Let’s kick this shizzle off.
This is the big one of the year. Here at Stuff And That, we get round to a lot of watching, listening, playing and, of course, writing about all that jazz. 2016 was the year that we gained a lot of readership so a moderately-sized thanks to those who’ve stuck with this pile of tripe, you give us that SWEET VALIDATION. Anyway, enough of that soppy crap, this is where we tell you what was the best this year past and we’re gonna kick that off with some tunes. So, join us, as we hand out redundant titles to some quality musics. As always, there are some albums that I’d’ve loved to listen to, but didn’t get the chance, these include:
We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service – A Tribe Called Quest
Femejism – Deap Vally
Post Pop Depression – Iggy Pop
A Weird Exits – Thee Oh Sees
Not The Actual Events – Nine Inch Nails
However, let’s get right into this.
Yo, this be Reuben. Yeah, Milo said most things. 2016 was a good year. Not amazing, but good. We got graced with a lot of great music, games and films, along with a few brilliant bloggers to share our acquaintances with, although world affairs may not have been perfect.
Milo may show off about his wider taste of music, but I can’t help but be loyal to rock and metal, so all of my choices will stick to those genres, because, yunno, they are the best. Here are the albums I missed from the year:
Red Fang – Only Ghosts
Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette
Best Old Album We Listened To This Year.
There is such an ass-tonne of great albums out there that no-one can listen to them all in a year, unless you’re certony somebotano. So, it only seems fair that we give these suckas recognition this year.
So I’m gonna be doing mine in a kind of “nominees-award” style.
My nominees are (in no particular order):
Is This It? – The Strokes (2001) – Such a light, fun record with some sweet riffage to boot.
The Bedlam In Goliath – The Mars Volta (2008) – The complete opposite of the above; a brooding, but masterful, bout of insanity.
Black Holes And Revelations – Muse (2006) – Packed with hits left, right and center.
Paranoid – Black Sabbath (1970) – An absolute classic that helped form the genre.
From Parts Unknown – Every Time I Die (2014) – This screams home like a padded cell and injections twice a day.
The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars – David Bowie (1972) – Another classic, the magnum opus of a great artist.
Fire – Electric Six (2003) – The fact that this is mentioned in the same breath as Bowie is an insult, but it’s funky, sexy disco rock.
Black Sunday – Cypress Hill (1993) – B-Real is, like, the best thing.
If You Can’t Join ‘Em, Beat ‘Em – DJ Format (2005) – An astoundingly good old-school hip-hop record.
Psychic Warfare – Clutch (2015)
Hot damn! I wasn’t expecting to put this on here, mainly because I thought I listened to it last year. As beside the point as that may be, that fact speaks volumes about how I view this record, and what a gaddam record it is. From my first listen of the single X-Ray Visions, I was completely hooked to this band and I needed to listen to this. Boy, I wasn’t disappointed. The energy and power in this music is unfathomable, with incredible, chunky riffs blasting their way through the album’s runtime, as well as Neil Fallon’s godly voice, which is one of the most entertaining in modern music, let alone rock and metal. This is, quite simply, one of the best rock albums I’ve listened to in the past five years, easy.
Imma doing a joint winner for this spot, if you don’t mind.
Soundgarden – Superunknown (1994)
When I reviewed this I didn’t do it justice, giving it a measly 87. I mean, that’s a high score, but Superunknown is better than that. By this point, it’s one of my favourite albums of all time. First off, Chris Cornell’s vocals are incredible, as he produces powerful, grungy and elegant vocal tracks to bring the album a slice of class and unique awesomeness. Then you’ve got the instrumentals, with Kim Thayil’s guitarwork being the standout, as his hundreds of guitar tracks wind through the record with similar quality to Cornell’s belting lyrics. Also, you’ve got the title track, which is like the best thing.
Korn – Follow the Leader (1998)
I can’t quite put into words how good this record is. It’s aggressive, catchy, and fun, all to the highest degree, throwing classics like Freak on a Leash, Got the Life and B.B.K right into your eardrums like some sort of funky, sadistic orgy, that’s somehow mind-boggingly brilliant. Korn didn’t only conquer the metal scene, but the whole music world with this work of mad perfection. This album was genre defining, and one of metal’s greatest and most influential bands’ best album — and for damn good reason.
Korn – Untouchables (2002) – A mightily loud and in-your-face album and on the cusp of Follow the Leader’s quality.
Clutch – From Beale Street to Oblivion (2007) – This blew me away with it’s unfathomable chunky funk and cyberpunk aesthetic, and is possibly Clutch’s best album.
