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.

Josh Kruk's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Slipknot- Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses: 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. (samples / buy cd | review)

2. Killswitch Engage- The End Of Heartache: With a flood of bands like them, Killswitch sets themselves apart by taking it up a notch. The singing and screaming blend so well with the music, its hard to take this album out of your CD player. (samples / buy cd | review)

3. The Dillinger Escape Plan- Miss Machine: 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. (samples / buy cd | review)

4. Lamb Of God- Ashes Of The Wake: 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. (samples / buy cd)

5. Fear Factory- Archetype: Many people were worried when Dino left the band, but the rest of the guys proved that they can still hack it. Burton has hit his vocal stride and the band shows they can maintain their heaviness of previous albums. Great comeback CD. (samples / buy cd)

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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