Need Some Recomendations

they played Anesthetize live? that must've taken some guts.

and for pt definitely do NOT start with Fear of a Blank Planet. It's a good album, but the best album to start with them would be In Absentia, Stupid Dream or Deadwing.

I tried Deadwing and In Absentia a few years ago and i couldnt get into them, when FoaBP came i instantly loved it and got into Deadwing and IA from there.
I guess it depends on where you are comming from.
I agree with your recommendation. It's easily superior to Deadwing, and I think all the tracks are extremely good.

I dunno about "easily" superior to Deadwing, I mean, c'mon... "Arriving Somewhere (But Not Here)" is pretty much on any PT fan's short list of favorite songs! That said, I still can't figure out why FOABP doesn't get the love that some of their other records do. "Anesthetize" is also one of their all-time great tracks! For PT newbs though, I'd probably recommend either In Absentia or Stupid Dream for their first listen. Both are guaranteed to blow you away!

As for Death, I also like Spiritual Healing, but the production is kinda lame on that one. Try Sound of Perseverance if that's a problem for you. (Their cover of Priest's "Painkiller" on that one is freakin' sweet!)

With Katatonia, it's hard to go wrong with any of their stuff, really, but try either Brave Murder Day or The Great Cold Distance for your first listen.

I'd go with either Paradise Lost or V: The New Mythology Suite as my first choice for Symphony X. The Odyssey is great, too, though!

Also, if you haven't checked out Agalloch yet, pick up The Mantle, easily their best work to date, and a phenomenal record!

^Finally someone agrees with me, I thought I had gone nuts
I full stopped you earlier, trust me man your not crazy. Foabp is a good album, but SD-Deadwing is where it's at IMO, and btw anesthetize did rapes live. Also unlike most it seems I started with Lightbulb, but Stupid Dream is their best iyam.
Im going to go on a cd binge and search for some new music. I want a cd by Death, Porcupine Tree, Katatonia, Symphony X, and any other goodbands I dont really know about. Any suggestions?

Death - Individual Thought Patterns, Human
Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream, The Sky Moves Sideways
Katatonia - Last Fair Deal Gone Down, Dance of December Souls, Brave Murder Day
Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite, The Divine Wings of Tragedy

Sound of Perseverance is easily Death's worst record in terms of good songwriting. Chuck and co were more focused on how much tweedly-deedly stuff they could fit into a bar, rather than actual good songs. What's actually ironic is that the Control Denied record was written around the same time, from 95-98, and iirc it doesn't contain nearly as much wanking as TSOP does.

Fear of a Blank Planet is also easily PT's worse album, from the absolutely horrible lyrics to the general songwriting itself. I mean, come on - "xbox is a god to me, my mother is a bitch my father's in a ditch" or something like that...what was SW smoking when he was writing that album.

Check out DJ Shadow's "Endtroducing...". One of the best records I've heard in a long time - it's an all-instrumental trip-hop album built entirely from samples. The layering and composition is mindblowing.

Check out Crowbar's "Odd Fellows Rest." Also check out High on Fire's "Death Is This Communion." Both are amazing sludge albums.

I'd have to say that Wolves in the Throne Room's "Two Hunters" and Mayhem's "Ordo Ad Chao" were my two favorite black metal releases of 2007. Ordo is very raw and unconventional, compared to the rest of Mayhem's output with Blasphemer on guitars (from 1995 until 2008.) Two Hunters is mindblowing with it's compositions, leaving you in a trance. I'd also check out Code's "Nouveau Gloaming" from 2005, which has Kvohst from Dodsheimgard on vocals and Viper from DHG/Ved Buens Ende... on guitars. It's one of my favorite more recent avant-garde BM records. Check out Thorns' "Thorns" record as well, with Satyr from Satyricon and Aldrahn from DHG on vocals on the record. Easily one of the top ten black metal records in the 90s.

Scott Walker's "Tilt" and "The Drift" are amazing avant-garde records, which I got into courtesy of Mike. "First Utterance" is also a classic, by Comus.