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 last three weeks of 2004 we unveiled our writers' picks for the best of 2004.

Each day we posted a new Top 5 list from one of our writers, selected at random. Now at the conclusion we are please to present the master list comprised of the top picks from all of our writer submissions. Plus we also want to let the readers take part and asked for submissions for a readers' choice list. The results are below!

antiMUSIC Top 10 of 2004.
(3 – 10 tied with two nominations each. Listed alphabetically)

1. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine. (7 nominations)
Just when you thought you had heard it all before. An exceptional album that probably won't get the exposure it deserves. I can only imagine what this band could do to the music scene if they had a real label behind them. - antiGUY

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. - Dr Fever

Leaden guitar crunch and schizophrenic time changes, combined with an obsessive desire to cross-breed diverse genres puts "Miss Machine" at the top of the heavy heap. While some bands stick to cut and paste formulae, Dillinger Escape Plan nourishes heavy music with fresh innovation. - DeadSun

DEP shatter faces as well as all generic boundaries with their neo-jazz infused mix of hardcore punk, thrash, death metal and grind! Meshuggah best watch their backs. - Hobo

I didn't have time to read the Hobo review of this before I bought it, I was too busy staking out the Mom & Pop record store ready to jump the delivery guy when he brought this gem into the store. Now the terms of my community service have been fulfilled, I have no plans to violate the restraining order the guy has against me, I'm still listening to & loving this, their best ever album. Now go read the Hobo 5 star review. - Joannie Foney

Another band who took a chance which paid huge dividends. Mike Patton has clearly left part of himself in this band, but the new singer brings a whole new element to the table. Some of the old school fans were put off a bit by this CD, but it takes this band to a brand new level. - Josh Kruk

Those time changes, dear GOD. What kind of coffee are these guys drinking, and how can they pick up instruments while they're on it?!?! This is the kind of music that, upon realizing that you actually ENJOY it, you begin to think back and try to pinpoint when you actually became certifiable. Calculus-rock of the highest order from people who need to be taught the word "mercy" sometime. - Mathew Schnake

(samples / buy cd | review)

2. Mastodon – Leviathan (3)
An unbelievable sophomore effort. A metal menu that scores across the heavy boards, combining the likes of thrash, prog, death, and power. Strong-arming the listener with intense musicianship, and still exhibiting a raw, visceral feel--- this IS the metal album of 2004 to buy. - DeadSun

The indefinably brilliant Mastodon raise the bar another foot higher with their sophomore effort. The drummer should be given control
of a small western civilization for his awe-inspiring work. - Hobo

Having just been recently able to purchase any Mastodon albums, I can finally say that all those tracks I had before hand were worth it...though many decry this follow-up as a bastard attempt at greatness, I measure this CD totally alone, away from both Remissions and Life's Blood. This brilliant concept album tackles Moby Dick, hitting us with heavy metal, southern prog, and jazz drumming along the way. Fully righteous. - Mark Hensch
(samples / buy cd)

3. Bigelf – Hex(2)
How could you not love a band that takes the best elements of Sabbath and mixes them with Pink Floyd? A smash hit in Europe, the American labels were too brain dead to jump all over this band, which is too bad because "Hex" is easily one of the best rock albums of this decade. - Keavin Wiggins

An album that awoke within me a respect for classic rock that had previously been lacking. My dad also loves it, and as such, the two of us can finally talk music and air guitar together. - Mark Hensch
(samples / buy cd | review)

4. The Blood Brothers - Crimes(2)
Could The Blood Brothers do it? Top their amazing 2003 album "Burn Piano Island, Burn"? The answer is an absolute yet. "Crimes" is an amazing powerhouse of energy, punk and attitude. I really can't see how the band could top this album. If you haven't heard it yet, you must drop everything and check it out right now. A true punk rock masterpiece! - Keavin Wiggins

Easily one of the most important bands in the last decade, at least in terms of punk/hardcore/extreamo music. Thought this album isn't as good as last year's MASTERPIECE Burn Piano Island, Burn, the new album will (hopefully) change the (at times) horribly boring punk/hardcore worlds with the insane polyrhythm, time signature changes, effects, and surreal lyrics. - Mark Hensch
(samples / buy cd | review)

5. Clutch - Blast Tyrant. (2)
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. - Dr Fever

Simply the best heavy band out there, and easily their best album to date. Only Clutch could make a pseudo-concept album about an alien called Worm Drink actually work. - Travis Becker
(samples / buy cd | review)

6. Converge - You Fail Me(2)
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. - Dr Fever

Metallic-hardcore punk champions Converge return with the crushing You Fail Me – their best album since the days of Jane Doe. - Hobo
(samples / buy cd)

7. Fantomas - Delirium Cordia (2)
Have you ever wondered what sounds go through your head during serious invasive surgery? Well I haven't...but I can't imagine it's too far from this conceptual masterpiece. - Brad Podray

I'm supposed to write a couple of sentences about each of these, but some albums just literally can't be described via the English language, or any other form of communication. If that sounds like a cop-out, listen to it, and then YOU try to review it. I'd love to read it, because all I can come up with are two words: "unnerving" and "startling". - Mathew Schnake
(samples / buy cd)

8. Interpol - Antics(2)
Riding the Cure revival wave, maybe Interpol can outlast the rest - Zane Ewton
(samples / buy cd)

9. Lamb Of God - Ashes Of The Wake. (2)
Tight rhythms, kick ass musicians, and a charismatic singer make Lamb of God a serious force to be reckoned with in modern heavy metal. Within a genre defined by very distinct characteristics, they managed to find their voice as a band and clearly stand out amongst their peers. - Jeff Collins

