The 2006 Ultimate Guitar Readers Poll: A Bit Of The Old, A Lot Of The New

You exercised your right to vote for the most awe-inspiring album of the year, and we shall not make you wait any longer for the results.

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Ultimate Guitar readers loved their Chili Peppers.

You exercised your right to vote for the most awe-inspiring album of the year, and we shall not make you wait any longer for the results. With over 10,000 votes submitted to the 2006 Ultimate Guitar Reader's Poll, a little of everything was represented, from metalcore or emo to progressive rock. There were a few bands, however, that definitely seemed to appeal to the majority - one which has been infatuated with using California in its song lyrics, and the other a bit enamored with that old favorite, death.

At the end of the counting, veteran rockers The Red Hot Chili Peppers came out ahead of all the rest with its double-album Stadium Arcadium. Pulling in 611 votes, the Chili Peppers proved yet again that they are not going anywhere. And for all of you who had a fondness for My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade? You fought the good fight, losing by less than 100 votes.

And now for your list of winners

01. Stadium Arcadium - The Red Hot Chili Peppers (611 votes)

After over 20 years in the music business, the Chili Peppers have proven they have just as much staying power as U2. The band's 1st double album Stadium Arcadium, which just recently garnered 6 Grammy Award nominations, focuses more on a low-key Peppers' style (some might use the dreaded adjective mature) versus its more over-the-top funkadelic days. While it may not live up to the legendary status of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the 28-track Stadium Arcadium is still jam-packed with a number of likely hit singles.

02. The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (517 votes)

While the Chili Peppers might have taken the top spot in the UG poll, The Black Parade was the most intriguing My Chemical Romance release to date. The concept album that vocalist Gerard Way called completely over the top, borderline psychotic leads listeners through a cancer victims' understanding of life and death. Although the slightly morbid topic adds to the drama, it is the music that made the biggest impression here. And who knows, MCR might just have pulled off what many deemed impossible: proving that it is much more than just an emo band.

03. The Crusade - Trivium (380 votes)

Trivium did a risky thing this year by tackling a fresh, less scream-filled style. Although a different turn for the band, the new sound has not seemed to dissuade the majority of fans from embracing the band's latest release, The Crusade. It's hard not to be in awe of the amazing guitar work of Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu, which once again played a prominent role on the band's 3rd record. Some debate has risen about Heafy's Metallica-sounding vocals (which seems to be fulfilling the band's desire to be the next Metallica), and some fans just couldn't handle the departure from the usual sing-scream format. Standing at #3 on the UG poll, however, Trivium has obviously maintained a huge portion of its fan base.

04. Decemberunderground - AFI (282 votes)

Like Trivium (although in no way are the two bands musically similar), AFI also received some backlash from its diehard fans with the release of Decemberunderground. AFI had been known for its earlier punk-driven songs, so recording the more pop-friendly songs on Decemberunderground was a risky move. Fortunately, most of AFI's fans (some of which were lucky enough to be chosen as back-up chanters on Miss Murder) found the new synth-experimentation to be yet another brilliant move for the California natives.

05. A Matter Of Life And Death - Iron Maiden (227 votes)

Iron Maiden's influence has entered so many aspects of today's metal that it seemed appropriate for the iconic band to have a bit of its own music out in the present music scene. Probably the biggest indicator of the band's influence was shown during the opening week that A Matter Of Life And Death was released: It became the 1st album to become a top-10 Billboard chart hit for the British icons. With each song averaging over 7 minutes long, the record features classic work from vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Steve Harris. While it's not quite as classic as Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, A Matter Of Life And Death definitely still deserves its rightful place in the UG Top 10.

06. Sacrament - Lamb of God (193 votes)

Recently named Album of the Year by Revolver Magazine, Sacrament impressed plenty in 2006, particularly when it came to the guitar work from Mark Morton and Willie Adler. Sacrament represents the band at its best, and you should definitely pick up the deluxe edition with DVD if you haven't already. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the songwriting process between Morton and Adler, who each have distinct styles that they add to LOG. When you throw in the trademark roar and grim lyrics by vocalist Randy Blythe, the songs on Sacrament are not easily forgotten.

