part 2 of You must listen to the album below you:canon edition by Mercury (2022)

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Yep, as I expected, I was not horrified nor disgusted this time while listening. A nice sign of either my deteriating mental state or of my general increase in love and tolerance of metal.

Outisde of Pig Destroyer's Prowler In The Yard or other grindcore stuff, I can't think of anything quite as absurdly punishing as this album that I have heard. That is awesome. The (apparently legendary in death metal circles) lead singer here, Lord Worm, is an acquired taste. For me the taste was acquired so rapidly I felt like maybe I was fooling myself. Earlier this evening I was ready to write that musically this is a 9-10, vocally its a 4. But Now just a few hours later I'd say the vocals along the whole spectrum of styles presented here is actually one (of many) strong points of the band. The other obvious strong point is that the drummer is actually not human and his gravity blasts or, if ot that, extremely fast blast beats are amazing and quite frankly awe-inspiring. The riffing is so sick. SOOOO sick indeed. The solo on "Dead and Dripping" is factually beautiful. The weird and random bass noodling just before the breakdown and then the breakdown itself on "Slit Your Guts" is maybe the best part of this album, but its close and its amazing is all i'm saying. The drumming everywhere is good, but on the song "Benedictine Convulsions" its truly ascendant, if that's the word. The solo on that same song is also short and sweet and cool - just like this album. The haunting piano that starts "Phobophile" is unexpected, and then the eerie bass before it explodes adds to the excellence.

This is BY FAR the shortest album I've been assigned on this list/game so far (just talking since starting the metal list bits.) and at just 32 minutes and 8 unrelentingly, brashly, impossibly BRUTAL tracks I never feel like I'm worn out and tired of the album nor do I feel it shoulda been longer. It is just right.

Did I like this album? absolutely. But will this be an album and style I return to often? That is less sure. Not sure if i am being honest. This is just so absurdly heavy and fast that It's something I recommend everyone experience at least once. And who knows maybe this will be like my experience with other stuff similarly aggressive where it becomes one of my favorite albums ever and the genre becomes what I love as much as anything. Time will tell I suppose.
[First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
1996
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Rank Score:
330
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Have less to say about this one than most. I listened once like 5 days ago then came back and listened topday. Its really cool and very very heavy and noisy. The guitar tones are incredible, just mesmerizing whether in brutal heavy dirty form or in biting, cutting form. Its incredible. The vocals are better here than on Feedbacker in my opinion, there's also more vocals and they seem more substantial. The long loooong drone part on the super long song was not my thing. It maybe caught me at a bad time because I loved or at least really liked the drone noise parts of Boris at Last Feedbacker, so maybe when I return I will love the long extended noise and drone part(s).

Overall, yeah like I said not much to say, it was really good 70% of the times and the stoner riffs and the very emotional builds on top of the heavy riffage was at times transcendent and brilliant. The other 30% I haven't bought into much and it irked me a little.
[First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
2005
Appears in:
Rank Score:
456
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This is a black metal album with lots of melodically rich and badass thrash my riffs and some cool solos and generally all of these songs are basically a series of dope guitar parts and a pretty consistent flow. Very accessible brand of black metal without being overtly so. Like it still has the weird vocals and some more extreme black metal aesthetic choices, but also there is a very approachable charm on Display here. Any metal or even hard rock fan probably will find some really tasty nuggets in this mix.

The songs are consistent, and the album flows, the only critiques I have aren’t really major ones - also they are quite vague and unhelpful. Those are: I am not a fan of the vocals. Kinda meh. Next one is I guess I just prefer my BM to be draped in atmosphere or more indecipherable. And if it’s not atmospheric or gauzy or draped in fog I like it massively symphonic. And if neither of those I want it to fucking rock. This has the last characteristic but not the first 2.

And the last critique is so stupid, and it’s 100% on me, but I didn’t quite vibe with this album. Like it may have something to do with my poopy day or mild headache, but in my 2 listens (it deserves more and will get them at some point) it never went from “wow, this is pretty cool” to “Holy shit, let me stop what I’m doing to soak in this absolute beast or a record!”

