So its nearly the end of the year and time to write about my favorite records released. Now that I think back over the year there have been some terrific records and compiling a top 10 wasn't too difficult as there had been about that many that stood out as being the most memorable and enjoyable. Alongside the best there were also a few stinkers, disappointing records I had been anticipating that unfortunately didn't deliver. Overall its been decent but not remarkable, of all that was great much of it was great within its own context with nothing ground breaking or revolutionary reaching my ears.
(10) Killing Joke "Pylon" Link
Not a record I expected much from, having gotten to grips with Killing Joke's identity this one felt at home with everything they were about. The production and choices in the instruments tone really gave it a new dimension. Possibly their best since their first two records, however there still a lot of records for me to get through first.
(9) Arcturus "Arcturian" Link
One of the most anticipated records I could ever think of. A decade of wait for the return of a band who's music has been both riveting and engulfing with their unique, distinguished sound and unforgettable songwriting that did not fail to deliver. It felt as if no time had passed, despite an awful production, the music shined bright and charmed once again with a familiar sound.
(8) Izioq "My Own Private Video Game" Link
Izioq second project was an interesting evolution from its predecessor. Moving away from the purist retro sounds of the debut, this sophomore record felt right at home while deviling into a more expansive and imaginative set of sounds that is full of charm and soul, creating nostalgic memories with the power of imagination.
(7) Joey Badass "B4.Da.$$" Link
I heard about Joey with a promise of a 90s nostalgia trip and boy did we get it! This record has the heart of the 90s spirit without being nostalgic or recreational, Joey brings his own style and flavor and it works. Solid record that's full of decent tracks.
(6) Iwrestledabearonce "Hail Mary" Link
I very nearly passed this one up. What a mistake that would of been! This has been the years most fun and "don't take seriously" record. Full of grooves, dichord abuse and maddening shredding, "Hail Mary" is an unrelenting onslaught of rhythmic aggression goodness that never lets the foot of the gas!
(5) The Underachievers "Evermore - The Art of Duality" Link
I like this duo a lot. They have a unique style and seem to be on their own path regardless of what trends are leading Hip Hop music. After checking out last years "Cellar Door" I had to pick this one up, turned out to be a real gem, conceptual and executed well this was full of food for thought and meaningful lyrics alongside tripy beats.
(4) Ghost "Meliora" Link
Heavily anticipated from one of the most exciting Metal bands active and they are going from strength to strength. Meliora gave a fan everything they could hope for and more with the classic "He Is" song. A true gem in one of Metals best records this year.
A sublime double record with no shortage of inspiration. Periphery created possibly their best work to date with infectious grooves and lush harmonies bouncing back and forth from one another in the fold of progressive and creatively written songs that have been stuck in my mind.
(2) Marilyn Manson "The Pale Emperor" Link
A stroke of genius, the return of a true musical great who's been drifting through obscurity in recent years. "The Pale Emperor" is one of Manson's strongest records, embracing a new introspective approach that works so well for the man who used to poke at anything else. Moody, dense and folk like, its a grabbing record that sucks you in.
(1) Enter Shikari "The Mindsweep" Link
From the first listen it was obviously a great record and possibly one of Shikari's best, but as the year went by this one wouldn't get out of my head. As a long time fan it made me realize how much the band had matured and progressed over the years. They have the same charm yet now their music has a greater sense of vision and clarity, a richer diversity of ideas and inspiration that keeps on giving. The band musically shape-shift through styles and aesthetics so effortlessly it has accumulated to the years most exciting record for the band who's future never stops looking brighter.