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Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!

It’s that time of the year again, where I bore you with the highlights of 2009, based on my shitty taste in things in general!  Disagree with me?  Did I miss something I really shouldn’t have?  Let me know!  Eventually we’ll have a survey so that we can all vote on this kind of stuff.

Music

The year was probably a reasonably quiet year for music I thought.  According to my media player, I listened to 92 different albums released in 2009, and I managed to pick a top 10 out, but not a convincing one.  None of the albums were amazing from beginning to end, and a couple had a few duds on them.  Anyway, in no particular order:

Manic Street Preachers – Journal For Plague Lovers

This is a British band which I imagine doesn’t have a huge profile in the US.  From what I understand, this album was written based on the journals kept by one of the members of the band who’s been missing (presumed dead) for a number of years now.  Not that it really makes a difference, the album is more or less a straight up alternative rock album, and a good one at that.  I’ve never been a huge Manic Street Preachers fan, but this album converted me, so it must be a good one…

Living Colour – The Chair In The Doorway

Probably my favorite album of 2009, which is a surprise, as I really didn’t like it after a couple of listens. I persisted though, and it paid off – rewarding me with one of the best rock albums of the year.  Those fans of Living Colour’s older work shouldn’t expect to see a regression here – this album is a continuation of the path they took with Collideoscope.  Having said that, where Collidoscope was a sprawling range of sounds and styles, TCITD is a far more cohesive experience, and much better for it.

Pearl Jam – Backspacer

Pearl Jam recordings have been hit and miss for a while now, and while Backspacer isn’t as good as their older work, it’s still probably the best they’ve done in 10 years or so.  Get Some and Amongst The Waves are probably two of my favorite songs from this year.

Magrudergrind – Magrudergrind

Magrudergrind are probably one of the best grindcore bands around these days, and their self titled release this year is probably as good a grind album as I’ve heard in several years.  Fans of the genre should definitely be checking this out.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Agorapocalypse

Brutal album, this drum machine propelled grind/metal band kicked serious ass with this album.  Features some of the best female vocals I’ve ever heard – more women in metal need to take note of this album.

Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue

AIC’s comeback album was a good one, though while I wrote this list I though it was lucky to make the top 10.  Sure it had some great tracks, but it also had a few songs I couldn’t stand.  Overall, a good album though, and I hope to see these guys live sometime in the next year or so!

Zu – Carboniferous

Probably one of the surprises of the year for me.  This band makes wierd metal influences jazz type songs, mainly instrumental (though there’s one track with Mike Patton).  Dub Trio fans will probably enjoy this album.

Isis – Wavering Radiant

Isis are a band that have frustrated me over the years.  Their albums I’ve found have been good in parts, but largely a little too longwinded for my liking.  In 2009 they released Wavering Radiant, and for whatever reason I quite like it.  I’m sure if I can put a finger on why I prefer it over their other work, but I do.  Looking forward to seeing these guys at Soundwave in a couple of months.

Behold! The Monolith – Behold! The Monolith

Behold! The Monolith made last years list with an EP that they released.. The released a full length this year, and in no real surprise to me – it’s quite good.  These guys do basically progressive stoner metal, and in my opinion are probably one of the most overlooked in the genre.  Make sure you check them out.

Propagandhi – Supporting Caste

Propagandhi are probably my favorite punk band.  This album follows on in the same direction as their last album, and while not being amazing, is a solid album, and probably one of the most listened too this year.

Honourable mentions

The following didn’t make this list, but are worth checking out:

  • FistfuckRock n Roll Nightmare
  • Between The Buried And MeThe Great Misdirect
  • ClutchStrange Cousins From The West
  • ConvergeAxe To Fall
  • He Is LegendIt Hates You
  • MastodonCrack The Skye
  • NileThose Whom The Gods Detest
  • RammsteinLiebe Ist Fur Alle Da
No I didn’t forget Them Crooked Vultures – with the exception of two songs I thought it was quite boring.

Live

I didn’t see a massive amount of live music this year, something I hope to rectify in 2010.  Highlights of the year were Alice In Chains at Soundwave 2009, Pearl Jam at Adelaide Oval, Propagandhi back in Oz for the first time in years, and The Who with my Dad. 

2010 looks promising already, with Soundwave bringing Faith No More, Isis and Meshuggah, and Converge, Between The Buried and Me, Nile, Origin and Misery Signals touring early in the year.

Gaming

I play a whole stack of games, and I’d say I’m mainly a RPG and/or FPS player.  My favorite game this year is probably a dead heat between Dragon Age and Torchlight.  Both RPG games but in very different styles.  Torchlight really caught me by surprise – it’s a great Diablo remake, and a game that has kept me coming back for weeks now.  Dragon Age has been awesome as well though, it’s probably one of the better hard RPGs I’ve played in years.

As far as FPS games go, I enjoyed the single player Modern Warfare 2, despite it’s short length.  Personally I think short FPS games are great (Portal is a great example), however I was extremely disappointed with MW2 contempt of the PC market, and the way it was over priced.  Borderlands was great as well, though I found it a little repetitive.  I need to play more of this in the new year though.

I play a fair few indie games, favorites this year include Spelunky, Mount & Blade, Armageddon Empires and Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

Spelunky is a platformer with an Indiana Jones type theme.  It features randomly generated levels, and is probably one of the coolest and most fun platform games I’ve played in a while.

Mount & Blade is a action RPG where you play the role of an adventurer in a medieval world.  Features horseback combat in an open world.  A game I’ve been following for a few years now and it was nice to play this again as the completed version.

