The Best Melodic Black Metal Album

1.  Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere 430
2.  Winterfylleth - The Divination of Antiquity 69
3.  Panopticon - Roads To The North 68
4.  Fen - Carrion Skies 54
5.  Hoth - Oathbreaker 44
6.  Saille - Eldritch 21
  Falls Of Rauros - Believe In No Coming Shore 21
8.  A Hill To Die Upon - Holy Despair 17
9.  Dark Fortress - Venereal Dawn (write-in vote) 16
10.  Arbor - Echoes Over Oceans 11
11.  Nachtmystium - The World We Left Behind (write-in vote) 4
  Nachtblut - Chimonas 4
Total votes:
780




A Hill To Die Upon - Holy Despair

One of the colder, less forgiving albums in this category, A Hill To Die Upon's Holy Despair is a relentless outpouring of violent anguish. It's a dark onslaught of heavy-hitting riffs and haunting melodies, throwing some death into the black and mixing up a fantastically grim cocktail of despair. Listen before attending a funeral.

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Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere

The atmosphere Agalloch have created with their fifth full-length record The Serpent & The Sphere is a rather different one from their back-catalogue. These American leaders in atmospheric black metal have harnessed particular elements of their diverse sound and projected them in a familiar yet distinctly forward way. The lessening of neofolk elements allows for a more direct build to the album's heavier basis in riff, interspersing more obvious atmospheric segments throughout its new course in the Agalloch discography.

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Arbor - Echoes Over Oceans

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Atmospheric devotees Arbor continue their exploration into (and experimentation with) black metal and the coldest metal musics. This album brings a far better production than the band's attention-grabbing debut, and shows a new maturity and refinement without losing an ounce of the child-like curiosity in their musical experiment. Post metal, progressive, and ambient elements are brought to life by the excellent, smooth guitars and varied vocals.

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Falls Of Rauros - Believe In No Coming Shore

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True to their name, Falls Of Rauros sound just like a magnificent waterfall - splashes of thunderous rhythm and power, contemplative and iridescent guitar lines crashing around each other. Beautifully vibrant bass bolsters these forlorn hymns as they wander through ancient lands of haunted vocals and mesmerizingly beautiful instrumentation. Check "Ancestors Of Smoke" for the highlight of your year in meloblack.

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Fen - Carrion Skies

Fen has always liked to experiment with different metal combinations. Their previous effort, the mighty Dustwalker, was their loosest in terms of genre bending and they received some flak for it from their die-hard fan base. Carrion Skies is a more straight-forward, riffed-based atmospheric black album and much less about post-rock aesthetics. Sporadic soft to heavy moments still flourish because of tighter song writing, better clean vocals and superb sound production. Carrion Skies is another monument on Fen's pedestal, a meloncholic, satisfying musical journey through brittle and dreamy landscapes.

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Hoth - Oathbreaker

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If Hoth's homages to Star Wars hadn't already earned them your adoration, then their keen sense of melody and sharp guitar work certainly will. Almost folky at times, and never anything less than brilliant, Hoth's melodic odysseys excel at producing the kind of bleak, frosty atmosphere you would expect from a band named after a massive ice planet.

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Nachtblut - Chimonas

The German philosophic dark metallers Nachtblut continue their discography with their most versatile album to date. Chimonas combines the crushing riffs and atmosphere of the first two albums with catchy synthesized sounds from Dogma to a nice mixture that contains something for any taste. With unbroken will and ready to fight, the collaboration with Varg's vocalist Freki makes the track "Wien 1683" to a live hymn, while classic tracks like "Wie Gott Sein" pierce into every religious heart like a thousand small needles.

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Panopticon - Roads To The North

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Ever since its beginnings, Panopticon has been a project where experimentation is always a welcome gesture. From folk-friendly violins to electronic touches mixed with chaotic yet melodic black metal, but the most memorable touches are still the beautiful bluegrass influences which started in the great Kentucky but now are further developed in Roads To The North. Do yourself a favor; go take a hike and enjoy the little things in life with this album as your soundtrack.

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Saille - Eldritch

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Eldritch is an overwhelming maelstrom of complex symphonic black metal - a furious flurry of musical brilliance the likes of which is hard to come by. The intricate guitar lines and escalating keyboard backgrounds forge thunderously dramatic epics, with some eerie chants thrown in for further effect. This is symphonic black metal the way it's supposed to be done.

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Winterfylleth - The Divination of Antiquity

If there is anything like majestic black metal, Winterfylleth surely play it. Not only because of the sweet artwork, The Divination of Antiquity has suprised many last year. Melodic leads come together with strong vocals and impulsive rhythms. These guys have an extraordinary sense in riff-writing and putting songs together, probably the Wintersun of black metal.

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