Best Albums

Hellboy’s Top 10 Albums of 2017

Yesterday I dropped the Fourtheye Readers Top 10, now today I present my own top 10 albums on 2017.

The list is presented loosely in order.  Overall I thought it was a pretty solid year for albums, with a few newer bands I’d been keeping my eyes on releasing some excellent albums.  There seems to be a few less older or nostalgia acts releasing albums these days, so probably many who haven’t listening to anything new since 2000 probably think it’s been a weaker year.  Good music is where you find it – stop looking and you’ll stagnate!

Code Orange – Forever

Forever was released early in 2017, but was a constant through out my playlists all year.  The album is on that is full of surprises, and at numerous points on first listen had me wondering if there was something wrong with the stream.  An easy 10/10 for me and first choice for my top 10

Mastodon – Emperor of Sand

The last few albums from Mastodon have mostly done away with the progressive angle of their music, and moved towards a more mainstream sound.  With the addition of Brann’s clean vocals a few albums ago (he sings on almost every track this time around) the band sites nicely in the niche between the more popular styles of rock.  It’s not all bad though, this time around it feels to me like they’ve almost mastered their current sound, and Emperor of Sand is by far the best of their “standard rock” albums.  It culminates with a slightly more progressive track – Jaguar God, which was probably my favorite song of 2017.

Death From Above 1979 – Outrage! Is Now

The second album from these guys since their reformation – the first of which was pretty forgettable.  This one however, seems to up the ante a little – embracing pop a little less, and adding a few heavier and more diverse sounds to the repertoire.  It’s also pretty catchy as well!

Dead Cross – Dead Cross

Dead Cross are a band made up of Dave Lombardo (of Slayer and Fantomas fame) as well as a couple of guys from noise/grind band The Locust formed.   The asked Mike Patton to join them, and the result was released in 2017.  It’s pretty much a straight up hardcore album, and doesn’t really add anything new to the genre, but it’s a fun listen (not sure what’s up with this video though!).

Primus – The Desaturating Seven

Primus seem to love Rush, and I always wished they’d head down that prog path a little further.  This album doesn’t really sound like Rush, but it is a little more progressive, which is something I can get behind.  My only real criticism of this (and it’s a common one) is that it’s pretty short, and the songs kinda sound a bit samey.  Still, it’s a good same, and an album I’m happy to include in my top 10.

Employed to Serve – The Warmth of a Dying Sun

A late arrive to my playlists for 2017, the track I Spend My Days (Wishing Them Away) has one of the chunkiest riffs I’ve heard in quite some time.  The rest of the album is pretty great as well!

Power Trip – Nightmare Logic

These guys are the cool new metal band, seeming reaching countless top 10 lists in 2017.  It’s easy to discount these hype bands sometimes, but in this case the album is a great collection of thrashy metal, with no real dull moments.  Dig your teeth into it!

The Black Angels – Death Song

I love a good psychedelic rock album, and I thought this year was a pretty quiet one for this genre.  The Black Angels didn’t disappoint though, with what I think might be their best album yet.

Couch Slut – Contempt

This Wisconsin punk band Couch Slut released an abrasive collection of noisy tunes in July this year,  and it’s an album I keep coming back too.  The lyrics and vocals as are confronting as their name suggests, but containing within the chaos is some pretty great songwriting.

Fourtheye Readers Best Albums of 2014

The poll has closed this years Best Albums of 2014 list, and the votes have been counted! 151 people voted in this years poll, with 671 votes resulting in about 300 albums being nominated this time round. I usually aim to have a top 10, but this time around there was a tie for the final spot, so there’s actually 11 albums in this years list!

I present to you the Fourtheye Readers Best Albums of 2014 list!

10. Foundations Of Burden – Pallbearer & The Ape Of God – Old Man Gloom

Equal tenth are two bands that crank out consistently good metal albums. Old Man Gloom, who are a supergroup featuring members of Isis, Converge and Cave-in fooled the world a couple of months ago be releasing a decoy album, and then the real thing. Some would say the decoy is as good as the actual album!

