Let part III commence:
15. Circle Takes the Square-As the Roots Undo
It was a long time coming with this one, second to only one album (which will make its appearance later on.) What I mean is, As the Roots Undo took a stunning amount of time to hit me. Before it clicked, it felt like the messiest, most chaotic noise I had ever heard. And one would not be blamed for thinking this initially. However, in digging deeper, one sees the genius behind everything from the beautifully composed instrumentals, to the incredible lyrics. Its biggest contribution, though, is its huge effect on what artists are willing to do within the emotional hardcore genre. A shinning example of the virtues of experimentation.
14. Stars of the Lid - Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline
Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline is musical bliss incarnate, packed conveniently into two glorious discs. The album is a slow and deliberate masterpiece that happens to be simply massive. Although only a mere five years old, it is considered one of ambient's finest. And it's easy to see why. This is just as beautiful and expressive as the most bold and bombastic records out their, but it speaks in a much more minimal way. It is sparse yet effective, and who could ask for anything more?
13. Yndi Halda - Enjoy Eternal Bliss
While my heart does belong to Mono and Sigur Ros, Yndi Halda has managed to make one of my outright favorite post-rock albums of all time. A game changer? No not really, but within these beautifully composed pieces lies the genre's most perfectly expressed statement. Enjoy Eternal Bliss is post-rock with the fat trimmed, and in its place, some of the most complex and captivating music the genre has ever seen.
12. Rachel's - The Sea and the Bells
Let's just say that my thoughts on Rachel's could nearly be penned out to a novel's length. A chamber music group, Rachel's emulates some of the most impressive minimalist composers of our time. The Sea and the Bells is the band's most fully realized outting to date. Mixing the beautiful and near perfect neo-classical of Music for Egon Schiele with the dark and mysterious experimentation the band has since implemented with every release, the album was a glowing success. The introduction still gets me every time, even years after I've first heard it. If that isn't the mark of a classic, then I'm not sure what is.
11. A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms
A Perfect Circle's Mer de Noms is the first album I can ever remember declaring my "favorite album of all time." And while a few albums have shared that sentiment, this was the first. It marked an important step in my now lovingly obsessive music fandom. Sure my appreciation of it has waned, but it still gets a nostalgic spin from me every so often, and I love still to this day.