Thursday, 30 July 2015

TOP 50 of 2000-2009, Part 1, 41 to 50

My buddy BastardHead (or simply known as Mike) gave me this idea of a top 50 of my favorite metal releases from the last decade and since I love lists and love wasting my time with them, here it is. There's only one rule I took in consideration, there's only one album per band for diversity's sake. The top will be divided into five parts and it will end with the top 10, in the meantime here's the bottom albums.

41. Yob – The Illusion of Motion (2004)
The Oregon based trio lead by Mike Scheidt has a pretty good track record during this decade but this is my favourite of theirs, released 2 years before a short hiatus, this album has everything I like from their sound, thundering riffs, long-ass songs full of details and a shitload of psychedelia. It took them 10 years to release an album as good as this one with their most recent “Clearing the Path to Ascend” but the point remains, Yob is one of the best doom band of their generation. The song “Ball of Molten Lead” is still a live staple and for good reasons.

42. Cathedral – Endtyme (2001)
Sure, Cathedral's best albums are their first three with “The Carnival Bizarre” being number one for me but the British legendary doomsters kept unleashing quality material throughout their existence. “Endtyme” was some sort of return to a heavier than thou sound, it's darker and slower than the two previous ones and doesn't have the same amount of experimentation their later days had (see “The Guessing Game”). It's yet another worthy chapter to the now finite career of Cathedral and worth checking out if their faster stuff is not to your looking since it's crushing but it's still hellishly fun (check out the track “Whores of Oblivion”).

43. Darkthrone – The Cult Is Alive (2006)
I'm perhaps a blasphemer but I prefer Darkthrone's later days opposed to their seminal and legendary black metal albums. While I don't like “The Cult Is Alive” as much as “Circle the Wagons” or “The Underground Resistance”, I think it's a very fucking good record full of amusing tracks like the appropriatly Nordic “Too Old, Too Cold” or the dirty “Graveyard Slut”. I think Fenriz and Nocturno are having a good time with this punk influenced album and I had a great moment too.

44. Dark Tranquillity – Fiction (2007)
The best album of the decade for the Swedish melodic death masters showed a larger degree of diversification opposed to “Character” and a less generic and boring approach compared to its two followers. It's ultra melodic and catchy but has many memorable moments like “Misery's Crown” featuring the gorgeous clean vocals of frontman Mikael Stanne. I reckon there's a lot of nostalgia involved here as Dark Tranquillity were one of my gateway bands but I still think this is a super good album, I mean it's not “The Gallery” but they'll never beat this 90s classic.

45. Wormrot – Abuse (2009)
I'm not always down for grindcore but Wormrot from Singapore are masters of pure, unadulterated metallic grind. Abuse is a twenty minutes trip into their political, vitriolic and intense style of music. If you don't like these guys, you should “fix your fucking mind” like one of their songs is suggesting. This comment like the album is kept short, there's not a million things to say about great grind! Wormrot had some issues recently but I'm still hoping for a third album!

46. Dream Theater – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002)
“Train of Thought” was almost my pick for Dream Theater's best album of the decade but this one is a tad better. From “The Glass Prison” to the conceptual title track being the entire second disk. DT is certainly one of my favourite bands but I think their best releases were done in the 1990s but they released many strong stuff after “Metropolis” and Mike Portnoy's departure has revitalized them a little. For their sole double album, John Petrucci and company succeeded at the task of keeping it entertaining and that by itself is an accomplishment.

47. Anata – The Conductor's Departure (2006)
Released almost 10 years, Anata's last album to date (what the hell is happening with them? The last thing I've heard was that they did an instrumental album and Earache rejected it) is one of the best technical death metal record ever. I'm not a fan of the genre usually but these Swedes managed to write compelling and terrific music that isn't only about technicality and showing off (see Necrophagist). Maybe they're aware that they can't top this album and that's stopping them from releasing anything new!

48. High on Fire – Death Is This Communion (2007)Sleep's Dopesmoker is surprinsgly (?) not on my list since I think it's a tad overrated but I do fucking like High On Fire and especially this album. I think they're repeating themselves since “Death...” and I haven't enjoyed myself as much with their music but this one is super damn good and quite diverse. I love the ethnic parts like “Khanrad's Wall”, it adds something special to the album. This is stoner excellence, all hail our shirtless messiah Matt Pike even though he'll always be a sucky vocalist. But the riffs, man, the riffs!

49. Om – Conference of the Birds (2006)
Part II of ex-Sleep bands with Al Cisneros' band, Om. The duo served as the soft companion to High On Fire's high octane weed induced metal but they're as good. “At Giza” is perhaps their best track ever and this album is a pearl of mesmerizing trance doom with unique atmospheres. The band became more intricate with their last album “Advaitic Songs” but I always thought their lo-fi, more simplistic approach was the way to go.

50. Immortal – Sons of Northern Darkness (2002)
“At the Heart of Winter” would probably in my top 5 of the last decade but the 2002 Immortal album isn't as good. It's still a massive piece of heavy metal influenced crushing black metal lead by Abbath's excellent riffs and croaky vocals. The first half of the album rocks but the second is a bit weaker. I's “Between Two Worlds” could had been chosen instead since while it's perhaps not as good, it's a bit more consistent. Nevertheless, it's safe to say Abbath's best work is in the past despite having formed a new band who took his name recently, I doubt he'll be able to recreate the cold magic of his older material.

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