Keeping this going we’re off to part three of Hindsight, a multi-part appraisal of the past decade. Click below to read the first two parts
Now, without a doubt Pelican are post metal pioneers. Sometimes a band can earn such acclaim and praise after only three albums because their ability, ambition and drive is raw and undiluted. Pelican are such a band. The instrumentalists channelled so many emotions (sans lyrics) into City Of Echoes, from the sashaying rhythms of the title track, to the hypnotic acoustic melodies of “Winds With Hands” or the heart stopping crescendo of “Far From Fields”. Top to bottom, City Of Echoes is a work of art.
Standout track: Far From Fields
Opeth – Blackwater Park (2001)
When The Big Book Of Prog Metal: Bumper Edition is published there will be some notable cover stars, Opeth will be one of them. Prior to Blackwater Park Opeth were on a consistent rise, one heightened by 1999’s Still Life. But in 2001 the Swedes trumped that record with the shimmering gold of Blackwater Park. It was a jaw dropping statement of intent, melding their early death metal roots with some doom influences and of course all things progressive. While Opeth have never produced a bad album in the slightest since then, amongst die hard fans, Blackwater Park, more often than not, is the immensely preferred effort.
Standout track: Bleak
Glassjaw – Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence (2000)
Taking a formula set by the pioneering hardcore bands of the 80s and more specifically the ridiculously important Fugazi, Glassjaw created a crucial album for modern rock music at the turn of the century. Never before had anyone such invective displays of screaming from the enigmatic Daryl Palumbo. His tales of horribly failed relationships and infatuations can easily be related to. Plus, it really helped that all the tunes, more specifically the choruses, were so damn catchy. Pivotal, doesn’t even come close to describe this record, possibly too before its time as well.
Standout Track: Siberian Kiss
Trivium – Ascendancy (2005)
Trivium seemed to pop up out of nowhere in March 2005, but what a lot of people didn’t know at the time was that Ascendancy is their second record and the band had been in existence for a few years. Ember To Inferno (first album) showed so much potential and by the time their Roadrunner debut came around that potential was realised. Ascendancy is a jaw dropping modern metal record from four young men with nothing but world domination in mind. Tracks like “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr simply bludgeoned while closing tracks “Departure” and “Declaration” left the hair on the back of your neck standing.
Standout track: Declaration
Dream Theater – Train Of Thought (2003)
After 1999’s astonishing Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes From A Memory, Dream Theater took on a route that has divided fans. But while there’s certainly cause for debate over the 21st century Dream Theater, not once have they disappointed with a record. It’s open to even more debate but Train Of Thought is possibly DT’s heaviest album with seismic riffs and colossally peaking climaxes TOT was much like previous records but on crack. It, of course, retained the grandeur with epic lead riffs like on “Honor Thy Father” and dazzling solos, like Petrucci’s inhuman widdling on curtain puller “In The Name Of God”. While Dream Theater have always dazzled, there was even more dynamism on Train On Thought.
Standout Track: Honor Thy Father