49. Opeth - Heritage
Probably my biggest disappointment of the year. Even though I was worried about the album being void of heaviness, I still had faith in Mikael creating a full on prog album worthy of his previous discography. Unfortunately I found Heritage to be meandering, with little substance to speak of. I like bits and pieces of this record especially the closing of "Folklore" but as a complete it album it falls flat for me. Mikael is one of my favorite vocalist of all time but his all clean singing performance is quite dull and pitchy in many songs. I'm still an Opeth fanboy, but I'm concerned about the future material and hope that the death metal side is not fully dead.
48. Dornenreich - Flammentriebe
This was one of the early albums of the year that I remember getting some hype and the cover art was intriguing so I gave it a shot. The band plays melodic leaning blackened folk, and they do it quite well. The use of strings adds some great melodies without being cheesy. The whole albums is very enjoyable but the obvious highlight for me is the closing song "Erst Deine Träne Löscht Den Brand". The song begins with simple acoustic strumming and emotive strings which build up to silence, some cool sounding spoken word, and closes in a stunning guitar tapping section. One of the better songs of the year.
47. Burzum - Fallen
More of the same melodic black metal from good ole Varg Vikernes. Slightly underproduced, tremelo picked black metal, with some folky clean vocals that actually sound pretty good. Nothing revolutionary but Varg still writes some good fucking riffs and I look forward to his next one.