Metal of 2004: Ten years later…

Posted: March 2, 2014 in General

2004 was an important year for me. I left my small hometown to go to uni in a place where there was plenty of access to good music. THANK FUCK I did that, because other than awesome independent record store Barnstorm, Dumfries sucked major metal-less balls. My friends were in a metal band that combined Iced Earth and Maiden, and they were fucking good. But then broke up and we never got the follow up (Come on Sweet Suicide, reform and tour the fucking WORLD! There’s a market for it…) I never really dug the rest of Dumfries bands, but I didn’t really know them so, I guess that’s my own fault.

But in 2004, we got some incredible records that can still be counted as landmark classics. And also, seriously thought some of these were younger than that… Anyway, here are my favourite records that turn ten this year:

3 Inches of Blood – Advance and Vanquish: This record is hugely fun. Trad metal combined with ear bursting shrieks and some seriously catchy metal anthems, this is a brilliant heavy metal record. Altogether now ‘KILL THE ORCS, SLAY THE ORCS DESTROY THE ORCS!!’

Wintersun – Wintersun: The be-all and end-all of melodic death metal. So good it took another 7 years to hear anything new from Wintersun. I LOVE this record, it is sublime.

Mastodon – Leviathan: There is no more words to use to describe Mastodon’s magnum opus. Dazzlingly progressive and stunningly heavy Best record of the year.

Unearth – The Oncoming Storm: 2004 was the year of breakout metalcore, and Unearth were one of the better bands. ‘The Great Dividers’ is a pit classic.

Suffocation – Souls to Deny: The death metal reunion record of that year, Suffocation showed why, even after a 6 year absence, they were head and shoulders above the rest.

Isis – Panopticon: Probably still THE benchmark in all of post-metal, ‘Panopticon’ is a vast record, and so important in the evolution of metal.

Pig Destroyer – Terrifyer: They should’ve just called this Terrifying. I didn’t know how to feel when I first heard ‘Pretty in Casts’. I just knew I wanted more. One of the most savage grindcore releases ever.

Rammstein – Reise, Reise: The German industrialists finest work since Sehnsucht, with the creepy ‘Dalai Lama’ and anthemic ‘Amerika’ as particular highlights. It’s essential

Neurosis – The Eye of Every Storm: It’s fucking Neurosis, that’s why. Anything they write is gold, and ‘Burn’ from this record was my first glimpse of them.

Mercenary – 11 Dreams: A band I had never heard of until I saw them support Nevermore that year, ’11 Dreams’ is one of the most unique melodeath records out there.

Lamb of God – Ashes of the Wake: This record is where the world woke up to LoG. ‘Omerta’ is my favourite song by these guys, and the rest of the record is brutal

Firewind – Forged by Fire: My first exposure to Gus G and his fret fireworks. ‘Forged by Fire’ is a brilliant Euro-metal record, cheesy but heavy and catchy as fuck.

Enslaved – Isa: I felt ‘Ruun’ was better, but ‘Isa’ began Enslaved’s slow rise to becoming the band that creates THE most anticipated records.

Dragonforce – Sonic Firestorm: When power metal became ‘extreme’. I’d never heard anything as fast yet melodic as ‘My Spirit Will Go On’, and it still ranks as one of the best power metal tunes I know.

The Dllinger Escape Plan – Miss Machine: When the masters of mathcore went cosmic prog. A band my ex got me into and I’ve never gotten over how incredible this record is, even now.

Cult of Luna – Salvation: Another band I didn’t get into until a later record (‘Somewhere Along the Highway’) but ‘Salvation’ is a crushing testament to what an excellent band they are.

Amon Amarth – Fate of Norns: This was Amon Amarth’s breakout, starring centre stage the epic ‘Pursuit of Vikings’. Awesome.

I’m sure I’ve missed some, and there was some I left out because I wasn’t sure how important they were to me at least (36 CrazyFists – A Snow Capped Romance, great record but I’d never call it in my top 100)


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