Saturday, April 30, 2011

Year in Metal: 2009

Link to larger post.

My Top 10 as shown in that post:
10. Thanatos: Justified Genocide
9. Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
8. Amorphis: Skyforger
7. Dawn of Azazel: Relentless
6. Seance: Awakening of the Gods
5. Cauldron: Chained to the Nite
4. Goatwhore: Carving Out the Eyes of God
3. God Dethroned: Passiondale
2. Razor of Occam: Homage to Martyrs
1. Destroyer 666: Defiance

Again, the Top 10 has not changed, but I want to look at some different albums from 2009.

I originally avoided Baroness. I had heard that Baroness was basically Mastodon, and I have not been nearly as impressed with Mastodon's material since Blood Mountain. However I heard some decent songs off the Baroness album, coupled with the fact that it was Decibel's Album of the Year, and eventually decided it was time to pick it up. I am glad that I did. This is a very good album. Though I am not the biggest fan of the recent surge in sludge/doom metal acts, much preferring the original sludge artists such as Eyehategod and Acid Bath, I do admit the songs on this thing are damn catchy. I am not yet sure whether I will continue to check out Baroness, but they got my attention.

Cobalt was the subject of an awful lot of hype leading up to this album. The American black metal band had switched up their sound a little bit for this release, going with a more all-encompassing sound on this release. This is not a simple black metal album. It has elements of punk, rock, and sludge metal. Then there is the fact that vocalist/guitarist Phil McSorley was stationed in Iraq as a U.S. Army scout which adds an intriguing element to the band's music. This is an incredible album that is not like any other black metal album from the U.S. or anywhere else for that matter.

Well, since I covered Metallica's sort-of-return-to-form for 2008, I figured I should cover Megadeth's here. Of the two, Megadeth's was far closer to their early glory days. This actually sounds like thrash metal and all of the characteristics that made Megadeth stand out are present. Fast riffs, check. Amazing guitar solos, check. Snarling vocals, check. Angry, political lyrics, check. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Dave Mustaine is one hell of a guitarist and that shows here. Ultimately, I prefer this album to Metallica's most recent.

Napalm Death keeps doing what Napalm Death does. And that is put out album after album of furious death/grind every 18 months or so. I have always been a fan of vocalist Barney Greenway, and although I prefer his work with Benediction, his ferocious roar sounds great with the crushing and grinding riffs of Napalm Death. I have in the last few months become a much bigger fan of this band and admit that this is one of their best albums I have heard.

Suffocation had a hand in the creation of several subgenres of death metal from slam to brutal death to deathcore. Their own music exists on a bit more of the brutal death side of things although there have been many bands that are clearly more brutal now. However, Suffocation still puts out great albums and though brutal still remain listenable. Suffocation has never had to change their musical formula and still remain as powerful now as they did on their debut.

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 19: Celtic Frost

Okay, I am cheating a little bit here. Rather than have separate entries for Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, and Triptykon, I am choosing an umbrella listing for all three. I think that is probably the best way to handle this because all three bands were driven by Tom G. Warrior and all had similar elements, although the major defining aspect of their music was growth and evolution. Hellhammer was the starting point. That band played a mix of metal and punk that eventually came to help influence the thrash, black, and death metal scenes. Then Hellhammer became Celtic Frost which built upon the relatively simple ideas of Hellhammer and fleshed them out, and made them more complex. But Celtic Frost was not content to simply rest on their laurels and make the same album time after time. They experimented heavily with non-metal influences. Then they declined spectacularly in quality finally breaking up. Celtic Frost reunited and put out a simply stunning but very hard to categorize album in 2006. Then some problems reappeared and Warrior formed Triptykon which built on the Frost reunion album.

Celtic Frost was massively influential on three different metal scenes and undoubtedly put out some fantastic music. Better yet, their good albums still sound fresh and relevant today. Not bad for albums nearly 30 years old.


My Favorite Metal Band from Italy

I decided on Graveworm due mostly to the fact that I am more familiar with more of their catalog than I am for some of the other bands listed in my Honorable Mentions. It is likely that my pick will change in the future. Graveworm is a melodic black metal band that occasionally delves into gothic metal. The most interesting aspect of the band is the fact that they frequently tackle a really bizarre song to cover. "Losing My Religion", "I Need a Hero", "Message in a Bottle", "It's a Sin", and "Fear of the Dark" have all been covered by Graveworm, adding their own spin on the songs. Graveworm has a bit of a somber overall tone which is improved even moreso through the use of keyboards and symphonic instrumentation.

