Here we go kids, It's my first list of the end of year series and like I normally do, I'm starting with albums and EPs. Since my major musical kick at the moment (and has been for a few years now) is Metalcore, the genre dominates this list, but as you know, I love a good twist and have a few surprises up my sleeve here for ya!
10. Untitled by Rammstein
It had been ten years since their previous album Liebe ist für alle da but Rammstein hadn't lost a single trick with their 6th studio release. You could tell the the band had spent a lot of time crafting their music before recording, ensuring that only the best was featured. These Germans know how to rock!
Top Track: I went with 'Deutschland' because the lead single hits hard and its video caused that much controversy in its thought provoking way. Check it out if you haven't already see it.
9. Alien by Northlane
Another one of those albums that I failed to find the time to review is Northlane's Alien, but it still got plenty of airtime while I was working. Alien is a record that may piss off many of their older fan base, but it proved they are able and willing to evolve with great results.
Top Track: I really struggled to find that one perfect tune, but after much soul searching (listening) I've got to go with the huge single 'Bloodline', those Korn vibes are awesome as hell!
8. Theatres of the Mind by LestWeForget
You know when you listen to an EP and you just have to stop what you're doing and pay attention? Well that is LestWeForget's Theatres of the Mind to a tee. This is LestWeForget's letter of intention to the musical world, showing what they could do and I challenge anyone to not be impressed.
Top Track: Theatres of the Mind is so varied and everything is amazing in its own ways, so I had to go with 'Zero Won' with its awesome Rock Metal vibe.
7. SO WHAT? by While She Sleeps
In my humble opinion While She Sleeps is a criminally underrated band, from their kick arse, take no prisoners music, to their biting themes that are forever present in their songs. And So What? is no exception to the rule, I will get around to reviewing this in the coming months because it deserves to be shared.
Top Track: It has to be 'ANTI-SOCIAL', the lyrics and video synch up perfectly with its message.
Second albums can be tricky, you need to continue for the most part with your base sound while still bringing something new to the table. And Sharks In Your Mouth made it look easy. They took their Metalcore, mixed in a bit of Djent and added just a touch of Symphonic elements in creating Sacrilegious, an ambitious yet successful sophomore record.
Top Track: Title track all the way: 'Sacrilegious' is full of energy and my guess is it would be amazing live.
I love two piece bands that make a lot of noise, and Blacks0n certainly do that. Their debut EP Cry for Inspiration is a Prog Deathcore (I'd never even heard of the subgenre before, but I'm liking it now) gem, just as heavy on the music side of things as they are on the lyrics.
Top Track: 'The Vent', at first listen it's a mess of Metal music, but after a few more times it becomes multi-layer art.
Aussie Metalcore will always feature here at Ronon's Reviews, and Thornhill, the Melbourne based outfit outdid themselves this year. Their amazing debut album The Dark Pool continues and builds upon what they started with the EP Butterfly a few years ago.
Top Track: Need a reason to check out Thornhill? 'Where We Go When We Die'.
Jonathan Davis about The Nothing: "I went through hell last year and had to purge what I was going through and bring the listener through that experience. I don't know how to explain it but it takes me over. When you hear me break down and cry, that's not fake. It's how I get it out. Some people go to a shrink. My music is that for me."
Top Track: Do you want to hear Jonathan Davis' soul? 'Surrender To Failure'.
I still can't believe that I finally got to review a current Tool album, and shock horror, it didn't claim the top spot. But in all honesty, Tool's Fear Inoculum is an amazingly good release that any other year would have been my number one. The record mixes their old sound with the new flawlessly. Tool are back baby!
Top Track: A real struggle, but fuck it, I really like '7empest'.
Fuck me what a year, but Slipknot tops the charts for me. We Are Not Your Kind was, and still is an epic fucking monster of a record. This band just keeps going from strength to strength, nothing will stop the Iowa 9.
Top Track: 'Solway Firth' hands down, listen to this tune and try to tell me you don't feel something.