Compared to previous years, I listened to much more music and tried to give more sub genres a chance to impress. I've increased the amount of albums on the list to 125 and tried to give a small review to each which took an insane amount of time to write. Also, I've changed the order so the best is at the top, so people don't have to scroll for ages to see the best albums. It was a huge challenge to try and put these in order but I gave it my best shot. So here is a list of my top 125 greatest albums from the year 2009 in approximate order of greatness:
1.Devin Townsend Project - ADDICTED!
industrial metal , metal
Devin Townsend usually makes some kind of industrial metal, and I've never really been a fan of his. I checked out this album anyway not expecting much and it really blew me away. It is still industrial metal sounding, but its as though Devin has taken the best of industrial metal and pop, mixed them in a blender with a large quantity of awesome vocals and the usual Devin Townsend madness, and has concocted one of the most original and amazing albums in years. Usually, Devin sticks to his aggressive metalcore style shouts, but here, his aggressive vocals make a smaller appearance, and instead you are treated to his amazing singing. If that wasn't enough for the vocals, he has also acquired the services of one of my favourite females; Anneke Van Giersbergen. Overall what you get is an onslaught of infectious tunes with awesome atmosphere and brilliant varied vocals. You cannot deny it full marks for music, vocals and originality.
2.Luna Mortis - The Absence
melodic metalcore , metal
Luna Mortis are essentially a female-fronted version of Trivium. Musically, it sounds very much like The Crusade with heavy and very technical riffs throughout and some amazing guitar solos all complemented with great drums. The vocalist Mary switches between singing in her cool voice and some Arch Enemy style metalcore screams and is a very impressive vocalist indeed. However, the only downside of the album is how the vocals are recorded, almost too raw and not mixed in right with the music often sounding a bit strange and muffled. It is the only downside of the album and is one of the best metal albums released over the last few years.
3.Kittie - In the Black
melodic metalcore , metal
Kittie's previous album was at the top of my list back in 2007, and I listened to that an insane amount of times. During my listens, I realised that Kittie stuck to pretty much the same formula. Morgan stuck with the same vocal style throughout the verses, and she always sung the choruses. In this album, Morgan's voice sounds much more natural and has far more variance, and basically has three vocal styles; sweet Canadian vocals, rough attitude, and metalcore screams and performs all styles at the top of her game. This album is one of the most fun albums I've heard in a long time, it's generally fast and heavy, but mixes mellow songs like 'Falling Down' and 'Sorrow I Know', with the brutally awesome 'My Plague' and 'Cut Throat'. The album sounds more technical than Funeral For Yesterday, with guitarist Tara McLeod giving you a lovely cheesy guitar solos in each songs and often gives the songs a slight classic rock vibe. The only criticism I have with this album is some songs seem short like Now Or Never (2:34), and some of the songs lack a bit of lyrics in the chorus like 'Falling Down' so sometimes feel a bit repetitive.
4.A Broken Silence - All For What...
rapcore , rap, rock
The problem with rap is that usually rappers choose a repetitive electronic beat which doesn't interest me. If you add much more sound to it like using a proper drum kit, then it becomes a lot more interesting. Rapcore started gaining popularity in the early 2000's with the nu-metal scene but has since died which is a shame. However, along come Broken Silence who come to fill the gap in the market with brilliant rock tracks filled with good drums beats and keys to make their songs full of sound and atmosphere; all perfectly recorded with brilliant rap vocals to make one of the best rapcore albums ever.
5.Anneke van Giersbergen & Agua de Annique - In Your Room
rock , pop
Agua de Annique's lead singer is Anneke van Giersbergen, so why did she feel like putting her name in front of the band? Anyway, that's the only problem with this album because it's just fantastic. Anneke is one of the best singers around; her voice is so sweet and she has so much vocal control. Her vocal performance on this album is simply perfect. The production is crystal clear, and the music is light, radio friendly and very enjoyable. The only song that feels a bit bland is Home Again, but the rest are just so good.
6.Rebelution - Bright Side Of Life
ska , reggae, dub
Over the years I've become more interested in ska type music but most bands seem to be poorly recorded and the vocals are usually sub-par. Rebelution come to change that. The vocals are good (but not amazing) and the music is crisp which is great since this type of music relies on the bass grooves which ring nice and clear throughout each song. The funky grooves are just brilliant and is highly recommended.
7.Dream Theater - Black Clouds and Silver Linings
Dream Theater are one of the most technical bands around and as usual; Black Clouds and Silver Linings is the usual thing we all expect. Even though there are only 6 songs, it lasts 75 mins which provides good value, although 1 song is a bit of a re-hash of old material. Like their previous album; Systematic Chaos, the production sounds ever so slightly rough and the vocals often sound a bit to stereotypical metal. It's still a brilliant album though, with lots of epic atmosphere and technical wankery. For those that somehow don't like the vocals, there is an instrumental disc that comes with the deluxe edition, and also a disc with another 6 cover songs.
8.Closure in Moscow - First Temple
experimental , rock
I think if Mars Volta made a rock album, it would end up sounding like Closure in Moscow's First Temple. The vocals and the experimental sound to their guitars are very Mars Volta like. The more times I listen to this album, the better it sounds, and has jumped up many positions on this list as I was compiling it.
9.Megadeth - Endgame
Previous Megadeth have been a bit light for what fans demand, so Endgame tries to address that. It seems to take the United Abominations sound and play it more heavier, faster and more technical. I always find Megadeth are one of the hardest bands to get into and take many listens and I've found this one to be the hardest. Once you do get into Megadeth, it is worth it. Each song is technically good, but didn't seem very memorable during the first 10 listens. More recently though, its begun to sound far better and no doubt my opinion will rise on further listens.
