CELTIC FROST: MONOTHEIST
Celtic Frost returned in 2006 after several years away. This album is absolutely massive. It is extremely long at over 75 minutes and the sound is just incredible. Celtic Frost put together one of the most unusually creative and incredibly dense and dark albums of all time. It is eerie and intense at the same time. This is not an album to listen to in the dark. It is difficult to categorize as there is so much going on in this album. It is rare for a reunion album to be this different from the band's original material and still hold up well, but this one does.
DEICIDE: THE STENCH OF REDEMPTION
After the Hoffman brothers left Deicide, the band looked to be pretty stagnant. Not having released a decent album since the mid 1990's, things looked pretty bleak. However, the band was rejuvenated on this release. Ralph Santolla was brought on to provide amazing guitar solos and Jack Owen provided rhythm guitars. Deicide sounded like a completely different band. They were surprisingly melodic yet still deadly heavy. They were completely reborn. This was the best Deicide album in years.
Dissection, along with Celtic Frost, was another surprising return to the metal world. Jon Nodtveidt returned from prison with a lot of new ideas and recorded them. What resulted was a departure musically and one hell of a statement ideologically. The melodic blackened death sound was gone and in its place was a streamlined melodic death metal masterpiece. Compared to their earlier work, this is a disappointment, but alone, it's incredible. Nodtveidt committed suicide soon after.
This was an album that I fell in love with the minute I heard it. It was so different, so powerful, and so unique that it was hard not to. Melechesh's sound is rooted in black metal, but they have elements of thrash and death as well. And then of course there are the Middle Eastern folk elements. Playing with Middle Eastern scales and melodies, Melechesh found a way to truly stand out from many of their peers. This was truly the best album of 2006 and sure to go down as a classic.
SCAR SYMMETRY: PITCH BLACK PROGRESS
Being somewhat of a melodeath fan, I was excited when I heard my first Scar Symmetry song. The band blends melodeath with progressive structures and some surprising power metal-esque vocals. Singer Christian Alvestam possesses a very unique voice. Capable of a powerful death metal roar as well as some surprisingly good clean vocals, Alvestam's voice causes Scar Symmetry to stand out among the rest of the Swedish melodeath scene. A great album.
All That Remains: The Fall of Ideals
Amon Amarth: With Oden on Our Side
Blind Guardian: A Twist in the Myth
Cannibal Corpse: Kill
I: Between Two Worlds
Ihsahn: The Adversary
In Flames: Come Clarity
Into Eternity: The Scattering of Ashes
Iron Maiden: A Matter of Life and Death
Mastodon: Blood Mountain
Slayer: Christ Illusion
Vader: Impressions in Blood
BANDS THAT FORMED IN 2006: