Countdown: 2004: Albums

It’s kinda scary really. I have been reading other’s lists for albums of the year, and trying to think what mine are. And I can barely think of any. Has this year been a bad year for music, or is it just that I have been distracted by things for much of the year and have missed some of the better releases? Ho hum. Anyway…the best that I can think of from me for this year.

Countdown: 2004

Playlists

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Collide
Vortex

As many will know this band’s albums have been almost on repeat play in my life over much of this year. Although this is ostensibly a remix album, it really is good – 2 CDs worth, three “new” covers (Feed Me To The Lions being the best of them), and at least two tracks that are better than the originals (Charlie Clouser’s storming “Emirian Mix” of Euphoria and then the “Antistatic Mix” of Like You Want To Believe. Add to that somewhere between another 10-20 remixes available on the website…


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Skinny Puppy
The Greater Wrong Of The Right

A few comebacks this year, but the return of Skinny Puppy was probably the best of all. The new album is perhaps a little more polished than previous albums, and less dense in structure, but opening tracks I’m Mortal and Pro-Test are their best tracks in years. Add to that the astonishing live show in London in the summer, and heres hoping they keep it together for another album in the next year or two…


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Ministry
Houses of the Molé

Talking of comebacks, there hadn’t really been much of a gap since the last Ministry album, but seeing as this is their best album since Psalm 69 (12 years ago!), I think it counts as a comeback. Full of political rage, the album roars past barely drawing breath. Hard to pick a best track when the entire album is this good, but either No W or Worthless take the honours for me.


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My Dying Bride
Songs of Darkness, Words of Light

Another band pretty much back out of the wilderness are these guys. Again their strongest album in some years, it is kinda back to basics, with MDB stripping out the experimentation and concentrating on what they do best – doom. Best track? My Wine In Silence.


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Rammstein
Reise, Reise

Yet another band returning from a year or so out of the spotlight, they confounded us all by making an album that was subtly different to previous albums. Still anthemic and in the main heavy as, with what seems like is destined to be the best single that never was (Moskau, of course). Not actually a single bad track on the album, and as ever the tracks are even more astonishing live.


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Imperative Reaction
Redemption

Having only really heard these guys remixing other people’s stuff until this year, I was pleasantly surprised when I got hold of this. Good, solid EBM, with a harder edge running through many tracks. Best tracks? Guilt and Something I Left Behind.


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Assemblage23
Storm

Was pretty disappointed with the last album (Defiance), so to find this as good as it is was really good news. Not a single bad track on the album, either, which makes it even harder to pick a best track. But I’ll go for Complacent, I think.


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Rotersand
Truth Is Fanatic

Had heard good things before they supported A23, but they were even better than that live, and the album lives up to expectations. Much harder than EBM, bordering on noise at points, but with a melodic undertow that keeps tracks in your head for weeks. Almost Violent is without a question the best track on there, though.

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