Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Music.

I've organized this post into three sections. "Top 10 Albums of 2010", "Concerts of 2010", and "New Music of 2010".

Top 10 Albums of 2010

Obviously in my opinion. In no particular order:

1. Intronaut - Valley Of Smoke
I saw Intronaut open for Cynic at a concert. Jesus. They blew my mind. They have that very special sound, where no matter how heavy they get, they still sound airy and ambient. Something I found only few bands (Cynic, Baroness, Mastodon, Meshuggah) can do.

2. Cough - Ritual Abuse
"Slow, earth rumbling, dead-set doom metal made from what sounds like pure evil". Couldn't have said it better myself, TheJohnson.

3. Cormorant - Metazoa
After discovering these guys through's "Unsigned Talent Of The Year 2010", I was hooked. They deliver a sound of their own, blending Melodic Death Metal, Black Metal and Progressive Metal. It sounds like if DarkThrone, Cynic and Dream Theater had a massive musical orgy and out popped Cormorant.

4. Cynic - Re-Traced
Being a Cynic fanboy, I have to put Re-Traced on here. They described it as re-imaginings of a few songs off of 2008's Traced In Air, and they delivered. All of the remakes are a lot more mellow, swapping out growls and heavy-yet-airy riffs for Paul Masvidal's natural voice and more electronic sounds, and even a nylon string guitar for the song Integral.

5. Eluveitie - Everything Remains As It Never Was
This is the album that sprung me into Folk Metal. For those of you who know how much I love Folk Metal, this album is a big deal.

6. Pendulum - Immersion
"What is this, Gupta?" I hear you scream. "Pendulum aren't metal!" No, they aren't. But they released a damn good album, so deal with it.

7. Holy Grail - Crisis In Utopia
I have to admit, to those of you who don't already know, I hated Holy Grail up until this release. I listened to a bit of their previous album and wasn't impressed, but it was a terrible show when playing with Amon Amarth in March that sealed the deal of my hatred for them. In a shocking twist, I found out they were opening for Blind Guardian this November. Walking into the Kool Haus with the same crew that saw them in March, we were blown away and any dislike for Holy Grail had gone. This album rips so hard.

8. Ihsahn - After
I'm not a fan of Emperor (Sorry to break it to you, Grim). I'm a fan of Ihsahn. After was a musical journey of pure bliss. Ihsahn's clean vocals are fantastic, and the album is ripe full of brutal seven string guitar work.

9. Overkill - Ironbound
Overkill thrash hard, and thrash well. They may be a bit cheesy with songs like "The S.R.C. (Subterranean Resistance Cult)", but they know they can still deliver. Their single off this album, Bring Me The Night is still played almost daily in my iTunes. 

10. Cloudkicker - A New Heavenly Body
I am so glad Cloudkicker released A New Heavenly Body. It is a remix of my favorite of his albums, ]]][[[. Yes, ]]][[[. The song titles still baffle me; the originally titled "#" has been redubbed "What It Is Impossible Not to Know and What It Is No Longer Permissible To Believe in the United States". Crazy titles or not, the one man project that is Cloudkicker kicks ass, no questions asked.


Decrepit Birth - Polarity
Tech-Death wizards Decrepit Birth do nothing but melt faces. Like usual.

Deadmau5 - 4x4=12
DEER LORD, ANOTHER NON-METAL ARTIST. 4x4=12 is damn good fun to listen to, no matter what music you're into. 

Paul Gilbert - Fuzz Universe
Paul Gilbert shreds. Fact. Paul Gilbert shreds tactfully. Fact. Brilliant album. Tons of fun to listen to.

Electric Wizard - Black Masses
Listening to Electric Wizard makes me feel really slow and mellow. I wonder why?

Concerts of 2010

Considering every single concert I've been to, save for one was in 2010, I think that deserves a place on here. I totally forget the exact dates of the concerts, so they're probably out of order, but whatever.

