Friday, January 1, 2010

Top 50 Songs of the Noughties 40-31

40- "Stumbling Through the Dark" by The Jayhawks

39- "Easy Money" by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

38- "Seabeast" by Mastodon

37- "Bleed for Me" by Black Label Society

36- "Prayer of the Refugee" by Rise Against

35- "Tie up My Hands" by Starsailor

34- "Island in the Sun" by Weezer

33- "All That Remains" by 3

32- "The Poet and the Pendulum" by Nightwish

31- "Windowpane" by Opeth


Top 50 Songs of the Noughties 30-21

30- "Somebody Told Me" by The Killers

29- "Numb" by Linkin Park

28- "Hey Satan - You Rock!" by Therapy?

27- "BYOB" by System Of A Down

26- "Always Is the Same / Shine on" by The Stands

25- "The Mob Goes Wild" by Clutch

24- "444" by Crippled Black Phoenix

23- "Not Unlike the Waves" by Agalloch

22- "Closer" by Kings Of Leon

21- "Vicarious" by Tool


Top 50 Songs of the Noughties 20-11

20- "The Enemy" by Paradise Lost

19- "Emily" by Baby Woodrose

18- "The Black River" by The Sword

17- "Ilyena" by The Mars Volta

16- "Threshold" by Audrey Horne

15- "Face of Melinda" by Opeth

14- "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3" by Coheed and Cambria

13- "Electric Worry" by Clutch

12- "Soul Meets Body" by Death Cab For Cutie

11- "Arrival / Intention Craft" by Pure Reason Revolution


Top 50 Songs of the Noughties 10-1

10- "The River Under" by Astra

9- "Keep Believin'" by The Answer

8- "Capillarian Crest" by Mastodon

7- "Schism" by Tool

6- "No One Knows" by Queens Of The Stone Age

5- "Normal" by Porcupine Tree

4- "The Pot" by Tool

3- "Cochise" by Audioslave

2- "Ghost of Perdition" by Opeth

1- "Welcome Home" by Coheed and Cambria

Top 50 Songs of the Noughties 50-41

This was a lot more difficult than I imagined it would be. Especially when it came to the top 10 - I think there's very little that separates these songs, but a hierarchy had to be established. To avoid hour-long waits for the page to load, I divided the list into 5 parts. Click on the link at the bottom of each page to access the rest of the songs. Enjoy!

50- "Pick Me up" by Dinosaur Jr.

49- "All My Life" by Foo Fighters

48- "Halo" by Machine Head

47- "Tommy Shots" by Young Heart Attack

46- "Carvel" by John Frusciante

45- "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse

44- "Flesh Storm" by Slayer

43- "Redneck" by Lamb of God

42- "Metalingus" by Alter Bridge

41- "Woman" by Wolfmother


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Top 51 Megadeth Songs

As a celebration of their new album, Endgame, I am all things Megadeth this past couple of months. Fortunately, the album is a blistering aural attack and it is their best effort this decade. I have lavished praise on the album elsewhere. After countless listens over the few weeks, it gets better with every spin. And deservedly so.

What follows is a list of 51 songs that I absolutely LOVE from Megadeth. Why 51 and not 50? I couldn't cut another song after slimming the list down from 74. When picking the songs I applied only one rule: they had to be songs that I can listen to any time, anywhere, under any circumstance without my finger going to the skip button. So, without further ado, I present you my Top 51 Megadeth Songs in alphabetical order:

