So here’s a video of a song I quite enjoy:
I swear to…whatever atheists swear to that Arch Enemy stole a Coldplay melody in one of the songs on Rise of the Tyrant.
Sadly, that’s the most interesting thing Arch Enemy have done since Wages of Sin.
Top ten lists are fun, right? Here’s my favorite music of 2007:
10. Alcest – Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde
I think I mentioned this album in a post a couple months ago. I can’t actually think of much to say about it. It’s just a solid album that really clicked with me. Shoegaze black metal, apparently. If dark and depressing metal sounds good to you, check it out. Best song: “Printemps Emeraude.”
9. Minsk – Ritual Fires of Abandonment
Another one of those “bands that sound like Isis and Neurosis.” I find that to be a better description than post-hardcore. Minsk excels at creating a darker atmosphere than bands like Isis or Pelican, but with the same bone-crushing sound. That’s right, I said bone-crushing. Sue me. Best song: The “Orphans of Piety.”
8. Riverside – Rapid Eye Movement
Riverside has turned into one of my favorite bands. Their first album was an excellent mix of progressive hard rock and metal. They followed up with an album of pure progressive metal, which wears out its welcome after a lot of listens. This latest one is more varied, but still firmly progressive metal. Best song: “Ultimate Trip.”
7. Radiohead – In Rainbows
I don’t think I have to introduce this one. Radiohead is another one of my favorite bands and while this one isn’t their best, it’s still an enjoyable album. Nothing surprising, just solid and enjoyable. Granted, it’s Radiohead, so it’s a little disappointing that it’s not surprising, but you can’t have everything. Best song: “Reckoner.”
6. Dark Tranquillity – Fiction
Swedish Melodic Death Metal. My favorite type of metal and unlike certain other Swedish bands of this style, DT is still making enjoyable music. And Stanne decided to sing again on this one, so that’s a plus. Best song: “The Mundane and the Magic.”
5. Do Make Say Think – You, You’re a History in Rust
I think this one may have set a record for most consecutive listens in my car’s stereo. It’s post-rock, but not in the style of bands like GY!BE and their lengthy songs. For whatever reason, I really like the drumming on this album, but everything about it is great. Best Song: “Bound To Be That Way.”
4. *Shels – Sea of the Dying Dhow
Despite the apparent pretentiousness of putting an asterisk in the name of your band, this is a fantastic band. Another “band that sounds like Isis” gracing this list, *Shels throws in a bit more variety in instrumentation and makes it all work together very well. The first song is probably the best song out of this genre I’ve ever heard. Best song: “The Conference of the Birds.”
3. Pelican – City of Echoes
I think I’m become predictable. Guess what style of music this band plays? Anyway, I’ve always liked Pelican, but their previous albums never quite clicked for me. This one did. It’s not all that different from the previous ones, it’s just really good. Brilliant review, eh? Best song: “Bliss in Concrete.”
2. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
Excellent and unique pop rock from an impressive musician. The number of instruments this guy playss amazes me. I think you could say his previous album is better, but this one is right up there with it. Best song: “Imitosis.”
1. Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet
PT are my favorite band, so this is no surprise. Deadwing, their previous album, was a little hit or miss. There were excellent songs and there were not so good ones. It wasn’t all that great as an album. This one is the complete opposite. It is an album, first and foremost; 50 minutes of dark and heavy progressive rock. It’s less about standout songs than standout moments, though the 17 minute Anesthetize counts as a standout. You can hear a lot of Deadwing on here (especially in the title track), but there’s also a bit of The Sky Moves Sideways. There’s very little of albums like Lightbulb Sun and Stupid Dream. Part of me wants to see a return to that and a move away from some of metal aspects of their current sound, but this album is certainly very very good. Best song: “Anesthetize.”
Novembre – The Blue
A solid album that doesn’t quite have enough interesting songs to pull it into the top 10. Best song: “Bluecracy.”
The Snake The Cross The Crown – Cotton Teeth
I was so close to putting this in the top 10. Still, it’s an enjoyable album that deserves a wider audience. Best song: “Hey Jim.”
Blackfield – Blackfield II
This is a good rock album, but it’s not quite special enough to rise above that. Still, if you can get me to sing along with the line “and we still believe there is God,” you’re definitely writing catchy music. Best song: “End of the World.”
