Yearlist 10s:

Eighties //Nineties //90919293949596979899 //Nihils //00010203040506070809 //[TwentyTens] //10111213141516171819 //2021 //All_Time
 
Moonspell - Lisboa Under the Spell
Score: 10/10
Already when this album was announced, it was clear that it would be yearlist material: Three full albums of one of my favourite bands ever played live back-to-back, how can you compete with that? That doesn't mean there's nothing wrong with 'Lisboa Under the Spell', the problem here lies with singer Fernando: He talks. He talks a lot, between songs. Which would have been fine, except he talks in Portuguese. Which is great for the hundreds of people attending the concert, but for the thousands buying the live recording it gets kind of boring listening to him go on about Ronaldo and Portuguese custard tarts I imagine. Still very much recommended for the music in between the monologues though!
 
Officium Triste / Ophis
Immersed
Score: 10/10
 
Primordial - Gods to the Godless
Score: 10/10
In a way it's not fair, with a back catalogue as rich as Primordial it's almost easy to make a good live album. Still they amazed me by managing to chuck 82 minutes worth of excellent battle music on one cd. One minus: The title should of course have been "Where Greater Bands Have Fallen - Primordial Stands Guard at Bang Your Head Festival"
 
Lunar Aurora
Hoagascht
Score: 10/10
 
Various - In Mordor Where The Shadows Are - Homage to Summoning
Score: 10/10
Tribute CDs are usually an uneven collection of hit-and-miss covers, ranging from 'improving upon the original' to 'how could you mess up such a great song?'. But when the band being tributed is as brilliant as Summoning, and the tribute consists of 3 full CDs, there's a whole lot of hit. Standout moments come from Caladan Brood, the Summoning-inspired band finally playing an actual Summoning cover, and the brilliant Kalmankantaja.
 
Manetheren
Time
Score: 10/10
 
Summoning - With Doom We Come
Score: 10/10
While it's hard enough to be original in a metal scene where everything seems to have been done before, very few bands are so uniquely recognizable that they can claim their own metal genre. The mighty Summoning however does just that. Five years after their last album, With Doom We Come shows everyone how it's done.
 
Dark Fortress
Ylem
Score: 10/10
 
Primordial
Redemption at the Puritan's Hand

Score: 10/10
 
Zgard
Sozercanie - Contemplation

Score: 10/10
 
The Ruins Of Beverast - Exuvia
Score: 10/10
For those of you familiar with The Ruins Of Beverast, Exuvia follows in the footsteps of Blood Vaults. As this album ended very high in my yearlist I was eagerly looking forward to Exuvia, and it did not disappoint. I am not completely sure which of the two is better though. Blood Vaults had some more high and lowlights and Exuvia is more balanced, perfecting their dark and brooding soundscapes. For those unfamiliar with the band, imagine drowning in a swamp. Slowly. At night. Highly recommended. The music, not the drowning.
 
The Ruins Of Beverast
Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer
Score: 10/10
 
Nachtmystium
Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II

Score: 10/10
 
Eye Of Solitude
Canto III

Score: 10/10
 
Wolves In The Throne Room
Live at the Bell House 9.12.11
Score: 10/10
 
Septic Flesh
Titan

Score: 10/10
 
Celestial Season
Decamerone (digital)
Score: 10/10
 
Summoning
Old Mornings Dawn

Score: 10/10
 
Morgoth
Cursed to Live

Score: 10/10
 
Wolves In The Throne Room
Turning Ever Towards The Sun - Live At Neudegg Alm
Score: 10/10
 