Audioslave – Revelations (2006) – One of my go-to albums when I just wanna groove out. Yea boi.
Priestess – Prior to the Fire (2010) – A great mix of classic rock and classic metal with some fantastic songwriting and concepts. (Review)
Primus – Brown Album (1996) – Mouldy bass and slapstick songwriting at some of its best.
Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralyze (2005) – Nonchalant grooves, catchy hooks and an interesting pace from the word go, with a few great classics and Josh Homme’s best vocal performances. (Review)
Korn – Issues (1999) – Creepy noises, dopey riffs and bass drops to send you crazy.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us Is the Killer (2013) – Insane energy, absolutely mental breakdowns and flippin’ Greg Pucatio and Ben Weinman being dudes. (Review)
Meshuggah – Obzen (2008) – Brutal, unforgiving and eerily atmospheric. (Review)
Let’s get right into the festivities , eh? These are the best tracks that graced the ear of the writers.
My nominees are:
It Remembers ft. Brandon Urie (of Panic! At The Disco) – Every Time I Die – An epic metalcore ballad of clean singing and eerie atmosphere.
Dark Necessities – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Delivers on the funk wit dat Fleabass, and the rest of the band are pretty quality as well, yeah, even you, Josh.
Told You I’d Be With The Guys – Cherry Glazerr – A laidback noise pop track that is sugary sweet in its blandness.
Bernie Got Berned – Mistachuck & The Impossebulls – The only anti-Trump, anti-everyone song you’ll ever need.
Florian Saucer Attack – Black Mountain – A flurry of space rock madness.
We The People – A Tribe Called Quest – Another politically-charged rap song, tackling social issues brilliantly.
Lazarus – David Bowie – A haunting parting gift from a legend.
Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage – A bombastic cover of a quality song in its own right.
Blood Moon – Giraffe Tongue Orchestra
Trust me, this ain’t the last time you’ve seen GTO in this article. This alt-metal supergroup hooked me as soon as Reuben linked this song. Thomas Pridgen, one of my favourite drummers, brings up a solid beat, unlike its offbeat counterpart Crucifixtion, and delivers some awesome cymbal work. Then guitarists Brent Hinds and Ben Weinman, of Mastodon and The Dillinger Escape Plan respectively, power away with an astounding riff that it so cool, my ears give up because they know they won’t hear anything as cool. Matching the dopeness in the guitars, vocalist William DuVall (Alice In Chains) lays down a supreme vocal melody that provides an aura of soul to the metal surroundings.
At the Drive In – Governed by Contagions
This is punk good enough to send shivers down your spine, and who knew that was even possible? I did, because At the Drive In have done it before, because they are the best punk rock outfit I’ve known for sure, and their best material was of similar quality to the awesomosity of The Mars Volta, who are my 2nd favourite band.
This amazing band and original brainchild of music geniuses Omar Rodriguez Lopes and Cedric Bixler Zavala is back from a 16-year hiatus, and they are back with a bang. Governed by Contagions is flippin’ mental, just as I wanted it, with a rocking sound wall, effective vocal performance from Cedric, pounding rhythm and unique songwriting to make the wait worth it.
Gojira – Silvera – A memorable and powerful single from Gojira to be played at live shows for evermore.
Monster Truck – Don’t Tell Me How to Live – Ridiculously catchy and bluesy, as I’d want from these Canadian ledges.
Soilwork – Helsinki – Possessing similar qualities of power, energy and melodic strength of the best of last year’s The Ride Majestic.
Wo Fat – There’s Something Sinister in the Wind – Unfathomable riff glory, an unstoppable machine of fuzz.
Killswitch Engage – Hate by Design – Just another brilliant metalcore anthem from Jesse and the boiz.
Korn – Rotting in Vain – Groove, catchiness and ska. What more from Korn?
Meshuggah – Born in Dissonance – Mind-bending and absolutely chunky.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Detroit – Quality output from all da boiz in a funky work of funkiness.
Gojira – Stranded – Similar situation to Silvera.
Grand Magus – Varangian – Viking Maiden’s best song I’ve heard.
Best Music Video.
While they aren’t entwined with the quality of their respective songs, a video can greatly improve the listening experience, and some can be masterpieces in their own right.
My nominees are:
Blood Moon – Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Robot, Japanese schoolgirls holding the band hostage with a variety of colour and gore? Perfect.
Told You I’d Be With The Guys – Cherry Glazerr – Sleek, slacker-style; matches the song perfectly.
