53. Woods of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason
Streets, you called it. I'm not sure how to start this off, but let's just say that if all black metal sounded like this, I probably would have gotten into the genre a long time ago. (Of course, it's actually the fact that all black metal doesn't
sound like this - meaning that there's a great deal of variety in the genre - that keeps me coming back for more...but that's another subject for another thread.) Even though these cats bill themselves as "depressive black metal", the harmonies and major keys used herein give their music an almost hopeful - if not triumphant - feel at times. Plus, the musicianship is top-notch, and these guys are also big fans of the rolling triplet kick drum beats that made me a slave to Bolt Thrower's sound back in the "Realm of Chaos" days. As one reviewer put it, Woods doesn't necessarily break much new ground here, but what they do is so well-executed, it's hard not to fall in love with it. To put it another way, this is quite simply my favorite happysad black metal album of 2011, without a doubt.