For better or for worse, here’s my attempt at a top 10 albums of 2009 (in no particular order).
- Alice in Chains – Black Gives Way to Blue
- Mastodon – Crack in the Skye
- The Devil’s Blood – The Time of No Time Evermore
- Photonic – Recorded Contact
- Griftegard – Solemn.Sacred.Severe
- The Devin Townsend Project – Addicted
- The Devin Townsend Project – Ki
- Baroness – Blue Record
- Cloudkicker – The Map is Not Territory/Portmanteau
- Lamb of God – Wrath
In truth, given that this list is restricted to albums recorded/released in AD 2009, it’s still a work in progress. For example, I recently purchased Napalm Death – Time Waits for No Slave and Krallice – Dimensional Bleedthrough. Both are already tantalizing my eardrums, but I believe that any album needs 2 weeks and 10+ listens before they can conscionably be considered for such a list.
Since I restricted myself to 10 albums (a convention that I’m obviously not revolutionary enough to buck), which is clearly not enough, here are some notable omissions:
- Revocation – Existence is Futile
- Om – God is Good
- Shrinebuilder – Shrinebuilder
- TrippyWicked – Movin On
- Necro Deathmort – This Beat Is Necrotronic
- No Made Sense – The Epillanic Chorigi
Compiling this list was neither easy nor enjoyable. Like most music addicts the experience of music is a continuum of discoveries, rediscoveries, epiphanies and disenchantments. No arbitrary period can constrain the cycle of subjective musical experience. As such a list like this is never satisfying as it so poorly represents the music that I have loved this year – most of which wasn’t recorded this year. For me this is a more acute counterpoint this year than in any year I can remember. Since beginning this blog in earnest over the summer it has taken me on such a paradigm-shifting voyage of musical (and personal) discovery that asking ‘what was the best stuff released this year?’ seems somewhat beside the point. In an effort to redress the balance, here some other bands (both familar and new) that I have loved this year: Earth (particularly The Bees Made Honey… and Hibernaculum), Electric Wizard, Valient Thorr, Opeth (as ever), The Pax Cecilia, Torche, Pavement, GBV, Extreme, MC Rut, *shels, Boskk, Sunn O))), Pelican, Eagle Twin, Deathspell Omega, <code>, Dycian Maze, Thin White Rope, Emperor, Sleep, Swervedriver, Jesu, Nadja, (lots and lots of) Neil Young, Virus, Pentagram, Monster Magnet, Cymbiotic, Stone Circle, The Drones, High on Fire, etc. fucking etc.
There’s so much more out there to discover, many back catalogue albums to hear from bands I discovered this year, new bands on the scene, anticipated releases from established heroes (expect more surprise and more disappointment), that regardless of what actually comes out next year, it promises to be another vintage year for music in my world. Please do join me as my voyage continues.