As promised, this week’s show is about our supplemental lists. A prelude, if you will, to the top albums of the year. We trimmed the fat this year, so we only have six categories (yeah, there was more), including Best EP, Most Disappointing, and Best Art. As in years past, the latter is done with a guest appearance from our good friend and kinda-in-house artist Mike Clancey. Feel free to share your picks – or argue with ours – in the comments!
(Just a reminder: For those of you doing your last minute Christmas shopping on Amazon – which we know some of you are doing – please go there through one of the album links on the side. That simple click-through will help keep this podcast up and running. Thanks!)
Here’s some comments and my picks for the categories from this week:
Best album artwork? I have to go with Mastodon Once More Round The Sun. They really went all out to make an old school effort at large scale artwork.
Most overlooked? Inferi. Maybe Polar.
Most improved? You said Mastodon? Really? I mean, I think it’s cool that you like Once More Round The Sun, but to me it’s a consistently great Mastodon album. My pick for most improved would be Pallbearer, with maybe Job For A Cowboy a runner up.
Most Disappointing? I could go with Machine Head even though they were my number 6 album of the year. Runner up is Devin Townsend’s Casualties of Cool.
Some comments about your disappointing albums is that while I can see how Iced Earth was disappointing, there are a few good songs on Plagues of Babylon to make it ok. I love the song “Spirit of the Times.” As for Audrey Horne, their album Pure Heavy certainly grew on me. Once I got over how derivative it is, I can enjoy it for what it is. But I can also see how it can be disappointing.
Worst album? Put your earplugs in, Nick, because I know you don’t want to hear me say it yet again but Conquering Dystopia was a good album. I could have understood if you thought it was disappointing, but worst album? My pick for worst album would be White Empress. It was the guitarist from Cradle of Filth and the singer from Luna Mortis. I think Mary Zimmer was a great vocalist in Luna Mortis, but this White Empress stuff is just all around bad.
Listen to that bass on that closing track from Vining Hill! Nice!
Predictions for next week: I think it’s not that easy to predict your top albums for this year. I think there are going to be a number of surprises, even if there are some albums that I know will be there. Brian already hinted that Within the Ruins and Unearth will be on his list (no surprise about Unearth). Machine Head will certainly be on your lists. Black Crown Initiate will be near the top, as might Ne Obliviscaris. At the Gates will be up there. Exmortus may be in the list but not at the very top. Arch Enemy will at least be in Brian’s list and Cynic will at least be in Nick’s list. Will Black Map and He Is Legend make Nick’s list? Probably. Behemoth? Triptykon? Maybe, probably. Is Mastodon going to be on your list? Probably, but probably not at the top. Killer Be Killed? I am not sure. I’ll have to wait a week to find out.
We both missed one more for Most Overlooked that we realized after the fact: Horrendous. That album is SUCH a leap forward for them.
You’ve done a pretty good job with your predictions for next weeks episode! I’ve got my Top 13 picked……now I just need to figure out how to fit the remaining 23 albums into the available 7 spots…..
It’s funny that you should mention that you have your top 13 picked and are having trouble on deciding on the next 7 albums in your list, because I had the same issue with almost the exact same number. For me , my top 12 fell into place quite nicely. Then numbers 13 through 20 could have gone in almost any order and could have included 8 more albums. As Decibel puts it, some of the albums for me that tied for number 21 are: Archspire, Inanimate Existence, Destrage, Killer Be Killed, and Audrey Horne (Pure Heavy grew on me).