Welcome to Throwback Thursday! This is the place where we get to indulge in nostalgia and wax poetic about excellent metal of years past. Today, we're celebrating a pivotal age in the illustrious, echoing, blackened chambers of heavy metal history. 2006 was the year and metal was hitting a new stride, delving ever-deeper into genre-blending and exciting sonic amalgams of experimentation and instrumentation. 2006 is also the year that Tool, the fiercely beloved and enigmatic band, released their most current record 10,000 Days. TBT number 69 is jumping aboard the hype-train coasting off of the recent news that Tool is finally releasing a new album this year on August 30th by celebrating other huge releases that came out that 13 years alongside 10,000 Days. It's hard to believe that some of these albums are the same age as Tool's most recent release!
Each and every song on Ashes Against the Grain has a gradual and driving pace and a sense of serenity and melancholy. Truly, Ashes Against the Grain is a triumph, genre-bender, and a staple in modern metal. Check out the song "Limbs"
This album is far from uplifting, but there is a indulgence in The Great Cold Distance, and Katatonia in general, that I find crushingly freeing. What The Great Cold Distance does best for Katatonia at this point in their musical career is meld honesty with a refinement in both their musical expertise and lyrics. Check out the track "July":
While stupidly talented, Dragonforce didn't quite hit the 'big times' until the release of Inhuman Rampage. Even though their two previous efforts share the same intensity and spirit, Inhuman Rampage features the song "Through the Fire and Flames" which was picked up by the immensely popular video same sensation Guitar Hero.
Insomnium are some of the best in the business at crafting memorable melodic death metal, and Above The Weeping World is by far one of their best works. What makes Insomnium and Above The Weeping World unique in the world of melodeath are tracks like "Change of Heart".
Mastodon, Blood Mountain
2 years after their legendary album Leviathan, Mastodon focused their trademark intensity into new scenery by taking us from the cold and unforgiving sea to the untamed wilderness. Blood Mountain is an album that takes you on a trippy journey about a man trying to advance his evolution through primordial magic. This album shows the evolution in Mastodon's music through musicianship because it acts as a of tipping point into their more progressive and modern style. Check out the track "The Wolf is Loose":
Lamb of God, Sacrament
Sacrament isn't a drastic departure from their prior release Ashes of the Wake in terms of style, but it is a solid and hard hitting effort from the band. Sacrament is considered the fan favorite of their discography and it is the album that gets many into Lamb of God.
Devin Townsend Band, Synchestra
This isn't one of Heavy Devy's more popular albums, but Synchestra holds a special place in my heart. With tracks like "Let it Roll" and "Vampira", Devin blends beauty with tenderness in a way that permeates all his future albums.
Blind Guardian, A Twist in the Myth
A Twist in the Myth is the 8th studio album from the insanely prolific German group. A Twist in the Myth and has continues their signature fantastical atmosphere by creating songs from a large myriad of sources and themes. From Peter Pan and Stephen King's Dark Tower, to Wiccan rituals and biblical doomsday, A Twist in The Myth does the impossible and ties these completely different topics together into a cohesive and brilliant package.
The Haunted, The Dead Eye
This album is one of the bands more moody and introspective albums, focusing their sheer adrenaline-fed aggressive style into a greater range of emotional depth than their previous albums. This experimentation paid off, as the album skyrocketed the band's popularity in Europe and holds up today.
Amon Amarth, With Oden on Our Side
With Oden on Our Side is an absolutely stellar release, combining the perfect balance of expression, aggression and story-telling. Every single track from the album is an absolute banger and Amon Amarth's epic vision solidified perfectly on this 6th studio release from the Viking-inspired lads. Check out the track (which is my favorite song ever from them)"Runes to My Memory"
Other Extremely Notable Mentions:
In Flames, Come Clarity
Theater of Tragedy, Storm
Celtic Frost, Monotheist