40. Misery Index: Traitors
The only question with a band that’s named after Assück’s monumental grind album is obviously, which
album to allow into the ranks of the decade’s best. “Dissent” and
“Discordia” are Dis-qualified, haw haw haw – for different reasons, the
former not being a full-length and therefore being sent home crying with
the rest of the numerous Split and EP folk. The latter for not being
good. “Retaliate”, on the other hand, is an awesome death-grind album,
raw in sound and fast in execution. However, what DUN DUN DRRRUN “TRAITORS!!”
has and “Retaliate” lacks, is punch. This goes hand in hand with
leaning a bit more towards the death- than the grind side, and boy, does
a bit of accessibility suit the ‘Index well. At times it means lowering
the speed level a little, but still this album has the potential to hit
home with the brutal krew just as well.
The musicianship, spearheaded by Adam Jarvis’ drumming, is top
notch, the lyrics – as usual – try their best to imitate drool dangling
from the US flag as waved by teh warmongers. Thus remains a
nice punkish vibe on an otherwise decidedly heavy album, and makes one
wonder how the whole thing with Jason and Dying Fetus used to work out
back in the day. Altogether, “Traitors” got Misery Index back on track
in their strive to be one of the most interesting bands of the post-2000
years so far. And judging from what could be heard off the follow-up by
the time of writing, it was only to their best.
39. Bloodbath: Resurrection through carnage
The best thing about this album, aside from the ungodly vocals from
Mikael, are the fucken chainsaw guitars. It sounds so nasty, so dirty,
so brutal. Of corpse, without the song chops to back it all up it does
not have the same effect. Luckily for these Swedes they had just enough
tribute in their veins. Yeah, it sounds like some Entombed “theft”
here and there, but what better place to get some riffs from. They got
into full stride on the follow-up, but I hold this one quite close
because after enough listens it grabs you. “So you die”! Ex-staffer and
forum topic-locker WeSatan dug up some corpses for his review.
38. Violator: Chemical assault
Along with the resurgence of thrash metal in the ’00s came a flood
of crappy wanna-be bands. Violator stood distinctive amongst the crowd
for its authentic sound of true thrash with a punk edge and 80’s
grittiness. Passionate and serious about their music, these crazy
Brazilians bestow a savage South American feel to the entire thing. I
think this blistering album is kind of an homage to greats like Exodus
and Nuclear Assault, and just to pure thrash.
“Chemical Assault” is a convincing piece with the amateurish
hand-drawn cover art, screaming vocals, rapid drumming, and zealous
guitars. If one didn’t know any better, one might think that this album
was actually made in 1986 and just stayed underground. Shit, these boys
are purists from the long hair to the patch-ridden denim vests to the
ripped jeans to the white sneakers. True, there’s nothing really
innovative or uncharted here, but Violator knows what real thrash is and
they do it damn well. No posers, no wanna-bes, just a few Brazilian
kids thrashing out and enjoying it.
37. Decapitated: Organic hallucinosis
Sorry guys, but I’m not too crazy about Decapitated’s first three albums any more; they were certainly heavy enough on the heavy, but not heavy enough on groove
(you know, catchiness). However, for 2006’s “Organic hallucinosis”,
‘cap finally started writing music as infectious as it was punishing,
with relentless, crunchy, groovy riffs from Vogg (I dare ya to listen to
“Revelation of existence” without starting up a headbang), and the band
did this without sacrificing any of their signature heaviness either!
Add in confident, spot-on songwriting, a super-crisp production,
intense drumming from Vitek (R.I.P.), and Covan’s vocals coming in as
more intelligible (and much less generic) than Cookie Monster-wannabe
Sauron’s, and you have some ORGASMIC
Hallucinosis indeed. And, while it’s awful that 3/4 of this line-up was
forced to drop out by the bus accident, we should still all be rooting
for the new Decapitated to make a follow-up as good as this one, that’s
for damned sure.
36. Phazm: Cornerstones of the macabre
I was very hooked once I heard what Phazm was cooking up with this
record. I pretty much was “The worm on the hook”. The vocals aren’t
exactly the strong point of this band, but never get in the way of
making you enjoy this band immensely. They have this rock and roll
groove mixed with their style of black metal that sounds far more unique
and actually catchier than Entombed’s own brand of Death n’ Roll.
That’s quite a feat. This puppy probably deserves a higher place on
this list, but I know for sure only two of us on staff even know this
band. But we scored it high enough to earn a rightful place as one of
the top 100 of this past decade, for sure. Whether or not I have done
this album justice, Kampfar surely did in this review.
