Recommend me some quality Metal


Nothing from me on this as I don’t really listen to anything progressive that wouldn’t fall into the other genres (e.g. Vektor).

If I were going to listen to a prog album, it would probably be Katatonia - The Fall of Hearts who I used to be quite the fan of, in the earlier darker days. I’m sure they still make great music. :)


Absolutely! That’s a really good album. I still mentally classify them as doom, but that’s probably not really supported by the music.


I’ll personally vouch for Haken, Mammoth, and Devin Townsend’s product from Thraeg’s list above. Despite being so “new” to metal, dude routinely catches all sorts of bands I’m totally unaware of, and I’ve been listening to metal more or less constantly for 15 years straight!

But Haken might actually take album of the year for me. Currently out in front, at least.

Ashbringer’s Yugen and Alcest’s Kodama are still in contention, though. Probably Saor’s Guardians, though I think I still like Aura more. Fleshgod Apocalypse’s King stands out, too, now that I really put my midn to it.

Which is weird cuz at the top of the year I’d have guessed Sabaton and Grand Magus would be vying for my pick at this point. Although Machinae Supremacy literally just dropped a new album, and I fucking love those guys something fierce, goofy as they might be.


Yeah this whole classification thing is quite the fluid ordeal these days. :)


And I barely scratch the surface of what’s out there! I keep some metal sites in my rss reader and skim reviews as they come in, listening to sample tracks or queueing up the album in GPM if it seems warranted. But I don’t bother with an album unless it’s gotten a reasonably enthusiastic recommendation from someone, and don’t even attempt to trawl through Bandcamp or new release lists (which seem to average around 50 albums per week). And despite me actively paying attention all year, most end-of-year lists include a good number of albums that totally flew under my radar. I can’t come close to drinking the whole firehose, but can at least siphon off enough great stuff to enjoy.

Yeah, as with Vektor, it was one of the very last cuts I made to get down to my top 10, and leaving it off feels pretty arbitrary. If I were assigning ratings, the vast majority of what I’m including in these posts would get a healthy 3.5 or 4.0 stars. Then there are six transcendent 5.0s at the top of my list. But Vektor, Haken, XII Boar, Sabaton, and a few others in genres I haven’t gotten to yet would be 4.5s that could easily have slotted in at #7-10 if I had made the list on a different day.


I’ve mostly stopped sweating it. Everything goes in one of a dozen-odd buckets for ease of navigation so I don’t have “blackened symphonic ambient deathgaze” or the like cluttering up the genre list with only two bands in them. But genre is just a starting point rather than a straitjacket, and I don’t really care if someone could make a case that a band is doomy prog rather than proggy doom.


I am still enjoying the latest Fates Warning album that I somehow missed and it would be my top prog album of the year. Although I am a bit biased as No Exit was the first progressive metal album I owned. It looks like I also failed at seeing that Watchtower got back together again as well. I did like Haken and Ihsahn out of that list and will see what else I can find.


Day 5: (Non-melodic) Death Metal

2016 was the year I finally got into death metal proper after a few false starts. Previously I had enjoyed cousin genres like thrash and melodeath, but despite checking out acknowledged genre classics from all-time-best lists, nothing had fully clicked until my #3 AOTY blindsided me in January.

Since then I’ve found a decent number more that I’ve really enjoyed (and one more that reached my top 10), though I am still left cold by a good chunk of the old-school and brutal sides of the genre. My preference is definitely more in the weird/atmospheric/proggy realm, as straight-ahead blasting fury quickly becomes fatiguing for me. So hopefully @Profanicus can fill in anything I miss here.

Fallujah - Dreamless

Virvum - Illuminance

Blood Incantation - Starspawn

Wormed - Krighsu

Asphyx - Incoming Death

Gorguts - Pleiades Dust

First Fragment - Dasein

Dormant Ordeal - We Had It Coming

Unfathomable Ruination - Finitude

Revel in Flesh - Emissary of All Plagues

An Abstract Illusion – Illuminate the Path

Ulcerate - Shrines of Paralysis


Well I can certainly relate to what you said earlier, “and I barely scratch the surface of what’s out there!”. There’s so much out there, and a lot is good - what a terrible problem to have eh! :)

So you scratched a lot of what is on my list for this year already. In particular I loved Ulcerate, Gorguts, Blood Incantation, and of course my old-school friends Asphyx for good measure.

There’s also some in the forthcoming Black Metal list that could go either way, but a couple more deathly delights I would add here are:

Zhrine - Unortheta
Another excellent heavy Icelandic band to go with Svartidauði and Misþyrming!

Grave Miasma - Endless Pilgrimage
Only an EP but hey - more Grave Miasma! I love their sound and atmosphere, so heavy…

Mithras - On Strange Loops
Channelling Morbid Angel by way of a cosmology convention with reasonably glorious results.

Howls of Ebb - Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
Otherworldly psychedelia from the nether realms! I loved the refreshingly different sound these guys have. Maybe it’s half in the Black camp but genres, hey - what you going to do. :)


Don’t worry @Zephyr, when I get my chance to make my prog list, Fates Warning is 100% making the cut.

And Dream Theater may not… which I’m not sure yet. It feels weird not, since I did like the album and they are arguably my favorite band. But as I scan through it… is on the cusp.


Sounds like I need to give Fates Warning another listen. It didn’t make much impression either way at first, but I could have just been distracted.

@profanicus, I hadn’t heard of Grave Miasma but am rectifying that now. And I heartily endorse your other three additions!


