Well it's 2010, we both completely failed to post reviews for the past 6 months, but that just gives us all the more backlog to work with!
Dan's top 10 albums of 2009:
Mastodon - Crack The Skye
Being a new fan to Mastodon with CTS, I was blown away, and so impressed that it nudged ahead of my second and third favourite bands releases of the year, which were both amazing too. No wonder the press seem to love them.
Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings
A brilliant return to form after three great but not superb albums. The Count of Tuscany is my second favourite Dream Theater song now, narrowly beaten by A Change of Seasons.
Porcupine Tree - The Incident
Not a single moment of the cycle that I don't enjoy, and a truely brilliant second cd too. Yet another masterpiece by Porcupine Tree, it's getting a bit silly after 6 cds in a row! (And now me and matt have tickets to see their special evening with show at the end of their Incident tour!)
Katatonia - Night Is The New Day
Consistently one of the bands that I went through spurts of loving and ignoring, NITND has proved to be mine and Mikael Akerfeldt's favourite Katatonia album. They got the prog/heavy balance just right this time, and it feels even less repetitive than The Great Cold Distance which was my previous favourite.
Between The Buried And Me - The Great Misdirect
After the masterpiece 'Colors' (one of my all-time favourite albums), people were understandably concerned about whether they could match it. While they didn't completely, TGM is a bloody great album and easily second best of their discography.
Dredg - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
Introduced on their previous album 'Catch Without Arms' I was thrilled to find their new album to meld the catchy pop of CWA with the older and perhaps better material of El Cielo. And Gavin's voice isn't annoying in a single song this time.
The Dear Hunter - Act III
Casey yet again proves that this double trilogy of concept albums will be strong throughout it's six albums. While I prefer Act II, this is easily it's match.
OSI - Blood
A band I only got into literally 20 days ago, veterans Gavin Harrison, Kevin Moore and Jim Matheos manage to make one hell of an album combining prog rock with electronic. Bring me more!
Riverside - ADHD
I was slightly unsure whether Riverside would truly change their sound for their first album outside of the Reality Dream trilogy - and they did. Definitely relying more on keyboards, the new Riverside proves that their best material may yet to come and definitely wasn't on their first two CDs.
Alestorm - Black Sails At Midnight
It's Alestorm's second album, need I say more? Well okay, one of the songs that is a rehash of an early demo of theirs has part of the Pirates Of the Caribbean theme tune in it. Yup.
Notable mentions include Muse's The Resistance, Swallow The Sun's New Moon*, Devin Townsend's Addicted, Jordan Rudess' Notes On a Dream, Scar Symmetry's Dark Matter Dimensions, and Transatlantic's The Whirlwind (which would probably be in the top 10 but i've only heard it once so far)
*I feel Sorry for STS picking that as their unfortunate album name.
Matt's top 10 albums of 2009: