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 got-djent.com top 20 of 2010, according to our users. The top 10 entries are accompanied by a short review.
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).
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Last month, we added some new features to the site which allow registered users to indicate their favourite bands. User profiles now display these favourite bands, and band pages list fans as well. There is also a ranking of bands by popularity.
The idea for the site came to fruition on the last.fm 'djent' group, where people had been sharing djent-related news and updates since late 2007. At some point, posting links in the group shoutbox just didn't cut it anymore, so a small team consisting of last.fm group members set out to build a full-fledged community portal.
They took almost three months to fully prepare it for launch. If you don't believe this, check out the post date on the first band page ever to be added to our database: Meshuggah's. Most people from the original team are moderators today.
The whole idea behind this ambitious project was that it would be a community effort, featuring user generated content. This is why all registered users can submit news articles, bands, releases and reviews, and modify existing band pages and release pages. To keep everything in check, a team of moderators reviews all submissions before they are published.
This system has worked remarkably well; it has allowed the site to keep up with the exponential growth that the scene has seen over the course of the past year. More importantly, it allows musicians to promote themselves by creating a band page, containing useful information on their internet presence, biography and discography. More recently, users are able to become a fan of their favorite bands on this website. The open nature of the project has undoubtedly been the key to its success.
got-djent.com in numbers
The site has over 1400 registered users. Admittedly, some of those are probably spam bots. Of course, many more unregistered users visit the site regularly. It receives over 2000 visits every day from 147 different countries all over the world, accounting for upwards of 9000 daily page views. For comparison: in December 2009, about 150 visits generated about 700 pageviews every day. Needless to say, we've had to upgrade our server a few times.
Djent is global - site visits by country.
We have published over 1100 news articles. Our database features almost 400 bands and projects, and as many releases. About 100 of these releases are also available for free download, which truly shows the DIY nature of our music scene.
2010 has been a busy year for djent. The community has grown immensely, and several other initiatives have sprung up that have helped put djent on the map. The term is now being picked up by renowned metal websites, and even labels. Most notably, we have enjoyed collaborating with the guys over at the Djent-Lemen's club Facebook page, and of course the wonderful Euroblast team, who made the first djent festival in Europe become a reality.
Since its inception, got-djent.com has aspired to be the one stop source for discovering new music, interacting with other fans and keeping up to date with everything that's going on in the ever-expanding djent scene. To this end, new features have been and will continue to be added regularly. The got-djent.com team hopes that the site has met its goals, and will continue to do so.
We wish to thank everyone who's ever contributed in one way or another. We hope that we will keep receiving many more valuable contributions, to ensure that the site doesn't stray from its original purpose: for the community, by the community. We don't plan on stopping anytime soon, so hopefully you don't, either!
We hope to see a similar or even bigger growth in the second year of got-djent.com, and to help reach that goal we do have some new and exciting things coming up... stay tuned!
Happy birthday to ourselves!
If you're feeling generous, below are some things you can do to support us.
We're counting on all of you to keep spreading the word!
We performed another site update just now. In addition, the server has been upgraded, because response times have been subpar recently. This means keeping the site online is going to be twice as expensive from now on, so we're going to need some help. Here's an overview of what's new.
New bands page
This one's been a long time coming: we've refurbished the bands page a bit. It used to present a long list of all bands in the database, which was not very user friendly. The new bands page shows a random selection of bands, and allows for the entire database to be browsed alphabetically. Also, there's pretty pictures! This should make the whole experience a bit more pleasant.
Browse the headlines from the front page
As you may have noticed already, the front page now sports links below the list of recent headlines, which can be used to browse through all headlines chronologically.
Help us out!
We've also added the option to help us out financially. As we already mentioned earlier, the server's just been upgraded, so it's going to be more expensive from now on. We've doubled the amount of RAM and processing power. The site should feel a lot snappier on the whole.
Seeing as some people have expressed interest in financially supporting the project before, and we really don't want to put any ads on here, we figured we might as well give this a try. You can find the 'Buy us some more RAMs' link in the sidebar.
That's it, we hope you'll continue to enjoy the website. As always, if anything looks weird, refresh the page to update your browser's cache. If it still looks weird, let us know in the feedback forum or through the contact page. Questions and suggestions are welcome!
got-djent.com will celebrate its 6 month anniversary this month! For the past few months, the djent community has been growing uncontrollably, in no small part thanks to Periphery, who have brought the trend they are spearheading to mainstream attention with the release of their self-titled debut album. We hope that initiatives like got-djent.com have played a role in this as well.
