1. Opeth: Deliverance (2002)
Opeth is a band that never ceases to amaze me. How they make the
constant shifts between harsh death metal, prog rock jamming and
acoustic mellow parts seem so natural and organic is nothing but genial.
Åkerfeldt and his henchmen also master each genre to the max, so the
quality is top-notch all the way. The contrasts and variety bring a
sense of wholeness to their music, and in my opinion there has never
been a more complete metal band than Opeth, not even close.
“Deliverance” is absolutely marvelously crafted, with all songs filling
their spots in the big picture. The title track is one of the best songs
ever recorded by any band in any genre, and the album’s culmination
point in the latter half of “A Fair Judgement” is nothing but goose
bumps, shivers and eargasms. A true and timeless masterpiece.
2. Watain: Sworn to the Dark (2007)
This is blackness, this is chaos – this is the malignant dark
before the dawn of entropy reveals its haunted, sunless face upon the
3. Opeth: Blackwater Park (2001)
Åkerfeldt’s composing reached a new level on this astounding work of beauty, putting him twelve levels above human.
4. Wintersun: Wintersun (2004)
It’s amazing how much talent can fit into one man, composer/guitarist/vocalist Jari Mäenpää – I salute thee.
5. Edge of Sanity: Crimson II (2003)
So delicious, so crunchy, so fucken good – when’s chapter III coming, Dan?
6. Satyricon: Now, Diabolical (2006)
The current K.I.N.G.‘s of Norway – to the mountains!
7. Bloodbath: Nightmares Made Flesh (2004)
With monster hits like “Outnumbering the Day”, “Brave New Hell”
and “Eaten”, Bloodbath’s sophomore full-length ranks high on the “Best
Death Metal Albums of All Time” list.
8. Opeth: Ghost Reveries (2005)
A pristine production elevates the excellent songwriting to even loftier heights.
9. Khold: Krek (2005)
If there ever was groove on a black metal record, it was on “Krek”.
10. Amoral: Decrowning (2005)
Technical and melodic death/thrash/heavy metal doesn’t get much better than this.
11. Katatonia: The Great Cold Distance (2006)
Hit song after hit song hit your mind like a ten-ton hammer of despair.
12. Dissection: Reinkaos (2006)
Many years passed since the initial disappointment before I
could listen to “Reinkaos” with somewhat objective ears, but when I
finally did… let’s just say it was worth the wait.
13. Grand Magus: Iron Will (2008)
Pure and honest fucken conviction, like found on this
magnificent heavy metal album, shall power this admirable band’s career
into a glorious future, I’m sure.
14. Opeth: Damnation (2003)
The record that keeps you alive on Hangover Sunday.
15. Mokoma: Tämän maailman ruhtinaan hovi (2004)
It’s a shame only Finns can enjoy the great lyrics on this thrash metal effort, unafraid of pop or black metal influences.
16. Lost Soul: Chaostream (2005)
The best Polish death metal album of all time.
17. Opeth: Watershed (2008)
Opeth’s most obscure record is too disjointed for perfection, but still satisfies the mind like a cold winter breeze.
18. Scar Symmetry: Pitch-Black Progress (2006)
Cheesy ABBA-melodeath with exceptional songs that stick to your mind, just like ABBA’s.
19. Katatonia: Night Is the New Day (2009)
With a bombastic production to die for, this is how the end of all should sound – all-encompassing, monumental and huge.
20. Dååth: The Concealers (2009)
Finally an American band that knows how to put their technical skills to good use.
21. Bloodbath: Resurrection Through Carnage (2002)
Though somewhat uneven in quality, “Resurrection Through Carnage” still easily obliterates most of its early 1990’s ancestors.
22. Freak Kitchen: Move (2002)
On “Move” IA Eklundh found the perfect mix between catchy song-writing, humor and wackiness.
23. Satyricon: The Age of Nero (2008)
Slick and refined, this onyx gem holds no filler whatsoever.
24. Swallow the Sun: The Morning Never Came (2003)
Impending doom, bleak death and beautiful despair – it’s all here.
25. Darkthrone: The Cult Is Alive (2006)
Raw and bloody like a dull bone saw in the hands of a serial
killer, with tracks like “Whiskey Funeral” and “Graveyard Slut” you
can’t go wrong!
26. Nightingale: Invisible (2004)
Danny boy’s prog rock/AOR band’s finest moment sports some amazingly catchy tunes.
27. Dark Fortress: Eidolon (2007)
The atmosphere on “Eidolon” is blacker than black, and I love it.
28. The Faceless: Planetary Duality (2008)
Clearly the best of today’s US tech death bands, these faceless fuckers fucken rule with their harmonically conscious entropy.
29. System Of A Down: Mezmerize (2005)
“Mezmerize” is a display of System of a Down’s amazing sense for
strong hooks and melodies stirred down in their melting pot, boiling
over with creative lunacy.
30. Children Of Bodom: Hate Crew Deathroll (2003)
These much hated Finns actually managed to churn out some
kick-ass stuff in the 90s; and though this isn’t as good as their first
two albums, it manages to please my meloriff and -solo wankery needs
about once a month.