A couple of days ago, I posted my list of the 10 albums that didn’t make it onto my top 25 favorite metal albums of the year list, but who should have. Today i’m posted part 1 of that top 25 list. If you feel the need to listen to any of these bands based on my description, i’ve included my favorite song from each record to give you a reference point.
Part 2 of this list, featuring my ten favorite metal albums of the year will be released on new years day, and it will also be in the January issue of the Spazzine, which should be on newsstands around the first week or two of January.
Please enjoy, and if you think i’m stupid for ranking something too low, too high, or not at all, please comment.
11. Absu – Abzu
This album is a full on black metal assault. Traditional black metal riffs and rhythms are abound, but it has a little something extra, namely a king diamondesque howl on the first track, and a barrage of skin-charring riffs that make it my favorite black metal album of the year. Favorite song: Earth Ripper.
12. Havok – Time Is Up
I don’t usually like thrash revival bands because there’s no sense in re-inventing a perfect wheel, however, Havok have released one of my favorite thrash albums i’ve ever heard, and that’s saying alot. This album is full of bonecrushing thrash riffs, and solo’s and songwriting ability that would make Dave Mustaine smile. Favorite song: Fatal Intervention.
13. Crowbar – Sever The Wicked Hand
An incredible sludge machine from the creators of the new orleans sludge sound. Plenty of awesome signature Crowbar moments on this album that will make you want to break everything you own and then re-think your entire life. Favorite song: Cemetary Angels.
14. Helms Alee – Weatherhead
This album is beautiful. Lots of shoegazey parts and a crushing guitar/bass tone courtesy of amps made by their guitarist Ben Verellen. Definitely one of the best albums put out by Hydra Head in a while. Favorite song: 8/16.
15. Exhumed – All Guts, No Glory
I love death metal with gory lyrics and this album brings that by the boatload. Matt Harvey is a fantastic guitarist and this album absolutely crushes. There are more than a handful of memorable riffs and lyrics on this album and it is definitely more than just a comeback album. Favorite song: Your Funeral, My Feast.
16. Burzum – Fallen
Very weird album full of non-traditional black metal elements, but this album it also has some amazing signature buzzsaw black metal guitar riffs that completely rule. Favorite song: Jeg Faller.
17. Craft – Void
Very angry, anti-social black metal with a bit of thrash and death thrown in to make it sound even nastier. Very crusty black metal album and perfect for jamming on a bad day. Favorite song: I Want To Commit Murder.
18. Hate Eternal – Phoenix Among Ashes
Erik Rutan returns with another solid, brutal as hell death metal album. Most death metal bands these days get boring after 5 or 6 songs but not this album, it has enough flavor to keep every song fresh and awesome. Favorite song: The Art Of Redemption
19. Vallenfyre – A Fragile King
Members of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and At The Gates created a masterpiece that perfectly mixes doom with swedish death metal. My favorite guitar tone ever. Favorite song: Cathedrals Of Dread
20. Dark Castle – Surrender To All Life Beyond Form
This album is a smorgasbord of atmosphere and crushing riffs with a bit of a doom flavor. Even more amazing is that this band is only 2 people. Favorite song: Surrender to all life beyond form.
21. Macabre – Grim Scary Tales
Death metal songs about serial killers sung with hooks ripped straight out of nursery rhymes. This album is terribly sick and twisted, but the vocal hooks are so infectious that they stay stuck in your head forever, particularly their renditions of “The Big Bad Wolf” and Venom’s “Countess Bathory”. Favorite song: The Dark Knight
22. Looking For An Answer – Eterno Treblinka
Incredible spanish grind in the vein of Napalm Death or Brutal Truth. My favorite part of this album is when the singer growls and it sounds like he’s making fart noises with his mouth and growling at the same time. Favorite song: Campo De Exterminio(but listen to the song before it for the sweet growls leading up to this song).
23. Batillus – Furnace
Super doomy and droney. This album is full of incredibly heavy riffs, but also has some Isis-esque post-metal swing at times. Favorite song: …And the World is as Night to Them.
24. Haemorrhage – Hospital Carnage
Spanish goregrind songs about death in a hospital. Best songtitles ever and the dude growls with a pitchshifter at times so it sounds like a demon growling about flesh devouring pandemia. Many very memorable and catchy riffs on this album make it certainly standout amongst most other death metal albums this year. Favorite song: 911 (emergency slaughter).
25. Wormrot – Dirge
These Singapore grind warriors completely destroy. 25 songs and most all of them are a minute or less. Incredibly mean record with many testicle-shattering riffs. Favorite song: Compulsive Disposition