Fleshgod Apocalypse
Forgotten Tomb
Lacuna Coil

Friday, April 29, 2011

Initial Impressions: Evil Incarnate: Waiting for His Return

Evil Incarnate is a little-known death metal band from Illinois off of Hell's Headbangers record label. This is absolutely old-school death metal. The band bears a sonic similarity to the great Nunslaughter. It is evil, fast, and aggressive death metal with a dark and sinister atmosphere.

For all of the changes that death metal has undergone over the years, it is refreshing that there are still bands out there like Evil Incarnate that are devoted to the old ways and play death metal the way it was originally played. It is nice that there have been changes, but sometimes I do want to hear a new band that wears their old school influences on their sleeve. Evil Incarnate pulls this off without sounding intentionally retro.

The riffs on this thing are all about beating the listener into submission. It is not an album of pretty and catchy music. It is about brutality, plain and simple. It is really kind of a unique album in that way. It's not supposed to be an album that gets under your skin and has you singing the songs all day long. They just create as much utter chaos as they can for about half an hour.

When all is said and done, this is an interesting album. The sheer force and aggressiveness with which the band uses to pummel the listener is memorable, even if the riffs and songs are not.

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 18: Carcass

I had a lot of trouble deciding on one spot for some reason. I debated back and forth between Cannibal Corpse and Carcass for the final spot here. Ultimately, I decided on Carcass due to their having released great albums in essentially three different metal genres. Cannibal Corpse is fine, but they are mostly a run-of-the-mill death metal band and Carcass's death metal album is better than anything Cannibal Corpse put out. Then there is the grindcore stuff, which has inspired legions upon legions of imitators such as Aborted and The County Medical Examiners. But what really puts Carcass over the top for me is Heartwork. That album is an early example of melodic death metal, a style that I got into when I first started discovering extreme metal. That album combined with their death metal album puts Carcass far and away above Cannibal Corpse and knocks that band off the Top 100.


My Favorite Metal Band from Israel

I only really listen to two bands from Israel and they are both fantastic. However, Melechesh easily gets the nod due to their much more aggressive style of metal. The black/death/thrash metal band is easily one of my overall favorite bands. Their take on metal, adding in Middle Eastern melodies and scales, is extremely well-done and impressive. I only own their last three albums, but they are all absolutely amazing. Even though Melechesh no longer resides in Israel, they got their start there and that is good enough for me.

Orphaned Land

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 17: Candlemass

Candlemass, the pioneering Swedish doom metal band, has gone through a variety of lineup changes over the years, most notably with the vocalist. However, the driving force behind Candlemass's sound has always been bassist and principal songwriter Leif Edling. As long as he is present, you know what you will get from a Candlemass album: epic doom metal. Of course the most band is most known for Messiah Marcolin's powerful operatic voice, but their most famous album arguably came before Marcolin. Even now, Candlemass continues to put out great doom metal albums and is currently fronted by Solitude Aeternus singer Robert Lowe, not the actor.


My Favorite Metal Band from Ireland

Primordial is one of the best pagan/folk/black metal bands going right now and one of the few that is enjoying some metal mainstream success, thanks largely to their presence on Metal Blade. The band has a knack for heart-wrenching epics about their country's history and mythology. Their music is bittersweet and emotional, but it is also catchy and brings the listener back for more. Vocalist A.A. Nemtheanga possesses an extremely powerful voice that fits in very well with the music.

Mourning Beloveth

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Initial Impressions: Perversor: Demon Metal

Perversor is a Chilean blackened death/thrash metal band whose sound is rooted firmly in 1980's South American metal. Think Sarcofago, Bestial Devastation-era Sepultura, and Vulcano for reference points. So, yeah, this is some pretty nasty and bestial stuff here. The production values are pretty low, so you have to listen closely to hear just what in the hell is going on musically. This is pretty common for the styles that Perversor is influenced by though so it is not much of a surprise.

This is an EP so it is short and not-so-sweet. Perversor do a pretty good job of catching the same energy and hostility of their influences and package it together in something that does not quite sound like a tribute, but rather has its own voice. This is not retro in the least.