07. 10,000 Days - Tool (184 votes)

Tool has always been known for its intricate and complex musical compositions, and 10,000 Days satisfied this expectation in full. The latest record opened to mixed reviews, primarily from critics, but it still features a variety of classic Tool sounds - from drummer Danny Carey's ornate percussion to vocalist Maynard James Keenan's emotionally-charged vocals. The Pot and Jambi are up there with the likes of Sober, and the musicianship has never been better. The angrier days of Tool are passing rapidly, opening up the way for a more reflective (Wings For Marie) and often ritualistic (Lipan Conjuring) sound. 10,000 Days might be a bit too extreme for the casual rock listener, but many diehard Tool fans have called it yet another masterpiece.

08. Black Holes And Revelations - Muse (145 votes)

The band that has a seamless way of intertwining indie rock, electronica, and classical music makes its mark at #8 on the UG poll. While the band has been critics' darling for a while now, Black Holes And Revelations found a place with fans alike this time around. With vocalist Matthew Bellamy sounding like Radiohead's Thom Yorke at times, his extensive vocal range enables Muse's songs to have a bit more depth than plenty of other new releases. The result is a synth-fused rock extravaganza with undeniably catchy melodies.

09. Light Grenades - Incubus (135 votes)

If it wasn't common knowledge before, Incubus' popularity was confirmed in November when Light Grenades debuted at the top of the Billboard charts. Granted, the total albums sold was still quite a bit less than the 2001 release Morning View, but it still has plenty of tracks that could cause the same stir as Wish You Were Here. Brandon Boyd's vocal work has never been stronger and could easily be called one of the best rock singers in the business today.

10. City Of Evil - Avenged Sevenfold (129 votes)

Avenged Sevenfold has a whole slew of new fans now that The Beast And The Harlot has been immortalized in Guitar Hero II. Of course, legions of AS fans knew that the band was always destined to overtake the masses. City Of Evil takes a step toward classic hard rock/metal with an abundance of harmonic guitar solos that would make Iron Maiden and Judas Priest proud. Even Guitar World Magazine ranked City Of Evil as the 63rd greatest guitar album of all time. Yes, you should buy this album now.

Honorable Mentions

Before you start throwing your computer monitor out the window because your favorite 2006 release didn't make the cut, there are a few more records that came very close to joining the Top 10. These records are indeed honorable mentions, most specifically Wolfmother, which lost out on tying for 10th place by one vote. Ouch.

The Honorable Mentions:

  • Wolfmother - Wolfmother (128 votes)
  • Blood Mountain - Mastodon (116 votes)
  • Christ Illusion - Slayer (102 votes)
  • As Daylight Dies - Killswitch Engage (96 votes)
  • Revelations - Audioslave (82 votes)
  • Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam (80 votes)
  • The Great Burrito Extortion Case - Bowling For Soup (79 votes)
  • The Sufferer And The Witness - Rise Against (77 votes)
  • The Poison - Bullet For My Valentine (75 votes)
  • Inhuman Rampage - Dragonforce (73 votes)

    Amy Kelly @ 2006. For Ultimate-Guitar Holiday Edition.

