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The Best Records by Year: The 2000s


Man, the 2000s are over! That kinda sucks as I quite liked them! The decade was wonderful. Looking back, the bad years of metal ('92-'96 or so) are so far away! Metal music has been incredible for a long time now. Well, enjoy my lists and note that some are outdated and unformatted!

2009


At the start of the year, there was nothing that really compelled me. In the end, I'm thrilled that Skyfire is back, their record is album of the year IMO. I loved the new Amorphis, particularly the first song, Slayer and Megadeth both released solid records, but after the initial listening fest, I wonder how much I'll go back to either. I think it's cool Slayer did something new while still staying true to their sound. Justin Broadrick put out an absurd number of releases including perhaps one of his best under the guise of Final and Grey Machine, which was positively crushing and sonic, exactly what we all hoped it would be after all this waiting. Immortal's new record was precisely as I expected, so much so that I heard an older song and confused it for a newer one. They're that similar! The newest Rodrigo Y Gabriela is better than their first, suggesting a long and exciting career ahead!

On the other hand...My Dying Bride, Old Man's Child, Jesu, Katatonia and Hypocrisy all put out albums that simply didn't move me one bit. Some other JKB releases as well were underwhelming.

Some great new live records too! Emperor's final concerts are great, though only the additional old songs make the release a worthwhile addition to the already-stellar Emperial Live Ceremony, which is almost 10 years old!

Guess I'll have to start another page to cover the next decade. This year, while slow to start, and few on the greats, featured some strong greats.

Album D'Année
Skyfire Esoteric
Les Meilleurs
Amorphis Skyforger
Final Reading All The Right Signals Wrong
Slayer World Painted Blood
Megadeth Endgame
OH YEAH!
Rodrigo Y Gabriela 11:11
Immortal All Shall Fall
Merely Good / Eh...
Jesu Infinity, Opiate Sun
My Dying Bride For Lies I Sire
Old Man's Child Slaves Of The World
Dream Theater Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Katatonia Night Is The New Day
Arch Enemy The Root Of All Evil
Hypocrisy A Taste Of Extreme Divinity
Live Records
Emperor Live Inferno (2CD + DVD)
Judas Priest A Touch Of Evil Live
Amon Amarth Once Sent From The Golden Hall
Katatonia Live Consternation
JKB
Grey Machine Disconnected
Final Reading All The Right Signals Wrong
Final Infinite Guitar 3
Final Guitar & Bass Improvisations 3
Jesu Infinity
Council Estate Electronics Kitsland
Solaris BC Submerged Technology
White Static Demon Decayed
Krackhead From Hell

2008


A weak year so far.

The follow-ups by Children of Bodom, Judas Priest and Amon Amarth are all weak. In Flames is OK, but I just haven't cared in ages. Same goes for Testament and Deicide. New Jesu doesn't do much for me, same with his J2 project. I like the Agalloch and Meshuggah records, and Anathema's acoustic record is pretty good. Same for Satyricon's EP, but that's mainly b/c of a track off of Nemesis Divina. My Dying Bride's live record was surprisingly boring, and don't get me started on Iced Earth. Losing Ripper and getting that old singer back? I can't even listen to the album, it's that bad.

That's a lot of complaining. Final's two records were both excellent ambient stuff, Winds of Plague put out a solid metal debut and The Orb had another good release. While Kalmah's newest is probably their weakest album it still is probably the year's best. I guess The Haunted record is good. By comparison, it's one of the year's best. That isn't saying much. Opeth has some good music but an altogether boring offering.

...and what is this? Metallica? Holy shit, is this for real? A GOOD Metallica record? Oh yes, indeed. It's metal and I like it. That's just crazy.

Wow, 2008 sucked.

Album D'Année
Kalmah For The Revolution
Les Meilleurs
Metallica Death Magnetic
Final Fade Away, Afar & Dead Air
Lamb Of God Wrath
Good
Agalloch The White EP
Satyricon My Skin Is Cold
The Haunted Versus
Winds Of Plague Decimate The Weak
The Orb The Dream
Children Of Bodom Blooddrunk
Amon Amarth Twilight Of The Thunder God
Meshuggah obZen
David Gilmour Live In Gdansk
Anathema Hindsight
Toumani Diabaté The Mandé Variations

Normally I post more records, but I'm that indifferent towards the year's albums. Not even worth writing that they're merely OK.

2007


It has been 10 years since metal has returned to true force the world over. It's hard to think of the time when things were as bad as they were. Fortunately, we've appreciated a long run of great years and 2007 was no exception.

There were no fewer than five incredible records this year, and choosing an album of the year was not possible. Arch Enemy's record may not be their best, but it's solid and heavy. Exodus is another in-your-face effort, though I do miss Bostaph on drums for this one. Iced Earth put out its second record with Tim Owens and it's phenomenal through and through. Sadly, they fired him at the end of the year, so the sequel is no longer on my most-anticipated mental list. Naglfar put out Harvest, which may not be as good as Pariah, but still is a brutal onslaught of what they do best. That last track is incredible. Finally, Jesu put out five releases this year, one being a leftovers record. It is this record that I find to be some of his best work in ages.