Simply put, this is one of the most brutal CDs I have ever heard. The band refuses to let up, and many people were worried about their switch to a major label. Lamb Of God proved themselves to be the new kings of heavy metal with this album. - Josh Kruk
(samples / buy cd)

10. Slipknot - Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses(2)
Okay, so it wasn't as cool as their first two CDs, but it was still okay. If the next album doesn't kick some major ass, however… - Jeff Collins

Slipknot took a risk by changing things up a bit and it paid off big time. The album is every bit as heavy as it is deep. It shows that they grew as artists and as people, and I applaud them for rolling the dice. - Josh Kruk
(samples / buy cd | review)

Reader's Choice Top 10
(Three of the antiMUSIC Top 10 titles also received enough reader votes to appear in the Top 10 but were excluded to avoid redundancy. But for the record if they were included Dillinger Escape Plan would have been No. 2, Mastodon would have been No. 4 and Clutch would have been No. 9)

1. Killswitch Engage - The End of Heartache (samples / buy cd | review)

2. The Used - In Love and Death(samples / buy cd | review)

3. Beastie Boys- To the 5 Boroughs(samples / buy cd)

4. Muse - Absolution (samples / buy cd | review)

5. Snow Patrol - Final Straw(samples / buy cd)

6. William Shatner - Has Been (samples / buy cd | review)

7. Razorlight - Up All Night(samples / buy cd | review)

8. All That Remains - The Darkened Heart(samples / buy cd)

9. Skinny Puppy - The Greater Wrong of the Right (samples / buy cd)

10. Le Tigre - This Island(samples / buy cd | review)

Individual lists from our Writers

(click on the CD lists to read that writer's comments on each CD and for related links for release)

antiGUY's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Skindred – Babylon
2. Brian Wilson – Smile
3. Ike Reilly Assignation – Sparkle in the Finish
4. Megadeth – The System Has Failed
5. William Shatner – Has Been

Runners Up

Sparta – Porcelain
Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
Coheed And Cambria - In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3

Travis Becker's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Clutch - Blast Tyrant
2. Chris Robinson - This Magnificent Distance
3. Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South
4. Alabama Thunderpussy - Fulton Hill
5. (Tie)Electric Wizard - We Live
5. (Tie)Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts Now

Josh Kruk's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Slipknot- Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses
2. Killswitch Engage- The End Of Heartache
3. The Dillinger Escape Plan- Miss Machine
4. Lamb Of God- Ashes Of The Wake
5. Fear Factory- Archetype

Hobo's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Mastodon - Leviathan
2. Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
3. Aborted - Gormageddon
4. Converge - You Fail Me
5. Pig Destoryer - Terrifyer

Special mention
Napalm Death - Leaders Not Followers, Part 2
Meshuggah – I
Blood For Blood – Serenity

Adrian Alfonso's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Atreyu - The Curse
2. Velvet Revolver - Contraband
3. Muse - Absolution
4. Kanye West- College Dropout
5. Perfect Circle - Emotive

Joey Grace's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Le Tigre- This Island
2. Bjork- Medulla
3. Interpol- Antics
4. TV on the Radio- Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
5. Saul Williams- Saul Williams

Zane Ewton's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Pixies - Wave of Mutilation: The Best of the Pixies
2. Probot – Probot
3. The Cure - The Cure
4. Aerosmith - Honkin' on Bobo
5. Interpol – Antics

Marie Braden's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Prince - Musicology
2. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
3. Tesla - Into The Now
4. Bon Jovi - 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong
5. Bret Michaels - Right Now, Right Here/All I Ever Needed

Dr Fever's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Clutch - Blast Tyrant
2. Isis - Panopticon
3. Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
4. Hot Water Music - The New What Next
5. Converge - You Fail Me

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

Brad Podray's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Skinny Puppy - The Greater Wrong of the Right
2. Psychaesthetic - Infinity's End
3. Fantomas - Delirium Cordia
4. Moments in Grace - Moonlight Survived
5. Burgess Shale - It's Never Enough, Is It?

antiMUSIC Editor Keavin Wiggins's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Angie Aparo - For Stars and Moon
2. Nirvana - With the Lights Out
3. Anthrax - The Greater of Two Evils
4. The Blood Brothers – Crimes
5. Gary Jules - Trading Snakeoil For Wolftickets

Keavin's Top 5 list of Indie releases

1. Twelvehourmary – Blowing Over
2. Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos - Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos
3. Bigelf – Hex
4. Cyber-Jack – The Great Red Spot
5. mellowdrone - go get em tiger

Jeff Collins's Top 3 of 2004.

1. Unearth – The Oncoming Storm
2. Slipknot – Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses
3. Lamb of God – Ashes of the Wake

Joannie Foney's Top 3 of 2004.

1. Meshuggah - I
2. Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
3. Caliban - The Opposite from Within

Mathew Schnake's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Squarepusher - UltraVisitor
2. Fantomas - Delirium Cordia
3. Trevor Dunn - Sister Phantom Owl Fish
4. Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives
5. Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine

Chuck G's Top 5 of 2004:

1. Magna-Fi - Burn Out The Stars
2. The Used - In Love And Death
3. Brides Of Destruction - Here Come The Brides
4. Green Day - American Idiot
5. U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Scott Slapps's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Courtney Love – America's Sweetheart
2. Avril Lavigne - Under My Skin
3. Gene Simmons – a------
4. Ashlee Simpson - Autobiography
5. Busted – Busted

DeadSun's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Mastodon – Leviathan
2. Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
3. Mclusky - The Difference Between Me and You Is That I'm Not On Fire
4. Nasum – Shift
5. Einsturzende Neubauten - Perpetuum Mobile

Mark Hensch's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Shadows Fall - The War Within
2. The Blood Brothers - Crimes
3. The Dresden Dolls - The Dresden Dolls
4. Mastodon - Leviathian
5. Bigelf - Hex