301-400 Retrospective

So we went from August 2012, to December 2012, to July 2013, and finally to December 2013. The longest gap (in a sense) is still that first one, as this project began January 2012. However, because of various little bits throughout this year, I’ve only gotten through 200. It could have been worse though. I think I’m on a good track now, maybe I can get three of these lists done next year! Now, for the numbers.

Total Artists: 97
Total Tracks: 1132
Total Length: 87:37:12

Well, the pattern continues. The amount of tracks is within the 1100-1200 range, and the length of all these tracks/albums is within an hour. These are all randomized and I rarely pick out a specific album to listen to. And obviously we’ve got the short end with some lasting under ten minutes, to the longest currently being nearly three hours, and I guess it all averages out the same. Anyway, moving on.

1. Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Lost In The New Real
Man do I love this album. I have started to dislike the intros a bit, but halfway through the song I then tend to forget them and all is forgiven.

2. ColdWorld – Melancholie²
I debated a little about putting this on, but it’s just a (depressing) joy to listen to, and it never treats its listeners as being stupid.

3. Danny Elfman – The Nightmare Before Christmas Original Soundtrack
God this is awesome. How can you hate or even dislike this? The songs are so good it’s unbelievable, they can always cheer me up, ugh it’s so good.

4. Death – Symbolic
This album is kind of a perfection of the sound Death had been building to for a while. It’s progressive, harsh, and melodic. Maybe not to most people, but it just sounds pleasant to me.

5. Devin Townsend – Infinity
This may not be my favorite Devy album, but there’s no discounting how much goodness is on here. It’s hard to get annoyed by it.

6. Fates Warning – Disconnected
This may not have a lot of bits that get stuck in my head after a certain amount of time, but it’s quite enjoyable to listen to.

7. Frank Zappa – Apostrophe (‘)
This is the album many fans refer to when trying to introduce someone to Zappa. It’s wacky, kind of ridiculous, but also thoughtful at times. Fantastic little piece.

8. Kaviar – The Kaviar Sessions
This Kevin Gilbert side project took some time to grow, but I definitely see the value in it now and would love to see it influence some other artists since Kevin himself can’t.

9./10. Manticora – The Black Circus Part 1 – Letters/The Black Circus Part 2 – Disclosure
This pair of albums kind of falter at times, but they’re very strong and like most Manticora works, only get better the more you listen to them.

11. Mastodon – The Hunter
While not their best, this album is packed full of good riffs and catchy vocal lines, and also grows on me each time.

12. Oingo Boingo – Boingo Alive
There’s not much I can say that wasn’t just said in the last review. Any issues in the production I may dislike, the strength of the songs completely wins out and makes this album unreal.

13. Porcupine Tree – Lightbulb Sun
Kind of the same thing here, since the review was so recent. Just check it out.

14. Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime
For me this is one of those rare convergences where an album is both incredibly good and gained the band in question an enormous amount of attention. This is a massive masterpiece.

15. Shpongle – The God Particle
This short EP is highly imaginative and I hope they draw influence from it in the future.

16. The Forces Of Evil – Friend Or FOE?
Pretty much just a fun little ska/punk album, and a weird slice of history for one of my favorite bands. Just a solid collection of songs.

17. Tortoise – Millions Now Living Will Never Die
As I said in the review, this album gets attention for the first song alone, and the rest aren’t anything to sneeze at either.

18. Wuthering Heights – Far From The Madding Crowd
What a monster of an album. It’s unbelievable to me.

19. Yes – Drama
This oddity in the Yes collection hooked me well and good. I can’t get the songs out of my head.

20. Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer – Schematics
This album does not overstay its welcome one bit, and leaves you with lots of neat little hooks and choruses.

And now for the honorable mentions, the albums that I want to point out for various reasons.

1. Adagio – Sanctus Ignis
Adagio is just kind of perpetually in this category, aren’t they?

2. Amesoeurs – Amesoeurs
This one really wavered for me between which list to put it on, but it definitely at least deserves to be here for sure.

3. Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising
This has some of the band’s finest work, but as an album it didn’t grip me enough to get on the top list. Those first two songs though, man…

4. Boards Of Canada – Geogaddi
This is an intense album, and critically loved. It’s worth hearing, but I have issues, plain and simple.

5. Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
This is kind of the cornerstone of a genre, and gets on here if only for that.

6. Cormorant – Metazoa
This is an odd piece for me. I kind of avoid listening to this band sometimes, but then once it’s on I get pretty into it. Weird.