21Selvans
Lupercalia
Score: 10/10
 
Porta Nigra
Fin de Sičcle
Score: 10/10
22
 
23Gojira
L'Enfant Sauvage
Score: 10/10
 
Arkona (RUS)
Decade Of Glory

Score: 10/10
24
 
25Aethernaeum
Wanderungen durch den Daemmerwald
Score: 10/10
 
Messiah
The Choir of Horrors and Rotten Perish Era Live
Score: 10/10
26
 
27Monolithe
Monolithe IV
Score: 10/10
 
Ankhagram
Where Are You Now
Score: 10/10
28
 
29Arx Atrata
Spiritus in Terra
Score: 10/10
 
Árstíðir Lífsins
Aldafoðr ok Munka Dróttinn

Score: 10/10
30
 
31Mgła - Exercises in Futility
Score: 10/10
I always thought Mgła were good, but they were lacking a certain something to be truly excellent. Now they found this certain something I still cannot describe what it is, but it is excellent. Yes, most useless review ever.
 
Kampfar
Mare

Score: 10/10
32
 
33Kalmankantaja - Waldeinsamkeit
Score: 10/10
A late addition to the year-list, as I've only recently discovered this excellent Finnish band and I'm still working through their discography. In their short existence they've spit out a new release every month or so, ranging from ambient to very atmospheric black, with the album Waldeinsamkeit as the highlight so far.
 
Arx Atrata - The Path Untravelled
Score: 10/10
Arx Atrata is one of those bands I bumped into purely by accident. They're not signed on a label, not appear on any compilation, but am I glad I gave them a shot! The atmosphere and melodies is something I haven't heard since the brilliant Woods Of Desolation. As this is their third album I'm amazed they flew under the radar so long. Totally underrated black metal!
34
 
35Secrets Of The Moon
Sun
Score: 10/10
 
Tribulation
Alive & Dead at Södra Teatern
Score: 10/10
36
 
37Hermóðr
The Darkness of December

Score: 10/10
 
Infestus
E x | s t
Score: 10/10
38
 
39Monolithe
Monolithe III
Score: 10/10
 
Kampfar
Djevelmakt

Score: 10/10
40
 
41Midnight Odyssey
Shards of Silver Fade
Score: 10/10
 
Kalmankantaja
Ikuinen Taival

Score: 10/10
42
 
43Von Branden
Flammenreich
Score: 10/10
 
Forgotten Tomb
Under Saturn Retrograde

Score: 10/10
44
 
45Doom:VS
Earthless
Score: 10/10
 
My Dying Bride - Feel the Misery
Score: 10/10
No surprise to anyone familiar with Lost Souls Domain to see My Dying Bride here. I have been a massive fan since 1992 and have followed them ever since. And even though their latest album cannot be compared to their earlier work, it is still a solid release, especially the first few tracks.
46
 
47Rotting Christ - Rituals
Score: 10/10
Over their almost 30 years career Rotting Christ have gone through several phases musically, each with their own highlight. Rituals is the highlight of a new phase that combines the sound of Khronos with the evil atmosphere of their older work like Non Serviam. Christ is rotting like never before!
 
Otkroveniya Dozhdya
Obmanchivaja Dobrodetel (Deceptive Virtue)
Score: 10/10
48
 
49Arx Atrata
Oblivion
Score: 10/10
 
Aeons Confer
Symphonies of Saturnus
Score: 10/10
50
 
51Deadly Carnage
Manthe
Score: 10/10
 
Cadaveria
Horror Metal
Score: 10/10
52
 
53Ataraxie
L'Ętre Et La Nausée
Score: 10/10
 
Black Sun Aeon
Routa
Score: 10/10
54
 
55Arkona (RUS)
Yav
Score: 10/10
 
Thyrfing
De Ödeslösa
Score: 10/10
56
 
57Abstract Spirit / Ennui
Escapism
Score: 10/10
 
Harakiri For The Sky
III: Trauma
Score: 10/10
58
 
59Nokturnal Mortum
Kolovorot
Score: 10/10
 
Kalmankantaja / Vardan
Split
Score: 10/10
60
 
61Aphonic Threnody / Ennui
Immortal in Death
Score: 10/10
 
Zgard
Astral Glow
Score: 10/10
62
 
63Monolithe - Zeta Reticuli
Score: 10/10
The not-quite-funeral-doom of Monolithe again hits you in the face like a bag of bricks. Following the same 3-song formula as Epsilon Aurigae, this time it includes one songs with usual growls, one instrumental, and for the first time one song with clean vocals which works surprisingly well. Running 45 minutes it somehow feels like an EP and ends too soon though.
 