It Remembers – Every Time I Die – A surreal, stylish journey that travels through deserts and weird, neon orgies.
Shadows – Red Fang – A badass Predator tribute video, a bit flippin’ cool.
Florian Saucer Attack – Black Mountain
Before we start, this was a difficult choice to pick, because videos like Blood Moon and Shadows could’ve easily won video of the year in literally any other year. BUUUUUUUuuttt, like the accompanying album, IV, Florian Saucer Attack has a crazy sci-fi feel to it, in its sound and aesthetic. So, how do you turn that into a music video? Easy, you have a space lemon have space sex with everything, it’s weird but compelling.
Korn – A Different World
I’m a sucker for stop-motion, Korn, and awesome guest vocalists are very welcome – A Different World has all these things, through it’s trippy rhythm and pounding bass, along with a music video fit for kings, with a rather horrid aesthetic and sinister motives to fit the creepy track. It has a nicely old school tone, too, with references to Take a Look in the Mirror and some of that horror shtick of the time.
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Blood Moon – bountiful colour, gore and robotic Asian chicks, oh boy.
At the Drive In – Governed by Contagions – a fittingly cool music video for the year’s best song.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Go Robot – bombastic and fun video for a song with similar qualities.
A good beat is what drives a song and a good drummer can make a band, as these guys have.
My nominees are:
Brad Wilk – Prophets of Rage – A seasoned drummer that can transcend genre, delivering great metal and hip-hop beats.
Daniel Davison – Every Time I Die – This dude can blast an ass off with some crazy work on ETID’s latest stuff.
Chad Smith – Red Hot Chili Peppers – A classic drummer who, while definitely not laying down his best work on The Getaway, still keeps it solid with his consistent, hi-hat heavy grooves.
Mark Guiliana – David Bowie – An insanely talented session drummer that blew me away with the complexity of fills on Blackstar.
Thomas Pridgen – Giraffe Tongue Orchestra
Since he first blew me away with his work on The Mars Volta’s The Bedlam In Goliath, Thomas Pridgen has remained one of my favourite drummers in the industry thanks to his high-energy, fill-filled style. His dabbling in multiple genres, like fusion, has given his prog metal drumming a tinge of jazz-flavour which never fails to impress me. In GTO, Pridgen jumps on-and-offbeat like he’s playing Frogger on the tempo and makes it hard to argue why he’s known as “Perpetual Solo”.
Tomas Haake – Meshuggah
Along with being a bit of a massive dude, Tomas Haake is one of the most skilled drummers the metal world has ever beheld. He leaves most other drummers in his wake with his incredible rhythm in unfathomable time signatures, which include all kinds of varying paces and energy — powerful and mind-bending. He’s just one groovy metalhead from Sweden, who has an insane knack for drumming.
Thomas Pridgen – Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – He is a badass, but he’s played better than his work for Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, and I don’t think he’s quite got what Haake has – even so, he is incredible.
Dirk Verbeuren – Soilwork/Megadeth – This Swede’s got some pretty dope beats, too, and some more experimental work could put him up there with drummers like Haake in the very near future.
Mario Duplantier – Gojira – Some sick tricks from this guy, to boot, a whole bunch of impressive time signatures and fills.
Going hand-in-hand with the drummer, the bassist lays down the groove for a song, as well as dat all important funk.
My nominees are:
Tim Commerford – Prophets of Rage – Provided a great deal of funk for RATM, does the same thing on Prophets of Rage, transferring to hip-hop basslines of Public Enemy really well.
Aaron Beam – Red Fang – Drunken powerhouse bassering, steaming through every song with badassery and *burp* style.
Ludwig Göransson – Childish Gambino – Another session, Göransson screams vintage with his 70s-influenced soul on the new Gambino album.
Flea – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Who else? I mean, seriously, who else could’ve beaten Flea? He’s been slapping that bass for over 30 years and, yet, with his work on The Chili Peppers’ latest record, you wouldn’t be able to tell. Though his basswork hasn’t been as pioneering as it was in the 90s, his funk hasn’t died down in the slightest and 2016 has been a busy year. I mean recording a new album AND playing the national anthem, not bad. Plus, at live shows, Flea acts more like a frontman than the ACTUAL frontman, interacting with the fans and really making them feel like they’re part of the show, which is the sign of a brilliant performer, not just musician.
