It’s that time of year again… In 2009 I named Transatlantic’s The Whirlwind as the best album of the year. This year I’m going in a different direction. As usual, I’ve picked up a diverse mixture of music this year, as my list will surely reflect. I have a longer commute this year, which has given me the chance get a good deal of listening done, I just couldn’t get back into audio books.
Next year brings lots of new stuff to look towards; a new venture for Dream Theater, another album for Opeth, and that Steven Wilson / Mikael Åkerfeldt project. Can’t wait!
1. Equilibrium’s Rekreatur
As I said in its review, it’s not as good as Sagas, but it’s still an amazing album. The mixture of catchy tunes, while remaining heavy makes Equilibrium the one-of-a-kind band that they are. The vocals will turn a lot of people off, but if you don’t mind them this is well worth buying. And yes, the second disc is still the greatest bonus-disc ever.
2. Stone Sour’s Audio Secrecy
Audio Secrecy made a strong late push. I only picked it up a few weeks ago, which is why I never wrote a full review. Nevertheless, this album rocks. Ironically, it’s the softer songs that really make Audio Secrecy stand out. While he’s known primarily for Slipknot, Corey Taylor can sing make no mistake about it.
3. James LaBrie’s Static Impulse
James LaBrie really brought it with his second solo album. Static Impulse is a good continuation to Elements of Persuasion that merges heavy metal music with shorter song lengths. One reviewer I read wrote that he did a good job because he didn’t overdo it. The harsher lyrics on the album sound good and it’s cool to see how he was able to balance a solo album with the members of his band. No singles online yet, but here’s a making of video.
4. Murderdoll’s Women and Children Last
Other than Rekreatur this was my anticipated album; I watched a ton of interviews with Wednesday 13 as he made the interviews and really learned to like him and the band (the mad manager videos didn’t hurt either). They really delivered with this album, meeting the high expectations after a long break after their debut. Hopefully they won’t break so long after this one.
5. Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach
Plastic Beach was released back in March, which feels like a long time ago, but I still play this album a good amount. The music on Plastic Beach is all over the place, which keeps it fresh. As I said in my review, the collaborations are nice, but the songs by the Gorillaz themselves are the best.
6. Avenged Sevenfold’s Nightmare
Nightmare doesn’t feel quite as awesome as it did when it came out, not to say it isn’t still an entertaining listen. Since my initial charge into Avenged Sevenfold’s material I’ve had a chance listen to everything much more. I would now rank Waking The Fallen as their best, but song’s like Nightmare’s title track and “Buried Alive” are two of the best from this year.