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 Axe's top ten albums of 2009

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Axe
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PostSubject: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:02 am

Well, it took awhile to get the list just right. It was actually a lot harder than I thought, we've had a lot of great metal releases this year. But I'll quit stalling and get started.

10.) Children of Bodom - Skeletons in the Closet



For a simple cover compilation album, I found Skeletons in the Closet to be quite good. One of the big things that made this album one of the best of the year for me was the diverse genres redone in the Children of Bodom style. Some of the songs have been featured on previous releases, mostly Japanese editions of past albums, so this compilation gave fans the opportunity to get some of the covers, along with some new ones, without spending a ton of money importing. Let me just say I LOVE their cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Lookin' Out My Back Door". That song is just classy, and they even added a banjo solo. Just to clarify again, they ADDED the banjo solo! I'm in love with that cover, it gave me a greater respect for the band. Other artists the band covered includes Pat Benatar, King Diamond, Britney Spears, The Ramones, Trust, and Kenny Rogers. A few of the covers lack a few things and seem a little thrown together for filler, but overall the album is solid and worthwhile. The guitar playing is top notch, and even though Alexi's growls are nothing compared to the "Hatebreeder" days, the classic Children of Bodom sound appears quite often. I will always be a fanboy of their first three albums, but Skeletons in the Closet is a welcome addition to the discography, and is definitely a step up from "Blooddrunk".

9.) Be'Lakor - Stone's Reach



Stone's Reach was the second release from Australian melodic death metal band Be'Lakor, and the first I actually obtained (Thanks Dies!). At first I thought it was pretty lackluster - not bad, just nothing mind blowing or incredible. But I continued to listen, and after getting through the album a few times I realized the sheer quality of the musicianship. Some would say melodic death metal is a dying genre. Hell, some would say melodic death metal is a dead genre, and has been dead since conception. But I would argue that releases like this help keep it a thriving sub genre, and provide me with melodic, heavy, calming, and uptempo riffing that makes me want to punch an elderly woman. The lead work is fantastic, and the style and form is pretty standard. It's definitely not anything that is going to change your mind if you hate melodic death metal, but for fans of the subgenre this is a release that should not be missed.

8.) Ex Deo - Romulus



Like Wookie said, who doesn't love an album about the Roman Empire? "Romulus" really touches a nerve with me. As most of you know, I'm a huge fan of warrior mythology, especially when it's Folk Metal. So the cool thing about this album is, it provides the lyrical themes I love but in a different form - death metal. I would consider it to be a melodic death metal album, since it comes complete with horns and that epic battle feel, but Wikipedia and the Metal Archives both say it's just straight up death metal, so I guess I stand corrected. But don't let that tag fool you. It has awesome melodic passages, and some chugging heavy sections archetypal of death metal. The vocals give me exactly what I'm looking for with this kind of lyrics - aggressive and screeching, it provides a fantastic accompaniment to the epic war-like feel. I guess the biggest reason this album made my list is the sheer brilliance of the unique music. It's not quite folk metal, it's not quite death metal, it's a brilliant mix of the two - a wonderful baby I want to lock up in my basement, as VR once told me. It gets the adrenaline pumping like few other releases this year, and the lyrical themes are among the best in my opinion.

7.) Kalisia - Cybion



You know that album that will always be in your collection? The one that is so good as a whole, that when you listen to a song you listen to all of the songs? That is basically Cybion. How can I explain this album? Maybe Brute can help me. Nah. I'll just let him criticize me later. Anyway, this is another band that I just recently got into from this particular release. Cybion is a masterpiece, I don't even think Kalisia could write an album that holds a candle to this. The album is essentially one giant song. Each song blends into the next, and is ultimately divided into four sections, I believe. It is a progressive behemoth of an album, that should not be missed by any self-proclaimed fan of the genre. The album masterfully blends clean vocals with extreme, distorted heavy guitars with lite and calming. It just flows, and each element fills a specific void that makes the album complete. It is just breath taking, I really can't think of anything else to say about it. It must be heard to be understood. Oh, and another thanks to Dies Irae for showing me Kalisia. Or was it Brute? No matter, this album is amazing.

6.) Blackguard - Profugus Mortis



I love this album art. Is that a proper way of starting a review? Oh well, I don't give a fuck. Since I started my not so recent Folk Metal binge, I have been looking for the greatest bands that deliver the perfect blend of Folk and Metal. The best include obvious choices, like Ensiferum, Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Equilibrium, Windir, and Eluveitie. But this is honestly one of my favorite albums of the genre, and it comes from a newcomer to the scene. One cool thing that sets this apart is the vocals. It has a screeching kind of vocals, reminiscent of black metal. But it's very unlike black metal in pretty much every other way. The guitar work is solid, and the synthesized folk instruments actually sound pretty nice. I can honestly say if I wasn't such a huge folk man, this would be 9 or 10 on my list, but I can't get enough of it.

