Thumbs up: +10
Yep, one of those lists. Everyone has one, so I thought I'd make a list of metal albums I really recommend.

This is not an absolute "best-of" list, for a few reasons:
1) I stick to one album per band, unless there's been a drastic style shift (like Katatonia's).
2) I try to cover all major subgenres fairly, so I have something for everyone. It counterbalances the tendency to list all the cool bands in a style I'm into right now (like drone or epic doom).
3) I include past favorites that stand out and deserve a mention, even if I no longer actively listen to them. (This is the case with most of the power metal records.)
4) I don't exactly avoid the underground, but I've mostly kept to (cult) classics that I think send the beginner well on his way into metal. It's hard to evaluate obscure albums objectively.
5) I'm sticking strictly to metal, so not every band gets their best album listed (like Flood, A Natural Disaster or Souvenirs).

In short, these aren't timeless favorites but rather an assortment of really high quality albums I'm comfortable to recommend. The list may grow or be trimmed to a neat number once I'm satisfied with it.

Organized loosely into groups, and into a rough order of preference within group.

Created by: IronAngel | 11.09.2012



1. Warning - Watching From a Distance
Epic Doom
2. Candlemass - Nightfall
Epic Doom
3. Reverend Bizarre - In The Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend
Traditional Doom
4. Pagan Altar - The Lords Of Hypocrisy
Traditional Doom/Heavy Metal
5. Katatonia - Dance of December Souls
Blackened Death Doom
6. Anathema - The Silent Enigma
Death Doom
7. Esoteric - The Maniacal Vale
Funeral Doom
8. The Angelic Process - Weighing Souls With Sand
Drone Metal
9. Nadja - Desire In Uneasiness
Drone Metal
10. Earth - Earth 2 - Special Low Frequency Version
Drone Metal
11. Boris - Boris At Last - Feedbacker
Drone Metal
12. Jesu - Jesu
Drone Metal
13. Menace Ruine - The Die Is Cast
Drone Metal/Darkwave
14. Corrupted - El Mundo Frio
Sludge/Drone Metal
15. Neurosis - A Sun That Never Sets
Atmospheric Sludge
16. Rosetta - Wake / Lift
Atmospheric Sludge
17. Cult of Luna - Somewhere Along The Highway
Atmospheric Sludge
18. Isis - Panopticon
Atmospheric Sludge
19. Subrosa - No Help For The Mighty Ones
Sludge Metal
20. Eyehategod - Take As Needed For Pain
Sludge Metal
21. Acid Bath - When The Kite String Pops
Sludge Metal
22. Kyuss - Kyuss
Stoner Metal
23. Godflesh - Streetcleaner
Industrial Metal
24. Strapping Young Lad - City
Industrial Thrash
25. Katatonia - Viva Emptiness
Alternative Metal
26. Celtic Frost - Monotheist
Avantgarde/Gothic Doom
27. The Gathering - Nighttime Birds
Gothic/Progressive Metal
28. The 3rd And The Mortal - Painting On Glass
Gothic/Doom/Avantgarde
29. Blut aus Nord - The Work Which Transforms God
Industrial Black
30. Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini
Progressive Black
31. Negură Bunget - OM
Black Metal
32. Mayhem - Ordo Ad Chao
Black Metal
33. Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse
Black Metal
34. Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger
Black Metal
35. Lurker of Chalice - Lurker of Chalice
Black Metal
36. Primordial - To the Nameless Dead
Folk Metal
37. Ulver - Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler
Folk Metal
38. Skyclad - Prince Of The Poverty Line
Folk Metal
39. Bathory - Hammerheart
Viking Metal
40. Moonsorrow - Verisäkeet
Black/Folk Metal
41. Windir - Arntor
Black/Folk Metal
42. Maudlin Of The Well - Leaving Your Body Map
Avantgarde Metal
43. Ved Buens Ende - Written In Waters
Avantgarde Metal
44. !T.O.O.H.! - Order And Punishment (Řád A Trest)
Technical Death/Avantgarde Grindcore
45. Today Is The Day - Sadness Will Prevail
Noisecore/Avantgarde
46. Converge - Jane Doe
Metalcore/Mathcore
47. Gojira - From Mars To Sirius
Death Metal
48. Akercocke - Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone
Death Metal
49. Death - Symbolic
Progressive Death Metal
50. Opeth - Blackwater Park
Progressive Death
51. Dark Tranquillity - The Gallery
Melodic Death
52. Dan Swanö - Moontower
Progressive/Melodic Death
53. Green Carnation - Light of Day, Day of Darkness
Progressive Metal
54. Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle
Progressive Metal
55. X Japan - Art of Life
Progressive Metal
56. Lost Horizon - A Flame To The Ground Beneath
Power Metal
57. Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle-Earth
Power Metal
58. Bal-Sagoth - Battle Magic
Symphonic Black/Power Metal
59. Therion - Secret of the Runes
Symphonic Metal



