Monday, December 21, 2009

Top Albums 2009

Here are twenty albums I enjoyed from 2009. I heard (and liked) a lot of new releases this year. I think it was a slightly better year for music than 2008, and I have my hopes up for 2010 (flying cars and some new crust punk I hope)!
My top ten are filled in with several artists I already knew and loved coming back for more, along with some excellent new debuts.

I'm certain I'm forgetting some important releases, and also I just like to hear other people's opinions, so you should all comment with your favorites! And if anyone would like to hear an album from my list, leave me a comment and I'll post it.

1. Panopticon - Collapse AND ALSO split w/ Wheels Within Wheels
  • more awesome anarchist black metal; both releases are ace, but I find myself listening to the split more than I thought I would
2. P.O.S. - Never Better
  • angry yet thoughtful underground hip-hop; about as good as Audition, which is to say excellent
3. Punch - Punch
  • hardcore thrash punk from SF; awesome female vocalist
4. Skagos - ást
  • a big hit among fans of atmospheric black metal; this band certainly deserves the underground attention they are getting
5. Cobalt - Gin
  • progressive black metal; with the hype I've seen I imagine this will make a lot of people's lists
6. Star Fucking Hipsters - Never Rest In Peace
  • sort of a pop-ier Leftover Crack/Choking Victim; this probably isn't as good as Until We're Dead, but the concert was pretty great
7. Rx Bandits - Mandala
  • progressive rock with hardcore and soul influences; they don't play ska anymore, but they're a better band for it
8. Martyrdöd - Sekt
  • more blackened crust from one of Sweden's best
9. YOB - The Great Cessation
  • the return of the sludge-doom metal masters; heavy heavy!
10. Nadja - Belles Betes AND ALSO split w/ A Storm of Light
  • two solid and listenable drone and post-metal releases
11. Mouse on the Keys - An Anxious Object
  • Japanese jazz-fusion
12. DödsÄngel - Helgrind
  • a nice Canadian one-woman black metal piece with some crust influences
13. Iskra - Bureval
  • blackened crust from Canada; this time with an emphasis on the black
14. De Silence et d'Ombre - Ascension
  • dense, atmospheric black metal from Germany
15. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - self-titled
  • indie pop shoegaze; This Love is Fucking Right!
16. Witch Hunt - Burning Bridges to Nowhere
  • anarcho-punk; I recommend the earlier albums more though
17. Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu
  • weird psychedelic black metal, with an astronaut on the cover!
18. Ilkim Oulanem - Iblisbilim
  • quality traditional black metal from Turkey
19. Intro5pect - Record Profits
  • more electro-dance-anarcho-punk from southern California
20. Wolves in the Throne Room - Black Cascade
  • more atmospheric black metal straight out of the North American forests (Fen was in this position, but I decided this album is better)

a handful of honorable-mentions:
Megadeth - Endgame
Sylvester Anfang II - self-titled
Sun of the Blind - Skullreader
Fen - The Malediction Fields
Sonic Boom Six - City of Thieves
Pensees Nocturnes - Vacuum
Celeste - Misanthrope(s)
Drudkh - Microcosmos
Fall of Efrafa - Inlé
Black Moth Superrainbow - Eating Us
Deafest & Cynd split


Charles D. Ward said...

Fen was a contender that just missed the mark for me. Album was good, but didn't stick in the brain as it maybe should have. I also had to let Agalloch's live thingie off the list cause I had just heard it the evening before, and Pensees Nocturne was also shortlisted away (also Monarque, Arckanum, Altar of Plagues).

I'm liking that POS dude and Intro5pect!

The jazz fusion album on here is the biggest surprise for me personally, and I didn't expect the Pains to be mentioned, either.

It was a very good year for black metal but I would have liked to be able to include more pop, folk, electro or anything else, really.

Hey, have a great 2010 my friend, keep on truckin'!

TheChiefCommie said...

One of the big surprise discoveries for me this year was Rubies, though I think the album came out in 2008. Funk-pop is excellent!

I feel the same about the Fen album. Their demo connected with me much more (though it may just be a stylistic difference).

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