Metal 2009-The Rest, The Honorable Mentions, and The Most Disappointing


28 déc. 2009, 0h46m

2009 has proven to be a fruitful year for metal. I've already listed my picks for best Death, Black, and Doom Metal Albums (Yob's new one is now in the best Doom Metal albums) Here's all the rest that fits, was forgotten, and didn't live up to task

Katatonia-Night is the New Day-The bands best since The Last Fair Deal Gone Down, NITND sees the band further embracing Prog, without betraying what makes them what they are. If anything, it enhances it, as songs like The Longest Year and Nephilim can attest. Absolutely essential.

Baroness-Blue Record-I know, it's cliche at this point to include this, but Goddamn this album is fucking great. Improving on the template Red Album (also a great album) offered, "Blue Record" sees Baroness continuing to expand upon their horizons, embracing Sludge, Prog, Psychedelia and more. Not a single note is wasted or feels like filler, and it's one of the best records of it's kind for a reason-it really feels like a record.

Isis-Wavering Radient-After the disappointing In The Abscence Of Truth, Isis return with a vengeance, offering an album that offers tight compositions, as well as giving each member of the band a place to shine-like Blue Record, not a moment on it feels wasted or overblown, and it all works together as a cohesive unit.

Kylesa-Static Tensions-The band's best album yet, "Static Tensions" sees the band evolving, melding their Sludgey riffs with a psychedelic, evocative atmosphere. It may not be as heavy or Doomy as prior albums, but as a whole, "Static Tensions" is a class all it's own.

Mastodon-Crack the Skye-While the inevitable (but dumb) backlash against the band continues, "Crack The Skye" might not win over newcomers, and it let down a few fans, it's still a great album even if it doesn't top prior works. This time, the band gets even Proggier, only now it's even more explicit, as songs like the awesome Quintessence (which could go down as one of their best songs IMO) and The Czar continue to show the band experimenting, while not losing what makes them what they are.

Thy Catafalque-Róka Hasa Rádió-Avant-Garde Metal at it's best, RHR sees Thy Catafalque capturing a sound that sounds like a blend of Arcturus, Cynic and Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell era Ulver, this is a must for those looking for something different in their metal.

Shrinebuilder-Shrinebuilder-A project with Scott Kelly, Wino, Dale Crover and more? Sign me up.

Megadeth-Endgame-No, it won't top past the lies of Rust In Peace, but hearind the band go back to their thrash roots is still a good thing, and more impressive is how well they pull it off. This is the album I wanted World Painted Blood to be.

Amorphis-Skyforger-A worthy follow up to Silent Waters, "Skyforger" is a splendid mix of Prog, Melodic Death Metal and Folk Metal-something the band has mastered in the past, but fans of those works should (or likely do) enjoy this one.

Ensiferum-From Afar-After a few lackluster albums, Enisferum returns in a big way with "From Afar." It's all the Folky Power Metal/Melodic Death Metal you'd expect, but done with such conviction that you can't help but be swept along. Oh, and if you don't like the song Stone Cold Metal, you have no soul.

Sólstafir-Köld-An impressive blend of Sludge and Post Metal, "Köld" could be looked at as what would happen if members of Neurosis, Fen and Sigur Rós got together to form a band.

Tombs-Winter Hours-A catchy but too short blend of Sludge, Post Metal and Shoegaze, "Winter Hours" is an impressive follow up album with equal parts great riffs and lyrics.

I still need to check out these new albums from

Devin Townsend
Nokturnal Mortum
Animals as Leaders
Peste Noire
Giant Squid
Pyramids with Nadja

Let me know if they are worth it

Honorable Mention

Wolves in the Throne Room-Malevolent Grain-While "Black Cascade" may have been a let down, this EP is actually not a bad listen. It may not be up to task with prior albums, but it's still worth a listen.

L'Acephale-Stahlhartes Gehäuse-Black Metal with elements of Black Ambient, Neo-Folk and more. It's a long album that occasionally meanders, but it's still pretty good, and offers a lot to look forward to.

Circle of Ouroborus-Tree of Knowledge-It's not perfect, but it's the best thing they've done thus far, and sees them coming closer to reaching their full potential.

Iron Man-I Have Returned-Another comeback of sorts, "I Have Returned" may not be great or groundbreaking, nor is it as good a comeback as Count Raven had, but it's still good to see Al Morris is back.

Procer Veneficus-Convoy (Pt. 2)-Yep, the band's description of itself is still pretentious. That out of the way, this is his best album yet, coming off as an almost Shoegazy Velvet Cacoon

Caïna-Caïna-Musically, this is the most metal the project has sounded since Some People Fall, and while not as diverse and great as Mourner and Temporary Antennae, it;s still some good stuff.

Lux Divina-From the Tomb to Nature's Blood-Some neat (but not spectacular) Pagan/Folk Black Metal. It's not a classic, but it does leave me interested in what they can do next.

Most Disappointing

Paradise Lost-Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us-Well, I really wanted to like this one, but the songs just feel so unmemorable, and it feels too much like they are trying to recapture past glory. Too bad.

Wolves in the Throne Room-Black Cascade-I have to give them credit for trying to capture what makes their live shows so great, but the end result is an album that misses the mark. Hopefully next time.

Immortal-All Shall Fall-Not a bad album, but not everything I was hoping it would be. Maybe it's my fault, and I hoped it would capture past triumphs too much?

Gorgoroth-Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt-The good news? Pest is back.The bad news? The new album is a let down. Maybe they can get their groove back next time.

Slayer-World Painted Blood-Another album I really wanted to like. By no means a bad album, but not a great one either. It's just sort of...there.

Still Can't Get Into Them

Krallice-Maybe this is a band I'm told I should like.

A Request

Please AV Club: Stop writing about metal. I like you usually, but it's become obvious to me that you don't know what you're talking about in that regard. And give us more "My Year In Flops" please.


  • Vorphallack

    I completely agree on Isis, Kylesa, Tombs and Mastodon. I thin Kylesa and Mastodon have put out their best albums yet, and Stahlhartes Gehäuse is of the most interesting and rich albums I've heard this year. I felt the same about Paradise Lost, but I think Black Cascade is a really good album on it's own, although it can't compare to their previous ones and I'd rather WITTR stayed with their style of atmospheric BM that made them great instead of this more direct approach. Definitely check out the new Om! Greetings!

    28 déc. 2009, 13h44m
  • memeco

    I completely disagree with all the albums previously mentioned :P 2009 was one of the worst years for metal and music in general! :(

    28 déc. 2009, 14h23m
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