Heavy Metal Days – The Final Score

We have finally come, now on this most Auspicious of times, the end of the Heavy metal days. It is now that I take all that I have learned and understood and experienced, and put it to a somewhat cohesive form in order to Condense 8 months of songs, albums and metal into a single list. Let us BEGIN! 

This isn’t going to be terribly long, so let’s just get right to it:
Over the course of this year, I have listened to 44 new albums, recommended by both the web site Banger as well as by my friends. This has, along with last year, been a pretty cool experiment for me. I was able to listen to a lot of different styles and a number of different albums from genres and countries I would not have listened to otherwise. 

Lets take a look at the albums I looked at this year, one more time: 

Lundar Shadow – Far From Light – Heavy Metal
Locust Leaves – A Subtler Kind of Light – Experimental/Prog Metal
Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing – Death/Doom Metal
Palmistry – Demo – Doom Metal
Droids – Terrestrial Mutation – Stoner metal/Rock
Pagan Altar – Room of Shadow – Doom Metal
Valiant – A Moribund Destiny – Epic Atmospheric Death Metal
Bufihimat – I – Technical Grindcore/Death Metal
Converge – The Dusk In Us – Metalcore
Necrot – Blood Offering – Death Metal
Amenra – Mass VI – Doom/Sludge/Hardcore
Wode – Servants of the Counter Cosmos – Black Metal
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic – Thrash
Decapitated – AntiCult – Death
Enslaved – E – Thrash
Mastodon – Emperor of Sand – Progressive Metal
Overkill – The Grinding Wheel – Heavy Metal
Portrait – Burn the World – Melodic Heavy Metal
Satans Hollow – Satans Hollow – Heavy Metal 
Tau Cross – Pillar of Fire – Heavy Metal/Crust Punk/Rock
Warbringer – Woe to the Vanquished  -Thrash
The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia – Atmospheric Black/Doom Metal
Black Rat – DEMO – Crust/Black/Thrash Metal
Dying Fetus – Wrong one to Fuck With – Brutal Death Metal/Grindcore
Septic Flesh – Codex Omega – Atmospheric/Symphonic Death Metal
Code Orange – Forever – Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
August Burns Red – Phantom Anthem – Metalcore/Prog/Thrash
Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained – Death Metal
Arkh Spire – Relentless Mutation – Technical Death Metal
Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper – Sludge/Funeral Doom Metal
Caveleria Conspiracy – Psychosis – Groove/Thrash/Death Metal

Iced Earth – Incorruptible – Power/Thrash Metal
Machine Head – Catharsis – Groove/Thrash Metal
Cranely Gardens – House of Decay – Metalcore
The Black Daliah Murder – Nightbringers – Melodic Death Metal
Aversion Crown – Xenocide – Deathcore
November Doom – Hamartia – Death/Doom Metal
Grave Digger – Healed by Metal – Speed Metal/Heavy Metal
Kreator – Gods of Violence – Thrash Metal
Havoc – Conformicide – Thrash Metal
Ayreon – The Source – Prog Metal
Alestorm – No Grave but the Sea – Folk/Power Metal
Annihilator – For the Demented – Technical/Speed Metal
Red Fang – Only Ghosts – Stoner Metal

There is such variety and discovery in that list, that I’m sure there are a half-dozen ways to break that down and do an analysis on what it all means, The big thing, here, though is what this has lead me to realize that I like or don’t like, how I want my music to sound, ect. Its been great, so let me just chat about that for a bit here, shall we: 

First, I want to talk about the albums that I am simply going to put into every day rotation among other albums and songs I listen to all the time. these are, while not always the top of the list, they are the ones that stick in my head and I can rock out to. 