Monolithe - Epsilon Aurigae
Score: 10/10
Solid, heavy, dark and slow. Monolithe always delivers dark and depressive funeral doom with enough speed ups to keep things interesting. Unlike previous releases this album actually has a title and 3 separate tracks, but otherwise it's the same crushing doom.
64
 
65Hermóðr / Is
When the Frost Has Stopped the Time

Score: 10/10
 
Hermóðr / Kalmankantaja
Split

Score: 10/10
66
 
67Forgotten Tomb
Vol. 5 - 1999/2009
Score: 10/10
 
Skálmöld
Skálmöld & Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands
Score: 10/10
68
 
69Mourning Beloveth
Formless
Score: 10/10
 
Árstíðir Lífsins
Heljarkviða

Score: 10/10
70
 
71Zuriaake
Guyan
Score: 10/10
 
Rotting Christ - The Heretics
Score: 10/10
Three years ago when 'Rituals' ended high in my yearlist, I already wrote about Rotting Christs' tendency to change their style every so often. No surprise then that The Heretics is continuing in the same style. No disappointment either, because it was among my favourite Rotting Christ releases ever. The Heretics is a bit more straightforward and less experimental than Rituals, but still a most excellent release.
72
 
73Before The Rain
Frail
Score: 9.5/10
 
Melechesh - Enki
Score: 9.5/10
Melechesh can perfectly blend middle eastern melodies with blasting death metal, and this album is especially successful at blasting you away. Looks like the new drummer set out to prove he could live up to Proscriptor and Xul, and he succeeds amazingly. Best release since Djinn.
74
 
75Mgła - Age of Excuse
Score: 9.5/10
When reviewing Mgła's previous album Exercises in Futility, I couldn't really put my finger on it what made the album so good. But after listening closely I finally figured it out: It's their four-armed drummer! At least that's what he sounds like. Either that, or they summoned Cthulhu and put him behind a drumkit. Age Of Excuse follows the same style of atmospheric black metal with insane drumming. Not quite as brilliant as the previous album, but still it bashes its way to the top of the yearlist.
 
Darkestrah
Khagan

Score: 9.5/10
76
 
77A Forest Of Stars
Opportunistic Thieves of Spring
Score: 9.5/10
 
Forest Of Shadows - Among the Dormant Watchers
Score: 9.5/10
There have been a couple of much-anticipated reunions this year, but one that took me by surprise was Forest Of Shadows releasing a new album ten years after the last output. Not only does "Among the Dormant Watchers" bring us back to their earlier doom-death efforts, it revives a genre that is sorely missed nowadays. And unlike last Forest Of Shadows albums which were more doom than death, they now take the death metal part seriously as well. So excellent stuff for old-school doomers like me!
78
 
79Nasheim - Jord Och Aska
Score: 9.5/10
Nasheim has been on my radar for a while, but never really stood out that much. Good ideas, but execution a bit lacking. On their latest album Jord Och Aska they finally did a lot of things right, and the results shows! Their doomy black metal mix works, the three songs spanning over fourty minutes stay captivating, production is still a bit weak but with songwriting like this it doesn't matter. Hoping for more of these albums in the future!
 
Ennui
Mze Ukunisa
Score: 9.5/10
80
 
81Disbelief - The Symbol of Death
Score: 9.5/10
Disbelief have released a new album every couple of years for the last twenty years, and usually they are very enjoyable but not extraordinary. But after their last album they were on hiatus for seven years and went through some line-up changes, and now they're back stronger than before. With The Symbol of Death, Disbelief delivers their strongest album since 66Sick. Only thing is that since the vocalist is now also in Morgoth, the two bands sound alike sometimes. But since I love me some Morgoth this is no real issue.
 