7. Dark Suns – Orange
A better attempt at classic prog rock than Opeth, but this album doesn’t stick with me enough to get out of the honorable mentions.

8. Dream Theater – When Dream And Day Unite
For me this is kind of historically important, and the album still kind of holds up.

9. Edguy – Hellfire Club
A strong album that I just can’t connect with, sadly.

10. Finntroll – Ur Jordens Djup
This album is another that gets better with each listen, but there are issues with it.

11. Five Iron Frenzy – All The Hype That Money Can Buy
There’s a few fantastic songs that get it on here.

12. Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies
Man this album has an absolutely amazing first half, but then issues plague the second half and it barely picks it back up. I wish it were more consistent.

13. Gorillaz – Gorillaz
I refamiliarized myself with this album right around the time my brain started clicking to the idea of trip hop, but there is a lot of filler on here that I could do without.

14. Guttermouth – Gusto
I’m sad that the band considered this a failed attempt, it’s easily their most imaginative and fun.

15. Hollenthon – Domus Mundi
A strong first showing, and tells of wonderful things to come…

16. Iced Earth – Something Wicked This Way Comes
Maybe a weird choice. This is a fine album, there’s nothing really bad here, but it just doesn’t entirely gel with me.

17. Kronos – Colossal Titan Strife
The riffs man! The riffs!

18. La Roux – La Roux
Inconsistent as hell, but those high points are amazing!

19. Manilla Road – Crystal Logic
Manilla Road - Crystal Logic 1983 Album Cover
This is on here as a historical piece, and my brain is slowly acquiescing to recognizing what exactly it is.

20. Masterplan – Masterplan
Very solid album, but same issue as Iced Earth. It just isn’t one of ‘those’ albums for me.

21. Michael Jackson – Off The Wall
Maybe my take on this classic would be disliked, but it’s worth listening to at least. I can say that with confidence.

22. Misteur Valaire – Golden Bombay
This album has the same problem as Flogging Molly. Amazing front half, lackluster back half, aside from the last song.

23. Moonsorrow – Viides Luku – Hävitetty
I need more time with this album, but I never regret hearing it.

24. Nightwish – Once
I’ll relate this one to Iced Earth. Technically competent, critically lauded, but just isn’t there for me.

25. Om – Pilgrimage
Solid as hell, but when there’s one song I’m not fond of and it’s a quarter of your album…

26. Opeth – My Arms, Your Hearse
Let’s add this to the list of albums that are great, just not for me for some unknown reason.

27. Rx Bandits – Halfway Between Here And There
A couple ridiculously good tracks on here, but as a whole it’s just not there.

28. Shade Empire – Zero Nexus
Slightly disappointing, but still fun.

29. Shadow Gallery – Carved In Stone
I probably just need more time with this one, as I really do like it, just not quite enough.

30. Sorcier des Glaces – The Puressence Of Primitive Forests
Sorcier Des Glaces - The Puressence Of Primitive Forests (2011)
There is some great material here, but it tends to blend together.

31. Spock’s Beard – V
I need more time with this, but it is far, far from bad.

32. Steven Wilson – Grace For Drowning
Steven Wilson - Grace For Drowning
I fully appreciate how much material is here, but sometimes it’s so much that it’s hard for me to parse through, so it’s on the backburner for now.

33. Subterranean Masquerade – Suspended Animation Dreams
subterranean masquerade - suspended animation dreams
Again, I know I like this but I need more time with it.

34. Suburban Legends – Suburban Legends
Some wonderful material on this little thing.

35. Summoning – Oath Bound
This gets on here if only for the last song, but the rest is decent, just not up to the same level.

36. Symphony X – Iconoclast
Booklet 16 Seiten - Maße.qxd
Me and this band kind of clash at times, though I know I should like it.

37. The Aquabats! – The Return Of The Aquabats!
Basically a sign of good things to come. Unrefined, but fun.

38. The Who – Who’s Next
I wish I liked this monumental classic more, but it’s worth listening to.

39. Weird Al Yankovic – In 3-D
I almost didn’t put this on here at all, but there are enough good songs on here that I can safely put it here.

40. XTC – Drums And Wires
The makings of a good album, with some really strange choices holding it back.

41. Yyrkoon – Unhealthy Opera
Yyrkoon - Unhealthy Opera
A solid album with some fine moments, but nothing amazing.

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