Top 10 Emerging Classic Albums

30 May
Baroness - Blue Record

This is a bit of a suspense killer but hey, I needed a pic

Over on Sawtooth Wave, hhbrady poses the following excellent question: what albums are you still listening to at least once month from the past few years?

Nothing from 2011 is allowed onto the list. Essentially, it’s a challenge to name your top 10 emerging classic albums. Which recent records will be hailed in the same breath as Reign in Blood, Master of Puppets or Number of the Beast in another decade?

A little context is needed before I slap it out on the table.

I was obsessed with metal past and present between 1991 and 1994. It was my first real musical love. Yet when metal lost its way, I strayed, plunging deep into jungle, techno, hip-hop, funk, dub, reggae and electronic music for a decade and a half.

It’s only really been the last two years that my love of metal has resurfaced and dominated my listening habits.

In short, I have no continuum. What I was listening to in 2005 was very different to what I’m enjoying now. I have hundreds of CDs that I value as great albums but just never play any more.

While I am working my way back through what I missed during my years lost to metal, this is why my top 10 is biased to more recent releases.

Also, it’s not all metal. So shoot me.

  1. Baroness – Blue Record (2009) and First & Second (2004/5)
  2. Kylesa – Static Tensions (2009) and Spiral Shadow (2010)
  3. Fucked Up – Chemistry of Common Life (2008)
  4. Kvelertak – S/T (2010)
  5. Disfear – Live The Storm (2008)
  6. The XX – S/T (2009)
  7. The Sword – Age of Winters (2006)
  8. Weedeater – God Luck and Good Speed (2007)
  9. Black Breath  – Heavy Breathing (2010)
  10. Invasion – Master Alchemist (2009)

Honorable Mentions: Roots Manuva – Dub Come Save Me (2002); Bat for Lashes – Fur and Gold (2006); That Fucking Tank – Tanknology (2009); Fever Ray – S/T  (2009); Okkultokrati – No Light for Mass (2010); High on Fire – Death is This Communion (2007).

What would be in your list? What are your emerging classics?

5 Responses to “Top 10 Emerging Classic Albums”

  1. IPreferTheirOldStuff June 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    I’m not sure how far back you’re allowed to go with this, so I’ll restrict myself to the last 10 years, possibly too far but there were a couple I just had to include!

    God is an Astronaut – The End of the Beginning (2003)
    Future of the Left – Travels With Myself and Another (2009)
    Kvelertak – s/t (2010)
    The Twilight Sad – 14 Autumns and 15 Winters (2007)
    iLiKETRAiNS – Progress:Reform (2006)
    Eluvium – Copia (2007)
    Crippled Black Phoenix – I, Vigilante (2010)
    Mogwai – Happy Songs For Happy People (2003)
    Opeth – Blackwater Park (2003)
    Isis – Panopticon (2004)

    • Kuz June 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

      @IPreferTheirOldStuff Great to see Kvelertak in there! Crippled Black Phoenix is indeed awesome, although nothing else on the album quite matches the stunning Rise Up and Fight. Interesting that you like Opeth – I’ve never been able to get into them. Thanks for the list.

  2. Full Metal Attorney June 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    I didn’t really discover the world of underground metal until around 2006, and I didn’t get plugged in to steady information on it until early 2010, so my list will also tend toward newer stuff.

    Mastodon – Blood Mountain (I suppose you could pick Leviathan here–hey, I guess I can’t fault people for picking Ride over Puppets)
    Opeth – Blackwater Park (there’s really no question here)
    Kvelertak – S/T (yeah, I definitely agree)
    Baroness – Blue Record (yep)
    Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones
    Dimmu Borgir – Death Cult Armageddon
    Isis – Panopticon (Oceanic would be another good one)
    Nevermore – This Godless Endeavor

    I guess that’s just 8 off the top of my head.

  3. Kuz June 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Seeing as you also list Blackwater Park and Panopticon, I clearly need to go back and give them another listen. They are albums I know are very well thought of but I’ve never really had the urge to invest time in. With Mastdon, I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’ve only really got into Remission very recently and have been a bit nonplussed by both Blood Mountain and Leviathan, despite being really ready to like both after reading about them. I’m not sure what the stumbling block is. Only heard bits of Triptykon and Dimmu Borgir but I’m not a big straight-up black metal fan, truth be told, while I’ve never heard a note by Nevermore. Nice list though, thanks for posting it.

    • Full Metal Attorney June 12, 2011 at 5:01 am #

      Triptykon and Dimmu Borgir are far from straight-up black metal. DB is symphonic black metal, and as their career has gone on they’ve gotten more symphonic. DCA was easily the highlight of their career, where everything just fell into place perfectly, with catchy songs and a powerful, dramatic atmosphere. They basically just didn’t have any new ideas on In Sorte Diaboli and completely jumped the shark on Abrahadabra.

      Triptykon isn’t even a little bit black metal. (I know their Wikipedia page said they were, and Celtic Frost’s early stuff resembled black metal, but that has no bearing on Triptykon.) It’s death/doom, and ED is probably the best death/doom album ever. I say this as a huge fan of the genre (death and doom are my two favorites, so you can imagine I love it when combined).

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