This is absolutely raw and bestial metal. It is not for the weak of heart. I am anxious to hear more from this band.

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 16: Bolt Thrower

That's right, Bolt-Fuckin'-Thrower. One of the early bands in the U.K. grindcore scene along with Carcass and Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower changed their sound to go in a more death metal direction early in their career and have been amazingly consistent. Sort of like Amon Amarth, Bolt Thrower just releases classic album after classic album about violence and warfare. Another interesting note is that Bolt Thrower was one of the earlier extreme metal bands to have a female member, bassist Jo-Anne Bench, whose bass playing is one of the driving forces in the band's cataclysmic sound.


My Favorite Metal Band from Iraq

Janaza is interesting. I am sure that being a sole female member of a black metal band in a largely Muslim nation is probably quite controversial. Then there is the fact that Janaza's lyrics for the most part are utterly against Islam as a religion. Janaza plays extremely raw black metal and is part of the Arabic Anti-Islamic Legion, a newer collective of black metal groups speaking out against Islam.

NOTE: I am aware of Acrassicauda, but to this date have not checked them out yet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Initial Impressions: Catacombs: In the Depths of R'lyeh

I can not imagine a more suitable style of music to be the soundtrack for H.P. Lovecraft's work than funeral doom. It accurately catches the sense of hopelessness and foreboding in the face of looming apocalypse that Lovecraft's writings convey. With that out of the way, here we have one-man funeral doom band Catacombs and one of the greatest covers I have ever seen.

This is definitely not melancholic, easy-listening doom, this is as harsh as funeral doom can get. This is an absolute audio nightmare. Of course with the subject matter, it could not possibly be any other way. This music is the soundtrack to abject terror. It is slow, dark, and monumentally heavy. There is no reprieve when this music starts up. This is abyssal madness captured in sound.

I honestly do not listen to a lot of funeral doom, but the album cover to this release captured my attention. I have only Ahab to reference for this type of genre, so what I will say is that Ahab is easy-listening compared to this. This is a monstrous, terrifying-sounding album. It is very well worth the Lovecraft cover. This sounds like the atmosphere The Call of Cthulhu was going for, down to the vocals.

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 15: Blind Guardian

Blind Guardian is a band that it took me a long time to get into. Power metal was really the last genre I started listening to frequently. I do not really understand why that is. My best friend was into it far earlier than I was. I guess I did not see the same level of aggression in it as thrash and death metal. Blind Guardian is one of the first power metal bands I listened to though. Their sound is epic and glorious. The band focuses on fantasy themes, including doing a concept album on Tolkien's The Silmarillion. But they bring enough aggression into the mix to avoid falling into the same traps as fellow European power metal bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Stratovarius, and the like.


My Favorite Metal Band from Hungary

Vorkuta is a black metal band from Hungary named after a town near a GULAG camp. The band plays harsh black metal one second and then can immediately switch to shockingly uneasy ambience. The harsher stuff truly stands out as the most impressive parts, but the ambient material is done very well as well. Vorkuta is a band that takes awhile to get into, but once done, the band is easily on par with other Eastern European black metal bands.


Monday, April 25, 2011

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 14: Black Sabbath

Well, everyone should have known that Black Sabbath would make this list. Black Sabbath started it all. They were the very first metal band and their music became the framework for the doom metal genre. Their first five albums are utter classics. They wrote some of the most enduring metal songs of all time. There just really is not much more to say. Black Sabbath was the original. Everything we listen to now was made possible because of Black Sabbath.

As I mentioned, the first five albums with Ozzy Osbourne behind the mic are absolute classics. But even though the band went through a number of lineups (Tony Iommi is the only constant member), the band still managed to put out great albums with different singers. The material with Ronnie James Dio has gotten a lot of attention in recent years and the material with Tony Martin remains vastly underrated.


My Favorite Metal Band from Greece

This is another country that long-time readers of this blog (there's what three or four of you?) will probably be able to guess. Rotting Christ is one of my favorite overall bands, not just from Greece, but from anywhere. The band has actually had kind of an interesting musical progression, beginning as a grindcore band then abruptly shifting gears to black metal and then adding more and more gothic influences. Now, the band exists somewhere in between gothic and black metal. They have a very interesting sound and write some very catchy songs. Rotting Christ is part of the Hellenic black metal scene, a number of groups that play a unique style of black metal.

