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Top 10 Death Metal Albums

Title says it all. Expect a few odd entries on here and, of course, some rbr00tal classics. Just my rrpersonal favorites.
1Immolation
Close to a World Below


Does this even fucking need a reason? Close to a World Below is the sound of not only a band's music fully realized, but an entire genre fully realized. From the opening mess of guitar distortion that begins "Higher Coward" to the end of the epic title track, the songwriting is always consistently high-quality and the atmosphere is scary as hell. Throughout the entire record, it feels as if you've been dragged to the pits of hell by bassist/singer Ross Dolan and are taking in the soundtrack of the devil. That's what makes this stuff so great though! It's so effective in simultaneously conveying its atmosphere and keeping up with consistently-engaging songwriting that it's truly amazing. And that's why Close to a World Below is #1 for me.
2Carcass
Heartwork


The debate still rages on about whether Necroticism or Heartwork is better, but I personally choose Heartwork as my favorite. All of the band's deathgrind is discarded for a complete melodic death metal assault? one of the first, for that matter! Yeah, this is considered one of the first melodeath albums if not THE first melodeath album, and what a way to kick it off! The vocals are high-pitched and sound pretty pissed off, while the guitar harmonies add so much extra depth and emotion to these tunes. The title track still remains my favorite song here; that blastbeat-laden riff is fucking awesome and the chorus is as climactic as ever. This is one of my absolute favorite albums.
3Death
The Sound of Perseverance


The first metal record I ever listened to, this album is still the pinnacle of Death in my opinion. Chuck's vocals were at their highest range by this point (almost sounding like black metal!) and the songwriting was very unusual compared to the rest of the Death discography. For instance, one of the highlights is a folk song called "Voice of the Soul," which only consists of a beautiful acoustic guitar part and electric guitar soloing happening over it. It doesn't need anything else. The metal songs are fantastic too, with "Scavenger of Human Sorrow" and "Flesh and the Pwoer it Holds" being the highlights for me. Amazing album overall.
4Haggard
Eppur Si Muove


Yeah, probably didn't expect this one at all. Haggard play a mix of doom metal, symphonic death metal, classical, and a whole bunch of other stuff together. And they have 16 members! Anyway, Eppur Si Muove represents the band at their absolute peak, offering beautifully constructed romantic-era composing set against some insanely crushing guitar riffs. Definitely recommended.
5Morbid Angel
Covenant


This may seem like a weird decision considering most people pick Altars of Madness, but I always thought this album was better and still do. The songwriting is exceptionally varied, the atmosphere is fucking creepy as hell, and the vocals practically spew hatred and evil. Also, "Rapture" and "Pain Divine" provide possibly the best opening punch in death metal history (in my opinion, at least). I wish the band were still this good today...
6Cryptopsy
None So Vile


Yeah, can't go wrong with this classic. A cornerstone of technical death metal, Cryptopsy's second album is an amazing blend of lightning-fast blastbeats, chaotic- yet-precise guitar harmonies/riffs, some absolutely ridiculous bass lines, and the inhuman growling of vocalist Lord Worm (I love that name). The entire album is a highlight; there's not even a need to go into full detail on this one.
7Gorerotted
Mutilated in Minutes


Many people would prefer the band's sophomore record Only Tools and Corpses, but I still consider this to be the best album in the deathgrind group's discography. Mixing Cannibal Corpse-esque sections of straight-up brutal death metal with more variety and technical ability, these guys are also known for injecting a sense of morbid humor in their music with song titles such as "Gagged, Shagged, Bodybagged" and "Cut Gut Beaten Eaten." Either way, fantastic album all around.
8Raise Hell
Holy Target


This is more of a mix of death metal and thrash metal, but it deserves a place on the list as well. This album's sort of like Kreator if they were even more chaotic and more death metal-oriented. The production is pretty damn raw and unrefined, but that only helps the atmosphere of the record. Read Dethtrasher's review for further analysis, but yeah? this one's a keeper.
9Opeth
Orchid


The album that started it all for Opeth, Orchid is a fantastic mix of death metal, progressive metal, black metal, classical, and folk all rolled up into one record. It was a pretty ballsy move to put so many lengthy epics on a debut record, but Opeth lived up to their ambitious intentions with ease. Great stuff, listen to it if you haven't.
10Sadist
Tribe


Some great progressive death metal here. Italian death metal group Sadist released a technical and eclectic masterpiece that was intended to really challenge the listener. Case in point: listen to the highlight "India"; Loud guitar bursts are mixed with some very bizarre middle-eastern keyboards and a bunch of insane tempo shifts. But yeah, this album is insanely overlooked and worthy of a spot here.
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