2010-2014: Top 100 Albums (WIP)


2008 might've been my first proper taste of metal, with the acquisition of albums from the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Black Sabbath and that most grandiose of gateway bands, DragonForce. 2009 might've seen me expanding my palette, with Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Avenged Sevenfold, and more entering my world, and Guns N' Roses triumphantly re-entering it. But 2010 was when I delved into more 'intense' stuff with Machine Head, In Flames, and most notably of all, Sylosis, and saw my relationship with metal shift from ever-increasing interest into full-blown love affair. To commemorate this 5-year anniversary, and because I love making lists, I decided to do a retrospective of the best albums and songs that have been released during this time period, and give brief tributes to them. Yay music!

Created by: musclassia | 08.01.2015



1. Sylosis - Edge Of The Earth
2011 [Progressive Thrash Metal] - 2009's Conclusion of an Age was a major breakthrough album for me when I first encountered it, with its great mix of quasi-extremity and yet melodic and hooky nature was a revelation for me at the time and I fell in love with it. However, when 2011 came around, it suddenly began to pale next to their incredible reinvention on this album. Huge in length and perhaps slightly rough around the edges, it was still glorious with its extreme yet firmly melodic thrash base and well-balanced and varied writing. I could go on about it for ages, but all I'll say is that even though I became bored of thrash some time around 2011-2012, this is still my most played album of the last 5 years and Sylosis have remained my favourite band since my first listen to them (although Protest The Hero are seriously disputing that title nowadays).
2. Sylosis - Monolith
2012 [Progressive Thrash Metal] - Not such a revelation compared to the previous album and with a couple of slightly weaker tracks, but arguably stronger than Edge Of The Earth and with the introduction of brief elements of post-, sludge and even black during its runtime, it feels even more fresh. Metaphorically a worthy Master of Puppets to EOTE's Ride The Lightning, a bit more mature but not quite as impactful, still excellent, and I'm incredibly excited for Dormant Heart. /Fanboying
3. Protest The Hero - Volition
2013 [Progressive Metal]- PTH have undergone a gradual shift in restraining the sheer chaotic nature of the likes of Fortress on their last two albums, with this album arguably the most conventional of all their albums yet. However, it is still incredibly strong with uniformally excellent musicianship and predictably impressive and moving vocals, and has a consistently fantastic tracklist, with the likes of Drumhead Trial and Skies ranking among their best yet.
4. Orphaned Land - The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR
2010 [Progressive Folk Metal]- With its massive runtime, perhaps feautirng a couple of dead weight tracks towards the end stopping it from quite matching Mabool, still a hugely impressive piece of work with some glorious songs in Sapari, From Broken Vessels, The Path and In Thy Never Ending Way. Delightful fusion of prog and Middle Eastern influences.
5. Be'lakor - Of Breath And Bone
2012 [Melodic Death Metal] - Firmly the best melodeath album of the last 5 years, since Stone's Reach, and although I'd hesitate to call myself a Be'lakor fanboy, I do think they're the best MDM band currently active. The first half of the album is strong but not amazing, but the final 3 tracks are incredible, particularly In Parting.
6. Protest The Hero - Scurrilous
2011 [Progressive Metal] - Less consistent than Volition, and a bit more susceptible to the 'wanky' tag people like to throw at this band, although I strongly disagree with the sentiment. The opening and closing few tracks are incredibly strong, and the middle is solid enough not to let it down. Sex Tapes and C'est La Vie are incredibly fun, and the musicianship is virtuosic yet firmly engaging and moving thanks to Rody Walker's excellent vocals.
7. Mar De Grises - Streams Inwards
2010 [Doom Metal] - Doesn't quite maintain the momentum beyond the 3 mindblowingly brilliant opening tracks, with an outstanding mix of foreboding yet moving atmosphere and delightful riffs and guitar melodies, it still rounds out to be my favourite doom album of recent years and a worthy farewell effort from this band.
8. Amorphis - Circle
2013 [Melodic Metal] - Not sure how better to characterise this band, who in their current Joutsen-led lineup have been pumping out excellent material for years, but who dropped possibly their best effort since at least Silent Waters with this. The heavier tone present on some songs is a nice return, particularly on the vicious Nightbird's Song, but the folkiness of Narrow Path and upbeat nature of Mission act as lovely counterpoints. Hopeless Days is a very flat track, but that aside it's an excellent effort.
9. Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini
2010 [Progressive Black Metal] - A great mix between ambitious progressive tendencies, powerful black metal elements and moving 'epic' melodies and rich clean vocals, best encapsulated in the phenomenal Lightening.
10. Nero Di Marte - Nero Di Marte
2013 [Extreme Atmospheric Metal] - Aggressive, dissonant and murky, yet space-y and slow-burning, with tendencies to revert to obviously post-metal moments but also willing to blaze its own oppressive trail. The sophomore release Derivae might've attracted more attention, but this is arguably even more impressive.
11. Blood Stain Child - εpsilon
