The Best Albums Of 2005

Following our annual tradition, we submit for your consideration based on UG users' votes chart of the most essential albums of 2005.

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It's time to proceed with another traditional UG article -- the best records of the year. So, what was going on there? Well, it was busy! Although we've seen an increase in non-rock releases and we have had just a couple (good) CDs from metal/rock monsters, this was the year of rising bands and newcomers.

The music industry overall was greedy as usually -- compact-disc sales were down more than 10 percent from last year, as music consumers increasingly warmed to downloading music legally in 2005. Sony-BMG enraged millions of consumers paying full price for its CDs by encoding copy-protection software into its discs that left computers playing them vulnerable to Web-based viruses. RIAA continued filing lawsuits against thousands of P2P file sharers worldwide for trading music. And as an xmas present we've got a direct threat from another association (this time of Music Publishers) -- MPA -- which warned the world of starting the war against lyrics and tab sites in early 2006.

The good news?

Recording artists still managed to turn out great music in spite of all the industry drama. Stock up with beer put, relax, and read on! And remember, this list (as well as all other lists from Ultimate-Guitar.Com) is based on your votes and ratings -- our job is to sum up the obvious and make it look good.

1. Shinedown - Us And Them (108 votes)

Jacksonville-based melodic hard rockers Shinedown and their sophomore full-lenght album "Us And Them." are open the list! Having released this CD, the band made a step towards more southern sounding in comparison with their debut "Leave A Whisper." Most likely this change is due to the fact that the guys played about 400 shows during the period of 2003 and 2004 side by side with such bands as 3 Doors Down and Alter Bridge. That change wasn't accepted by the fans unambiguously -- some of them absorbed "Us And Them" as it is, the others was disappointed, stating that the band has lost the style and now sounds like a lot of other rock-bands out there. And it's impossible not to admit that there is a truth in the words, but hardly it could be a Shinedown's flop -- the guys are just searching for that unique style which could help them to competently occupy a fitting place on a hard-rock scene. -- read more

2. Bullet For My Valentine - The Poison (156 votes)

Bullet For My Valentine have just released their debut full-lenght "The Poison" and already gained quite a large fan audience. This Welsh metalcore act is one of the most intense and talented bands which recently came out on the stage. With the first notes "The Poison" fogs you with pure metalcore miasma which features perfectly composed guitar riffs, fast-paced drum parts and complex polytypic basslines. With all of these features, Bullet For My Valentine provides a real metalcore feeling which you won't find in any other bands' music of the same genre. Without hesitation, "The Poison" can be called one of the best (if not the best) CDs of 2005. -- read more

3. Thrice - Vheissu (181 votes)

California's quartet Thrice and their fifth studio release "Vheissu" occupies #3 spot. This album marks a new branch in the band's music evolution. This is their most progressive, experimental, inventive and creative as well as their softest piece of work to date. Mainly its originality is a result of utilizing a varied range of different instruments and effects -- from pianos to glockenspiels to even music boxes. For those about to ask "And what about that heavy crunching riffs and fast-paced beats?" Don't worry, they are still there but this time in smaller doses -- this is the same Thrice we all know and love, "Vheissu" just shows the other, more melodic and composed side of these emo-core guys. Perfect job! -- read more

4. Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists (200 votes)

The next one is Disturbed with their new brainchild "Ten Thousand Fists." Before the album was released, vocalist David Draiman had promised that the new record would be different from the past -- the most evident change is a replacement of former bassist Fuzz with John Moyer (formerly Union Underground). As for the rest, Disturbed stays faithful to the music they played before. This is the same powerful rhythm section encrusted with overloud heavy guitar riffs and growling vocals. Another interesting change (or more likely 'addition') is a fact that Dan Donegan (guitar) has acquired an abilities to play guitar solos. Brsides, they don't surfeit their music with a lot of superfluous sounds, making their songs much more melodic and catchy. Well done, guys! -- read more

5. Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better (202 votes)

