My favorite albums of the decade (2000-2009)

10. Boris - Smile (2008)

 Left: US release (Southern Lord), Right: Japan release (DIW Phalanx)

It's unusual to release different versions of the same album. Both American and Japanese versions have the same songs but they are constructed differently, not just in structure but how are they played. "Statement" blows out the pure desert stoner rock while "Message" goes noisy industrial based. Others go out in subtle fashions with specific characteristics from each other. Even with more noise, less noise or the unusual voice overdub that's occurs in the Japanese disc, Boris provided some of the catchiest rock releases I have heard from the land of the rising sun.
 
 
 

9. Amon Tobin - Chaos Theory - Splinter Cell 3 Soundtrack (2005)

The interactive soundtrack is exciting to listen when sneaking or escaping which Amon Tobin created in the third Splinter
Cell game. Although not as dynamic, the best parts from each level in the game are well explained and doesn't go too repetitious to the point it's better preferred just listening to it in the game. Such fast and engaging pieces like "El Cargo" and "Ruthless" audibly emulates the environments very well even if you are far away from controlling Sam Fisher. 

8. Withered - Folie Circulaire (2008)

 

Meat and bones extreme metal and then some. Withered is not scared to go post-metal up my ears because they know how to go all out with really heavy riffing that just calls out the black and death greats. Supported by a rich and dark production, there is power which I barely see in extreme metal now. It's evil.
 
 

7. The Ocean - Precambrian (2007)

Visually the early years of Earth, lyrically the examples that drag down humanity today, and musically the sound of breaking
post-metal's limits by having very hybrid sludge death riffs on disc one and the fluid progression of multiple instruments and vocals supported by many members of Berlin's Philharmonic Orchestra on disc 2. Even released in 2007, it's still way ahead of its time even with the recent mini-emergence of NeurIsis bands. The future seems very bright for the collective if they keep on going. 
 

6. Discordance Axis - The Inalienable Dreamless (2000)

 It's no CD case...

Grindcore bands like Repulsion, Terrorizer and Napalm Death defied punk and metal during the 1980s but Discordance Axis defied grindcore in the early 2000s. Beyond of the elitist-alienated blue sky DVD cover, it's 23 minutes of seizure intensive technical art house grindcore with songs based on scream maniac Jon Chang's interests: video games and anime ("The End of Rebirth," "The Third Children," "Angel Present"; Evangelion anybody?).
 
 

5. Cult of Luna - Somewhere Along The Highway (2006)

Isolation is a needed dream but if it lives on and hurts, it's a nightmare. What I am really trying to say is that Somewhere
Along The Highway creates two opposing feelings. It's a great album where the musical and the lone lyrical content cohesively combine very well but it's a depressing piece filled with slow paced delay pedal riffs and grief stricken shouts. They keep spreading the sadness going until the very end.

4. Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer (2004)

I censored it, no tits. Sorry.

Riffs! Riffs! Mother f-ing riffs!!!!!!! Enough said.
 
 
 


3. Opeth - Ghost Reveries (2005)

A usual Opeth fan would actually prefer Blackwater Park but although very enjoyable, Ghost Reveries was something more
majestic. Constructed of conceptually un-arranged songs based on guitarist/vocalist Mikeal Akerfeldt's story of a man being possessed, it doesn't entirely make up lyrically but musically. The ebb and flow that exists in the record feels so fluid starting with "Ghost of Perdition" to signify the fans that even signing to a major label doesn't stop their heavy induced songwriting. Midway in "Harlequin Forest" shows the bands culmination of the years of experience trying to make very dynamic progressive death metal.


2. Tombs - Winter Hours/Altar of Plagues - White Tomb (2009, TIE)

 Winter Hours

I never put Winter Hours as my top albums of 2009 but I realized something after posting my top three (excuse me four) of the year. Besides Altar of Plagues and some others, I have listened to Tombs' Relapse Records premiere a lot throughout the year. Ever since Katatonia, I never really listened to a band sounding like a bastardized My Bloody Valentine especially one that mixes the least expected metal genres. Although some black metal bands utilize a shoegazing element, it's the abrasiveness of Winter Hours' production where it's astonishing. If nonexistent, songs like "Merrimack" and "The Great Silence" loses it's energy and emotion in which this record completely has.

