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Old 12-12-2016, 02:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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He doesn't get to "have a little fun" on my time!
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mordor View Post
He doesn't get to "have a little fun" on my time!
Nah I forgot: they don't allow fun in Mordor, do they? All that praising Sauron: does it not get wearing after a while?
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Old 12-12-2016, 04:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Nah I forgot: they don't allow fun in Mordor, do they? All that praising Sauron: does it not get wearing after a while?
Fun is great and welcome. Corny garbage gets the delete button.
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Fun is great and welcome. Corny garbage gets the delete button.
I bet you say that to lure in all those innocent ring-bearers just before you slam the gates shut, don't you?
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Have you heard the song yet or not? It would make the jolliest hobbit cry.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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9. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation

Genre: Mathcore, Experimental Metal, Alternative Metal
Put On A Playlist With: At The Drive In, Strapping Young Lad, Mr. Bungle

The flexibility and sheer ferocity of one of mathcore / metal's best modern live acts never ceases to amaze me. Despite this album supposedly being the swansong on a long and storied career, there's no shortage of weird ideas (Mahavishnu Orchestra-styled jazziness, EDM, etc.) mixed in with the larger than life vocal talents of Greg Puciato. He's the closest thing to a successor in the music world to Mike Patton, but I don't think the latter has done anything quite as beautifully soaring yet fragmented in recent years as the closing title track nor anything with quite as much whiplash appeal as 'Low Feels Blvd' or the modern sludginess of 'Symptom Of Terminal Illness'.


8. Ed Motta – Perpetual Gateways

Genre: Modal Jazz, Vocal Jazz, West Coast Jazz Fusion
Put On A Playlist With: Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Flora Purim

One of Brazil's greatest living vocal jazz treasures brings the cream of the crop to his second English-language release, including flautist Hubert Laws and jazz's keyboard queen Patrice Rushen. The mood here is quite interesting - think mid 60's Herbie Hancock with a touch of Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan and you can appreciate Motta's approach to jazz composition. You'll get a hint of samba here and there as well, but for the most part this is pretty much just an exceptionally well done old school jazz-fusion album with Motta's distinctive vocals as icing on the cake.



7. Dissona – Paleopneumatic

Genre: Eclectic Sludge/Death/Black/Progressive/Heavy Metal with stylistic diversity in spades
Put On A Playlist With: Enslaved, Bathory, Tool, Nine Inch Nails

This Chicago outfit wasn't on my radar at all until this year with the release of Paleopneumatic, their sophomore album...and boy is it odd. Industrial and electronic elements permeate the crushing metal elements you know and love, but the "it" factor these guys have is a balance between two very distinct sides: the harsh, uncompromising sludgey brand of progressive metal versus the strings-drenched, almost Baroque atmosphere with huge vocal harmonies. The magic trick these guys pull is how they consistently tie these disparate identities together from song to song. What you get is a rather entertaining end result that borders on existential, and tells me that they're on the verge of a breakthrough of some kind that could catapult them above some of the biggest names in extreme metal before too much time passes. Watch this band.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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6. C Duncan – The Midnight Sun

Genre: Indie, Ambient Pop, Chillwave
Put On A Playlist With: Cocteau Twins, Tame Impala, Brian Eno / Harold Budd, The Enid, 80's New Age albums released on Windham Hill

Haunting, strange and somewhat hymnal sophomore album from Christopher Duncan, one of Scotland's up and coming singer-songwriter prodigies. Heavily influenced thematically by "The Twilight Zone", horror anthologies and the inexplicable, the synth-leaden atmospheres here are rather striking and focused on texture as opposed to poppy. To these ears, it is a fluid, engrossing listen that sounds both out of time and clearly influenced by both the past and present. Those looking for something dark and resonant to indulge in as we heard toward the solstice need look no further than this album.