2011 [Fun As Fuck Electropop Extreme Power Metal] - Amaranthe dream of being this fun. Dedicated To Violator is a bit too cheesy even for me, but for the most part this is super-fun, well-composed, energetic electro metal with enough substance to support the gimmick, and an excellent, slightly mysterious lead vocalist who sadly left the band on account of allegedly having too much ego for one planet. Love it.
12. Persefone - Spiritual Migration
2013 [Progressive Melodic Death Metal] - A bit too staccato-y with the riffs perhaps, but the luscious keys, lovely rich clean vocals, great guitar melodies all counterpointed by some varied writing and impressive quasi-extremity make this a very strong follow-up to Shin-Ken.
13. Between The Buried And Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence
2012 [Progressive Metalcore] - The less OTT extreme these guys get, the more I like it - my favourite parts in Colors were never the full-blown furies, but the great intro to White Walls and the Spaceman parts of Sun Of Nothing etc. So this transition away from pure extremity to progressive weirdness is fine by me, and Astral Body is unique and weird and a glorious way. The more traditional long, winding, complex, extreme/melodic songs also work great, and it's generally another fine addition that builds upon the promise of the Hypersleep Dialogues EP.
14. Infestus - The Reflecting Void
2014 [Atmospheric Black Metal] - As another MS commenter said, they do what they do better than anyone else. Excellent riffs, perfect extreme/atmosphere balance, well-judged writing and more makes this man the black metal artist to keep an eye on.
15. New Keepers Of The Water Towers - The Cosmic Child
2013 [Progressive Psychedelic Stoner Metal] - At times a little too Crack The Skye-ish later on, but a song like Visions Of Death reveals an individual vision and an excellent balance between well-judged slow build-up and cathartic release into heavy riffs before exploring expansive soundscapes. The balance between stoner riffs and echo-ey vocals, progressive adventure and atmospheric largesse makes this an all round excellent effort.
16. Alcest - Écailles De Lune
2010 [Blackgaze] - Neither Alcest nor metalgaze have been better before or after this, with the perfect balance between black rawness and soft dreaminess achieved on the title track and the hauntingly beautiful Percees de Lumiere.
17. Dirge - Hyperion
2014 [Post-Metal] - Powerful, emotionally forceful post-metal that rewards repeat listens, especially the hypnotic closer Remanentie. Of all the great post-metal from the past 5 years, this comes on top, easily. Elysian Magnetic Fields was great but this is something else.
18. Infestus - E x ! I s t
2011 [Atmospheric Black Metal] - Pretty much the same story as The Reflecting Void, atmos-black of the highest quality, oppressive and menacing yet with enough space to breathe and admire its craftsmanship.
19. Mastodon - Once More 'Round The Sun
2014 [Progressive Stoner Metal] - This band has made such a departure from the 00s yet retained the essence of what made them so vital. High Road sucks, pure and simple, but there's so much great material on here that, whilst not screaming 'amazing' is so compelling that I've found myself unable to stop retuning to this album, probably my most played from 2014.
20. Weedpecker - Weedpecker
2013 [Stoner Metal] - Stoner metal, pure and simple, but the laid-back kind, with a dry mouth tone on tracks like Berenjena Pipe that is so compelling. The extended tracks Don't Touch Your Elephant and Sativa Landscapes also demonstrate excellent writing to produce thoroughly compelling, varied works. Straight-up chilled-out stoner metal at its finest.
21. Nero di Marte - Derivae
2014 [Extreme Atmospheric Metal] - More mature than the S/T, but with a couple of slightly weaker tracks like Pulsar that just drag it down a tad, nevertheless a hugely impressive unique sound mixing dissonance, labyrinthine song structures, alternative influences and more to make something that is its own work in every sense.
22. Amorphis - The Beginning Of Times
2011 [Melodic Metal] - Less consistent than Circle but with arguably the band's best song in the delightful Mermaid, another strong effort from this 'ain't broke, don't fix' super outfit.
23. Abigail Williams - Becoming
2012 [Atmospheric Black Metal] - The band that is accused of ripping off a different band with every release they pump out, but who enjoy more than every other artist mentioned. In this case, Wolves In The Throne Room likely hugely influenced the band, but I never liked that band's music anywhere near this. Beyond The Veil in particular demonstrates the exquistive moving atmosphere they produce, with the sorrowful violin and powerful black guitar combining into a real masterpiece. A bit long-winded in places but generally excellent.
24. Moonsorrow - Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa
2011 [Folk Metal] - Not their best, a title reserved for Kivenkantaja, but a worthy extension of their great back catalogue, with Huuto in particular wonderful with its folk motif repeatedly lighting up its extensive runtime, and the group vocal chants are well balanced next to the sharp black shrieks. Never afraid to push the length, this one perhaps bit off more than it could chew in terms of material and runtime but was nevertheless firmly enjoyable.
25. Riverside - Shrine Of New Generation Slaves
2013 [Progressive Rock] - More song-driven and rock-y than the masterpiece Second Life Syndrome and the super-proggy Anno Domini High Definition, the shift is nice even if not quite as well-realised as their earlier work. The sad tone to some songs is balanced off by the fun nature of Celebrity Touch, initially annoying but with some really nice instrumental work, and the album highlight Feel Like Falling.
26. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Area 52