5.) Obscura - Cosmogenesis



"Meh" wankity wank wank technical death metal at it's finest. One of the first tech death bands I actually got into, Obscura seem to be a supergroup of amazing talent. Jeroen Paul Thesseling is one of the best bass players I have ever heard in my life, and his fretless bass sounds completely insane. I mean, I honestly find myself listening to the bass as much as the guitar. It often appears as a primary instrument due to the extreme technical nature, it very rarely just chugs along on one note while the guitars pile on top. I love the technical aspects to the album, but it's not so technical that you are like "wha...". You can actually understand most of what's going on, and the technicality provides room for understanding, which gives the album many more plays before getting boring. In fact, I've had this album for a few months and I still turn it on every few days or so and listen. It hasn't got boring yet, because there are still things to discover in the music.

4.) Skeletonwitch - Breathing the Fire



Blackened thrash metal, it has a nice sound to it doesn't it? Very nice, but not as nice as the music itself. Skeletonwitch has delivered again. I was a massive fan of "Beyond the Permafrost", the album I picked up when I discovered they were going to support Children of Bodom and Municipal Waste on a tour earlier in the previous year. Of course, I didn't end up going, but I was hell-bent on attending and I wanted to know about Skeletonwitch before I saw them. Let me just say I was completely blown away. "Beyond the Permafrost" likely stands as one of my favorite metal albums of all time, probably in the top 30 at least. When I heard about "Breathing the Fire", I got excited because Skeletonwitch was a new found passion that was limited to 2 albums and a handful of demos and EPs, most of which I could not find online. The first time I listened to Breathing the Fire, I was overcome with joy at the aggressive melodic guitar work and the brutal haunting vocals. It was more of what I loved from Beyond the Permafrost. Chance's low growls and high pitched screeches are as awesome as ever, and they fit the music like a key fits a lock. The guitar work is brutal and fast, but still has those melodic qualities that make my mouth water. The song writing is overall good, the album doesn't flow as well as most of the albums I am including on this list, and that is because there is a fair amount of filler. I mean, there is nothing bad, there are just a few tracks that fail to stand out. But it's modern thrash at it's finest, it's a beautiful mixture of a classic genre and new ideas.

3.) Insomnium - Across the Dark



Insomnium is the newest band on this list that I have gotten into. Not new as in recently conceived, but new in the sense that I just found out about them. It hasn't been more than two months since I picked up "Since the Day It All Came Down", and Insomnium is already one of my favorites of the Melodic Death Metal genre. It's such cool music. I know that's a broad statement that really wouldn't change anyone's opinion, but the classical and acoustic elements are masterfully woven into a heavy and dark band. The extreme vocals compliment all of the music well, and the album also features some clean vocals which I find to be a welcome addition. The music is heavy, but is more dark than anything. It is a very gothic style, and the lyrics reflect that. But this band really makes me think when I listen to them. Skeletonwitch, and some of the other bands, just give me fast and aggressive music for me to headbang to, but Insomnium is not like that at all. I think when I listen to it, because the atmosphere is the real attraction. The gothic elements provide a soul that is memorable long after you have stopped listening and begun a new album. I would recommend this album to anyone who listens to melodic death metal, but who also enjoys atmosphere and deep thoughts.

2.) Sonata Arctica - The Days of Grays



When I heard Unia, I died a little inside. I thought Sonata Arctica was dead. They had changed from fast and melodic power metal to some emotional, soft wreck of a band. But after a few listens, Unia grew on me. It was much more progressive and creative than it's predecessors. It featured orchestrations and concepts that had not appeared in their earlier works. But Sonata Arctica was one of the first modern metal bands I got into, so they really had to screw up to turn me away. "The Days of Grays" essentially picked up where Unia left off. It features more orchestrations than ever before (the special edition even features an orchestral bonus CD, which redoes a few of the albums tracks with a full orchestra, providing a more collective and soft experience), and that drew me in since I had already gotten used to the new Sonata Arctica with Unia. But this album was perfectly crafted. There are a few straight forward power metal tracks (Flag in the Ground, being a big one that comes to mind), but there are also ballads, and progressive masterpieces thrown in for good measure. It's one of the those albums that you want to listen to as a whole. One song, "Breathing", is a ballad through and through, but it sends that shiver down my spine that I got the first time I heard Sonata Arctica. It truely is a beautiful song. The guitar work remains toned down, solos are less aggressive and far more melodic. The keyboard has a similar prominence as previous albums, and Tony's vocals remain top-notch. The album just flows and makes sense, and really shows how far Sonata Arctica has come. The mature sound provides that thoughtful experience that I love.

