1. Runemagick: Darkness Death Doom (2003):
Death/doom with a drugged-out twist – this whole album is an
absolute and endless pleasure. If you like your metal slow and bursting
with church bells, wah pedal, and the occasional (swollen) organ, this
disc is a must. Refuses to leave my mind, even when threatened with a
handgun to the temple.
2. Amon Amarth: Fate Of Norns (2004):
The Vi-Kings balance their raw and melodic side here to great
effect; listen to the title track whilst reading the lyrics and tell me
you don’t get a bit choked up.
3. Grave: Back from the Grave (2002):
The return of Swedeath’s aeternal masters brings one classic,
grooving riff after the next complete with dumbass lyrics, low levels of
variation, and mid-paced drumming perfection.
4. Monstrosity: Rise to Power (2003):
Sure not all the bandfolks are MENSA members, but I’ll be damned if “Rise to power” isn’t chock full of Floridian DM quality with melody infused the RIGHT way.
5. Decapitated: The negation (2004):
*2004 headline:* Poland’s wonderkids inject thrash into their blistering death metal – boners rise worldwide.
6. Bloodbath: Nightmares Made Flesh (2004):
This album grabs the old, the new, and a whole bucket of human entrails to cook up a tasty nutpunch casserole.
7. Volbeat: Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil (2007):
I love their signature Elvis-metal to pieces – fuck the haters.
8. Yyrkoon: Occult medicine (2004):
A true French shocker (two in the pink, one in the baguette) when meisterpieces like “Revenant horde” first graced my ears.
9. Opeth: Blackwater Park (2001):
Sure the effect has worn off a bit, yet “Park” still cannot be thought of as anything but dark genius.
10. Cult of Luna: Somewhere Along the Highway (2006):
On a slow and atmospheric note, post-metallers Cult of Luna’s 2006 effort is a captivating, intelligent, patient bludgeoning.
11. Gojira: From Mars to Sirius (2005):
The one that broke ‘em big – big production, big riffs, and big
hairy frog eating women slobbering on their hipster junk I’m sure.
12. Morbid Angel: Gateways to Annihilation (2000)
MA how I always wanted them to be.
13. Crowbar: Sonic Excess In its Purest Form (2001):
And on the subject of swampiness, NOLA’s finest’s finest effort yet.
14. Psycroptic: Sceptre of the ancients (2003):
Upon first listen, I just knew this whole tech death thing had to be more than a flash in the pan.
15. Judas Priest: Angel of Retribution (2005):
Read my review – this shit touched me in a very private place.
16. Demonoid: Riders of the Apocalypse (2004):
Rumbling death/thrash complete with funny concept and many a memorable song by trve scene veterans.
17. Swallow the Sun: The Morning never Came (2003):
Wifemetal in my household equals very purdy doom ‘n gloom.
18. The Haunted: Made Me Do It (2000):
As a first experience with melodeath, young Daemotard really couldn’ta gone wrong with the only Haunted album that matters.
19. Zyklon: Disintegrate (2006):
Inventive and violent Whorewegians bring the Morbidly Angelic pain to my neck consistently.
20. Krisiun: AssassiNation (2006):
Brazil’s blastiest brothers bring big bad beatings (and a Motörhead cover that surpasses the original).
21. Arsis: A Celebration Of Guilt (2004):
Seems to me they harnessed the forces of technicality and melody
for one brief moment before it bucked them out of the saddle and into
22. Exodus: Tempo of the damned (2004):
Another album that is best enjoyed with a beer in one hand and an abusive husband’s severed genitals in the other.
23. Behemoth: Demigod (2004):
While I find the album as a whole is far from perfect, when the
‘hemes step off the blastometer for a minute and lay into you with those
noble, chin-raising army of darkness riffs it is delicious.
24. Opeth: Ghost Reveries (2005)
Another well-executed album from the mellowest of Swedes – most
everything bats its eyelashes at ya in a way only Opeth can manage.
25. Amon Amarth: With Oden On Our Side (2006):
Leagues better than the recent follow-up, and loaded down with
so many infectious battle cries and shots at glory that I oft desire to
grab a axe and make war upon any nearby Jeebusites in da ‘hood.
26. Dew-Scented: Issue VI (2005):
Just the right amount of variation blended with their Teutonic death/thrash/too-nihilistic-to-be-Nazi metal.
27. Akercocke: Words that Go Unspoken, Deeds that Go Undone (2005):
Every natural-boobed sacrificial maiden’s crazy about a sharp-dressed Satanist!
28. Bloodbath: Resurrection Through Carnage (2002):
Sure some of the tune here are underdeveloped, but when you’ve
got me grinning ear to ear while chanting “so you die!” and “like FIRE!” and “it fills my soul with such deeeliiiigghhhhhtttt” – success.
29. Evoken: Quietus (2001):
Unsettling, sloooooooooow, creepy funeral doom that JUST hedges out Ahab to make it into THE ONLY TOP 30 ALBUMS LIST THAT COULD EVER POSSIBLY MATTER EVER.
30. Origin: Antithesis (2008):
Like a possessed machine grinding its former masters to pulp, Origami take zero prisoners – ole Daemo’s eardrums included.