A decade has come and gone, and a lot of music has been heard, analyzed, loved… not so loved. But we’re here to focus on the good stuff – the albums we couldn’t put down for years, the songs we returned to when we needed something great or familiar, the music that came to define not only the bands that produced them, but the entire decade.
Please understand that this is all subjective, only taking into account albums that the Everything Is Noise team has heard and loved. These are presented in no particular order and, true to the EIN name, traverse the wide-reaching expanses of music and sound. The only criteria were that the albums had to be released from 2010 to 2019. We all picked a handful of items and voted on each other’s picks internally to get to a final list of 100 albums. These are the first 25.
Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
May 1, 2015 // Flying Buddha
Australian neo-soul/R’n’B act found success with their debut, but as is often the case, really – finally – found their footing and galvanized their sound on 2015’s Choose Your Weapon. Led by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Nai Palm, their unique take on soul, funk, and even dashes of hip-hop make for an inspiring listen. “Shaolin Monk Motherfunk” sets the tone early with a laid-back, but groovy feel and an almost alien sensibility. With a total of 18 tracks, albeit some are sub-minute segues, this is a record with plenty to offer.
Thankfully the offers are delivered upon, and Choose Your Weapon is a smorgasbord of textures, tones, and timbres. “Borderline With My Atoms” takes a minimalist approach to songwriting and performance, while “Swamp Thing” is a funky, gospel styled tune that is bright and full while still keeping one foot planted squarely in the future. This record is a jewel that reveals nuance with every spin and will soothe and heal at the same time. Hiatus Kaiyote are a band from the future. I hope that future is a place where I hear many, many more records from them.
Gorguts – Colored Sands
August 30, 2013 // Season Of Mist
Gorguts shows off just how good their songwriting and musicianship is with Colored Sands. Gorguts have been around for quite some time, debuting their first album in 1991. Colored Sands was a whole new step for these guys – they upped their game immensely here. The guitars are very technically coordinated doing exactly what they’re intended to do while the distortion used adds a layer of chaos to the overall feel. Throwing this disorder on top of what should be crisp, clean, and technical is what I think makes this album stand above the rest in the tech-death scene, while the bass and drums provide their own technicality and insanity throughout as well.
The album is divided in two, the first half having more of a progressive side and the latter having a more tech-death side – though that’s not to take away from either because both sides have progressive elements and tech-death elements. The dividing tracking “The Battle of Chamdo” is an intense instrumental filled with cello and other stringed instruments and creates a dramatic scene in one’s mind. Colored Sands is a huge undertaking by Gorguts and is well worth taking the time to listen to the over 60-minute behemoth.
Agent Fresco – Destrier
August 7, 2015 // Long Branch Records
If you’ve followed this site for any length of time, you knew that this album would be on this list. Iceland’s Agent Fresco are a veritable recipe for success with standout instrumentation, vocals, and compositional skills. All of these things coalesced into perfect amalgamation on 2015’s Destrier. Their sense of melody, harmony, and storytelling guide the listener through 14 peerless tracks of progressive rock. The way these tracks flow from one to the next is established in the opening pair “Let The See Us” and “Dark Water” which sets a grandiose tone and immediately sets the stage for the beauty to follow.
Agent Fresco find ways to express a varying set of emotions and tones while still having a consistent framework throughout each song present on Destrier. From the almost celebratory “Howls” to the darker “See Hell”, it all feels like part of the same compositional quilt where each song brings its own patterns and hues to the warmth that is the album as a whole. These songs have the ability to lift moods and although the record is only about four years old, already feels like a classic that we’ll look back on for years to come as a staple in the genre.
Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness
September 25, 2015 // Domino
Pop music has a bad reputation. In and of itself, the term overstayed its initial meaning decades ago, only building on some cornerstones, but progressing and meandering in many different directions. A good example on how to take pop music by its core and making something extraordinary, something special, something weird and wonderful, is Julia Holter‘s music. Starting with her first album Tragedy back in 2011, Holter developed a distinctive, yet ever-evolving approach to pop music, incorporating 60s/70s trademarks with dreamy, psychedelic and experimental influences. And then Have You In My Wilderness came.
