December 29, 2009

The Best Albums of 2009: 10-6

10. Epica - Design Your Universe

With their fourth studio album, the Dutch symphonic metal band Epica has released their heaviest album to date.  This may have something to do with their new guitarist Isaac Delahaye and his background in death metal.  But whatever the reason, the album is very good.  And Simone Simons still has one of the best voices in symphonic metal (and, in my opinion, the best body.  A word of warning about the music video: the song is good, but the video is terrible.

9. Sonata Arctica - The Days of Grays

Aside from having probably my favorite album cover of the year, Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica continue to make quality music.  I can't quite tell if this is a concept album or not (I can't find any information to suggest it is, but it feels like one), but in any case this album contains some of the most infectious songs of any album this year.  Plus, any band with a keytar has to be cool!

8. Baroness -Blue Record

Wikipedia lists Baroness as a "sludge metal" band, which I think is a fitting term for their music.  Obviously influenced by Mastodon, Baroness is one of the many new-to-me bands that I found this year.  Even though I can't understand any of the lyrics (which for me is not a problem), their music is very easy on the ears.  The below video also gets my award for WTF? Music Video of the Year.

7. Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect

With their blending of death metal, progressive metal, jazz, funk, blues, etc., Between the Buried and Me prove themselves to be one of the most original bands out there.  They are extremely talented, and continue to change the face of heavy metal for the better.

6. Sons of Seasons -Gods of Vermin

My choice for best new band of the year is the German symphonic/power metal band Sons of Seasons.  The band features one of my favorite new singers in Henning Basse, and was founded by Kamelot keyboardist Oliver Palotai (aka the lucky bastard who's dating Simone Simons, who also sings on a couple songs on this album).  I love albums with an epic feel to them, and this one definitely has that.  I look forward to hearing what they come out with next.

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