WHO RULED 2002?
East Coast Editor, Christopher J. Kelter, picks his "Best Of" for 2002
by Christopher J. Kelter
Another year has come to a close and it's time to provide a brief run-down on my favorite CDs of 2002.
As usual, I have to give props to the honorable mentions of 2002 (in no particular order):
"Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness" by Green Carnation
"Resurrection Through Carnage" by Bloodbath
"The Art Of Balance" by Shadows Fall
"Morning Star" by Entombed
"Reason To Live" by Sixty Watt Shaman
"On Fire" by Spiritual Beggars
"Revelations" by Vader
"11:59:59" by Alchemy X
"Catch 22" by Hypocrisy
"The Cold White Light" by Sentenced
"Sons Of Northern Darkness" by Immortal (thanks, Kirk)
"They Will Return" by Kalmah (thanks again, Kirk)
"Expanding Senses" by Darkane (thanks a third time, Kirk)
"Alive Or Just Breathing" by Killswitch Engage
"Songs For the Deaf" by Queens Of The Stone Age
"The C.O.M.A. Imprint" by Candiria
And to think that I've not yet heard the 2002 releases from Blind Guardian and Agalloch which, from what I have heard, could have been contenders for my Top Ten had I gotten around to hearing them.
In Flames' "Reroute To Remain" – I waver back and forth about whether or not I truly like this record, but I know that even five, ten, or fifteen years from now I'll still consider In Flames to be one of my all-time favorite bands and even if "Reroute To Remain" isn't my favorite In Flames record it will still rank pretty high on my all-time favorite albums.
Nile's "In Their Darkened Shrines" – Rough Edge readers know I'm not someone who sits around and listens to death metal all day, but Nile never disappoints with their technically precise death metal. Even after hundreds of listens I'm still soaking in the atmosphere and crushing depth of this disc.
Insomnium's "In The Halls Of Awakening" – Bought this one on a lark because the promotional sticker declared the album as 'stunning melodic death metal.' I got a good chuckle out of that, bought it anyway, and was still pleasantly blown away.
Down's "II" – I loved "N.O.L.A." and I had high hopes for Down's "II," but I ended up playing "II" a lot more than I expected to.
Joe Satriani's "Strange Beautiful Music" – Satriani blends a lot of his prior musical experiments in an interesting fashion. As a rock ‘n' roll record "Strange Beautiful Music" ends up being one of Satriani's most satisfying efforts to date.
Dream Theater's "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" – I didn't listen to this one as much as I did "Scenes From A Memory," but I liked it a lot. There's a lot to listen to and Dream Theater sound as confident as ever. The title track is a trip down progressive rock memory lane – it's a very impressive manner in which to keep the listener's interest for over 45 minutes.
Porcupine Tree's "In Absentia" – Had I known of Porcupine Tree any earlier my Top Ten lists in previous years might have looked a little different. "In Absentia" is truly a near-masterpiece for the prog-rock genre. To my ears it didn't hurt that Steven Wilson took a few influences from the making of Opeth's "Blackwater Park" into the recording sessions for "In Absentia."
Soilwork's "Natural Born Chaos" – Less brutality and more melody – somehow Soilwork are still getting better with each new release.
Opeth's "Deliverance" – Another astonishing turn for the world's best band. "Deliverance" was my most anticipated album for 2002, but it still played second fiddle to …
Dark Tranquillity's "Damage Done" – Rarely have I played a record so much and not gotten sick of it. "Damage Done" was in heavy (and 'heavy') rotation for the bulk of 2002 after its August release date.
In all things metal, I hope 2003 is just as good as 2002!
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Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:10 -0400.