10.Leaves' Eyes - Njord
symphonic metal , gothic metal
Leaves' Eyes are one of the best symphonic metal bands around. Combining a metal band with classical instruments, fronted by a mezzo soprano in Liv Kristine. As usual Liv sounds angelic, ranging from her soft delicate tones to powerful vocals with Alexander providing the usual poor death grunts, but this album he does more; which is a shame, and seems to be so loud that it crackles as the volume peaks. Musically, Leaves' Eyes haven't really changed apart from sounding a bit more epic, which is a good thing, because their sound is perfect anyway, so I hope they continue to produce their usual fantasy/Nordic themed songs.
11.Epica - Design Your Universe
symphonic metal , gothic metal
Epica's first 2 albums, unlike their name; weren't very epic. With their previous album they changed that and had a huge orchestral sound, more choirs, better production, better drumming and longer songs. With Design Your Universe they have increased the heaviness further and it seems to take ages to get into. It's not a bad album, but I much prefer The Divine Conspiracy. If you like Epica's style of metal, choirs, orchestra, soprano lead, and death growls, then you should still love this album. It seems that each vocalist writes songs that suit them. The best singing from Simone is on the songs she writes, and the longer songs with death growls are written by Mark. I would have preferred if Simone wrote more of the songs then it would be full of classics like Unleashed, Our Destiny, Deconstruct, and Tides of Time.
12.Ignis Fatuu - Es werde Licht
folk metal , metal
Over the last couple of years, folk instruments have really grown on me and after hearing the band In Extremo with their combination of metal and bagpipes, I felt I wanted more. Ignis Fatuu combine metal with bagpipes, but other folk instruments make an appearance as well. German vocalists are either stereotypical or very interesting and sadly, Ignis Fatuu are quite stereotypical, but much better than the vocals in In Extremo. It's a shame the female backing vocalist doesn't make a larger contribution because she has a incredibly sweet voice. Despite all the lyrics being in German, the songs still remain catchy and are enjoyable throughout.
13.Stream of Passion - The Flame Within
metal , gothic metal
Their previous album Embrace the Storm was more of a progressive rock affair since Ayreon's Arjen Lucassen was in charge. His departure has caused a change in sound for a more typical metal sounding album, although some songs do sound reminiscent of the older sound. The guitars sound a bit on the crunchy side which gives it a heavy edge and there are the usual additional instruments like violins etc. I'm not sure why it took so long for me to realise how awesome singer Marcela Bovio is. She is definitely one of the best singers around and adds an insane amount of sound just on her own.
14.Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day
Another side project by Ayreon's Arjen Lucassen, this album sounds very much like Ayreon but with one main vocalist and occasional backing from Arjen. I didn't really like the vocals at first but after several listens he really grew on me. There are only 5 tracks but most are around the 10 minute mark in the usual progressive rock fashion. I would highly recommend this for fans of Ayreon.
15.Grave Digger - Ballads Of A Hangman
Musically it sounds like old school heavy metal but is perfectly recorded in the modern way. The songs are very fun and full of good riffs and the drum kit sounds nice, particularly the splash. The vocals take a while to get used to as they are kind of like a easy listening DevilDriver vocal so it seemed hard to listen to the album the whole way through at first. Once you get into it, it does work well enough. I have mixed feelings about the ballad “Lonely The Innocence Dies” since ballads don't really suit Grave Digger's style but having a guest appearance of Benedictum's Veronica Freeman is a nice touch. The last song is a cover of Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak which is a great cover.
16.The Mars Volta - Octahedron
progressive rock , experimental
Trouble with progressive rock or experimental bands is that it takes so long to get into them. They tend not to make catchy songs, but focus on technical wankery to impress. Surprisingly, The Mars Volta have changed their sound slightly by showing their lighter, more mellow side which as a result; it seems to make it far easier to get into. It still sounds like the same band though as you still get their experimental sounds but the overall pace is slower and not as frantic.
17.Grammatics - Grammatics
Grammatics self-titled album is a really beautiful album in terms of vocals and music. The music is full of melody consisting of a light melodic rock sound complemented nicely by the cello with crisp production. The lead male vocals and sweet female backing vocals add to the beauty and sound.
18.Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
indie rock , rock
I've never given Tegan and Sara a chance before, and I'm very glad I did. There are some incredibly catchy and fun songs like Northshore, Hell and Don't Rush. Tegan and Sara's songs on Sainthood are probably quite hard to explain. There is something a bit different about them which makes them sound so fresh and interesting, and even though some songs sound a bit stripped down for my usual liking, the vocals, drums, guitars and electronic elements seem to work so well together; it's like they have a perfect musical efficiency.
19.Howling Bells - Radio Wars
indie rock , rock
Howling Bells have such a wonderful indie rock sound. Each song is clear and very nice and singer Juanita Stein complements the music well with her sweet foxy voice. Surprisingly my favourite song is probably Golden Web which has a electric drum kit which I'm not normally a fan of; but it works superbly well.
20.Karate High School - Invaders
rock , power pop
Invaders is a very fun album full of keyboards which have a happy, cheesy sound to them. Given their combination, it slightly reminds me of Motion City Soundtrack but its a loose comparison. I found the vocals very enjoyable and the crisp production brings out the best of the synths. Even though I don't normally pay attention to lyrics, I found a lot of lyrics very fun and interesting. Some fun and interesting lyrics about being in love with a robot (Because she literally was made for me), and the one about punks (Not trying to be like everybody else, well that's just like being like everybody else. The things you think are special are actually the norm,so don't think that you're different in your punk rock uniform.)
