Averse Sefira: Tetragrammatical Astygmata: Texan black metallists prove America can do the style as well as anyone.
Dark Fortress: Eidolon: German melodic black metal band breaks through and puts earlier predecessors like Dimmu Borgir to shame.
Dawn of Azazel: The Law of the Strong: New Zealanders combine black, death, and thrash metal into an extremely toxic stew that explodes out of the speakers.
Destroyer 666: Defiance: The best album of 2009, no contest.
Goatwhore: Carving Out the Eyes of God: Toxic stew of black, death, thrash, and sludge metal.
Impaled Nazarene: All that You Fear: You know what you're getting with this band: lightning fast, chaotic punk-influenced black metal.
Impiety: Formidonis Nex Cultus: Pure hellish brutality from Singapore.
Melechesh: Emissaries: Black metal from Jerusalem that takes on Sumerian/Babylonian mythology with Middle Eastern folk influences.
Primordial: To the Nameless Dead: Heart-wrenching Celtic black metal from Ireland.
Rotting Christ: Theogonia: The band with one of the most blasphemous names imaginable is surprisingly melodic and extremely good.