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Best Albums of 2005

Yes, it’s that time again, I think. It doesn’t look like anything is coming out this month that interests me.

Compared to last year, I have a ton of albums to choose from. I count 28+ using Foobar’s playlist generator. I think that means I can do a proper top ten this year. Be advised: I suck at describing music, so you’re not going to get much beyond “OMG I love this one.” Just know that if I think it’s good, you should too.

Top Ten

10. Red Sparrowes [At The Soundless Dawn] – How can you go wrong with members of Isis (and Neurosis I suppose, but they’re still a gaping hole in my knowledge of this style of music)? Not as heavy as Isis maybe, but absolutely excellent. I haven’t had it for that long, which made me hesitate to put it in here, but I can’t see me losing interest. Best Song: Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, and the Air Filled with a Reddish Glow.

9. The Mars Volta [Frances The Mute] – Not nearly as focused as their last effort, but it certainly has its moments. I fear they’ll drift off into more of the ambient filler found here as they progress, but it’s not distracting yet. Best Song: L’ Via L’ Viaquez.

8. Ulver [Blood Inside] – As with the Red Sparrowes album, I hesitated including this in my top ten, having acquired it only recently. But hey, I put Panopticon on here last year after one listen. I’m not a huge Ulver fan, but this album blows me away. Best Song: For The Love Of God.

7. The Decemberists [Picaresque] – In all honesty, I didn’t like this album when I first heard it. Heliologue mentioned it a while back and for whatever reason, I downloaded it. Not my normal genre, but I slowly grew to like it. A lot. Best Song: We Both Go Down Together.

6. Sigur Ros [Takk] – I’m slowly getting into more and more Post Rock. Sigur Ros’s () was my introduction to the style and this one is definitely better. Of the four Sigur Ros albums I have, Takk is my favorite. Excellent melodies throughout. Best Song: Sæglópur.

5. Antimatter [Planetary Confinement] – I love this band. Well, they can only loosely be called a “band,” I suppose. Very dark and very good. It should be interesting to see where Moss takes them after the departure of Patterson. Best Song: Mr. White.

4. Riverside [Second Life Syndrome] – While this album isn’t as good as last year’s offering, two top five (for me, anyway) albums in two years is impressive. Riverside show off their heavier side here, which is not the side that Out of Myself hooked me with. Still, a great album. Best Song: Before

3. Opeth [Ghost Reveries] – Aside from one bad song (TGC) and some unfocused song writing (BTM), this is an excellent CD. Opeth probably peaked with Still Life (or MAYH, or BWP, depending on my mood), but this is an improvement over Deliverance and Damnation and a worthy addition to their catalog. Best Song: Baying of the Hounds.

2. Porcupine Tree [Deadwing] – There’s not much I can do but gush over this one. Then again, there’s really a wide quality range here. They’ve produced three absolutely excellent songs, one of which is probably my favorite PT song, but they also produced one of their worst songs (Shallow). The rest range from good to pretty good (how’s that for meaningless subjective descriptions?). Best Song: The Start of Something Beautiful.

1. Nevermore [This Godless Endeavor] – Oh how Nevermore have redeemed themselves. They put out the excellent DHiaDW. Then they follow up with EoR, which sucks, remixing notwithstanding. Then they release this excellent album. Not much more I can say. Best Song: This Godless Endeavor.

Honorable Mention

Minsk [Out Of A Center Which Is Neither Dead Nor Alive] – Maybe I’m crazy, but I think this album is right up there with Panopticon and Australasia. I just couldn’t bear to knock off any of the other albums up there. Best Song: Narcotics and Dissecting Knives.

When Day Descends [Transcend] – Excellent instrumental rock/metal from a one man band. Dave makes great music and I can’t wait for his next one. Best Song: Disposable.

Dredg [Catch Without Arms] – While I think Dredg are a bit overrated, this album is very good. Except for Zebraskin. Other than that, good. Best Song: Ode to the Sun.

Frantic Bleep [The Sense Apparatus] – Strange metal from The End. I really liked it at first, but increasing listens decreased my enthusiasism. Still, a good CD. Best Song: Mandaughter.

Pelican [The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw] – Australiasia is an excellent CD and I can’t say this one measures up. I still sort of feel like I haven’t given it enough listens. Best Song: Last Day of Winter.

Disappointment of the Year

Arcturus [Sideshow Symphonies] – After releasing two albums that I absolutely love, they come out with this exercise in mediocrity. While it’s not a bad album and it’s not really that different from The Sham Mirrors, it just doesn’t grab your attention. Nothing really interests me about it. Very disappointing.

Next Year

Prospects for next year? We have new albums from Tool, In Flames, Katatonia, and Daylight Dies, off the top of my head. Not bad.

Also, does the style of music played by Isis, Pelican, Neurosis, Cult of Luna, etc have a name?

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