It's been a while since I've been here but I am so excited to be back. Don't worry... nothing bad happened, and my addiction to metal has actually gotten stronger (Behemoth is playing as a write this). I took some time to brainstorm about some articles I wanted to write, and delved further into the genre. I realised that most metal fans live in the nostalgia of the past, finding it hard to look forward. And that is with good reason, I mean with bands like Sabbath, Maiden, Slayer and Pantera dominating the genre it's hard to have faith in the new wave of metal. With this in mind I was inspired to do an article about my top albums post 2000. For me personally, these albums are some of the most masterful crafts to come out of the metal genre, making it impossible for me to rank them, but here we go...
If you went between this blog and my Instagram you would see a religious affiliation with Meshuggah. I have had this band on constant repeat for years now, memorising every time signature, rhythm intricacy and drum beat. I would call it a borderline obsession for these Swedish maestros. My love for this band was growing as I ascended their discography, but when the time came for ObZen, it was fair to say that it went to the next level. From the opening notes of Combustion, I knew that this album would be technical, mind bending, brutal and simply a modern masterpiece. Anyone who is a fan or not a fan is familiar of the monster that is Bleed, quite possibly the song that can define the modern wave of metal albums. The band defied all that is possible with a song such as this, and till the last note of Dancers to a Discordant System, the band keeps you engaged and wondering how they manage to raise the bar each time.
Machine Head: The Blackening
Put your opinions aside of Robb Flynn, The Blackening, quite simply was a stroke of genius. The perfect blend of thrash, groove, artistic song writing and progressive elements, the band really did take the metal world by storm with this release. It's fair to say that this will be the band's finest hour and it is quite difficult to encapsulate the mood and energy on this album. The acoustic intro to Clenching the Fists of Dissent, first told me that this album was a force to be reckoned with, and Machine Head proved me right. Each song is quite simply put, perfect. From start to finish it is riffs upon riffs of pure metal madness, leaving your neck raw but also requiring your upmost attention to appreciate the complexity of some arrangements.
This may piss a few purists off but I don't really care. Say what you will about Tool, but you must admit, the band has managed to stay relevant and still compared to even still to this day. Their influence is unmatched and their music is artistic in its message and composition. The band really reached new heights with Lateralus. For me, this album is one of the defining moments the progressive metal genre and a definite masterpiece. Bands are still tying to mimic the energy, flow and songwriting on this album, but so many have come and failed. From The Grudge, Lateralus, Triad and everything in-between, this album was perfectly made, produced and is extremely well thought out. I really hope the new Tool album is no laughing matter and comes out before I die... but who knows.
Behemoth: The Satanist
I think it's fair to say that when all is said and done, Behemoth's The Satanist will be ranked among the best metal albums of all time. From beginning to end this album is quite hard to put into words. I have listened to it back and forth for hours upon end and still struggle to get my head around what a work of art this really is. Whether you're into death metal, black metal or just extreme metal in general, this album requires your patience, understanding and most importantly, time. I have done an article on this album before (you can check it out further down in my blog). To put it in simple terms, Nergal has crafted a work of art which is so legendary and masterful that it is hard to imagine its absence from the metal world.
Opeth: Blackwater Park
The opening chords of Blackwater Park was my first exposure to Opeth, and from that moment I never looked back. When I went back and listened to Opeth's discography it felt as though everything was building up to this moment, which many would call it Opeth's magnum opus. From the opening notes of The Leper Affinity to the closing acoustic of Blackwater Park, it felt as though the band poured absolutely everything they had into this album. They created a masterpiece which combined the best of so many metal genres it's hard to count. From the black metal moods, infused with progressive/melodic/technical (at times) death metal, it's hard to define this album, let alone Opeth's sound. This work is nothing short of spectacular and is Opeth's crowning moment and a highly regarded contribution to metal.