While 2018’s Aviary might be her most ambitious and compelling work, Have You In My Wilderness is the peak resonance of merging two worlds together. On the one hand inviting and appealing, the album makes it easy for casual listeners to delve in and have a good time. Sometimes that’s all you need, being as valuable as deep analysis and compelling conceptual work. HYIMW serves both world, because it doesn’t treat those as separate worlds. That’s the magic behind this wonderful album, and what makes it such a defining, important piece of art. Enchantingly, Julia Holter dances around stifling sadness and vibrant happiness, using all kind of sounds and compositional ideas as her canvas. Making those tasks sound so easy and timeless is beyond words, even if I tried to put some on here. She obviously can have me in her wilderness.
-Toni “Inter” Meese
Holy Fawn – Death Spells
September 14, 2018 // Whelmed Records
Oh boy, this album caught me off guard! I had never heard of Holy Fawn, but was browsing Everything Is Noise before my writing days and came across them. I gave the album a go and was hooked within the first minute of “Dark Stone”, the first track. Holy Fawn’s Death Spells is deathgaze album with a large amount of character and wonderful songwriting. They create a huge, epic sound while still managing to hold onto the -gaze side of themselves. Each song has an ethereal quality to it through the use of a massive soundscape mixed with textures making it mesmerizing to listen to.
The best part of the songs presented here is that there is a great payoff. Some sections may seem like they’re slow going, but the wait is always worth it when the song smashes in with some intensity. But even the slower sections are perfection – the beauty they offer is moving and certainly should not be overlooked. Death Spells is an emotionally intense ride front to back and is a must in anyone’s music collection.
Balmorhea – Clear Language
September 22, 2017 // Western Vinyl
On their sixth studio record, Balmorhea crafted a beautiful ambient post-rock treasure that is not only delicately composed, but also insanely well-produced (like seriously, it might very well be one of the best-sounding records that made this list). In a genre where everything tends to sound pretty similar, Balmorhea managed to create their own distinctive sound that draws inspiration from folk, electronic, and piano-driven influences. Although being rather easy to listen to, Clear Language has a certain musical depth that just keeps on giving: the countless different layers and hidden nuances that might get buried in the total work of art always offer surprising moments that you missed before – even after the tenth spin.
It’s kinda hard for me to describe this record because the music really does speak for itself, so just let me put it like this: if you are a fan of good music at all, take 37 minutes out of your daily routine, get comfortable, pour in a good drink and put on your headphones and just enjoy the magical soundscapes that Balmorhea created on Clear Language. Your ears will thank you for it.
Yob – Our Raw Heart
June 8, 2018 // Relapse Records
To call YOB ‘doom metal’ is kind of a disservice. Yes, sonically they fit that description with their slower paced and lengthy compositions, but there’s nothing gloomy about this band. After a handful of LPs, including the notably strong The Great Cessation, YOB became a bit of a staple in the metal community with their earnest and powerful albums and live shows. However, the story surrounding the release of Our Raw Heart was frontman Mike Scheidt’s health battles that led up to its release. It’s hard to imagine a more powerful energy source for a songwriter.
Our Raw Heart is a cathartic, goosebump-inducing ride that is singular in its vision and flawless in its execution. “Ablaze” and “Original Face” are proof that YOB have boundless energy and compositional skills that add to the dynamics of the record with their upbeat and aggressive nature. Contrasted with the beauty of the title track and the sprawling “Beauty In Falling Leaves” this album is as dynamic as it is affecting.
