Thursday, December 06, 2007

Guns don't kill people, Ryan Seacrest kills people

So by now you have all read the story about the 19 year old asshole who shot up a mall somewhere in Nebraska. The story from the Associated Press or some other left leaning think tank uses the following paragraph:

It was the latest in a series of mass killings that have shocked the United States, where gun ownership is widespread and the right to possess arms is a fiercely contested constitutional issue currently on the agenda of the Supreme Court.

Automatically, Michael Moore will swoop down and claim we are nothing but a bunch of uneducated gun toting morons who love W. Hey Mikey - I am educated, I do not own a gun, and W is a boob. Now go have another cheeseburger.

It is not guns that are the problem. Malls and guns have co existed since Twin Pines Mall (or Lone Pine Mall) opened somewhere off of John F. Kennedy Boulevard (Who the Hell is John F. Kennedy?). It is amazing how stupid people are, and cannot see causal relationships.

So then, if malls and guns can co-exist, as I have shown above, what has triggered (bad pun, I know) this sudden violence in our streets and shops?

The paragraph in the story that really identifies the issue is:

"I'm a piece of shit," said a suicide note he left behind "but I'm going to be famous now," the newspaper said.
The problem is, everybody today under the age of 25 wants to be the next American Idol. These misguided fools would rather die than live a life of anonymity. I mean have you ever seen the auditions for American Idol? It is like a train wreck, you just cannot look away. This obsession of fame and fortune by our nation's youth is another thing that is going to lead to the demise of the USA. But before that, let's hope Brian Dunkleman doesn't grab a shot gun and head to the mall.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Is there a River Phlegethon? Find out for $29.95

How many times have we heard that it is the end of the world? All kinds of kooks, religious and otherwise have made claims that the end is nigh (what is nigh anyway?). I was wondering what is this fascination with the end of humanity.

Well, I have no answers, other than as humans, we have this annoying desire to know everything, and really, if you know the ultimate fate of humanity, then as Lar$ says, Nothing else matters.

Also, especially with the religious kooks, humans have the need to be right. So the born again freaks in this country are wishing for the end of the world so that everyone can be damned and their righteous asses can go to heaven. Well, my Catholic senses tell me otherwise, but that is neither here nor there.

One particular Born Again Christian web site has a page dedicated to hell. This is what I wish to discuss, because these zealots are not only nosy, but they always need to be right, at any cost.

There are several ridiculous claims here, like the one about the guys who drilled into Hell and the claim of under the ocean or the worms. In the truth about Hell, we see many interesting points, but here is where I would like to point out the contradiction.

They claim Hell is inside the Earth, and that there is plenty of room there. I didn't take out my tape measure, but for now I trust them. They also say, Hell is forever. Well, we know that the physical Earth cannot exist forever. Eventually, the Sun will go red giant and possibly incinerate the Earth. Even if Earth survives this incineration, it surely will not last forever. The ultimate fate of the universe theorized that all matter will be destroyed one way or another. So, while incarceration in Hell inside the Earth for 5,000,000 years may feel as long as sitting through an episode of Sally Field's Brothers and Sisters, it is not forever as these kooks claim.

So what is the point? The point is that when the mood strikes me, I will pass on a little judgment of our warped culture, one freaky sub culture at a time, especially here in the USA. It seems to me as if the end of humanity is not as near as Kirk Cameron wishes it to be; however, I will say that the human race will be here long beyond the existence of the USA as we know it.

The ancient civilization of Rome stood for centuries. The USA is only about two and a third centuries old. I bet we don’t even last as long as the Romans did.

More analysis to come.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Maybe I'm going all Emo and stuff

I have not posted in a while, so I thought I would drop some notes and observations. I really think next year, I am going to try and post more, but I really do not have much to say. I mean a Top 250 albums would be cool, but kind of boring at the same time. So here are some headings, and related thoughts:


I have kind of lost interest in keeping up with music this year. I have some new albums (Kamelot & Slough Feg), but really have not even listened to them yet. As such, it is hard for me to justify buying the new albums from Winds, DoomSword, and Saxon if I haven't really listened to the two newer ones I have.

