo rotation for some time to come.
Number 8: Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy
This is one band I only just got into this year. I wish I had heard them years ago, as they do seriously rock. The Obsidian Conspiracy impressed me greatly. I like their musical diversity. They cross the lines between metal and prog – only their songs are much shorter.
Number 7: Stone Sour – Audio Secrecy
I have mentioned before that I am glad Corey and Co. do not sound like their other band Slipknot. Audio Secrecy is a bit more toned down than Stone Sour’s previous material, but it is still great music. I have a lot more appreciation for Corey Taylor after seeing him solo at Sonisphere this year. The dude is talented.
Number 6: Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned
This is another band I only got into in the last year or so. They are super talented and every time I listen to Kamelot it is an experience. There is so much more to their music than just some dudes playing instruments. The range of guest singers on this album is a real treat.
Number 5: Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
What can I say about Maiden? At their age you would think they would be putting out another album just to keep their livelihood going, but these dudes hit the nail with the hammer with The Final Frontier. It is really a throwback to some old school Iron Maiden; quite impressive.
Number 4: The Sword – Warp Riders
The Sword takes that 70’s metal sound and updates it. You can easily hear that Austin, Texas blues-rhythm in their music. Warp Riders is a great album and if you like that old school grungy (not Seattle grunge) metal feel you should like this album. It’s a great 70’s meets modern rock fusion. They do this quite well!
Number 3: James LaBrie – Static Impulse
It may seem I am biased because I am a huge Dream Theater fan, so naturally you would think I would love James LaBrie. Truth is, I only heard his solo stuff this year for the first time. The best thing about James LaBrie is that he does not sound like Dream Theater. Static Impulse impressed me right from the start and I find myself listening to this album quite regularly.
Number 2: Bullet For My Valentine – Fever
Again, a fairly new band to me. I actually did not like BFMV the first time I heard them. I can’t remember which song got me into them, but I started buying their stuff and listening to them regularly. I like BFMV like I like Trivium. They are a no frills metal band. They just rock and there is no more or less generalized way to put it. The only thing I don’t like, and it’s probably the record company’s fault, is that the singles released to the public tend to be more “pop” sounding than the rest of the album. I think it’s just a cheap way to market to the masses, and like I said, I think record companies push that on the bands. So if you base your like or dislike of BFMV on what you hear on the radio or see in videos, try picking up an album you might be pleasantly surprised.
Number 1: Overkill – Ironbound
I am a huge Overkill fan, but I am also not afraid to say music sucks when it sucks. Overkill has put out a fairly steady flow of music over the last decade or so. Some of it was good, some great, and some not so great. I love the band and I am a fan for life, but I will tell you this; Ironbound blew me away. I was so surprised at this Overkill release. I figured it would be standard predictable thrash which is not a negative comment. Ironbound is just one truly heavy album. If you haven’t heard it yet it will stomp you in the gut. Whether you are a new or old fan, Ironbound will not disappoint.
So there you have my personal top 10 of 2010. So what didn’t make the cut? Well, not to say that any of these bands are bad, but the top 10 above gave me warm fuzzies more than these bands that didn’t make my top 10 – Korn, Soilwork, Sabaton, Kingdom of Sorrow, Apocalyptica, Fear Factory, Cradle of Filth, Hellyeah, Flotsam and Jetsam, Soulfly, and Dimmu Borgir.
There were numerous albums that were released this year and what I have presented is only a small chuck of what I purchased in 2010. So if you think I missed out on something that you think was super great let me know. I am all ears. I hate to miss out on good music so I am happy to hear any input. Thank you and have a great 2011. Personally, I will be looking forward to new releases I know are coming from DevilDriver, Dream Theater, Trivium, Anthrax, and hopefully Megadeth.