21.Cassie Davis - Differently
pop , rock
Usually pop albums have a few stand out tracks, are very vocal led, and the rest are full of rubbish. Cassie Davis has made a consistently good album, has tried different musical styles and gives a kick ass vocal performance throughout. Although generally rocky, there are some songs that are more electronic synth-pop based (Do It Again), and a few ska-punk influenced sounding songs (Necessarily, Hero). Cassie mixes her vocals up trying that bitchy rap style that seems to be fairly popular these days, then her usual singing style which is like some kick ass Gwen Stefani like singing.
22.DGM - Frame
power metal , progressive metal
DGM are probably one of the most underrated power metal bands around. Their sound is really heavy, loud and fast with some great guitar solos and keyboard sections all perfectly produced so it's as clear and loud as can be. The weakest point of the band is the vocals, they are decent enough but sometimes I think they could be a bit stronger and more powerful sounding.
23.Holyhell - HolyHell
power metal , gothic metal
Holyhell provide 71minutes of extremely cheesy but quality power metal anthems. The singing is at a high standard, but the female singer doesn't do the mezzo soprano style of related bands. The way it is produced gives it a retro heavy metal feel which is a nice touch. If you can stand over an hour of power metal cheese, then its worth checking out; otherwise you will have to avoid it.
24.DevilDriver - Pray For Villains
Back in the day I could only tolerate 1 DevilDriver song without getting a headache. After many years, my brain has adapted to tolerate the heavier side of metal and DevilDriver seem to have gone for a more catchy, accessible approach with Pray For Villains. Don't let my comments mislead, DevilDriver are still insanely heavy and brutal but have added a bit more melody to make a really addictive, brutal album which will make you want to shout along to the choruses. DevilDriver are really amazing how they can combine make such technical and brutal sounding music but yet make it listenable. Vocalist Dez puts 100% effort making his vocals so ferocious but yet mainly clear enough to pick up a lot of lyrics.
25.Monty Are I - Break Through The Silence
Really catchy and really good rock with a nice layer of keyboards which add a lot of atmosphere. Vocals are very enjoyable and remind me of Claudio from Coheed and Cambria. The production is great and is an improvement on their previous album.
26.Ashent - Deconstructive
Very technical sounding throughout and the drums are a particular highlight. The drums are constantly changing tempo and are full of drum rolls. As usual with progressive metal, it does seem quite hard to get into but after many listens you do realise it's a quality metal album. The vocals are enjoyable but are a bit squeaky, and the backing vocals sound a bit out of place which are growled rather than sung.
27.Dead By Sunrise - Out of Ashes
Fronted by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, you know that Dead By Sunrise Out of Ashes is going to be full of angsty lyrics and emotion. At first, I thought it was fairly generic, but this album was a real grower and is a brilliant rock album.
28.Orianthi - Believe
pop , rock
Orianthi basically has made a pop-rock album and thrown in some virtuoso style guitar playing which sounds very original and improves on the usual pop/pop-rock albums. Not only can Orianthi play well, but her singing is very good and suits the style of music she is making. After a really brilliant start of 'According To You', 'Suffocated', the album seems to drop down a notch but its still great. For those that want to hear Orianthi jam away can listen to the brilliant instrumental Highly Strung.
29.Dead by April - Dead by April
melodic metalcore , pop-metal
I love it when bands try something a bit different and fuse different styles together. It's not always gonna go down well with everyone though. Dead By April basically take melodic metalcore and boy band influences to create melodic pop-metalcore. The keyboards are great and work well with the heavy guitars but the lyrics and lead vocals probably make it sound more appealing to girls as they're very much suited to a boy band.
30.Sirenia - The 13th Floor
Sirenia were a melodic death metal band with gothic influences; they had choirs, keyboards and classical instruments. More recently, on Nine Destinies and a Downfall they decided to go for a female lead singer but her voice wasn't the best and the music sounded a bit more commercial. On the 13th Floor, they have changed their singer again, and I much prefer her vocals but she does sound a bit poppy and quite foreign sounding. Musically it seems a bit more like the old Sirenia too and there are some great keyboard and choir sections. Overall, it does feel a big improvement on Nine Destinies and a Downfall.
31.Red - Innocence & Instinct
Red basically sound like Breaking Benjamin with an orchestral backing which helps create a dark, emotional atmosphere throughout. The vocals and hard rock sound is very much like Breaking Benjamin with emotional vocals sometimes breaking into a shout. There is a really great cover of Duran Duran's Ordinary World.
32.Thousand Foot Krutch - Welcome To The Masquerade
Welcome to the Masquerade consists of some great mellow songs and some very loud, hard rock anthems very suitable for WWE, particularly for the song Smackdown. The vocals are very enjoyable and it is recorded perfectly.
33.dredg - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
progressive rock , rock
Dredg make beautiful progressive rock in terms of both vocals and music and each album seems to be different. With this album, the sound feels a bit more stripped down, but still remains beautiful. There are lots of tracks but a lot are small interludes.
34.And Then There Were None - Who Speaks For Planet Earth
electronic , emo, dance
A very interesting and unique band, sounding a cross between an electronic artist like Scooter and some emo-rock band. Their songs are full of atmosphere and 'rave' rhythms which you can't help but bounce around to, but the lyrics are structured like a standard song as opposed to the repetitive nature of the usual dance music. Whiny emo voices often grate on my ears after a while, but I can be more forgiving since they are interesting and make this kind of music a bit cooler than it usually is.