TV, DVD, etc:

I can't be bothered with reality TV anymore. I lost interest in Survivor after All Stars, and Amazing Race got boring after a couple of seasons as well. Network TV is OK, but really it is just something to vege out to after a long day.

There are some DVD's I want to get, but who the hell has time to watch them anyway? I am looking forward to completing The Odd Couple series, and of course the Live After Death DVD from Iron Maiden is a top priority, but do I really need Season 3 of Sanford and Son on DVD?


Always an interest of mine, but sort of fading as time passes. The Patriots have ruined football. I mean it is kind of silly when you know the Super Bowl winner before Thanksgiving. As far as baseball, The Yankees have hired Bobby Meacham as their third base coach. Need I say more?

The Presidential Election:

Really I do not care. More and more I believe that we are fucked no matter who is running the show. Clinton, Giuliani, what is the difference. Unless we get some real tough ass right winger in there, we will continue down the route of our demise. I really do not feel like getting into it, but with things like the depressed dollar internationally, and continued unrest in the Middle East, I feel our downfall is imminent. I just hope my children are resourceful and intelligent enough to make a good life for themselves when they grow up.

So - Happy Freakin' Holidays America. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jimmy Buffett - A Pirate Looks at Billions

Last night at Madison Square Garden, my brother and law and I felt like we were the only ones who did not drink the Kool-Aid. To tell the truth, it was Kool-Aid I could do without. During Brown Eyed Girl (which at one time was a cool cover of a Van Morrison tune, but has devolved into a dance party for guys dressed like lettuce) I looked up at the crowd, and there were 20,000 posers singing and dancing, and having the time of their lives. It was surreal.

Buffett churned out hit after hit, throwing in the occasional new material, but unfortunately, the new material isn't nearly as good as the material from what I call phase 2 of Buffett's career (1986-1996, aka Before the Billions). This period was grossly under represented in the set list (actually, I do not recall any songs from Last Mango through Fruitcakes). Look, obviously Buffett knows what he is doing, as his net worth continues to grow exponentially, and the guy dressed like a tomato was in a state of bliss. Still, I think Buffet has lost something, but that something is very intangible, and certainly beyond the vision of the guy dressed like a bottle of ketchup. Besides, we got to see some young sluts flashing their tits on the big screens! I guess glittering prizes and endless compromises do in fact shatter the illusion of integrity.

I first saw Jimmy Buffett in June of 1988. I do not recall any people dressed up as French fries, or any frat boys wearing grass skirts, or any middle aged house fraus wearing cheeseburger hats. It was just a good crowd of people, enjoying the music of a great story teller. In 1988, Buffett was touring for Hot Water (that is one of his better albums, despite the fact that they guy dressed as a pickle never heard Smart Woman in a Real Short Skirt) that summer, and his set list was a combination of his usual hits and some new material, with some lesser known songs mixed in.

As Archie and Edith would have said, "those were the days."

Today's Buffet crowd is a sub culture of yuppies, frat boys, sorority sluts, with a few old timers mixed in. Jimmy Buffett is the Gene Simmons of mainstream culture. This guy will sell anything. He even sells shrimp! Who is he Forrest Gump? I am just waiting for parrot head condoms, with wrappers that look like shark fins (the guy dressed as a cold draft beer would be the first in line for those).

Last night, our tickets were way up in the "blues", but we never got there. We decided to sneak down into the lower sections and wound up a few rows behind the mixing board. There were several empty seats in the area (I guess a bunch of Investment Bankers were called out of town - so there was one less guys dressed like a cheeseburger bun). I suppose that is the one good thing about pop culture's discovery of Jimmy, the corporate seats are empty sometimes.

