I've been keeping track of this long enough to split it into two separate sections. This here covers the albums released in the decade in which I really grew up! See below for my lists, some are outdated and unformatted.
I compiled my favorite records of 1999 when I worked at WCDB. These were my top 10 records as I presented them on air in December of '99.
My opininions may have changed much since then. It's surprising to see Opeth at #2, when I really hated that record and it is still my least favorite album by the band.
I don't know how Anathema's Judgement and My Dying Bride's The Light at the End of the World were excluded from that list...I'd probably take off the last 2 and replace them w/ these songs if I had to choose again.
Noteworthy: Sinergy: Beware the Heavens Korn: Issues NIN: The Fragile In Flames: Colony Godflesh: Us & Them Mercyful Fate: 9 James Murphy: Feeding the Machine Megadeth: Risk S.O.D.: Bigger than the Devil Agalloch: Pale Folklore Children of Bodom: Tokyo Warhearts Other: Amorphis: Tuonela Dimmu Borgir: Spiritual Black Dimensions Overkill: Necroshine Coverkill Dark Tranquillity: Projector Anathema: Judgement In the Woods: Strange in Stereo My Dying Bride: The Light at the End of the World Vintersorg: Ödemarkens Son
If 1997 was the real turnaround in terms of metal, 1998 only helped it along. Another fantastic year filled with a number of unforgettable records. I did a radio show for my favorite records when I had a prime-time slot at the radio station (running the metal department helped secure this!). The show was done on the 15th of December, 1998 and has my top 10, in order, as:
This list has definitely changed since then. Albums such as the Amon Amarth, Blind Guardian (the album that got me into them, and one based on the best piece of literature ever written) and particularly October Tide have since come to usurp those in my top-10, but I find it interesting to see what I listed as the best at the time. The fact that Chemical Wedding was #4 shocks me, and even I am surprised that Slayer's record appeared on this list. However, while half of the album doesn't do it for me, the other half is killer.
Opeth had been stating that these songs were more straightforward and shorter than Morningrise and I equated this with selling out. The moment I put on the record, I was in utter disbelief. Incredibly fast, this was precisely the opposite of what I had been expecting. One of the greatest jaw-dropping moments in my metal career!
Onward with good records, and the list as of the time of writing (almost 7 years later)...
The top 4 records of 1997 stand out as some of the best metal recordings of all time. I could never decide which should be #s 1 and 2!
Dimmu Borgir Enthrone Darkness Triumphant Emperor Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk Bruce Dickinson Accident of Birth Dark Tranquillity The Mind's I Pantera 101 Proof Live Testament Demonic Overkill From the Underground and Below Katatonia Sounds of Decay Katatonia Brave Murder Day? Old Man's Child The Pagan Prosperity In Flames Whoracle / Black Ash Inheritance In the Woods Omnio Arcturus La Masquerade Infernale Deceased Fearless Undead Machines Forbidden Green Cradle of Filth Dusk and Her Embrace October Tide Rain Without End Enslaved Eld Megadeth Cryptic Writings
Opeth Morningrise In Flames The Jester Race Dimmu Borgir Stormblast Dissection Storm of the Light's Bane James Murphy Convergence My Dying Bride Like Gods of the Sun Slayer Undisputed Attitude Tool Aenima Mercyful Fate Into the Unknown Enigma Le Roi est Mort, Vive le Roi
At the Gates Slaughter of the Soul In the Woods Heart of the Ages Grip Inc. Power of Inner Strength Death: Symbolic Testament Live at the Fillmore My Dying Bride The Angel and the Dark River Overkill Wrecking Your Neck-Live Overkill The Killing Kind Souls at Zero A Taste of the Perverse Carcass Swansong Anathema Pentecost III Anathema The Silent Enigma
Things didn't change much from the prior year. The state of metal was weak, particularly in the US, but the European black metal movement was forming. This was a bad time of my life anyways, so my list here is kinda
American music continued its spiral downward and European metal began the ascent. Unfortunately this was one of many dark years in which I have little good to say. The number of excellent records is few. Album of the year is likely Dissection's The Somberlain.