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Top 5 Albums Of The Year So Far…

Just for fun, I want to share with you my top five albums of the year so far. These albums are great and I think they’ll be contenders for the end of the year list that is just SO much fun to put together. So far we have the following:

5: Exotic Animal Petting ZooTree of Tongues. This awesome gem was an unexpected gift sent to me for review. I’ve never heard of the band until earlier this year and the album just continues to get played to this day. I rocked this shit while in the garage yesterday! It’s really good.

4: Cannibal CorpseTorture. It just came out but this one is on a continuous loop , I listen to it twice a day at least. The songs on the album are just so fucking entertaining. It takes no time at all to fully enjoy this album for what it is.

3: Plague Widow2012 EP. A new band with a big sound. This is how you do death grind. Songs are short, to the point and incredibly heavy. If you haven’t checked out Plague Widow yet after all of these posts I’ve been making you are a fucking retard.

2: CrossesEP II. Not metal, actually far from it. Chino Moreno/Shaun Lopez/Chuck Doom come together to write some beautiful music. It’s slow & tragic yet romantic. Crosses is one of the best side projects to have come out in recent years.

1: Woods of YpresWoods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light. Words cannot describe my love for this album. The bands final album, Woods V, is a really tough album for me to listen to and sing along to all the way through and not get a tear built up. I miss David Gold and this is his amazing last work of art. This album inspires me, it motivates me, it calms me and it makes me think. Not to mention the tunes are fucking good, this is a different take on doom. It’s not just toned down guitars and growling, it’s singing….really good singing. David’s lowest vocal tone ever, and the fact there are so many instruments contributing to the sound on this album makes Woods V that much more unique. Also, even with all of the heavy death metal put out so far this year, nothing makes me headbang harder then the part on “Alternate Ending” on the 1:48 mark, the doom breakdown is so fucking good. I love this album. RIP David Gold, you’ve inspired more than any man ever has.


Here is some more greatness of 2011. More personal opinions that hardly matter but I feel as though they should be shared. Here are some more “best of 2011” mini-lists. An award ceremony if you will. Except there are no awards. The only award is us listening to them and their music.


1 – ††† (Crosses)– †

2 – DeadfallNew Light

3 – ImmolationProvidence



 1 – Amon AmarthSurtur Rising

2 – CrowbarSever The Wicked Hand

3 – Woods of YpresWoods IV



1 – Dominic “Forest” Lapointe of Beyond Creation

2 – Chris Corey of Last Chance To Reason

3 – Alex Webster of Blotted Science



1 – David Davidson of Revocation

2 – Simon Girard and Kevin Chartre of Beyond Creation

3 – Johan Söderberg and Olavi Mikkonen of Amon Amarth



1 – Francesco Paoli of Fleshgod Apocalypse

 2 – Jade Simonetto of Hate Eternal

3 – Phil Dubois-Coyne of Revocation



1 – Michael Lessard of Last Chance To Reason

2 – Joseph E. Martinez of Junius

3 – Chelsea Wolfe



 1 – Simon Girard of Beyond Creation

2 – Erik Rutan of Hate Eternal

3 – Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth



Revocation – Chaos of Forms



1 – Scale The Summit – The Collective

2 – Russian CirclesEmpros

3 – Blotted ScienceThe Animation of Entomology

Top 20 albums of 2011 – Part II: The Top 10!

Here it is….my overall top 10 of the year.

10. ChimairaThe Age of Hell – Songs that will make you drive a little faster…each song is great and you will definitely headbang and sing along. The work done on this is some of their best work since The Impossibility of Reason and it’s the last album that Matt and Rob will be apart of.


9. MastodonThe Hunter – Excellent writing that is more prog than thrash/rock. Still very heavy and catchy. Masters of their craft.


8. Splattered EntrailsNauseate – Death slam grind that does one thing and one thing well, be as brutal as possible. Mike O’Hara  makes some of the best slam grind on the internet. Truly speaker destroying and gut wrenching stuff.


7. CrowbarSever the Wicked Hand – Those riffs, man! God damn. These slow songs really make you headbang hard. Good tunes!


6. Suicide SilenceThe Black Crown – The most groovin’ album Suicide Silence has ever released! Some great riffs and awesome guest appearances too! The band is tighter than ever and the energy captured by the band is intense.


5. Hate EternalPhoenix Amongst The Ashes – True death metal that delivers. Running on all cylinders, the machine that is Hate Eternal punishes those who attempt to consume it whole. This album is dangerously fast and the riffs are fucking intense.


4. Amon AmarthSurtur Rising – It’s Amon Amarth…of course it’s going to kick ass! Back with more great riffs, solo’s and amazing screams from Johan Hegg! Surtur Rising is just another chapter of the mighty Amon Amarth in their quest to conquer the world! Seeing this entire album performed live also was another highlight of the year. Great on the speakers and just as amazing live.