I am sure I was the only one at MSG last night who looked at the stage, and thought, next time I am here I will be staring at pyramids and listening to the great Winston Churchill. We shall go on to the end….

Thursday, September 13, 2007

1995 - Rebellion is Here

1995 was probably the best metal year since 1990, with more variety that ever before. Some pretty good albums did not make the cut here (Psycho Motel - State of Mind and Blind Guardian - Imaginations from the Other Side immediately come to mind).

In any case, the sub genres are exploding, as black metal adds atmospheric black metal and death metal adds progressive death metal, etc.

To summarize, as Frank said, it was a very good year.

10. Motörhead - Sacrifice

This is not my favorite Motörhead record, and in my book it is a significant step below 1993's Bastards. They have not regressed down to March or Die, which was horrific, but a step down for sure. Despite this, there is some good riffage here, and some definite signature Motörhead moments.

9. Death - Symbolic

Symbolic is probably my favorite Death album, as there is the right blend of death metal and melodic passages. Schuldiner was a great musician, and always kept the music relevant and fresh.

8. In the Woods - Heart of the Ages

Basically, this is a black metal album, but definitely more like progressive or atmospheric black metal. There are many elements of traditional black metal here (the more annoying moments on the CD) but there are other elements and layers that make this a very interesting and enjoyable listen. Not really driving or hanging-out music, it is more appropriate to listen to when you are just listening to music.

7. Kamelot - Eternity

Oh that awful singer! This album would easily be in the top 2 or 3 if they had a better singer. This guy (I cannot recall his name, but he never got another singing job after Kamelot) is horrible. He is kind of like a poor man's John Patrick McDonald who is a poor man's Geoff Tate. Anyway, you get the picture. This album is full of cool riffs, melodies and solos and despite the singing is a real good debut album from a band who would eventually deliver big time.

6. Running Wild - Masquerade

The wheels are coming off just a little, and Rockin' Rolf's well of ideas may be running a tad dry. In any case Masquerade is a solid but not remarkable album from Running Wild. Really it is only a notch below their last couple. Good stuff.

5. Iron Maiden - The X Factor

I could write volumes on this record. Easily the most underrated album in Maiden's catalog, and probably one of the ten most underrated in metal history. Blaze Bayley is not a good singer, but on this album, a good singer is not necessary. The album is dark and brooding and is perfect for Bayley's voice. A very different approach for Maiden, and here it works quite well.

4. Opeth - Orchid

So it begins, the brilliant career of Opeth. In the early days, Opeth was reaching new heights with every release, and this was the beginning. Really a very good album, considering it is a debut, and while it does not have that perfect ebb and flow like subsequent releases, there are some terrific passages on this record. This album is not recommended for those new to Opeth, but only after one can appreciate their greatness.

3. Conception - In Your Multitude

Easily, this Conception's best to date. It is much more focused and powerful that the first two albums, yet still maintains all the hallmarks of great progressive metal. If you have not heard this band - start here. They were a great band.

2. Iced Earth - Burnt Offerings

Matt Barlow was the missing piece of the puzzle for Iced Earth. The band reaches new heights here, and their crowning achievement, the epic Dante's Inferno is featured on this record. That song alone puts Burnt Offerings in the top 10, but there are a few other stand out tracks here as well.

1. Gamma Ray - Land of the Free

I think most people would agree that Ralf Scheepers is a better singer than Kai Hansen. He is. However, for some reason dumping Scheepers was the best thing to ever happen to Gamma Ray. Land of the Free is a breakthrough album for this band, and for the next half decade, they were the gold standard for power metal. Infectious riffs and powerful melodies lead the charge as Gamma Ray takes it to the next level.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

1994 - For Mathis Lovers

The early 1990's were not a terrific period in metal, but by 1994, there was some light at the end of the tunnel. Quite honestly, my picks for 6-10 are only average albums, but because this was another bad year, they cracked the top 10.