Armageddon Empires is a post-apocalyptic turn based strategy game.  Well designed and good fun.

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is a very polished rogue-like, featuring proper tiles for those that don’t like using an ASCII interface.  Fans of rogue-likes and those wanted to give this genre a try should definitely give this free game a download.

This year should be a good one for gaming – I’m already looking forward to Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Fallout Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Red Dead Redemption and probably more I can’t think of right now.  Diablo 3 would be awesome, but I can’t see that coming out this year sadly…

2010

2010 is the start of a new decade, and hopefully one that should be fruitful for Tool fans.  It seems likely that Tool will at lest start writing and recording this year, and there’s always a chance we may see a release late in the year, and possibly some tour dates.  Of course there’s always talk of “Big Things” and such, hopefully some kind of DVD or video might make it’s way out there.

I’m sure Maynard will continue to work hard with Puscifer, though at the same time I hope after the tour next year he begins to change focus back to the band we really love.  However far be it for me to try and tell the guys from Tool how to do things, they have delivered in the past despite long gaps between drinks and I’m expecting they’ll deliver again.

As far as Fourtheye goes, I hope to continue to make this a great site for all Tool fans to visit.  I’m always open to suggestions on how to make things better, so don’t be shy – message me and let me know what you really think.  Hopefully I can put a little more love into the technical side of Fourtheye in the next year.

For me, I’m starting a new job in 2010, starting tomorrow in fact.  I don’t expect this will interfere with Fourtheye much, but if I’m a little quiet in the next few weeks then you’ll know why!

I hope all my readers have a great 2010, and thanks for taking the time to consume the site– Fourtheye is only ever as good as it’s readers!

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ajreeb
ajreeb
12 years ago

Thanks for another year of keeping us up to date on all things toolish.  Best of luck with the new job.

itsyours2relive
itsyours2relive
12 years ago

Thnx Hellboy for all your efforts, keep up the good work!
I’ll check out some of your highlights 2009 list any time soon!
All the best everybody!
 
 

BellJH
BellJH
Member
12 years ago

Cheers HB.

Also for anyone interested, trent reznor has said he will be making some new NIN music in 2010, as well as putting out some non-NIN music….

Naattik
12 years ago

Happy New Decade, Matt. Thanks for the site and your efforts, especially while TA is horked up. Good luck on the new gig, bro.

Man, do we ever diverge when it comes to musical taste (with some notable exceptions). But I still appreciate the recommendations and reviews.

thepot23
thepot23
12 years ago

Decent list of music, though personally it’s missing quite a bit! Not an issue though, thank you for the recommendatios!

mv
mv
12 years ago

[quote comment=””]Decent list of music, though personally it’s missing quite a bit! Not an issue though, thank you for the recommendatios![/quote]
 
Thanks for your site and what you’re doing, Matt. Just keep building on it, that’s all I can ask.

nad
nad
12 years ago

we should impliment some type of bootleg suggestion thread, which gives fans a place to suggest shows that other people should look for, without actually posting the links on this website. criteria should include setlist, location & date,  sound quality, audience noise, and general notes.
 
my first suggestion would be everyone check out “kalamazoo- 7-15-98.” best quality version of stranglehold i have is from this show, along with cd quality sound and a talkative maynard, as well as an appareance from buzz from the melvins

fortysixand2
fortysixand2
12 years ago

happy new year hellboy… thanks for all you do… us tool fans would be lost without you!

andSometimesY
andSometimesY
12 years ago

This is one of those websites that I check on a daily basis (sometimes more than once). I started reading in November 2008 I think and that seems like it was just yesterday. Great job with the site!
P.S. I thought that Karnivool’s Sound Awake, Muse’s The Resistance, and Rishloo’s Feathergun were really good 2009 albums as well (and I think TMV’s Octahedron was a 2009 release too?)

nad
nad
12 years ago

rishloo is sick! everyone check them out
 

Leo Monzo
12 years ago

Thanx for this site!!!  Saludos desde Mexico!!!

jimmyeleven
jimmyeleven
12 years ago

Hellboyardee, you only find Them Crooked Vultures boring because I overhyped them like crazy in the TA chatroom.  And then left the TA community for the TCV community.  But by all means if the chat has anything happening lemme know

seanhalas
seanhalas
12 years ago

thank you for a FUN site. i agree with the Pearl Jam review, but Unthought Known is my favorite on the new album. have a great new year Hellboy.

SirGreat
SirGreat
12 years ago

Mastodon is definitely in my top 10 releases this year. So is Nirvana’s Live At Reading, but maybe that one shouldn’t count. Other ones I think are good are Isis’ “Wavering Radiant” and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “It’s Blitz!”

nathan
nathan
12 years ago

Good post HB although my list would be much different, but will make an effort to check out the suggestions, love the site and keep up the great work! Good luck on the new career hope it will be very prosperous for you. Heres to an awesome 2010!

cooper
cooper
12 years ago

Mastodon’s “CRACK THE SKYE” is a must have. I love that album.

cooper
cooper
12 years ago

You guys should check out FEVER RAY. Her music is sick.

tiresias
tiresias
Member
12 years ago

Great site. Keep up the good work.

BellJH
BellJH
Member
12 years ago

Thinking back, Lamb of God’s ‘Wrath’ was a suprisngly good album of 2009. Definately in my top 3. A lot better than most of their previous work, I would reccomend. 

teshla314
teshla314
12 years ago

cooper – 2 weeks ago  » 
Mastodon’s “CRACK THE SKYE” is a must have. I love that album.

Crack the Skye is Album of the Year, hands down. Baroness and the Blue Record ain’t too shabby as well.

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