Okay that’s all. Computer acting weird so I typed this on my phone. Thumbs are sore. Probably more typos even then usual. Apologies for that.
[First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
1999
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Rank Score:
213
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This is cool in theory. But I couldn't get into how wildly noisy it is. The atmosphere is quite intense. The melodies sometimes are cool. The vocals are alright. The dark ambient bits are pretty cool and the way the recording seems to be disintegrating is a cool production, lo-fi concept and its generally something I can see the virtues in. Still, the 2 listens I had for this album were spent, for long stretches, just kind of waiting for it to end because its too noisy. ill check out Im Wald from 2020 at some point. This is my first intro to this artist and it may seem like not a great intro, but no I think it is. I get what is being executed and I respect it, not really for me at this time. [First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
1999
Appears in:
Rank Score:
57
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5. (=)
This is a pretty album. It’s more post rock than post metal. Or perhaps I’m just focusing on the crescendoing post rock parts because... I don’t particularly like post rock generally. At least not as done here. The genre rarely moves me emotionally. This album is no exception. It was beautiful and nicely composed throughout but way way too “epic” and too, idk, just too shimmery and methodical. I recently have started coming around on Mid 90s Neurosis because, while it has its post rock styles thrown in to a degree, it manages to maintain its sludge grit to some degree as well as introduce an almost overpowering and palpable sense of dread and imminent destruction. Those neurosis albums are very powerful. This Isis album which I’ve heard a few times is still not clicking. Even at its heaviest, it’s too short lived in its power and heaviness it it feels a bit too clean. As I recently mentioned with the 2021 Dvne album I tend to steer a little clear of these types of atmospheric sludge albums and in the direction of just sludge. When atmo sludge mixes with post rock or “post metal” or Prog metal, I tend to get lost in my attempts to really eat up what the album is expressing. It’s rare I’m ever really moved or inspired or truly blown away by this album. But it is gorgeous and well composed and expertly crafted and all that. Not really my style. [First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
2004
Appears in:
Rank Score:
951
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Jesus, this is a grower. Of recent listens this may be the best example of a grower. When I listened today I thought it was okay, pretty fair, I think I scored it a 3 on RYM. Then I listened again and I found the utterly unique almost showman-like vibe of the lead sinnger and chief member Devin Townsend quite personale and relatable whereas at first I wrote it off as being a bit of a con. Then I listened again, feeling not quite ready to write a comment, and now I am in the groove and actually have songs I'm looking forward to hearing again. By this point I think I rated it a 4 star album. Now I am listening again, and I am liking it even more. I am loving the thrashy elements, I am loving the slightly less self-serious aspect of the singer and the whole flow of the album has a distinctly playful quality as well. I also love the heavy punishing industrial metal parts (which is much of it) and I love the brilliant way the vocals change up from almost over the top operatic, to a sort of snotty hardcore vocal to a badass metal frowl, all changes done seamlessly and working with each part. I love the fact that each song is uniquely its own thing and yet the album flows.

I listened to Biomech which is essentially a Devin Townsend solo album released a year after this, and I actually kinda loved that album. And I had a similar experience with that Townsend project as this - the upward slope of opinion as I got more and more familiar with what was happening. This album is more industrial and heavier and has less of the stuff I loved on Biomech - I suppose the overwhelmingly and almost sneakily inspiring and emotional pay offs of the songs on Biomech is what I recall adoring the most and that isn't really what I hear here.

Anyway, I'm rambling, But some stuff I noticed and want to point out is how similar to Tocicity-era System of a Down "Oh My Fucking God" sounds. I don't know that SYL was an influence on SOAD, but this one song is proto-soad if ever I heard something like that.

The run of songs from track 2 "All hail The New Flesh" to track 6 "AAA" a A-tier, mad brilliance. And really the short intro track and the albums that follow "AAA" ain't bad either. Honestly right now I'm hearing the track right after "AAA" and its really just as good - completely mental and unhinged and breakneck-brilliant as well.

"Room 429" is honestly not quite like anything I've ever heard. brilliant.

The album is 9 tracks, and 39 minutes and it always seems to fly by, its a really well sequenced and cool as hell metal album. Highly recommended if you like cool (if eccentric) vocals and some incredible riffs and some really cool song structures and a lot of energy. Its dope as hell.
[First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
1997
Appears in:
Rank Score:
255
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7. (=)
Well I listened. It was well made. Good musicians . Don't really like the music, however. The drum sound is something that sounds, to me, quite lifeless. The big walls of "sludge" are consistently... well, heavy, sure, but not impactful. The whole album kinda rolls along with these big post rock epic moments and as you all may know I'm not a big fan of this style of post rock that is on display here. It doesn't feel like it has any heart at least it doesn't capture me or my imagination particularly well. I have come to the conclusion that the mix of so called Post Metal and atmospheric sludge is not my thing, at least not the way these chaps do it. [First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
2002
Appears in:
Rank Score:
504
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Okay, this is really cool. It is chaotic and avant-garde one minute, dark and black metally the next, and then there are these moments of reflective beauty that are also stunning. Vocals are pretty cool, guitars and bass sound good and the drummer is solid. They created with this album a distinctly massive and unique atmosphere. The clattering, hard-to-wrap-my-head-around bits are cool and they honestly were very unique compared to any other BM i've ever heard. And the band has the chops to pull off these weird tones and time signatures and prog meets avant garde sounds. Yet, its still a BM album at its heart so they don't go whole hog with these abstract bits (like their Death Metal peers may have) they just keep it their top throw you in to another unique place, a disoriented and confusing world, before bringing in the more tangible and traditional and recognizable riffing and soaring epic moments. Really cool. [First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
2010
Appears in:
Rank Score:
105
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This is amazing. What drugs was I on when I "couldn't get into" this on the several listens before (they were mostly incomplete listens due to just not digging the proggy sound)? I listened to this 4 times yesterday. I also went back and listened to Leviathan and Blood Mountain once each. But now I am listening to this again and... its stellar.