For some sub-genres (Black Metal in particular) this was a decent year, but since I am not a BM fan, Burzum and Emperor, despite critically acclaimed releases in 1994 did not make my list.

10. Axel Rudi Pell - Between the Walls

Flying the banner of 80's metal well into the 90's, Axel Rudi Pell gave us a solid release here. Again, it is nothing all that memorable or different, but real solid nevertheless.

9. Stratovarius - Dreamspace

It is a good album. A lot of speedy stuff and some cool melodies. This was probably the high point for this group, as subsequent releases were too watered down, and not as heavy.

8. Amorphis - Tales From the Thousand Lakes

Kind of Progressive Death Metal-ish, I guess. This is a really cool album, but unlike Opeth, whose debut is still a year away, the songs here do not stay with you long after you listen to the album.

7. Mercyful Fate - Time

The second post reunion album. Not as good as In the Shadows, but better than subsequent releases. Mercyful Fate didn't jump the shark, they slowly climbed over it, and while this is still a good album, this is probably where they should have stopped.

6. Black Sabbath - Cross Purposes

This was really the last gasp for Sabbath. Geezer Butler returned and the result is a competent but not really brilliant post Dio era Sabbath record. A couple of really cool songs bring up the album as a whole which is sadly mostly filler.

5. Orphaned Land - Sahara

OK - here is where it gets good. The debut from Israel's Orphaned Land is a really good album. Even here you can tell they have not begun to realize their potential (they still have not, but I digress). This is a great band with some really cool ideas.

4. Running Wild - Black Hand Inn

This is another in a string of good albums by Running Wild, who were one of the only bands to consistently make sold metal records in the early 1990's. Black Hand Inn is perhaps a notch below Pile of Skulls, but still one of their best.

3. Fates Warning - Inside Out

This is my personal favorite Fates Warning album. It is consistent, with flashes of brilliance. They balance the progressive with the heavy, and keep it interesting and flowing.

2. Dream Theater - Awake

Awake was a big disappointment coming off of Images and Words, but still a really good album. I like it more now than I did when it first came out (mostly because my expectations were so high). Unfortunately, things would continue to decline for Dream Theater.

1. Stone Temple Pilots - Purple

This is really a cool album. Maybe a tad dated now as it reeks of the grunge era, but it is easily one of the best if not the best grunge album of all time. 12 Gracious Melodies. What else is there to say?

Friday, August 24, 2007

....Maybe not...

OK - Top 100. Bad idea. I may consider doing a Top 250, but not right now. So, now I am thinking...I woke up this morning tasting Jim Beam......

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Top 100 Albums

OK - I have decided to try and post a top 100 albums list. Since the annual top 10's became too much of a project, I thought this may be interesting.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Minor Ramblings

I have not updated for a while, with work and family commitments keeping me busy. Anyway, here are some random thoughts and observations:

1. Critics claim the Topps 1973 baseball cards are no good, but that is nonsense. This was one of Topps coolest releases. Who cares if you can't see Johnny Bench's face. The action cards in that set were great.

2. While Rush's new album is disappointing, they were great live. Rush caters their sets to their fans, unlike some bands who cater their sets to the person seeing them for the first time.

3. The Star Wars prequel trilogy was good, except that it really diminishes the Darth Vader character. In the original movies, he is a real bad ass, but we find out that he is really a whiny bitch.

4. The 2008 Presidential election is really frightening. I mean the best candidate is a TV DA.

5. I am really behind in getting new music. I can't believe I have not even picked up the new Slough Feg album. Shame on me.

Well, that cover the major topics.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Rush - Sankes & Arrows - A Far Cry From a Good Rush Album

Neal Peart has serious issues. The man should be in therapy. His self loathing and guilt is evident on this record in so many places, I wouldn't be surprised is every shrink within a 100 kilometer radius of Toronto was calling Rush's management to try and procure the disturbed drummer as their next deep pocketed patient.