My first choice was Flea as well, but since we don’t want a duplicate, I’ll give you an alternative bass freak:
Fieldy – Korn
He’s not quite Flea, but Fieldy’s skills are undeniable. He’s like if Les Claypool was nailed down to a five-string and played in a nu-metal band, so that’s not far off Flea, now is it. Although his groove isn’t quite as prominent on The Serenity of Suffering as on most previous releases, his bass skillage is still absolutely vital to the album’s sound and his groove machine can always be heard driving the music along, with his drop-tuned slap stylings remaining some of the best in the industry.
Flea – Red Hot Chili Peppers – He’s the real winner here, really, but oh well. What Milo said.
Tim Commerford – Prophets of Rage – One of the reigning kings of funk and such a massive dude.
Jean-Michel Labadie – Gojira – Whatever he does to his bass it sounds really, really cool.
Dick Lövgren – Meshuggah – A massive part of Meshuggah’s chunky sound with his massively down tuned and skillful bass riffs.
Aaron Beam – Red Fang – Eh, what Milo said.
How cool are guitarists? Very cool, especially these goddamn riffmeisters.
My nominees are:
Brent Hinds – Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – A very close pick, his work on Broken Lines has given me a bit of a clue what Mastodon fans are on about when they rave about him.
Jordan Buckley & Andy Williams – Every Time I Die – What I’ve come to expect from the two has been delivered in spades on Low Teens, BRINGING THE MENTAL.
Stephen McBean – Black Mountain – While his backup singing is unbelievably douchey, there’s no denying that his guitar work is sweet and spacey on Black Mountain’s new record.
Stephen Carpenter – Deftones – I’m just up to my knees in thick, sludgy riffage as soon as I listen to Deftones and, while Gore lightens it up in production, he doesn’t disappoint on that front.
Tom Morello – Prophets Of Rage
Aww hell yeah! Uhh! Woo! Get some, boi! YEAAA! These are all thoughts that run through my head once I hear Tom Morello has picked up a guitar. This dude, and I mean dude, has given us some of the best riffs of the 90s (and of ALL TIME) and he’s been active once again in 2016, in RATM/Public Enemy supergroup (w/ B-Real (cuz he was bored)) Prophets of Rage. Now, while their debut EP, The Party’s Over, may not have been the “bomb” that it was hyped to be, there is not a doubt in my mind that Morello hasn’t lost any touch that he had 20 years ago. Plus, he is a DUDE.
Benjamin Weinman – The Dillinger Escape Plan/Giraffe Tongue Orchestra
For both Dillinger Escape Plan and GTO (predominantly Dillinger), this goofy guitar master fiddles the guitar like he’s been playing djent since he was 2, providing bountiful amounts of crazy guitar samples for Dillinger, making it sound like there are four collectively awesome guitarists at work in each track. One of the most laid back guitar wizards in metal/rock.
Tom Morello – Prophets of Rage – What Milo said, but with ever-so-slightly less praise from my part.
Brent Hinds – Mastodon/Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Just look up a tab by this guy. He’s unstoppable. Maybe slightly less impressive than Weinman though.
Christian Andreu – Gojira – Similar effects to Gojira’s bassist.
The frontman (or woman) gives the music a face and characterises the songs we listen to, here are some of the best.
My nominees are:
Amber Webber – Black Mountain – A beautiful and haunting voice that kicks ass throughout IV.
Chuck D & B-Real – Prophets Of Rage – Two of my favourite MCs of all time? In one group? Yes please.
Chino Moreno – Deftones – Hits the mark perfectly between clean and scream, and has done for flippin’ ages now.
Clementine Creevy – Cherry Glazerr – Boredly drifting through each song has never sounded so cool.
Keith Buckley – Every Time I Die
Along with Tomas Haake (apparently), this guy is one of the biggest dudes in metal music right now. As well as that, Buckley is a very big part of why I listen to Every Time I Die and why they’re one of my favourite metal bands, as his mixture of clean, soulful and scream singing is hit so perfectly. His drunken lyrics (literally) and chaotic performances throughout ETID’s new album really capture the essence of what the band is all about; mental.
Cedric Bixler-Zavala – At the Drive In
Now this guy really brings the mental. Known for his insane onstage antics, including destroying drumkits, throwing kettles into the crowd, getting in equipment crates and being just generally crazy and probably on something. Whether he is or not, Cedric is a legend of a vocalist and a massive stage presence, worthy of all the praise he gets. Also, his Twitter is great, and he’s just a really fun and unique personality in the music scene.
Devin Townsend – What an absolute KFC gravy of a man. (That’s a big compliment.)
Greg Pucatio – The Dillinger Escape Plan – Not far off Cedric’s insanity and one of metal’s best singers.
