's favourite releases of 2010


Which are the best djent releases of 2010?

In the past few weeks, all registered users could pick their five favourite djent releases of 2010. Now that the polls have closed, it's time to look at the results. First of all, we wish to thank everyone who participated and shared their favourites with us - for many of you it must not have been an easy task to pick just five! In total, 321 people participated. They voted for 114 different releases, out of 179 that were eligible for voting. The 20 most picked releases are presented below.

The resulting list is quite interesting; some things were pretty easy to predict, but there are also a few surprises. The battle for the first place was particularly fierce, with two albums constantly competing for the spot. One of them won in the end, but only by a few votes!

Without further ado, we present to you the top 20 of 2010, according to our users. The top 10 entries are accompanied by a short review. top 20 releases of 2010

20 Cloudkicker - ]]][[[

19 Elitist - Caves

18 Jakub Żytecki - Demos 2010

17 worC - When The Day Forms

16 The Ocean - Anthropocentric

15 Gru - Cosmogenesis

14 Stealing Axion - Stealing Axion

13 Structures - All Of The Above

12 Ion Dissonance - Cursed

11 The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza - Danza III: The Series Of Unfortunate Events

10 Meshuggah - Alive

What sort of djent list would it be without Meshuggah? The Swedish masters finally get around to releasing a live DVD and boy, is it a doozy. Taking in several concerts from their 2008-2009 obZen tour, the DVD highlights a band who are still utterly relevant and still able to churn out amazing live performances. The setlist contains both classics and new material. Highlights for me would have to be the sludged, crushing rendition of Humiliative (watch in contrast with the older MTV video and struggle to believe its the same song), the intense, pulsing Perpetual Black Second and the duo from Chaosphere, New Millenium Cynaide Christ and The Mouth Licking What You've Bled. The DVD is interspersed with backstage footage, which is short enough not to pull the focus from the music but long enough to be informative and interesting.

Meshuggah - Alive: proving that the band is indeed alive and kicking (ass).

9 Veil Of Maya - [id]

Progessive deathcore may be as hotly contested a tag as djent is but there is no denying Veil Of Maya's unique approach to the modern metal scene. [id] is a more refined, mature album than its predecessor. Guitarist Marc Okubo does the work of three guitarists, imprinting his unique style of angular riffing and intricate melodies, dominating the band and making it what it is. Angular riffs, furious and well placed breakdowns and some impressive basswork make the album a joy to listen to multiple times. The songs are short and to the point, with absolutely no filler. The extremely flat and sterile production however is very grating and only detracts from the album unfortunately.

Veil of Maya - [id]: a very solid album, consolidating the band's sound while venturing into new areas.

8 Volumes - The Concept of Dreaming

Volumes's long awaited six-track debut EP finally saw the light of day in November. Volumes are one of those bands with metalcore roots, setting themselves apart from the rest of the scene by mixing in a tasteful dose of djent. The band regularly make use of ethereal-sounding clean guitar parts, sometimes with a shoegaze-style tremolo effect. These provide a sense of melody to the music that is otherwise absent due to the lack of clean vocals. The Misery Signals influence is sometimes very apparent, particularly on 'Intake'. The hardcore aesthetic shines through the most in 'Through the Trees', which comes to a climax with a breakdown of epic proportions. Overall, 'The Concept of Dreaming' is a solid debut that will appease fans of Misery Signals, Your Memorial, Elitist, Structures and the like.

Volumes - The Concept of Dreaming: solid debut, although those with an aversion of breakdowns should avoid it.

7 After The Burial - In Dreams

Undoubtedly one of the most controversial albums to come out this year, After The Burial's latest effort was received with mixed reviews. There's no denying that 'In Dreams' sounds different. Some would say the band's sound has matured, whereas others accuse them of dumbing it down. At any rate, After The Burial must have done something right, as their album ended up on this list. As a whole, the album feels more polished and thought-through than 'Rareform', its predecessor. The introduction of clean vocals probably serves to appease a wider audience, but it doesn't take away from the music like it does with so many bands who have gone down this path before. The album is less technical, but despite that the Meshuggah influence is more apparent than ever; decide for yourself whether that's a good or a bad thing. I find the band's new approach to be quite enjoyable, although admittedly for different reasons than I enjoyed their previous efforts.

