20. Asphyx - Deathhammer
Speaking of awesome death / doom...here is a not-so-surprising entry for the Nifty Fifty. How to put this album in perspective? Well, I'll start by admitting that I do pretty much love everything that has had Martin Van Drunen at the helm, but in the next breath I'll also say that not every song Asphyx has ever done has been a masterpiece in my opinion. They certainly have their fair share of tracks that sound a lot like all of the others, but I guess what I like the most about this album is that it either has enough variety to it that I really love it, or it's just got that perfect balance of punishing heft and catchy groove that makes it impossible for me to ignore it. The production is great, and the balance of highs and lows with the vocals is just enough to let Martin's exquisite vocals ring out but not overpower the ridiculously sweet and crushingly heavy guitar tone that Asphyx has always had. Many bands have made albums which on paper were meant to sound just like this, but no one else can really do it as well as Asphyx does. This is perfect mid-tempo death doom - plain and simple.