1. Isis: Panopticon (2004):
My favourite album of all time, a no-brainer. A lot less
riff-oriented than its immediate predecessor, but therein lies its charm
as it finds itself a lot denser, more atmospheric and altogether more
representative of the oceanic vibe. This is the peak of post-rock, every
note settling easily into a steady flow and crescendos that tweak my
2. Ulver: A quick fix of melancholy (2003):
The most perfect piece of music I’ve heard; “Eitttlane” is the
sonic representation of human suffering, and I’m not ashamed to say it
makes my vagina weep.
3. Decapitated: The Negation (2004):
My first and still favourite death metal record.
4. Devin Townsend: Terria (2001):
Genius is bandied around a fair bit, with Devin close to universally accepted.
5. Spawn of Possession (2007):
By far the best technical death metal record ever.
6. Mastodon: Leviathan (2004):
No stopping the quality of the riffs from the onset of “Blood and Thunder”, awesome artwork and ambitious album concept.
7. Nile: In their darkened shrines (2002):
In my mind the best Nile album, largely due to Laureano’s off-the-charts drumming.
8. Necrophagist: Epitaph (2004):
One of the few truly original death metal bands.
9. Tool: Lateralus (2001):
Brilliant, atmospheric, fantastic vocals and drumming, heavy in all the right places.
10. Opeth: Blackwater Park (2001):
The album that got me into harsh vocals, and therefore the album that broke me into death metal.
11. Emperor: Prometheus (2001):
Even after all this time the album has lost none of its appeal; more ferocious than people give it credit for.
12. Morbid Angel: Gateways to annihilation (2000)
Grossly underrated album; the masters now and forever.
13. Gorguts: From wisdom to hate (2001):
Gorguts will always be leaders of dark, twisting death metal.
14. Immolation: Close to a world below (2000):
Immolation’s third album in a line of death metal masterpieces.
15. Iron Maiden (2000):
A comeback album no one could have foreseen.
16. Psycroptic: Sceptre of the ancients (2003):
One of the tightest guitar/drummer combos in the scene, creating insanely catchy rhythms/riffs.
17. Neurosis: A sun that never sets (2001):
Far and away the best Neurosis album of the new millennium, a new sound for the band.
18. Ayreon: The human equation (2004):
Such a richness to the music plus astounding vocal performances from absolutely every performer.
19. Nasum: Helvete (2003):
The first grind band I ever fully understood, the mix of melody with chaos was perfected on “Helvete”.
20. Enslaved: Mardraum – Beyond the within (2000):
All save “Vertebrae” could belong to this list, so I chose the band’s best album for simplicity’s sake.
21. Cult of Luna: The beyond (2003):
Definitely a band that has carved its own sound, this is their heaviest and probably most emulated record.
22. Deathspell Omega: Fas – ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum (2007):
Goddamn beautiful, unlike anything I’ve ever heard.
23. Pig Destroyer: Terrifyer (2004)
So many riffs on this beast, plus the fact it’s ugly as all fucking Hell.
24. Ulcerate: Everything is Fire (2009):
Dark, layered death metal meets dark, layered post-rock meets DsO.
25. Anata: The conductor’s departure (2006):
Creative melodies, toned down in intensity, overall more
“flare-busy” drumming and great musical depth make this the most
interesting Anata album to date.
26. Anaal Nathrakh: Eschaton (2006)
Truly the vilest band I’ve heard, representing humanity’s nature down to the very last fucking note.
27. The Ocean: Precambrian (2007):
Concept double album mixing all the elements I love in metal;
falls on the somewhat simple side at times, but the vocals more than
pick up the slack.
28. Porcupine Tree: Fear of a blank planet (2007):
My favourite PT album to date, I think; depends on my mood.
29. Rotten Sound: Exit (2005):
Incredible grind album that takes the sound Nasum pioneered and builds on it to blast mayhem groove supreme.
30. Insision: Beneath the folds of flesh (2001):
A close call between Origin’s “Infinitas…” and this, but
Insision have been lining grooves in my skull for years now; this disc
is an underrated modern classic