Now my previous lists have been specific to genre, but this is my ultimate top 20 of the year. It’ll include some records that you won’t have seen in previous ones as, for example, I only really heard two good power metal records this year, so I can’t really make a list from it. Also, where do you categorise certain bands, like Triptykon, who cover a wide spread of genres? Anyhow, my top favourites of the year are as follows:
20. Killer Be Killed – S/T – A supergroup that combines equal parts of their bands to create awesome
19. Grand Magus – Triumph and Power – Riffs of stone and hooks of great magnitude, the title track alone is one of my favourite songs of the year.
18. Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity – Another record of spellbinding black metal from England’s finest. Windswept and vast
17. Edguy – Space Police – Catchy as hell and stupidly anthemic, Tobias and the squad bring some RAWK to their power metal greatness
16. Electric Wizard – Time to Die – A suffocating, occult riddled drag down doom alley. Evil and heavy as fuck
15. Mastodon – Once More Round the Sun – A big improvement over The Hunter and Mastodon’s prog doom trip extends further
14. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare – A follow up to ‘Ordo Ad Chao’ was always going to be difficult, but the True Mayhem brought out another stormer
13. At the Gates – At War With Reality – Thank fuck we finally have the follow up to ‘Slaughter of the Soul’. They put all copycats to shame.
12. EyeHateGod – EyeHateGod – NOLA sludge titans send Joey LaCaze off with one of their most superlative records yet. Angry, harsh and utterly devastating
11. Decapitated – Blood Mantra – Poland’s finest sons of death continue their streak of blinding records with yet another punishing exercise in tech death
10. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum – Nasty, abrasive and skullfuckingly epic in parts, Anaal do things their way, and better than most
9. Inter Arma – The Cavern – A Spellbinding 45 minute trip through the mind of one of post metal and doom’s brightest sparks. Wonderful
8. Hour of Penance – Regicide – Always brutal and relentless, I’ve grown fonder and fonder of this record the longer the year has gone on. Death to all!
7. Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall – Nasty, lurching death metal chaos, belching death and pestilence to all
6. Whalerider – Thanatos – A surprise late entry, and its been on constant rotation. A stormingly good rock record with doses of psych doom weirdness too
5. Panopticon – Road to the North – Soaring and scorching black metal, vast and hypnotic. Epic black metal is the theme this year, and its great
4. Sabaton – Heroes – I fucking love this band. No one writes more anthemic metal tunes than this. Fantastic record and catchy as hell
3. Mount Salem – Endless – A starkly beautiful trad doom record with perfect vocals and atmosphere. The fact it is third on my list is testament to its quality
2. Behemoth – The Satanist – The rebirth of a legend and a triumphant return. Any other year this would’ve been the best by a country mile
1. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata – Nothing could beat the pure misanthropy, despair and heaviness wrought from Tom G Warrior. A simply monumental release