You can compare Altar of Plagues' White Tomb to stuff by Olympia, Washington naturalists Wolves In The Throne Room.
 White Tomb
Ambient black metal, check; natural awareness lyrics, check; occasional female vocals on a record, check. One thing that the Ireland four piece that intrigues me is the how the album is presented. The four songs flow through seamlessly to the point that I might believe that 5 minutes past even if it was actually 12. In support, White Tomb doesn't rely too much on repetition but rather variation and power to drive the record and keep the listener awake and aware of something that seems to be filled with life.

1. Converge - Jane Doe (2001)


 
The break-up album for extreme music? Probably because there is a lot of anger and grief that seems to be coming out of vocalist Jacob Bannon's barking. Although a common theme, it's expanded to the point where the the instruments can match the feeling of love loss and being betrayed. Fast barn burners like "Fault and Fracture" and the catchy "Homewrecker" dominate the truly emotional playing field in quantity but the slow tempo pieces are the more ferocious. "Hell To Pay" goes AmRep noisy chaos with bassist Nate Newton recording multiple basses and amps while guitarist Kurt Ballou tries to intentionally dismantle the whole song. Even on the slowest beat of the droning "Phoenix In Flight," drummer Ben Koller fills up the environment and keeps the excitement with unpredictability. All of the rage is accumulated in the ultimate and title track where the 11 minutes they craft will pave their road to their experienced future. This is their breakthrough, this is a landmark, this is really amazing.
33 Comments
34 Comments
Edited by ThePhantomnaut

10. Boris - Smile (2008)

 Left: US release (Southern Lord), Right: Japan release (DIW Phalanx)

It's unusual to release different versions of the same album. Both American and Japanese versions have the same songs but they are constructed differently, not just in structure but how are they played. "Statement" blows out the pure desert stoner rock while "Message" goes noisy industrial based. Others go out in subtle fashions with specific characteristics from each other. Even with more noise, less noise or the unusual voice overdub that's occurs in the Japanese disc, Boris provided some of the catchiest rock releases I have heard from the land of the rising sun.
 
 
 

9. Amon Tobin - Chaos Theory - Splinter Cell 3 Soundtrack (2005)

The interactive soundtrack is exciting to listen when sneaking or escaping which Amon Tobin created in the third Splinter
Cell game. Although not as dynamic, the best parts from each level in the game are well explained and doesn't go too repetitious to the point it's better preferred just listening to it in the game. Such fast and engaging pieces like "El Cargo" and "Ruthless" audibly emulates the environments very well even if you are far away from controlling Sam Fisher. 

8. Withered - Folie Circulaire (2008)

 

Meat and bones extreme metal and then some. Withered is not scared to go post-metal up my ears because they know how to go all out with really heavy riffing that just calls out the black and death greats. Supported by a rich and dark production, there is power which I barely see in extreme metal now. It's evil.
 
 

7. The Ocean - Precambrian (2007)

Visually the early years of Earth, lyrically the examples that drag down humanity today, and musically the sound of breaking
post-metal's limits by having very hybrid sludge death riffs on disc one and the fluid progression of multiple instruments and vocals supported by many members of Berlin's Philharmonic Orchestra on disc 2. Even released in 2007, it's still way ahead of its time even with the recent mini-emergence of NeurIsis bands. The future seems very bright for the collective if they keep on going. 
 

6. Discordance Axis - The Inalienable Dreamless (2000)

 It's no CD case...

Grindcore bands like Repulsion, Terrorizer and Napalm Death defied punk and metal during the 1980s but Discordance Axis defied grindcore in the early 2000s. Beyond of the elitist-alienated blue sky DVD cover, it's 23 minutes of seizure intensive technical art house grindcore with songs based on scream maniac Jon Chang's interests: video games and anime ("The End of Rebirth," "The Third Children," "Angel Present"; Evangelion anybody?).
 
 

5. Cult of Luna - Somewhere Along The Highway (2006)

Isolation is a needed dream but if it lives on and hurts, it's a nightmare. What I am really trying to say is that Somewhere
Along The Highway creates two opposing feelings. It's a great album where the musical and the lone lyrical content cohesively combine very well but it's a depressing piece filled with slow paced delay pedal riffs and grief stricken shouts. They keep spreading the sadness going until the very end.

4. Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer (2004)

I censored it, no tits. Sorry.

Riffs! Riffs! Mother f-ing riffs!!!!!!! Enough said.
 
 
 


3. Opeth - Ghost Reveries (2005)

A usual Opeth fan would actually prefer Blackwater Park but although very enjoyable, Ghost Reveries was something more
majestic. Constructed of conceptually un-arranged songs based on guitarist/vocalist Mikeal Akerfeldt's story of a man being possessed, it doesn't entirely make up lyrically but musically. The ebb and flow that exists in the record feels so fluid starting with "Ghost of Perdition" to signify the fans that even signing to a major label doesn't stop their heavy induced songwriting. Midway in "Harlequin Forest" shows the bands culmination of the years of experience trying to make very dynamic progressive death metal.


2. Tombs - Winter Hours/Altar of Plagues - White Tomb (2009, TIE)

 Winter Hours

I never put Winter Hours as my top albums of 2009 but I realized something after posting my top three (excuse me four) of the year. Besides Altar of Plagues and some others, I have listened to Tombs' Relapse Records premiere a lot throughout the year. Ever since Katatonia, I never really listened to a band sounding like a bastardized My Bloody Valentine especially one that mixes the least expected metal genres. Although some black metal bands utilize a shoegazing element, it's the abrasiveness of Winter Hours' production where it's astonishing. If nonexistent, songs like "Merrimack" and "The Great Silence" loses it's energy and emotion in which this record completely has.

You can compare Altar of Plagues' White Tomb to stuff by Olympia, Washington naturalists Wolves In The Throne Room.
 White Tomb
Ambient black metal, check; natural awareness lyrics, check; occasional female vocals on a record, check. One thing that the Ireland four piece that intrigues me is the how the album is presented. The four songs flow through seamlessly to the point that I might believe that 5 minutes past even if it was actually 12. In support, White Tomb doesn't rely too much on repetition but rather variation and power to drive the record and keep the listener awake and aware of something that seems to be filled with life.

1. Converge - Jane Doe (2001)


 
The break-up album for extreme music? Probably because there is a lot of anger and grief that seems to be coming out of vocalist Jacob Bannon's barking. Although a common theme, it's expanded to the point where the the instruments can match the feeling of love loss and being betrayed. Fast barn burners like "Fault and Fracture" and the catchy "Homewrecker" dominate the truly emotional playing field in quantity but the slow tempo pieces are the more ferocious. "Hell To Pay" goes AmRep noisy chaos with bassist Nate Newton recording multiple basses and amps while guitarist Kurt Ballou tries to intentionally dismantle the whole song. Even on the slowest beat of the droning "Phoenix In Flight," drummer Ben Koller fills up the environment and keeps the excitement with unpredictability. All of the rage is accumulated in the ultimate and title track where the 11 minutes they craft will pave their road to their experienced future. This is their breakthrough, this is a landmark, this is really amazing.
Posted by DanielJW

Nice job on the write up and all that. It has become apparent to me that we do not share the same taste in music. :)

Posted by cstrang
@DanielJW said:
" Nice job on the write up and all that. It has become apparent to me that we do not share the same taste in music. :) "
Took the words right out of my mouth.
Posted by Fripplebubby
@cstrang said:
" @DanielJW said:
" Nice job on the write up and all that. It has become apparent to me that we do not share the same taste in music. :) "
Took the words right out of my mouth. "
This. Never heard of any of them, but good work on a pretty list.
Posted by ThePhantomnaut
@Fripplebubby said:
" @cstrang said:
" @DanielJW said:
" Nice job on the write up and all that. It has become apparent to me that we do not share the same taste in music. :) "
Took the words right out of my mouth. "
This. Never heard of any of them, but good work on a pretty list. "
At least Amon Tobin for his contributions to Splinter Cell. But whatever, thank you guys. :P
Posted by thehideousshrew
@ThePhantomnaut: How about Slayer- Christ Illusion or Dream Theater- Systematic Chaos? Definitely with you on Ghost Reveries
Posted by ThePhantomnaut
@thehideousshrew said:
" @ThePhantomnaut: How about Slayer- Christ Illusion or Dream Theater- Systematic Chaos? Definitely with you on Ghost Reveries "
Not the best thing I heard from them but the newest one is really good. I wanted to put Watershed but Ghost Reveries was on my playlist many times because it's a amalgamation of the Opeth sound from My Arms to Deliverance.
Posted by Gamer_152

Nice writeup although I haven't even heard of any of those artists, save for Opeth.

