The beginning of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement; the launch of the Curiosity rover; the release of Rebecca Black’s “Friday”; the deaths of beloved authors, musicians, and Macho Man Randy Savage.
65daysofstatic – Silent Running
65daysofstatic are probably best known at this point for scoring No Man’s Sky, but they were one of the first weird bands I ever really fell in love with (bury me with a copy of One Time For All Time), and their live rescoring of the 1972 environmentalist sci-fi film Silent Running was too hot not to put to tape. While the prior year’s danceable We Were Exploding Anyway saw them abandoning a lot of the math rock and IDM-influenced aspects of their sound, Silent Running reassured nerds around the world that even with these changes, 65 were still taking it seriously.
Beyond Creation – The Aura
Six. String. Fretless. Bass. Beyond Creation have only gotten better with age, but the 2013 Season of Mist re-release of The Aura put them on the map, and (in my opinion) absolutely wiped the floor with most of their tech-death contemporaries (many of whom were attempting to iterate on the djent craze ignited by Animals As Leaders, Cloudkicker, and Periphery) by virtue of catchy songwriting and that Six. String. Fretless. Bass.
Cloudkicker – Let Yourself Be Huge
Speaking of Cloudkicker, just as djent was starting to make it big, Ben Sharp was like “I will make an acoustic album now :)” This is music for sunrises and sunsets, for bittersweet hopes and comforting friends. Sharp’s trademark layers of sound seem to diffuse into you like tea leaves in water, growing richer and more emotionally complex with each passing minute.
Devin Townsend Project – Deconstruction
A metal opera helmed by an insane Canadian, chock full of astoundingly juvenile jokes, with a features list a mile long. It might be frustrating for him, but this is the benchmark by which all subsequent Devin Townsend albums have been measured.
Red Seas Fire – s/t
This album is the sum of everything I liked about stadium-sized djent. Red Seas Fire kinda spiraled into poppy post-hardcore and then fizzled out after this, but their debut is glorious dynamite.