- "A Tout le Monde" (Youthanasia, 1994): A pseudo-ballad with a fantastic solo at the end. This is Mustaine at his most honest and poignant. A classic hard rock song.
- "Addicted to Chaos" (Youthanasia, 1994): The starting drum riff reminds me what an awesome player Nick Menza was. Another heart-to-heart from Mustaine.
- "Angry Again" (Hidden Treasures, 1996): Possibly the best known of all non-album Megadeth songs, it captures the '90s era 'Deth better than any of their "album" songs.
- "Ashes in Your Mouth" (Countdown to Extinction, 1992): How do you finish an album like Countdown? With a riff so unrelentingly heavy and a coda that never lets up. One of my all-time favourite tracks.
- "Back in the Day" (The System Has Failed, 2004): A lament to the bygone era of metal when Megadeth  and metal were kings. If you don't have goosebumps in the last minute or so, check your pulse.
- "Bite the Hand" (Endgame, 2009): One of the high points of the latest album, its hook is unbelievably catchy and heavy at the same time. In other words, pure Megadeth.
- "Blood of Heroes" (Youthanasia, 1994): It is a glorified pop rock anthem, but the chorus is the perfect fit for an arena sing-along.
- "Burnt Ice" (United Abominations, 2007): It has quite probably Mustaine's best solo to date. And that alone merits its inclusion on this list.
- "Captive Honour" (Countdown to Extinction, 1992): A classic Megadeth track that has the best use of non-exegetic sounds that 'Deth are so fond of. It's hard not to scream out the chorus as Mustaine snarls his way through some of his smartest lyrics.
- "Countdown to Extinction" (Countdown to Extinction, 1992): Megadeth sing about the endangered species. It might sound cheesy, but they pull it off admirably. Mustaine and Marty Friedman's harmony solo at the end is magnificent.
- "Dawn Patrol" (Rust in Peace, 1990): This little gem is driven by a claustrophobic Dave Ellefson bass line and Mustaine's inimitable snarl. 110 seconds of genius.
- "Diadems" (Hidden Treasures, 1996): What a song and what a riff. Sadly it's another non-album track that is criminally overlooked in their live set.
- "Die Dead Enough" (The System Has Failed, 2004): This is as hook-laden as a metal song can be without losing intensity. One of the better singles from this decade.
- "Dread and the Fugitive Mind" (The World Needs a Hero, 2001): A simple song, driven by a brilliant rhythm and ends with a guitar duel that is second only to "Hangar 18".
- "Endgame" (Endgame, 2009): The highlight of the latest album, the song exudes anger that has been absent of late from Mustaine. Chris Broderick and Mustaine's solo fills are magnificent.
- "Family Tree" (Youthanasia, 1994): Another pop-metal masterclass, a difficult subject matter is projected with utmost ease by a simple and effective arrangement.
- "FFF" (Cryptic Writings, 1997): This is my favourite punk song of all time. Fast, sharp, angry, and violent. Very underrated.
- "Gears of War" (United Abominations, 2007): This pounding track was the high point in 'Deth's then heaviest album since Rust in Peace (1990).
- "Good Mourning / Black Friday" (Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying?, 1986): A two-parter, this is as epic as it gets. The first part is soft, yet menacing, while the second part is Megadeth at their most ferocious. An absolute classic.
- "Hangar 18" (Rust in Peace, 1990): By far the finest song Mustaine ever wrote. The guitar tone at the beginning is brilliant and I have yet to hear chaos more eloquently represented aurally than the guitar duel in the finale. In my opinion this is the second greatest song in heavy metal (in case you're wondering, the greatest is Iron Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name").
- "Head Crusher" (Endgame, 2009): This is the first song released off of the latest album and it is guaranteed to cause temporary hearing loss as it kicks in in a most unexpected fashion and never lets off.
- "Holy Wars ... Punishment Due" (Rust in Peace, 1990): 'Deth's best two-parter, this gets even better with every listen. When played live, it's pure Valhalla.
- "I Thought I Knew It All" (Youthanasia, 1994): From the opening riff, the song hooks you in and takes you through some of Mustaine's best lines and a sing-along chorus. By the time this is over, you've already started singing it again inside your head.
- "In My Darkest Hour" (So Far, So Good ... So What!, 1988): Written as a tribute to Cliff Burton, this pseudo-ballad is complex and masterly in every way. Without trying, Mustaine wrote one of the best prog metal songs of all time.
- "Into the Lungs of Hell" (So Far, So Good ... So What!, 1988): Bend you knees, raise your fists in the hair and start banging your head like there's no tomorrow. Trust me, it's worth it.
- "Kill the King" (Capitol Punishment, 2001): Only released as part of a "greatest hits" package, this song was featured in their live set for a few years. It is a pounding, hook-laden track with a terrace-chant chorus.
- "Lucretia" (Rust in Peace, 1990): A very good song all around, but kudos goes to the band who bury one of their best riffs underneath the verse. Sometimes I wish we could just hear the guitars at some point without the words.