2012 [Latin Virtuoso Guitar] - Not metal, but the duo's always stunning latin acoustic guitar work is lit up even more by excellent use of a Cuban jazz orchestra, which becomes integral to the sound in these re-interpretations to the extent that it becomes a whole new entity, stronger for the collaboration.
27. Seven Kingdoms - The Fire Is Mine
2012 [Power Metal] - No frills power metal with some nice references to Brandon Stark, Daenarys Targaryen and the Late Lord Walder Frey, the great female vocalist Sabrina Valentine takes the already strong riffing to the next level, making this the power metal release of the last semi-decade.
28. Abigail Williams - In The Absence Of Light
2010 [Melodic Black Metal] - Regardless of whether Dimmu Borgir or Emperor or whoever else influenced this, I found and continue to find it more compelling than any band name-dropped in mocking it, with Final Destiny Of The Gods particular continuing to enthrall me. Admittedly, the lack of a sharp raw edge to the music might make it more palatable for me, but with the melodic nature of it I think it balances extremity and hookiness very well.
29. Ouroboros - Glorification Of A Myth
2011 [Deathrash] - Roided-up hooky aggression, blasts out the blocks with the huge Black Hole Generator and continues to show off its supreme riffs, excellent guitar soloing and well-composed songs. The sample from their sophomore album has not been promising so this may end up being something of a one-hit wonder if they don't rediscover their form, but what a statement of intent.
30. Steve Rothery - The Ghosts Of Pripyat
2014 [Progressive Rock] - Pleasant listening from start to finish, a supreme collection of atmospheric chilled-out prog rock that makes me want to delve into Marillion's back catalogue. Outstanding.
31. In The Silence - A Fair Dream Gone Mad
2012 [Atmospheric Progressive Metal] - Basically modern Katatonia but more inspired and less boring, the band produced an excellent debut with powerful melodic atmosphere and moving melodic playing and rich clean vocals. They're trying to crowd-fund their second effort and I hope it works out for them because this album demonstrates a lot of promise, even if it does dip in quality at moments.
32. Progenie Terrestre Pura - U.M.A.
2013 [Space/Electronic Black Metal] - A harsh black metal sheen and raw as heck vocals forming the foundations for electronic adventures, this is about as good a mix of black and ambient sound effects as has been achieved yet. And as shown on the middle track and follow-up EP Asteroidi, they remain compelling even with the black part absent.
33. Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit
2010 [Atmospheric Folk Black Metal] - Not as good as the preceding two albums, this one was however arguably more adventurous, with the bizarrely sparse To Drown and colossal Black Lake Nidstang. The traditional Agalloch sound appeared with the sad lead guitar lick on The Watcher's Monolith and more, but this was colder, more atmospheric and less inviting than anything they'd done previously and, although clearly imperfect, very compelling.
34. Omnium Gatherum - Beyond
2013 [Melodic Death Metal] - There's not reinventing the Finnish melancholy MDM wheel here, but with the more upbeat, throwaway fun tracks out the way early on, we then supple the extended masterpieces Nightwalkers, with its apocalyptic sound and White Palace, very multi-faceted and always entertaining. Add The Unknowning into the mix and you have one of the leading efforts in the genre.
35. When Icarus Falls - Circles
2014 [Post-Metal] - A conventional post- release, and an EP at that, but one so good that it makes that conventional sound come across as fresh again, such is its power.
36. Melechesh - The Epigenesis
2010 [Folk Progressive Black Metal] - Less harsh and more groovy than Emissaries, it consequentially came more into favour with me, and with its powerful opener Ghouls of Niveneh and the colossal closing title track, it has stayed with me more than its predecessor. Fairly accessible, it is still very compelling and the folk touches just add an extra spice to it.
37. Haken - Aquarius
2010 [Progressive Metal] - Less refined yet more moving than their later work, the love it/hate it empassioned lead vocals are at their most controversial here, yet I love them and think this is a glorious debut that they are yet to top, with some beautiful piano and guitar melody and strong writing that prevents the length ever becoming an issue.
38. Ortega - The Serpent Stirs
2012 [Post-Doom] - A single 18-minute EP track that goes here and everywhere with its menacing post-/sludge/doom sound but maintains your attention throughout, beats out the myriad other efforts to be the best Ortega release yet.
39. Myrath - Tales Of The Sands
2011 [Folk Progressive Power Metal] - Firmly song-oriented yet not conventional, and with the powerful flamboyant vocals and strong use of local Arabic melodies, it stands apart from the crowd as something quite unique and very entertaining, more so than Myrath's previous releases. And Time To Grow is awesome.
40. Omnium Gatherum - New World Shadows
2011 [Melodic Death Metal] - Arguably more consistent than Beyond, but lacking the great individual tracks that album has so ultimately comes behind it in this list. Nevertheless, this and that album mean OG have supplanted Insomnium as the Finnish melodeath band of the 2010s so far.
41. Tribulation - The Formulas Of Death
2013 [Blackened Death Metal] - Huge in length and ambition, very diverse mix of extreme styles that throws in progressive and psychedelic elements and clean passages to build a multi-faceted experience all held together under an imposing but not oppressive atmosphere. One of the best extreme efforts of recent years.
42. Subsignal - Touchstones
2011 [Progressive Metal] - Initially unassuming, this has become a regular feature on my listening against all odds. Filled with a tracklist of songs that are always enjoyable but not quite ever truly great, it comes together into an extremely listenable package that eschews any desire for fanfare to instead just be a consistently solid and moving understated prog piece.