1.) Ensiferum - From Afar



Is this not a huge surprise? "From Afar" is a masterpiece. Of course, all of Ensiferum's albums have been masterpieces in my eyes. But what's wrong with a continuation of that? Since Jar left for his band Wintersun, Ensiferum has undergone a few changes to sound, but not much. I have noticed more folk elements, which likely resulted from an increase in available technology for productions. Petri Lindroos came aboard to replace Jari, starting first with the Dragonheads EP, and then the full length "Victory Songs". His style is a bit different from Jari's, but is still a natural fit for this band. He can't shred nearly as much, but his playing is solid and fantastic, and his growl is probably the best growl out there. The album starts out with an acoustic folk intro, which spans a couple of minutes. This perfectly sets the tone for the album. Right after it goes into the high energy melodic death metal style folk that is familiar to fans. But something new has appeared. Orchestrations are much more abundant, the listener can plainly hear winds, brass, and orchestral strings throughout the selections. "Stone Cold Metal" even features a banjo interlude that is very unique. "Tumman Virran Taa" is a chanting style vocal piece that features homophony (each voice playing the same line, possible on different octaves), and that starts the theme of the epic conclusion to the album. "Smoking Ruins" is by far my favorite off of the album, it has that familiar epic feel of "Wanderer" off of Victory Songs. "Twilight Tavern" is another of the most noteworthy tracks, and it even features female clean vocals in a brief interlude during the song. This album just flows like a folk metal masterpiece should. When I listen, I am instantly transported to a quiet stream on the edge of a forest. Or, I am transported to an epic norse battle scene, brutal and bloody. Or, I am transported to a renaissance inn, where everyone is drinking pints of ale and a bard is playing relaxing folk music. This album is the perfect blend of Folk and Metal, like all of Ensiferum's previous endeavors.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:45 am

Honestly none of those would make my top 10 for 09 (Kalisia would make top 25, maybe 20)
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:46 am

I see one in my top 10.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:50 am

Skeletonwitch.

Lol I accidentally edited your post when I was trying to reply, for some reason. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed the reading, that was the main purpose. I didn't expect many people to share my favorite albums of the year, but hopefully I sparked an interest for you in one or more of the albums.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:57 am

Axeforhire wrote:
but hopefully I sparked an interest for you in one or more of the albums.

Indeed it did.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:01 am

blackstar wrote:
Axeforhire wrote:
but hopefully I sparked an interest for you in one or more of the albums.

Indeed it did.

Well let me know if you take a listen to any of these, I'd love to hear your reaction.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:06 am

Will do.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:05 am

Listening to Cosmogenisis really liking it. I'll finis it tomorrow though and give a full report.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:13 am

World painted blood ... Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:24 am

See? Wasn't that fun to write?
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:27 am

hateyou1st wrote:
World painted blood ... Sad

Lol Hate! You know you can always make your own top 10 but I bet you'll have World Painted Blood tied for the top 10 positions.

How many copies did you end up buying?

I like the list Axe. It paints your fun and colorful tastes well.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:36 am

VacuousReality wrote:
hateyou1st wrote:
World painted blood ... Sad

Lol Hate! You know you can always make your own top 10 but I bet you'll have World Painted Blood tied for the top 10 positions.

How many copies did you end up buying?

I like the list Axe. It paints your fun and colorful tastes well.
Well i payed for 4 copys. I got all 4 covers . I was sent a copy with the dvd from slayer ( No i dont think the guys from slayer sent it but it came from there people ) 14 days before it hit stores , and they sent just the cd also with a poster , stickers , store promo and some other little shit .. So i have 6 copys .lol
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:49 am

My list would have somewhere in them ..

World painted blood
The Devil You Know
Crack the Skye
Black Gives Way to Blue
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:25 am

Well Axe,i donīt know anybody of these,but for the work u put in i give you +,and i will check em out.....
bands/song that i prefere,i put on little descriptions,but u made big ones...cool...
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:16 am

Nicely done axe. I fear to admit that I have not listened to probably half of the albums there. I am too determined to plow through my library challenge. I have not acquired new music in a long time and it I am sure to refer to this when I am finished

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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:56 pm

breakyoudown wrote:
Nicely done axe. I fear to admit that I have not listened to probably half of the albums there. I am too determined to plow through my library challenge. I have not acquired new music in a long time and it I am sure to refer to this when I am finished

I would (of course) recommend each of these, and since you are me, I'm sure you'll love them lol
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:09 pm

Taxer666 wrote:
Honestly none of those would make my top 10 for 09 (Kalisia would make top 25, maybe 20)


you are a knave
kalisia are easily in the top 5.

come onnnnnn. it was a great album
the others are debateable yes...but what didnt you like? not your "style"?