Fortíð - 9
Score: 9.5/10
I guess you can't really review Fortíðs style of technical riffs and mixed black and clean vocals without referencing Enslaved. But unlike them, Fortíð finds the perfect equilibrium of technique, atmosphere and aggression to captivate the listener for the duration of the full album.
82
 
83Midnight Odyssey
Funerals from the Astral Sphere
Score: 9.5/10
 
Satyricon - Live At The Opera
Score: 9.5/10
I'm a big fan of Satyricon, of good live albums, and of blending black metal with classical music. So it's hard to mess up the combination of the three. The orchestra never overpowers or changes the original Satyricon compositions too much, but instead is the perfect addition. Of course it would have been better if there were more older songs but that's just an old metal head complaint.
84
 
85Kawir - Páter 'Ilie Míter Selána
Score: 9.5/10
Kawir is one of those bands in the Greek black metal scene that always left me wondering why they don't get the recognition they deserve. For me their epic black metal song style with folky influences has always guaranteed a solid release with their latest as crowning achievement.
 
In Tenebriz / Khladnovzor
Veter Zabvenij
Score: 9.5/10
86
 
87Imperious - Godless Divinity (digital)
Score: 9.5/10
A last-minute addition to this yearlist is Imperious from Germany. With a digital-only album released at the very end of the year it's a wonder it ended in any yearlist at all (seriously, don't do this! Wait a bit and release it in January) but damn it deserves all the credit it can get. Two songs of twenty minutes of the finest epic death metal, with doom and black influences, this one needs to be heard!
 
Thurisaz
The Cimmerian Years
Score: 9.5/10
88
 
89Fen - Winter
Score: 9.5/10
Fen has a 10 year history of delivering high quality atmospheric black/doom in veins of Agalloch, so you know you can expect a great release here. Unless they make a big change and start playing acoustic folk. Luckily no folk here, only their signature 10 min+ soundscapes like the Ruins of Beverast mentioned above, but easier digestible.
 
Dark Lunacy
Live In Mexico City

Score: 9.5/10
90
 
91Moonspell
Alpha Noir

Score: 9.5/10
 
Kampfar - Ofidians Manifest
Score: 9.5/10
Kampfar in my yearlist is no surprise, as all their releases the last decade have been consistenly strong. I must say the originality seems to go down a bit, but with such high quality production, blasting this album at high volume is still a pleasurable torture. Or just torture torture for your neighbors.
92
 
93Drudkh / Paysage d'Hiver - Split
Score: 9.5/10
Like every year there's some amazing split albums that usually get ignored by other reviewers' year-end lists. This one is a collaboration of one of my favorite Ukraine black metal acts Drudkh and Swiss Paysage d'Hiver whose ambient black I often find more hit-and-miss but who deliver an excellent 20 minute performance here.
 
Winterfylleth
The Mercian Sphere

Score: 9.5/10
94
 
95Ennui - Falsvs Anno Domini
Score: 9.5/10
Ennui was my big discovery last year, and the proof that good music can really come from anywhere in the world: The tiny country of Georgia is not exactly known for its flourishing metal scene. Their latest release blows away most of the more well-established bands in the funeral doom scene though.
 
Caladan Brood
Echoes Of Battle
Score: 9.5/10
96
 
97Cobalt
Slow Forever
Score: 9.5/10
 
Nokturnal Mortum
Istina
Score: 9.5/10
98
 
99Winterfylleth - The Dark Hereafter
Score: 9.5/10
I discovered Winterfylleth fairly recently, but their Primordial-like atmosphere and guitar layering instantly attracted me. Compared to earlier releases The Dark Hereafter does feel a bit EP-ish, but on the positive it does not disappoint anywhere in its shorter running time.
 
Sacratus
...Paradise for Two
Score: 9.5/10
100


Stats generated at: 09/02/21

Bands Stats Forum Email