2009 proved to be an interesting year in metal for moi. This marks my third installment of a year end "best of" list. This year was a bit odd when it came to compiling this list because not only were there a LOT of great releases, none of my favorite metal bands* released an album that made the top 10 metal cut. Or even the "also receiving votes" runner-ups list.
That said, because there were so many great releases, and this is MetalStorm (i.e. a Metal site), I opted to place some restrictions on the entrants to make my job of listing only 10 easier… I excluded non-metal bands (Clutch) as well as any EPs (sorry, Jesu, Procession, Rising) and comps (Officium Triste). Even with those rules culling some of the competition, it was tough to compile a list of 10 without recognizing other good releases, so I tacked on an "others receiving consideration" category for what would amount, in some order, to spots 11-20.
Additionally, this year is odd because "things come in threes" - as opposed to 2007 or 2008 there was no real clear cut winner or even order for some of the releases. In all honesty, the albums in the first three slots are almost interchangeable depending upon the day or week, and the same also holds true with the 4th through 6th positions.
Top Ten of 2009.
10 Krallice - Dimensional Bleedthrough - A late edition to my list. When I was batting around nominees in January, this wasn't on the list… repeated listens for the review helped this monstrosity grow on me.
9 Asphyx - Death… The Brutal Way - The only DM album in my top 10. Or 20 for that matter. A fantastic effort which captures some of that old school vibe and attitude which just seems lacking in a lot of modern DM.
8 Profetus - Coronation Of The Black Sun - this release puts the "fun" in funeral doom. If by fun you mean allowing yourself to be slowly enveloped in a cocoon of misery.
7 Minsk - With Echoes In The Movement Of Stone - The album is every bit as big as the title… Everything just sounds massive. A great post-metal sludge album which takes several listens to begin to take it all in.
6 Process Of Guilt - Erosion - a stellar doom metal release with post-metal influences (Post-Doom? Maybe hoity-toity music critics can embrace the genre now with the "post-" affixed to it) that develops and flows as a cohesive album with a singular concept spread out amongst the tracks. Fantastic stuff.
5 Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu - spaced out black metal. while Darkspace's III (one of my fave releases of '08) was the sonic equivalent of getting sucked into a black hole, OP's "MP" takes almost the opposite approach, is relaxing at times, and almost sounds like the soundtrack to getting launched out an airlock and just slowly, leisurely floating around the void.
4 Cobalt - Gin - a crushing release every bit as intoxicating as the firewater for which it was named, only more likely to leave you with a bangover than a hangover. Shoulda/woulda/couulda made the awards, but sadly too few staff members were able to acquire and check it out in time. A horrible oversight on our part.
3 Ahab - The Divinity Of Oceans - slow, crushing nautik funeral doom with some post-metal elements as well… the mix of crushing riffs and doomgrowl vocals combined with clean vocals and occasional relaxing moments makes this a thoroughly enjoyable album.
2 Baroness - Blue Record - Having not listened to Baroness prior to this year, but reading a lot of hype about them and this record, I went in with high of expectations and was not disappointed. I just leave the feel and sound of this album, how all the instruments mesh together, the variation of moods and modes of expression, just a fantastic release that converted me. The decision to include a bonus disk of their live performance at Roadburn '09 was the icing on a very tasty (blue) cake.
1 Mastodon - Crack The Skye - always liked the band, always liked their albums, but this one just blew me away. Perhaps it was the fact that on a dreary March afternoon after a two scotch lunch I took a power nap with and woke up to the "Making Of" DVD on in the background, but something about this album just ingrained itself into my head. A full year, and dozens upon dozens of spins later I still enjoy the hell out of it.
Others receiving consideration: Shrinebuilder, Tombs, Saviours, Colosseum, Forsaken, Solstafir, Om, Kylesa, Candlemass, Birds Of Prey.
So there is the list. I guess a special tip of the cap to the state of Georgia… home to not only Mastodon and Baroness, the top two finishers, but also-ran Kylesa as well. Georgia… who knew?
So there you have it. Hooray. Thanks again to all the bands mentioned for brightening (or 'further bleakening' in the case of the doomsters) my otherwise drab existence…
And Perez is a giant douche for co-opting the Danzig logo to form a "cool" t-shirt. truth be told, he was already a giant douche, so i guess this just makes him rancid douche.
i cannot wait for the fad of celebutards sporting t's of metal bands they've never heard of dies. And, honestly, probably most of these celebs to die as well. i'm old. i'm cold. i'm bitter. i have no problem admitting it. i hate 99% of celebs and think the world would be a better place without them. particularly the latest breed of douchenozzles like Hilton who is only famous for tearing down others. of course, now that i'm tearing him down, and thus taking the same path to inevitable stardom, perhaps i can land a spot on the couch at The View. fuck them all.
*references my 10 favorite bands listed in my profile. Of them 9 are metal Clutch is hard-rock, and was excluded from the metal list, explained in the second paragraph), and of those 9, only two released albums… Slayer (almost made the cut) and Ahab (was promoted to my favorites list after this album… )
Written on 06.04.2010 by
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.