A side effect of the ongoing expansion of the community is that a lot more stuff is happening these days. That's good, because it means we have more to write about. It's not so good, because the workload of our team of contributors has been steadily increasing, up to a point where it's getting pretty hard not to miss things.
That is why got-djent.com is looking for contributors. As you may or may not know, got-djent.com is an open website, in the sense that we allow all of our registered users to submit new content. When you're logged in, there should be a 'Create content' section in the menu in the side bar, which allows you to post news articles, add new bands and releases to our database, and post album reviews.
At the moment, we are looking for some regular contributors to post news articles. Of course, one off contributions are welcome as well! If you submit new content regularly, you are eligible to become a permanent contributor, which means your contributions will be exempt from moderation. Some additional perks might be coming soon!
If you would like to know more about contributing, feel free to post any questions you may have in the comments to this post.
As some of you might have noticed, got-djent.com has seen its first minor update today, after the launch of the new site earlier this month. Here's an overview of what's new:
Headlines: this is the biggest new feature. A headline overview of recent news is now available. This eliminates the need to scroll through all the articles when you are looking for an overview of what's happened over the past few days. Of course, the article view is still available as well.
Forum breadcrumbs: these disappeared after the upgrade, and now they are back. They should facilitate navigation through the forums a bit.
Nicer error pages: if you should run into a 'file not found' or 'access denied' error on the site, the new pages should be a little more helpful to sort things out.
These are the main changes. As always, refresh the page (CTRL + R in most browsers) if anything looks weird! The next update will hopefully be a complete redesign of the bands page, which is a bit boring and uninspired at the moment.
As you may have noticed, the site looks a bit different today. Here's an overview of what's new.
The site looked a bit bleak and lacked contrast, and the new design attempts to remedy this. It's a bit darker, but we've tried to avoid going all out with the metal cliches. Large bodies of text are still displayed black-on-white, to preserve readability. The new design also comes with a new logo, which you will hopefully be seeing a lot more often in the future.
The frontpage no longer displays the latest news articles, but rather provides a compact overview of all the different content on the site. Before, all of this stuff was crammed in the sidebar, and it looked pretty silly. For those who prefer the old style frontpage, it is still available by clicking the News link in the navigation bar.
The front page also features a music player. We figured that would make sense, what with this being a site about music and all. Two tracks are available for streaming on the front page, and one of them will be replaced every two weeks. If you have a band or project, you can submit your track to be featured. All registered users can rate these tracks in the submission queue, and the highest ratest tracks have the best chance of ending up on the front page.
You may also have spotted a couple of banners in the sidebar. These are got-djent.com's partners. We decided to give them some exposure, because they are doing the same thing for us. Also, we like them, and so should you! We are not receiving any money for putting up these banners, it's more of a "we scratch their back, they scratch ours" kind of thing. If you want to know more about partnerships, click here.
Apart from this, there are several other new features and improvements: easier content sharing, a better overview for recent and upcoming releases, a clickable logo (this was a huge usability flaw in the previous design, as many people pointed out), and more.
got-djent.com on Facebook
got-djent.com now also has its own Facebook page. We didn't really want to hijack any of the existing 'djent' pages or groups, seeing as there may be djentlemen who don't care much for this particular website, and we don't want to bother them with our crap. Become a fan of djent as well, if you aren't already!
So there you have it. Be sure to let us know what you think, feedback is always appreciated. Some flaws will probably become apparent in the next few weeks, and we'd like to fix them as soon as possible. Suggestions for improvements and new features are also welcome. If you'd like to spread the word, some banners that fit the new design are also available now.
In a few days, got-djent.com will be completely revamped. In the past few months, the site has rapidly gained popularity. Today, with visitors from all over the world and over 250 registered users, it's time we approached things a bit more professionally. This Friday a new version of the site will be launched, with a new design, some small (but significant) usability improvements and several new features, including a better front page and a music player.
Unfortunately, the upgrade will require some downtime, but it will definitely be worth it. The site will be down for a few hours on Friday evening (GMT). Our apologies for the inconvenience. When it's done, be sure to pay us a visit and check it out!
Just a short note to let everyone know got-djent.com is now on Myspace! This website is ultimately about music, and we want to do whatever we can to connect with the community. This new Myspace page is only part of that effort.
For the moment, we will not be doing much with it. It will mainly be used to get our name out, and as an additional source for news articles.
Go ahead and add us, nevertheless!