Pallbearer followed up their excellent debut album with a new doom metal classic Foundations of Burden.

9. The Grey Chapter – Slipknot

Nice voting here guys. Never before have I felt the need to doctor the results for the Fourtheye poll, and believe me, the temptation was strong this time around. /end rant

8. To Be Kind – The Swans

The Swans seem to be a firm favorite with Fourtheye readers these days, and for many their latest album didn’t disappoint.

7. The Joy of Motion – Animals As Leaders

Animals As Leaders followed up the excellent Weightless with the equally excellent The Joy Of Motion. Excellent instrumental progressive metal with a formidable live reputation – just don’t call them djent!

6. The Endless River – “Pink Floyd”

This seemingly endless album by parts of Pink Floyd seemed to have been well received by many readers.

5. Clearing The Path To Ascend – Yob

Yob continue on their upward path to become one of the most respected doom metal bands out there. Clearing The Path To Ascend is a great addition to their existing catalogue.

4. Pale Communion – Opeth

Some die-hard fans may argue that Opeth aren’t the same band that they used to be, but for many the 70s prog rock styling of their latest Pale Communion rang true.

3. Syro – Aphex Twin

Richard D. James takes about the same amount of time to produce records as Tool do, and 2014 was the year when the next Aphex Twin album was released by the well know Drum & Bass artist into the wild (the last one, Drukqs was released in 2001 not long after Lateralus). It would appear to have been well received by many Fourtheye readers!

2. Sines – Jakob

Jakob seem to be a regular Tool support act these days (especially when touring Down Under), and in 2014 they released their long awaited album Sines. Instrumental Post-Rock is their genre of choice, and you won’t find many better examples of this going around.

1. Once More ‘Round The Sun – Mastodon

Mastodon’s latest album appears to be regarded as one of their best. As a band they seemed to have moved onto the safer ground of more traditional songwriting rather than the more progressive work of their earlier albums, but the catchiness of the tunes, not to mention the high quality instrumental work have elevated this album to Fourtheye’s favorite of 2014.

Congratulations Mastodon!

Feel free to take a look at my top 10, which shares quite a few (not Slipknot) from this list!

My Top 10 Albums of 2014

It’s taken me a while (mostly since I’ve been away) but after much procrastination I’ve finally come up with my Top 10 Albums for 2014. This year, I found I had trouble making a top 10, not because I hadn’t listened to much, but because I felt while there were many good albums, there weren’t that many that moved into the great “automatic top 10” selection category.

Still, in the time honored tradition of websites around the world, a top 10 must be created, so here we go. As usual, this is in no particular order…

The Austerity Program – Beyond Calculation

This is the first of the two math-rock type albums in my list, and this New York based two-piece have released a great beat heavy slab of rock, with some quite humorous lyrics if you’re into that kind of thing. It sounds somewhere between Big Black and Shellac.

Shellac – Dude Incredible

Speaking of Shellac, they finally released their latest album Dude Incredible. These guys take about as long as Tool to release put out records, though they have day jobs and therefore a better excuse. Like Tool, they also release what I consider to be consistently good albums and this one is no exception. It sounds exactly like you’d expect a Shellac album to, and despite petering out a little towards the end, is an easy inclusion for me in my top 10.

ACxDC – Antichrist Demoncore

There wasn’t much power-violence of grindcore in the readers top 10 sadly, but I’m here to address that balance by naming this great album in the top 10. High energy from beginning to end, with protest laden lyrics (if you can make them out). Just as a good grind album should be.

Lord Mantis – Death Mask

I know almost nothing about these guys. What I do know is that they put out a heavy as fuck metal album, which is definitely one of the best metal releases of 2014.

Yob – Clearing The Path To Ascend

Much hyped (here on Fourtheye anyway) doom metal act Yob released their latest Clearing The Path To Ascend this year, and for the most part they didn’t disappoint. The only criticisms I have of this album are inherent to the genre, but didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying this bands progression.

Philm – Fire From The Evening Sun

The debut album by this band (who feature Dave Lombardo on drums) made my list a couple of years ago, and their followup album in my opinion is just as good. For the most part, it’s more of the same – heavy rock though this time around with a few less of the atmospheric interludes of the first album. I can’t quite nail what I really like about this band, but I keep coming back to them regardless.

Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun

Mastodon aren’t the same prog-metal band they were back in the day, and while many (myself included) lament this, I did think their latest was a fine album. It continues down the path laid by The Hunter, except the riffs a catchier, and the vocals easier to sing along with. Will their next album take them into Foo Fighters territory? Who knows, but I dug this one.

Opeth – Pale Communion

I’ve never been a fan of Opeth, I always found their style of prog-metal a little too cheesy for my liking. Funny then that they should release an album which many of their old fans dislike, but I think is actually pretty good. Sure, it’s largely unoriginal 70s sounding prog, but they seem to have done away with some of the wankery that put me off their early works.

Skinfather – None Will Mourn

Grimy fuzzy metal with a slightly old school death metal sound. Some fantastic riffs over the course of a unrelenting 30 minutes.

Update: It seems I forgot completely about the Lazer/Wulf album should actually be in my top 10. Sorry Killer Be Killed!

Lazer/Wulf – The Beast of Left and Right

Instrumental rock doesn’t usually do a whole lot for me, but these guys have released a ripper of an album this year. A concept album of sorts, it’s marketed as being somewhat palindromic. That’s not really the case, but the album is made up of a bunch of riffs played forwards, backwards and a range of other ways that clash together to make a great listen.

There were a bunch of other albums I considered for the top 10, but of course I couldn’t include them all. Ask me again in 10 months time, and there’s a decent chance I’d swap in one of the following into my list:

  • Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  • Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed
  • Code Orange – I Am King
  • The Contortionist – Language
  • John Zorn – The Last Judgement

Fourtheye Readers Best Album of 2014 poll closing soon!

Thanks to all of you who’ve voted in the Fourtheye Readers Best Albums of 2014 poll. Plenty of great suggestions have come in so far! Don’t forget that the poll closes on New Years Eve (Australian time, which is about 12 hours ahead of US time), so if you’re planning on submitting your list, please do so soon.

Here’s another list of suggestions from Fourtheye Readers:

  • Too Bright – Perfume Genius
  • Z2 – Devin Townsend
  • Once More ‘Round the Sun – Mastodon
  • To Be Kind – The Swans
  • RTJ2 – Run The Jewels
  • Pale Communion – Opeth
  • Volume X – Trans Am
  • Benji – Sun Kil Moon

Use the form below to submit your entry!

In case you can’t see the poll embedded above, you can reach it at this link.

Fourtheye Readers Top 12 albums of 2013

Our poll to collect your Top 10 albums has concluded, and I’ve finally counted all 230 votes received! As there were 3 albums tied for 10th spot, I decided this year we shall have a top 12. Voting was quite tight beyond the top 5, with only 1 vote separating the next 15 that didn’t make the cut.

Most of the albums selected were by long standing artists that we’ve all seen or heard of before. There were a wide range of albums voted on, so in the next day or so I shall present a companion list – the top 10 albums from bands you may not have heard of.

Without further ado, here is the list!

12. Palms – Palms
Featuring members of Isis and Deftones, it should come as no surprise that this new super group made Fourtheye’s top 2013 list. While the album was a little mellow for my tastes, this album appealed to a good number of you lot.

11. One Of Us Is The Killer – Dillinger Escape Plan
DEP unleashed another 40 minutes of madness upon us with yet another strong release, taking a step back from the ferocity of the last album and adding in a little more Ire Works style experimentation.