43. Leprous - Bilateral
2011 [Progressive Metal] - Fiendishly inventive, highly varied and distinctive but well-created music that offers up a lot of entertainment throughout the range of different songs on display, all lifted up by some truly fine vocals. Arguably the peak of this great up-and-coming band's nascent career.
44. Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere
2014 [Atmospheric Neofolk Black Metal] - For some reason I haven't found myself returning to this as much as I would've expected from an Agalloch release, but the few occasions I have listened to it have demonstrated that whilst they lack a bit of the inspiration that brought forward The Mantle and Ashes Against the grain, they still have what it takes to be great.
45. Monolithe - Monolithe IV
2013 [Extreme Doom Metal] - An hour-long colossus of a track that moves at a glacial pace but moves just fast enough with its chord shifts and SLOW introduction of lead guitar lines, vocal sections and tonal shifts to stay compelling throughout.
46. Enshine - Origin
2013 [Gothic Doom Metal] - Out of the Slumber spin-offs, this one just beats out Atoma, with its emotionally powerful songs supported by great keys use and moving sad melodies. Not quite falling under any category, one label that can be attached to it is 'excellent'.
47. Ortega - Crows
2014 [Sludge Doom Metal] - Even more hypnotic than The Serpent Stirs, not full of drama but slowly worms its way into your brain with its gradually shifting repetitive nature, another very strong effort.
48. Thy Catafalque - Rengeteg
2011 [Avantgarde Folk Metal] - Opening with the massive Fekete Mezok, with its potent emotional clean vocals and distinctive sound, it then uses local music influences and versatile playing to move into outrageously catchy Kel Kelete Szel, with its hooky riffs and very catchy vocals. Highly enjoyable mix of a range of sounds into something individualistic.
49. Woods Of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason
2011 [Atmospheric Black Metal] - Very melancholy yet not despairing, a picturesque piece work using lush guitar melodies set against black tones to produce something powerful, with Darker Days acting as a fine example. In losing something of this melancholy, 2014's As The Stars also lost some of the power of this fine release.
50. Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
2013 [Progressive Rock] - At times dallying with prog excess (see the first few seconds of opener Luminol to experience what he's capable), the main focus this time however is on softer work, whether the lush, moving Drive Home or the haunting title track, and pretty much everything here works well, making a lovely album that outdoes Grace For Drowning.
51. Blind Guardian - At The Edge Of Time
2010 [Power Metal] - More progressive and less 'power' than their earlier works, this isn't their greatest, yet its bombast and fine nous for moving melody means it remains powerful.
52. Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel
2014 [Extreme Progressive Metal] - Ironing out the creases from Portal OF I, this is more cohesive and shows off the consistently moving, well balanced mix of prog, extremity, guitar/violin melody and pleasant clean vox to deliver a fine prog piece.
53. Todtgelichter - Angst
2010 [Avantgarde Black Metal] - Really dropping the ball with the dull Apnoe, Angst on the other hand combines a range of musical elements including black, prog, post-, alt, gaze and more into a bleak but moving piece with well-balanced musical segments and male/female vocals. Great all round.
54. Moanaa - Descent
2014 [Post-Metal] - These poles take the best elements of Isis and Cult of Luna to produce a post-metal package that is conventional but of such high quality that it sounds fresh. Packed with excellent songs with clear identities, a really fine piece of work.
55. Torchbearer - Death Meditations
2011 [Melodic Black Metal] - Lifted up by a select few outstanding tracks in the explosive title track, the smooth At Takao River and rampant Aphotic Depths, the rest of the album is entertaining enough to make the whole package strong.
56. Arctic Sleep - Passage Of Gaia
2014 [Alternative Post-Doom/Gaze] - Another band with a distinctive sound, they play mid-paced, rich, downbeat-yet-uplifitng metal with a core sound that at different times sounds like alternative metal bands, post-metal, and at times even doom or metalgaze. The melodically rich and accessible sound is further lifted up by the rich, deep male cleans and occasional female cameos to produce and all-round strong and unique effort.
57. Obscura - Omnivium
2011 [Technical Death Metal] - With so much technical death metal sounding the same, the clearly individual sound this album in particular has, with its richness and well-judged technical, extreme and melodic factors, makes it stand clearly out in the crowd.
58. Enslaved - RIITIIR
2012 [Extreme Progressive Metal] - A bit short of AEO, but maintains the ambitious songwriting, great clean vocals and everything else that made that album so spectacular, just without that extra touch to lift it from great to outstanding.
59. Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster - Exegesis
2012 [Post-Rock] - Part-instrumental and part-accompanied by soft, space-y clean vocals, this is a lush post- release with a few tonal variances, but which stands out best with the sad, longing, space-y sound of the crushingly moving closer Wake.
60. Septicflesh - The Great Mass
2011 [Symphonic Death Metal] - Much and more has been said of this, but the fusion of extremity and orchestra, whilst less excellent than Communion, is still hugely engaging here and results in a powerful and entertaining outcome.
