Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Top 15 CD's of 2004

Yes, I do realize that it's not even December yet, but over at Decoy the staff have been asked to get their top discs of the year list together for our year end special. Usually I'd be a little pissed about not waiting out the rest of the year and jumping the gun, but after I looked at the release schedule for the genres of music that I listen to and listened to a lot of the pre-release demos available to me, I couldn't find anything coming out in the last month and a half of this year that would have a chance of making my top 15. If there is some magical cd that manages to capture my ear, I'll just include it in next year's list. So without further adieu, here are the top 15 CD's of the year (according to me) in no particular order:

  • Dead Poetic – New Medicines I’ve had a hard time keeping this cd out of my stereo. I can’t explain it, but somehow Dead Poetic have crafted the perfect blend of smooth emo and jagged, screaming rock that keeps me captivated every time I spin this disc.
  • 36 Crazyfists – A Snowcapped Romance A lot of people might have knocked this cd because 36CF seemingly played it safe by streamlining their sound, but in doing so they created one of the most accessible and listenable metal discs of the year. There is not a single song on this cd that drags, which is a great accomplishment in my book.
  • Isis – Panopticon This is easily the most epic cd I have heard in years, if not ever. The layers of each song, built upon each other, create such a wonderfully beautiful tapestry of new school doom metal that you won’t be able to turn this cd off until it’s over, at which point you’ll probably just listen to it again!
  • Emery – The Weak’s End This cd felt so genuine and so heartfelt that it captured my ears upon my first listen. Every song is filled with hope and a passion for love. Simply a beautiful, yet bittersweet album.
  • Machine Head – Through the Ashes of Empires Come on now, everyone was expecting this to suck at least as bad as Supercharger, but instead these guys blew me away with their return to their roots in crafting one heck of a brutal metal album.
  • Unearth – The Oncoming Storm Speaking of brutal albums, Unearth released what is, in my eyes, the heaviest album of the year with The Oncoming Storm. All the way through this is one unrelenting album that will pummel the crap out of you.
  • 4Lyn – Take It as a Compliment I’m pretty sure that there aren’t many of you out there who have had the chance to listen to these guys, which is unfortunate, because they’ve made a very unique cd where they were able to synthesize nu-metal, garage rock, and hardcore into a cohesive cd that will blow your mind if given the chance.
  • Further Seems Forever – Hide Nothing Upon first listen, I was unimpressed by this disc, but then I happened upon some rough times and during them this cd connected with me so perfectly that I turned to it almost exclusively for a while to soothe my mind, and it was during this time that I realized what a truly beautiful disc it actually was.
  • Alexisonfire – Watchout! Alexisonfire’s last cd didn’t impress me at all so it really blew me out of the water when I heard Watchout! Alexisonfire matured a ton between releases and this cd manages to mix plenty of melody into their already established emocore style to create a very enjoyable and slick disc.
  • Flaw – Endangered Species Go ahead and laugh at me all you want for choosing this cd, but I’ll stand behind it 100% as one catchy nu-metal album. This made it into my top 15 list simply on the merits that I listened to it a freaking ton! I’m still trying to pry it out of my car stereo, but so far no luck.
  • Codeseven – Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds It seems like most music critics agree that this is simply a phenomenal piece of musical art. I can't agree with them more. This is space-rock done perfectly. Buy it now!
  • Demon Hunter – Summer of Darkness For being a quasi-side-project Demon Hunter blow away their modern metal peers. On this disc they manage to take each metal cliché, exploit it, and then play off of it to make a wonderful, yet familiar album.
  • Silent Drive – Love is Worth It Of all the cds I listened to this year, Silent Drive win the award for being the most dynamic. This cd was a joy to listen to because of all of the different rock styles that they managed to cram together on this disc. This is a great and truly diverse disc.
  • Strata – Strata For authentic, emotional hard rock look no further than Strata’s self-titled major label debut. The heartfelt lyrics and mature musicianship lend this cd to being one that will tug on your emotions while still remaining a firmly rocking affair.
  • The.Switch – Beautiful This band, hailing from the Czech Republic, are probably a new name to 99.9% of you reading this, but if you can grab their disc from, you’ll be in for a treat. Imagine the Deftones mixed with Candiria and Tool and you’ll get a small inkling of how good this band is.
So there it is, my top 15 of 2004. Hopefully I've turned you on to a few bands that you might have missed.

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