Recently, on a Croatian music forum which is mainly based on metal music, someone brought up a topic on the best five albums in 2005. As a big music fan, I've decided to do something similar on my blog. And here they are, in no particular order:
System of a Down – Hypnotize
Pretty refreshing. Altough it has much in common with Mesmerize, Hypnotize is more mature and simply better sounding. It's probably their first album that made me listen to it over and over again carefully, unlike their older albums. The vocal parts are beautiful at moments, and the arrangements are great. This is their best work so far, in my opinion.
The Mars Volta – Frances The Mute
Here's a band you either love or hate – it's that simple. I love them. They've successfully managed to bring together many diverse music styles as progressive rock, psychedelia, noise, punk into an extremely hard to listen, but extraordinarily well played, complicated masterpiece of modern music. The drumming is wonderful, the Spanish fits them perfectly, and the music in general is brilliant. The only objection goes to the album being too hard to listen, especially for the first few times.
Van Der Graaf Generator – Present
It's possible to create a classic-sounding progressive rock record in a modern style that sounds fresh and new. And it's even possible to make it sound this good! It sounds like they never stopped playing together. The first disc (the studio recordings) is definitely too short (under 40 minutes). The second disc (the improvisations) is longer, but also harder to listen and more tiresome. Yup, it is too short, but it's still enough to make it in the top 5.
Dream Theater – Octavarium
Altough not a masterpiece of progressive metal, this album is here because of one song only – the 24-minute epic Octavarium. As far as I'm concerned, they could've released an EP similar to "A Change Of Seasons" with this song and a few covers, and I'd be more than satisfied. And I wouldn't have to skip 7 songs to get to this masterpiece. OK, OK, not all of the songs are that bad, but they can't be compared to Octavarium. I hope I'll hear more music like this from them in the future, because it fits them perfectly.
Koenji Hyakkei – Angherr Shisspa
And this is an odd one… The Japanese Zeuhl (Magma, anyone?) masters came up with a record which is more (avant-)jazz oriented than ever. Yoshida's drumming is great, and the new keyboard player brought the much-needed change in the band. This one is their all-time favorite of mine. Definitely a must-hear.
There you have it. The "best" five albums of the year in my humble opinion. N.B. that there were more great albums this year, it's just that these five somehow caught my attention more than the other ones. I'll be writing more about good (subjective mode on! :)) music soon.
Merry Christmas & a happy new year!