10. Earth Rocker – Clutch
Clutch slowly conquering the world with their high energy rock and great live shows. Earth Rocker may not be their finest album, but it was certainly good enough to grab a bunch of votes in this years poll.

9. Kveikur – Sigur Ros
Not really much I can say about this album, as I haven’t spent much time listening to it, but these Icelandic wizards released their “heaviest” album in a while, which has appealed to many Fourtheye readers.

8. Lightning Bolt – Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam keep on turning out album after album these days. Lightning had a couple of great tracks, in particular Sirens, but other than that didn’t do much for me. Many of you seemed to enjoy it though and it made #8 on the list.

7. Incitare – Volto!
In typical Tool fashion this album seemed to take forever to come out, but when it did listeners were impressed by the high level of musicianship all over the place.

6. Asymmetry – Karnivool
Aussie Prog Rockers have been on many Tool fans radar for some time now, and their long awaited Asymmetry album didn’t disappoint. Personally I really think they could do with a new singer, but the album did have some good tracks on it.

5. The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) – Steven Wilson
Wilson put out another collection of old school prog rock mixed with a bit of jazz fusion. Was a little surprised to see this ranking so highly, though I enjoyed the album I didn’t realize his work was quite so popular with Tool fans.

4. 13 – Black Sabbath
The war machine keeps turning as Sabbath put out a long awaited Ozzy Osbourne album that is probably 20 years too late.

3. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here – Alice In Chains
Alice In Chains released their second album with post-Layne singer William DuVall, and while I personally thought it was a little forgettable, it seems a decent percentage of you guys disagree! Viva la democracy!

2. Hesitation Marks – Nine Inch Nails
2013 was a busy year for 20 year old bands, and even NIN got into the act. They released an album that was considered quite poppy by many, but is liked enough by you guys that it made our top 12. In fact this album and the #1 received far more votes than anything else that reached the top 12.

1. …Like Clockwork – Queens Of The Stone Age
Queens of the Stone Age lost their way a little on their last couple of albums (in my opinion anyway) but with 2013 came Like Clockwork. Sure, it didn’t capture the energy of their earlier works, but the emotion and songwriting rang true with many of you. Over a third of you in fact, with this album being included in 32% of the top 10 lists submitted.

Best of 2013 poll closing soon!

Just a reminder to you all that the Fourtheye Readers Best of 2013 Poll will be closing over the weekend, most likely Sunday night Australian time. Get you votes in if you want them to count! Thanks to the 180 of you who have already voted – a much better response than last years!

Here’s the form. If the embedding doesn’t work for you, then visit the poll in a separate window here.

Update: Poll is now closed – thanks for taking part!

Fourtheye Readers 2013 Album of the Year Poll

It’s the time of year where not only to we swear allegiance to baby Jesus and commercialism, but we also tend to compile best of lists. Last year we had a successful Album of the Year Poll, and this year we shall do the same! Below is an embedded Google Form which will allow you to enter in your favorite albums, from which I shall compile a top 10 based on the number of votes received.

The rules for voting are as follows:

  • Only vote for an albums once! I’ll be checking the data for duplicates, so let’s not waste both of our time.
  • Albums must be released in 2013. This seems kind of obvious really…
  • Please try and use the format . For example Laterlaus – Tool. This will make my life easier when I count the votes.
  • Order is not important. Each nomination received only one vote.
  • If you can’t think of 10 albums, then feel free to vote for less.
  • Make sure you use the form. Entries made via the comments below won’t be counted!
  • No troll votes please. Lists full of Taylor Swifts and Justin Biebers will most likely be ignored.

Here’s the form. If the embedding doesn’t work for you, then visit the poll in a separate window here.

Entries will close on Friday the 13th! Good luck!

Best Albums of 2012 Poll closing!

Just a quick reminder that the Best Albums of 2012 poll will be closing tonight, so make sure you get your votes in! I’ll be publishing the results, as well as my best albums of the year sometime in the next couple of days.

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