Sólstafir – Ótta
August 29,. 2014 // Season Of Mist
Distilling the stark, yet otherworldly beauty of an entire country such as Iceland into a single record is not something one should undertake lightly. But despite the outpouring of talent from the tiny island so far north, Sólstafir quite literally breathe Iceland through every note they conjure. The album’s namesake is an old time form for between 3:00 and 6:00 AM and that early morning gloom is intensely palpable throughout the record.
From the opening “Lágnætti” with its cinematic flow, building out from melancholic piano and reverbed guitars opening into a bombastic rock track that continually builds its intensity until its climax. Many bands can’t achieve this level of emotional pay off over an entire album let alone an opening track. The cyclical nature of the album at large plays into the exaggerated seasons and harsh climates that hammer the island into one of the wonders of the world. Ótta remains the bands magnum opus and it’s clear why, being both one of the best rock albums of the decade, but also one of the best offerings from a country brimming with talent. You owe it to yourself to take this journey.
Blind Guardian – At The Edge Of Time
July 30, 2010 // Nuclear Blast
You don’t often see a band’s strongest output several decades into their career, but Blind Guardian put to rest that myth by offering what is still to this date their most varied and well-produced record. The quintet has made a name at being one of the forerunners in the ‘power’ vein of metal, incorporating heavy mythology into their brand of folk-laden, riff-oriented music. With ATEOT they pull from a myriad of places, such as Paradise Lost, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Wheel of Time, Norse mythology, and much more to create a dense collection of tracks that still manage to be cohesive and engaging.
As with most – if not all – on this list, the music itself is where it shines best. These are talented musicians at the top of their game, and previously mentioned varied nature of the tracks breathe life to a genre that often struggles with simplicity in design. The orchestral arrangements of “Sacred Worlds”, the minstrel tinge to “Curse My Name”, the untethered aggression of “A Voice in the Dark”, every track is well-constructed and memorable. The icing on the cake is Hansi Kürsch’s vocals, which remain one of the strongest voices in the more traditional spheres of metal. This record is one that contrasts with a lot of the music on this list, but it manages to stand well above what you might expect from something with the tag ‘power metal’, and shoulder to shoulder with some of the best records we’ve seen in the last ten years.
Oathbreaker – Rheia
September 30, 2016 // Deathwish Inc.
Oathbreaker’s Rheia is nothing less than the culmination of what the band ever achieved musically. Straying away from their hardcore roots, the band incorporated an astounding post-metal influence, as well as blackgaze elements. The ethereal and hypnotizing spirit that lies within Rheia simply amazes and is a mesmerizing musical narrative throughout the whole record. In contrast of heavy black metal aspects the soft voice of Caro Tanghe creates a goosebumpy momentum within negative approaching guitar chords, fast elements, as well as post-rock landscapes. The whole record starts with Tanghe’s voice alone; an intimate, naked, and isolated situation, which is to be accompanied by more atmosphere and leads into the disturbing and heavy “Second Son Of R.”
Blast beats, aggression, desperation and a dreamy vision lead to the emotional breakdown of Oathbreaker that reaches its summit in the most honest and disturbing screams at the end of the song. With “Stay Here / Accroche-Moi”, Oathbreaker also bring in a folk-influenced aspect and an island of calm peace in between the unsettled songs that “Being Able To Feel Nothing” and “Needles In My Skin” are. “I’m Sorry This Is” and the closing song “Begeerte” also work with a lot of ambiance, in comparison to the heavy and wild album tracks. Rheia is a record to lose your mind and strive away and probably the all time magnum opus that Oathbreaker created.
Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
March 2, 2018 // Holy Roar Records
The rapid progression of Rolo Tomassi and their sound over the last decade is worthy of an article of its own, but one record absolutely deserves to be in this list. Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It is a record that is not only unique in its sound, but one that is also unique in its quality. Each track has a depth to it that is unfathomable, every single one memorable for one reason or the other.
