Jesse’s Top 10 of 2009

1. He Is Legend – It Hates You

“It Hates You” has everything I like about He Is Legend amalgamated into a fresh new silver bullet. From post-metal, to doom, to shoegaze, to southern rock, this CD has a song for everyone. It’s a shame these guys aren’t trucking on.

2. Portal – Swarth

Probably the most interesting death metal band out right now. They’ve been around for nearly a decade, however, the newest release, “Swarth”, is pushing them to the next level in extreme music. I could best describe their sound as the death metal soundtrack to Silent Hill or a terrible nightmare. A lot of people will be turned off by the masks, but I’m turned on. They terrify me.

3. The Red Chord – Fed Through the Teeth Machine

A big step up from “Prey for Eyes”, the release just before “Fed…”. The songs and riffs seem to really gel this time around. This might be a product of one guitarist writing the riffage now.

4. Katatonia – Night is the New Day

The Depeche Mode of metal! Katatonia have completely blown my mind this year. I was hoping for a contuation of “the Great Cold Distance”, and I got it. Only the influences have expanded into a diverse plethora of genres. You’ll hear a lot of latin jazz influences in the drumming this time around.

5. Porcupine Tree – the Incident

As said in my full review, this band is unbelievable. One of the few CDs that has me excited for more!

6. Alice in Chains – Black Gives Way to Blue

I’ll admit, I’m more of a Stone Temple Pilots guy, but man, this CD is unruly! Definitely one of the best produced albums of the past few years. True-to-the-core fans of Alice in Chains might be skeptical upon listening a new voice fill Layne Staleys’ shoes, but this guy absolutely killed it, through and through. Reminds me of a dark alternative metal version of A Life Once Lost.

7. Lewd Acts – Black Eye Blues

This band really surprised me. I got the Deathwish Sampler back whenever that surfaced, and I gave the whole album a thorough listening. As soon as Lewd Acts popped on, it instantly caught my attention. After hearing their earlier releases, I can honestly say that this band is headed in a great direction.

8. Converge – Axe to Fall

I think you’re technically retarded if you don’t have this album in your top 10. This is one of those bands we should all take notes on: “How did he do that?” “What was he thinking there?!” Converge gets better and better. Something I can’t say I feel about bands these days.

9. Mastodon – Crack the Skye

These guys are taking a huge step into the progressive dimension. I’m stoked for the success these guys are getting, but I hope they don’t lose their identity after this album. It’s a phenomenal release, but it almost overstepped a boundary and point of no return. If these guys keep pumping out classic rock & 70s prog influenced tunes like they’ve done on “Crack the Skye”, I’m pretty sure their future is brighter than most others.

10. Cilice – Deranged Headtrip

Okay, this band should be number 1. But, because I just discovered them recently, I need to sit on it a little longer. There are a LOT of Meshuggah/Sikth ripoffs popping up left and right these days. Some are amazing at melding those two metals (Periphery). Cilice pretty much gave me hope for Sikth-y style metal. Unbelievably creative, and well-worth the listener searching for Meshuggah-lites.

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