I still prefer the sludgier sound of Leviathan. Leviathan is a 5/5 all time great album. This, though, being more progressive and having much less of a brute sludge intensity, just takes longer to wind into my heart. But it finally did. This album is 50 minutes of near-perfection. IMO this is the kind of proggy metal that is really quite great. Like, there are Opeth elements here, but somehow Mastodon in changing their sound for this album managed to avoid almost all, nay ALL, the pitfalls of prog metal - the vocals are never corny, the transitions never seem silly and pointless and gratuitous, and the whole album and each song within the album have a logical construction AND a heart that is so impassioned and intense. And when this band gets it sludgy heaviness it is glorious.

The drummer, who stole the fucking show somehow on Leviathan, is still great here but more subdued and less of the spotlight is on him. The songwriting and the construction of these songs seems to be the main focus. The whole band is stellar and the solos are refreshing old school metal classics, the riffs are some of the best I've heard, the vocals while never the best part are always good and sometimes quite amazing.

With their heavy as hell and awesome debut, their all time classic 2nd album, their also great 3rd and this their classic and incredible 4th album, I think I am starting to think Mastodon may be my favorite metal band of the last 30 years (post-peak Slayer and Metallica).

Anyway, yeah I had an about-face on this and my opinions of it. Maybe this game and how it made me listen to Opeth and Edge of Sanity as well as sludge and atmospheric sludge peers, has made it so I can hear more clearly what Mastodon is doing here. Maybe its just that I have had a development of taste and now I don't instantly get annoyed when I hear clean singing in metal anymore. Idk, but whatever lead to me recognizing the brilliance of this album and all early mastodon, I am very happy about it.
[First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
2009
Appears in:
Rank Score:
2,008
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Nothing revolutionary, nor is that what it’s trying to be. This sounds like an album where every riff lyric and everything is exact and pretty much perfect. It distills death metal down to its essential elements and does it amazingly well. It’s never abstract or wildly complex. And it’s never super ultra heavy or brutal. But each and every song here has a sick sound and groove and they all find that pocket and stay there and the result is a wildly consistent and badass album.

The album also sounds amazing. Really cleanly recorded and every detail shines. I’m no expert on recording techniques, just wanted to say this sounds incredible and dynamic.

The vocals are excellent old school death metal in the best way. The solos and riffs are all killer. And the whole presentation is cool. The subgenre noted for this on RYM is groove metal. I can hear that. There are some parts of these songs where the groove is too good. It just makes you (or me) feel like a badass and, even though the motion contradicts my internal feeling of badassness, my head can’t help but bob.

Anyway, yeah this was great. It was refreshing hearing this. Obscura and None So Vile and even The Sound of Perseverence (all DM albums recently heard for this game) were albums of extremes. Either overwhelmingly fast and avant garde and experimental, or overwhelmingly brutally heavy and fast or incredibly complex and progressive. This album, however, takes old school death metal and just perfects it and it sounds fucking cool as hell.

Edit: particular shout out should be given to the entirety of the title track here. What a fucking powerful riff with an incredible low end bass line rolling underneath the guitar onslaught. Also “Killchain” and
“Granite Wall” and “Anti-Tank” are incredible. The album is consistent as hell but that middle of the album run is mind blowing.
[First added to this chart: 08/26/2021]
Year of Release:
2005
Appears in:
Rank Score:
53
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Average Rating:
Comments:
Total albums: 100. Page 1 of 10

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part 2 of You must listen to the album below you:canon edition composition

Decade Albums %


1930s 0 0%
1940s 0 0%
1950s 2 2%
1960s 7 7%
1970s 12 12%
1980s 6 6%
1990s 35 35%
2000s 24 24%
2010s 14 14%
2020s 0 0%
Country Albums %


United States 55 55%
United Kingdom 17 17%
Canada 5 5%
Japan 5 5%
Australia 3 3%
Sweden 3 3%
Norway 2 2%
Show all
Live? Albums %
No 97 97%
Yes 3 3%
Soundtrack? Albums %
No 98 98%
Yes 2 2%

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Best Artists of 2005
1. Sufjan Stevens
2. Gorillaz
3. Kanye West
4. Bloc Party
5. Sigur Rós
6. Bright Eyes
7. The National
8. Coldplay
9. Animal Collective
10. System Of A Down
11. Porcupine Tree
12. Death Cab For Cutie
13. Antony & The Johnsons
14. My Morning Jacket
15. The Mars Volta
16. LCD Soundsystem
17. Kate Bush
18. Sleater-Kinney
19. The Decemberists
20. The White Stripes
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