The deft shifts from beautiful piano-infused synthpop into furious, mathy post-metal soak the listener in emotional abundance when listening to the record at home or live. Tracks like “Aftermath”, “The Hollow Hour”, and most notably “Flood of Light” toy with your emotions, rich synths encapsulating the listener in the magic of this album. The heavier tracks like “Rituals”, “Balancing The Dark”, and “Whispers Among Us” have tones that melt your face, and get you pumped up and ready to take on the world. If this album is a teaser of what is yet to come from this incredibly talented band, then the next decade will be a real treat.
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
December 2, 2016 // Glassnote
It wasn’t enough for Donald Glover to have acting and rap down pat – dude had to go stunt on us by releasing one of the best soul and funk albums in years. Awaken, My Love! was more than just another notch on the belt of the maturing renaissance man, it was a masterclass in how to evoke the artistic spirit of those like Parliament (members of which actually appear on here) for new audiences.
Name an instrument, it’s here. Mellotron, clavinet, rhodes piano, and synths, with a full funk ensemble on nearly every track. It’s pretty much impossible not to feel each element of the music individually, expertly produced so you can do just that. Glover’s vocals exhibit a huge range, from sultry highs (he was accused of pitch shifting on “Redbone”), textured mids, to channeling Harry Nilsson on the quirky “California”. While “Boogieman” would lay the foundation for the Childish Gambino that would make “This is America” years later, it’s evident that no matter what angle Glover attacks expression from, it will be fruitful, hypnotic, and timely. Awaken, My Love! is a top album of the decade because it makes you believe in love, life, and artistry all over again.
Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise
April 20, 2010 // Atlantic Records
Blue Sky Noise was the first album that popped into my head when we broached our ‘Album of the Decade’ idea at Everything Is Noise. To say that Circa Survive is my favorite band ever is an understatement, and this album holds a lot of my reasoning for that. The upbeat tick to the sound of Blue Sky Noise is something I feel elevated the band, pushing them beyond most of their emo/post-hardcore affiliates and giving them a more unique identity and room to breathe in the scene.
This is an album absolutely filled with singable hooks. Melding post-hardcore, psychedelic rock, and even some pop influences with an always abrasive edge, it is an eclectic album on a musical scale that bridges unique genres in ways I feel most bands fail to replicate. The unmatched tenor voice of Anthony Green brings it all together to create one of the longest lasting and most influential post-hardcore albums of the decade. Circa’s experimentation on Blue Sky Noise is something I feel elevated it beyond their prior two releases. Songs like “Fever Dreams” implemented an almost flamenco style to the guitar, while the vocals of Green were distorted in new ways to create a really unique song. “Spirit Of The Stairwell” keeps the innovation going with a somber acoustic song accentuated by choral vocals and slide guitar riffs. When you put these side-by-side with the wildly energetic “Get Out” and the absolutely beautiful “Dyed in the Wool”, you end up with an incredibly varied and extraordinary album.
Persefone – Spiritual Migration
March 29, 2013 // ViciSolum
All the way from one of the smallest countries in the world, Andorra, come progressive death metal luminaries, Persefone. They have taken a place in the spotlight with the release of Spiritual Migration, an album that doesn’t just set itself apart from others in the niche with ambitious arrangements, but also with a very tasteful sense of melody and rhythm, an engaging yet brutal and groovy style of songwriting. The dual vocal approach also lent a hand to cementing their style. The balanced use of keyboards added an extra layer of depth to the musical workings.
One of the more stand-out reasons for which the album came under such acclaim was also the lyrical content which, unlike many such bands, focused on highly spiritual outlooks on life, loosely alluding to Zen Buddhism and similar philosophies. Spiritual Migration is more than just another death metal album, it is now a benchmark for such albums, setting the bar higher in basically every aspect. Such achievements are hardly accidental – this is what hard work and determination looks like. Among other things, it can yield one of the greatest works from a decade.
toe – Hear You
July 22, 2015 // Topshelf Records
I’m not the right person to write about toe. Not because I have nothing to say, no, quite the contrary. They are my favorite band for many years now, which means a lot, facing my obsessive relationship with music. Every sentence I put down to describe how I feel about toe could be translated to, ‘Why the fuck are you still reading and not listening, don’t waste our time.’ What I feel about this band is beyond anything I’m capable of expressing through writing, talking, or whatever form of expression I choose. Nothing clicks more perfectly in my mind, and their symbiosis is a once-in-a-million situation. To know exactly what the next bar should sound like, when to put words on the music and when to let it speak for itself.