Moderator
Posted by AgentJ

Me and my mainstream-ness, we liked The Sufferer and the Witness, and In Your Honor

Posted by thehideousshrew
@ThePhantomnaut: Watershed was great but I definitely prefer Ghost Reveries or Blackwater Park, in fact I might even put Blackwater Park in instead.
Posted by bulletbeast

State of the Art by Hilltop Hoods, a brilliant Australian rap duo
Posted by RHCPfan24

Haven't really listened to many of those but at least you did a good with the write up. Good job!

Posted by Chopstix

It has become apparent to me that we have the EXACT SAME taste in music. Jane Doe is an excellent album, and this is and excellent list. Kudos.

Posted by ThePhantomnaut
@Chopstix said:
" It has become apparent to me that we have the EXACT SAME taste in music. Jane Doe is an excellent album, and this is and excellent list. Kudos. "
Thanks dude. I forgot to put Nasum on the list but hell Human 2.0 up to Shift are honorary.
Posted by Goly

Terrifyer! Oh yeah, really liked this list, some albums I haven't listened to like Tombs and Altar of Plagues, will get around eventually. But dude Pig Destroyer is like my favorite grindcore band ever, so much talent there be it musically, lyrically that band sure can write some good songs.

Posted by raiz265

i don't know any of those bands

Posted by ThePhantomnaut
@Goly said:
" Terrifyer! Oh yeah, really liked this list, some albums I haven't listened to like Tombs and Altar of Plagues, will get around eventually. But dude Pig Destroyer is like my favorite grindcore band ever, so much talent there be it musically, lyrically that band sure can write some good songs. "
I just listened to Trash Talk earlier!
Posted by Goly

hahah those guys rock, seeing them in belgium in a bit more than a week. gonna get some bruises i bet.

Posted by ThePhantomnaut
@Goly said:
" hahah those guys rock, seeing them in belgium in a bit more than a week. gonna get some bruises i bet. "
I live minutes away from their home city of Sacramento, California but hell they don't play here!
Posted by Goly
@ThePhantomnaut said:
" @Goly said:
" hahah those guys rock, seeing them in belgium in a bit more than a week. gonna get some bruises i bet. "
I live minutes away from their home city of Sacramento, California but hell they don't play here! "
I'll send you a message if I survive the gig!
 
Anyway to stay on topic, didn't you prefer Axe to Fall? I thought it was more memorable than Jane Doe, although it's true that Jane is the album that made them big, Axe to Fall was just stellar from beggining to end. So many huge riffs, it had a sense of melody that I don't remember from other Converge albums. That reminds me that I still gotta listen to a bunch of em (only got Jane Doe, No Heroes and Axe to Fall).
Posted by ThePhantomnaut
@Goly said:
" @ThePhantomnaut said:
" @Goly said:
" hahah those guys rock, seeing them in belgium in a bit more than a week. gonna get some bruises i bet. "
I live minutes away from their home city of Sacramento, California but hell they don't play here! "
I'll send you a message if I survive the gig!  Anyway to stay on topic, didn't you prefer Axe to Fall? I thought it was more memorable than Jane Doe, although it's true that Jane is the album that made them big, Axe to Fall was just stellar from beggining to end. So many huge riffs, it had a sense of melody that I don't remember from other Converge albums. That reminds me that I still gotta listen to a bunch of em (only got Jane Doe, No Heroes and Axe to Fall). "
I really liked that album but I loved Jane Doe much more not just for the music but it had a personal impact.
Posted by Atlas

Well, we certainly have very different tastes in music. But I admire your passion. It is very strange to me seeing a "Best Albums of the Decade" list with a video game soundtrack on it, but that's just me.