61. Slugdge - Gastronomicon
2014 [Blackened Death Metal] - Sadly not sludge, but a compelling mix of extreme styles to produce something encompassing black full-out aggression, headbanging groove, ominous restraint and slow atmospheric black grooves sometimes within a single song. A great extreme fusion of huge enjoyment, topped of with delightfully silly subject matter.
62. Mastodon - The Hunter
2011 [Stoner Rock] - Less consistent than OMRTS, this took me a long time to fully enjoy, but with every listen another song wins me over, and nowadays the fun simplicity of Curl of the Burl, the emotional title track, the intense Black Tongue or the groovy pounder Dry Bone Valley all work well on me. So whilst its arguably their weakest effort, don't mistake it for being weak.
63. Philippe Luttun - The Taste Of Wormwood (Voices From Chernobyl)
2014 [Progressive Metal] - Like Steve Rothery, another solo artist attempts a chilled-out atmospheric prog homage to Chernobyl, and again it is excellent, evoking Ayreon at times but being more personally enjoyable than that band has ever been.
64. Fen - Carrion Skies
2014 [Post-rock/Atmospheric Black Metal] - A huge step up from the meandering Dustwalker, in my opinion this is up there with the debut for their best record, with some fine, varied music throughout, both soft and heavy.
65. Intronaut - Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)
2013 [Post-Metal] - The quirkier parts of these guys' sound, with some jazz and other unconventionality popping up on certain songs such as the chaotic opening to Milk Leg, is offset by the more commonplace expanisve nature of post-metal in a satisfyingly well-judged manner, making this one of the more unusual and ultimately satisfying post-metal albums of the last half-decade.
66. Dordeduh - Dar De Duh
2012 [Folk Black Metal] - A really fine album delivered from the ashes of Negura Bunget Version 1, this is a long but very-well crafted mix of black metal (less raw than that found on Om, and usually at a moderate tempo) with local folk elements including native instruments and melodies, tribal-esque drums, vocal chants; most tracks blend the two but a couple act as folk-only pieces. Leaning perhaps more in favour of the folk, it is a well-balanced and hugely enjoyable effort.
67. Haken - Visions
2011 [Progressive Metal] - Less overtly emotional than Aquarius, it makes it less likely to annoy some but I do think it makes it second to that album. Nevertheless, this is a great collection of long and short prog efforts from a band on top of their game.
68. Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails
2014 [Progressive/Technical Death Metal] - The Harvest Wombs was an excellent if slightly generic tech death release. However, Fallujah took a major step forward on this with the addition of consistent ambient-style keyboard sections throughout, and alongside the mix of extreme technical sections and euphoric lead guitar melodic solos, this goes straight to the front of the technical metal pack.
69. Process Of Guilt - Fæmin
2012 [Post-Doom] - Less emotionally warm or well-balanced than Erosion, the cold harsh sound on here slightly evokes Cult Of Luna. It can be repetitive at times, especially on the opener, but the violently mean sound of Harvest is gloriously heartless and this is a really fine follow-up.
70. Machine Head - Unto The Locust
2011 [Groove/Thrash Metal] - Less extravagant than The Blackening, the more restrained and more accessible sound this time round worked almost as well, with some really entertaining songs throughout, culminating in the emphatic closer Who We Are, which children's choir aside was a real metal anthem of gloriously cheesy proportions.
71. Sleepmakeswaves - Love Of Cartography
2014 [Post-Rock] - A great jump from past release, effectively uses synths and pleasant melodies within soft-loud yet restrained songs in an almost instrumental rock style. The electronics fill out the already rich sound and in general this is a very strongly written effort that identifies a niche within the genre for the band.
72. Cult Of Luna - Vertikal
2013 [Post-Metal] - Not quite up there with Eternal Kingdom or Somewhere Along The Highway, this nevertheless has some fine post-metal of a slightly cold nature representing the Metropolis theme, with The Weapon, the massive Vicarious Redemption and monumental In Awe Of standing out in particular.
73. Barren Earth - Curse Of The Red River
2010 [Proggy Melodic Death Metal] - Some dark and melancholic melodeath but raised up by early prog rock influences, it has enough about itself to stand out in both sound and quality. The Devil's Resolve was also very good, but lacked the consistency of this album.
74. In Mourning - Monolith
2010 [Progressive Melodic Death Metal] - Arguably less direct with its sound than the vast majority of melodeath bands, the lengthy progressive efforts and surprisingly high focus on atmosphere and extreme parts over sheer hookiness lend this band their own identity and it has proved very successful so far, with some particularly fine material on Monolith.
75. Lunatic Soul - Walking On A Flashlight Beam
2014 [Atmospheric Prog] - Softer and more stripped down than Riverside, this minimalist nature of this album at times can be a bit too much in terms of maintaining attention, but for the most part the gradual progressions and calm melodic nous of the album makes it ultimately compelling.
76. Iced Earth - Dystopia
2011 [Heavy/Power Metal] - Given how much I liked the 'classic' Iced Earth period when getting into metal, it's strange that this album is the only one I find myself going back to. It doesn't scream 'outstanding', but is just unassumingly solid with some really hooky songs in Anthem and bonus track Iron Will, and ultimately wins you over against all odds. A Stu Block really showed a new dimension to his sound here, and it's great.
77. Quantum Fantay - Terragaia
2014 [Folk Progressive Rock] - Soft, atmospheric instrumental rock with some great diversity in terms of guest instruments used, including didgeridoo, Chinese instruments and whatever opens Azu Kene Deke Lepe, that makes the whole package enjoyable and varied despite the absence of vocals.
78. Killswitch Engage - Disarm The Descent
2013 [Melodic Metalcore] - By no means KsE's best effort, with too many filler tracks to even approach great. However, the sheer number of songs on here that have built up large play numbers from workout playlists or just sheer entertainment has ultimately driven me to feel fondly of the album, even if the whole package is flawed.
79. Primordial - Redemption At The Puritan's Hand
2011 [Pagan Folk/Black Metal] - Just pipping Where Greater Men Have Fallen onto the list, the music so far from the 10s hasn't quite matched the inspiration of To The Nameless Dead of The Gathering Wilderness, however their distinctive sound is still great and they offer up a nice range of relatively varied, high quality songs throughout.
80. Anubis Gate - Horizons
2014 [Progressive Power Metal] - Builds upon the fine work on the great S/T and makes something arguably even better. Lacking something as outstanding as Circumstanced, there's still a consistently high song quality throughout the album, from the more brief and driven songs to the expanisve proggy works.
81. The Ocean - Pelagial
2013 [Post-Metal] - Offered both with and without vocals, it arguably works just as well either way, which is highly impressive. The Ocean are a post-band I've come to admire but not love, but this is arguably their finest effort, with quite a mix in terms of the sheer melodicism of Into The Uncanny, and the more intense and expansive work they're better known for.
82. Spectral Lore - III
2014 [Atmospheric Black Metal] - Colossal length and a take-no-prisoners rawness to it, this has the potential to be very jading; however the harsh parts are sufficiently well countered by softer, more melodic and dreamy phases within songs to produce a well-rounded effort that maintains interest throughout.
83. Bend The Sky - Origins
2012 [Instrumental Djent Prog Metal] - My favourite product from the djent scene, this offers up no vocals but some great melodic atmosphere through prominent symphonic elements, producing a sound I'm not at all used to but which really works well.
84. Mechina - Xenon
2014 [Extreme Symphonic Metal] - Admittedly this band blows its load in the first 7 minutes with the unbelievably epic title track, however it still maintains a strong balance of dramatic symphonic elements, emphatic melodic grooves, robotic cleans against hard-hitting extreme riffs and satisfying growls. In danger of getting too comfortable in their sound, but this is a fine release regardless.
85. Wodensthrone - Curse
2012 [Atmospheric Black Metal] - Raw yet melodic, with prominent folk elements and epic inclinations, this is one of the more grandiose atmospheric black metal albums around, with clear melodic intentions throughout, but avoids sounding cheesy due to its conviction.
86. Wolverine - Communication Lost
2011 [Progressive Metal] - Bookended with some waste-of-space noise tracks, but when the real songs start there's some really fine heartfelt melodic prog, low on excess and more focussed on atmosphere and moving emotion. When they get their instrumental groove on, they produce remarkably beautiful solos like the one lighting up Embrace.
87. Behemoth - The Satanist
2014 [Blackened Death Metal] - One of the more divisive albums on the past 5 years on here, I don't love it but I'm certainly on the 'pro-Satanist' side. Lower on extremity than some of their more recent work, this instead has some menacing atmosphere, especially on the title track, but also plenty of hooky riffs and exciting solos to entertain throughout between the more mid-paced tracks and the real rippers.
88. The Faceless - Autotheism
2012 [Progressive/Technical Death Metal] - Opening up with a lovely moving intro track demonstrating the fine clean vocals and imposing sense of fury to come, it then leaps into a great mix of hard death aggression, progressive variation, but also retaining the capacity to move back to more melodic ground with clean vox and expansive solo sections such as the one leading out the multi-faceted Emancipate. Brief and not uniformally successful, it still has more than enough in its locker to impress.
89. Gorguts - Colored Sands
2013 [Avantgarde Tech/Death Metal] - Not as weird as the Obscura album, this is more approachable and consequentially allowed me to engage with the impressively menacing yet sufficiently penetrable weird death metal sound they offered here. An Ocean Of Wisdom demonstrates their murky, indirect yet hooky riffing, regular interesting instrumental divergences and willingness to branch into softer, more atmospheric yet still foreboding sections. A fine comeback.
90. Nader Sadek - In The Flesh
2011 [Death Metal] - The one straightforward death metal album from the past 5 years I keep finding myself returning to against all expectations, Sulffer is incredibly hooky with its main riff and strong soloing, which sums up the whole album - all-out hooky extremity with great instrumental work and satisfyingly harsh growls.
91. Amiensus - Restoration
2013 [Melodic Black Metal] - Slightly Agalloch-y with their atmosphere, if not as good, has a melancholy sense throughout, with a strong mix of black atmosphere and vocals alongside acoustic folk-y guitars adding nice flavouring, and great moving clean vocals and lead guitar work that add melodic flavour to the album.
92. In Vain - Ænigma