In contrast to all those bands that always search for fresh sounding from album to album, Glasgow indie/alt rockers Franz Ferdinand decided to make their sophomore release "You Could Have It So Much Better" exactly the same as their successful self-titled debut. Songs on this album are not as consistently good as on the first one -- the overall impression after the listening to "You Could Have..." doesn't leave the same tinge as "Franz Ferdinand" has done it in the past year. The band should not rush to the maelstrom of their success after self-titled release, but thoroughly prepare and try to please the listener with something more interesting instead of duplicating themselves. Verily, 'we could have it so much better' but not with Franz. -- read more

I predict the questions why this album is on the list? Because we recieved enough votes for this albums from you, UG fellows, to put it there in #5 spot.

6. Children Of Bodom - Are You Dead Yet? (213 votes)

The next spot in our list is reserved by Finnish metalheads Children Of Bodom and their fifth studio album "Are You Dead Yet?" This disc could hardly be named "groundbreaking," but it obviously shows some new aspects in their music. Be sure, the main concept of "Are You Dead Yet?" is built on the brutal, but still melodic and catchy riffs as well as fast and heavy guitar and keybord solos. But now the group also has some industrial elements and an unmistakable progressive metal edge, which can be recognized in the ingenious interaction between Alexi (guitar/vocals) and Janne (keyboardist) with ease. As to Alexi's singing skills, there are no significant changes, except that the vocal parts become more stronger and powerful. All in all, "Are You Dead Yet?" is a solid and impressive album, but it doesn't put Children Of Bodom to the next level of their musician's abilities -- they surely can do better. -- read more

7. Avenged Sevenfold - City Of Evil (245 votes)

The magic number 7 of our list is California metal act Avenged Sevenfold with their summer release "City Of Evil." This is the band's forth full-lenght album and the major label debut. The band has made a huge step forward with this album. They are not screamo/post-hardcore/emo-metal band anymore -- they deliver high quality, heavy metal inspired music now. Besides the obvious heavy metal basis, "City Of Evil" also features flamenco-style solos, western acoustic guitar breakdowns provided by guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance, and choral interludes. Changes in M. Shadows' vocal parts are also evident. After a throat surgery he can't yell as he used to on the previous records, but it's turned out for the better -- the more objective, more deliberate lyrics with topics' range from war to confused feelings to even Dimebag murder delivered by M. Shadows' clear, sometimes soaring vocals. -- read more

8. Compilations

Well, the next position is our 'compilation of compilations'. This year was sufficiently generous for all kinds of record collection, and our list features four of them. Here they are:

The first compilation is "Sliver: Best Of The Box" (113 votes) -- just another present to all Nirvana fans. Slighly less than a year since "With The Lights Out" box-set has been released, Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain (Kurt and Courtney son) alongside with some very enthusiastic producers denided to come up with another 'Unheard Nirvana Compilation'. What's the rubbish?! Look at the title: "Best Of The Box," right? What should we expect? Some superhits from the 2004's box-set. Anything else? Basically no, those 3 tracks titled as 'previously unheard tracks' are not new at all -- "Sappy," "boombox Come As You Are" and "rare Spank Thru." -- read more

The second compilation is "9.0: Live" by Slipknot (323 votes). Nine crazy men live on the stage, that's all you need haha! The compilation has been recorded in 2004-2005 during the band's touring for "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses". Those who have seen Slipknot live know how powerful and energetic their performances are. Definitely, the disc can't reproduce all the senses that you feel when you are on the gig though -- terrible sound production plus lack of originality equals to disenchantment. -- read more

The third one is "Greatest Hits" (235 votes) by our beloved Blink 182. Once again, just another way to earn some money on the dead but famous brand. Nothing special, not much new material, except for the two new songs "Not Now" and "Another Girl Another Planet," the former was previously available for UK listeners only and the latter is a cover song (originaly by The Only Ones). Same band, same sound, that's it. -- read more