- "Mechanix" (Killing Is My Business ... and Business Is Good!, 1985): I'm not going to go into which version is better. However, I do prefer 'Deth's version over Metallica's for its immediacy and energy and for the fact that "Four Horsemen", sadly, aged a little more.
- "My Last Words" (Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying?, 1986): A severely underrated gem from the early days, Mustaine's spitfire delivery of his lyrics and the coda are simply amazing.
- "Never Walk Alone ... a Call to Arms" (United Abominations, 2007): This is one of those pop-metal songs that Megadeth can write in their sleep. Unsophisticated and to-the-point.
- "Peace Sells" (Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying?, 1986): One of the most iconic of 80s thrash metal songs, this hook-laden gem's lyrics are still relevant today. If you're not chanting "Peace sells, but who's buying?" by the end ... yeah, check your pulse again.
- "Rattlehead" (Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good!, 1985): This is THE headbanging song. It actually instructs you how to do it, but good luck with keeping up with the rhythm.
- "Return to Hangar" (The World Needs a Hero, 2001): The sequel to the sublime "Hangar 18", this is shorter and less majestic than its prequel, but equally ass-kicking in every way.
- "The Right to Go Insane" (Engdame, 2009): Another highlight from the latest album, it proves, once again, that Mustaine picks the best musicians around to play his awesome songs.
- "Rust in Peace ... Polaris" (Rust in Peace, 1990): The perfect finish to what I consider to be the best metal album of all time. The song pounds its way into our cerebrum with possible hearing loss in its wake.
- "The Scorpion" (The System Has Failed, 2004): A deceptively simple and catchy tune with an eerie atmosphere.
- "A Secret Place" (Cryptic Writing, 1997): Of all 'Deth's pop-metal gems, this is their best. An intriguing riff, a memorable chorus, and one of the best blues-thrash solos you will ever hear.
- "She-Wolf" (Cryptic Writing, 1997): That it still features on their live set as a prelude to some insane shredding is credit enough for this blistering tune.
- "Skull Beneath the Skin" (Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good!, 1985): The song that introduces us to Vic, the Rattlehead. Pure thrash heaven ... or hell.
- "Sleepwalker" (United Abomination, 2007): This opening track from United Abominations has a pounding rhythm that mill make your ears bleed.
- "Sweating Bullets" (Countdown to Extinction, 1992): This is a very unorthodox track that is deceptively heavy and is firing on all cylinders.
- "Symphony of Destruction" (Countdown to Extinction, 1992): The most recognizable of all Megadeth tracks, I still think this is severely underrated.
- "Take No Prisoners" (Rust in Peace, 1990): What a riff. Chaos in all its beauty.
- "This Was My Life" (Countdown to Extinction, 1992): Sixth-form philosophy its lyrics may be, but the sheer audacity of its arrangement makes it all worth it.
- "Tornado of Souls" (Rust in Peace, 1990): Second only to "Hangar 18" in the genius department, this was the first song I'd heard from 'Deth. I'm still reeling from it.
- "Trust" (Cryptic Writing, 1997): The lead-off single of the album, "Trust" works its way through a pounding riff, an eerie acoustic section, and a brilliant jazz-rock solo.
- "Victory" (Youthanasia, 1994): Its lyrics are made up from previous song titles. As cheesy as it may sound, the result is mesmerising.
- "Wake up Dead" (Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying?, 1986): A classic thrash song that bears no resemblance to anything from the genre.
- "Wanderlust" (Risk, 2001): Pure hard rock nirvana, this is indubitably the highlight of the dreary Risk.
- "Washington Is Next!" (United Abominations, 2007): As the chorus kicks in you know something big is coming next. And it certainly does.
- "Youthanasia" (Youthanasia, 1994): A slow-burning track with a genius of a chorus line. Oh, and a great play on words for the title.

A Very Premature Top 20 Albums of 2009

We're under about two and a half months from the end of the year, but I'm itching to create a list. so, in order to quench my thirst for such an redundant and narcissistic endeavor, I present my Top 20 Albums from 2009. Clicking on the album will take you to a song from the said (clicked) album:

1- Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us / Paradise Lost
2- Crack the Skye / Mastodon
3- Endgame / Megadeth
4- Octahedron / The Mars Volta
5- The Weirding / Astra
6- Journal for Plague Lovers / Manic Street Preachers
7- Wavering Radiant / Isis
8- Strange Cousins from the West / Clutch
9- Black Gives Way to Blue / Alice In Chains
10- Street Sweeper Social Club / Street Sweeper Social Club
11- Crooked Timber / Therapy?
12- Let the Dominoes Fall / Rancid
13- The Resistance / Muse
14- Backspacer / Pearl Jam
15- 21st Century Breakdown / Green Day
16- 200 Tons of Bad Luck / Crippled Black Phoenix
17- Amor Vincit Omnia / Pure Reason Revolution
18- Black Clouds & Silver Linings / Dream Theater
19- Polaris / Stratovarius
20- Scream / Chris Cornell