  • 410 comments sorted by best / new / date

      Dyuha
      Mastodon's Blood Mountain is an amazing CD. What a pity they haven't got a place in the Top 3!!!
      LynchMobster
      With each song averaging over 7 minutes long, the record features classic work from vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Steve Harris .
      Steve Harris the f*cking bassist!
      supersolus666
      i left tool off the list because i know they could have done sooo much better jambi, and the pot were the only 2 good songs on the cd
      supersolus666
      Here's how i think the list should go: In Flames - Come Clarity Lamb Of God - Sacrament Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death Mastodon - Blood Mountain slayer - Christ Illusion Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam Trivium - The Crusade Incubus - Light Grenades i think the trivium cd could have been much better if the singer kept his screaming voice like in ascendancy
      austinarcadium
      before you start bitching about MCR and all the other bands sayign they have no talent. listen to them first before you start complaining.
      stars_n_bars
      is this because the pathetic emo trend of shitty talentless whining and absolutely pathetic musicianship is sweeping the nation? i think so...btw RHCP are exempt from that rant but stadium was in no way better than 10,000 days
      DFX11
      i agree with the AFI and the Hot Chillies but most of them just arent supposed to be in the top ten. but what do any of u care what i think...
      rustic_metal
      eddy72 wrote: oh c'mon metalheads get over it, i mean it's okey that u disagree with the top but damn how can u say that a "10 top metal bands" should be the real top; and don't think i'm an EMO fag cuz i'm not i like every kind of music i like lamb of god, i like AFI and i like the chillis; maybe u could try to listen to another genres other than metal but whatever most of you are 40 years old musicians without a live.. peace.
      everytime ive heard that, i eventually find out that 'all music' means 'all emo/mod-punk music'
      eddy72
      oh c'mon metalheads get over it, i mean it's okey that u disagree with the top but damn how can u say that a "10 top metal bands" should be the real top; and don't think i'm an EMO fag cuz i'm not i like every kind of music i like lamb of god, i like AFI and i like the chillis; maybe u could try to listen to another genres other than metal but whatever most of you are 40 years old musicians without a live.. peace.
      FaceTehBass
      City of Evil is an amazingly great album, but it was released in 2005. Hell, it even ranked in the best albums of 2005 on this site. Take City off and put Christ Illusion up there, because you can never go wrong with a good Slayer album. Also, Lamb of God and Maiden need to be ahead of those sad excuses for musicians from AFI and MCR. Mark Morton and Will Adler could completely destroy them with a single riff. And we all know that without Iron Maiden most of music today would be so much different.
      blinnk16
      pratt121 wrote: my best album of the year was Bob Dylan's "Modern Times," I'm shocked it wasn't on here. Actually, looking at the UG community, I'm not so shocked. stadium arcadium lacks variety: they simply didn't have enough diversity there for a double album, if they'd combined the best aspects of a couple songs and made it more condensed it would be a true work of art. MCR's gotten a lot better, but they're still not my style (at all) and they won't be until they stop the dress-up. Muse was solid. Wolfmother is a lot of fun to listen to, I'm disappointed that people don't seem to agree.
      Dress-up? It's about music, not about what they look like.. *sigh* Anyways, Good list -- RHCP album is their best album since BSSM, Maybe even better.. God Frusciante's guitar work was great!
      mojo-pin
      All this stuff about My Chemical Romance being untalented is just stupid. Ray Toro can clearly play guitar exceptionally well and your mother would very likely have a hard time playing their songs.
      DEF-LEPPARD683
      This poll in my opinion is wrong. I respect the music that they all put out I just think Iron Maiden-Matter of Life and Death, should have taken the crown of 1st place, with DEF LEPPARD's-YEAH! in 2nd. Its a shame they didnt even make top 20
      DEF-LEPPARD683
      That poll is very wrong. Iron Maiden-Matter of Life and Death, should have taken the crown with 1st place followed by DEF LEPPARD-YEAH! in 2nd place. its a shame they didnt even make the list.
      A-G-guitarist
      I didnt even realise the chilis ave been on the contract 4 so long! they mustve been like, teenagers wen they got the deal lol