And the last one in our mini-list is Limp Bizkit with their label-forced release "Greatest Hitz" (206 votes). Their situation is exactly the same as with Blink 182. This compilation features just one new song -- the medley of Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home" and The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony." You can read how, when and why this CD was out at this location). Overall, there is nothing that worth your time and money -- just another record for the fans of the band. -- read more

9. Darkness - One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back (287 votes)

Ok, let's get back to the 'normal' releases. British act The Darkness occupies the ninth spot in our chart with their second album "One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back." You could perceive them as a serious professional rock band, but with the deeper study of their work this belief could be destroying to your brains. Who knows how long their 'Sex, Drugs & Partying' concept will work, but it works OK today, and it's quite enough for the guys. Don't get it wrong though, The Darkness didn't rely on their breakthrough debut "Permission To Land" -- along with their usual pitch singing and classic rock songs structure, the band introduced some new and fresh aspects to the music this time, such as sitar solos, synth, pan pipes and bells sounds and now there is not much Justin's falsetto singing as it used to be. -- read more

10. Korn - See You On The Other Side (617 votes)

The tenth and the last in our list are good ol' Korn and their latest disc "See You On The Other Side." Are these guys as good as they used to be? This album became an apple of discord for the long-time band's fans. The first camp really likes this album, the other doesn't. "See You On The Other Side" is very contradictory piece of work -- korn made it in a very industrial key, instead of their common alt/rap-metal path. Their sound is not as heavy as on the past albums, something like thrash/r'n' mixture, which turned out to be a result of their experiments with the sound: "We wanted to experiment with a lot of different things because what we were doing started to feel kind of stale," says guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer (read the full interview). It's not as bad as it seems, the fact proves that the band evolve while guys are searching for another feature which will fit in their unique music concept. -- read more

The Winners - System Of A Down - Mezmerize/Hypnotize (940 votes)

And now it's time to announce the leader of our Top CDs of 2005 list... System Of A Down and their double "Mezmerize/Hypnotize" pack! These Armenian metal gurus once again occupy the highest rank in the chart. Nowadays there are not many bands that can create two absolutely original masterpieces and release them half a year apart. But SOAD did it. Both "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" combine all the aspects that characterize a unique System's style. The music's basis is still the same outstanding rhythm-section's platform, aggressive but melodic guitar riffs with soft, sometimes sonic bridges, and all of this is flavoured with double vocal parts. -- read more

The addition of Daron Malakian to the vocal part of the band aroused a storm from critics camp. His lead vocal parts were named as weaked and non-impressive by fans, and this has a grain of truth. His voice doesn't suit the band's sound as Serj Tankian's vocal abilities do. Overall, these guys have made a marvellous job this year and we all looking forward to their further progress. In the case you want to know little more regarding the topic 'how Sysytem Of A Down spent this year' you should read our another xmas article.

Yes, there are a lot ot albums, released this year, that were not mentioned in the chart -- Foos' "In Your Honor," White Stripes' "Get Behind Me Satan," Coheed and Cambria's "Good Apollo..." Trivium's "Ascendancy" and many many more. But don't blame us too much, this list was drawn up guiding by your and only your, our dear UG fellows, opinions.

We hope the next year will bring us at least the same good results as we had in 2005 -- there are 2 records we look forward to hear, new Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers -- and we hope to hear more new original stuff, instead of general tendency to get back to the rock roots. We wish you Merry xMas, a Happy New Year, and rise of your guitar skills.

Rock On! See you in 2006, UG Team.

