1. Opeth: Blackwater park (2001)
Opeth is a band that has influenced every band after them with
this album. It may be a stereotypical pick to have this album on top,
but the boys from Stockholm have simply crafted a classic here that can
vie with Maiden or Slayer. The riffs are exquisite, the control of
dynamics is beyond superb, and to top it all off Mike Åkerfeldt is
simply one of the best vocalists around. Death metal with atmosphere,
technical prowess, and songwriting skill in spades is something I will
always love, and the way they weave their psychedelic and prog rock
influences into the mix is simply out of this world. Opeth are an
original band in a sea of clones, and I wish them all the best in the
2. Anathema: A natural disaster (2003)
Strictly not a metal band anymore, but strictly speaking also
the best band out there – atmosphere does not come better than Anathema.
3. Pain Of Salvation: Remedy lane (2002)
The ultimate concept album of the 2000’s by a band who only ever release pretentious concept albums.
4. Katatonia: Last fair deal gone down (2001)
Katatonia never sounded as glum as on this album, and they will never come close to sounding this moody again.
5. Nevermore: This godless endeavor (2005)
Jeff Loomis is a guitar god, Van Williams is a first-class
drummer, the riffs rock my fucking socks off, and I actually like Warrel
Dane’s vocals very much.
6. In Flames: Clayman (2000)
“Colony” is actually better – but this is the strongest and most
consistent In Flames record this decade, and with Anders’ vocals not
yet hitting the decay of recent years this is an album to be reckoned
7. Amon Amarth: With Oden on our side (2006)
I enjoy vikings a lot, and these songs are so strong and
consistent, making it one of my favourite albums released the past few
8. Katatonia: The great cold distance (2006)
Katatonia always sounded moody, but then they learned that
guitar tone is something beautiful and suddenly they found themselves
both rejuvenated, heavy, and quite fucken awesome.
9. Sentenced: The cold white light (2002)
I like depressive music quite a bit and this is the Finnish suicide-squad’s crowning achievement.
10. Swallow the Sun: Hope (2007)
Doomy, heavy, yet superbly melodic – this is how to do doom metal the modern (I am not very old-school) way
11. Gojira: The way of all flesh (2008)
A first-class lesson in all things drums, a guitar tone to die for, and eco-hippie lyrics to boot.
12. Mastodon: Blood mountain (2006)
Groove and technicality align for a band that made prog metal hip again.
13. Opeth: Ghost reveries (2005)
Every Opeth album is worth a spot on any list, but this is the album that solidified their place in my hearts for good.
14. Katatonia: Viva emptiness (2003)
I trusted you, you didn’t lie, this is not an empty album for it
holds some of the moodiest tunes this side of any mental asylum.
15. Cynic: Traced in air (2008)
It took 15 years, but they are now back, and thank fuck, for
progressive death metal masters Cynic probably released my favourite
album of 2008 with this here album.
16. Dark Tranquillity: Fiction (2007)
The most consistent melodic death metal band from Sweden released their best album here where “Terminus” is a hit deluxe.
17. Lamb of God: Sacrament (2006)
This is good thrash, for when Randy opens his yapper it does not
sound like Mille Petrozza’s baby cousin or some high-pitched vocalist
akin to power metal – I loved the music already – and this guy’s good,
growled vocals add to the power.
18. Hypocrisy: Virus
Peter Tägtgren always delivers – and the songs are super strong on here, hence his inclusion.
19. Nevermore: Dead heart in a dead world (2000)
Nevermore are gloomy, which I love, but their music exudes power, which I also love.
20. Iced Earth: Horror show (2001)
I fucken love Matt Barlow (Schaffer seems to be a dick), and I love the powerful riffing on this one.
21. Amon Amarth: Twilight of the thunder god (2008)
Amon Amarth have been a very solid band this decade – and a very
good band in general, for every song on here is at least solid silver,
with over three quarters being actual gold.
22. Eluveitie: Slania (2008)
This is the only folk metal band worth listening to, because
somehow they manage to be more than power metal with keyboards that
imitate flutes – it actually sounds heavy at times, err….
23. Paradise Lost: Faith divides us, death unites us (2009)
I never thought I’d see the day when these old farts would
release something top-notch – but they surprised me out of nowhere with
one of my favourite albums of 2009.
24. Meshuggah: Catch 33 (2005)
Weirdo robot-metallers do an odd concept album that is basically
one song in 13 parts and somehow manage to make it work – hats off, ye
25. Agalloch: Ashes against the grain (2006)
Atmosphere, black metal, heavy, crushing riffs with raw production – sign me up, guys.
26. Dark Tranquillity: Character (2005)
A solid, awesome record from a solid, awesome, metal institution – thank you.
27. Pain Of Salvation: The perfect element, part 1 (2000)
The perfect prog metal album… maybe not, but goddamn close.
28. Enslaved: Vertebrae (2008)
Another spine in the backbone of a long-standing career by an excellent veteran band.
29. Opeth: Deliverance (2002)
Delivers, that’s all you need to know.
30. Bloodbath: The fathomless mastery (2008)
I fathomed their mastery, for you will find Katatonia and Opeth
also on this list, and I also fathomed that this would be some solid,
ace fucken death metal by a bunch of seasoned veterans.