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Top ten albums from the early 00’s

When I was a teenager I developed a taste for the hard christian music (scene). Today the top 10 albums of the early 00’s.
| Renco Schoemaker |

Those good old times; my brother in law with his greasy haircut was messing around with my sister and brought me and my brother music that we were always eager to hear. I’m left with the idea that I am probably the only one amongst my brother, brother in law and me who still listens to the music we were listening to back then. It’s hard to find friends nowadays that want to tag along in going to a moshpit concert. If I am unable to find someone to come with me I usually just go alone.

Amazing concert year

This year is going to be amazing with regards to concerts: in January I saw Touché Amoré (Dutch) live in an obscure German indoor skatepark, in May I will see Underoath (Dutch) in the Melkweg (Amsterdam) again after many years, in August metalcore giants August Burns Red (Dutch) will be performing in the Melkweg and last week I booked tickets for Loud & Proud in Daaden, Germany, where amongst others Demon Hunter (Dutch) and Project 86 (Dutch) will be performing live. Nice! Today, my 10 albums from the early zero’s (2000-2005), from when I was 15-20 years old. In March I turned 32 years.

Top ten albums from the early 00’s

Project 86 – Drawing Black Lines [2000]

It all started with this. Deservedly, it has a 5-star review on JFH, because this is an absolute iconic album! Powerful songs that are also good when listened to live which I had the pleasure of experiencing many times. Especially the first three songs, goosebumps. From hard opener Stein’s Theme to the more ‘radio-friendly’ song (and single) One-armed Man (Play On) to the catchy Me Against Me. Favorites of mine are Sad machines and Open Hand. The usual strong lyrics, heavy bass combined with the almost nasal singing of Andrew Schwab make this album a true trip down memory lane. I remember the text of the whole album nearly flawlessly. Project 86 created many more albums from which the newest album will be released in 2017. As stated, at the end of this year I will see them again live since many years. I’m already looking forward to it!

P.O.D. – Satellite [2001]

Well, who doesn’t know the hit Alive of P.O.D.? They were also able to release Boom and Youth of the Nation on radio in the times of Korn and Linkin Park, also named the ‘now-metal’. This album also contains strong hits, I’m able to listen to the complete album easily. Only the more hip-hop and reggae oriented songs are not for me. The striking front man Sonny Sandoval could create many albums with his band, but was never able to reach the level of this masterpiece. In my opinion at least. I think the main reason for this is that on the last two albums, the lyrics were shallow and bad, even to an embarrassing level. P.O.D. was always (consciously) an outsider in the Christian music scene and unfortunately I have never seen them live. Personal favorites are Set It Off, Ghetto and closer Portrait. 4/5 stars on JFH.

Blindside – Silence [2002]

Man, how happy I was when years back I got the chance to see Blindside live during (again) a German music festival where I, together with my brother, saw Project 86 and other bands live. Just like Project 86 and P.O.D., Blindside can be described as a hard rock / now-metal with sometimes an edge of screaming. For a large part, Blindside got their fame thanks to P.O.D. The striking ‘emo’ frontman Christian Lindskog surprised me with his strong guest performance in the song ‘Speak’ of Everything in Slow Motion (Dutch). I recognized his singing immediately; from clean vocals that suddently turn to ‘screams’ in a nice way. It was only until 2011 when the level of Silence (4,5/5 on JFH) was matched with ‘With Shivering Hearts We Wait’. Regarding Silence my recommendation is: opener Caught A Glimpse, Sleepwalking and the modest closer Silence.

Furthermore

Stavesacre – Stavz’a’ker [2002]

A stranger in our midst. I passed on the chance to see them live in Germany (unfortunately). Mark Solocom is no stranger in the Christian music world. Besides the fact that the album is rated 2 out of 5 stars on JFH, this album was (together with the Collective from 2001) my introduction to rock of Stavesacre. I have enjoyed it countless of times. Nowadays, Mark draws my attention with his Never Was Podcast and this year a new album will be brought out for the first time in the past 7 years, it’s called MCMXCV. The singing of Mark is very distinct (what is that?) to the level of you will either love or hate it. My favorite songs of this album are Witch Trial, Blind Hope and The Sad Parade. Just like P.O.D., Stavesacre already had a pretty big repertoire when I started listening to them. (Collective is a ‘best of’). Besides, Mark has been the front man of the band The Crucified since 1996. He’s getting old ;-)

The Showdown – A Chorus of Obliteration [2004]

Two thousand and four was the year in which albums were released like it was nothing. The genre itself was popular and lead by Tooth & Nail / Solid State Records, many hard bands (metal(core), hardcore) broke through following the punkrock hype. Suddenly, the band Showdown appeared with their debut album A Chorus of Obliteration (JFH 4/5). This was something else: undisturbed metal sang with many screams, growls & grunts. Opener ‘A Monument Encased in Ash’ gives a great peek into what awaits you on this strong album. Add this to a somewhat worrying cover and you get a doubting Christian teenager. Besides all this, luckily the lyrics were great and that’s why I kept playing this album over and over. Later, The Showdown started slowing down a bit more. I like playing their songs nowadays: Hell Can’t Stop Us Now, Epic – A Chorus of Obliteration and excellent closer Laid to Rest.

