5. The Human Abstract – Digital Veil
I was shakey about the inclusion of ex-From First To Last vocalist/guitarist Travis Richter as a front-man, especially in such a technically tight group as The Human Abstract. However, Richter fit perfectly . The return of A.J. Minette was the best thing that could have happened to THA. This guy should never not be writing metal. Digital Veil was the first album of the year to sweep me off my feet. Technical, complex, ominous and heavy, Digital Veil is a easily earned a spot on my top 5.
4. Textures – Dualism
Honestly, I had never given Textures a listen until this year. I stumbled across Dualism when it dropped and decided to give it a spin based on the good buzz it was getting. Well, the good buzz was well deserved, because Dualism is near perfect. Following my favorite formula of technical guitar-work mixed with clean and screamed vocals, Textures is what I hope Protest The Hero sound like in 20 years. Fantastic album, they’ve earned a new fan in me and deserve many more. Check it.
3. Insomnium – One For Sorrow
Insomnium is like coming home from college and eating a hot plate of your mom’s cooking. It’s pretty much the same thing every year but damn, is it good. Insomnium is doing what Insomnium does best, and that is melodic death metal. Toss in some more cleans for good measure and you have the best Insomnium album to date. One For Sorrow is Insomnium’s own Ghost Reveries. I fully expect it to stand the test of time.
2. Corelia – Nostalgia EP
I have no idea where this EP came from. I don’t even know where I found it. All I know is that the moment I put Corelia’s EP, Nostalgia, in my ears I was hooked. Technical guitar work paired with beautiful clean singing is the easiest way to my heart and Corelia hits each note perfectly. The fact that an EP made the 2nd spot on my end of the year list should prove to you how strong it is. I absolutely cannot wait for a full length and if they’re able to keep their current line-up, they may be able to give Protest a run for their money… and that’s saying something.
1. Protest The Hero – Scurrilous
I honestly don’t know what to say about this album. Protest The Hero can do no wrong in my book. 2008’s Fortress and 2005’s Kezia both have spots as some of my favorite metal albums of all time, so why should PTH’s latest offering, Scurrilous, be any different? Technically, everything is there; Luke, Tim, Moe, Arif and Rody all provide exactly what we want in a PTH record. Lyrically, Scurrilous took some getting used to, and it seems to lack the ‘big moments’ that previous albums had, but even with those flaws it managed to beat out every other record this year… and it was a great year for music. I think it just proves how on top of their game PTH are. I’m counting down the days until another release, until then Scurrilous will hold me over.
Oh, Manhattan – Spiritual Warfare. Solid -core that came out of nowhere. Melodies are fantastic. Great record.
Chimaira – The Age Of Hell. Still a good record, but I had high hopes after 2009’s Infection.
Most Anticipated: Lamb of God and Gojira