We seem to have pretty similar tastes as i Iove all the bands you listed.
If you haven't heard them, check out Haggard. It's an interesting project with like 20 people in the "band" fully mixing metal and classical (not just synths). Horrendous live though as the main songwriter can't growl for **** without the help of studio magic. Awakening the centuries and eppur si muove are wonderful. Last album is quite different from the earlier ones.
I'm one of the few who actually prefers illumination and ashes over the earlier Tristania albums. Over time I've attributed this to Morten Veland's songwriting after he continued with Sirenia (almost every song has the exact same structure)
World of glass was the first album without him and I think a large improvement over the earlier stuff before the genre change.
And I can understand about phases. I've actually been listening to a lot more electronic, indie rock, and even pop music lately. But I'm going through the After Forever discography this week.
Very cool, I will have to check out haggard. I enjoy indie rock as well and some folk.....hey put the two together and listen to Agalloch! What an amazing band, they are.
Illumination is a really good heavy rock album. It's too bad the female singer left them.....wow, talk about a voice! But, I'll always enjoy the early Tristania too.
I like seeing what people are using gear wise-I'm a Grado listener as well-225i. And, I'm already getting upgraditus. I'm thinking of saving some coin and of going all out with SR1 or maybe one of the HE (400 or 500)-but I'll entertain suggestions!