It pains me not to put this in the top 11, but the fact is that I don't play it as often as those in that did make the cut. It's a masterpiece, no doubt, and completely insane, but it's more an occasional pleasure than a frequent play.
This one missed out purely due to unfamiliarity. It didn't immediately grab me like Imaginaerum did, so without time to properly digest, I couldn't justify including it. It is really good, though.
This is the album that I think should have been the successor to Opeth's Watershed. It's melodic, it's prog, it's death, it's brilliant. It just didn't make the cut because I don't think to play it as often as those that are on the list.
This album took a long time to get into. It's entirely too pop-oriented for my usual taste, and one of the main singles, Sinead, appears to be a dance track. But I've seen it played live and it was better than I expected, so it goes in the runners up instead of the disappointments pile.
When I first got this album I raved about its brilliance, but since then the lustre has faded and, on reflection, it's not quite as good as Skyforger. Still a good listen every now and then, though.
In my mid-year review I marked this album as a disappointment because it was just like every other Arch Enemy album. It's since grown on me somewhat, and despite it not being the great leap forward many hoped for, it's still a solid album.
I picked this album up for a laugh on a trip to Prague earlier in the year, and it turned out to be a pretty decent album. I'd love to be able to sing along to the catchy choruses, but my Czech just isn't up to scratch. Otherwise, it's a worthy contender that falls short merely due to the generally high quality of other music that came out this year.
I usually include a list of disappointments, but this year there is only one that needs to be spoken of. And spoken of it is, far and wide, to much grumbling and bemoaning and general frustration. It should have been magnificent.
I tried to like it. Really, I did. I tried to disregard the arguments about wether it should have had growled vocals, or that it didn't sound like Opeth, or whatever, and tried to listen to it with no expectations. I even went and listened to it played live.
But that sad truth is that it's just boring. It's just really dull and tedious. And Mr Åkerfeldt's attitude toward people who don't like it really puts me off him, and that doesn't help with my perception of his music. Oh well, I tried.