35.Devin Townsend Project - Ki
Devin Townsend usually makes very aggressive sounding music, but with Ki he has gone for a more chilled out progressive sound. Despite sounding very minimalistic it still seems to have lots of sound and even though it is chilled out and often tranquil, it often builds up to aggression which makes it quite unique and interesting.
36.Twinspirits - The Forbidden City
progressive metal, power metal
Twinspirits give you 68 mins of brilliant metal. Musically, its heavy throughout, and produced to perfection. It sounds very much like DGM, but the vocals are better. The singer does sound very much influenced by Russell Allen from Symphony-X where he mixes between powerful and slightly harsh tones. The moments where the keyboards melody is the main focus sound very Dream Theater like. The only bad thing is that, due to the fact its progressive metal; its not that catchy, except for a couple of moments.
37.Flyleaf - Momento Mori
Singer Lacey has a voice which you either love or hate due to the fact she sings in really emotional way, but in their previous albums, she did seem a bit too whiny and you could hear her breathe too much. I have to say she has improved a fair bit, maybe with the help of tighter production. Also the darker, shouty style songs have been removed and now the anger is restricted to a couple of small occasions. They have also given you an album that far surpasses the 30 minute mark, unlike their previous effort. Musically, Flyleaf keep it fairly light and usually have negative, or Christian themed lyrics. Although the first batch of tracks are fantastic, there are a few average songs near the end before the albums epic finale; Arise.
38.Adelitas Way - Adelitas Way
I always find it hard to write about rock bands as there's not much they can do apart from make an album full of quality songs which Adelitas Way do. There's some heavier songs on here and some mellow ones as you'd expect. If you are looking for another rock band, then check these guy's out.
39.Five Finger Death Punch - War Is the Answer
melodic metalcore , metal
Five Finger Death Punch's previous album was decent enough, I wasn't overly keen on the shouting, but they had so many catchy choruses that it was still enjoyable. War Is The Answer is a big improvement with more singing during the verses, and the songs still flow thick and fast with heavy grooves. The singer reminds me a lot like Corey Taylor of Slipknot/Stonesour fame. His voice is so cool and melodic, he is a joy to listen to. Singers like that normally can make some brilliant ballad, and this album has Far From Home. Also there is a brilliant cover of Bad Company's Bad Company.
40.Immortal - All Shall Fall
There seems to be 2 types of black metal, the sort of depressive black metal which has a lot of atmosphere and has sort of a fuzzy feel to it, then the other black metal which has a cleaner sound. Immortal sound like the depressive kind but unlike most bands, they have produced the album really well which gives it a cleaner sound. The vocals are very good too.
41.Impelliteri - Wicked Maiden
Impelliteri sound very much like KISS and play a old school sounding heavy metal style but has more of a modern sound due to the clean production. The album is very fun and pacey with some superb guitar work.
42.Týr - By the Light of the Northern Star
power metal , pagan metal
All the songs contain chugging metal riffs and the drums are a particular highlight. 3 songs are immensely awesome with great guitars and ace drums (Hold the Heathen Hammer, Ride, By the Light of the Northern Star). The vocals are fine and suit the pagan themed anthems.
43.DeadLock - Manifesto
melodic death metal
Deadlock are quite original which will gain them a lot of fans and praise, but due to the fact they do sound more commercial and deviate from the metal convention, they will probably have their share of haters too. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the death growls but luckily for me, Sabine has a large part and she is immense and it probably would be better if Sabine sang all way through. Sabine has one of the most amazing female voices as she is as sweet as can be. There is a fantastic cover of Sisters of Mercy's Temple of Love which is Deadlock doing what they usually do and come out with something which strays from the usual melodic death metal formula. There is even a weird hip-hop song tacked on to Deathrace, rapping about vegan themes. Also, for added bonus points, I'd have to say the intro track has one of the best tracks titles I have ever seen; “The Moribund Choir Vs. The Trumpets Of Armageddon”.
44.Silent Memorial - Retrospective
In some ways, Silent Memorial remind me of the power metal band Thunderstone but have a more technical, progressive metal sound sometimes almost Dream Theater like. There are only 7 songs but the epic Retrospective lasts 22 mins on its own. Production is on the rough side but the instruments remain clear regardless.
45.BulletProof Messenger - Arm Yourself
The first thing I noticed about this band is how similar the vocalist sounds to Trapt. Also like Trapt, their songs are catchy and will have you singing along. However, musically they are quite different. BulletProof Messenger go for a hard rock sound layered with keyboards. The production sounds slightly rough but the keyboards and other sounds are still clear enough.
46.Amberian Dawn - The Clouds of Northland Thunder
Amberian Dawn play the kind of metal you expect from Finnish bands. Heavy sounds layered with keyboards. As usual with gothic bands, the female singer is fantastic. Although she sings in a high operatic tone throughout, rather than mixing it up. Trouble is, the majority of the time, I cannot pick up the lyrics, but there is no doubt that she is talented, and enjoyable to listen to. The production sounds very weird and the drums sound a bit flat which makes it lack heaviness and atmosphere. Despite this, it's a really enjoyable album, but maybe a bit too niche market for most people.
47.Swallow the Sun - New Moon
Swallow the Sun seem play a melodic doom metal style but the vocals often seem to change and sometimes sound more applicable to death or black metal.