[quote=“Thraeg, post:1231, topic:42284”]
I hadn’t heard of Grave Miasma but am rectifying that now.[/quote]

I love em! They’re a similar style of evil doom death to another fave of mine, Dead Congregation, who coincidentally dropped a new EP a few weeks back - Sombre Doom.

It’s only two songs and under 15 minutes long though, so I thought maybe it didn’t fit the list but it’s pretty great.


Since Zhrine and Howls of Ebb have already started us down the road from death to black metal, let’s go ahead and complete the journey with…

…Day #6: (non-atmospheric/folky) Black Metal

Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä


Hail Spirit Noir - Mayhem in Blue


Imperium Dekadenz - Dis Manibvs


Khonsu - The Xun Protectorate


Inquisition - Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith


Anaal Nathrakh - The Whole of the Law


Astronoid - Air


Frostbite - Etching Obscurity


Departe - Failure, Subside


Wode - Wode


Cobalt - Slow Forever


Wicked. :)

Some great stuff there, my own picks included Inquisition, Anaal Nathrakh, and Khonsu. Wode and Oranssi Pazuzu were okay, and I didn’t get around to Cobalt though I did like Eater of Birds. HSN are a bit carnival for me.

So that doesn’t leave much to add! Here, take these:

Behexen - The Poisonous Path
Finnish ferocity. Kind of traditional and safe sound but sometimes you need a bit of comfort.

I was going to rate the Abbath solo album, but this is somewhat related and I enjoyed it more.

Hyperion - Seraphical Euphony
On the melodic side of black, reminiscent of Naglfar and maybe Dissection. Pretty cool.

Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy of Molten Bones
No comments beyond this goes in here by default, and it’s a bit short after such a long wait. :)

Bethlehem - Bethlehem
The legendary German dark metallers return - this just came out so it’s a last minute entry! I always loved their sound and vocal style, and the new vocalist sounds like he fits.

Not sure he matches this though - listen to Rainer Landfermann’s suicidal insanity from the classic Dictius Te Necare (1996) for comparison:


Great additions @Profanicus! I hadn’t heard of several of those and will be checking them out, and I keep meaning to listen to more of that DSO, especially if it ever shows up on GPM.

Anyway, let’s finish up black metal with the sub-sub-genres that had to be separated out to keep yesterday’s post length manageable. It’s…

Day 7: (atmospheric/folky/viking-y) Black Metal

Mesarthim - .- -​.​.​. .​.​. . -. -​.​-​. .


Netherbird - The Grander Voyage


Sojourner - Empires of Ash


Mare Cognitum - Luminiferous Aether


Violet Cold - Magic Night


Tardigrada - Emotionale Ödnis


Ashbringer - Yugen


Draugnim - Vulturine


SIG:AR:TYR - Northen


Fuath - I


Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika


Battle Dagorath - I - Dark Dragons of the Cosmos


Mistur - In Memoriam


Waldgefluster - Ruinen


Wildernessking - Mystical Future


This is usually a big genre for me, but I actually listened to very little 2016 vintage due to catching up on older stuff! I’ll probably be listening to all these next year, instead of 2017 music. ;)

But of course I did listen to Moonsorrow and it’s on my list. :)

Also recently heard Violet Cold and Draugnim but I’m not sure how I felt about them yet. I didn’t even realise there was a new Sig:ar:tyr!

Oh wait, I did listen to a hell of a lot of Ereb Altor - Blot - Ilt - Taut (Blood - Fire - Death) this year.
You could argue it doesn’t really count, as it’s an album of Bathory covers… but it’s glorious, and appropriate since the band is basically copying influenced by Quorthon’s viking phase.

And they put out a great album of original material last year (Nattramn). :)


We’re in the home stretch now, with…

Day 8: Melodic Death Metal

Witherscape - The Northern Sanctuary


Dark Tranquility - Atoma


Insomnium - Winter’s Gate


Whispered - Metsutan - Songs of the Void


Be’lakor - Vessels


In Mourning - Afterglow


Aephanemer - Memento Mori


Amon Amarth - Jomsviking


Suidakra - Realms of Odoric


Amaranthe - Maximalism


Starkill - Shadow Sleep


You know, I must have really gone off the old melodic DM of late because nothing really appealed to me this year. The Dark Tranquility was okay, and I listened to Witherscape, Insomnium, and Amon Amarth a couple of times, but none of it jumped out and grabbed me by the throat.

I guess the Hyperion could go in here. I liked that because their sound seems relatively rare these days.


You might be right. Amon Amarth I’ll grant you – I thought the album was a retread a few steps down from their best, and almost left it off the list altogether. But for my money, Witherscape, Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, and Dark Tranquility are all top-notch, as good as melodeath has ever been, so if they aren’t doing it for you you might just not be in the mood for the genre as a whole.

Anyway, on to…

Day 9: (soft/atmospheric) Doom Metal

I split doom in half because there was just so much of it. It’s not an exact science but today I focused on the bands going for enveloping atmosphere and ethereal sorrow rather than pure crushing heaviness.

In the Woods… - Pure

Trees of Eternity - Hour of the Nightingale


SubRosa - For This We Fought the Battle of Ages


Katatonia - The Fall of Hearts


Kroh - Altars


Darkher - Realms


Clouds - Departe

Worm Ouroboros - What Graceless Dawn


Messa - Belfry


Bright Curse - Before the Shore


40 Watt Sun - Wider Than the Sky


Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Y Proffwyd Dwyll


Nothing from me here. I listened to Darkher and In the Woods… but similar to melodeath I think I was not in the mood for the genre this year. It’s not a big genre for me overall anyway.