2013 [Melodic Black Metal] - Less consistent than Amiensus, with a couple of clear standout tracks including the opener Against The Grain, this offers up some great meloblack riffs, excellent evocative clean vocals that produce some fine choruses, and interesting song structures that make this stand out from the crowd as distinct and engaging.
93. Devin Townsend -
2014 [Progressive Rock/Metal] - Arguably more for the Sky Blue side, as Dark Matters is entertaining but not up there with the first Ziltoid, Sky Blue instead offers some really lush semi-ambient atmospheric proggy rock that stands up to anything in his huge back catalogue, standing right up there alongside Terria as one of his finest works yet.
94. The Project Hate MCMXCIX - Bleeding The New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis In Manibus Armis)
2011 [Industrial Death Metal] - Really entertaining music featuring lengthy songs that feature a variety of sounds, from groovy death riffs, industrial elements, atmospheric inclinations and more within a dark and unusual package. The female clean vocals add extra flavour to the album and offer an excellent counter to the more extreme aspects of the album.
95. Vulture Industries - The Tower
2013 [Avantgarde Metal] - Fun and quirky, it never feels a need to go all-out batshit like Unexpect or Apkhaezya, instead revelling in its fun and rich lead vocals, ability to switch between heavy riffs and melodic licks to some more unusual, lounge-y or cabaret parts. Songs are long but well-made, with a solid amount of variety during the album without sounding forced and great guitar work throughout.
96. Coffinworm - IV.I.VIII
2014 [Blackened Sludge Metal] - My most preferred of the black/sludge efforts of 2014, it is murky, violent and unpleasant, yet not impenetrably oppressive, allowing me to sink into its nasty yet groovy and hooky riffs and great developing songs that lead to satisfying climaxes.
97. Rintrah - Salt Of The Earth
2014 [Stoner Metal] - A nice mix of grovvy, fuzzy stoner riffs and foggy vocals with will-written extended songs featuring enjoyable lead guitar and well-utilised acoustic segments. World and Man and the Masters Of Our Fate/Title track double header standout out on a strong release.
98. Peste Noire - L'Ordure A L'Etat Pur
2011 [Black Metal] - Bizarrely compelling mid-paced, slow-burning black metal that goes all over the shop, with black riffs, but also manic guitar leads, acoustic parts, weird funky parts and more, with a range of non-standard instruments appearing and guest female vocals from Audrey Sylvain complementing the nasty black metal vocals. At times very raw, but also at some times pleasantly mature, it's very weird but shockingly enjoyable.
99. Kongh - Sole Creation
2013 [Sludge Doom Metal] - Emphatic heavy music, not out of control, but pounding you with big strong riffs that are both imposing but retain hookiness and the capacity for melody, vocals that can be mean and vicious but also large and imposing or even reminiscent of Ozzy, and songs that are varied without straying from the core sound. Tamed Brute in particular has an awesome opening that leads into some melancholy brooding before unleashing the riffs. Really great.
100. Consciousness Removal Project - Tacit
2013 [Post-Metal] - Just beating out Pet Slimmers as far as instrumental post-metal goes, as whilst that band's Isis-inspired music is strong, it's a bit generic; this on the other hand has a clear individual sound that mixes subtle muted atmosphere and transitions to moving, heavier post- riffs with prominent lead guitar lines that propel the music along. Clearly from the school of Isis but sufficiently different to stand on its own two feet.
101. ---SOME HONORABLE MENTIONS (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)---
102. Alice In Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
2013 [Hard Rock]
103. Beyond Creation - The Aura
2011 [Technical Death Metal]
104. Brymir - Breathe Fire To The Sun
2011 [Folk Metal]
105. Cormorant - Dwellings
2011 [Extreme Progressive Metal]
106. Cormorant - Earth Diver
2014 [Progressive Black Metal]
107. Eden Circus - Marula
2014 [Post-Metal]
108. Emptiness - Nothing But The Whole
2014 [Extreme Metal]
109. Esoteric - Paragon Of Dissonance
2011 [Extreme Doom Metal]
110. Fallujah - The Harvest Wombs
2011 [Technical Death Metal]
111. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony
2011 [Symphonic Death Metal]
112. The Flight Of Sleipnir - Saga
2013 [Stoner Black Folk Metal]
113. Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
2012 [Progressive Metal]
114. Gorod - Transcendence
2011 [Technical/Progressive Death Metal]
115. Hands Of Despair - Hereafter
2011 [Dark Metal]
116. Hark - Crystalline
2014 [Stoner Metal]
117. In Mourning - The Weight Of Oceans
2012 [Progressive Melodic Death Metal]
118. Kälter - Ubuntu
2012 [Melodic Death Metal]
119. Kauan - Kuu..
2011 [Folk Doom Metal]
120. Long Distance Calling - Long Distance Calling
2011 [Post-Metal]
121. Long Distance Calling - The Flood Inside
2013 [Post-Metal]
122. Mechina - Empyrean
2013 [Extreme Symphonic Metal]
123. Northern Oak - Of Roots And Flesh
2014 [Progressive Folk Metal]
124. Omit - Repose
2011 [Doom Metal]
125. Opeth - Pale Communion
2014 [Progressive Rock]
126. Orphaned Land - All Is One
2013 [Progressive Folk Metal]
127. Ortega - 1634
2010 [Sludge Doom Metal]
128. Pet Slimmers Of The Year - Fragments Of Uniforms
2014 [Post-Metal]
129. Primordial - Where Greater Men Have Fallen
2014 [Pagan Folk/Black Metal]
130. Rodrigo y Gabriela - 9 Dead Alive
2014 [Latin Virtuoso]
131. Rush - Clockwork Angels
2012 [Progressive Rock]
132. Shade Empire - Omega Arcane
2013 [Symphonic Black Metal]
133. Triosphere - The Heart Of The Matter
2014 [Power Metal]
134. Trivium - In Waves
2011 [Metalcore]
135. Windhand - Soma
2013 [Stoner Doom Metal]
136. Witherscape - The Inheritance
2013 [Extreme Progressive Metal]