3. Beyond CreationThe Aura – A surprise tech-death band that I’ve never heard of, The Aura blows me away every single time I listen to it. If you need a band to scratch that Necrophagist itch, Beyond Creation will scratch it and then some. Very satisfying album. Some of the best guitar/bass playing and drumming I’ve heard all year.


2. Woods of YpresWoods IV: The Green Album – Blackened Doom that caught me off guard. I listened to this album hundreds of times this past year. It has a lot to offer since it’s a long album and it covers many more genres from an angle. The album is one emotional ride and tells a great story. Woods IV has inspired me to not only implement some of this style in my own guitar playing, but to start this blog and tell people of the lesser known bands that are incredibly good. Excellent writing and I just can’t help but sing along.



1. Last Chance To ReasonLevel 2 – “We eat videogames and shit music.” Fuck yes they do. Level 2 is a groovin electric progressive technical metal album with harmonizing vocals, guitars and tons of poly-rhythmic playing all over the place. I love this album. It’s the best of both worlds, amazing metal combined with a layer of video game influence. The song writing is mind blowing and album as a whole is more than satisfying. Level 2 is just simply amazing, it’s definitely the best album I’ve heard this year. What a treat. From beginning to end it’s just a masterpiece.

Top 20 Albums of 2011 – Part I: 20-11

Been a good year. Lot’s of exceptionally great music. However out of the 100+ albums covered and the many more I’ve just listened to…there are only a few that stood out. Here is my list of 2011. Starting with number 20 I have….


20. I Declare WarI Declare War – Kick someone in the chest while listening to this album. Great deathcore. They really improved on their technique and song writing this time around. Maintaining raw brutality while adding some unique leads in the mix.


19. DecapitatedCarnival is Forever – Metal as fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

18. Fleshgod ApocalypseAgony – Symphonic death metal is symphonic. Very fast paced and over the top.


17. EndstilleInfektion 1813 – Some of the best black metal I’ve heard all year.


16. RwakeRest – Haunting and Soul shattering songs. Some of the riffs gave me goosebumps….so chilling and cold.


15. BelphegorBlood Magick Necromance – If you’re a fan of Behemoth, then you’ll definitely love what Belphegor does here. Evil riffs and drumming from hell!


14. RevocationChaos of Forms – Some of the most exciting song writing and music of the year! Infectious guitar solo’s and hooks that’ll make you come back for more!


13. JuniusReports From The Threshold Of Death – The most “non metal” band on the list. Incredible music and singing. Gives me a Deftones vibe with the singers breathy style and the bands build up during the song. Unexpectedly awesome sound and song writing.


12. VildhjartaMåsstaden – The only band labeled “djent” that I liked this year. Fucking brilliant music writing and technique. A true headbanger album. WHAT IS A THALL!?


11. Wayne StaticPighammer – It’s Static-X…but with some of the best riffs and electronic work Wayne has ever done. “Static Killer” is possibly one of the best songs ever written by Wayne Static. It’s also one of the worst album covers of the year. Ah, well. Can’t win em all!

Stay tuned for Part II of my “Best albums of 2011” tomorrow!!


I’ve really never paid too much attention to music videos. I’ve always appreciated bootlegged videos because I love seeing the band in their natural habitat. Nowadays, I try to appreciate music videos a little more. Whether it’s a pro-shot live version or an artsy fartsy video that doesn’t even show the band at all; I’ve come to watch these videos with a different mind set. This year was a great year for videos, there were some interesting places for bands to play that wasn’t a typical empty warehouse or random field. Some videos didn’t even show the band at all but captured the feeling of the song perfectly. These 10 videos were my favorite of 2011 and I hope you enjoy them as well.

10. Woods of YpresI Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery. This video is what got me into the band and what sparked my interest of many many other things. It’s a long song/video but it held my interest after all of these months. Interesting shots and with the combination of the band performing, it makes for one really good video. I find the ending shots to be both odd and cool at the same time, when it transfers to light and dark shots. I wonder why they decided to blur out the sides of the lens though, you can’t see the bassist and other guitarist at all really.

9. Chelsea WolfeMer. The lighting and style of this video is fucking awesome. Chelsea’s voice is so haunting and beautiful at the same time. I really have no clue what’s going on but I like what I’m seeing. I honestly just love the shot when it’s focused on Chelsea singing in front of the two candles on the wall. There is something just mesmerizing about that part of the video.