That's just the five best! There are some other highly noteworthy releases. Vintersorg's album was a surprisingly enjoyable listen, unlike the last few. Slaotvean has a great album and Megadeth is definitely their best in forever. It grows on me still. Dimmu Borgir was nothing spectacular and I think Type O Negative put out their worst record ever.

Album D'Année
Arch Enemy Rise Of The Tyrant
Les Meilleurs
Exodus The Atrocity Exhibition - Exhibit A
Iced Earth Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked - Part 1
Jesu Pale Sketches
Naglfar Harvest
Excellence
Final Infinite Guitar 1
Jesu Split EP
Megadeth United Abominations
Slaotvean Origins
Vintersorg Solens Rötter

Good
Amorphis Silent Waters
Black Dahlia Murder Nocturnal
Down III: Over The Under
Dimmu Borgir In Sorte Diaboli
Dream Theater Systematic Chaos
Korn II
King Diamond Give Me Your Soul... Please
Machine Head The Blackening
Neurosis Given To The Rising

Not so good
Soilwork Sworn To A Great Divide
Type O Negative Dead Again

2006


After waiting and waiting, the new Dissection and Slayer records came out. The latter was the first LP with Dave Lombardo in 15 years and the former was a good album, but the frontman killed himself shortly afterwards. Kalmah's record was one of my most anticipated and delivered by being the year's best. Also there was the surprise release by Summoning, which is what you'd expect, and not too diverse, but still quite enjoyable.

The new Satyricon is better than Volcano, but still not anything memorable. Tool, Iron Maiden, Cradle Of Filth and Amon Amarth all put out average works that I can't say much about. Agalloch, on the other hand, wowed me. So did My Dying Bride and Abbath's I record was also a good listen.

Album D'Année
Kalmah The Black Waltz
Les Meilleurs
Lamb Of God Sacrament
Excellence
Amon Amarth With Oden On Our Side
Dissection Reinkaos
Dissection Rebirth Of Dissection (DVD)
Agalloch Ashes Against The Grain
Summoning Oath Bound

Good
Enslaved Ruun
Blind Guardian A Twist In The Myth
The Haunted The Dead Eye
Isis In The Absence Of Truth
Jesu Silver (EP)
My Dying Bride A Line Of Deathless Kings
Queensr˙che Operation Mindcrime II
Satyricon Now, Diabolical
Slayer Christ Illusion
Katatonia The Great Cold Distance
I Between Two Worlds
Amorphis Eclipse
Ministry Rio Grande Blood

Eh.../Just Don't Care Any More
In Flames Come Clarity
Cradle of Filth Thornography
Witchery Don't Fear the Reaper
Joe Satriani Super Clossal
Tool 10,000 Days
Iron Maiden A Matter Of Life And Death
Bal Sagoth The Chtonic Chronicles
Sepultura Dante XXI

2005


With so many big-name records coming out, I had high expectations for 2005. Unfortunately, a number of follow-ups didn't quite live up to the hype, and there are quite a few disappointment/ehhh... records. One record was so bad, I had to comment on it. On the other hand, the best records of the year were quite surprising to me.

The Black Dahlia Murder's record came out of nowhere (to me) and is so positively incredible, I deemed it record of the year less than halfway through. Never really cared about them prior, but the riffs and drums are all killer. When the album ends I'm pumped up and just want to listen again. That's what a bona fide Album of the Year does to you. Guess I'll have to wait till 2006 to get a new Dissection record.

Album D'Année
The Black Dahlia Murder Miasma
Les Meilleurs
Children of Bodom Are You Dead Yet?
Hypocrisy Virus
Naglfar Pariah
Pelican The Fire in Our Throats...

Excellence
Arch Enemy Doomsday Machine
Candlemass Candlemass
Dimmu Borgir Stormblċst (re-recording)
Exodus Shovel Headed Kill Machine
Judas Priest Angel of Retribution
Petrucci, John Suspended Animation
Sigur Rós Takk

OK / Eh...
Dark Tranquillity Character
Demons & Wizards Touched by the Crimson King
Dickinson, Bruce Tyranny of Souls
Dream Theater Octavarium
Hammerfall Chapter V......
Helloween Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy
Obituary Frozen in Time
Old Man's Child Vermin
Opeth (their worst ever) Ghost Reveries

SHITE!
Soilwork Stabbing the Drama

2004


2004...hmmmm.....can't really count Katatonia's Brave Yester Days.

Exodus Tempo of the Damned
Les Meilleurs
Iced Earth The Glorious Burden
Skyfire Spectral

Excellence
Neurosis The Eye of Every Storm
Borknagar Epic
Buckethead Population Override
Susperia Unlimited
Ministry Houses of the Molé
Skinny Puppy The Greater Wrong of the Right
Dargaard Rise and Fall
Moribund Oblivion Khanjar
Finntroll Nattfödd
My Dying Bride Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
Death Angel The Art of Dying

Eh...
Anthrax Music of Mass Destruction
Grip Inc. Incorporated
In Flames Soundtrack to Your Escape
Morgion Cloaded by Ages, Crowned in Earth
Joe Satriani Is There Love in Space?
Vintersorg The Focusing Blur

2003


An incredible year in terms of quality and quantity. 2003 will probably have the largest number of excellent records in recent memory. I couldn't reduce my 'Best of the Year' records below 7, I think that says it all.

