It seems like the only time I get to listen to music for fun anymore is when I'm driving. Maybe that's why I find myself making so many gas wasting trips out for nothing in particular. It also seems like this is a year for me where I'm rediscovering heavy music.
The CD that has really floored me so far this year is the new one from Envy, Insomniac Doze. I've long thought Japan has some of the most interesting bands in the world, and this disc is no exception. Envy combines the progressive hardcore of Neurosis with the loud/soft dynamics of Mono and the end result is an album that is as beautiful as it is brutal.
I'm also really digging the new one from Mastodon. It's called Blood Mountain and is pretty progressive metal. Mastodon have long been recommended to me as a band I'd like, but I never heard them until now. This is what I'd imagine music majors making a metal record would sound like, though it never gets wanky or gratuitous. I'm convinced listening to this disc makes my own drumming more interesting, so that's a plus too.
Though you couldn't exactly call it progressive, Slayer's new disc Christ Illusion also features some impressive drumming courtesy of Dave Lombardo, who is back in the fold to reunite the classic Slayer lineup. And it's hard to call this album anything but classic Slayer. It's not breaking any new ground, but at this point in their career, who expects them to? Sometimes it's just great to hear an awesome band doing what they do best.
And here's an oldie I've been up on: The Deftones White Pony. I wasn't keen on much of the nu-metal thing, or whatever you want to call it, but when a friend played this for me back when it came out, I had to admit it was damn good. I recently scored a copy of this for $1, so that was pretty sweet. I don't know how the rest of their catalog stacks up, but this disc is some classic moody angst music.