Jonathan Davis – Korn – Always energetic, passionate and influential.
Johan Hegg – Amon Amarth – This guy is an actual viking warlord.
Keith Buckley – Every Time I Die – Okay, this guy is a bit cool.
Aaron Beam – Red Fang – Drunken Master of the music world.
Jesse Leach – Killswitch Engage – Delivering as solid metalcore vocals as ever with energetic stage performances.
Aryn Jonathan Black – Scorpion Child – Heaps of energy and deeply American charisma with his Led Zepplin-like style.
It’s about time we deliver some all-important just desserts to those special albums that made us want to rip our ears off the sides of our faces.
My nominees are:
Stay Together – Kaiser Chiefs – While I kinda defended it a bit in my review, for me, this was just tits.
Revolution Radio – Green Day – Ooh! Check Green Day then! This is like Fisher Price Baby’s First Political Album, just go listen to RATM instead.
California – Blink-182 – These guys are, like, in their 40s or something, any “checkin’ out the girls in class” they’re doing would involve being on some kind of register.
This House Is Not For Sale – Bon Jovi
I’m gonna level with you guys, I didn’t really listen to many bad albums this year. When it came to writing this, I had Stay Together as my worst album and I didn’t think it really deserved it, so I binge listened Green Day, Blink-182 and this, looking for some turd. Oh boy, did I find it. I’m already not a fan of Bon Jovi’s brand of generic, painfully mainstream, old man poodle rock, but this album really does take the sh*tty cake. When the most interesting thing about your record is your frontman’s teeth, it might be time to consider a farewell tour. But seriously, what is up with those teeth.
Reuben didn’t listen to a particularly bad album last year, what a lucky ballbag.
Now it’s come to that point where we honour the best collective with our arbitrary “best artist” title, the lucky buggers.
My nominees are:
Prophets of Rage (6 Nominations – Winner of Best Guitarist) – Such an exciting supergroup, while their EP didn’t really impress me that much, I’m just happy this exists.
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra (6 Nominations – Winner of Best Song and Drummer) – It seems like 2016 was the year of the supergroup, with these guys, ^those guys^ and Gone Is Gone all making appearances, these guys kick ass though.
Cherry Glazerr (3 Nominations) – Just perusing around Youtube, looking for music, and found a track by this noise pop trio and was instantly interested, they didn’t disappoint, looking forward to 2017 and their new album.
Black Mountain (6 Nominations – Winner of Best Music Video) – Recommended by Dave Grohl of all people, Black Mountain’s brand of energetic space rock on their new album is super cool.
Every Time I Die (7 Nominations – Winner of Best Frontman) – While I got into them last year, Low Teens saw me re-listening to some of their stuff and realising how damn good they are, and Low Teens is spectacular as well.
David Bowie (2 Nominations) – As I’ve said plenty of times in this article alone, there is little else to describe him apart from “legend”.
Red Hot Chili Peppers (5 Nominations – Winner of Best Bassist)
What?! How do these guys weasel into the top spot of all my best band lists/noms? Well, it’s because they’re the best band, obviously. While The Getaway has disappointed plenty, I thought it was a solid, definitely hopeful, release with a majority of great, great songs on it, Dark Necessities and Sick Love just to name two. However, I also saw this band in Birmingham in December, which was my first gig, and, though they did omit Can’t Stop and Dani California from their setlist, it was still the best night of the year and something I’ll never forget. So, of course they win best band.
Korn (6 Nominations – Winner of Best Bassist, Music Video and Old Album)
Gojira and At the Drive In were incredibly close to clinching this award, but it had to be Korn. I don’t think they’ve had as spectacular a year as pioneering Gojira or the rejuvinated At the Drive In, but they’ve been highly active, produced a great new album, and, most importantly, grabbed me with their music most since I first heard Mastodon in 2014, as I’ve fallen in love with their groovy, melodic and creepy brand of metal, listening to them pretty much daily for the past five months and loving every second of it – much to Milo’s begrudgement, but oh bloody well.
Gojira (6 Nominations) – 2016 was this French band’s best year to date and was the first one that I listened to them, the awesome blokes.
At the Drive In (3 Nominations – Winner of Best Song and Frontman) – One of my favourite bands, some of my favourite people, back, and kicking ass.
Red Hot Chili Peppers (4 Nominations) – These guys don’t need a 16 year hiatus to start kicking ass.
Meshuggah (5 Nominations – Winner of Best Drummer) – The year I realized this band is a beast, and the year of great success on their part.
