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Old 01-25-2015, 09:01 AM   #81 (permalink)
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41. Enslaved - Below the Lights - (2003)



While Enslaved began incorporating heavy experimentation into their sound on 2001's Monumension, Below the Lights is, for me, when the band would truly refine the sound that has garnered them such notoriety and respect in the years after its release. The scope and composing ability of Ivar Bjørnson is a highlight as synths and acoustic guitars abound without ever coming across as cheesy or distracting, especially when paired with black metal genre staples.

What sets Below the Lights apart though, is that it traverses a broad sonic/emotional spectrum. It is both savage and dissonant, yet still atmospheric and breathtakingly beautiful.

Enslaved has a well-earned reputation for consistently putting out great records, but in my opinion this is their best and remains as a modern classic for the genre.

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Old 01-25-2015, 01:46 PM   #82 (permalink)
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No, they're totally obscure. If I hadn't been obsessed with finding bands that sounded like Hammerheart-era Bathory I'd never have heard of them.
I bow to your superior knowledge of metal.
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Old 01-25-2015, 04:26 PM   #83 (permalink)
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I bow to your superior knowledge of metal.
As you should.
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:32 PM   #84 (permalink)
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42. Sigh - Imaginary Sonicscape - (2001)



When I think back over the popular albums in metal circles, I cannot think of another album that can bring so many niches together. Nobody can deny that this is a one-of-a-kind creation that you can break down mathematically but never fully recreate. Even describing it is hard because it can be summed up as "a whole bunch of genres smashed together" but that neither does it justice or make it sound all that compelling. It really is an album that can only be described in metaphor, in which case here's my take on it, it's basically a sweaty drug induced disco from hell.

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Old 01-25-2015, 06:12 PM   #85 (permalink)
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^ not to be nit-picky, but Imaginary Sonicscape was released in 2001, not 2003.


43. Sigh - Hail Horror Hail - (1997)


This to me was Sigh's first 100% masterpiece. Infidel Art may have been quite experimental, but if you don't count the EP entitled Ghastly Funeral Theatre released months before Hail Horror Hail, then Hail Horror Hail would clearly be Sigh's real Avant-garde breakthrough. This album is excellent from start to finish, and maintains a great atmosphere while showcasing a lot of variety. You have more rocking songs like the title track, also, scary, intense, atmospheric songs like 12 Souls, experimental songs with strong/prevalent outer-genre influence like Invitation to Die, crazy fast, brutal rockers like Curse of Izanagi, and epic, doomy, amazingness like Seed of Eternity. This album is a must for any really big fan of Sigh, along with pretty much every other album of theirs, but most fundamentally Imaginary Sonicscape, and In Somniphobia. This album really is like "a horror movie without the pictures" in the best possibly imaginable way.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:42 PM   #86 (permalink)
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44. Obituary - Cause of Death - (1990)




Rather than speeding up like their Florida contemporaries, on their second album Obituary indulged their love of Celtic Frost and slowed down. Equal parts death metal and doom, with a filthy wall of distortion hanging over it all like the miasma of the grave, this is an primitive, atmospheric album of pure evil. And John Tardy's vocals? A retch of monstrous hate like none other. This is one classic that still stands up today.


Spoiler for Let the blood spill from your mouth!:




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Old 01-26-2015, 07:08 PM   #87 (permalink)
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45. Cannibal Corpse - Vile - (1996)




Seen as a novelty act by many death metal fans, Cannibal Corpse don't really get much respect. But on this album, new vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher's none-more-guttural voice allows the band to up their game to previously unattainable levels of raw, intense brutality. Even brutal death metal bands such as Suffocation struggle to kick in skulls quite as mercilessly as CC do on this album. Combined with their knack for catchy songs, and OTT gore lyrics, this is a blast of death metal blasting not to be ignored or underestimated.


Spoiler for Bloodthirsty and rabid.:




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Old 01-26-2015, 08:49 PM   #88 (permalink)
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46. Young and in the Way - When Life Comes to Death (2014)



This album does one of the best jobs I've ever heard of blurring the line between punk and metal. This is definitely at it's core a highly energetic black metal album, inspired by crust/hardcore and sludge metal, with noticeable influences from bands like Marduk, Crowbar, and household crust names like Doom. You can even hear them get their groove on on this album. Heavy and crushing and all the while put together with a youthful energy.

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Hmm, what's this in my pocket?

*epic guitar solo blasts into my face*

DAMN IT MONDO
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:08 AM   #89 (permalink)
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47. Bathory - Bathory - (1984)




This album is a pure, lo-fi blitzkrieg of hardcore punk fury and metal riffs. Nothing complex going on here, just primitive speed/thrash/black metal with riffs so catchy they could be in pop songs in some twisted, alternate universe. For my money, this is also the first true extreme metal album ever recorded. The aggression and abrasiveness are just a step above Hellhammer and Venom, and those vocals are just too necro to be anything but extreme metal vocals. Even Slayer weren't quite as ****ed up as this by this point in their career. Simply one of the best metal albums ever recorded.


Spoiler for Descend from blackened skies, on soundless, magic wings, to spread the word of Satan!:




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Old 01-27-2015, 01:55 AM   #90 (permalink)
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48. Jag Panzer - Ample Destruction - (1984)




Probably the meanest power metal album of the eighties---opener "Licensed to Kill" is thrashier than many San Francisco bands I could name. Somewhere between Kill 'Em All and Number of the Beast, this album might sound a bit dated by today's standards, but if you're into early eighties metal then... well you've already heard this. Cause it's just the ****. Also a bit dated sounding perhaps, but Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin is a monster of a singer.


Spoiler for Gonna kill!:




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