48.Breaking Benjamin - Dear Agony
Dear Agony is more of the same from Breaking Benjamin. It features a heavy hard rock sound and is very satisfying. The songs are catchy and feature brilliant vocals. Songs like I Will Not Bow are fantastic and contain some really good drumming.
49.Halestorm - Halestorm
rock , hard rock
Halestorm (not to be confused with Alestorm) are a hard rock band with a female singer. The vocal performance from Lzzy Hale is great; she seems to have the right amount of sweetness/coolness/huskiness/attitude in her voice to be a great rock singer. There are plenty of great and catchy tracks on here too.
50.The Dangerous Summer - Reach For The Sun
rock , emo
The Dangerous Summer have a very rocky but melodic sound. The vocals have a rough, emo sound but suit the emotion quite well.
51.Crystal Method - Divided By Night
Great electronic music with lots of atmosphere. Varied vocals due to the many guest appearances and the choice of vocalists is really good and work well. Probably the best electronic album I've heard in a while.
52.Julien-K - Death To Analog
electronic , industrial
Electronic and atmospheric often feeling industrial metal. Some catchy songs and the sung vocals are very impressive.
53.This Town Needs Guns - Animals
Good vocals and great music although it isn't too catchy due to the tempo changes and mathy guitars. Each song is named after an animal and there are all your favourites here featuring Baboon, Panda, Badger, Lemur, and Elk.
54.Jordan Rudess - Notes On A Dream
Jordan Rudess is the keyboardist for Dream Theater and this is one of his solo albums. The songs here are pure piano instrumentals and are full of the usual Dream Theater wankery as Jordan shows off his piano virtuoso abilities. Most songs are Dream Theater covers and are very entertaining cover versions.
55.Escala - Escala
Escala are a female string quartet covering a variety of songs. The choice of songs is really interesting. Examples are Clint Mansell's Requeim For A Tower, Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die, Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, Rob Dougan's Clubbed to Death.
56.Karmella's Game - You'll Be Sorry
At first, Karmella's Game sound so cheesy but after a while, you realise this is what makes them so good. It's so catchy and happy sounding and full of cheesy keyboards.
57.IAMX - Kingdom of Welcome Addiction
Electronic but often feels quite rocky. Vocals have a sad tone but work really well with the atmosphere of the music. There are some really great songs and I particularly like My Secret Friend featuring Imogen Heap.
58.Alestorm - Black Sails at Midnight
Alestorm write songs about pirates, sailing the endless oceans on their quests for treasure. Musically its heavy, with keytars providing the pirate melodies. The vocals are done in a piratey way, but I think they could have been a bit better. Most people may see them as a gimmicky band that you can only listen to once, but surprisingly I keep coming back for more tales of piratey adventures.
59.Tread - Rise from Silence
metal, rock, melodic metalcore
Tread's sound comes somewhere between rock and metal, and due to the occasionally shouting for backing vocals, you could class it as some derivative of metalcore. Most songs are seriously catchy, helped by the lead vocalists singing ability, which can often make the songs feel very emotional and epic sounding. The production is on the rough side which makes it sound a bit sparse.
60.Vic Anselmo - Trapped in a Dream
pop , rock, gothic
There is always debate what gothic music really is, but the common thing is that it is rock with keyboards, plus a female who can really sing. There is no denying Vic has a brilliant voice, and musically it is quite varied. Some songs sound very poppy like like Who? whereas other tracks have a more heavier guitar sound like The Flight. Even though its mainly pop and simplistic, the music is very enjoyable, and Vic's voice really adds more sound, because she is simply fantastic. It is a short album though and it's a shame it wasn't longer.
61.Anti-Flag - The People or the Gun
Anti-Flag are a old school punk band where the vocals are the sloppy but are very good and work really well. It's full of catchy songs and some good riffs with a slightly retro production style. It is produced better than their previous album (The Bright Lights of America) though. Despite feeling slightly short, its probably old school punk at its best.
62.Client - Command
Client are a female electronic group. The vocals sound rather British at times.
63.Evile - Infected Nations
thrash metal , metal
Since thrash metal is pretty much a legacy genre, it's very nice to hear another band attempt it. There are some great riffs and songs here and it feels a bit more modern due to the cleaner production style.
64.Glass Hammer - Three Cheers For The Broken-Hearted
Glass Hammer are a progressive rock band which sounds more like the older progressive bands. The female vocals are quite nice but sound a bit distorted at times. The male vocals seem a bit bland though.
65.30 Seconds to Mars - This Is War
Most 30 Seconds to Mars songs are rock based with lots of atmosphere which differentiates them from other rock bands. There is a lot of emotion contained in the album and quite a few epic rock tracks. Surprisingly, Hurricane is one of my favourite tracks on the album which is a ballad, mainly electronic and features Kanye West.
66.Primal Fear - 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)
power metal , heavy metal
Power metal that sounds a bit old school and heavy metal like Saxon. Ralf has a very interesting voice, he sounds very unique, can hit some squeaky powerful tones and harsh stereotypical metal vocals too. It's not Primal Fear's best album, but it certainly has many great songs, and many great moments. Particular highlights are Riding the Eagle, Black Rain, Six Times Dead (16.6). When it is good, it is very good, but starts sounding a bit average near the end. The last song “Hands of Time” is a nice ballad to end on, and you get to hear the other band members sing, but this song does sound a bit stripped down for Primal Fear's standards.
67.Damone - Roll the Dice
classic rock , rock
Damone are basically a modern classic rock band but with a female singer. Some lyrics seem a bit weak and there are a few sections with male vocals which in my opinion are the worst parts of the album. The female vocals are good as the lead singer has quite a cool/cute voice which works well. There's also a great G&R cover of You Will Be Mine.
