Top 10 Discoveries: 2007 Edition

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Fev 9 2008, 23h26

Yeah yeah, I know, it's over a month into 2008. I blame procrastination... seems like an easy scapegoat.

Looking back at my Top Discoveries of 2006 journal, I was pretty amazed at how the bands mentioned have made an impact on my charts. 11 of my Top 50 Artists were from bands that I hadn’t even heard of 2 years ago, including my #1. (all hail Dream Theater!) 2007 didn’t disappoint me either, and below is a list of my top 10 discoveries, followed by some honorable mentions.

1. Machinae Supremacy
First track: Attack Music
Eye-opening track: Return to Snake Mountain
Favorite: Kings of the Scene

I guess Last.fm lived up to their motto of giving us new music to discover. I found these guys on my dashboard because they had free songs available for download. They had a unique sound: pretty good with… a Nintendo? Well, technically it’s a Commodore 64, but coming from someone with a love for oldschool video games, this was a recipe for success in my book. Plus, I tend to like things more when they’re free, and half of their discography is available for free on their website.

2. Strapping Young Lad (thanks BeerMonster, Anna-Lee)
First: You Suck
Eye-opener: You Suck
Favorite: Love?

HELL YEAH YOU FUCKIN’ SUCK!!! I heard that on Sirius radio one day and didn’t know whether to laugh hysterically or fall in love with this band. So I did both. I picked up City on some recommendations, and while it took a little time for me to get used to the that Devin Townsend puts out in this band, but eventually I had to come to terms that tongue-in-cheek humor never sounded so badass. Once I heard “Love?”, I was hooked. The main riff to the song is mind-boggling awesome. I’ve just recently picked up Devin’s solo stuff, and I can honestly say that Hevy Devy is a genius!

3. Chimaira
First: Painting the White to Gray
Eye-opener: Nothing Remains
Favorite: Nothing Remains

I heard "Painting the White to Gray" years ago when I was on a rock/metal message board called Shoutweb (which has been in the shitter for years, but that’s neither here nor there). I thought it was alright, so I went to a used music store and picked up a Chimera CD and was horrified to discover that Chimaira () is VERY different from Chimera (). After solving that whole mess, I got a dosage of some solid groove metal, a la Machine Head and Lamb of God. They definitely give me that warm and fuzzy feeling when I listen to them, and by “warm and fuzzy feeling” I mean “urge to kill somebody”.

4. Symphony X (thanks sataf, Anna-Lee)
First: Inferno (unleash The Fire)
Eye-opener: Inferno (Unleash the Fire)
Favorite: King Of Terrors

I love mentioning these guys in this journal, because they were actually recommended to me through my “Top Discoveries of 2006” journal. I first heard these guys right after getting off massive Dream Theater and binges, so this was exactly what the doctor ordered: AND power metal! And some of the riffs in The Odyssey are reminiscent of Pantera… can this get any better?

5. Dethklok
First: Thunderhorse
Eye-opener: Detheme
Favorite: Murmaider

I’m a Guitar Hero addict and found Thunderhorse to be one of the more fun songs to play in GH2. I got The Dethalbum from a friend but hadn’t watched “Dethklok: Metalocalypse” before, so I didn't really get it. But once I saw my first episode, I was hooked on both the show and the music. It’s actually pretty good , but the Spinal Tap-esque humor takes it to a new level. They certainly live up to the title of . To top it off, they have a clown that does cocaine… KUH-KUH-KUH YEEAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

6. Within Temptation
First: Mother Earth
Eye-opener: Our Farewell
Favorite: Dark Wings

I heard this group though a friend of mine and was pretty impressed with the album Mother Earth. Sharon den Adel’s voice is the most beautiful voice I’ve heard in , hands down. I knew I’d heard it somewhere and eventually linked it to Farewell on Avantasia’s The Metal Opera, which is one of my favorite songs off of one of my favorite albums. It’s a shame that they’ve turned to generic , a la Evanescence. I don't hate Evanescence or anything, but I MUCH prefer Within Temptation’s earlier sound.

7. Manticora
First: Present. If (Intro)
Eye-opener: 1934. King of the Absurd
Favorite: 1934. King of the Absurd

Ever since discovering bands like DragonForce, Avantasia, and Blind Guardian, I’ve been on a search for all things power metal. And while I’ve enjoyed most of the bands I’ve heard, I got burnt out after awhile. Then I heard Manticora’s prog/power effort 8 Deadly Sins. It’s been a long time since a song has blown me away on the first listen like "King of the Absurd" did. Truly one of those songs with an amazing build-up that does not let go of the reigns, and it actually continues through the entire album. These guys aren’t a very well-known band (less than 5,000 listeners on Last.fm), but I’ve definitely got them under my radar and need to pick up some more of their music.

8. Rodrigo y Gabriela
First: Orion
Eye-opener: Orion
Favorite: Stairway to Heaven (live)

I love Metallica. After all, it’s a prerequisite for being a metalhead. Seems like everyone in the genre has covered them, but my favorite covers came from string quartet Apocalyptica. That is, until I heard Rodrigo y Gabriela. My girlfriend introduced me into their cover of Orion and I fell in love with their acoustic Spanish rendition. Call it blasphemy, but I prefer it over the original. On an impulse buy I picked up Rodrigo y Gabriela’s self-titled CD and was blown away with the sound that they could produce with just 2 guitars. The best part was on the bonus DVD, which had a live version Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, but it doesn’t have to be a cover for them to put together some brilliant music.

