Monday, January 26, 2009

Best 3 Albums Ever (To Me)

Well, classes are now in session, and I'm going to do my best to get back into the swing of regular blogging. I think afternoon posts are going to be the way to go from now on.

Kicking off my first special topic for a while is a breakdown of my favorite 3 albums ever. I literally mean the albums here, as it's not necessary for the album to contain all my favorite songs, or even for it to be by an artist I particularly like. To make this list, the album as a whole entity needs to be outstanding. It happens that I like all the artists featured on this list, but that's not a requirement. I highly recommend listening to each of the albums listed below. I've heard them dozens (in the case of #1, over a hundred) times, and they NEVER grow old.

#3: Octavarium (Dream Theater, 2005)
Dream Theater is an amazing band, and this stands out as my favorite album of theirs. I'm no music critic, but every single song on this CD is strong, compelling music. The back-to-back combo of "Panic Attack" and "Never Enough" never gets old. Was probably the #1 most listened-to CD I had during my Orochi 2 mega-grind.

#2 Dark Passion Play (Nightwish, 2007)
The album begins with the song, "The Poet and the Pendulum" which is simply 14 minutes of EPIC in music form. They make great use of the orchestra they play with. I can't even describe it. You just have to listen to believe the awesomeness. "The Last of the Wilds" is the most beautiful/awesome instrumental I've ever heard, with a great mix of Rock with Celtic influences. The album concludes with "Meadows of Heaven," a beautiful track where the female vocalist makes full use of her fantastic voice. The whole album gels together well, and is so awesome, it's the only album to ever come close to dethroning #1.

Here are some interesting facts about the album:

As of February 22 the album has sold 120,000 copies in Finland alone, granting it a four times platinum certification. It is close to selling 1,800,000 copies globally. It was certified platinum in Switzerland, and gold in Germany, Austria, and Poland[12]. As of January 2008, the album has topped the album charts in six countries. The singles, "Amaranth" and "Erämaan viimeinen" have both reached number one on Finnish charts. According to, it is their most played album, and its successful single "Amaranth" is their most played song for the last six months, as of June 2008.

The album was also critically acclaimed in most reviews.

For the whole article about this amazing album, visit:

#1: Truthless Heroes (Project 86, 2002)
It was #1 from the first time I heard it, and not even Dark Passion Play can pass it (though it comes damn close). While there are several Project 86 songs I like more than anything on this disc, and none of the songs here would make my "Top 10 best songs " list, this album as a whole is rock-solid. Truthless Heroes is a concept album that frontman Andrew Schwab states "the album takes you through the protagonist's attempts to gratify himself and fill his deepest needs as a person through fame, fortune, lust, whatever." (from Wikipedia) The songs follow a theme of an individual's rise and fall, with complicated (in a good way) lyrics and superb rock. Three times during the album, there are shorter tracks that take a step back and kind of get in your head (you'll have to listen to the whole album to get what I mean), and the song after them comes as a heavy blast. I recommend Project 86 as an awesome band, with this album standing above all others.



  1. As your bro, I feel compelled to comment on this particular article.

    Octavarium was my fave DT album for a while, but it was eventually overtaken by Awake and Metropolis part 2.

    I tried making my own top 5...and it couldn't be done. It turned into a top 15, which is as follows. (Metal genre in parentheses)

    15. Vanden Plas: Christ 0 (Progressive)
    14. Sirenia: At Sixes and Sevens (Gothic)
    13. Kamelot: The Black Halo (Prog/Power)
    12. My Dying Bride: Songs of Darkness, Words of Light (Doom/Death)
    11. Mors Principium Est: The Unborn (Melodic Death)
    10. Gorod: Neurotripsicks (Technical Death)
    9. Liguid Tension Experiment: Liquid Tension Experiment 2 (Instrumental Prog)
    8. DIS: Opus 2 (Black Metal)
    7. Cynic: Focus (Prog with death and jazz-fusion elements)
    6. Ayreon: Into The Electric Castle (Prog/Operatic)
    5. Old Man's Child: In Defiance of Existence (Melodic Black Metal)
    4. Pandemonium: Whispers (Melodic Death)
    3. Symphony X: The Divine Wings of Tragedy (Neoclassical/Progressive/Power)
    2. Opeth: Blackwater Park (Progressive Extreme Metal)
    1. Dream Theater: Score (Progressive) because honestly, what could be better than 3 hours spanning their whole career, including a live orchestra.

    But there are sooo many other albums I wanted in there....I'll have to make a top 50 on facebook or something...