      GuitarHero3786
      i dont understand why a band like My Chemical Romance beat a band like Trivium. Trivium is WAY more talented then they will EVER be and thats final. Also, I dont understand how the most EMO band ever, AFI, beat Lamb of God and Iron Maiden. LOG and Maiden have so much more talent then them its ridiculous. Honestly, how can people listen to a band like AFI or My Chemical Romance and like it? There guitarist have NO talent and just play the same 4 or 5 power chords in every song. Where LOG and Maiden guitarists actually have taken guitar lessons and have been featured in Guitar World Magazine giving lessons. I would love to see a solo-off between the "guitarists" from AFI and MCR versus the REAL guitarists from Maiden and Lamb of God...but honestly, who the frig votes for shitty bands like that??? It just pisses me off
      Ozy44
      MX4Life wrote: I can't believe that Rise Against's The Sufferer and the Witness did not even get honorable mention. I could listen to that album straight through, over and over.
      It did get an honorable mention, pal It should've placed higher, it's definitely my favourite. Also, Wolfmother should be 10 since "City of Evil" was a 2005 release.
      Lampard
      I think that the red hot chili peppers deserved the first place, but I dont agree in other things but it's democratic, so it's fine
      Mcassidy42
      The only reason Stadium Arcadium is up there is it sold about 6 million copys, and most of the 11-12 year olds have only heard of it. Thats the only reason I can think of, because anybody can wright a bunch of shitty slow songs like the Chili's did.
      Glen'sHeroicAct
      although i don't completely disagree with the standings, the arguing and commotion in these replies just screams one thing: if people on this site, people who constantly complain about the horrible taste in the world, and the stupidity of modern awards, actually want to see a top 20 list that is accurate, they had better take the one chance they have, and go vote. this site is probably the only place where people with taste will be able to break through and give artist the credit they deserve, so people had better vote and make sure that these poles aren't constantly overidden with tasteless fanatics who never let good artists win.
      thesmallprint3
      does it matter what genre bands fall under? they all make great music! (don't rip my head off for saying this...)
      clap_clap_clap
      I just want to know whare thursday's "A City By the Light Divided" is? anyone? Most intelligent album of the year by a long shot
      the5thhorseman
      mcrsxgerard wrote: If you like Iron Maiden you gotta like MCR. Iron Maiden is a HUGE roll model for MCR.
      As I said before, opinions are like *****s--everyone has one...but c'mon...even if MCR claims that Iron Maiden is their roll model, that doesn't automatically mean Iron Maiden fans should like MCR. Their music is nothing alike. Hell, MCR couldn't touch Maiden. It's blasphemy to compare the two.
      StueyALBB
      the top 3 consisted of the 3 worst albums of the year Maiden should have taken number 1
      martinroldan
      I understand that those are good albums, but I don't think that Stone Sour's Come whatever may could not get at least 100 votes, it is amazing, my favorite 2006 release.
      Pan-Tallica
      Guys... These are the best albums as voted by other UGers . Stop arguing about how nobody likes MCR and how they don't deserve to be on the list, when they clearly do... a lot of people must have voted for them. I don't want to be handing out warnings this time of year, but some of the posts in here are quite deserving. Checked.
      afortuneinlies
      I'm a metal head through and through. Maiden and dragonforce are badass. I thoroughly enjoy The Muse as well. But I have to give credit where credit is due. Gerard Way has one hell of a way with vocal melodies. everything that comes out of that guy's mouth is a hook, it's ridiculous, and MCR has kind of grown on me simply because of the insanely catchy melodies that he constantly sings. Screw Ax7 though...Singer sounds like a bag of asses, the guitar tone is similar to a nintendo (dragonforce's music sounds like nintendo music sometimes...but the tone doesn't, so it's fine...nintendo composers are generally badass) and they just overall seem like a novelty to me. Other than that...I can't stand AFI.
      chilis-fan
      I gotta say, 2006 wasn't the best year for albums, I love Maiden, Chili Peppers and Trivium, but none of their albums were outstanding, good, but not awesome. As for My Chemical Romance, I'm not even gonna get into how this gay emo band fluked the top 10. Pretty sad comment about steve being a guitarist, i mean wtf!?