35. Arsis: A celebration of guilt
“A Celebration of Guilt” is everything you want a 21st century metal
record to be: fast as shit, brutal, melodic, technical, and covered in
nacho cheese! Well, maybe not cheese covered, but it is still the best
record ever to mix death, black, and thrash metal. I am still a
huge fan of the band and like most of what they have done since “A
Celebration of Guilt” but even I can not deny that so far this debut
record is by far their best. “United in Regret” has my two favorite
Arsis tracks, but this is clearly a stronger record overall.
“The face of my innocence” and “Return” are fast thrashers and
certified crowd pleasers while “Maddening disdain” and “The sadistic
motives behind bereavement letters” show that Arsis can break it down
and change tempos with the best of them. How mainstream success has
eluded Arsis, I will never know. Maybe it is the constantly fluctuating
line-up? Maybe they are too extreme for the popular crowd, but not trve
and cvlt enough for the satanic dominators? One thing I do know is that
the core twosome of singer/guitarist James Malone and drummer Scott Van
Dyne made something very special with “A Celebration of Guilt” that
appeals to a wide spectrum of genres and tastes.
34. Volbeat: Rock the rebel/metal the devil
Attention ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building… and
entered the garage where the rest of Volbeat was waiting. Volbeat came
out of nowhere, raping Danish charts and rolling rock n’ rolling rock
into the hearts of metalheads everywhere. Everything that makes
oldschool Elvis so awesome has been carefully selected, studied,
analyzed, until finally in a laboratory somewhere deep underground, a
scientist exclaimed “IT’S ALIVE!!” and the monsters of metal n’ roll arose.
It’s a combination that has been tried often before, but it either
flew under the radar entirely, or wasn’t executed all that well. Volbeat
just took the recognizable rhythmic patterns and applied it to a
monstrous wall of guitars and bass. The result is unbelievably catchy
and just screams for the listener to rock out with his or her cock out.
This was their second effort and as successful as the first; it’s just a
shame third time wasn’t the charm for these Danes. But we’ll always
have the first two when we want to grease up our hair and try belting
and crooning at the same time.
33. Katatonia: The great cold distance
This is basically a twin album of the one that came after it (“Night
is the new day”) but, like that album, it’s an incredibly fine slab of
depressing doom and gloom mongering. I daresay Jonas has never sounded
this much like his car had been destroyed in a bombing, where his wife
and son perished and he lost an arm and a leg, and has taken up vocals
on stage in a wheelchair ever since. That’s the kind of bleak despair
found on a Katatonia record. This one is no different, and the really
clever arrangements and extremely tasteful drumming keep the whole thing
firmly on the ground whilst other parts of the band delve into what
some purists might call “pretentiousness”. Not me, though; I call it
32. Facebreaker: Dead rotten and hungry
The world’s best side project (it’s been degraded to such it seems,
which fucken blows)? The possibility of that is bigger than Paris
Hilton’s home movie success. It’s a fucken shame these guys do not
dedicate themselves full-time to Facebreaker coz what they are doing is
nothing short of fantastic, headcrushing death metal with the kind of
groove most bands can but dream of. Top-growler Robban (nowadays in Scar
Symmetry) is backed up by thunderous tunes that are catchier than STD’s on a GD-staffer of your choice.
Unknown, underrated and unfairly awesome – Facebreaker. Make this
band a fucken priority, guys. Sure, Torture Division and Vomitory can
handle being kings, but it’s nice to have some competition.
I never thought it’d happen but I just heard that there’s a new album recorded. I hope there is truth to that.
-Lord K Philipson
31. Mastodon: Leviathan
“Hearts alive”, the epic fourteen minute long penultimate track on
“Leviathan” gives me a bigger, harder boner faster than watching three
playboy bunnies pump out a three-way squirtfest while eating Big Mac’s
and listening to Bathory. Mastodon got everything fucken right on
“Leviathan”: the creative songs, the massive riffs, the spastic
drumming, and the low-end groove. “Remission” was a bit too hard while
“Blood Mountain” and “Crack the Skye” are just too fucken out there.
“Leviathan” is the last bowl of porridge: it is just goddamn right. Fuck
those bears. Where’s Ted Nugent when you need him?
There is a reason why fans flip out when songs like “Iron tusk” and
the rockin’ “Blood and thunder” make their way into the band’s setlist.
“Leviathan” is Mastodon’s masterpiece because it has the best songs, the
coolest album theme centered on Moby Dick and man’s quest for the
unattainable, and the perfect blend of heaviness and
melody/accessibility. “Leviathan” truly makes you feel like you are on
an insane mission to kill a murderous whale (Gojira would not like that
though) on a ship filled with insane madmen. This bad boy should be in
the Top 10 but I am just one cog in the machine that is Global
Domination. If you are one of the few morons who has not given this
record a shot you need to because this, along with Gojira’s “From Mars…”
is where metal is going in the new millennium.