Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 20 of 2010: Honorable Mentions

Albums that, for one reason or another, just didn't have the umph to make it onto my Top 20 of 2010 list. I'm sure you'll see some of your favorites here, and I await the hate mail.

Agalloch - Marrow of The Spirit
Agalloch does it again; another great, eclectic record. This is the only black metal I really listen too, and I think that it's because it's not too black as a whole. They mix in so many elements (folk, atmospheric, symphonic, post-metal, thrash) that it is hard to classify it into a style or genre. The songs from Marrow of The Spirit are a mix of beautiful elegance, and blast your skull metal. It would seem to sound horrible, but it truly works. I love this band and all of their releases, but as it isn't my chosen genres of love, it had no choice but to fall to the wayside.

Electric Wizard - Black Masses
Great but not super. It probably would have squeaked onto my list if I hadn't heard High On Fire's Snakes For The Divine, which to me is a better display of stoner/doom. This album seems to have it all; drudging doom, ever-present stoner fuzz. The thing I think that makes Black Masses less impressive then Snakes For The Divine is that almost all of the tracks from Electric Wizard are indistinguishable from any other. It just gets a tad droll. But other then that a really good release to end the year.

Jefferson Colby - Octopus
An album that surprised me when I heard it, followed by an equally interesting second album, Jefferson Colby has been my greatest find of November hands down. Octopus is an amazing blending of alternative rock, stoner and psychedelia that makes my mouth drop and my head bob in time, every time I hear it. I was flabbergasted of how something so superb hasn't been scooped up by a serious record company yet. But then again, with the shambles our (major) record companies are in, it is no wonder how this one could fall under the radar. Both Octopus and Semantics (Metaphysical Mood Music) for free from BandCamp, and also looking now, he has a new album up, Epigrammatic Anaphora, available for $4. Not a bad deal based on his previous works.

Ice Dragon - The Burl, The Earth, The Aether
The best independent doom I heard this year, Ice Dragon is another band that has all of their albums for free on BandCamp, you really should check it out. The Burl, The Earth, The Aether is doom at it's finest; slow, methodical, and heart-spearing. This is an album that grows on you with each listen, something I continue to do - one of the only groups from BandCamp that can make such a claim.

Sahara Surfer - Spacetrip On A Paper Plane
This is an album that was on my Top 20 but got bumped late in the game. Sahara Surfer is a really great stoner psych band. Spacetrip On A Paper Plane, with it's haunting female vocals (a bit of a rarity still in today's rock society) and it's fuzzed-out grooving guitars, really throws you for a loop. The overall feel of the album would be kind of generic, I think, if it wasn't for the amazing vocals and in part for the superb drumming. It seems a bit like the drummer is playing much more complex rhythms then what is necessary. It's all light and very tastefully done, but it adds a layer of intrigue to the album as a whole. Seriously a great album, and I had to clench my jaw to take Spacetrip On A Paper Plane off the list. Plus they have some sweet album artwork, it sums up their music quite well.

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