Now Neil's issues are certainly understandable, with the untimely deaths of his wife and daughter a few years back, his anger and guilt are expected. But when do Geddy and Alex say "enough is enough"; how about another theme on a Rush song besides the evil of religion and the unfairness of fate. Hey Neil, read a sci-fi novel or something!

Other than the distinguished Far Cry and the very commendable three instrumentals (where we do not have to be preached at by a bitter anti-American atheist), the remaining nine songs are a tirade on misery and the sad state of the world, and it hints that evangelical Christianity is to blame. Now I am no Bible Thumper, but to me the Christian Right is nothing more than an annoyance. They do not drive car bombs into flea markets and kill thirty people, but I digress, this is not a political statement, but a commentary on this poor record that says Rush on it.

After Far Cry, we are greeted by "Armor and Sword" where Peart's message is not crystal clear, but he is clearly griping about a problem with religion. Although it is only certain religions that still believe the line, "no one gets to their heaven without a fight".

"The Larger Bowl" is "Roll the Bones" part deux. Same exact theme, as such, I am unsure why the song even exists other than it gives Peart another chance to vent as to how guilty he is that he is filthy rich and that there are billions of people trapped in poverty, slavery, etc. This song is a total throw away.

"Spindrift" asks, "Who cares what a fool believes?" Normally, I wouldn't read too much into this, but as we continue on, the message seems obvious.

"The Way the Wind Blows" is a complete diatribe that I need not elaborate on here, as it has a similar message to "Armor and Sword" but is far more obvious. We see more of the same in "Faithless" though "The Way the Wind Blows" is macro-moralizing whilst "Faithless" is micro-moralizing. Either way, I do not care to be hit over the head with the same message 100 times in a record.

The remaining songs, save the instrumental, are more of the same philosophical bullshit Rush fans have had to put up with for the first 40 minutes of this record, but said a little differently.

I agree with Steve Harris when he quipped in "For the Greater Good of God" that "religion has a lot to answer for", but Iron Maiden is far more relevant today than Neil Peart is. Snakes & Arrows makes me long for another Geddy Lee solo album, because let's face it. My Favorite Headache is a far cry better than Snakes & Arrows.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

1993 - A Razor Right Up Your Spine

1993 was another relatively bad year for hard rock and metal for me. The Thrash and Death sub genres were the flavor of the day, and for me that makes for a bad crop of metal albums. However, I did find about 20 decent albums that came out in 1993, but the operative word here is decent. In general it was a better year than 1992 (except for the brilliant Images and Words by Dream Theater) but really not one of these albums would be considered a must have classic.

10. Rage - The Missing Link

Rage was churning out albums in the 1990's like no one else, and to make that even more impressive, the albums were pretty good. As far as Germanic Speed Metal, these guys are good (I prefer Running Wild, but Rage is still a good band). This is perhaps a slightly better effort than 1992's Trapped!, and Rage continues to make competent metal to this day.

9. Pearl Jam - Vs.

Pearl Jam's sophomore effort was a bit of a let down, failing to capture the energy of their first album. I think they tried to evolve, but most of it ends up flat, a couple of really good songs (i.e. Rearviewmirror, Rats, Dissident, etc.) save this record from the really bad songs (WMA, Blood, etc.).

8. Death - Individual Though Patterns

As I stated above, Death Metal is not one of my favorite sub-genres, but these guys did it so well, that one had to appreciate it. Musically, it reminded me more of technical progressive metal (think Watchtower) in some parts. Kind Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque adds to the mix to make this one of Death's best albums.

7. Conception - Parallel Minds

Conception always had the right mix of Prog and Power, though the epic track Soliloquy is all prog for sure. Khan and Ostby's second album is certainly an improvement from their debut (1991's The Last Sunset) as it is more focused and concise. Still finding their way, Parallel Minds is merely a stand out album in a weak field. Better things were in the future for Khan and Ostby.