Pain of Salvation – Scarsick
Luckily, I didn’t go into this with high expectations. I love The Perfect Element I and Remedy Lane, but Be wasn’t that great. This one just isn’t good. I’m at a loss to explain it. The trite “America,” the annoying “Scarsick,” the inexplicable “Disco Queen” (though that song is pretty amusing)…it’s just not good. Best song: “Kingdom of Loss.”
Can you name the band that goes with each logo in this picture?
Normally that sort of task wouldn’t be so hard, except these are death metal bands, which means less readable your logo is, the more brutal you are.
UPDATE: Just so we’re clear, I didn’t create that picture.
I have nothing else to say today, so I thought I should subject you to what I’ve been listening to lately.
Alcest – Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde
Shoegaze Black Metal is the description, I think. I’m not sure why I love this album so much, but it’s just really damn good.
*Shels – Sea of the Dying Dhow
Yes, there really is an asterisk in their name. No, I don’t get it either. It doesn’t matter. They’re another post-hardcore, post-metal, “bands that sound like Isis,” or whatever it’s supposed to be called group. The first song on his album, The Conference of the Birds, illustrates as well as any other song exactly why I love this genre of music. The dynamics, the melodies, the guitar riffs, the added touch of the trumpet/trombone, everything is just fantastic. The rest of the album doesn’t live up to that song, but it’s still excellent.
Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs
I really like this 2005 album and my latest listening spurt was brought on by seeing him in Chicago last weekend. He has to be good if I travel 1,300 miles on a weekend, right? Well, his show was really only half the reason (at best) for the trip, but it’s still something of a testament. The music is a lot lighter than what I typically listen to, which is a good thing on occasion. I’m a sucker for finger-picked violin. The whistling is an interesting element as well.
This probably doesn’t really count, but I’ve been listening to Brave clips on MySpace. I need more metal with violin.
The “it’s been ages since I’ve done this” edition.
Blackfield – Glow
The Dresden Dolls – Me & The Minibar
Evergrey – End of your Days
Agalloch – Falling Snow
Porcupine Tree – Stars Die
Pink Floyd – San Tropez
Anathema – Make it Right
Minsk – Wisp of Tow
Impaled – We Belong Dead
Rachel’s – Expect Delays
Not that I typically post on Fridays and Saturdays, but I will be out of town. In honor of this, here are my top 10 artists from last week (no, that doesn’t make sense; sue me):
A Perfect Circle
Do Make Say Think
I came across this link a week or so ago. The top video is a very cool video for Rush’s Malignant Narcissism, off Snakes & Arrows. Enjoy.
Live Earth was this past weekend. I watched some it whatever HD channel it was on, catching RHCP, Keane (never heard of them), Metallica, and Alicia Keys. Alright, so technically I had to change the channel after a minute of whatever horrific piece of music Keys started off with, but those are the bands I saw. I must say that Metallica is looking quite old at this point. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising.
I don’t understand the point of this event, though. I suppose raising awareness is a little difficult to measure, but I’m unconvinced a giant worldwide concert is that useful. Plus, “private jets for climate change” is a pretty accurate description of the whole thing. I’m sure much of it was paid for with carbon offsets, but let’s face it, those things aren’t going to solve anything.
Also, there were short films in between concert highlights when I was watching. One of them had Chris Rock talking about eating more vegetables so that the meat we didn’t eat could be used to feed the hungry. That seemed bizarre and irrelevant.
This place needs more music posts. There’s nothing like me recommending bands no one cares about to my three readers. So here we go, top 5 from the first half of 2007 (in no particular order).
Do Make Say Think – You, You’re a History in Rust
This has become one of my favorite post-rock CDs. The first track (and the drums in particular) is especially good.
Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet
If you have paid any attention to music posts in the past, this will be no surprise. It’s much more of an album than Deadwing and combines the best of that release with a more The Sky Moves Sideways feel than has been present in their recent releases. Anesthetize is just stunning.
Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
Another album of unique pop music from this artist. No arguments here. Imitosis is my favorite track.
Dark Tranquillity – Fiction
Hey look, metal. Michael Stanne actually sings on a couple tracks, too. I’m a huge fan of Projector, so that’s always welcome. A very solid release.
Antimatter – Leaving Eden
I was quite curious about this album, with one of the main members of the band leaving after the last album. It’s actually quite good and a little more varied than the last release. I miss the female vocals, though.
There are a couple other good albums I’ve heard this year, so this list is subject to change. Still, you can’t go wrong with anyone listed.