8.) Anomalie- Between The Light
We got some more Blackgaze here. There is some hints of Prog at times on here, but otherwise it contains all the Blackgaze/Atmospheric Black Metal elements that comes with the territory. The songs are quite short for the genre, the longest coming in at under eight and a half minutes. Its really cool melodic stuff. The production needs some work, but considering it is Black Metal, its polished as hell. A really cool listen.
9.) Within Temptation- Hydra
I will never understand why WT thought it was a good idea to work with Xzibit, but they did on one track. It's actually one of the better songs on the album. I haven't really been up to snuff on Within Temptation over the years, but I really do like this album. Really cool Female Fronted Symphonic Hard Rock. I'd love to see them live sometime. I know many will say their back catalog is much better, but if you've never gotten into the band before, this is an excellent starter album.
10.) Behemoth- The Satanist
While I still feel that Woods Of Desolation but out the Black Metal Album Of The Year, this is definitely the silver Metal. This is honestly the first Behemoth album that I can listen to straight through and not get bored. The Death Metal elements are pushed back to make room for the Raw Black Metal that made up their earlier sound. The album is still damn brutal as well. A great combination of songwriting and musicianship. I really think Nergal kicking cancer's ass has really light a fire under his own ass to write arguably the best Behemoth album to date.
11.) Persuader- The Fiction Maze
The best way i can describe these guys is Dream Theater doing Power Metal and Hansi from Blind Guardian kicked out James LaBrie. This is fantastic stuff, especially as a side project for Sonata Arctica (Who really need to impress me with their next album for me to be a fan again). This is absolutely stellar Power Metal with hints of Prog that just kicks ass from starts to finish. If you are a Dream theater, Blind Guardian, or Sonata Arctica fan, you NEED to check this out.
12.) Caliban- Ghost Empire
Germany's other great Metalcore band (along with the far superior Heaven Shall Burn). Caliban loves to focus on the more simplistic approach to Metalcore, but adding the right amount of orchestration and musicianship to make it stand out from other Metalcore bands. While not a perfect album, it does drag on a bit, in small doses it kicks your ass, and a good job of it, it does.
13.) Bong Breaker- Mountain
Just like the name suggest, this is Stoner Metal, although this is more in the Doom side of Stoner Metal. These guys are obviously very huge fans of Sleep and weed and both inspirations come through heavily on this album. Its definitely cool stuff if you are into the genre.
14.) Descend- Wither
Very Melodic and Atmospheric Death Metal. These guys don't focus on writing the most brutal riffs, but rather writing Death Metal soundscapes and songwriting, and to me that is always more appealing. That's not to say there isn't brutality on this album, but its just more in the background. Definitely be on the lookout for these guys, they could very well explode as one of the top Death metal bands this year.
15.) Lvcifyre- Svn Eater
This year's Portal. Absolutely brutal Death Metal mixed with Black Metal. This is one of the most overall pieces of brutality I've heard in quite some time. From start to finish it will kick your ass and take you to hell and leave you there. Absolutely killer brutal stuff.
16.) Exmortus- Slaves To The Sword
Death Metal, Thrash Metal, some Manowarish lyrics and simply badass music makes up Exmortus. Almost as if Revocation just stuck to Thrash and Death Metal instead of venturing off to far off lands. If you are not familiar with these guys, you should be. This kind of talent displayed here deserves some recognition.
17.) Cynic- Kindly Bent To Free Us
This is the album that will throw off more Cynic fans than possibly any other in their career. It is a very different vibe than they have ever had before. It's almost more Hard Rock in style than anything they've done before. The Death Metal elements are completely gone, and more of the Prog Rock and hard Rock remains, so a lot of hardcore fans could consider this album their Opeth's Heritage. It will definitely make you absolutely love it, or hate it. This is the kind of album that is polarizing like that, there is no inbetween. I happen to love it and feel they are on the right track. Why? because if they went back to tread water they already have done before, it wouldn't be real, and this is a real album....real damn good.
18.) Indian- From All Purity
Unless Triptykon and Sleep (if they put out an album this year) knock it out of the way, this is the Doom Metal Album of the Year. It's a lot noisier than their last album, Guiltless, but the Doom is far more heavier and brooding. The songwriting and musicianship from these guys is top notch for the genre. Indian is so damn underrated and they deserve to be regarded as one of the best. if you want some of the best Doom you'll ever hear, check out Indian, and more specifically, this album.
19.) Iskald- Nedom Og Nord
Very fine Melodic Black Metal from Norway. Not every band that plays Black Metal from Norway has to sound like Mayhem and Darkthrone. These guys, like I love in music, focus on writing fantastic, flowing, intriguing Black Metal. Not Atmospheric like it could be mistaken for. This is Black Metal with Melody, and done so very well. The album never gets boring and keeps up the pace with great dynamics, musicianship and songwriting. Definitely check this one out if the other forms of Black Metal are getting to be too much for you.
20.) Lorelei- Lore Of Lies
Symphonic Deathcore.......what? Yeah it sounds just like what I said. Deathcore with a symphonic edge. It actually makes Deathcore tolerable to hear some dynamics and symphonic behind the chugging. It doesn't feel like an album I would enjoy all the time, but if it pops up for a song or two on Random, I can dig it. If you wanna venture down this road, check these guys out. I can't imagine anyone else doing Symphonic Deathcore better...mainly because I can't imagine Deathcore with a symphonic edge to be any good besides this.
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