6. Skyclad - Jonah's Ark

Kind of folksy, Skyclad is an interesting band. The use of violin is very different (especially for 1993) and it really works here. I guess this is where the band turned the corner and let more of the folk influences creep into their sound. Guitarist Steve Ramsey and bassist Graeme English were both in the NWOBHM group Satan (one of my personal favorites from that movement) and the influences of that band can certainly be heard here.

5. Mercyful Fate - In the Shadows

The big reunion album from Mercyful Fate, and it did not fail to impress. Essentially the follow up to Don't Break the Oath, this record really picks up where Fate left off when they originally disbanded in the 80's. No new ground is broken here, but it is a return to form for both King and the band, and a good release.

4. Savatage - Edge of Thorns

Finally we have an album that features the playing of Criss Oliva without the crappy vocals of his hack brother. Zak Stevens is the singer here, and he is miles ahead of Jon Oliva. The music here is great, Criss Oliva is less flashy that normal, but the riffs, hooks and melodies are great. It is unfortunate that this is the only album to feature the playing of Criss Oliva without a horrendous singer.

3. Gamma Ray - Insanity and Genius

Scheepers is the insanity and Hansen is the genius. Actually I like Ralf Scheepers' voice, but always felt Gamma Ray was better without him. This is no exception, but in a year where no album really stands out, this Gamma Ray release is very impressive indeed.

2. Rush - Counterparts

The irony of this album is, I don't think it would make a Rush top ten, yet here it is, second best album of 1993. Relatively keyboardless, this album kind of follows the stripped down trend in music of the early nineties. It is a good album, but after many listens, tracks like Alien Shore and Double Agent become obscure and are very "filler"-ish.

1. Motörhead - Bastards

A big big improvement from March or Die. Lemmy steered the ship in the right direction with this record. There are a lot of different sounds on this record, and MOST of them work great. Gone are the Ted Nugent covers and Ozzy Osbourne influences, and all that is left is Lemmy et al rocking out like they are supposed to. This is clearly not the greatest Motörhead album ever, but for 1993, it is the best.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Checking In

While I am working on a 1993 top ten, and still mulling over the top 10 of 2006, I decided to post a couple of random thoughts:

1. A few years ago, the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency terrified me. Now I am merely scared.

2. The new Rush album is pretty good. Better than Vapor Trails, but still not as good as I think they are capable of doing.

3. If the Rangers win Game 5 in Buffalo, I really believe they have a shot at the Cup.

4. Iron Maiden's set list for this leg of their tour blows.

5. American Idol is the worst example of watered down homogeneous music meant to dull the mind and kill the spirit.

6. George Bush is as dumb as the liberals said he was.

7. The liberals are as bad as Ann Coulter says they are.

8. I really do not care for Moonsorrow's new album.

9. The History Channel's documentary on The Dark Ages was good.

10. Al Gore's documentary on Global Warming was good, and well done, but I have a problem trusting politicians.

Monday, January 08, 2007

1992 - The Miracle and The Sleeper

I have decided to continue the top 10 lists, sort of as a side project. Hopefully, I will find other things to write. Really, the blog from now on will be postings and ramblings of what I find interesting, be it music, sports, current events, the planned murder of Bill Bellicheck, etc.

Anyway, back to 1992. As I stated in an early blog, these were not good times for metal, especially if you don't really like thrash. In any case, I narrowed down 1992 to about 15 albums I really liked. Most of these are good albums, but nothing I would consider great or special. Competent is a good word.

10. Rage - Trapped!

Rage is one of those compromise bands. So, if you have 4 metal heads in a car for three hours, and one of them is an Iron Maiden fan, and another listens to Opeth, a third likes Motley Crue, and the last prefers Xasthur, you can still put on a Rage CD, and no one can legitimately complain.

