Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Album of the Year

Gojira - From Mars to Sirius

That was a tough one. All That Remains and Celtic Frost were tough, tough contenders. I've had the new ATR a lot longer and it's gotten a lot more play but it lost out cause it gets a bit bogged down in formula. Celtic Frost lost out cause as good as it was it wasn't something I could play nearly as often. Very dark black metal but that guitar sound wasn't entirely agreeable. Gojira presents death metal that is progressive yet heavy enough to collapse into a black hole (They've gotten compared to Meshuggah, but these guys have musical chops beyond doing constant time changes). And the album is conceptual to boot! The band leans towards environmental causes (yeah, I know) so the album reflects that lyrically. But it's no big deal cause, firstly, they're French (FRENCH! For fuck's sake!) so the English lyrics are typical of a band who are writing in a language other than their native tongue. Secondly, there is also a scifi/fantasy angle towards the end so they really aren't trying too hard to hammer you over the head with that shit. The production sounds fantastic. Celtic Frost was again taken down a notch for that reason. Ditto for Iron Maiden (big time!). The vocals are done in that typical thrash/death screamed/growled/grunted style. There is a tiny tiny tiny bit of actual singing, but no matter, it's all good. What helped was that I had like zero expectations for this album. I had heard two songs through MySpace and read a nice write-up about them in Revolver. All I knew was that it was a fairly heavy album. Holy shit! So this album basically came out of nowhere and knocked me on my ass. Hell, I had no experience with Celtic Frost either but this album feels so fresh, so exciting. I wouldn't call it experimental exactly, though it has that side to it, but this is the album that pushes this style of music on to the next step. It's early yet, but I can see this album being cited as a gateway album much in the same way Master of Puppets and Seasons in the Abyss are for those styles of metal. It's death metal but it's not about cutting people up and raping dead bodies like Cannibal corpse. It's progressive death without being frighteningly inaccessible like Meshuggah yet maintains a constant brutality unlike Opeth. Landmark? Well, I guess only time will tell on that one. Hell, I still got a handful of CDs that I haven't listened to, I might change my mind. Strapping Young Lad? Amorphis? Both great bands. Still, this is an album people must know about.

Complete ratings will come later. Overall I think it's been an adventurous year for my collection. Never thought I'd be getting shit like The Pat Metheny Group, Charles Mingus and Weather Report. Even if it was just a few CDs, it was definitaly a new experience. With that in mind I'm also calling The Dave Brubeck Quartet's Time Out as my best overall purchase for 2006. This is something that needs, absolutely fucking needs to be in every music collection. It's also super cheap through Amazon and therefore you have no excuse for not buying it.

Got shit like OSI, which is basically progressive/trance music. That one I looooooved! I could just lie there all day listening to that shit on headphones. Metal Church was great, but the quality of the recordings were lacking severely and sounded like shit on my dinky little box. God Dethroned was a disappointment but Amon Amarth was fucking solid. Mr. Bungle and The Mars Volta are practically distant cousins in a way. God bless Mastodon! And on it goes. It was a varied year for me. I should probably aim for more consistency in my choices instead of hopping from one style to the next at random but the year is young. Some albums got more play then others. Some got a lot more play then others. Shit, some I still need to listen to! But it was a weird year overall for me. That new ATR sure as hell helped my summer after getting shitcanned. Nothing like a sonic kick to the nuts to help get you moving past shit.

Here's to 2007! May it be pleasant yet surprising.


Post a Comment

<< Home