Thread dig up.
This was a good thread before it was derailed by the Maiden fanatics.
So, I'll give it a go. The first year I sat down and did an EOY list was 2009, so I'll start there.
Then: Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
Now: Cormorant - Metazoa
The last half of that Mumford & Sons record is still powerfully honest and emotional, and one of the best records of that year, but I can't in good conscience rank it above Metazoa, which might be the best melodic death metal album I've heard.
Then: Agalloch - Ashes Against the Grain
Now: Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones
This was the year my top 5 was so conflicted. A lot of time was spent in subsequent years reevaluating and rearranging albums. To this day, I still haven't a list from 2010 I'm completely satisfied with. Four albums: Agalloch's, Triptykon's, Alcest's, and Arcade Fire's have all at times been at the #1 spot, as I think they're all completely deserving of that spot. Though of those four, Agalloch's has had the least lasting impact. So if I rewrote the list, it would be the least likely of those albums to be #1.
Then: The Seven Mile Journey - Notes For the Synthesis
Now: The Seven Mile Journey - Notes For the Synthesis
Still the best 'post-early 2000s GY!BE & ASMZ era' post-rock (full length
Then: Ahab - The Giant
Now: Ahab - The Giant
Simply a giant of an album. Molded out of funeral doom metal and post-rock (to some degree I think), this album is the embodiment of everything I love about music. In every way more accessible and more listenable than their first two albums, less dense and claustrophobic, more sensitive and resonant, The Giant is the most accomplished and complete Ahab album to date.