Monster Truck (3 Nominations) – Drivin’ along like a monster truck in 2016.
Here’s the big boy, the best release of the year gone by.
My nominees are:
The Getaway – Red Hot Chili Peppers – While this is far from RHCP’s best material, it’s a huge comeback from 2011’s I’m With You, and it has a bounty of great Chili Peppers songs, some of which will be played for years to come.
Only Ghosts – Red Fang – Red Fang’s latest mental effort retains the rambunctious sound the band have been perfecting for a good few years now, just badass to the highest degree.
Broken Lines – Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – One of the best debuts I’ve heard in ages, this album backs up two absolutely QUALITY singles with a bevey of mind-blowing rock/metal.
IV – Black Mountain – The decision between this and my winner was the hardest of the entire Best Thangs catalogue, as this is an extremely good record. An absolute beast in it’s sci-fi atmosphere and punchy riffs, this is an album I won’t be disgarding for a long time.
Gore – Deftones – I’ll let you in on a little secret, I haven’t heard any Deftones released between this and White Pony, but I’m seeing them in a few months, so I better brush up, eh? And a better album to get back into Deftones I could not think of, as this is such a wonderfully produced but still as-metal-as-before bastard of an album.
Low Teens – Every Time I Die
Nah, I couldn’t fight it. As much as IV is an absolutely quality record, as much as Broken Lines brought some of the best singles of the year, as much as The Getaway brought The Chili Peppers back on their feet, Low Teens beat them all. Why? Because it simply blew me away; on first listen and every time I hear it again. As much as ETID are bringing that crazay mentalness that I’ve mentioned before as a key part of why I like them so much, they also show a musical maturity, leading to much more melody and soul in the mix as well. You’ve got songs like Glitches and The Coin Has A Say, that kick ass, then you have songs like It Remembers and Map Change, that have a dope melody and some cleanness to them. By the way, I definitely didn’t give enough credit to Map Change in my review of this; since writing it, that song has become one my favourite ETID songs because of how mind-blowingly spectacular it is. But that’s it, this my favourite album of the year.
1. Gojira – Magma
This is the last mention of Gojira, I promise… There is a reason I’ve put ’em up for so many awards though. This.
Magma blew me away, and I’ve loved it in every listen since. There is just so much power, so much cool bass and guitar trickz, and off-beat drumming masterclasses on show in this prog metal masterwork. It may not be quite as brutally heavy as some of their past choons, but it’s their most patient material yet, and that makes for an amazing ride of progressive giants like Only Prey or The Shooting Star, and metal eruptions like Silvera or Stranded, sweeping through a perfectly edited and hard-hitting record with no weak tracks or disappointments, just plain awesomeness.
2. Monster Truck – Sittin’ Heavy
This album is about as meaty as the title and album cover suggests, bringing a chunky and no nonsense blues rock album straight outta Canada to please ears all round, with heavy, keyboard infested melodies and feel-good hits, including one of my nominees for song of the year, Don’t Tell me How to Live, and other memorable highlights such as She’s a Witch and For the People. Sittin’ Heavy improves upon the band’s earlier material with its better mix, too, along with an immense vocal output from Jon Harvey.
3. Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
Now this is meaty. It sounds about as meaty as a 24-ounce steak. In terms of chunky meatiness, nothing — absolutely nothing — beats Meshuggah. The Violent Sleep of Reason is perhaps the most “meaty” of all of the band’s works, showcasing an all-you-can-eat selection of MASSIVE riffs, bass lines and weird soundin’ power chords. Tomas Haake is as incredible as always, delivering pounding and strange rhythm to the awesome collection of tech metal powerhouses, as the album produces a couple of the band’s best songs in Born in Dissonance and By the Ton. Can’t quite beat the feel-good factor of Monster Truck, though.
Wo Fat – Midnight Cometh – Such an awesome riffmeister and oh so close to getting into the list.
Every Time I Die – Low Teens – Full to the brim of coolness and energy.
Korn – The Serenity of Suffering – Not quite Korn’s greatest material but housing four absolute quality tracks plus some more goodie goodness.
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Broken Lines – An interesting and highly enjoyable debut for this talented supergroup.
Grand Magus – Sword Songs – Iron Maiden, but viking!
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway – A bit disappointing, but it has some really good tracks, and I have listened to it a lot.
And that’s that for last year’s choonage, stay tuned for Volumes Two & Three – Game & Film, til’ then…
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations
Bringing redundant opinions to scrollers everywhere,