Album D'Année
Kalmah Swampsong
Les Meilleurs
Children of Bodom Hate Crew Deathroll
Einherjer Blot
The Haunted One Kill Wonder
Helloween Rabbits Don't Come Easy
Old Man's Child In Defiance of Existence
Skyfire Mind Revolution

Excellence
Anathema A Natural Disaster
Bathory Nordland II
Blind Guardian Live
Dimmu Borgir Death Cult Armageddon
Dissection Live Legacy
Dream Theater Train of Thought
Iron Maiden Dance of Death
King Diamond The Puppet Master
Opeth Damnation
The Orb Bicycles & Tricycles
Noteworthy/Etc.
Arch Enemy Anthems of Rebellion
Katatonia Viva Emptiness
Soilwork Figure Number Five
Naglfar Sheol
Lost Horizon A Flame to the Ground Beneath
Type O-Negative Life is Killing Me
Korn Take a Look in the Mirror
Led Zeppelin How the West Was Won
OSI Office of Strategic Influence
Eh...
Overkill Killbox 13
Suidakra Signs for the Fallen
Queensryche Tribe
Stratovarius Elements - Part II
Green Carnation A Blessing in Disguise
Amorphis Far From the Sun
Cradle of Filth Damnation and a Day
Anthrax We've Come For You All
Sepultura Roorback
Sepultura Revolusongs

2002


To put it simply: Blind Guardian isn't for everybody. A Night at the Opera isn't for everybody. This record isn't even for every BG fan. This record is like nothing I've ever heard. If you enjoy the layer upon layer of vocals and melodies and can appreciate the album as a whole, there's a good chance it's on your Top Whatever listings. As a fan of the production and care that's gone into this record, it easily sits in my Top 20 records of all time listing.

Album D'Année
Blind Guardian A Night at the Opera

Les Meilleurs
Agalloch The Mantle
Kalmah They Will Return
Green Carnation Light of Day, Day of Darkness

Noteworthy
Satyricon Volcano
Suidakra Emprise to Avalon
Amon Amarth Versus the World
Opeth Deliverance
Dark Tranquillity Damage Done
Arcturus The Sham Mirrors
Halford Crucible
In Flames Reroute to Remain
Dream Theater Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Joe Satriani Strange Beautiful Music
Vintersorg Visions from the Spiral Generator
Warmen Beyond Abilities
Hammerfall Crimson Thunder
King Diamond Abigail II
Eh...
Down Down II
Soilwork Natural Born Chaos
Live Records
My Dying Bride The Voice of the Wretched
Cradle of Filth Live Bait for the Dead
Overkill Wrecking Everything
Dimmu Borgir Alive in Torment
Iron Maiden Rock in Rio
Megadeth Rude Awakening

2001


Album D'Année
Arch Enemy Wages of Sin
Les Meilleurs
Cradle of Filth Bitter Suites to Succubi
Soilwork A Predator's Portrait
Lost Horizon Awakening the World
Testament First Strike Still Deadly
Excellence
Agalloch Of Stone, Wind and Pillor
Amon Amarth The Crusher
Borknagar Empiricism
Bal Sagoth Atlantis Ascendant
Dargaard The Dissolution of Eternity
Dimmu Borgir Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
Diabolical Masquerade Death's Design
Neurosis Sun That Never Sets
Orbital The Altogether
The Orb Cydonia
Tool Lateralus
Witchery Symphony for the Devil
Noteworthy
Slayer God Hates Us All
Opeth Blackwater Park
Eh...
Amorphis Am Universum
Emperor Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire and Demise
Live Shows
Dream Theater Live Scenes from New York (*)
Halford Live Insurrection
Queensryche Live Evolution

* - I was at this show.

2000


Album D'Année
Soilwork The Chainheart Machine
Les Meilleurs
Children of Bodom Follow the Reaper
Cradle of Filth Midian
Kalmah Swamplord

Excellence
A Perfect Circle Mer de Noms
The Cure Bloodflowers
Bruce Dickinson Best Of (w/ Bonus Disc)
Deep Forest Pacifique
Demons & Wizards Demons & Wizards
Dargaard In Nomine Aeternitatis
Helloween The Dark Ride
Halford Resurrection
The Haunted The Haunted Made Me Do It
In Flames Clayman
Iron Maiden Brave New World
Immortal
Jacob's Dream Jacob's Dream
King Diamond House of God
Neurosis Sovereign
Overkill Bloodletting
Tool Salival
Noteworthy
Eh...
Vintersorg Cosmic Genesis
Live Records
Arch Enemy Burning Japan Live
Emperor Emperial Live Ceremony