CRADLE OF FILTH: MIDIAN
Being a bit of a Clive Barker fan, I was interested in checking out an album inspired by his short story Cabal and the film version of said story, Nightbreed. This was the first album that brought Cradle of Filth widespread acclaim, and it abandons some of the more black metal leanings of the band in exchange for more of an extreme gothic metal sound. It also features some of the better songs by the band, including "Her Ghost in the Fog".
DESTROYER 666: PHOENIX RISING
Destroyer 666's second album incorporated more thrash metal elements, but still possessing all of the chaotic elements that made their first album so great. This still is not my favorite album from the band, their next one gets that distinction, but this is absolutely an amazing album from the Australian "war metal" scene. The best track is the absolutely epic "I am the Wargod (Ode to the Battle Slain)." It remains one of the band's best tracks ever.
After the groove/thrash band Fight and the gothic/industrial project 2wo, original metal god Rob Halford decided to form a new project getting back to his metal roots. Hiring a band of metal mercenaries helped Halford reach back into the past. This is the closest thing to the album Painkiller that Halford has been involved with. There are some great tracks and some awesome riffs on this album. It's unfortunate that so few really noticed it.
IRON MAIDEN: BRAVE NEW WORLD
Bruce Dickinson rejoined Iron Maiden for the recording of this album, named after the Aldous Huxley novel that is one of my favorites of all time. This was a terrific comeback album from the great metal band. Dickinson did not have a lot left vocally, his operatic vocals were gone, but he still sounds decent enough. Also returning to the band was guitarist Adrian Smith, giving the band three guitarists. Unfortunately, the band would not be able to replicate the success of this album in the three subsequent albums.
PANZERCHRIST: SOUL COLLECTOR
The Danish blackened death metal band with a penchant for songs about warfare released their third album in 2000. Despite the English language title, the lyrics all appear to be in German. Drummer Reno Killerich was in the Guinness Book of World Records for speed drumming and he does do a fantastic job behind the kit on this release. This is a massively brutal slice of death metal.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: In Flames: Clayman, Macabre: Dahmer, Pantera: Reinventing the Steel, Sentenced: Crimson.
BANDS THAT FORMED IN 2000: 3 Inches of Blood, Arsis, Nachtmystium, Swallow the Sun.