70. The Project Hate MCMXCIX: In hora mortis nostrae
My first introduction to this band (and this website) was through
Bloodbath’s forums where people were jizzing over J’s vocals. I hear
the sneak peek of “The innocence…” and the rest is history. What it
lacks in production is made up for by the riffs and solos and riffs and
vocals. Snaky bass lines are even a highlight. The band has had better
output than this, namely “HDCE”, but it’s so close to the top it’s worthless even saying what I just said. Full coverage can be found here for further reading on why this album is so good.
69. Katatonia: Last fair deal gone down
The art of suicide is a noble one. Think of all the different
possible ways you could make yourself go and push up the daisies, and
you will inevitably get depressed. If this is not the case, you are
doing it wrong (or listening to Rihanna) because Katatonia is to gloom
what snow is to winter – you just don’t fucken separate the two.
This particular album is quite a bit older, and features less of the
more recent “metal” elements, instead focusing more on atmosphere and
Jonas Renkse’s emotive vocals, and the success is palpable on this album
– tunes like “Teargas” are classics in the Katatonia catalogue. Many
will be surprised at the inclusion of all these newer Katatonia albums –
truth is, the older albums are all right, but none of them can hold a
candle to the pure despair that is encapsulated on this record. If you
want to hear Katatonia, this would be an excellent place to begin – but
be warned, this band is so addictive and high-quality you may find
yourself checking out the other albums on this list.
68. Diablo: Icaros
Somewhere around the year 2002, melodic death metal lost its balls.
In Flames came with “Reroute to remain”, Soilwork was setting up to
release “Figure number five”, and Sonic Syndicate formed. Gothenburg’s
testicles were carried in a doggie doo-doo baggie by some of the old
school acts like Dark Tranquillity and Hypocrisy, but fact of the matter
was: melodic death metal was no longer cool.
In 2008, melodic death metal found a needle full of bull steroids on the street. Not afraid of AIDS anymore, it injected the whole needle straight into its crotch, and BAM!
The balls were back! And they were put to good use by the Finns of
Diablo, who had released decent material in the past but nothing that
prepared for the ten ton brick that was “Icaros”. Chock full of
unstoppable adrenalin-fueled energy, these fuckers combined the best of
Pantera, Machine Head and Metallica with the combination of melody and
aggression the truly good melodeath had such a knack for. Pummeling with
thundering riffs switched places with organic but tight solo string
noodling while front fucker Rainer yelled about stuff he was pissed
about. Excellent fucken record that got melodic death metal straight
back in its seat.
67. Pain Of Salvation: Remedy lane
Concept albums can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you
execute it (how’s that for cliché, opening line Nazi’s), and Mr
Gildenlöw (the brain/mastermind/pretentious penis behind all this
extravagance) has a habit of making solely concept records.
While some of them are genuinely incomprehensible (“Be”) or inane
(“Scarsick”) some of them hit home on every level, and this one is the
one that does that emotive feeling best.
The music, you say? Progressive metal of the actually progressive
kind, and with a sound all its own. Musically the band used to be firmly
rooted in the Dream Theater school of prog metal, but with the previous
album they started to diverge and they did even more with this one. And
if you don’t admire the audacity of writing about your wife’s
miscarriage (“A Trace of Blood”) or what Daniel does in case of
witnessing a suicide (“Rope Ends”) you should be shot. The guy opened
himself completely to the public and released his best album by doing
66. Cadaver: Necrosis
With the help of time, we all end up as cadavers. It sure would be
beyond awesome if we all reached that state at this very moment, my
penis tickles just by the thought, but so obviously ain’t gonna happen.
Fuck! So, I guess I have to tell you why “Necrosis” is, was, and will
forever be one of the best album released during the noughties.
This is a blasterpiece, not through and through, but it remains a
masterpiece even when blasting isn’t taking place. Put another way,
“Necrosis” rules all kinds of shit all the time, as it holds exactly not
a single second worth of bullshit. We are talking black, thrash, and a
bit of death performed with proper attitude, it all adorned by one of
the best production jobs I ever lay my filthy ears upon.
Norway isn’t total shit, just very close to.