      redhcpfannatic
      i lover the red hot chili peppers and all their old albums. i know pretty much all songs on guitar except for a few off their new album. i didnt like it as much as "Mothers milk" or "One hot minute", but they still made some great songs such as "Snow (hey oh), " Tell me baby" and well, "Dani california" i have listened to way to much, and have overplayed it. but all around the cd is great. go chili peppers!!!!!
      MetalliCarnage
      Iron Maiden at #5... What the **** have the *****s that voted for all these other bands been smokin. Whatever it was, it must have been some stale shit. And whats Slayer doing at #13? That is total B.S. This whole list is an insult to Music (Im am glad to see Dragonforce and Trivium mentioned though, Theyre tryin to bring back some of the old sounds of Metallica and Maiden and I respect that)
      cnc4c34
      Surprised that Audioslave Revelations didn't make the top 10. I can't argue, the list did have many good ones.
      the5thhorseman
      euan_soad wrote: Bass guitarist. God's sake some people complain about anything.
      They could have said bassist...or even bass guitarist. Maiden already has three guitarists. I think it's lazy just to put "guitarist".
      Briteless
      Concept albums are so bloody old now, every band is coming out with some sort of rock opera.
      euan_soad
      chylde_of_fire wrote: '...guitarist Steve Harris' Eh?
      Bass guitarist. God's sake some people complain about anything.
      mcrsxgerard
      damn it. I was hoping MCR came in no.1. Oh well, no.2 is good too. They are so emo. I dont understand why you guys dont like MCR. I wish RHCP wasnt on ther at all. I agree with sub-lime. They are the bast EVER. My Chemical Romance's guitarists are sooooo awsome. Ray Toro plays cleanly and does alot of solos and Frankie Iero has the distortion cranked all the way up. If you hate then then I'll just have to call up the lead singer, Gerard Way and have him suck your blood. It really makes me depressed and angry with all this bull shit being said about MCR. They are not gay and they are the best. That is FINAL. If you like Iron Maiden you gotta like MCR. Iron Maiden is a HUGE roll model for MCR.
      JESUSbaby
      At least RHCP were number 1, but what was with MCR at number 2!? and Pearl Jam, Audioslave, and Wolfmother in Honorable Mention? And crazynickman, i agree about the Who. WTF?
      crazynickman
      ugh...well I kinda agree with Stadium Arcadium being ON the list but I have to admit I never listened to any of the other nine CDs (with the exception of the new Iron Maiden), just because they're not my style. My top choice would be Endless Wire by the Who, only because I'm a rabid Who fan.
      Death2pop666
      For LiberateUrMind, some sweet Mastodon songs are Iron Tusk and Colony of Birchmen, In Flames who Ive seen twice and are awesome live< i would recommend checking out Clayman, ordinary story, and my favorite Reflect the Storm. These guys rule all!
      iujhu
      Were's Belle & Sebastians - The Life Pursuit , best album ever. everyone loves belle & sebastian, right ?
      the5thhorseman
      Not that anyone gives a shit, because opinions are like *****s--everyone has one. Anyway my top ten would have been: 1) Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death 2) Bob Dylan - Modern Times 3) The Who - Endless Wire 4) Slayer - Christ Illusion 5) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium 6) Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam 7) Tool - 10,000 Days 8) Motorhead - Kiss of Death 9) Wolfmother - Wolfmother 10)Trivium - The Crusade Whatever...it's hard to take UG's list seriously anyway when they have an album on it that came out in 2005 and they think Steve Harris is a guitarist.
      LiberateUrMind
      supersolus666 wrote: Here's how i think the list should go: In Flames - Come Clarity Lamb Of God - Sacrament Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death Mastodon - Blood Mountain slayer - Christ Illusion Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam Trivium - The Crusade Incubus - Light Grenades i think the trivium cd could have been much better if the singer kept his screaming voice like in ascendancy
      Could you or anyone else recommend some introductory songs for Mastodon and In Flames?
      misirlou
      we had new releases from bob dylan, tom waits, and (sort of) the beatles.....but they don't even make the honorable mentions. bowling for soup does. ....i'm an uncomfortable mixture of astonishment and disgust.