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by IronAngel ]



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Oaken - 13.09.2012 at 02:19  
Great stuff in there. I really need to give those atmospheric sludge albums a try (BTW is atmospheric sludge the same as post-metal?).
IronAngel - 13.09.2012 at 12:16  
Written by Oaken on 13.09.2012 at 02:19

(BTW is atmospheric sludge the same as post-metal?).


Yes. I think it's a better term, because post-metal is very vague and doesn't actually mean much. It's the new "alternative".

Granted, the atmosludge label doesn't describe Neurosis very well. But since they're clearly pioneers of the genre, I used the tag for the sake of consistency.
Uldreth - 13.09.2012 at 13:33  
Written by IronAngel on 13.09.2012 at 12:16

Written by Oaken on 13.09.2012 at 02:19

(BTW is atmospheric sludge the same as post-metal?).




Granted, the atmosludge label doesn't describe Neurosis very well. But since they're clearly pioneers of the genre, I used the tag for the sake of consistency.

I don't understand why you think so.

Neurosis has always been a lot more "sludgy" than many other post-metal bands (and was also completely devoid of post-rock till The Eye Of Every Storm (or maybe A Sun That Never Sets), which is also something unusual as the Isis/Cult of Luna type post-metal has tons of post-rock tremolo picking) so I'd say that term is actually more spot on there. Or maybe not in the description of A Sun That Never Sets but definitely true to Neurosis as a whole.

Nice list anyways, though I am a bit surprised that you chose ASTNS as Neurosis' best work. I like it second best (first is Eye) but many people seem not to think very highly about it as far as Neurosis albums go.

Edit: Also I am not completely sure in this but I think post-metal doesn't have to be too much related to sludge at all and sludge can be made atmospheric without being post-metal. Like for example Pelican on The Fire... doesn't sound very sludgy while it is defo post-metal and I'd say it's borderline to call Ghost Brigade post-metal but the atmosludge tag definitely stands.
However for the majority of the cases the two are kind of the same.
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.09.2012 at 14:40  
Written by Uldreth on 13.09.2012 at 13:33


Edit: Also I am not completely sure in this but I think post-metal doesn't have to be too much related to sludge at all and sludge can be made atmospheric without being post-metal. Like for example Pelican on The Fire... doesn't sound very sludgy while it is defo post-metal and I'd say it's borderline to call Ghost Brigade post-metal but the atmosludge tag definitely stands.
However for the majority of the cases the two are kind of the same.


100% agreed. A lot of post-metal band have nothing to do with sludge, so calling them atmosludge is deginitely wrong.
IronAngel - 13.09.2012 at 15:33  
I stand by what I said. Post-metal is not a real genre. It's a vague reference to a variety of styles that came to be in the 90s and onwards. Godflesh and Jesu? The first is industrial and the latter maybe drone metal, but they're often called post-metal too. Or Tool, who're alt/progressive rock/metal of the math-ish variety.

Not everything that's called post-metal is atmospheric sludge. But the bands of the Neurosis-Isis-Cut-of-Luna lineage are. And those that don't fit this definition are something else. I don't know what "plain" post-metal is supposed to be. Certainly not post-rock played a little heavier, like Pelican or Russian Circles. Both of them are pretty unquestionably heavy post-rock.

Wikipedia and Last.fm give really unsatisfactory definitions, basically lumping together different styles (including atmospheric sludge, the main variety) under a broad nominator without much connection to eachother. Rate Your Music doesn't recognize the genre at all.

I'm not saying post-metal can't be a valid descriptor in some cases. It's a way to describe bands that blend different styles and don't really fall into any predefined genre. As I said, it's much like the vague "alternative" label. I personally don't see the need to treat it as an independent genre. Virtually every "post-metal" band can be better described with some other label, so it's generally redundant.
Marcel Hubregtse - 13.09.2012 at 15:44  
Well I have always found post-metal the most redundant and stupid term out there tbh and when it was first included in the MS awards I fought hard against the inclusion of the term precisely because of:

Quote:

Virtually every "post-metal" band can be better described with some other label, so it's generally redundant.


