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My top 10 favourite albums of all time and reviews ;)

I'm copying this verbatim from my blog, but it's still all my own writing and I want people to start discovering better music than what they listen to off the radio!

So here's my top 10!

Here is a listing of 10 of my all-time favourite albums which are jam-packed full of songs which you can listen to again, and again for years to come without ever becoming bored of them.

10. Dream Theater - Awake
DT's second album with James Labrie as the vocalist. The opening track '6:00' really sets the tone, and is followed up with some amazing songs: The 'Mind beside itself' trilogy has one of the most soulful acoustic songs I've ever heard. This album contains several of DT's best songs: Innocence Faded, The Silent Man, The Mirror, Lifting Shadows Off a Dream.

9. Dream Theater - Images and Words
A pure classic. The first great prog album of the 90s, and still holding its ground in 2010. Contains DT's only ever 'hit' song - Pull Me Under, which I was pleased to see is on Guitar Hero. Needless to say, each track on this album - including the iconic 'Metropolis' is a masterpiece, although it's a pity the sound guy convinced them to trigger the snare drum.

8. Symphony X - The Odyssey
Nothing but epic. This is a predominantly heavy album by my favourite band, it took a dark direction after the concept based album V. The title track is quite possibly the greatest 20-30 minute song ever written, and I'm not just saying that. The album also holds a few other Symphony X staples - Inferno, King of Terrors, Incantations of the Apprentice, Awakenings.

7. Symphony X - Divine Wings of Tragedy
The first Symphony X album I bought took the longest to grow on me, but the title track has been my favourite song of all time alongside Fallen off V, and 'Apocalypse 1430BC' off the Planet X Live from OZ album. The title track is another 20+ minute epic based on John Milton's famous Paradise Lost, and is definitely one of the best long songs I've ever heard. While the rest of the songs on the album are all great, they feel shorter and less well thought-out (apart from Accolade, Eyes of Medusa and Candlelight Fantasia) than the tracks on their later albums. In all fairness though, this album predates any of their other albums that I listen to, and was again - ahead of its time.

6. Symphony X - Paradise Lost
Symphony X's highly anticipated 2007 release garnered some mixed views, however in my opinion the extra compression used to create a heavier, louder sound is forgiveable when you listen to the quality of the songwriting. Russell Allen isn't given as much opportunity to shine as he was in The Odyssey or V, but this album shows that he is capable of being as harsh as he can be mellow. Every song on this album is a killer, but if you're soft, the awesomeness might be too much for you to listen to the whole thing in one sitting.

5. Kamelot - The Black Halo
The first Kamelot album that grabbed me is also one of my favourite albums of all time. Somehow, out of all the albums I've heard, they managed to really just nail this one - the dynamics, vocals and harmonies are all spot on, the drumming is TIGHT, and the song writing itself reflects the concept of the album beautifully. Simone Simons who guest appears has a beautiful voice, similar to Amy of Evanescence, except she doesn't whine about how depressing life is constantly. The guest appearances by Shagrath and Jens Johannson truly make the album - their vocal styles are a real compliment. Make sure you listen to the March of Mephisto and The Haunting (Somewhere in Time), even if you don't listen to any other songs off this album.

4. Planet X - Moonbabies
When this album was released in 2002 I couldn't wait to get my hands on it - I already had my copy of Live from OZ and was itching to hear all the other new stuff. This one does NOT disappoint. Anyone who thinks music has to have vocals to be good is a fool. The musical virtuosity required to create an instrumental album of this calibre is beyond most peoples' understanding. Virgil Donati's drums are well mixed by Simon Phillips, and Virgil's ability shines through beautifully in his ability to play tastefully, as well as to shine through a bit more as well. He plays grooves and solos over the top of an odd 7/16 pattern in the track Ataraxia, plays some insane four way independence in Ground Zero, and they're just the more obvious things he's doing.

Derek makes a GREAT impact with his ambience and his solos, complementing Tony Macalpine's insanely good guitar skill, and never being way over the top.

3. Dream Theater - Black Clouds and Silver Linings
After Octavarium and Systematic Chaos - both of which were albums I could have done without listening to - I was really hopeful that this new album from DT wouldn't disappoint, and this time they got it spot on. There is very little to criticise about this album, and the way Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci have used their medium to express their own personal tragedies (the death of Mike's father, and a serious car accident involving John as a child) is truly amazing. The songs are dynamic, flow well and well written from all vantage points. Mike has gone back to his old creative self after what seemed to be a creative rut which he fell into after Train of Thought. This is a necessity for any Dream Theater fan, but you all probably know this by now.

2. Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite
The best concept album ever. Michael Romeo's genius shines through every single track on this album. You want heavy? You've got it. Complex? It's there. Odd time virtuosity? Appropriately placed. Amazing vocals? Absolutely. There is nothing to criticise about this album. It's a work of art, and I strongly recommend you listen to Fallen, Egypt, The Bird-Serpent War and Rediscovery Part 2. The album is focused on Egyptian and Atlantean mythology.

1. Planet X - Live from OZ
I ordered this album from Sanity in early 2002 and waited 12 weeks for it to arrive after listening to the Apocalypse 1430BC sample track on the Planet X website. I still listen to this album on a regular basis - it is in the car and every time one of the tracks comes up, they're some of the few tracks I won't skip past because "I don't feel like listening to it right now."

I was never a fan of the Universe album, but I blame the mix as it was compressed way too much, and just seemed overpowering. It was difficult to enjoy the album, because the compression ruined the dynamics and made every song sound the same.

When they play those same tracks live, however, they become completely different songs. It opens with Ignotus per Ignotum, which at the time was lined up to be on the yet-to-be released Moonbabies album, and that just sets the tone for the show straight away. It then drops straight into Inside Black, then Dog Boots - both from Universe, and the musical genius will blow you off your feet. After Dog Boots finishes, there's a quick transition into Apocalypse, the first track of the Atlantis trilogy. This, along with Ignotus, is my favourite track on the album. It completely blows away the studio version on Derek's solo album Planet X, from which the band was named.

The atmosphere Derek creates throughout the live album is jaw-dropping, and his solos are tasteful. He never overpowers the other instruments which is a great testament to his professionalism. Tony's guitar playing is inhuman. Most shredders tend to be frowned upon as being 'unmusical' and 'boring'. Tony is not one of these guitarists - every single solo is tasteful, well placed and tight. All four musicians (Guest starring Dave Larue on Bass) are tight, and create an amazing sound.

If you love prog music, you should buy this album. It's that simple.
Dont Know Any? are they all Australian

Any made it to UK?

Inxs and Midnight oil (how do we sleep while are beds are burning : that band)

remembered another Crowded House

That band that sung - Land from Down under

Toby Rand - from rockstar programme

I cant remember any other Australian bands
slashnburn99 wrote:
Dont Know Any? are they all Australian

Any made it to UK?

Well actually, all three of the bands that he/she listed (Symphony X, Dream Theater, and Planet X) are from the U.S. They are all three progressive metal acts. Symphony X sounds like the old Dream Theater, which is actually an extremely popular band - I'm surprised you haven't heard of them.

Symphony X is probably the best out of the three because Michael Romeo is an extremely talented guitar player.

As for my personal favorite ten albums, with reviews, I simply cannot do it. There are so many talented bands that have put out incredible albums. I can try to get somewhat of a list going, but I'll have way more than 10. Music is way too huge to limit yourself to such a small range.

1) Bathory - Hammerheart... This album basically defined and created what we call viking metal today.
2) Slayer - Reign in Blood... One of the fastest and thrashiest albums of all times
3) Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill/Cowboys From Hell... These two are tied with revolutionizing metal and changing it into what we have today
4) Metallica - Ride the Lightning/Master of Puppets - Revolutionized thrashed and represented the end of their pre-sell-out days
5) Children of Bodom - Follow the Reaper
6) Skeletonwitch - Breathing the Fire... This is a great comeback for the new thrash movement
7) Blackguard - Profugis Mortis... Now to anyone who has heard this album but not seen Blackguard live, you're probably thinking "What the...?" I have seen Blackguard live several times and seeing them perform songs off this album is one of the greatest metal experiences you can have. They have so much energy and are the best band that I've ever seen live (multiple times), and I've seen at least 100 bands live...
8) Nightwish - Oceanborn
9) Megadeth - Peace Sells/Rust in Peace... tie
10) Amon Amarth - Twilight of the Thundergod.... Again, it's amazing to see them perform songs off of this album. I was bruised and sore for days after leaving the pit with a face covered in blood and from being thrown around crowd surfing. I know Amon Amarth isn't a very good technical death metal band, but they sure as Hell have passion and energy...

I can go and list hundreds of albums... 10 isn't enough. I can list Ozzy - The Blizzard of Ozz, Behemoth - Demigod, Slayer - South of Heaven, Hypocrisy - The Final Chapter, etc...
i have never heard of any of these.. ill check them out
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