After The Burial - In Dreams: at least nobody can accuse them of releasing the same album twice. Oh wait...

6 The Contortionist - Exoplanet

Exoplanet is an album that takes hold and doesn't let go. Every song is compelling in itself, carefully crafted and perfectly executed. The post/core/jazz/djent hybrid that is Exoplanet makes it a diverse and very interesting listen. The challenge with incorporating so many different genres is of course, coming out with a cohesive, focused effort. The Contortionist manage to meld every element effectively while still managing to make each one stand out. It isn't a muddy cauldron of vague ideas, thrown together nor is it a slideshow of songs that are utterly different from each other. Sure, there are breakdowns but there are also build ups and crescendos, jazzy interludes, technical passages and just to squeeze out one more cliche, good use of melody. Absolutely worth checking out for any fan of heavy music.

The Contortionist - Exoplanet: grabs you, sits you down, amazes you.

5 Monuments - We Are The Foundation

When the retrospective supergroup that was Fellsilent (think about it) split, all eyes turned to the two main songwriters' projects; Acle with TesseracT and Browne with Monuments. Could they match the excellent effort that was The Hidden Words? Well, this year we got a taste of what's to come from both bands. Browne teams up with the old Fellsilent vocalist Neema to deliver this fast, punchy and aggressive EP. We Are The Foundation shows Browne's strengths in being able to create massively catchy grooves, big choruses and subtle melodies. While Neema's vocal style may divide opinion, I would consider myself a fan. It certainly isn't the regular vocal approach and though the SikTh influence is strong, it isn't just a carbon copy. The production is above and beyond what one would expect from what is essentially a demo, with suitably djenty guitar, punchy drums and smooth bass.

Monuments - We Are The Foundation: heavy, catchy and a worthy successor to Fellsilent.

4 Chimp Spanner - At the Dream's Edge

Is it cheating to have it on here? Does anyone even care? At the Dream's Edge is still one of the finest instrumental albums to come out in quite a while. Paul Ortiz runs the whole gamut of genres. From the standby polyrhythmic grooves, to quiet jazzy jams to full on blues solos, At the Dream's Edge keeps its listener on their toes. Production is unbelievable for something produced completely at home, with beautiful chunky drums (mostly recorded on a keyboard!) to the present and correct bass and of course the big guitars, heavy and clean. Ortiz shows an uncanny knack for creating entertaining and extremely listenable instrumental metal, a very difficult thing to do indeed.

Chimp Spanner - At the Dream's Edge: an engrossing journey through the medium of Mr. Ortiz's own guitar, bass and drums.

3 Cloudkicker - Beacons

With his latest release, Ben Sharp managed to get to a new level of popularity and fans' appraisals. He mixes in his music seemingly incompatible elements of post- and math-metal, richly flavoring them with different progressive features. This results in an unusual sound where abrupt, heavy riffs are combined with a slightly monotonous basis, creating a pretty powerful and at the same time atmospheric sound. Ben isn't afraid to use complex song structures, tempo changes and other interesting features, not forgetting about thoughtful atmosphere. All this makes "Beacons" one of the most interesting releases of 2010 for me.

Cloudkicker - Beacons: Ben Sharp proving his consistent genius.

2 Periphery - Periphery

Pulling itself out of the searing agony of the void that it was trapped in, Periphery stands atop a gleaming new summit of metal, gazing out at all that lays before it. Bulb and company hath wrought what will invariably become a touchstone for the djent scene for years to come. In exploring every avenue of modern metal and incorporating all that is good in it, the djentlemen of Periphery have under their belts one of the most talked about and listened to albums of 2010. A veritable epic, spanning 72 minutes of pristine guitars, soaring vocals and thousands upon thousands of little good ideas melded into one singular unit of musical bliss. Of course there are the negatives. Vocalist Spencer Sotelo continues to divide fans on every singular youtube video, forum topic and casual chat about the band. The length of the album also hinders full listens. However, make no mistake: this is a big one. This one will be around for a while. And it's only the beginning.

