mk’s 2008 Non-Metal Top 10

Non-Metal Top 10

10. The Butterfly Effect – Final Conversation Of Kings

The Butterfly Effect – Final Conversation Of Kings

I was a little hesitant to get stuck into this release after my tug-of-war over their 2006 release Imago. It ended up being my number 1 that year. A brilliant release! But it took an awful long time to sink in. The song structures are incredibly more complex and mature than their debut long player in 2003. In the end I came to the conclusion that I loved it. For the band themselves it would end up being a hugely popular release. And so it came to being that I was expecting the same struggle with Final Conversations……’. And yes, this has ended up being the case. Typically each song will commence with a softly singing Clint, introducing the song, in most cases slowly building up the pressure and intensity to a heartfelt chorus and song ending. I like this method when it’s done well. While their form has continued I don’t think it as strong as Imago. Still a good listen though.

9. Melvins – Nude With Boots

Melvins – Nude With Boots

I was not totally interested initially in giving this a decent listen. On hearing the opening track ‘The Kicking Machine’ for the first time, I was immediately keen. It has a similar funk/grove sound to that of Clutch, whose 2007 release (From Beale Street to Oblivion) I really enjoyed. This is not a theme that is carried through the remainder of the album however. There are many layers to peel back. Even the haunting interlude in the middle of the album ‘Dies Iraea’ is captivating. The following track (‘Suicide in Progress’) commences with a rockabilly feel to it before calming down to effectively a piece of angry spoken word. In short, there’s a lot to listen to here. Over time, I think it’ll keep growing on me.

8. Nine Inch Nails – The Slip

Nine Inch Nails – The Slip

Three months after releasing it’s 6th studio album ‘Ghosts I-IV’, the 7th offering, ‘The Slip’ arrived. Thankfully one of them stuck for me. The first 4 or 5 songs off ‘The Slip’ are the classic NIN industrial sound we’ve come to expect from them. Admittedly it does become a little to ambient for a couple of tracks, notably ‘Lights in the Sky’ and ‘Corona Radiata’

7. P.O.D. – When Angels & Serpents Dance

P.O.D. – When Angels & Serpents Dance

I think if you know me by now, you’ll know I’m a fan of the catchy hard-rock being released over the past few years – Fuel, Filter, even Staind to some extent. P.O.D are just another of those bands. There’s still a little of the nu-metal influence shining through such as the first track Addicted. Guest appearance by Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies fame on Kaliforn-Eye-a is pretty cool also, where we get a bit of punk influence. There’s also trimmings of regge on the following track I’ll Be Ready, which is a different approach. Mostly a pretty mature release. Their 2006 release Testify was also a winner for me and this one continues in the same vein.

6. Mudhoney – The Lucky Ones

Mudhoney - The Lucky Ones

After the compilation of 2006, most people though the pioneers of the Seattle scene were done with. Well they’ve managed to squeeze another one out of the bottle…. literally, putting together 11 songs in 3.5 days!! Ask me what it is about this particular release and I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps they have been out of my ears long enough that I have forgotten what that sound was like. Either way, it’s a worthy top10 effort.

5. Sahg – Sahg II

Sahg - Sahg II

I always get fooled by the band name here. Thinking they’re going to spin some Viking Metal rubbish in my general direction, I reluctantly give it spin number 1. Again I was surprised and impressed with what I was greeted with. Making a not so subtle salute to early Sabbath, Sagh II have a good knack of producing that slow chug sound, while the lead singer has that definite vacant Ozzy ring to his voice. Not that being a Sabbath clone is reason enough to like this release. It does stand up well on it’s own.

4. Staind – The Illusion Of Progress

Staind - The Illusion Of Progress

Much of the same from Staind when looking at the previous few releases. They have toned down their Nu-Metal ways of early years for, in my opinion, the better. Plenty of catchy rock tunes and the odd slow (and yes soppy) songs. To these ears the right combination. The limited edition has bonus tracks on it including acoustic versions of some of their bigger hits.

3. Guns n’ Roses – Chinese Democracy

Guns n' Roses – Chinese Democracy

Look there has been plenty of discussions on the merit or this particular release so I’m not about to rehash the bitterness I hold for Axl and his treatment of the fine Legacy that GnR once was. I was expecting the worst and on first listen, like most people cried fowl at this not being the natural follow-up to the ‘Illusion’ releases (Spaghetti Incident doesn’t count!!). In reality this could never be the case – MOVE ON mk!! Forgetting the moniker the band goes by today and just listening to the music itself, there’s no denying that Axl has the song writing talent. There are some catchy tunes in this bunch, just not in the GnR style we came to love in the late 80’s, early 90’s. As TheBigBlack said to me – think of it not as a GnR release but an Axl W Rose release and you’ll enjoy it. I actually couldn’t agree more.

2. The Offspring – Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace

The Offspring – Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace

Holy smoke!! Cut out the dumb lyrics and we’re back to the early 90’s. There’s some smart songwriting here – if you’re after the punk rock sound of old, then you’ll find it here. This being the longest they have worked on an album has paid dividends. And to think I was going to give this a miss. A big surprise!!

1. Filter – Anthems For The Damned

Filter – Anthems For The Damned

There’s just that familiar atmosphere when you listen to a Filter album. The mix is just catchy – there’s no other real way I can describe it. There’s plenty of cool new riffs and Patricks vox is it’s raspy but tuneful self. I continually dred the day where I am disappointed by a Filter release (not sure why they’d want to break a successful mould), but that’s yet to happen. They’ve released 4 albums in a 14 year career and perhaps that’s what they do right, unlike the Foo Fighters who for me have turned into a dull, boring ‘same-old’. Kinda a little strange to start of with a song like Soldiers of Misfortune – as slow moving rock ballad.

Honourable Mentions

 

Dishonourable Mentions

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