NOTABLE SCENES: Hellenic black metal. Power metal in recent years.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Year in Metal: 2008

Link to my larger post.

My Top 10 that year was as follows:
10. Nocturnal Fear: Code of Violence
9. Holy Moses: Agony of Death
8. Septicflesh: Communion
7. The Gates of Slumber: Conqueror
6. Hail of Bullets: ...Of Frost and War
5. Lair of the Minotaur: War Metal Battle Master
4. Toxic Holocaust: An Overdose of Death
3. Mictlantecuhtli: Warriors of the Black Sun
2. Eluveitie: Slania
1. Grand Magus: Iron Will

So, let's talk about some different albums then.

Cynic came back after 12 years on hiatus. The band would have been an excellent example of a band for my One and Done series had they not decided to reunite, but they did and this album was released to a ton of hype in 2008. It was worth the wait. While abandoning their death and thrash metal roots, Cynic still managed to put out a great album with this effort. The music is actually surprisingly mellow, so much so that my fiancee really liked this release.

The great Emperor frontman released his second solo album in 2008 and built upon the ideas from the first solo release. What resulted was a fine progressive metal album with some black metal influences. He is a fantastic multi-instrumentalist and a gifted songwriter. Of course we already knew all this from his days with Emperor. This album simply emphasizes his gifts.

Possibly the comeback album of the year, with only Cynic as any real competition. This is unarguably the venerable band's best release since The Black Album. I actually kind of prefer it to that one. Songs like "All Nightmare Long" definitely call to mind some of the material from that classic mainstream metal album. Metallica still has a distressing tendency to write overly long songs, but the songs are still enjoyable.

Nachtmystium is one of the more well-known black metal bands from the United States, but this album goes in much more of an experimental and almost psychedelic direction. The title is a reference to Pink Floyd and that band's musical influence can be clearly heard on this release. The band is at its best when they combine their rawer black metal influences with the Pink Floyd-isms.

A vastly underrated American power metal band, Pharaoh is much more similar to groups like Twisted Tower Dire than to Blind Guardian. It is American power metal, not overly melodic frilly European power metal. Metal that actually has power. Pharaoh crafted a fine album with this release. It's melodic, but not overly so, catchy and it has balls. I am looking forward to the next one.

Since I did a full write-up earlier for this year and subsequent years, I will not do the Honorable Mentions or Bands that Formed. Most newly formed bands from these years have not made much of an impact at this time anyway, with some exceptions.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 13: Behemoth

Behemoth is an incredibly dark and brutal band from Poland. They started out as a simple black metal band but gradually began adding more and more death metal influences into their sound. Currently the band possesses an eerie and occult-flavored take on death metal. Behemoth's distinctive feature is the deep vocal style of Nergal, who has one of the most powerful voices in this style of metal. Every incarnation of Behemoth, from their early raw black metal to their occult death metal is impressive. Behemoth is a very distinct and unusual band.


My Favorite Metal Band from Germany

Oh boy this was tough. So many great bands have come from Germany. The country has also been at the forefront of the development of the metal genre in general with the 1970's emergence of Scorpions. Several major scenes have erupted out of Germany. Of course Germany is also interesting because my last name is German.

So, ultimately I have to choose just one band. That band is Sodom. Sodom is the only German metal band that has been extremely consistent throughout their entire career. Sodom of course was one of the Big 3 of German thrash and was hugely influential on the development of the black and death metal scenes with their earliest work as well. Their raw and brutal style was another starting point in the inception of black metal. Despite all this, it is their pure thrash metal albums that are the most impressive. They have crafted some of the greatest thrash metal albums of the 1980's. And their consistently fine work places them above the other two bands in the Big 3.

NOTABLE SCENES: Germany's thrash metal scene is terrific. Many pioneering power metal bands rose from Germany.

Blind Guardian
Dark Fortress
Gamma Ray
Grave Digger
Holy Moses

Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 Revolver Golden Gods

I suppose I will comment on this thing, even though it is currently sitting on my head and crushing it. I want to spread the misfortune. So, the Revolver Golden Gods were held yesterday, and yes it was just as much of a complete clusterfuck as usual. This year apparently Avenged Sevenfold was the only band that mattered, winning best guitarists, best drummer (for Mike Portnoy who is only tangentially involved with A7X), best vocalist, and Album of the Year. Wow. What terrible shitty taste.