9. Into Eternity
First: Isolation
Eye-opener: Severe Emotional Distress
Favorite: Severe Emotional Distress

If you take every subgenre of metal and mix it into one band, you get Into Eternity. Power metal, , , these guys can do it all… in the same song! I heard Isolation a few years back on a compilation CD and wasn’t abnormally impressed. Then I heard Severe Emotional Distress with a new vocalist and—after getting over my “what the fuck?!” shock—my opinion changed for the better. After seeing them live twice (once with Dark Tranquility and The Haunted, again with the mighty Dream Theater), I was hooked and had to buy The Scattering Of Ashes. Not sure what to think about the rather lyrics and music videos, but with the vocalist’s range and the “metal on A.D.D.” sound, I can let it slide.

10. Queensÿche
First: Silent Lucidity
Eye-opener: Damaged
Favorite: I Don’t Believe In Love

For years, the only exposure I had to these guys was Silent Lucidity, so I brushed them off as just another power ballad from some band. Which is why I got really confused when I first got into Dream Theater and heard these guys thrown into the mix as pioneers of prog metal. This… metal? I laughed it off until I went to a garage sale and saw Promised Land for $.50 (it’s tempting to tag 50 Cent here). It was pretty good, and then I got their Greatest Hits, which was pretty impressive. After listening to it, I realized that there were a few other songs that I’d heard of theirs (Jet City Woman, Sign of the Times). Oddly enough, even though I initially brushed them off as hair metal, my favorite song of theirs is “I Don’t Believe in Love”, which I could actually see performed by a hair metal band… go figure.

Honorable Mentions
Kiuas
Elvenking
Bad Religion
Edguy (thanks Anna-Lee)
Dream Evil
Gamma Ray (thanks sataf, FjordSweetFjord)
Olympos Mons
Rhapsody
Galactic Cowboys (thanks happydufus)
Helloween
Pain of Salvation (thanks Anna-Lee)
Roadrunner United
Hellyeah
Rage
Stratovarius
Therion
The Dillinger Escape Plan (thanks Anna-Lee)
Hibria
Nocturnal Rites
Time Requiem
Hammerfall
Fates Warning
Falconer
Virgin Steele
Jag Panzer
Cage
Callenish Circle
Dragonland
Iron Saviour
Running Wild

2007 was definitely a productive year for me, and this site was a big help in getting me exposure to new music. Many of the artists were recommended to me through people here, and I discovered countless others with the “Similar Artists” feature. And to think only 2 years ago I had never heard any power or progressive metal… I had been missing so much!!! A month into 2008 and I’ve already got a few new finds under my belt that will probably make it to a journal at the end of this year.

Feel free to add comments or give recommendations for 2008.

Comentários

  • LANjackal

    Strapping Young Lad: cool soundtrack music, not much else Chimaira: Don't normally think of their sound as homicidal, but I know it is brutal Within Temptation: Have you ever heard Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil? She can definitely give Sharon a run for it. Oh yeah, and everyone loves WT's earlier sound. Into Eternity: I used to have a distaste for death metal in general until I hear Out. A-mazing Queensryche: Cool, but I think they've largely lost their relevance

    Fev 10 2008, 5h42
  • Omegasphere

    I like Lacuna Coil as well... actually had them as one of my 2006 discoveries =) Cristina has a good voice too and was probably my favorite female voice until Within Tempation came along. I think Sharon has a lot more range with her voice, and she has a very unique tone. Plus, Cristina's duet with Megadeth on A Tout le Monde (Set Me Free) was horrible because she didn't seem to have anything behind her voice.

    Fev 10 2008, 6h06
  • LANjackal

    Hmmm... well I didn't hear that one. BUT I have seen LC live and I can certainly testify that she sounds just as good as she does in the studio with a powerful voice that carries over the instruments. I was pretty impressed. Haven't seen WT live though. In terms of duets, LC have more, but WT takes the cake with Enter IMO. I'm dying to see that song live, if they ever play it :/

    Fev 10 2008, 6h24
  • Beef_Doughnut

    Give Subterranean Masquerade's Suspended Animation Dreams a whirl, you can listen to the whole album right here on last.fm.

    Fev 10 2008, 14h17
  • ShadowFury

    Nice to see you discovered Devy and SYL this year aswell. If you like SYL you might wanna check out Zimmer's Hole too. It features all the members of SYL (Jed and Byron were in the band since the start, Gene did drums for their new album). No Devin on vocals though, but he's producing. Their new album When You Were Shouting at the Devil... We Were in League With Satan sounds just like it's The New Black v2. First track on the album is godlike, you can preview it here. As for the comment you wrote in my journal, asking if I have given the symphonic/powermetal-genre much of a listen, I'd have to say no. I liked Nightwish a lot some years ago, but I suddenly stopped listening to them. As for the power metal-bands, I listened to some Dragonforce and Rhapsody albums, but wasn't actually hooked. Either way, I'm gonna check out some of the artist you mentioned in this journal, hope I'll find some good ones :)

    Fev 12 2008, 21h52
  • Moonshield78

    I recommend Eluveitie they are a great mix of folk and melodic death metal

    Mar 3 2008, 5h02
  • Rhalph

    You should also try After Forever and Epica (for the singer's voice, if you like Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil...) Another great metal opera, like Avantasia, is Aina.

    Mar 9 2008, 15h04
  • Nisse_R

    Nice post, found some nice new music here :>

    Mar 14 2008, 15h18
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