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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Comments

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Comments: 8   Visited by: 30 users
17.01.2015 - 02:31
Ilham
Giant robot
I could thumb up just for the Christian Bale picture. But I won't.

Why do you have two lists with the same name but with different content?

Edit: nevermind, stupid me. Songs/albums
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17.01.2015 - 09:23
musclassia
Written by Ilham on 17.01.2015 at 02:31

I could thumb up just for the Christian Bale picture. But I won't.


Well there goes my hopes of bribing likes.

Written by Ilham on 17.01.2015 at 02:31

Why do you have two lists with the same name but with different content?

Edit: nevermind, stupid me. Songs/albums


Haha, not even I love making lists enough to do the same thing twice
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17.01.2015 - 15:23
Diverge
Man you have a lot of great albums on here that I've forgotten about. Consciousness Removal Project is fantastic and I'm glad it just managed to crack your top 100. Cheers!
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17.01.2015 - 18:38
Erik M.
Written by Ilham on 17.01.2015 at 02:31

I could thumb up just for the Christian Bale picture. But I won't.


Fantastic actor indeed, in a fantastic movie.
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17.01.2015 - 18:52
CyberSymphony
Ollie
A +1 just for having BSC's Epsilon, still addicted to that album a lot of other great albums here too. *goes off to sing and dance to Epsilon *
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17.01.2015 - 22:58
musclassia
Written by Diverge on 17.01.2015 at 15:23

Man you have a lot of great albums on here that I've forgotten about. Consciousness Removal Project is fantastic and I'm glad it just managed to crack your top 100. Cheers!


Thanks! This was quite a nice exercise in reminding myself of some of the greater albums from the past few years that might've not got playtime recently. One such album was CRP, which I listened to about 2 days before doing the list just to decide whether it beat Pet Slimmers or not, and I thought it was just better. Both were among the better post- releases from the past few years.


Written by CyberSymphony on 17.01.2015 at 18:52

A +1 just for having BSC's Epsilon, still addicted to that album a lot of other great albums here too. *goes off to sing and dance to Epsilon *


I slightly overplayed it in the last few years so I don't really play it much any more, but it's a seriously fun and addictive album.
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18.01.2015 - 17:50
Diverge
Written by CyberSymphony on 17.01.2015 at 18:52

A +1 just for having BSC's Epsilon, still addicted to that album a lot of other great albums here too. *goes off to sing and dance to Epsilon *

I'm glad you guys enjoyed that one a lot! My favourite BSC record remains Idolator, though, so you should check that one out if you get the chance. The albums after Idolator kind of jumped the shark for me.
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18.01.2015 - 18:06
CyberSymphony
Ollie
Written by Diverge on 18.01.2015 at 17:50

Written by CyberSymphony on 17.01.2015 at 18:52

A +1 just for having BSC's Epsilon, still addicted to that album a lot of other great albums here too. *goes off to sing and dance to Epsilon *

I'm glad you guys enjoyed that one a lot! My favourite BSC record remains Idolator, though, so you should check that one out if you get the chance. The albums after Idolator kind of jumped the shark for me.

I've listened to all of BSC's albums, I liked the more electronic sounding songs in Idolator, such as Life Story, Void and Type-N. Mozaiq was even more electronic metal and Epsilon went into an electro-pop metal hybrid with female fronted vocals. I would say my fav is Epsilon out of the lot, just for being so memorable.
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