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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:36 am

Insomnium = A-F*cking-M-f*cking-A-F*cking (you see where this is going...


AMAZING...amazing..amaZING...AMAzing!!!

def my favorite newly discovered band
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:48 am

listening to some of the other bands mentioned here and I like the list AXE. two thumbs up
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:22 am

has anybody a download link to ensiferum + Kalisia ...?
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:23 am

well with a review like that, im forced to go check it out

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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:24 am

rocknrollchair wrote:
has anybody a download link to ensiferum + Kalisia ...?
you need kalisia
http://www.megadownload.net/download/rs/214428049/kalisia_-_cybion_2008_.rar

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Where Bathory was an iron broadsword, this band is a big plastic one with "viking!" written on it in sparkly purple magic marker.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:30 am

Many.Many thanx,brother...
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:31 am

i just realized the link doesnt work
ughhh
let me find you a new one

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Where Bathory was an iron broadsword, this band is a big plastic one with "viking!" written on it in sparkly purple magic marker.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:32 am

NO DATA FOUND,SERIOUS,Brute.......
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:32 am

fixed and delivered
megaupload.com TK1JCWOP

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Where Bathory was an iron broadsword, this band is a big plastic one with "viking!" written on it in sparkly purple magic marker.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:35 am

Yeah,This is a fuckin fast Delivery Service.....u got pizza too....Haha.thanx
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:14 pm

brutality, thynameismetal wrote:
Taxer666 wrote:
Honestly none of those would make my top 10 for 09 (Kalisia would make top 25, maybe 20)


you are a knave
kalisia are easily in the top 5.

come onnnnnn. it was a great album
the others are debateable yes...but what didnt you like? not your "style"?

You don't understand, the Kalisia album is really good but it's just that so much amazing shit came out in 09 that it has to take second wheel to some other albums.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:25 pm

Finished Cosmogenisis last night really enjoyable actually. Not a top 10 for me but a band I'm certainly interested in now. Thanks Axe.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:09 pm

Thanks everyone, I'm glad you enjoyed the reviews and are trying some new things.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:57 pm

It was A "BRUTAL"download of 4 ! hours,i thought of,theres the whole discoraphy on it,but itīs only 28 WMA! files of ,exellent rec qulity,,,,
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:30 am

Taxer666 wrote:
brutality, thynameismetal wrote:
Taxer666 wrote:
Honestly none of those would make my top 10 for 09 (Kalisia would make top 25, maybe 20)


you are a knave
kalisia are easily in the top 5.

come onnnnnn. it was a great album
the others are debateable yes...but what didnt you like? not your "style"?

You don't understand, the Kalisia album is really good but it's just that so much amazing shit came out in 09 that it has to take second wheel to some other albums.

slightly redeemed yourself
i guess if i had a much broader taste such as yourself, i would have a hard time picking as well. im just glad you consider it a great album in the midst of many

rocknrollchair wrote:
It was A "BRUTAL"download of 4 ! hours,i thought of,theres the whole discoraphy on it,but itīs only 28 WMA! files of ,exellent rec qulity,,,,

you my good sir, need to get a better internet connection. a file like that takes me 15 minutes tops.

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Blink 182?
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:13 pm

gonna check out a few of these, nice list man! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:17 am

Bow before my superior musical taste.

I shall have to do another Take a Looksee and see if I can find something in my Library better than Kalisia. I'll struggle, but I'm sure I have a few things.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:18 pm

i eagerly await

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Dark94Flame wrote:
Blink 182?
Byd, this is how it starts, you know. One day it's "I like Blink 182", the next it's "I think I like men".
Master Cthulhu wrote:
Where Bathory was an iron broadsword, this band is a big plastic one with "viking!" written on it in sparkly purple magic marker.
sarainadream wrote:
No fucking worries I guess you cunts, just wanted to bloody well plant the careful seed in your maggot infested brains.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:13 am

I really really really like be'lakor! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:29 am

Kriov wrote:
I really really really like be'lakor! Very Happy

you are smart after all.

i owe dies for this greatly. love this band

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Dark94Flame wrote:
Blink 182?
Byd, this is how it starts, you know. One day it's "I like Blink 182", the next it's "I think I like men".
Master Cthulhu wrote:
Where Bathory was an iron broadsword, this band is a big plastic one with "viking!" written on it in sparkly purple magic marker.
sarainadream wrote:
No fucking worries I guess you cunts, just wanted to bloody well plant the careful seed in your maggot infested brains.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's top ten albums of 2009   Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:33 pm

Kriov wrote:
I really really really like be'lakor! Very Happy

Glad you like it sir! That's a really good melo death album. Thanks for appreciating the thread : )
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