Aruhinose tadotta (I wanna go through to your side) // (Yamiyo Let me go)
Call me an over-euphoric idiot, but listening to toe is like getting hugged by my mother. While a mother’s hug speaks to the deepest core in you, music is near there for me, and toe effortlessly reach that with grace and warmth.
How silly are my words // You save me from my world
Hear You is, at the point of writing this, toe‘s latest full-length album, and while you think this is a love letter to that album and the band behind it, you are wrong. It’s a ‘thank you for saving me, several times.’
Lying, smiling その先の茫洋
-Toni “Inter” Meese
Jordan Rakei – Wallflower
September 27, 2017 // Ninja Tune
The 2017 opus cemented Jordan Rakei‘s place at the forefront of modern soul/jazz. His sound – a fusion primarily consisting of the two aforementioned genres, and hip-hop – took musical concepts and structures that had been done by many before him (and unmatched by many since), injecting new life into them. A beautiful tapestry of unorthodox chord progressions, artful layering, and emotive lyrical depth; one man’s struggles brought to light.
“Eye to Eye” is arguably as stunning an opener as you’ll find anywhere in the decade, let alone the genre. Its closing passage is brooding and dark, before the gear change of “May” kicks in, evoking entirely different, yet equally powerful emotions. “Hiding Place” is delectably smooth, captivating the listener with further fluctuations in style. It’s a fitting observation of the record as a whole – Rakei is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist, clearly directing every aspect of Wallflower with poise and purpose. Popular track “Sorceress” displays his shimmering production at its fullest. All considered, choosing a standout track is impossible. Each song exudes its own reasons to love Rakei’s art; the intricacy and passion within his craft guaranteeing that Wallflower will forever remain a vital listen and compositional benchmark.
Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
July 15, 2016 // Polydor/Interscope Records
Former session guitarist-turned-solo artist Michael Kiwanuka has accomplished so much by the young age of 32 that it’s frankly embarrassing. However, his crowning artistic achievement thus far has been his sophomore outing, Love & Hate. His mixture of folk, rock, and soul place him in a unique musical space and one that he dominates. As with most singer-songwriter artists, his topics can range from the socio-political to the introspective thought pieces. He does both with equal panache. The opus “Cold Little Heart” is a standout and quickly became his signature song with it’s familiar, but fresh sound with a message to deliver.
While the longer, substantial pieces are no doubt his bread and butter, Kiwanuka also excels at the upbeat tunes as well. “Black Man In A White World” and “One More Night” are genuine toe tappers that refuse to sacrifice their message regardless of their catchy nature. It’s balance like this that makes Love & Hate so special. The blending of styles is seamless and the mixture of complex ideas with musical accessibility is what makes Michael Kiwanuka one of our favorite artists to emerge in the last decade.
clipping. – Splendor & Misery
September 9, 2016 // Subpop
Ahh, clipping. Splendor & Misery was a slow burn for me. I found this album in a time when I was getting really into hip-hop and was almost immediately pushed away from this album because of the strange and abrasive sounds on it. Never being much into noise music, a lot of the instrumentation was too much for me at first. This was hard to overcome, but the more I listened to it, the more I found myself intrigued by these sounds instead of pushed away.
