These guys came through town a couple of weeks ago. I'd listened to their albums a couple of times, but wasn't really familiar with them. I decided to take a chance and see them, and it was one of the best performances I've seen. It was tiny (though intense) crowd but they played like they were in front of 10,000.
The more I listen to their latest album, Citadel, the more I like it. Technical, melodic metal with a lot of atmosphere and enough clean vocals to draw you in. Oh, and a violin. A very metal violin.
These guys describe themselves as "progressive jazzrock", and that's about as good a description as I can think of. Their latest, City of the Sun, is so much fun to listen to.
This is another prog metal band that's just put out a great album, in Under A Western Sun.
I've been listening to Leonard Cohen since I was in high school, but really only his very early stuff. I've started listening to his more recent work, like Old Ideas, and it's just flat out brilliant.
These guys were the main support for Ne Obliviscaris, and after they played I already thought I'd got my money's worth. I was a little worried about NeO being able to follow them, actually. They're definitely more towards the death-y end of the prog-metal spectrum, which I'm not usually all that into. But their latest, Earthborn Evolution, is really solid, and really listenable. Plus, they're Canadian. Everyone loves Canadians.