Top 10 Albums of 2002
As cliche as it may sound, it seems unbelievable that these 2002 landmark albums were released a decade ago. In a time when MTV was still playing music videos on heavy rotation, mainstream rock as well as underground metal had a very memorable year in 2002. Bands such as Queens of the Stone Age and Chevelle rocketed to worldwide notoriety, while various types of 'core' and progressive metal crowned some new heroes. Although 10 years have passed since the release of these albums, each one of them shares a timeless quality that to this day, allows these records to be constantly re-spun. Check out our list of the Top 10 Albums of 2002:
When it comes to rock 'supergroups,' few have been as successful as Audioslave were in the 2000s. Consisting of Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine along with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, Audioslave's self-titled album is home to rock anthems like 'Cochise,' 'Show Me How to Live' and 'Like a Stone.' The band would release two more albums before breaking up in 2007.
As the New Wave of American Metal swept through the 2000s, different types of 'core' began to gain a tremendous amount of attention. With the release of Hatebreed's 'Perseverance,' they became one of the first truly heavy bands of the era to succeed on a major label [Universal]. As an essential piece of the New England metal scene, bands such as Killswitch Engage constantly praise Hatebreed for paving the way for modern metal acts and allowing others to succeed on major labels. Tracks such as 'Proven,' 'Call for Blood' and 'I Will Be Heard' allow for a unique catharsis, letting the listener "get the red out."
In a quest to find the perfect balance between melody and aggression, Shadows Fall created 'The Art of Balance.' With tracks about yoga and meditation mixed in with negative points in life and thrashing aggression, the experiment worked, and 'The Art of Balance' received gleaming praise from critics and fans. Vocalist Brian Fair explains, "It's the idea of oneness and unity between all people and all things. It's the idea that all systems begin from the same spark and it's something we get further away from. We're all in this together."
Chevelle released their breakthrough album 'Wonder What's Next' in 2002, and the disc went on to achieve platinum certification. The success of the album is largely due to Chevelle's signature track, 'The Red.' 'Wonder Whats Next' had a long and impressive ride after the its release, as the singles 'Send the Pain Below' and 'Closure' kept Chevelle going through a monumental period in the band's history.
Widely considered as pioneers of the 2000s metalcore explosion, Killswitch Engage released 'Alive or Just Breathing' to mass acclaim. It was the last album featuring original vocalist Jesse Leach, who returned to Killswitch in 2012 after a decade-long tenure elsewhere. The highly addictive album consists of fan favorites 'My Last Serenade' and 'Fixation on the Darkness,' among others.
Crushing, gorgeous, stunning, sludgy, mesmerizing … 'Oceanic.' New England post-metal band Isis delivered a true gem with the release of 'Oceanic.' Their sophomore effort is a conceptual masterpiece, which revolves around the themes of water, romance, incest and suicide. 'Oceanic' feels like it hasn't aged a bit in it's 10-year existence, with old and new fans continuing to immerse themselves in Isis' isolating depths, even if there is no land in sight.
With 'Californication' achieving phenomenal success, Red Hot Chili Peppers needed another incredible album to keep the momentum going. With the song 'Can't Stop' being a perfect manifesto to define RHCP, their 'By the Way' album carried the band into another monumentally high point in their existence. With the album's release, songs like 'By the Way' and 'The Zephyr Song' flooded the airwaves into the ears of joyful listeners.
Opeth truly boast one of the most incredible discographies in metal music. With ironclad critical praise following their entire career, 'Deliverance' is one of 10 full-length milestones in the lifespan of Opeth. Although 'Deliverance' only consists of six tracks, the album clocks in at over an hour, with mastermind and frontman Mikael Akerfeldt brewing one of his best progressive death metal concoctions to date.
Mastodon's debut album, 'Remission' proved to be the launching pad for an incredibly important and critically acclaimed band. Loosely based on the theme of fire, 'Remission' is an album with the power of an atomic bomb. The disc is home to a myriad of modern classics such as 'Crusher Destroyer,' 'Mother Puncher,' 'Where Strides the Behemoth' and 'March of the Fire Ants.' Simply put, 'Remission' is an album that redefines your perception of what humans can create.
Queens of the Stone Age are a difficult band to nail down. Despite not fitting into any particular musical genre, 'Songs for the Deaf' exploded into the mainstream with an unexpected burst of originality and balls-out rock. The disc is thickly layered with addictive singles like 'No One Knows' and 'Go With the Flow,' combined with challenging and unrelenting barrages of guitar-driven tracks such as 'A Song for the Deaf.' For its overall originality, 'Songs for the Deaf' tops our list of the best 2002 albums.