8. The Devin Townsend ProjectJuular. It’s Devin Townsend, how could this not be awesome? It’s so damn creative and the fact that Devin is dressed up like a crazy old man blowing on some tube while being shackled by some mistress makes it even weirder/better. Where are they going on this train?  Whatever the case may be, it’s intense and soothing at the same time. Townsends vocals are epic man, EPIC.

7. MastodonDeathbound. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood meets complete Muppet mayhem. So fun to watch and the song itself is really good.

6. Suicide SilenceYou Only Live Once. A unique music video that places the band in a shooting range. In between the cartoon characters with guns and their targets. The effects are good (except for the arrow) and the video is fun to watch. All of those people at the range are creepy, like Tim Burton’s remake of The Chocolate Factory creepy. Oh man, quality video.

5. RevocationNo Funeral. It’s just Revocation performing in an empty theater. What more do you really need? The video kicks major ass considering there is not much to it. Just some great angles and shots of the band. Very good song and I love the close ups of David’s face while he belts out his vocals. I love watching this band perform, it’s like porn. Metal porn. Stimulates the eyes and ears. Very cheeky video indeed.

4. Valient ThorrSleeper Awakes. Good song, funny video! Sing along and enjoy yourself!

3. Last Chance To ReasonUpload Complete. It’s the awesome band performing the awesome song with video games and brilliant camera work. Fuck yes!

2. Motionless In WhiteImmaculate Misconception. Not really my type of music (I don’t like the clean vocals he does) but the imagery and point Chris is making I 100% agree with. Dee Snyder also makes an appearance and whips the shit out of him. You get to see the band perform, you get to see a crucifixion and there is neon jizz everywhere. Also, I got chills AND got a dose of adrenaline when Chris kicked the FUCK out of that guy in the chest. OH MAN I WANTED TO KICK SOMEONE IN THE C HEST AFTER I SAW THAT!

1. BEHEMOTH – LUCIFER. The images. The costume design. The acting. The effects and the song itself, masterful. Produced and directed by Dariusz Szermanowicz and Grupa 13, they bring forth one hell of a video. Lucifer also is another chapter in the return of Nergal, back from his Leukemia that he went through. Seeing Adam Darski sing his parts is absolutely chilling. This is my favorite song on the album and I’m so glad they made a quality video for it. HAIL BEHEMOTH!!!


The Deftones, a band I was late to the party for but love like no other. Their style and their energy fulfill my soul and my mind when I listen to them or see them live. A unique band that reminds me of the good times as well as the bad times. I love their drumming style, their guitar riffs, their bass groove and I absolutely love Chino‘s vocals. I think he has the most amazing range. One song could be a seductive trance, the next song could be a screeching howl; his pitch is unlike anyone’s I’ve ever heard. His highest pitch would make Dani Filth seem weak and muffled at times.

I love the Deftones and it was incredibly hard to do this top 10 list. I tried my hardest to gather these 10 alone and then arrange them into a way I felt seemed fair on several accounts. Whether it’s on a musical level or personal level. Here we go, my top 10 Deftones tracks.

10. Root from Adrenaline

9. Around the Fur from Around the Fur

8. Lhabia from Around the Fur

7. Birthmark from Adrenaline

6. Teenager from White Pony

5. Sextape from Diamond Eyes

4. Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) from Around the Fur

3. Rx Queen from White Pony

2. Digital Bath from White Pony

1. Knife Party from White Pony

Let’s break down these songs. Root, what’s not to love? That guitar work is phenomenal and the explosion of energy for the chorus is great. My favorite part of the song is at 2:20 when Stephen breaks into that diminishing power chord slide, man. Killer! I love that part. Chino’s vocals are a work of art on this track as well. Even early on when Deftones broke onto the scene, they showed the world what they could do. Next up is Around the Fur : kicking off with that drum beat into a soft vocal style and ripping guitar riff. This is one of those “scream your lungs out in the car while driving to work” songs that pulls me in every single time I hear it. I’m having a hard time not single loudly as I type this! The raw part ending the song beginning at 2:52 is fucking intense. Lhabia is so good, I love the guitar work performed on this track. So simple yet so heavy. The pre-chorus riff is also one of my favorites written by Stephen as well. Lhabia is another song I just want to sing along to at high levels. Well, let’s be honest, I want to do that to every Deftones song, who am I kidding? I love the screaming vocals over the soft vocals during the chorus. Gives me goosebumps at how well they put that together.

