Top Releases of the Year
Adagio – Life
This album contains a modern sounding Adagio – very refreshing to hear especially for old supporters of the band. It is yet another new territory for the band and it is out of this world. Unfortunately, the album has been delayed several times but the eight years were dealt with great professionalism and with the utmost respect for their fans; Without whining and empty promises just to appeal to them. Upon the release of “Life” I got a physical copy of the album and a download link to a digital copy. After the sales died down, they’d openly spread their music on youtube. Respect.
Alluvial – The Deep Longing for Annihilation
This is a collaborative project between Keith Merrow and Wes Hauch. I would say this album has a different take on instrumental metal. It manages to keep your attention despite not having any vocals. It is punchy, aggressive, compelling and easily digestible from beginning to end.
Arch Echo – Arch Echo
A very well-crafted prog/instrumental album with so much creativity. It just has so much to offer and every instrument shines with mind-bending virtuosity. Arch Echo is very inventive with an overall positive atmosphere that will undoubtedly put you in the mood.
Ayreon – The Source
Arjen is too good at what he does. And no one does space opera quite like our favorite reclusive Dutch. “The Source” is reminiscent of “The Human Equation” era (with a number of new elements of course), which I like. It gets you pondering about alien beings migrating beyond the farthest stars in hopes of survival because, you’ve guessed it, AI always ruins it for us humans.
Cradle of Filth – Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay
Cradle of Filth has been revived since “Hammer of the Witches” in my opinion. Evidently, they’re back, super-charged and once again stupendous.
David Maxim Micic – Who Bit the Moon
I enjoyed this seventh album of David. It is my most recent discovery actually, but he seems to be always working on something interesting. I have only listened to two other albums of his but this was a real treat!
Fractal Universe – Engram Of Decline
I can’t put it any better than I previously did so I am just going to quote myself: “A uniquely sophisticated approach to the prog/tech-death genre that is virtuosic, but not lacking in direction. In other words, Engram of Decline is a tornado of fine musicianship that isn’t drowned in its own soup of senseless technicality.”
Neurotech – The Catalyst
Too bad this is the band’s farewell album. This doesn’t begin to capture the many faces of this one-man band but a top-notch industrial metal album nonetheless.
Persefone – Aathma
These guys haven’t released anything sloppy since “Shin-ken”. I think “Aathma” has a very curious songwriting with unorthodox dynamics between slow and fast-paced timing. Their lyrics tackle the illusion of self – delivering a spiritual philosophy that does not fully persuade me, metaphysically. Nevertheless, it contains a great spacey music to accompany your contemplation about the sense of oneness with everything.
Best Album Cover of the Year
The Interbeing‘s cover of “Among the Amorphous” is eye-catching to me. The cover depicts giant robotic insects traveling through a wormhole. For a Sci-fi fan, what’s not appealing about that?