My Favourite Albums Of The Decade: 2010's
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Écailles de Lune - Alcest
Released: March 26, 2010
Genre: Blackgaze, post-metal
My Favourite Track: Percées de Lumière
Souvenirs d'un autre monde was one of my favourite albums of the late 00's and Alcest as innovators of Blackgaze have continued to be one of the most interesting musical projects of the 10's. I really loved the return to black metal roots in the form of Neige's screams here. The contrast between heaviness and melody, especially on the track 2 and 3 are absolutely sublime, and both up there with the best individual songs Iv'e heard in the past 10 years. Moments of jaw dropping beauty.
Emperor of Sand - Mastodon
Released: March 31, 2017
Genre: Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal
After 2011's disappointing The Hunter I stopped listening to Mastodon for a couple years, missing out on 2014's Once More Around The Sun altogether as they were seemingly happy to become the next Queens Of The Stone Age. Then I came back around for Emperor Of Sand and I have to say wow, their songwriting craft has improved significantly and this is one heck of an album, combining their new found injection of melodic rock catchiness with the sludgy and progressive intensity of old with impressive results.
The Plague Within - Paradise Lost
Released: June 1, 2015
Genre: Death-doom, Gothic metal
My Favourite Track: No Hope In Sight
I haven't actually bought a new PL album since Host in the late 90's and decided to give The Plague Within a go due to the acclaim it was receiving. Boy oh boy is was it well worth it, featuring some absolutely colossal riffs and amazing hooks that keeps them ahead of their death-doom disciples, even if PL had been away from that genre the past 20 years they proved here to still be its kings.
Riitiir - Enslaved
Released: October 9, 2012
Genre: Progressive metal, black metal, Viking metal
My Favourite Track: Roots Of The Mountain
Enslaved are undoubtedly one of the most consistently brilliant bands in heavy music. Roots Of The Mountain might just be the best thing they've ever done, it's well up there anyway.
Weather Systems - Anathema
Released: April 16, 2012
Genre: Alternative rock, progressive rock
My Favourite Track: Untouchable, Part 1/Part 2 (Yup technically two tracks, I'm a big fat cheat)
Those purgatory years of the late 00's were a bit rough, the band without a record label were seemingly on the verge of splitting or so it seemed...then the 2010's hit and it was wonderful to see them back, for me the highlight thus far has probably been 2012's Weather Systems a quite beautiful piece of melancholic Alt/Prog rock up there with Alternative 4 and Judgement in quality.
The Dusk In Us - Converge
Released: November 3, 2017
Genre: Metalcore, Post-Hardcore, Hardcore Punk
My Favourite Track: A Single Tear
The greatest metalcore band of all time? Easily. Converge continue to put younger extreme metal bands to shames with their astonishing level of intensity and fire into their forties.
The Seer - Swans
Released: August 28, 2012
Genre: Post-rock, experimenta, noise rock, drone
My Favourite Track: Avatar
Frankly I was a bit shocked to see the return of Swans this decade. They were a band that fascinated me in the late 90's as they were one of the few Non-metal bands to feature in extreme music magazine (and my musical bible as a teen, early twenties) Terrorizer magazine. To be honest I was a little disappointed at the absence of Jarboe and the hipster hype put me off to the degree I stayed away for a while, after eventually getting around to the much jizzed over To Be Kind I found it disappointing in all honesty, too one dimensional. The Seer on the other hand, well that's an altogether different beast.
Exercises in Futility - Mgla
Released: September 4, 2015
Genre: Black Metal
My Favourite Track: Exercises In Futility I
Holy crap! A sublime mixture of savagery and melancholia becoming a multifarious regime of cold nihilistic haw-frost. What I mean to say is yes, this is indeed most impressive black metal album Iv'e heard in some time indeed.
Axioma Ethica Odini - Enslaved
Released: September 27, 2010
Genre: Progressive metal, Viking metal
My Favourite Track:Ethica Odini
And the final Enslaved album on my little list. This Norwegian band have certainly filled the void of progressive extreme metal that the once mighty Opeth left when they decided to go all granddad prog on us. And Axioma Ethica Odini may be their best album, it's up there with Isa for me.
Terminal Redux - Vektor
Released: May 6, 2016
Genre: Thrash metal, progressive metal
My Favourite Track: Charging the Void
It's kinda an inevitably (in most cases) that getting older means one tends to lose touch with what's going on the music scene, not being in my teens and twenties anymore for the most part I don't keep up so much with bands outside my frame of reference from the 90's and 00's. So yeah I'd never heard heard of Vektor until the release of this rather magnificent album and all the hype it was getting. Well deserved I'd say, blitzkrieg riffs scything time changes and an awesome sci-fi theme, what else could any metal nerd wish for?
All We Love We Leave Behind - Converge
Released: October 9, 2012
Genre: Metalcore, Hardcore-punk, post hardcore
My Favourite Track: All We Love, We Leave Behind
Growing up as I did in the 90's I can remember a time when metalcore was actually cool, y'know back in the days when it hadn't been utterly tainted by watered down productions, whiny clean chorus breaks and embarrassing haircuts. It peaked in 2001 with the release of Converge's monumental Jane Doe (one of my top 5 albums of all time, some days it's right at the top of that list) and since then Converge have pretty much been the only band from the hardcore-metal fusion thing that I listen to into the new millennium. All We Love We Leave Behind continues their brand of ferocious melancholic attack with a rare perpetual brilliance...
Grace for Drowning - Steven Wilson
Released: September 26, 2011
Genre: Progressive rock, experimental rock, jazz fusion
My Favourite Track:Raider
Took my sweet time getting into Porcupine Tree, of course I knew Wilson as the producer of Opeth's Blackwater Park masterpiece but I just never got into PT as I was mostly immersed in extreme metal and what was going on in that world throughout the 00's. But once I got there, yeah I can understand what all the fuss was about and Wilson's subsequent solo work maybe even better.Grace For Drowning is a fascinating dark, experimental jazz infused double album that I'm very happy to have in my collection.
Winter's Gate - Insomnium
Released: September 23, 2016
Genre: Melodic death metal, Progressive metal
Insomnium are a band Iv'e increasingly become of aware of as the years have gone by but I never really gave much a chance as far as my listening habits went. 2016 that changed and I got hold of the much heralded 40 minute epic that is Winter's Gate. Pretty cool to see Dan Swanö on mixing/mastering duties here because it's up there in quality with Edge Of Sanity's incredible Crimson epic and that's no easy feat.
The Raven That Refused to Sing: And Other Stories... - Steven Wilson
Released: February 25, 2013
Genre: Progressive rock, jazz fusion, art rock
My Favourite Track: The Watchmaker
Another superb modern prog masterpiece from Mr.Wilson, just supreme exploration of atmosphere and emotions across this thing, and Jesus that musicianship.
Marrow of the Spirit - Agalloch
Released: November 23, 2010
Genre: Black metal, folk metal, doom metal
My Favourite Track: Into the Painted Grey
It is unfortunately a consequence of getting older the higher the likelihood that your favourite bands are gonna come to an untimely demise. So for me the likes of Death from the 90's and Isis from the 00's being joined by Agalloch in the 10's has made this thirty-something guy mightily depressed. Thankfully they left behind truly great albums like Marrow Of The Spirit, records that transcend sub-genre and stand as some of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. Atmospheric perfection.
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