Birthmark has one of the coolest introductions of any song on their entire catalog. From the gentle guitar strum into the drumming then the heavy guitar chords. I love how subtle a verse can be and then how it gradually gets heavier and heavier eventually ending with a groove and Chino screaming and spitting into your ears. Teenager is SOOOO GOOOOOOOD. I love how slow and ambient it is. Chino’s voice is so fucking killer and chilling on this song and if you have the correct stereo system, the bass is fucking booming. Sextape is next and even though it’s off of their latest album, Diamond Eyes, it has a special place in my heart along with the rest of the timeless classics that the Deftones has made. This track is deep and special to me. It reminds me of one hell of a night me and my fiance had together in Florida. The guitar noise, the vocals, the drumming and the bass guitar just come together so well and make such a great song. It’s good that the Deftones can come back after a few bunk records and produce a song so powerful that I immediately fall in love with it. Sextape is an incredible track.

Next up is “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” and from beginning to end it’s just an amazing feeling. This is usually what I play when I begin a long roadtrip. The riff with the cool drum beat makes you feel like you’re cruisin’ down the street on a cool summer evening no matter where you truly are. Something simple yet magical about this track that taps into those good nights of being with friends and loved ones, enjoying life and having a great time. I played this song over and over when I drove from Kansas City, MO to Fort Walton Beach, FL. This is also one of those tracks where Chino sounds just amazing. His delivery on the track is so good. Beginning Rx Queen, The bass drum hits and the cymbal crashes with the strike of an oddly tuned snare drum but it works. The bass guitar does the work during the verse, keeping the track subtle and quiet until the chorus. When the energy picks up a little and the guitar comes crashing in.

“Cuz you’re my girl and that’s alright, if you stay with me I won’t mind”.

Next up is another track off of White Pony, Digital Bath. Starting up again with another smooth drum pattern and guitar chord that would put anyone in the mood. It’s my favorite track to sing along to. I love the short but sweet chorus.

“Tonight, I feel like more. Tonight.”

As is always with a track, I have associated it with something within my life and a special someone so it strikes emotions and feelings each and every time I here it. It’s weird, mysterious and romantic in a way.

My favorite Deftones track though is again off of White Pony, which is also my favorite album. Knife Party begins with a simple little chord until the rest of the band joins. That chord continues but the drums and bass add so much more power to it. The verse is simple and quiet again, kicking it up a notch for the pre-chorus and turning up the intensity even more during the chorus. Dark and beautiful, I think the lyrics and the way this song is sung is absolutely breath taking. I’ve gone into a trance many times listening to this song and singing along. I’ve desperately looked for this song at karaoke bars but it never comes up. I think this song is so different, so evolved, so mysteriously sexy…it’s absolutely incredible how a couple of dudes from California could come up with something like this. That bass guitar and guitar work are just so moving it’s unreal.

My knife, it’s sharp and chrome
Come see inside my bones
All the feigns are on the block
I’m the new king, I’ll take the queen
‘Cause in here we are all anemic
In here, anemic is sweet, so

go get your knife, go get your knife
And come in
Go get your knife, go get your knife
And lay down
Go get your knife, go get your knife
Now kiss me

I can float here forever
In this room we can’t touch the floor
In here we’re all anemic
In here, anemic is sweet, so

Go get your knife, go get your knife
And come in
Go get your knife, go get your knife
And lay down
Go get your knife, go get your knife
Now kiss me

Of course, I’ve put together my own personal feelings into this song in some form so it makes it that much better. That’s the majesty of the Deftones though. They create a song with their own interpretation and feelings yet it’s so metaphorical and well said that anyone can put in how they feel, their personal experiences and their own thoughts onto the track as well. Yet, we’re all singing the same lyrics. That’s the beauty of this band. Poetic, that’s the Deftones for you.

On a side note, I didn’t even become a fan of the Deftones until way after they released all of their good stuff. I finally got into them in 2005. White Pony won me over, Around the Fur made me a bigger fan, Adrenaline and a few tracks from the S/T album and SNW made me adore them. The self titled album is a good album, it has some tracks on there that I love. Saturday Night Wrist I loved at first, but the novelty of “Ohh, a new Deftones album” wore off fairly quickly and it came down to me only really liking a couple of songs. Unfortunately, that was Chi Cheng’s last album as he is recovering from a near fatal car crash in 2008. Since the crash, the record they were working on, Eros, was put on hold. Deftones grabbed a bass player and toured a bit, then released Diamond Eyes. This album is actually incredible and I see it as a White Pony meets Around the Fur, just with an 8 string guitar. Stephen’s tuning is low so that the album may seem a little bit different, it’s still the same great Deftones we all know and love.

Well there you have it. My top 10 Deftones tracks. It was really hard to pick out, then once I picked them out it was hard to actually stick with it. Honestly, I love all of their work. Each album is a moment in time for them and for me that brings back memories, good and bad. Much respect for them, their work, their fans and their style. I hope to see them soon in concert and I hope Chi Cheng makes a strong recovery and returns to the stage with them. Here is to a great band who will forever go on as a pioneer of something more than just metal, more than just music.