Amon Amarth w/ Eluveitie and Holy Grail
As stated earlier, Holy Grail were a huge dissapointment here, but Eluveitie and Amon Amarth dominated the Opera House. It was my first mosh pit/ circle pit, and since then, if I've had a floor ticket, I've gone into a pit.  It's been by far my favorite concert.

Slayer and Megadeth w/ Testament
Originally planned for November '09, and getting pushed back twice due to Tom Araya's back problems, we ended up seeing them in the summer. Also, since they moved the show from the ACC to the Amphitheatre (which holds people in a sigificantly different arrangement), seats became first come, first serve. We woke up at 5AM for a 7PM concert. Beat that.

Also, needless to say, our neck muscles had deteriorated by the end of the show.

Paul Di'Anno w/ Exile, Skullcrusher and Icarus Witch
Technically this should be Exile w/ Skullcrusher and Icarus Witch, because we didn't end up seeing Paul Di'Anno due to time issues. Icarus Witch kicked ass Maiden style, Skullcrusher did not, and Exile (Mark Whyte on bass era) ruled so damn hard.

Iron Maiden w/ Dream Theater
Amazing. This show was fantastic beyond belief. The only reason it's not one of my favorites is because of the seating. We were stuck waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay at the back of the Amphitheatre. 

Cynic w/ Intronaut and Dysrhythmia
Dysrhythmia was... interesting. The only way I can describe their sound is with the following statement: "WTF?!". Intronaut, as described previously was amazing, and I don't think it's possible for Cynic to sound bad (or even mediocre), ever.

Bon Jovi w/ Kid Rock
In my defence, I went because I was offered 100s sections tickets in exchange for a debt a friend owed me, AND we missed Kid Rock on purpose. However, the Skydome (I refuse to call it the Roger's Centre) is the worst venue imaginable. Everything echos to the point where it just becomes a wall of sound.

Blind Guardian w/ Holy Gail and Seven Kingdoms
Holy Grail really shined here. They rocked hard and they knew it. We were so impressed with them that we decided to grab a picture with their guitarists [see profile picture]. I still blame Barry for the poor picture quality. Blind Guardian was amazing as expected. Half the time they didn't even have to play, the crowd orchestrated itself to sing all of their songs themselves. It was my 2nd favorite concert of the year.

New Music Of 2010

This is all the new music I've discovered/ been recommended that has impacted me in some way and has become iPod-worthy. Since I'm too lazy to comment on every band/ artist, I'll put what genre I think they fit, and bold the extra-amazing ones.

Arsis (Death Metal)
At The Gates (Melodic Death Metal)
Baroness (Prog Metal)
Bjork (Electronic)
Cormorant (Prog Metal)
Cough (Doom Metal)
Datsik (Dubstep)
Deadmau5 (House)
Decrepit Birth (Technical Death Metal)
Devin Townsend (Prog Metal)
Dissection (Black Metal)
Electric Wizard (Stoner Metal)
Eluveitie (Folk Metal)
Equilibrium (Folk Metal)
Evile (Thrash Metal)
Explosions In The Sky (Post Rock)
High On Fire (Stoner Metal)
Holy Grail (Heavy Metal)
Hipocrisy (Melodic Death Metal)
Ihsahn (Prog/ Black Metal)
Intronaut (Prog Metal)
Kid Cudi (Hip Hop)
Mantic Ritual (Thrash Metal)
Meshuggah (Prog Metal)
Moonsorrow (Folk Metal)
Mumford & Sons (Folk Rock)
Obituary (Death Metal)
Om (Stoner Rock)
Shrinebuilder (Stoner Rock)
Sigur Ros (Folk)
Skeletonwitch (Melodic Death Metal)
Skrillex (Dubstep)
Skyclad (Folk Metal)
Sleep (Stoner Metal)
Stone Gods (Heavy Metal)
Strapping Young Lad (Heavy Metal)
Streetlight Manifesto (Ska)
Testament (Thrash Metal)
Tyr (Folk Metal)
Valient Thorr (Stoner Rock)
Vektor (Prog/ Thrash Metal)
Yes (Prog Rock)
3 Inches Of Blood (Heavy Metal)

...And that's how my year has been. :D