10. INTOXICATED Rock n' Roll Hellpatrol
Crude songs, crude musicianship and crude production. AKA right up my ally. Picture Midnight without quite the songwriting chops. Lot's of memorable anthem type songs though. Top 10 album and one of the worst album covers of the year.
9. AUTOPSY The Headless Ritual
I've been disappointed with the comebacks albums from Autopsy, until now. This cracks when it's supposed to crack and slows to a dirge when it's supposed to slow to a dirge. Really a return to form and up their with their best material.
Time To Repent and their demo were 2 of the Doom highlights of the last few years. Most comparable to Witchfinder General, they've always had some really catchy tunes. This continues with the new material but with more of a Garage/Punk sound.
Joel Grind is an unstoppable riff machine. Between this early Bathory worship album and the new Toxic Holocaust album, the man is on a roll. He's never sounded so menacing.
6. DARKTHRONE The Underground Resistance
Gone are the days of razor thin production and razor sharp tremolo picking. Gone even are the days of Crust, D-Beat, Punk Darkthrone. This is Agent Steel like Traditional Heavy Metal Darkthrone.
5. MAGISTER TEMPLI Lucifer Leviathan Logos
This band came out of nowhere and floored me with the first track they released. The rest of the album didn't quite live up to that song but it's still very good none the less and boasts one of the best and most unique vocal efforts of the year.
4. TORTURE CHAIN Mutilating Astral Entities
USBM is on the rise and and Torture Chain should be there on the forefront for years to come. Primitive, Punk infused Black Metal.
3. SACRIPHYX The Western Front
Rather than bludgeon you over the head, Sacriphyx likes to add emotional depth to their Death Metal. Melodic (no, not MeloDeath as we've come to know it) and emotional, these are stories about "The Western Front" of World War I but this is not Bolt Thrower. This is about death and destruction and the solitude, not the glory of war.
2. ENFORCER Death By Fire
Look, if you can't look past the schtick of the band that's your problem. This is classic 80's metal. Great songs and great technical wizardy. Who cares if it's completely derivative?
1. MAGIC CIRCLE Magic Circle
This is by far my album of the year. I've probably heard it 70+ times. It's perfect. It takes the best of Pagan Altar and ties it together with a little Black Sabbath to create a new classic. My hope is that this isn't a one of since it's a side project.
Keep your eyes peeled for my honorable mentions...