Periphery - Periphery: the start of something beautiful.

1 TesseracT - Concealing Fate

There is something Shakespearean about Concealing Fate. TesseracT, once the darlings of the embryonic scene, constantly displaying unlimited potential, constantly teasing, constantly evoking amazement. After time wore on however, their name became synonymous with hype, a lack of results. The potential would seemingly never be realized, their teasing became wearisome, the initial amazement wore off. They became somewhat of an enigma; an extremely visible and present engima. There was always something going on behind the scenes. A tour here, some new merch there. An announcement, an interview, each one accompanied by shouts from jaded fans: "Release the album!". Abi left, Fellsilent broke up; still, nothing. Mutters of "nothing of value lost" began to infect the conversation on TesseracT, they were "Waiting for Meshuggah to release their next album so they can steal some more riffs". The silent fans just sat there and devoured every piece of news about the band. The announcements and interviews became slightly more regular. Murmurs of record deals, whispers of hope. Then, they pulled out of Euroblast festival... to tour with Devin Townsend in North America. All engineered by Century Media, Townsend's old label and at long last, TesseracT's new one.

It is the 8th of October, I am walking to the Rickshaw Theater in Vancouver with some buddies. I am going to see my hero, Devy. There is something else as well, something important. I am going to see a man about a CD. After an hour of fidgety, shuffling waiting, we pour into the venue. I calmly walk down to the TesseracT merch table. Dan, the singer is there. He is conversing with two young guys. They leave, one tall, one with gauged ears. I move towards Dan. "Hey man, love what the band is doing, your vocals are absolutely amazing" "Thanks man, it means a lot". A breath, as I collect my thoughts. "Hey Dan, are you selling the CD tonight, I know its not out till the 12th...". He looks at me for an instant. I'm expecting him to give the usual story about labels this and logistics that. "Yeah sure man, just let me get it for you". A quick exchange of currency for a CD. "Thanks". "And you". I walk away. Later that evening, after one of the best concerts of my life, I put the CD into my stereo.

As the music plays, all the sins are forgiven. "This is AMAZING" I say out loud, to an empty house at 3AM. The production was strange at first but the music was so incredible I couldn't care less. I listened to it once. And once more until the clock by my bedside displayed the worrying time of 5AM. I sank into bed and dreamt happy, djenty, ambient dreams.

A band redeemed and justified and a release that is an experience in itself.

Tesseract - Concealing Fate: painstakingly put together, perfectly executed.

Unique to the djent scene is the DIY spirit. A lot of artists choose to make their music available for free. In fact, 25% of all releases in our database are available for free, which is quite an impressive number when you think about it. That's why we thought it would be interesting to have a look at the 10 best djent releases of 2010 that are available for free download. You can find the top 10 below - each entry is accompanied by a download link. If there's any of these that you haven't heard yet, do yourself a favour and download them now. It won't cost you anything! top 10 free releases of 2010

10 Tre Watson - Lexicon of the Human Subconscious - download

9 Cloudkicker - A New Heavenly Body - download

8 The Algorithm - Critical.error - download

7 We Are The Illusion - The Podium of Lies - download

6 Cloudkicker - ]]][[[ - download

5 Jakub Żytecki - Demos 2010 - download

4 worC - When The Day Forms - download

3 Gru - Cosmogenesis - download

2 Stealing Axion - Stealing Axion - download

1 Cloudkicker - Beacons - download

So there you have it: our users' favourite albums of 2010. What do you think about this list? Does it match your expectations? What were your picks? What do you think about TesseracT's EP surpassing Periphery's debut album by a narrow margin? Let us know in the comments!

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PorcupineTrains: please re-read my comment more carefully, because that's not what I said.

What is the contortionist doing? They're songs are pretty cool and they have some reallly nice atmosphere in some tracks but for the most part they are very sludgey and boring for me.

benanne, I hope you don't mean those three bands were the first ones to incorporate djent-style into their music; because there were bands doing it before them. Sybreed for instance has been doing it since 2002-03.