    And don't you mean the back-to-back-to-back-to-back combo of Panic Attack through the rest of the album? Octavarium and Sacrificed Sons rule, and they are even better on the live version.

    Enjoy your last semester, dude. Keep up the bloggin. Tell Spegs he's a batch. You know the drill, and so does he...

  2. Well, both you and your brother have impeccable taste in music so kudos to the both of you. I'm also a Metal man and agree with everything said in the post, however they aren't ranked as my best albums and in fact, I can't rank any albums in order. I love so many different ones for so many different reasons that I just find it impossible to have a favourite album, or a favourite set of 5 albums or whatever. Same reason why I refuse to compare albums too, but that's a topic for another day I suppose.

    Octavarium was the first Dream Theater album I heard so it remains one of my favourites from them, but with that said I love everything they have done so I guess it is irrelevant. I love how, like Opeth, their songs are longer because it gives them more room to work with and gives us more brilliance to listen to.

    Dark Passion Play is epic and to be honest, was quite a surprise given that it had such heavy expectations on it after Tarja's leaving. The Poet And The Pendulum opens the album in such an awesome way is one of my favourite opening tracks to an album for sure. It just instantly puts you in the mood to hear the whole album from start to finish, which also happens to fantastic as you say.

    To go back to what I was saying about album favourites; I may not be able to choose a favourite album or list them in order, but I can (only just mind you) choose my favourite band. That would be Opeth, whom I'm sure you are aware of given your listening of Dream Theater and the fact that Blackwater Park is listed in second place on your brother's list.

  3. God that third paragraph is horrible.

    "The Poet And The Pendulum opens the album in such an awesome way is"

    Should be: The Poet And The Pendulum opens the album in such an awesome way and is one of my favourite opening tracks for an album for sure.

    "It just instantly puts you in the mood to hear the whole album from start to finish, which also happens to fantastic as you say."

    Should be: It just instantly puts you in the mood to hear the whole album from start to finish, which also happens to be fantastic as you say in the post.

    Maybe commenting at 4:33am isn't such a good idea...

  4. I find the concept of ranking albums difficult as well. And really, that list is more like 15 albums that are all my top 5 in a strange dimension where math does not apply.

    But there are definitely some objective criterion which you can use, such as production quality. There is some music that is raw, such as Abhorrence's Vulgar Necrolatry (Fin) which still manages to impress despite production. But in general, if it sounds like it was made on a 4 track it's not going to be a favorite of mine.

    Dream Theater and Opeth are tied for my number one group. Dream Theater for its epic quality and SDOIT live on score, which still blows my mind, and Opeth for use of tonal color and mood. I also disliked Watershed the first 4 times I heard it, now I love it to death (metal). Their music is always a journey of discovery, when it finally clicks, it feels so good.

    It's such a shame, Nate, that you can't look past the growls and get into Opeth. You're missing out!

    Agreed wholeheartedly on the epicness of the new Nightwish album. I just feel sorry for the people who are too butthurt over Tarja to enjoy the music.

  5. Sorry bro, the growling just doesn't do it for me. I greatly prefer the vocals of Nightwish, Dream Theater, or Kamelot. I have no problem with Opeth's sound, just the vocals.

  6. Interesting that the growling puts you off Opeth and unfortunate too because Mikael is perhaps one of the best growlers out there, but fair enough too. I can understand your distaste in it.

    So instead I ask, have you heard of Nevermore and Katatonia and what do you think of those?

  7. I actually think it would be harder to convert him to Katatonia than Opeth, IMO, but you never know. And agreed on the growls, Akerfeldt can be quite gruesome while maintaining clarity.

    And Steven, I posted anonymously on your blog about 3rd person perspective. I saw that it was linked here, gave it a late night read, and so wholeheartedly disagreed with you about that tiny thing that I couldn't just let it go. Small world right here.
    You use MSN messenger at all, or the metal archives?

    Nate! Wingman! Co-op for life. Havin all the fun right now, RE5 demo, Fallout 3 DLC, girlfriend who likes zombies. Looking forward to reading your DLC review. I'll send you a MSG soon, more fun times have been happening here in Spain. Interesting stuff indeed.

  8. LOL, oops, I was thinking Kataklysm, not Katatonia. Nate, you'd probably like Katatonia if you haven't heard of them already.

  9. I've never heard of them, but I'm sure you'll enlighten me when you get back from spain.

  10. @Evan - Ah, so you were the anonymous comment. I was wondering who it was. ;) I don't mind that you disagreed and in fact appreciated you did because it made me realise that everyone has their own way of playing a game. Hopefully you read my response to your comment.