I don’t think anyone is going to argue about 2009 going by like a train without brakes and yet here we are at the part of the year where we line out what we viewed to be “The Best” of the year in terms of albums, videos, concerts, events and books. We’ve aimed at making this a yearly thing and while it’s a lot of fun to share with you it’s also quite a bit of work; This is especially the case when you go way over a small list and keep on writing. With this this installment I’ll be offering up the albums that I got to listen to and liked the most out of the rest of them during the year. Sure we probably missed some that you are expecting to see here but you don’t get your hands on everything in this line of work no matter how you try. So sit back and relax and lets get to onto the main event.
The Best Albums Of 2009:
Mastodon “Crack The Skye” (Sire Records): Mastodon continually push their own musical envelope and this release finds them more a Progressive Psychedelic Rock outfit than a Metal band and the band’s following didn’t mind a bit based on the incredible music that was to be found on this one.
Epica “The Classical Conspiracy” (Nuclear Blast Records): Their 2nd effort for NB is this incredible concert experience that finds the band presenting mostly film score classics and then their greatest numbers with a full orchestra accompanying them. A wonderful experience and one that will impress the most difficult of fans – my hope is that this comes out on DVD sometime soon.
Heaven And Hell “The Devil You Know” (Rhino Entertainment): The most anticipated release for the first half of the year would be this new “Sabbath” album and it did not disappoint at all. Nice and heavy and loaded from beginning to end with solid Metal memories. Hoping this lineup hangs around a lot longer before pursuing other projects.
KISS “Sonic Boom” (KISS Records): Whether you support the fact that a couple of new faces wear familiar makeup or not, the band released a strong album and offered a great batch of extras with it to boot. The Wal-Mart exclusive nature of it made it a best seller that was actually a lot of fun.
The 69 Eyes “Back In Blood” (The End Records): Thanks to producer Matt Hyde The 69 Eyes were indeed back to raw Goth Hard Rock basics and moving on from the glitz they were steadily approaching. Lots of catchy stuff on this one and let’s hope this direction maintains course.
Steel Panther “Feel The Steel” (Universal Republic): Eighties Metal gets a 2009 Cryogenic Defrosting as this bawdy and outrageous foursome return from hiatus with their long-awaited release. If you like songs about sex, sex and just a little bit of sex then this is the album for you.
Stratovarius “Polaris” (Armoury Records): Kotipelto and Company prove that there is life in the band after Timo Tolki and release a rousing Melodic Power Metal CD with lots of cool hooks and catchy choruses. Add an amazing new guitar god to the mix and we find that no one is irreplaceable.
Baroness “The Blue Album” (Relapse Records): This would be my first go at the band but I liked what I heard enough to add them to the year’s top releases. Hoping to catch them do this stuff live one day soon. Interesting band and I can see where the buzz is coming from.
Dream Theatre “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” (Roadrunner Records): Prog-Metal champions keep us enthralled yet again. Make sure you snare the deluxe edition of this one for its cool additions to the conventional release.
Gwynbleidd “Nostalgia” (Black Currant Music): Well constructed and superbly executed Progressive Death Metal with a melodramatic and almost ethereal feel at times. These Brooklyn natives really delivered the goods on their full length and deserve a top spot. Nice work, and they do this music perfectly live as well. Trust me I would know as I’ve caught them a few times in concert. Are they the saviors of Melodramatic Prog-Death Metal? They very might well be.
Continue reading PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Music Part 1