506 comments sorted by best / new / date

    q12we34r
    Blink 182 + Limp Bizkit = UG Team are clueless retards Jesus H Christ dudes
    stumaster18
    americanmovie23 wrote: These are the top ten albums of 2005 1) Kanye West - Late Registration 2) Queens Of The Stone Age - Lullabies To Paralyze 3) The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan 4) System of A Down - Hypnotize 5) Gorillaz - Demon Days 6) Coheed And Cambria - Good Apollo Im Burning Star IV Volume 1, From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness 7) Foo Fighters - In Your Honor 8) Queens Of The Stone Age - Over The Years And Through The Woods 9) Garbage - Bleed Like Me 10)System Of A Down - Mezmerize
    who are you :S you should just go die. what the hell made you think of this list? pure shit. everysingle one sucks except for SOAD's. but whatever. youre gay.
    bmclellan
    Children of Bodom are awesome. Darkness are cool too, and Franz Ferdinand is fun to dance to. Sucks that the Mars Volta isn't on there though, while bands like Korn, Disturbed, and Shinedown are. Gives you a clear view of the forum-user demographic.
    BassNewbie
    [quote]somebody_123 wrote: SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR DAMN OPINIONS!!! All you losers going on about your opinions as if they're fact, it's stupid. I don't agree with that list, but I'm not going to bash any of the talented bands on there. Do you know how hard it is to make it in the record industry? ANY band who makes it should be respected at least. Thank you for that, people forget that anything they say are just opinions and nothing more
    Dlawso
    This is ****ed up. But get over it, mother-fathers, its not the end of the world.
    sdrawkcassab
    holy crap slipknot and limp biscut... it's keeps getting worse... good to see alot of hate for this list at least after I scrolled down further... it's ****ing disgusting.
    sdrawkcassab
    what a pos list... shinedown, thrice, disturbed... wtf... worst music ever. obviously I should not have registered if this list is any indication about the mentality of this community.
    Brand New Hero
    Thrice have easily the best release this year and you all know it. you people who hate it have you even listened past the first three seconds? i didnt think so, A7X comes a close second with Sigur Ros. followed by The Mars Volta. Between the Buried and Me and Story of The Year deserve to be up there as well!
    OMGIZZLEZ
    thrics sucks, limp bizkit sucks, franz ferdinad sucks, the darkness sucks. go system of a down
    giannini1222
    does 'us and them' by shinedown get its title from a pink floyd song or is it just a coincidence?
    123 Extol
    123 Extol wrote: Here is probably the best list: (in no order) Opeth-The Ghost Reveries System of a Down-Mezmerize/Hypnotize Dream Theater-Octavarium Darke st Hour-Undoing Ruin The Black Dahlia Murder-Miasma The Agony Scene-The Darkest Red Trivium-Ascendancy Becoming the Archetype-Terminate Damnation Roadrunner United-The Allstar Sessions and finally Extol-The Blueprint Dives The list sucks, and so do most of yours.
    Sorry to quote myself, but I must point out that the difference between my list and most other lists made, the bands on my list actually have talent .
    americanmovie23
    o and system of a down would be REALLY REALLY GOOD.....if daron would just shut the **** up. o and emo is gay kill emo kids before they kill themselves
    Horace
    [pertaining to Coheed & Cambria]... probably not on the list because the lead singer sounds like he has his balls tightened and twisted. from the looks of that guy you'd think he'd have some reggae/metal voice. a bunch of girlie "men"
    I FUCKING HATE COHEED!!! I honestly can not see how ANYONE can like that guys voice!!! I guess its just more so weird... i mean hes so big with such a high pitched voice! Its wrong... like green ketchup... Oh yeah... and slipknot is definately NOT origional...
    Wow, you kids are pathetic. You're basing your hatred for the band on the lead singer's looks? Go listen to your pop music, at least you can't complain about looks in that scene. You two are the ONLY one's on this list that think Coheed sucks, everyone else who mentioned them said they rock.
    americanmovie23