First and Foremost: Archspire: This band stuck in my head from the first moment I heard it. It was an all-out assault on the senses and man, I was all for it. Overkill, Kreator and Gravedigger all have excellent riffs and strong thrash sounds that I love, Satans Hollow is the awesome cross between Pat Benetar and Iron Maiden that no one knew they wanted but once heard, it was realized this was what had been missing from the world for many years. Pagan Altar, as much as I spat at it when I first listened to it is glorious, slow-tempo excellent music. Septic Flesh, too, is a great album that just slow-walked its way into my brain, making me feel dumb for dismissing it the first time. Lastly, Novembers Doom is an amazing concept album of the black plague and death and it is just somberly and poundingly awesome. 
There are a few, though, already in the rotation that I want to give an exception too because they have a solid bench and I already listen to them: Alestorm, Mastadon and  Iced Earth. Their albums weren’t massive discoveries, but they were excellent none the less. 

When I listened to the albums, As I was going through them, I rated them and ranked them. I thought I was accurate to my likes and dislikes, but as I listened to them again, over the months for the articles, I realized that I had gotten many of them ranked completely off. After listening to them again, This is my final rating list of all the songs, along with the difference(+ is moved up, – is moved down) from their original placement. While many are close, often bumped by some album that is clearly worse or better than it, a few, a rare few, jumped a ton of spaces.

The Bad
The Really Bad
Spectral Voice 0
Droids 0
The Pretty Bad
The Pretty Bad
Amenra -3The second time around, the screeching and yelling just did it in for me. 
Valiant +1 While terrible, not as bad as Amenra on my ears. 
Bufihimat +1
Converge +1
The Just Bad
Morbid Angel 0
Locust Leaves -1
Palmistry -1While I liked it, it just didn’t have the staying power that the other albums ahead of it had. 
Code Orange +2Clearly bad, but not as bad as the rest of the bottom of the barrel. I had to give it some slack. 
The Tolerable
Lundar Shadow -1
Wode -2
Necrot -5I thought I enjoyed this the first time around, but I must not have been paying attention. This one was something that just got away from me. 
The Ruins of Beverast -3
Black Rat-14While its only a demo, the second listen really unimpressed me. Its just a screethcy metal band like any other. 
Havoc -6Clearly worse than The first time. The overt and blustrus messages just were not great. 
Aversion Crown -6
Warbringer -9
Dying Fetus 0
The Acceptable
August Burns Red -9
Ensalved -10One song does not redeem an album, and while I truly love The Rivers Mouth, the rest can just go. 
Cranely Gardens +6A benefit of all these albums being rated way higher than they should of. 
Caveleria Conspiracy +2
The Black Daliah Murder -9I got really liberal in my grades toward the end, and while I can listen to this album for a short time, its not my metal. 
The Average
Red Fang +10Another Beneficiary of bad albums slipping down. 
Decapitated -4
The Good
Ayreon +15This is one of the highest rises in the chart. This album is much more rock than metal, but it is much better than the garbage I rated it at. 
Annihilator -13Inversly, just because this is thrashy some times, does not give it the right to be any good. Its solid, don’t get me wrong, but its not great
Tau Cross +4
Overkill +7Really underestimated my enjoyment of this band the first time through. Its good, and it deserves a higher spot. 
Machine Head -5
Pagan Altar +19The largest jump, I was completely unfair to this album the first time, lumping it in with a number of other terrible albums. Its one of the better in the list. 
Gravedigger+1So damned good! The symphonic and the grumbles go together like left and right. It’s amazing. Sorry I panned it the first time!
Power Trip -3
The Great
Septic Flesh+16
So damned good! The symphonic and the grumbles go together like left and right. It’s amazing. Sorry I panned it the first time!
Mastadon -8
Portrait -2
Alestorm 0
Iced Earth +5
The Amazing
Bell Witch -3
Kreator +1
November Doom 0
Satans Hollow +19Another vicitim of the early listening amids all the bad and terrible albums, this one is a joy to listen to. I can listen to it all the time, forever. 
Arkh Spire +9 My god. I did not expect this to get stuck in my soul and man, did it. Just, the best.