THE BEST OF 2004
Our East Coast Editor, Christopher J. Kelter, 
tells us his choices.

by Christopher J. Kelter


Yet another year has passed us by. Overall, it was a good year for metal, but not a great one.  Here are my honorable mention picks (in no particular order) and my Top Twenty for the year 2004.

RIVERSIDE "Out of Myself"
JOE SATRIANI "Is There Love in Space?"
THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX "Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate"
LILITU "The Delores Lesion" 
ANATHEMA "A Natural Disaster"
HYPOCRISY "The Arrival"
LYNCH MOB "REvolutions"
ILLOGICIST "Subjected"
FATES WARNING "FWX"
INQUEST "Epileptic"
MESHUGGAH "I"
CHAOS BREED "Unleashed Carnage"
TRANSMISSION 0 - "0"
CHROMA KEY "Graveyard Mountain Home"
NIGHTWISH "Once"
ROTTING CHRIST "Sanctus Diavolos"
ORPHANED LAND "Mabool"
FEAR FACTORY "Archetype"
MACHINE HEAD "Through the Ashes of the Empires"
AMORPHIS "Far from the Sun"


TOP 20 OF 2004


20: ISIS "Panapticon"
Post-hardcore drenched in atmosphere and the heaving exhale of psychotic emotion.


19: IN FLAMES "Soundtrack To Your Escape"
A solid release from In Flames, bringing back the aggression of days gone by to go along with the experimental direction of recent efforts.


18: DISILLUSION "Back To Times Of Splendor"
In a year in which little was heard from Opeth, Disillusion filled the progressive metal gap quite nicely.


17: THERION "Sirius B/Lemuria"
Officially released as two separate albums, one cannot deny the singular and expressive path taken by Therion.


16: PAIN OF SALVATION "Be"
Progressive metal that reaches for the unknown.  I'm impressed with this band at every turn.


15: NASUM "Shift"
A finer grindcore band you will never hear.


14: BORKNAGAR "Epic" 
With "Epic" Borknagar continues to operate in their own galaxy far, far, far from any other metal band.


13: INSOMNIUM "The Day It All Came Down"
I was impressed by Insomnium's debut CD a few years back and the band only gets more impressive on "The Day It All Came Down."


12: MY DYING BRIDE "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light" 
My Dying Bride are my favorite band of the Big Three of English Doom - "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light" is very seductive.


11: UNEARTH "The Oncoming Storm" 
The recent flood of metal acts from Massachusetts gets a big boost in stature with Unearth's continual quest for metallic supremacy.


10: ICED EARTH "The Glorious Burden" 
After the somewhat disappointing "HorrorShow" Iced Earth got a needed injection of enthusiasm with the addition of new vocalist Ripper Owens.


9: CLUTCH "Blast Tyrant"
My 'hometown' favorites never disappoint and "Blast Tyrant" features a burst of creativity that the band is well known for.


8: MASTODON "Leviathan"
Mastodon have probably received more widespread positive press than any other band in recent memory and "Leviathan" shows you why.


7: SHADOWS FALL "The War Within" 
"The War Within" is a cohesive effort that should long stand as a hallmark in the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal.


6: THE HAUNTED "rEVOLVEr: 
Finally having fulfilled their commitments to Earache, The Haunted find themselves on a new label and completely invigorated.


5: THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN "Miss Machine" 
The collective metal fandom waited a long five years for the follow-up to "Calculating Infinity" and we weren't disappointed.


4: KILLSWITCH ENGAGE "The End Of Heartache" 
Killswitch Engage follow-up the explosive promise of their last release with a great blend of heaviness and melody on "The End Of Heartache."


3: CANDIRIA "What Doesn't Kill You" 
Although Candiria simplified their approach on "What Doesn't Kill You ." the band maintains its signature sound and brandish multi-style confidence like a blazing force of nature.


2: MORGION "Cloaked In Ages, Crowned In Earth" 
I'm willing to wait for quality and Morgion have set forth another masterpiece in the form of "Cloaked In Ages, Crowned In Earth." 


1: LAMB OF GOD "Ashes Of The Wake" 
Lamb Of God have set the bar higher for modern thrash with "Ashes Of The Wake." 

Stay metal and I'll see you on the other side of 2005!


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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:10 -0400
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