    These are the top ten albums of 2005 1) Kanye West - Late Registration 2) Queens Of The Stone Age - Lullabies To Paralyze 3) The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan 4) System of A Down - Hypnotize 5) Gorillaz - Demon Days 6) Coheed And Cambria - Good Apollo Im Burning Star IV Volume 1, From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness 7) Foo Fighters - In Your Honor 8) Queens Of The Stone Age - Over The Years And Through The Woods 9) Garbage - Bleed Like Me 10)System Of A Down - Mezmerize
    cilliano
    [b]dougiecrystals[ /b] wrote: SERJ=good DARON=good thus DARON + SERJ = AWESOME BEYOND BELIEF Try: Serj = Awesomely unique and great to listen to Daron = Plain and flat out digustingly annoying Thus Serj + Daron = Mediocre at best Mediocre for System of a Down = Sucks Sucks = Hypnotize Q.E.D. Anywus, meh, it's all opinions. But kinda odd when the list doesn't even match most people's opinions.
    stop turning music into maths!!!!!
    bobingoo
    everyones tired of green day soad deserved to win, how many bands can you say write five albums that sound so different and yet dont stray from the sound of the band
    stumaster18
    and whoaaaaa. Green day's list isn't there even though it sold almost 5 million copies and brought in soooo many awards from multiple sources? odd...
    stumaster18
    Styx wrote: That list sucks,Thrice,korn,slipkno t,franz ferdinand,blink 182,limp bizkit what the hell is that? you should have name this list THE CRAPIES ALBUMS OF 2005... I wonder who were the idiots that voted for that?
    who should have won in your eyes? Styx? are you some gay oldies listener? you shouldn't be saying anything at all with that name.
    stumaster18
    PjX71 wrote: Where's Coheed and Cambria at?? Those guys have really progressed as musicians since Second Stage Turbine Blade and it really shows on Good Apollo.
    probably not on the list because the lead singer sounds like he has his balls tightened and twisted. from the looks of that guy you'd think he'd have some reggae/metal voice. a bunch of girlie "men"
    stumaster18
    Viscosity wrote: bad list, city of evil should be farther up, and mezmerize/hypnotize should be even farther up
    they won. did you even read the article?
    troutBoy
    Wow, shit list except SOAD and the Darkness. Who are Shinedown? Franz Ferdinand fair play but Korn? Oh please get a life. And the guy who said Slipknot are original, you're a twat because they sound like just about every other 'screaming retard band' (to quote someone above with sense. Heres my list in no order: - One way Ticket - the Darkness - Real Illusions - Vai - Hypnotize - SOAD - (Mezmerize if it was out this year, cant remember)
    Liam Grainger
    i only agree with system of a down winning.. where is the offspring's greatest hits in ocmppilation? or the Foo fighter? oh well we voted lol so stop bashign UG, blame eachother. also stopbashing SOADs new album- they are goign the way they want too, and i actually like the new album jsut as much as toxicity, and even more than steal this album and System Of A Down.- and apparently 940 other people, ;plus htose who voted them the best band of 2005 liked it too!!!
    Styx
    That list sucks,Thrice,korn,slipkno t,franz ferdinand,blink 182,limp bizkit what the hell is that? you should have name this list THE CRAPIES ALBUMS OF 2005... I wonder who were the idiots that voted for that?
    bmclellan
    Oh and I've been reading a lot of people's comments who think that Vai's new album should be there. Did you actually listen to it or are you just dropping his name to look sophisticated? As great as Steve Vai is, I don't think Real Illusions: Reflections would be on my top-10-of-the-year list. It's probably his worst album to date -- it lacks production quality, it doesn't have the creativity his earlier albums did, and there's too much god damn singing on it. The 7th Song is one of my all-time favorite albums, but Real Illusions was a let down.
    EmoBastard
    Where is Frances the Mute ?? The Mars Volta is a 100 times better than Franz Ferdinand and Thrice, come on.
    Mr. Legato
    City of Evil basically sucked. Trivium wasnt even on the list!(wtf?) Coheed IS awesome. And Distrubed and Bodom? Come on guys. . .
    xX Maverick Xx
    ArsonistInBlack wrote: I think it's agreed by all of us; this list blows. Sooo much was overlooked when making this list (CKY, Foo Fighters, NIN, the list goes on). And Judas Priest, why the hell is ****ing Disturbed and Shinedown even on this list?? Why were they even considered? And how the **** does this work: Blink 182 made the list, and I thought UG hated Blink. But they didn't have GNR's greatest hits album on the compilations list... shitty, shitty, worthless.
    maybe thats cuz GnR Greatest Hits came out in 2004 crackass
    123 Extol
    Can't we all just agree that its an outrage that Dream Theater isn't mentioned on the list? Didn't you people get the memo? They are the best band on the planet.
    cloud4004
    How about some albums that weren't played on the radio or MTV, how about some real albums? **** this list, **** this site.
    ArsonistInBlack
    I think it's agreed by all of us; this list blows. Sooo much was overlooked when making this list (CKY, Foo Fighters, NIN, the list goes on). And Judas Priest, why the hell is ****ing Disturbed and Shinedown even on this list?? Why were they even considered? And how the **** does this work: Blink 182 made the list, and I thought UG hated Blink. But they didn't have GNR's greatest hits album on the compilations list... shitty, shitty, worthless.
    synystergates05
    ALright, lets just clear some things up here, i know half those people shouldnt be up there, but i have to say Avenged Sevenfolds new cd has to be one of the best ive heard, and for oyu guys info, M.Shadows damaged his voice, which is why he doesnt scream anymore, and you haev to admit for someone with a damaged voice he sounds pretty damn good. and for you people who keep saying EMO i bet half of you dont even know what the word means, dont use it unless you know what it means, look it up jackasses. and synyster gates, the guitarist for avenged sevenfold, is like the craziest guitarist ever, theres talk of him being guitarist of the year. and S.O.A.D winning isnt to bad, i odnt htink they should have got toally first, there were some other breat bands, besides the fact that S.O.A.D has some skitzo songs, like has anyone heard vicinity of obcenity? honestly haha thats liek the funniest shit ive ever heard. allow me to quote a verse, "do we all learn defeat, from the hores with bad feet, treat the feet, beat the meet, to the mily sweet seat" ....honestly haha its actually a good song but lyrics suck ass.
    BloodLikePoison
    eastern_riffs wrote: WHAT I NEVER UNDERSTAND IS THAT NO LIST OF BEST BANDS EVER SEEM TO MAKE SENSE TO MOST PEOPLE HERE.AND THIS ONE WAS VOTED BY UG MEMBERS.IT WASN'T MADE BY THE UG TEAM.MOST OF YOU WHO POST HERE PROBABLY DID VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE BAND,BUT IT DIDN'T COME ON THE LIST BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE THOUGHT LIKE YOU DID.UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION BEFORE YOU FLAME. REMEMBER,TELLING PEOPLE THAT 'HEY,MY BAND WASNT ON THE LIST' IS LIKE TELLING THEM TO CHANGE THEIR MUSICAL TASTES RIGHT NOW.NO POWER IN THE WORLD CAN TELL ANYONE TO DO THAT. WHILE MOST OF MY FAVORITE BANDS ARE NOT ON THE LIST,I'M NOT ANGRY AND I'M NOT FLAMING.THOSE WERE MY FAVORITE BANDS,AND NOT ANYONE ELSES,AND MAYBE NO ONE VOTED FOR THEM. LIST OR NO LIST,I'LL STILL BE LISTENING TO THEM,AND THEY'D STILL BE MY FAVORITE BANDS.
    I Agree, its not like this list is official. Not everyone is gonna agree, everyone has different taste in music, and even if i don't like some of the bands on that list i'm not gonna start a huge argument or anything. every band deserves respect for all the hard work they do, its not so easy!!! so u guys should stop bashing all these bands.
    timi_hendrix
    Trip272 wrote: Wow **** this website. Why would you put up franz as #5 then completely bash them? Fuck you ****ing metal morons. You are no different than anyone else treating music like its some kind of trade skill. It's an artform I dont care how many ****ing scales you can play and how fast. Your music is BLAND and BORING. Do something different for a change. Fuck this website.
    It was voted for by the users, not the team. I think introducing opinions is fat better than bland opinionless writing. If you don't like UG, leave.