Other than that we had Black Veil Brides win Best New Artist. I decided to check them out and was disgusted by the blend of metalcore and glam rock. That's seriously like vomiting on a pile of shit. Sorry for the disgusting image, but I think it's apt. Murderdolls won Comeback of the Year somehow, even though they were never really taken seriously to begin with.

Oh, and Album of the Year is sponsored by Affliction. Yep, that about sums it up.

EDIT: I have been informed that Taylor Momsen is only 17 years old. In which case I renounce my earlier statement and say that I am a little creeped out by my earlier statement. If you did not see it, that's probably better that way.

One and Done? Pt. 3: Mundanus Imperium

Mundanus Imperium is not a well-known band. They only released one album and one EP, but vocalist Jorn Lande is a well-known singer in several groups such as Masterplan, Yngwie Malmsteen, and his solo project. Despite Jorn's involvement, he is not the driving force behind the band. The band is a project for Lars Wiik and Bent Holm who created this dark progressive metal band.

Mundanus Imperium was formerly known as Nattefall, a group with only one demo out. So, even in their former incarnation they were not terribly productive.

The band sounds a bit like a more symphonic version of Symphony X. Of course Jorn is a perfect vocalist for a symphonic metal band, with a big powerful tenor, and the vocals are a strong point for the band. But the symphonic elements, delivered by keyboards and synthesizers are the most noteworthy aspect. Oftentimes, it sounds as if the songwriters were classically-trained composers rather than metal musicians. The symphonic elements really shine through on instrumental "Beyond the Earthly", which sounds less like a metal song and more like an orchestral piece.

The lyrics get a little cheesy at times. They are devoted mostly toward space and science fiction, taking things a bit too far with the ridiculous "Starwars". Despite this, the vocal talent of Jorn Lande helps make up for some of these odd moments.

I really do not know why Mundanus Imperium disappeared. Perhaps it was due to Jorn's involvement in other projects, but not likely because this is not his band.

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 12: Bathory

Finally, to the B's. If you have not already guessed, this list is pretty top-heavy. Once we get through the D's it will be smooth sailing.

Bathory had to make it here. Not just because Quorthon was an amazing musician, vocalist, and songwriter. Not just because they had a major hand in developing two different styles of metal. But it is because Bathory simply was a great band. A major influence on the development of black metal, Bathory's sound provided the framework for which most of the Norwegian second wave black metal bands were based. Then, with Blood Fire Death, Bathory moved in a different direction and pioneered Viking metal. Bathory's music has always had an epic feel, even in its raw black metal sound, but the turn towards Viking metal accentuated the epic quality. The band is quite simply one of a kind.


My Favorite Metal Band from France: Yyrkoon

I had a little bit of a tough time deciding my favorite metal band from France. I do not listen to a lot of bands from the country very much and, in fact, there is not a single band from France that I have more than one album from. So, it basically came down to which album is my favorite and that went to Yyrkoon's album, even over Deathspell Omega, Gojira, and the LLN albums. Yyrkoon is a vastly underrated death metal band that has really not built up much of a following at all. Which is very unfortunate. I almost never see any mention of this band anywhere. I can't be the only one who has heard of them. So, death metal fans, do yourself a favor and check out Yyrkoon.

NOTABLE SCENES: Les Legions Noires

Deathspell Omega
Vlad Tepes

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 11: Averse Sefira

Averse Sefira is one of the top black metal bands in the U.S. No question. They play a particularly brutal style of black metal with unmatched intensity. This is not cold, Norwegian black metal, this is the kind of filthy, stinking metal that could only come from a bunch of guys in Texas. I have covered Texas's black metal scene in depth in the past and Averse Sefira is the most notable example from that scene. This is harsh black metal that proves that the U.S. can produce some excellent bands in the style.


My Favorite Metal Band from Finland

I know I just talked about them a short time ago, but Amorphis is truly amazing. As Kelly said, for a band to change their sound that drastically and still be putting out classic albums time after time is virtually unheard of. Amorphis is truly an original band. I eagerly await every new album from the band because I know I will not be disappointed by them. Hell, I am trying to come up with a way to get them played at our wedding this summer.

NOTABLE SCENES: Finland has a very underrated melodeath scene, some filthy black metal, bizarre death metal, folk metal, and of course the Children of Bodom clones.