65. Isis: Oceanic
When in 2002 Isis decided that they had enough of people calling
them Neurosis/Melvins look-alikes, they went for a sound that seemed to
combine post-hardcore ferocity with an almost Portishead-like sense of
space and melody. As unlike this marriage of sounds seems, it worked so
well for these five Beantown bruisers, that “Oceanic” became something
of a crossover hit, getting praises from metalheadz and “squares” alike.
A quasi-concept albums of sorts, “Oceanic” sounds exactly as its
real-life namesake, sometimes terrifyingly aggressive, other times
majestically calm and “deep”. Even for the ten-minutes-long
metal-through-dub experiment of “Weight”, this record demands classic
status and the fact that it still sounds fresh and exciting, after being
ripped off by thousands of bands, makes it a must-have for anyone who
says that he likes “heavy” music.
64. Grave: Back from the Grave
Many point to Grave’s yesteryears as the band’s best period, and
they’re probably right. But there’s no doubt the knuckle-dragging
forefathers of chunky Swedeath have been having a pretty decent decade.
With a surprising amount of variety in their four post 2000 releases.
You’ve got your slow grooving monster, your grim semi-fast lurcher, your
grinding no joke mauler, and your fuzzy swampy fuckfest(er). Guess
which one is my favorite?
Not only was “Back from the grave” a lovely way to welcome back old
friends, it was also Jensa’s last stand. Which means toss the fast shit
right out the window and prepare for a methodical beating along the
lines of “Soulless”. Hell, even “Soulless” had more speed than this.
Good news indeed. As an individual with limited brain capacity, nothing
makes me happier than one slow, punishing track after the next. With
riffs conjured up from the bottom of the sea. The demon semen erupts
all over the place when pure grooves of this nature parade themselves
before me clothed in rotting funeral garb. What? Whatever. “BFTG”
rarely moves from an amble to a trot, and yet deserves instant classic
status in my book. So if you’re making albums based on my opinions,
Grave, keep that in mind.
63. Vomitory: Blood rapture
Another masterpiece from the Swedish legends. Super death metal hits
included? “Chaos fury” – check. Bulldozer bludgeoning included?
“Blessed and forsaken” – check. Anthem of brutality included? “Blood
Rapture” – check. What a force this band is, ranging from the relentless
blasts to their trademark use of d-beats – Vomitory can’t fail, won’t
fail, will never fail. Doing multiple write-up’s (and aim for variety)
for the same band who always execute their death metal to or close-to
perfection is no easy task. There are only so many superlatives to use,
you know. Considering the overall quality and viciousness that Vomitory
possess – all you need is to pick any of their efforts listed here and
you’ll know why they are represented with several discs in this
coverage. Amazing music from amazing people.
-Lord K Philipson
62. Machine Head: Through the ashes of empires
After a clearly misguided detour into nu-metal, Rob Flynn and co
finally found themselves a mirror and took a good hard look at
themselves. Either that, or they finally started to pay attention to
their critics. Either way, thank fuck they finally stepped away from
the utter shit they were producing and returned to their original sound.
Booming, crunching guitars laying down the grooves, crisp drumming,
angry shouted vocals… everything that made Machine Head great in the mid
90’s are back with vengeance. Hail the comeback kids, because this one
61. Monstrosity: Rise to Power
Monstrosity’s fate is to always lurk just below the top tier of
classic Floridian death metal. Maybe their timing has been off. Maybe
the problem is promotional. Maybe having at least one certified retard
in the ranks caused problems. Whatever the case, these guys have a
knack for writing memorable songs full of aggression, absolutely killer
riffs, and melody minus the cheese. All of those elements came to
fruition on a largely overlooked masterpiece from 2003. I’ve worn this
disc out over the last few years and will never stop recommending it to
metalheads of all stripes. Very little fat needs trimming from this
lean slice of beef – besides the irritating outro noise on “Shadow of
Obliteration”. But that’s it. Everything else has a unique identity
and an arsenal of large caliber weaponry amassed for the purpose of
pleasuring the audience. For those days when you crave only metal of
deff, done to a turn, throw some Monstrosity on the grill and prepare
for good eatin’. Basting it in my mansauce is optional.