Underoath – They’re Only Chasing Safety [2004]

The ‘biggest’ band in this list definitely is Underoath (Dutch). Besides the fact that I didn’t like their first efforts, I like to listen to this album very much. In May, I will see them live and then they will play this album ‘front-to-back’ just like the later released ‘Define the Great Line’. Yes, that will certainly be a great concert. Years back I saw them at the same venue, the Melkweg, just before drummer Aaron Gillespie quit. That show is still in my top 3. The strong aspect of They’re Only Chasing Safety (4,5/5 on JFH) is the accessibility. After all, loud guitars and yelling guys do not appeal to everyone. However, with sing-along songs such as A Boy Brushed Red Living In Black and White, Reinventing your Exit and It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door, this album can’t really do anything wrong. The combination of the vocals of Spencer and Aaron works very well. Addictive!

 

Emery – The Weak’s End [2004]

The usual reader of my blogs knows that I’m a big fan of podcasts. It all started with The BadChristian Podcast, started by Matt, Joey and Toby. In a faraway past Joey was also in the band Emery, but now Emery consists out of Matt and Toby (amongst others). I remember precisely when the song Walls was released. I was listening to this genre for a couple of years already and didn’t know what to do with these guys. They all dressed up neatly, used two singers and changed genres frequently. Frankly, a rock band with a big attitude. Also emo’s :) But it had (and has) something, the music they make. On JFH the album gets 3,5 out of 5 stars and the reviewer stated ‘’Emery is a band most people probably won’t dig; but if you can enjoy them, you will do so thoroughly.’’ Something like that. I like to listen to (of course) Walls, Disguising Mistakes with Goodbyes and Under Serious Attack.

Becoming the Archetype – Terminate Damnation [2005]

From the mainly accessible Underoath and Emery I got more and more taste for the harder stuff. Terminate Damnation is nothing less than very rough en hard metal. Especially the (singing) talent and the, to my taste, complex music makes/made that I devoured this album. A song of more than 10 minutes was completely new to me. However, in the metal scene people like the long (and yes, sometimes too lengthy) songs. The song Elegy is still listened to by me regularly. This album is one massive wave of well-produced music made by talented musicians. I still find it great that this is the quality of their debut albums and the reviewer on JFH shares that opinion with me (4 out of 5 stars). I did not like the successor at all, but the album after that called Dichotomy did appeal to me. I recommend the following songs on this album: Elegy, No Fall Too Far and The Trivial Paroxysm.

Demon Hunter – The Triptych [2005]

This is the third album of Demon Hunter (Dutch). I passed on the first two for the largest part, because of the great amount of music that was coming towards me. But with The Triptych (4,5/5 on JFH), that wasn’t possible. What a strong album. The musical style of Demon Hunter is undoubtedly Demon Hunter. Frequent hard couplets with more melodious choruses. To me, Demon Hunter is the inventor of the ‘metal balad’. Screaming alternated with clean, understandable singing. In the meantime, we have passed many albums and the most recent album ‘Outlive’ was released on the 31st of March. Years back I saw them live in Apeldoorn and at the end of this year I will see them live again, but I must travel far to see them. O, well… The album covers of Demon Hunter albums are often both beautiful and worrying (cross out the word that’s not applicable). Listen to; Not I, The Soldier’s Song and Ribcage.

Staple – Of Truth and Reconciliation [2005]

Staple surprised with their self-titled debut on Flicker Records in 2004 but really got my attention with their follow-up album ‘Of Truth and Reconciliation’ which got 4/5 stars on JFH. The abundant, meaningful lyrics combined with a knack for mixing clean vocals with screams and growls made them stick out for me. Unfortunately, I never got my hand on the independently released The Gatekeeper EP. The production quality on their also independently released self-titled debut is lacking and with the Staple EP nowhere to be found, I’m left with their two outstanding albums on Flicker. Also, the album naming is rather confusing. Anyway, songs like Do of DieForging Generals and The Day the Blind Revolted still stand out over 10 years later. They have a very distinct style with roots in the nu metal and rapcore which, I know, are not that popular anymore. I recommend you check these guys out.

It’s a wrap

That was it! My top 10 and introduction to the heavier stuff in the Christian Music spectrum. Since my youth I have been stuck in it. Love it!

Iets meer over auteur Renco Schoemaker

Renco is ruim 35 jaar, man en vader van twee. Hij was eerder jeugdouderling in zijn gemeente in Zwolle. Hij mag graag fietsen, hardlopen, tv series kijken en bloggen. Luistert tot slot graag naar harde christelijke herrie.

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