Right I know that, but both Tesseract and Monuments aren't doing anything drastically different than what Fellsilent previously did. My point is these bands were amazing a couple years ago, but why are they the most renowned releases of this year, besides the fact that just because people liked Fellsilent they immediately like the sound for Tesseract and Monuments because they are already familiar with that sound. It's not fair at all to the other bands that these 2 bands that barely have any material are more popular because these bands all ready started more popular than all the other bands on the Djent Metal list.

TesseracT, Periphery and to some extent Monuments (their previous incarnation, Fellsilent) were doing this before anybody knew about it. You could say they pretty much started the movement. Meshuggah did it first, but everyone is now doing it because these bands were doing it 2005 or 2006 or so. In that sense it's quite curious that you accuse them of not bringing originality to the table - without them, all those other bands you named probably wouldn't be doing what they're doing now.

Apart from that I disagree with the fact that they're not 'changing the djent sound', but that's another story altogether. De gustibus...

Yeah, Periphery is good in all but they aren't changing the Djent sound as much as bands like The Contortionist, Veil Of Maya, Ion Dissonance, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, After The Burial and the Algorithm that were on the list. My point is, we need more bands to keep the Djent sound but really try to diversify it. Periphery, Tesseract, Monuments, Volumes are good but they get old to me because they took the Djent sound and didn't try hard enough to try and bend the genre in new directions. I'm not saying I don't like these bands (i like all these bands), but these bands just aren't AS unique sounding to me.

Chimp spanner Keith Merrow Dan Dankmeyer and Tyrant of death combined aren't as good as Cloudkicker in my eyes. Maybe you should go back and listen to the discovery again.

The contortionist above Periphery? Really Victimofadown?

a DVD is a release like any other.

A live dvd shouldn't be on the top new releases of 2010, i've never seen why Cloudkicker is so popular, Chimp Spanner, Keith Merrow, Tyrant Of Death and even Dan Dankmeyer are better than Cloudkicker. Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Ion Dissonance, The Contortionist deserve to be higher on the list. Everything else is relatively fine but The Contortionist was the best album of the year in my opinion. I also agree with people below saying that Periphery is overrated, still good but a lot of the bands further down the list are better.

I love both TesseracT and Periphery.
But I definitely think that Periphery deserved the FIRST place \m/

How can you complain about the length of an album? It's just more fantastic content. Racecar alone has nearly as many amazing ideas and value for me as concealing fate. Maybe racecar and one other song haha.

And i find that the production is simply perfect. However Beacons is my number 1 of the year.

Come on people...

Periphery's album is really good, but...

Imo it's too long, and the tracks get a bit samey after a while.
And the production is just too much. It's awesome for having been done mostly at home, but there's so much stuff going on, that it really drowns out a lot of the awesome riffs going on in the background. Back when Bulb released all his stuff on soundclick, the songs were basically drums and guitar, and the riffage was blowing you away. On the album, the entire thing is just a bit overblown.
Both the length and the production make this album extremely tiresome to listen to.

It's a great album, but you guys raging about it deserving #1 and nobody else is a bit ridiculous...

whoops, sorry guys Tongue

I think by now most people know about bandcamp's silly 'free download credits' system. I'm sure those who bought it were very much willing to give you the money, so if I were you I'd do something nice with it instead of giving it back Tongue

We are extremely grateful to this community to not only be on one list, but both! Thank you guys so much!

Also due to this article, our bandcamp download credits were used up very fast and last night we ran out, so the EP reverted to $5.00. We apologize for this and if you check our page again, you will see it has gone back to being free. Anyone that purchased the EP will be issued a refund, and an apology email. Thanks again guys and we look forward to getting more stuff out there in the future!

Josh from Stealing Axion

Really? As much as i love TesseracT, the vocals on the ep one grind my gears, it sounds horrific at points, although how brilliant the music is can often drown it out. Same goes for periphery. although i can only listen to the instrumental version, which is far, far superior in my opinion.

Great List. Put together nicely and well written. This is why I love this site.