Posted by DrGanon

For the most part, this decade has sucked musically, in my opinion. The 80s and 90s were alot better.
Posted by jinxman

lol, I've never even heard of any of these...

Posted by ThePhantomnaut
@jinxman said:
" lol, I've never even heard of any of these... "
Ok.
Posted by eagles_band

Yep, that's a terrible list

Posted by xyzygy
@ThePhantomnaut: omg. I went on to Youtube after seeing these bands on your list, and I freaking love them! I have never heard of any of the really besides Boris, but Altar of Plagues is amazing!!!! I love these really drawn out types of bands, one of my favorites is Godspeed You! Black Emperor, really long, majestic songs. Except Altar of Tombs sounds a bit darker. Thanks for sharing!!
Edited by ThePhantomnaut
@eagles_band said:

" Yep, that's a terrible list "

Yet you can probably have a better list about my favorite albums than what I have done here.
Posted by AhmadMetallic
@ThePhantomnaut said:
"

3. Opeth - Ghost Reveries (2005)

A usual Opeth fan would actually prefer Blackwater Park but although very enjoyable, Ghost Reveries was something more
majestic. Constructed of conceptually un-arranged songs based on guitarist/vocalist Mikeal Akerfeldt's story of a man being possessed, it doesn't entirely make up lyrically but musically. The ebb and flow that exists in the record feels so fluid starting with "Ghost of Perdition" to signify the fans that even signing to a major label doesn't stop their heavy induced songwriting. Midway in "Harlequin Forest" shows the bands culmination of the years of experience trying to make very dynamic progressive death metal.

"
 YES !! Ghost Reveries was alot more majestic and had something more to it, while Blackwater Park is better simply as a casual metal record. the flow and similarity in the licks of all the songs can actually give you deja vu, and the fact that it begins with Ghost of Perdition is such a fucking awesome strike.. and Harlequin Forest was my favorite tune for months :D
Just because you wrote that oh-so-perfectly, i promise im gonna listen to the other 8 records :) (already know Pig Destroyer's) 
Posted by Double_Negative

Wait are we allowed to say what our favorite Albums of the Decade were?

Posted by ThePhantomnaut
@Double_Negative said:
" Wait are we allowed to say what our favorite Albums of the Decade were? "
It was a blog post I made a while back. Someone just bumped it. :)
Posted by Chopstix

Whoo! Boris and Converge on the same list; excellent. 
I've gotta say, out of all of the Converge albums, Petitioning the Empty Sky was my favorite. I loved the hell out of Jane Doe and Axe to Fall, but they don't have the same sort of intensity for me, especially A2F. It sounded too polished. 
Once again, excellent list.

Posted by Chopstix
@eagles_band said:
" Yep, that's a terrible list "
What a brilliant, informed, considerate comment. Kudos. 
One of my personal favorite albums this year was Agorapocalypse by Agoraphobic Nosebleed, along with any Isis album out there.  
I will bump this post until the end of time.
Edited by SofaKing

I'm not a metal guy, but I've liked what Boris I've heard. Might give it some more time. I did up a quick Best of the 2000s list back at the end of '09. I couldn't be bothered to order it after the top 5, which I'm really not even too sure about.
 
 
1. Radiohead - Kid A
2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
3. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
4. Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica
5. The Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree


Animal Collective - Feels
Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs
Antony and the Johnsons - I Am a Bird Now
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Björk - Medúlla
Brian Wilson - SMiLE
Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People
Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein
Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030
Destroyer - Streethawk: A Seduction
Destroyer - Your Blues
El-P - Fantastic Damage
The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Godspeed You! Black Emporer - Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven!
The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
Jay-Z - The Blueprint
Jedi Mind Tricks - Violent By Design
Madvillain - Madvillainy
The Microphones - The Glow Pt. 2
The Mountain Goats - The Coroner's Gambit
The Mountain Goats - Tallahassee
The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed
The National - Alligator
Non Phixion - The Future Is Now
Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Portishead - Third
Radiohead - Amnesiac
Radiohead - In Rainbows
The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
Sigur Rós - ()
Sigur Rós - Takk...
Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
TV On The Radio - Dear Science
TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary