This year has been a whirlwind for the metal scene and while this list is diverse, it was not an easy one to put together. All of these releases stand alone and they have definitely spoken to me in some way. Before I get to the list I would like to mention some who did not make it on the countdown but should not be ignored!
Nightmare Logic- Power Trip
Kong Vinter- Taake
Nightbringers- The Black Dahlia Murder
Death Revenge- Exhumed
Hope Attrition- Woe
Now onto the List!
20. Saviors of Armageddon- Byyrth
This album literally came out of nowhere and was recommended to me by a friend. Wow, this is straight in your face Black Metal! Super catchy and highly underrated!
19. The First Sublevel of Suicide- Leviathan
There is a lot that can be said about Leviathan and this release sees the demos leading up to the release of Wrest’s groundbreaking album The Tenth Sublevel of Suicide. These songs were mixed and mastered by Ken Sorceron and it gives a whole new light to the already familiar sound.
18. Isolated Evolution- Necrolytic Goat Converter
The songs on this album flow together perfectly but each song still stands out individually which makes it very easy to listen to on repeat. It melds all the familiarities of Black Metal and its Sub Genre’s into a very rewarding listen.
17. Stalking the Ghost- Unearthly Trance
This album is fraught with evil, dark, desolate riffs that ooze like distant feedback from a rumbling malestrom.
16. Trumpeting Ecstasy- Full of Hell
This album is loud, fast, and unforgiving. Full of Hell have taken everything that screams rage and boiled it down into a cauldron.
15. The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh- Madrost
Madrost has come a long way and with two albums under their belt The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh serves as their best album to date. Not that their previous work was anything short of great this release shows a maturity within the band in all aspects.
14. Agios O Fotiá- Hvile I Kaos
The Metal Wanderlust is no stranger to the world of Hvile I Kaos and this debut release is both beautiful and painful. Do yourselves a favor and take this journey.
13. Die Grubenmähre- Dauþuz
Imagine being stuck in a deep dark mine with no way out, this album would serve as your soundtrack.
12. Loyal to the Nightsky-Highland
This album is sure to be on repeat for quite some time, this is Black Metal perfected. Darkness is harnessed within the amazing musicianship.
11. Curse of Conception- Spirit Adrift
Heavy Riffs, atmosphere, and catchy melodies. A lot can be said about this album but its one that just needs to be listened to on repeat.
10. No Stars Upon the Bridge- Hallatar
With great loss there often follows grief, while it does come in different forms Juha Raivio has taken all of those feelings and turned it into a musical project. No Stars Upon the Bridge is utterly heartbreaking and a beautiful tribute to Aleah Stanbridge
9. Serenade of Slitting Throats- Sicarius
Savagely violent and in your face, Sicarius are relentless and Serenade of Slitting Throats is a powerhouse of sound and serves as an anthem to the Dagger Cult
8. Sweet Death and Ecstasy- Midnight
Dirty, filthy, addicting, and ecstatic fun are just a few words that come to mind when describing the songs on this album.
7. The Forest Seasons- Wintersun
While this is not the long awaited Time II this is still an amazing album through and through. Jari has emulated the feeling and changes that come with the seasons. This is a beautiful homage to nature and Wintersun are masters at creating an amazing atmosphere.
6. Immersion Trench Reverie- Yellow Eyes
Yellow Eyes has pushed boundaries with this release, it is all together otherworldly and everything one could hope for in a Black Metal release with just an added touch of soundscapes and atmospheres.
5. Berdreyminn- Sólstafir
From the almost crust like vocals, to the beat of the drums and groove of the bass, and finally the memorable riffs this is sure to become a favorite. Sólstafir have and continue to remain pioneers within the Icelandic music scene and they are not slowing down. While this is not their “best” album to date it is by far a refreshing change in pace.
4. Cloak of Skies- Drug Honkey
Imagine reaching into the dark crevices of the mind and mulling through every emotion that drives an individual into oblivion Cloak of Skies by Drug Honkey would be the soundtrack. Combining elements of Doom, Death, and Atmospheric Black Metal with darkened synth infused industrial passages the band has created a plethora of feeling proving the point that Drug Honkey is the only drug you need.
3. Terraforming- Jupiterian
Terraforming is an album that flows together perfectly and creates an overall sense of otherworldly power. This album has created a rumble through the scene and there is no doubt that will continue to do so.
2. E- Enslaved
Enslaved have been around for over 20 years and they have not stopped creating amazing consistent albums. E serves an exceptional follow up to In Times and brings in even more progressive elements while not taking away from the brutality that is also harnessed within their sound.
1. Thrice Woven- Wolves in the Throne Room
Wolves in the Throne Room have returned with Thrice Woven and it sees the band going back to their roots. This album is powerful and infused with the force of nature and mythology. Picture yourself sitting by a fire and the smoke travelling upward to awaken the gods.. this would be playing in the background