Top 10 listened to tracks of 2009

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2 jan. 2010, 22h28m

2009 will be the year my transition of listening to music more for the feeling it caused within me instead of riffs or technically finally took over. I think this list will prove that.

Methodology - I went down my lasf.fm top songs for the last 12 months and picked the first song from each band that appeared. I thought this would get a better representation of how many times I'd listened to a song(and hence hopefully album, as I tend to only listen to full albums) rather than just looking at my top artists for the last 12 months as that doesn't take into account bands that have albums with a million songs on, and shows how last.fm is fatally flawed! I also ignored my top track " TragedyIntermezzo" as although Tragedy are AMAZING there are 5 songs on that CD called that.

My ramblings will probably be more about the band than the songs ;)

1. More Than LifeFear
Successfully combining epic melodies and fast paced hardcore their short EP "Brave Enough To Fail" really did capture me this year. There is no bloat, just 16 minutes of engaging heavy melodicness which is easy to put on and blast out in a spare 20 mins, it's not hard for me to see how I managed to get this to 1st place.

2. Altar of PlaguesThe Titan Skies
I saw this band support Wolves in the Throne Room back in 2008, when they were finished i knew they were something special. It just took me far far too long to pick up their EP "Sol". They play trancey black metal very much in the vein of WitTR, yet sounding original at the same time, with a slight hardcore feel to some of the riffs on this EP, and some shouted clean vocal pieces that I feel build into some of the best climaxes heard in black metal, surpassing the bands Altar of Plagues take influence from, these guys are going to be big.

3. Fall of EfrafaBeyond the Veil
I could blabber forever about this band. i wont. They play music with so much heart and feeling that has sucked me in so much it's hard to talk rationally about them. This song really does exemplify their style, a long folky build-up moves into epic post-hardcore. Utilizing the style of build-ups, comedowns and slowly morphing songs they certainly are masters of the epic.

4. PropagandhiDear Coach's Corner
I'm almost surprised I like this band, they are far too "singy" for the way my taste in music is going at the moment (as you can see by the rest of the list!), but I love this song, i love this album. It has alot of energy, intelligent lyrics sung with passion, good riffs, feeling in buckets. The ethics probably help alot.

5. Lake of BloodThe Darkest Path
For a 4 song EP, Lake of Blood have so much going on in their music it's hard to believe. Almost a melting pot of where black metal has gotten these days, but with an eye on the past at the same time. There are plenty of mid-era Immortal galloping blackened-thrash riffs in here merging into more modern atmospheric style black metal. I expect this band to go big places in the black metal scene if they release a full length! Also, they are vegans... :D

6. Have HeartPave Paradise
Strangely I haven't listened to this band much for the past 6 months, I was all over them when I first heard this album. They do however play very good modern emotive hardcore, good riffs and dynamics make for some catchy songs that are easy to digest but with some lasting impact.

7. CaïnaWillows And Whipporwills
Effortlessly combining styles, something which although alot of bands try, is actually very rare to carry out well, this guy hits the nail on the head, an ability I've only found before in (early)Genesis and maudlin of the Well. Caïna features post-rock better than most post-rock groups can produce, combining this with a great take on modern black metal with folky sections. Both black metal and post-rock yet this is neither a black metal or a post-rock band.

8. Attack! Vipers!Le Mort Noir
Each time I listen to Attack! Vipers! they continue to amaze me, so many influences and different styles of heavy music incorporated you wonder how they do it in such short songs. Their riffs are very inventive, they sound quite unlike anything else out there. Quite easy to listen to one two levels, the surface being accessible fast paced hardcore, the other being the deeper intricate workings of their music.

9. Wolves in the Throne RoomWanderer Above the Sea of Fog
This song really does sum up WitTR, a long epic black metal composition. Mainly trancelike droning riffs that shift slowly into new versions of themselves, a drum beat changing here, the riff moving over there. Apocalyptic blasting fuzz, i love it.

10. Godspeed You! Black EmperorSleep: Murray Ostril (They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach); Monheim;
2009 was the year this band finally clicked with me, really not certain why it took so long. Sometimes the songs on this album lack cohesion in the same way a band like Caina might move between styles with, but I have come to think of this as a strength rather than a weakness. The different sections being more like a slide show of the end of the world, vast apocalyptic soundscapes that move from place to place. What ties it all together for me is the sound samples, they bring in a more human feeling to the music and make it less abstract, which for me is why I don't like alot of post-rock.

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