68.Enter Shikari - Common Dreads
Enter Shikari mix post hardcore rock with a large amount of electronic elements. The electronic style varies and some songs sound more like dubstep songs. The extreme and bizarre changes of sound and vocal styles makes them quite original and interesting, although can sound a bit too wild and in your face with the post-hardcore screaming.
69.Dark Age - Acedia
melodic death metal
Good vocals but the clean vocals sound slightly foreign. Good music, nice and heavy with a well produced sound with a layer of keyboards. It's a good album but some tracks do stand out more than others and are particularly catchy.
70.Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition
Riverside have changed slightly and halved the amount of tracks but increased their length. The vocals don't seem to sound as good and the production sounds rougher than usual. It seems a bit harder to get into but is still a good album and the keyboards seem particularly impressive.
71.Livingston - Sign Language
I wasn't expecting anything good from a band called Livingston but was pleasantly surprised. The songs are catchy and the singer has a great voice which make the songs really enjoyable. The production is perfect and has a very clear sound where you can hear the bass guitar clearly. The music is very radio friendly with some light mellow songs but there are plenty of rockier songs too.
72.Knight Area - Realm of Shadows
Knight Area are a progressive rock band. The production makes it sound a bit retro and the keyboards are great and clear. It's generally slow paced and lighter than other progressive bands though.
73.Mind Key - PULSE FOR A GRAVEHEART
Mind Key have a heavy, progressive metal sound. The production style makes the guitars sound crunchy and heavy. The vocals are good and musically it is a solid album.
74.Freak Kitchen - Land of the Freaks
Freak Kitchen combine nonsense lyrics with nice, heavy riffs that will get you nodding your head. There are a couple of killer tracks which will stick inside your head like “Honey, You're A Nazi” and “God Save the Spleen”, and the rest are solid, enjoyable songs.
75.Powerman 5000 - Somewhere On The Other Side Of Nowhere
Industrial metal can either be really aggressive or really fun. As you may guess from their name, Powerman 5000 go for the fun style and do a good job of it.
76.-123 min. - Dream
blues , rock
Great vocals, quite deep and cool which suits the rock/jazz/funky music. The album only has 9 tracks but is solid throughout.
77.X-Fusion - Ultima Ratio
X-Fusion is probably the most interesting electronic artist I've heard. Musically its very creepy and atmospheric and much better than the usual dark electro artists. Vocals are an acquired taste and often grate on your ears a bit. I do wish the vocals were more varied, and would probably benefit from some guest appearances.
78.The Moon and the Nightspirit - Ösforrás
The Moon and the Nightspirit make Hungarian folk music. They are a bit of a guilty pleasure artist since I wouldn't normally listen to this type of music but it's just too good to resist. Their previous album Rego Rejtem just missed out on my Best of List because I only had 50 albums on there. Their folky atmosphere makes you want to dance round a campfire and join in their pagan festivals. :D
79.Villieläin - Julma Satu
Villieläin sound quite typical of Finnish music with the distorted guitars and emphasis on keyboards. All lyrics are in Finnish and the singer sounds quite like Tarja when she sings in Finnish. Overall it's a solid and enjoyable album.
80.Delain - April Rain
Delain have kept the Within Temptation Silent Force style sound but have increased the heaviness. Bizarrely the vocals sound rather foreign compared to the previous album and it lacks all the guest appearances like the previous album had, although Marco from Nightwish still lends a hand.
81.Billy Talent - Billy Talent III
Sometimes you wonder if Billy Talent are gonna come up with an original album title or just gonna keep slapping a number on the end like it's some sort of sequel. I guess it does feel like a sequel because it's pretty much the same Billy Talent. It took a lot longer for me to get into this album for some reason, and overall I'd say it's the worst one. Billy Talent are a cool band and if you like them, you probably won't be disappointed. If you don't like them, then it's best to stay away because they haven't really changed.
82.Deathstars - Night Electric Night
industrial metal , gothic metal
Deathstars are carrying on what they have always done with their gothic, synth based industrial style metal. There is something different about it which seems to make it not as good as their first two albums. It would be nice if they changed a bit more to make the album more distinctive from their other albums such as adding more female vocals (the female backing vocals are still only used on a couple of songs).
83.New Found Glory - Not Without a Fight
pop-punk , rock
It sounds like New Found Glory but slightly heavier, almost a slight hardcore influence in some of the riffs. Production slightly on the crunchy side and there seems an awful lot of songs about females which is often the case with New Found Glory. Still, it's a good album and much more enjoyable than Coming Home, but not as good as Catalyst or Sticks & Stones.
84.FM Static - Dear Diary
pop-punk , rock
A pop-punk album with the vocalist from Thousand Foot Krutch. It's a bit strange hearing his vocals in a totally different sounding band but it works really well. The songs have a very American catchy pop-punk feel to them and is very fun and enjoyable. It often feels like it's over far too quick being only 32 mins long.
85.Kate Voegele - A Fine Mess
Kate Voegele has a really nice, brilliant voice. She is one of those singers that emphasises on her accent but is really enjoyable. Each song is nice, light and catchy throughout. She is one of my favourite pop artists.
86.Dance Gavin Dance - Happiness
experimental , post-hardcore
The dancey rhythms and electronic elements makes it sound like Men Women & Children but the post-Hardcore and fast paced sections differentiates it but makes it hard to get into and lose accessibility.
87.Hostsonaten - Autumnsymphony
Hostsonaten are an instrumental band, mixing all kinds of instruments together. The album is quite varied and very chilled out and beautiful.