5. Frost* – Falling Satellites

Genre: Progressive Pop/Rock
Put On A Playlist With: Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, It Bites, Devin Townsend

For me, producer/songwriter/keyboardist Jem Godfrey has been modern progressive rock's one true shining light in the darkness. His ties to the contemporary pop world have given him instincts that elude a lot of other guys in the genre, and he expertly brings the right people together, crafts great hooks, incorporates modern electronica and production techniques, and in general has a knack for dynamics. His painstaking attention to detail is inspiring too, which gives Falling Satellites an empathy of sorts that makes it accessible even to people who might not like progressive rock. The concept is interesting, a propulsive exploration into time and death that draws interesting parallels to David Bowie's Blackstar even as the album draws on a completely different set of aesthetics to illustrate these ideas. Every song here is fantastic, but that trap breakdown (in a prog song?!) midway through 'Towerblock' that transitions to a monster chorus is harrowingly fun.



4. Sumerlands – Sumerlands

Genre: Heavy Metal perfection
Put On A Playlist With: mid 80's Ozzy Osbourne, Jag Panzer, Manilla Road, Fates Warning, early 80's Queensr˙che

The best love letter to early US Power Metal I've run into in many, many years, complete with some blistering performances and songwriting that compares favorably to Ozzy or early QR's best material. Producer and guitarist Arthur Rizk (who works with Texas thrash band Power Trip among others) has a keen ear for the occult, and when his axe abilities collide with the commanding, Ozzy-esque vocals of Phil Swanson (Atlantean Kodex) you just can't stop the jams.
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Top 25 Albums of 2017

Top 25 Albums of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-19-2016 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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3. Hemina – Venus

Genre: Progressive Metal
Put On A Playlist With: Addicted!-era Devin Townsend, Dream Theater, Haken, Coheed & Cambria, Opeth

Every once in awhile you run across something that pushes an established genre or style's boundaries just a bit wider than their contemporaries. I had that feeling hit me the first time I listened to Dream Theater's Images & Words back in 1992 and Emperor's In The Nightside Eclipse in 1994. And now I've heard it again this year. It took three records to get them here, but Hemina are officially at the highest tier of melodic progressive metal. Intricate musicianship, beautiful male/female vocal interplay, eclectic instrumentation (including flutes and sax), plus an unusual feminist-oriented concept and some great hooks to go with the package. From the King For A Day-era Faith No More vibes of 'Expect The Unexpected' to some absolute stunners in the form of 'High Kite Ride' and the catchy 'Dream State Of Mind'. I've heard a lot of great sludge, death, goregrind, etc. this year, but the metal album that ended up trumping them all for me this year was a poppy prog metal album from Australia. Who woulda thunk it?


2. The Midnight – Endless Summer

Genre: Synthwave
Put On A Playlist With: Timecop1983, John Carpenter, your favorite late 80's synth-pop

Synthwave is a reto-tastic little genre that's started to come into it's own over the last few years since Drive hit theaters in 2011, but as of 2016 I can safely say the first "masterpiece" of the genre has emerged. The Midnight consists of Tyler Lyle (a songwriter from the Deep South) and Tim McEwan (a producer from Denmark), and together they've made an album that captures the late 80's with absolute mastery. As my friends would say, this is some "next level shit", and it still manages to sound contemporary when you least expect it.



1. Ice Choir – Designs In Rhythm

Genre: Classic Synth-Pop
Put On A Playlist With: Johnny Hates Jazz, Tears For Fears, Level 42, Pet Shop Boys, Prefab Sprout, A-ha

At what point does nostalgia cross the line into creating music that sounds indistinguishable from the era by which it's influenced? That's the question I asked myself as this triumphant cascade of 80's pop rolled over me, sounding like classic Tears For Fears or a-ha being blindsided by the jazzy, occasionally angular sophist-pop coming out of England around the same time period. Ice Choir is the brainchild of some 20-something producer/songwriter named Kurt Feldman out in Brooklyn who had some indie cred but hadn't really blown me away with anything previously he was involved with (like The Depreciation Guild). Yet somehow he managed to put together the musical equivalent to pure joy and wrapped it all up with a nice bow. This is the album you listen to when skiing down the Alps or ice skating during Christmas Eve in Sweden, and it is not only the best 80's sounding album of the year, but its my personal favorite album experience of the year as well. Merry Christmas all!
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Top 25 Albums of 2017

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Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.
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Old 12-25-2016, 08:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I keep hearing about this Dillinger Escape Plan. I guess its my duty to check them out now.
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