Children of Bodom
Impaled Nazarene
Omnium Gatherum
Reverend Bizarre
Sonata Arctica
Swallow the Sun

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My 100 Favorite Metal Bands Pt. 10: Atomizer

Atomizer is another Australian band that kind of fits into the "war metal" scene. Atomizer though plays a much more pure brand of thrash metal with very little black metal influence and even went in a more traditional metal direction. The band released four full-length albums and several EPs and splits over their time as an active band. Their particular striking feature is their ability to craft some damn catchy songs. "When I Die, I Wanna Die Violently" is a particular favorite.


My Favorite Metal Band from Denmark

Okay, this one was legitimately tough. How do you decide between Mercyful Fate and King Diamond? Ultimately the decision was due to the massive influence Mercyful Fate has had on the formation of metal. That and the fact that Melissa and Don't Break the Oath are all-time metal classics with tons of great songs. This is not to say anything disparaging about King Diamond's solo work, just that Mercyful Fate's early work is so influential that King Diamond could not fill those shoes.

Iron Fire
King Diamond

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Special Request: My Favorite Metal Band from Romania

My fiancee is asking me when in the hell I am going to get to Romania. I told her it would be a few weeks yet, but she is pushing me to do it now. She has ancestors that came to the U.S. from Romania, which is why she is interested. I'm not sure if she can trace her lineage to Vlad Tepes or not, frankly I am not sure I want to know.

Romania was easy though. There is only one band I am familiar with from the country and that is Negura Bunget. Negura Bunget plays black metal which borders on folk and pagan influences. The songs are longer with a variety of different things going on musically. It is captivating and intense without being barbarically brutal. You really have to pay attention to truly understand Negura Bunget's music, but there is something to be said for something that is truly engrossing.

Year in Metal: 2007

I first discovered Amorphis in the late 1990's, around the time that Tuonela was released. However, I stopped listening to them after their follow-up album for several years. This was the album that brought me back to Amorphis. This album is hauntingly beautiful and surprisingly catchy. Gone for the most part are the psychedelic meanderings of their previous albums. These are full songs and they are delivered extremely well. New vocalist Tomi Joutsen fits very well with the rest of the band and they were rejuvenated on this release. I have been a huge fan of them once again ever since.

Immolation has steadily put out classic release after classic release. Their 2007 effort is quite possibly their best ever though, which is really saying something since the band had been around since the early days of New York death metal. Immolation's take on occultish, Morbid Angel-influenced death still sounds amazing more than 20 years later. This album actually finds the band exploring some new melodies that sound great with their usual twisted riffing style.

Ireland's Primordial have been making quite a bit of noise just underground for several years leading up to this album, but this is when most of the metal world really stood up and took notice of the band. Rooted in black metal, but playing with Celtic folk influences, Primordial went for a much more melodic sound on this release. The result was one of the strongest albums of the year and an album that will stand as a true classic.

This was the album that introduced me to Rotting Christ. It also still stands as my favorite release by the band. Rotting Christ is another band that consistently puts out great release after great release. It is a little more unusual for them though as their sound has changed frequently over the years. This release finds them adding black metal influences once again into their gothic, Hellenic style. This album would have made my Album of the Year in 2007 had I been doing it at the time. It is simply flawless.

Sigh is a weird band. But most of you out there probably already knew that. Sigh does not produce the same album twice in a row. This album is much more of an orchestral thrash metal album. It has some truly impressive thrash riffs and some simply amazing symphonic elements. What results is a catchy and bombastic album that gets going quickly and never really falters. It is an easy album to sit down and listen to and become fully engrossed in. It's just unfortunate that Sigh will not release anything like it again.

Akercocke: Antichrist
Arch Enemy: Rise of the Tyrant
Behemoth: The Apostacy
Dark Tranquillity: Fiction
Helloween: Gambling with the Devil
High on Fire: Death is this Communion
Iced Earth: Framing Armageddon-Something Wicked Pt. 1
Machine Head: The Blackening
Marduk: Rom 5:12
Mayhem: Ordo Ad Chao
Paradise Lost: In Requiem
Skeletonwitch: Beyond the Permafrost
Slough Feg: Hardworlder
Symphony X: Paradise Lost
The Black Dahlia Murder: Nocturnal
Watain: Sworn to the Dark

Cavalera Conspiracy