The flows of clipping., the absolutely non-stop word salad with hardly a breath between, was something that I couldn’t get enough of. In a genre that has been surging in experimentation and creativity, Splendor & Misery takes most of that a step further and plants a flag at the top of a hill that a lot of other musicians are scared to climb. “All Black” is a track that really opened me up to experimental music in general, and I know a lot of people that have similar stories with this album. While the verses may come off as weird, the vocal style is delivered in a way that can pull in even casual listeners. To those who aren’t scared to dive deeper, you’ll find sonic soundscapes quite unlike anything else I’ve ever heard in hip-hop. Splendor & Misery has a lot of conventional rap elements, beckoning a casual listener with dope flows and vivid lyricism. But when songs break down into glitchy and intricate beats with classic spirituals taking over the front of the mix, you know it’s a whole new level. And clipping. rises to the occasion to showcase their musical talent with a side of strangeness, presented in a dish to satiate the hunger of anyone with a predilection for bold and daring music.
Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
October 28, 2011 // Island Records
When Florence + The Machine leaped into view in 2008 with their bohemian indie rock anthem “Dog Days Are Over”, no one really understood who or what the band were. Another summer one-hit wonder perhaps? As was the way for indie bands of the time. Their second album, 2011’s Ceremonials, changed everything – for the band, for British music, and it triggered a paradigm shift in what pop music could achieve with a little more thought. With a depth and texture that effortlessly surpassed their contemporaries paired with deeply affecting lyrics delivered by a once-in-a-generation voice. This trifecta of qualities make Florence + The Machine one of the easiest choices for this list.
The Art Deco-inspired artwork and performances that accompanied the record cemented Florence + The Machine as one of the brightest pop acts out there. But Ceremonials with its sweeping orchestral elements, strings, and harp brought the playfulness and grandiosity of composition to the forefront allowing tracks such as ‘What The Water Gave Me’ with its deep dive into themes of suicide to otherworldly dimensions. Ceremonials is the pinnacle of pop music done right and its platform made the enigmatic South London songstress Florence Welch an icon of the decade.
Job For A Cowboy – Sun Eater
November 11, 2014 // Metal Blade Records
Job For A Cowboy’s Sun Eater probably is one of the very few albums that really surprised me during this past decade. Before they dropped their fourth album in 2014, I always thought they were just another typical death(core) band that focused way too much on blast beats and all things heavy and way too less on actual songwriting.
Needless to say, I didn’t expect a whole lot when I checked out Sun Eater for the first time, but man, did they prove me wrong! What I was hearing was a matured progressive death metal record on which Job For A Cowboy took already existing elements of the genre and merged it with their own style to create a unique sound that put them from out of nowhere right on top of the game. Featuring some of the filthiest riffs of the decade and “Sun of Nihility”, arguably one of the genre’s best tracks, it was a rather obvious choice to put Sun Eater on this list.
Shining – Blackjazz
January 18, 2010 // Indie Recordings
My experience of the 00s, as far as metal was concerned, was of a decade characterized by conservativeness and restraint. A guarded world where heavy music considered credible by the Encyclopedia Metallum crowd seemed to seldom venture into the wacky and weird. Accordingly, I couldn’t have conceived that the arrival of Shining’s 2010 triumph Blackjazz was to become the benchmark by which I measured the frontier that was this last decade’s heavy music scene.
Blackjazz set the tone for what was to come. The album’s adventurousness – borrowing everything from free-form jazz to pulsing industrial – blew my mind. I’ll never forget the ascending eruption of “The Madness and the Damage Done” that opens the album, or eerie synth stabs providing a breather midway through the chaos of “Blackjazz Deathtrance” – like something lifted straight out of a video game boss’ theme tune. It’s an album of back-to-front insanity and surprises. This decade would unfold with several other groups following suit, emulating Blackjazz’s schizophrenic take on angular metal with industrial trimmings. It’s fitting to think that the progenitor that kicked off the decade would have made just as big of a splash if it had been the one to close it out.
Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
October 20, 2017 // Profound Lore Records
One way to get onto a list such as this is to make an album that defines a genre. In 2017, Bell Witch did just that with their sprawling, haunting, and gorgeous album, Mirror Reaper. Born from the loss of a former bandmate, drummer Adrian Guerra, this song embodies the essence of loss, mourning, but ultimately catharsis and celebration. And yes, you read that correctly, this album is one, 83-minute song. There’s simply no other word that can describe this composition other than epic.
Led by a six-string bass and a drum kit, the only other sounds you’ll hear, aside from an occasional organ, is the haunting voice of bassist and vocalist Dylan Desmond. For at least the first 40 minutes, his growl pervades the song until the second half sees a more melodic vocal approach emerge leading to an almost angelic finale. I had the privilege of seeing this performed live and it was an experience that I hope I never forget. The hypnotic trance of the band as they played and its effect on us the audience was meditative and significant. The album’s cover art by Mariusz Lewandowski lends further credence to the idea that this is one of the most singular artistic efforts this style of music will ever see.
Départe – Failure, Subside
October 16, 2016 // Season Of Mist
On their 2016 debut album Failure, Subside, Tasmanian post-black metal quartet Départe are playing with the extremes. Bleak, dissonant guitars paired with desperate lyrics create an atmosphere of absolute desolation that you only escape from when Sam Dishington’s emotive clean vocals set in every once in a while. Haunting guitar melodies, a multifarious vocal performance and incredibly powerful work on the drums only intensify this feeling and bring the overall atmosphere to perfection. What got them their well-deserved spot on this list is the fact that Départe managed to create a highly memorable record in a slightly over-saturated genre blending together the best elements from several worlds. Over the course of the seven songs Failure, Subside spans around, you are met with a dissonant brutality a la Ulcerate, massive post-metal passages, and a desperation typical for doom. The addition of clean vocals in this kind of music only takes the listening experience to the next level.
Altogether, Failure, Subside is one of the most entertaining black metal records of the last few years and is highly recommendable for every fan of heavy, yet emotional music.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis
March 22, 2010 // Party Smasher/Season Of Mist
Option Paralysis, released at the turn of the century, was a big change in direction for The Dillinger Escape Plan. It marked a departure from the onslaught of mathcore found in their previous records, injecting calm and sometimes anthemic clean singing from Greg Puciato on top of unique and exciting songwriting that holds up even ten years later. The third to last record from the gods of mathcore was chosen as their best of the decade, narrowly beating Dissociation to the throne. There were a number of reasons, but one of the most important is its accessibility.
The record opened up many to the wonders of The Dillinger Escape Plan, and math in general. Its song structures appeal to those who like more traditional metal and alt-rock, whilst still dosing out copious amounts of furious math metal. Tracks like “Widower” and “Farewell, Mona Lisa” are timeless masterpieces, the piano used in the former one of the best uses of the instrument in modern metal. The latter explodes like an atom bomb at the start of the track, taking you through movements that only truly exceptional songwriters can staple together. Dillinger will be sorely missed.
Caspian – Dust and Disquiet
September 25, 2015 // Big Scary Monsters
Restraint isn’t something that usually comes to mind with post-rock, with a plethora of bands all vying to build the most overly indulgent emotional climax than the last there is a serious saturation of bands that meander around this final moment, but who fail to often understand the build up required for such a pay off. Caspian aren’t one of those bands – for their fourth album Dust and Disquiet the band operate intense restraint right up to the until they don’t. Understated introductions such as “Separation No.2” offer an insight into loss and it’s deeply affecting qualities paired against “Arcs Of Command” that unrelentingly bursts with anguish, an intense frustration, and unbridled foray toward a more metal sound aides in exploring the breadth of human emotion.
Dust and Disquiet is a vast and varied aural exploration of loss and ultimate catharsis. Each track is carefully considered and elegantly executed in such a way that the band have elevated not only themselves, but the genre as a whole and that alone is a reason for their inclusion on this list. Caspian are more than capable of great things and this record is proof of this. One can only hope that they maintain this upward trajectory.
Thanks for scrolling. Watch out for Part II very soon!