10. Alice In Chains- Black Gives Way To Blue
What else can I say really? I already blogged about this album. AIC are back, baby.
9. Porcupine Tree- The Incident
Fell short of their normal standard a bit for me, but it is still a darn amazing album. There's a blog on this one to, so go read that for more.
8. Nile- Those Whom The Gods Detest
Pure, crazy, unbelievable Egyptian-themed death metal from SC. I have no idea how these guys play like they do, but this is one of the most technical records of the year. One thing is for sure; Ancient Egypt is brutal.
7. Mastodon- Crack The Skye
Concept album about a paraplegic who experiments with astral projection, only to fly too close to the sun and burn the golden umbilical cord that connects him to his body, sending him on a wormhole adventure that somehow ends up having Rasputin battling Satan to bring him back to his body. Enough said.
6. Pelican- What We All Come To Need
The Chicago-based instru-metallers have outdone themselves with this album. Some of their fiercest and most beautiful material. Choice cuts include "Specks of Light," "Strung Up From The Sky," and "Final Breath," which features the first sung vocals in the band's history.
5. The Swell Season- Strict Joy
There's a blog on this one as well. I'm not saying anything more than I need to, although I'll add to what I said before by saying that "High Horses" is an awesome song.
4. Russian Circles- Geneva
This instrumental trio, similar to Pelican in style and geographical origin, have also created the best album of their career. Good year for instrumental music.
3. Isis- Wavering Radiant
Isis have once again blown me away with this album that, according to Aaron Turner, is based on his dreams. I had the chance to see them live this year as well, and the new material translates wonderfully. Isis can do no wrong in my book.
2. Between the Buried and Me- The Great Misdirect
If Colors was BTBAM's Dark Side of the Moon, then this is their Wish You Were Here. An amazing follow-up and possibly better than its predecessor. Technical insanity at it's finest. "Disease, Injury, Madness," "Fossil Genera- A Feed From Cloud Mountain," and "Desert of Song" are personal favorites.
1. a) Thrice- Beggars
b) The Avett Brothers- I and Love and You
Yes, it's a tie. I honestly couldn't decide. The experimental punkish energy of Thrice and the newgrass tinged Avett's have dominated my stereo this year. Probably more to come on both of those albums.