88.Lion's Share - Darkest Hours
Lion's Share sound like the stereotypical metal band; heavy riffs, guitar solos and rough singing. Former Astral Doors front-man is on vocals and even though he has many imperfections there is something about his voice that I really enjoy.
89.Three Days Grace - Life Starts Now
Three Days Grace are carrying on what they have always done. The vocals, music and production all sound the same as before, so if you liked them previously, you should like this too. Their previous album One-X was really good, and this album is about on par with that.
90.Renegade Five - Underground Universe
Renegade Five are a hard rock band with lots of atmosphere and comparisons could be made to such bands as Red. Although, with Renegade Five, none of the aggression is here, and the atmosphere created doesn't feel as dark. The vocals are fine but sound a bit husky and foreign at times.
91.Hide The Knives - Saviour For Sale
hard rock , grunge
Hide The Knives have a grungy hard rock sound to both the music and vocals which makes them sound a bit different to modern style rock bands.
92.White Lies - To Lose My Life
rock , indie
Some really fantastic tracks with a lot of atmosphere and often feels a bit morbid/dark. Some songs like Death, Farewell to the Fareground are just ace. Vocals are OK but fit the music and atmosphere.
93.In This Moment - The Dream
I wasn't a fan of In This Moment before due to the metalcore female vocals but for The Dream, nearly all of the extreme vocals have been removed. Even so, it still took some time to enjoy her singing, but she is great despite being a bit husky sometimes. Some good riffs and some really good songs but the way it is recorded makes the drums overpower the guitar in places. The Blondie cover of Call Me is fantastic.
94.Red Light Company - Fine Fascination
rock , indie
Red Light Company sound somewhere between rock and indie rock and the vocals sound a bit Wheatus like. It's a great album with catchy songs and sounds pretty different to other bands.
95.Bare Infinity - Always Forever
Brilliant vocals although not powerful like most gothic metal, but talented and cool sounding. Production a bit rough and budget sounding, but good music. Worth checking out if you like bands like Within Temptation and Lunatica.
96.Rodrigo y Gabriella - 11:11:00
Rodrigo Y Gabriella play very talented sounding flamenco acoustic music. It's a great instrumental album but it's one of those albums I'll probably only listen to in the summer time.
97.Rammstein - Liebe ist fur alle da
Rammstein's 'Mutter' and 'Reise,Reise' were sheer quality but then 'Rosenrot' came out and seemed largely disappointing, It wasn't terrible but didn't live up to Rammstein's high standards. With Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da, it's closer to getting back to Rammstein's brilliance but it's not quite there. There are enough quality and typical Rammstein sounding songs but then there are others which just seem OK.
98.Karnivool - Sound Awake
Quite often, progressive bands take a long time to get used to and Karnivool are no exception. After many listens, it didn't sound very entertaining until about the 10th time, and I reckon on further listens, my opinion on it will continue to grow. My favourite aspects of this album are the singers voice and the heavy chugging bass which makes the music sound a lot more bad ass. There are some great drums and guitars throughout the album too.
99.Siren On - Piano Sparkling
Jonna has a brilliant mezzo soprano voice but her normal singing sometimes is a bit breathy but still very enjoyable. Songs have a bit of a minimalistic sound due to being piano and sometimes one other instrument such as violin. Piano's often create a sad sounding atmosphere and therefore the album has a very depressing feel throughout.
100.Throwdown - Deathless
metal , melodic metalcore
Sounds like a melodic metalcore version of Godsmack.
101.Thrown - The Beautiful End
rock , metal
Thrown have a very rough sound to the music and vocals which comes out something very Godsmack-like.
102.The Urgency - The Urgency
Vocals sound a bit like The Used. Musically sound quite like The Used but maybe more melodic and funky sounding. Some really catchy songs like 'Stop!' and 'Crimes'.
103.Vedera - Stages
rock , pop, indie
I was worried Vedera might have disappeared having not got famous. I found these guys at the same time as Paramore and Flyleaf back in 2005, but this band hasn't got any degree of fame, unlike the others. The band is similar in the fact that they are a female-fronted rock band, but musically they are lighter and poppy. Kristen has such a fabulously sweet voice, you can't help but smile. There's plenty of catchy songs on here, and its a shame they haven't got radio play, because I'm pretty sure they would do well. Overall its a solid album and very light and poppy but often it feels very vocal-led. Their previous album was harder to get into but was more interesting musically.
104.Alana Grace - With One Word
rock , pop
Alana Grace's voice has a lot of sound to it and she reminds me of a few singers though I can't quite put my finger on who; maybe reminiscent of Alanis Morrisette. Musically, its very light and radio friendly, and very catchy and enjoyable throughout.
105.Epochate - Chronicles Of A Dying Era
Epochate play a very unique “cinematic” industrial sound. Vocals are quite poor but the music is so cool that it makes up for it.
106.Diablo Swing Orchestra - Sing Along Songs For The Damned And Delirious
Sounding more like a funky version of a symphonic metal band, Diablo Swing Orchestra play the most weird and wacky music. It's really cool but extremely hard to get into. It seems I can listen to this band again and again and enjoy them but as soon as the album finishes, I cant seem to remember anything about the songs.
107.The Soldier Thread - Shapes
post-rock , rock
The Soldier Thread's sound is very light and very nice with use of classical instruments to create the post-rock atmosphere. The singer's voice is decent but not brilliant but does add to the emotion. The other bad point is even after many listens, I seem to find it hard to remember much about it.