I agree Isis, Periphery is a masterpiece with so many incredible ideas thrown on one incredibly cohesive and technical album. Periphery's replay value is profound. To even compare Concealing fate seems strange to me... though i do love Concealing fate.

first of all periphery second? come on people this is the album of the decade!
secondly I disagree with the negatives on the album. The many comments about spencer are something natural that happens with all the singers, cause everyone has different tastes. The only negative thing I could say about him is that his screams dont sound very good on the album, they have improved amazingly now though. Also the length of the album cant be considered as something bad in my opinion because there is a great flow among the songs and if you like what you hear you cant get enough of it. That is my opinion, otherwise nice work!

Think the list is good. Would switch Periphery and Tesseract but theres nothing wrong with it.

i'm pretty satisfied with this list. TesseracT and Periphery locking down the top 2 spots is what I wanted to see.

Perfect top 5, who cares about the order, I was just happy that enough people agreed with me about the skill and creativity of those groups/people. I play each album/ep at least once day and am more intrigued and satisfied with every listen -- some truly beautiful music. And in agreement with some other folks, I'm glad Jakub (and Piotrek) found a slot in there. I love their unique styles and interpretation of groove.
'In Dreams' and 'The Concept of Dreaming'... I don't understand it. They're not bad, but top 10?? And, in spite of the fact that Veil has limited djent-eh-nesh, above [id]?! ATB was kind of keeping up up with Veil thanks to Rareform, but now they're eating dust after a pretty disappointing release in my opinion. And there's not one rhythm or section off 'The Concept...' that's slightly interesting or complex, but sometimes simple music hits the spot I guess (although, "Intake" is pretty sweet).

Yea totally a cool page. Was excited to see the results from the moment it came up. Also really suprised Elitist wasn't in the top 5

Very sexy, I like the addition of the top free albums. At least in that list, the dj00bs couldn't make it so that Periphery and Tesseract win everything ^^

3 of my 5 picks were in the top 10 namely Periphery, Tesseract and The Contortionist

like the rest of you... great releases

Klonere did the hard work on that one, with some help from Clarity and me Smile

I'm sooooo glad that TesseracT won. Absolutely stunning band, album and guys. And I loooove how the text is written. Smile

Well Tre, I think it's got something to do with people voting for your album Smile

so glad to see danza and cloudkicker ( multiple times!) up there man, truly awesome!

also Jakub is a great kid and so freaking talended it's scary happy to see him get up there too.

how the heck did I get up there though?

i was really surprised elitist isnt in top 5.

I for one didn't even put Periphery in my top-5.

You can't argue about taste Wink

I'm not so suprised about the battling for first between the top two since they're both monster releases by amazing bands, but I'm honeslty suprised by Beacons being up so high...I honestly found that album pretty weak compared to previous Cloudkicker releases, but that's just my opinion.

For all of you upset about the outcome and how Periphery didn't get first place...technically they did get first place since it's the top ranking album, not release. Concealing Fate was only an EP after all. When pitted against eachother as a whole most people would pick Periphery if they didn't think Concealing Fate was actually going to be a part of the One album.

Don't agree with alot of this but i guess that's what makes this community so unique. To me its a little silly that concealing fate is above periphery or beacons...

Not that I don't like TesseracT, because I do very much, but Periphery's self titled record is far superior to TesseracT's "Concealing Fate". It surprised me that Periphery wasn't first. I mean from start to finish that album is unbelievably golden. The writing is much more complex, while still remaining groovy, and at times melodic. I don't know... it's just a huge shocker.

Couple of surprises though. Happy to see Tony Danza and Jakub Zytecki is the list
Irreversible(Vildhjarta) might top the list next year!

um wtf. periphery should have been number 1. this makes no sense.

I'm happy to see Meshuggah on here. The Alive DVD is amazing. 2010 was a great year and 2011 is lookin even better!

but other than that the first ones aren't much of a surprise Smile

Yeah guise.. it's weird.

Hm, I'm also not sure about that one. It doesn't fit well here for me Tongue

Not really sure why so many people voted for Anthropocentric, which is clearly the odd one out on this list Tongue but whatever, it's a good album Smile