9. Axel Rudi Pell - Eternal Prisoner

Axel Rudi Pell has had this solo band of his since 1989, and while I have not heard his more recent releases, Eternal Prisoner is traditional metal fare for the age. Slick guitar and clean production are the draws here, as the vocals and lyrics are perfunctory at best. All things considered, this is a good album.

8. Immortal - Sons of Northern Darkness

I really am not a Black Metal fan, but there is something special about this album, the debut from Norway's Immortal. Immortal would produce better albums than this one, but this one is the beginning, and in a weak year, deserves a spot in the top 10.

7. Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond

Perhaps Blind Guardian's best album, Somewhere Far Beyond is what Power Metal should be. It is fast, melodic, and flawless executed. Certainly, the slow parts here ooze with cheese, and stories of elves and fairies are never my favorite. That said, this is still a real good album, and worth your time to give it a chance.

6. Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer

I still say this record is a disappointment. Far below Heaven and Hell and The Mob Rules, Dehumanizer is a competent Black Sabbath album, comparable to all of the albums of the Tony Martin era. Still, it is one of the top albums in a dismal year for metal.

5. W.A.S.P. - The Crimson Idol

One of the rare concept albums that actually works, Crimson Idol is W.A.S.P.'s finest hour. Lawless' vocals are great, and as far as traditional metal is concerned, the band really finds their sound. Gone are the pseudo glam elements from early in their career, and what remains is pure metal. Good stuff.

4. Iron Maiden - Fear of the Dark

While still one of the worst Iron Maiden records ever made, it was a vast improvement from the dismal No Prayer for the Dying. Perhaps a tad experimental, and while most of it falls flat, I give Maiden some credit for trying. By now it was obvious Dickinson was mailing it in. Still the title track is one of the greatest Maiden songs ever done, and really does redeem the album.

3. Alice in Chains - Dirt

Not at all metal, but still a damn good album, Dirt is probably the single best album to come out of the short-lived (thankfully) grunge movement.

2. Running Wild - Pile of Skulls

The highpoint of Running Wild's career is Pile of Skulls. It is a great album through and through, from the playing to the production, song writing and execution. Perhaps it is neither brilliant nor ground breaking, but flawless nevertheless.

1. Dream Theater - Images & Words

The best album of the 1990's, by far, bar none. It is so far ahead of anything else that came out in 1992, or really the entire decade for that matter. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. It is so hard to sum it up in one paragraph, but really what it always comes down to is, the songs are all great. The album is progressive, yet focused. The playing is brilliant, yet not at all self-indulgent. It is the perfect album, and sadly the only such album Dream Theater would ever record.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Top 10 of 2006 - Not Yet

Now is the time we see a lot of those top 10 lists. I still am undecided on my top 10 for 2006, but I think the year was not quite as good as 2005 in general. I also looked back at my 2005 list that I did around this time last year, and that list no longer holds up, so any list I do now, will invariably change a year from now, as I discover new bands.

Anyway, just for fun, here is my 2005 list as it originally appeared:

1. Moonsorrow - Verisäkeet
2. Slough Feg - Atavism
3. Masterplan - Aeronautics
4. Gamma Ray - Majestic
5. Opeth - Ghost Reveries
6. Candlemass – Candlemass
7. Brainstorm - Liquid Monster
8. Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
9. Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness
10. Arcturus - Sideshow Symphonies

The revised list would probably look like:

1. Subterranean Masquerade - Suspended Animation Dreams
2. Moonsorrow - Verisäkeet
3. Slough Feg - Atavism
4. Masterplan - Aeronautics
5. Opeth - Ghost Reveries
6. Machine Men - Elegies
7. The Absence - From Your Grave
8. Silent Stream of Godless Elegy - Relic Dances
9. Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness
10. Kamelot - The Black Halo

Those 7-10 spots are pretty interchangable as there are about 10 other albums that could go there.

So, the moral of the story is, Who Gives A F%@*, or WGAF.