108.Lacuna Coil - Shallow Life
rock , metal
Shallow Life seems to have been heavily criticised by fans for the more poppy sound, with some very radio friendly lyrics and sometimes the songs feel a bit stripped down. Most Lacuna Coil albums don't sound very heavy though, and this album still features the clicky Korn style bass which was used in Karmacode. Cristina's voice sounds perfect and has never sounded this sexy. However, Andrea seems to have a large part and still sounds a bit naff and foreign.
109.Pathosray - Sunless Skies
power metal , progressive metal
Good heavy power metal which often has a Progressive Metal sound with some great keyboard melodies. Production sounds a bit on the rough side.
110.Sugar Red Drive - Sugar Red Drive
rock , hard rock
Slightly retro sounding hard rock. Songs are catchy throughout and is a pretty cool album overall.
111.Metric - Fantasies
I've never heard of Metric before, but these guys are huge. Fantasies sounds indie rock but has a emphasis on synths. Most of the songs sounded catchy and very familiar as if they had been on adverts (maybe they have). The vocals are enjoyable and work well with the songs. However, some songs are fantastic and others are just OK.
112.Dark Moor - Autumnal
Took me ages to get into but its got a cool sound. Dark Moor can be extremely cheesy but has lovely classical atmosphere. The version of 'Swan Lake' is very interesting.
113.Powerwolf - Bible Of The Beast
A slightly gimmicky power metal band making songs about werewolves, vampires and religious themes. Vocally and musically entertaining and very fun but some stupid lyrics at times. I don't need to explain that point if you look at the track title “Resurrection By Erection”.
114.Emil Bulls - Phoenix
melodic metalcore , metal
At first I thought it was a bit shouty and the singing wasn't too good but after many listens it surprisingly works well. The songs are generally really fun and there are many really catchy moments. The album's closer, I Don't Belong Here is a bit repetitive but very epic and emotional.
115.Ghost Brigade - Isolation Songs
melodic death metal, melodic doom metal
Ghost Brigade really grew on me over the many listens. Musically very melodic and entertaining with a decent combination of singing and death growls. The singing is OK and not as strong as I would have liked but the death growls feature more prominently.
116.Legenda Aurea - Ellipsis
symphonic metal , gothic metal
Legenda Aurea's previous album was OK It was mainly let down by the budget production, and it lacked real quality songs. This time round, the production is perfect and musically it's so heavy, loud and fast. It kind of sounds like a faster To-Mera. The new singer sounds similar but maybe slightly better. The bad thing is, it's quite hard to get into and the songs just don't seem memorable. It doesn't mean its a bad album, its just not a classic. Its definitely worth checking out if you like gothic bands but want something heavier.
117.Sick Puppies - Tri-Polar
Solid rock album. Fun and reminiscent of WWE style hard rock. There's some nice ballads on here, some good rocky songs, and some angrier hard rock songs.
118.Arch Enemy - Root of All Evil
melodic death metal
I wasn't a big fan of Rise of the Tyrant. The change in production wasn't good and Angela's screeches often grated on my ears. On Root of All Evil, Angela sounds much better but not as good as Anthems of Rebellion. The production seems a return to form, and there are some really kick ass songs on here.
119.Surfact - Euphoria
hard rock , metal
Surfact's sound is very heavy, loud and atmospheric so it seems strange to see them tagged as 'rock' and 'alternative rock'. The sort of atmosphere created is usually associated with industrial metal if anything. In fact, the atmosphere often reminds me of fellow Danish metal band Mercenary or Anubis Gate. The vocals are slightly rough and remind me of someone (maybe Stereophonics?). Although it's a cool album, it would have been nice to have more 'killer' tracks. The first 2 tracks “Absolutely Shameless” and “All Night Overload” are definitely killer tracks but some tracks are just simply “OK” but still sound cool due to the overall sound.
120.Anubis Gate - The Detached
Also from Denmark are Anubis Gate, and the atmosphere is similar to Surfact. They play a different style of music though and go for a progressive metal sound. The vocals can be very high pitched and sound fairly reminiscent to Dream Theater's James La Brie. Despite been really heavy and really cool, they are very hard to get into.
121.Enter The Haggis - Gutter Anthems
folk , folk-rock
Enter the Haggis play celtic folk-rock music. There are plenty of nice instruments here including bagpipes and there are plenty of tracks on here, although a couple of them are just ok.
122.Alamaailman Vasarat - Huuro Kolkko
experimental , avant-garde
It's got a Apocalyptica feel to it due to the cellos but is more of a funky experimental instrumental avant-garde-jazz so also reminiscent of Diablo Swing Orchestra.
123.MONGREL - Better Than Heavy
hip-hop , rap, indie
Mongrel are a collaboration of artists from Reverend And The Makers, Poisonous Poets, Arctic Monkeys and Babyshambles. It sounds very Gorillaz-like mixing indie rock, electronic and hip-hop. The choruses are very catchy, sung by the lead vocalist of Reverend And The Makers and the verses are mainly rap.
124.Skindred - Shark Bites & Dog Fights
metal, hard rock
I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this album. It is metal with the vocal style sounding a bit raggae-like which makes them stand out from the crowd. Some songs have great use of keyboards like Stand For Something. There is also a fantastic cover of Electric Avenue. Sadly, there are only 8 tracks spanning 31mins so it feels a bit unfinished.
125.Lights - The Listening
Despite mainly having a very minimalistic sound, Lights has made a very enjoyable synth-pop album. Her voice is quite sweet and Canadian, but sounds quite auto-tuned which is annoying in some ways.