Same more or less applies to Djent where all the bands can also be described with some other label.
IronAngel - 13.09.2012 at 15:59  
Oh, then we agree. I notice I was imprecise in my answer to Oaken. He asked if post-metal and atmospheric sludge were one and the same. I should have omitted the "Yes" from my reply and just said I think it's a better term. Or elaborated: yes, I try to use "atmospheric sludge" instead of "post-metal" whenever it's appropriate, and think of other labels for non-sludgy "post-metal" bands. It's not an exact science, I just try to consistently avoid using the label when there's a better one to choose from.

Oh and Uldreth: I can't really put my finger on it, but The Sun is the Neurosis album that just clicks with me best for whatever reason. It sounds warm and organic. The Tide is also a really great opener.
Mr. Doctor - 13.09.2012 at 16:21  
I hionestly can't get how people call Godflesh post-metal. I'm glad to say that I'm yet to meet someone in real life saying that because I would definitely tell them to fuck off.
!J.O.O.E.! - 13.09.2012 at 16:31  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 13.09.2012 at 16:21

I hionestly can't get how people call Godflesh post-metal. I'm glad to say that I'm yet to meet someone in real life saying that because I would definitely tell them to fuck off.

I've never heard anyone call it post-metal from what I recall.
tea[m]ster - 15.09.2012 at 20:26  
Nice. Obviously I am interested in your post/sludge/atmo selections Also, I prefer Bath to #41
IronAngel - 16.09.2012 at 12:38  
Written by tea[m]ster on 15.09.2012 at 20:26

Also, I prefer Bath to #41


To be honest, I just chose that one pretty randomly. I like them equally, much as the choice between Kyuss and Blues for the Red Sun or When the Kite String Pops and Paegan Terrorism Tactics could turn out different every other day.

My atmosludge picks are incredibly boring and conventional, haha. Well, most of this list is. I like to sample a little bit of everything, but at the end of the day I'm pretty mainstream. >_>
mz - 06.07.2013 at 21:47  
Astonishing list, tones of great albums there
IronAngel - 06.07.2013 at 22:51  
Written by mz on 06.07.2013 at 21:47

Astonishing list, tones of great albums there


Thanks! It needs some updating, and I'm still a bit iffy on the premise: I've tried to include albums from all genres if only I'd rate them 4/5 or better, but truthfully I'd much rather be listening to Ophis or Mar de Grises than Dan Swanö, for example. But it would be kind of boring if 2/3 of the list was doom.
mz - 07.07.2013 at 10:22  
Written by IronAngel on 06.07.2013 at 22:51

Written by mz on 06.07.2013 at 21:47

Astonishing list, tones of great albums there


Thanks! It needs some updating, and I'm still a bit iffy on the premise: I've tried to include albums from all genres if only I'd rate them 4/5 or better, but truthfully I'd much rather be listening to Ophis or Mar de Grises than Dan Swanö, for example. But it would be kind of boring if 2/3 of the list was doom.


I will sure keep eye on your list and check those which I am not familiar with, excluding perhaps just your power metal recommendations. Also, why not making a list consisting of your top non-metal albums, considering the fact that you seem to be much into that kind of stuff? It would be much appreciated
IronAngel - 07.07.2013 at 12:17  
Written by mz on 07.07.2013 at 10:22

Also, why not making a list consisting of your top non-metal albums, considering the fact that you seem to be much into that kind of stuff? It would be much appreciated


I have a few such lists on Rate Your Music. Not a general list of all-time favorites, but I'm actually starting to work on my 90s favorites today. Been thinking about it for ages, and finally have nothing better to do.

http://rateyourmusic.com/~IronAngel
Aristarchos - 14.03.2014 at 13:15  
Since I'm not a fan of sludge and drone I didn't find many albums I really liked, but I was glad to see Warning and Pagan Altar so high. Love them. Same with the Anathema album you chose.
Aristarchos - 14.03.2014 at 18:22  
Along with Trouble - Psalm 9 they are my favourite doom albums.
IronAngel - 14.03.2014 at 18:38  
Written by Aristarchos on 14.03.2014 at 18:22

Along with Trouble - Psalm 9 they are my favourite doom albums.


Nice choices. I am not that into Trouble myself. Great band and album, but not in my personal top 10.

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