.

We decided to do something a little different this year for our 'Best of' roundup. Instead of a master list compiled of submissions from our contributors and writers, we wanted to give our writers a chance to pick their own Top 5 list of the best of the year in music. Over the next three weeks we will be unveiling our writers' picks for the best of 2004.

Every day we will be posting a new Top 5 list from one of our writers, selected at random. At the conclusion we will reveal the master list. We also want to let you take part and will be accepting nominations for a readers' choice list.

Dr Fever's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Clutch - Blast Tyrant: This slot has been cemented since March when this album was released. After one listen I knew that there was no way in hell anything else this year could touch it. I was right. Just track after track of good ol fashioned rock and roll. No gimmicks. No b.s. Just straight ahead goodness. (samples / buy cd | review)

2. Isis - Panopticon: Loud. Plain and simple. ISIS is loud. Put, they're so much more than that. I'm not entirely sure words can accurately describe the brilliance of ISIS. But, with ‘Panopticon' ISIS just continues to do what so many other bands wish they could do: Stay relevant while getting better with each album. (samples / buy cd)

3. Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine: 2004 marked the biggest year in the current "mainstreaming" of the underground metal/hardcore scene so far and this has opened the floodgates for a steady stream of 3rd rate bands coming out of the woodworks with their "vicious breakdowns" and "sick guitars!" to keep the mindless kids fighting those invisible ninjas. DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, while widely considered one of the best bands to emerge from the underground metal/hardcore scene, pick up right where the left off with their last full length (‘Calculating Infinity'): Setting the bar high than anyone else could possibly hope to reach while laying doing some of the craziest and most creative music the world has ever known. (samples / buy cd | review)

4. Hot Water Music - The New What Next: It bothers me that a lot of people want to pigeonhole HOT WATER MUSIC in with the hordes of wannabe ‘punk bands' simple because of their label association (Epitaph Records.) But, HOT WATER MUSIC (outside of their last two sub-par albums) has always been a band that stands to the left of traditional punk (just like their namesake book stands just to the left of traditional writing.) With "The New What Next", HOT WATER MUSIC delivers, in my opinion, their strongest album since their classic "FOREVER AND COUNTING" album. (samples / buy cd)

5. Converge - You Fail Me: This album gives us a kinder, more gentle CONVERGE with songs of happiness and hope....ah hell, who am I kidding. This album picks up right where their last album (‘Jane Doe') left off...full of piss and anger. What makes this album standout from previous CONVERGE releases is the overall darker feel of the album. Oh, you've still got the hectic, almost out of control music you've come to expect from CONVERGE..but, there's something more "dark" there that I just can't put my finger on. Just a solid, solid album. (samples / buy cd)

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
The Beastie Boys- To The 5 Boroughs
Alabama Thunderpussy - Fulton Hill
Kill Whitney Dead - Never Good Enough For You
With Honor - Heart Means Everything
The Hidden Hand - Mother. Teacher. Destroyer.
Eminem – Encore

Check back tomorrow when another member of the antiMusic staff checks in with their top 5 list.

Wait! Be sure to submit your nominations for the Readers' Choice list.

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