By Tony Spradlin
The Contortionist – “Language I: Intuition”
Turning away from the heaviness of Exoplanet and building upon the progressive ambiance of Intrinsic, The Contortionist refuse to stop redefining themselves and their newest album Language is a testament to that and Language I is by far my favorite song on this album. It’s a great intro to the entire journey. Its pacing is excellent, its melodies are enthralling and its style is, well, audacious.It’s easily the most adventurous songs I’ve heard recently. The only word I can think of to describe
Animals As Leaders – “Ka$cade”
Ka$cade is not adventurous. But there’s something to say about that in itself. In a year where we’ve seen a lot of bands redefining what their sound is, I find it refreshing that Animals as Leaders still has that unique sound and style, because frankly, they’ve perfected it. This song is just another (hopefully) in a long line of fantastic and inspiring “jazz metal” Animals as Leaders songs.
Darkest Hour – “Rapture in Exile”
Rapture in Exile is how I wished the entirety of Darkest Hour’s new album sounded. Its bouncy melodies and thrashy riffs gave me nostalgic flashbacks to Undoing Ruin. Also, it gave me some serious neck pain for the next couple days, but only great songs will do that to you, I suppose.
Thomas Giles – “Siphon the Bad Blood”
Thomas Giles is a genius, it’s really that easy. Siphon the Bad Blood is Thomas Giles’ successful attempt to combine seamlessly Stoner Rock, Pop and Ambient Metal. The verses are very smooth and cool and its chorus is very fist pump-y and high energy.
Ne Obliviscaris – “Pyrrhric”
This band came on my radar only recently and I’m still not sure how to feel, but Pyrrhric is undeniably interesting. Very hard, heavy and eclectic.
Cynic – “True Hallucination Speak”
Hey everyone! The 70’s is here! But seriously, there’s something familiar about this song that’s comforting. It’s very prog, a lot like what I’d imagine Rush would sound like if they had formed in the 2000’s. This is, however, my first real exposure to Cynic, and I can’t wait to see where this song takes me.
Between the Buried and Me – “Lay Your Ghosts to Rest (Live)”
Ok, ok, yes, Parallax II came out in 2012. However, I’m going to go a head and take the technicality of their Live DVD release to add one of the best songs from one of the best bands of all time to my top 10 list. This is definity worth taking a look at, and then again, and then again, and then again. It’s a very eclectic song that varies at almost every turn. I mean, after all, it is a Between the Buried and Me song.
(No link to this specific video :( )
Opeth – “Faith In Others”
The theme of the years seems to be “deviation.” I’ve never been a fan of Opeth, but this song, and this album, is nothing like what I’ve heard from them before. It’s very mellow and the piano and vocal break was surprising and left me speechless. It’s just such a cool and slow paced song, it almost seems perfect for rainy days or just times when you need to chill out and relax.
Insomnium – “Ephemeral”
So fast, so bouncy, so melodic, so good! It’s good to see a technical and melodic band continue to scream and keep those heavy riffs coming.
Whitechaple – “The Saw is the Law”
What can I say? The riffs are catchy and danceable. Well, ok, not danceable…thrashable. Very high energy.