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Last Active 09-12-14 9:35 am
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08.09.14 Jac's Fav Metal Of Death 07.15.14 Fav Album First Impressions
07.01.14 Jac's 1st Half 2014 06.25.14 May & June 2014 Digs
06.16.14 Riff Hardness Scale 05.07.14 Everything Is Jams
05.04.14 April 2014 Digs05.01.14 Baby Birds Rule
04.16.14 Jac's Favourite Countries04.03.14 Jac's 1st Quarter 2014
04.02.14 March 2014 Digs03.11.14 Metal Hiatus
03.03.14 February 2014 Digs02.23.14 Criteria For Rating Albums
02.10.14 Jac's 10k Comment Milestone 02.05.14 January 2014 Digs
01.16.14 My Parrots Had A Chick12.24.13 Christmas Eve
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Jac's Fav Metal Of Death

I've been wanting to do this list for a while and a lot of people have asked rme over time so rrI'm finally going to pull my finger out and rank my 20 rfavourite death metal albumz! Just to rbe rclear, this list is strictly for death rmetal, so no melodeath or progressive metal rmasquerading ras death metal r(Opeth, Cynic) will appear on it, even if I verily enjoy them. I ralso took a leaf rout of Hyp's rbook and chose to list just one album per band. So yeah, enjoy.
20Dragged Into Sunlight
Hatred For Mankind

While death metal is usually considered to be heavy by nature, Hatred For Mankind truly is an embodiment the genre's characteristics cranked up to 11. Virtually every second of this album assaults you like little else, and furthermore it's draped in this putrid filthiness that more than does the album art justice.
Pierced from Within

Brutal death metal might carry a bit of a stigma but Pierced From Within succeeds in being more brutal than pretty much all of Suffocation's immitators in addition to being a riff-fest of the highest degree. This album has one of the thickest lower ends I've ever heard and then of course you have those beautiful Smith beats.
18Prosanctus Inferi
Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night

Terribly overlooked album/band, these guys don't do anything particularly novel but simply write some unbelievably infectious riffs and sound really really evil at the same time. There older stuff is really really good as well but this is (so far) their finest moment and I can't wait for their next release.
17Artificial Brain
Labyrinth Constellation

Colin Marston is the best producer in death metal today and this album showcases perfectly why, reverberant, organic and above all, extremely dynamic. But the production is really just the icing on the cake because the instrumentation and song-writing on this is superb and the whole thing sounds like a sci-fi adaptation of Gorguts, Baring Teeth and Demilich.

Speaking of which, again there really isn't a whole lot that can be said about this album that hasn't already been said a thousand times before. Antti Boman is obviously the most unique death metal vocalist of all time and one of the finest in his own right as well. Furthermore the riffs on this album are probably the most demented you'll ever hear and anyone who says the only reason to listen to this is the vox is a fucking idiot.
15Morbus Chron

Recently overtook Labyrinth Constellation as my 2014 AOTY. While it's apparent right away that this album is of the highest calibre, it takes an unusually long time to ~grow~ on you. Just like Labyrinth Constellation, this album is extremely dynamic and the vocals are absolutely maniacal, reminding me of a certain van Drunen character.

For the longest time I considered Symbolic to be the best Death but Human just riffs infinitely harder. There's little I can say about this album (and band) that hasn't been said before, but I will say the combination of Reinert, DiGiorgio, Masvidal and of course Chuck is of a quality we will probably never see again.
Consuming Impulse

Some have gotten close, but to this day nobody has been able to match the psychoticness of Martin van Drunen's vocals on this particular album. There are points where I'm convinced he's not actually saying the lyrics he's just screaming uncontrollably and I wouldn't have it any other way. The riffs are also of the utmost quality and the riff halfway through "Suspended Animation" is a contender for my favourite metal riff ever.
Piece of Time

One of the very few albums on this list where atmosphere isn't really a deciding factor and instead its place is warranted simply thanks to the sheer quality of the riffs. Atheist were the absolute masters of reeling off riff after riff while still maintaining a sense of direction, and Piece of Time is their crown jewel, though it's a really close call with Unquestionable Presence.
Transcendence into the Peripheral

The heaviest album I've ever heard. I'm not sure what these guys did to achieve their sound but I'm thinking that maybe they used bridge cables for guitar strings or something. It's impossible to overstate just how monolithic this album truly sounds, and the clean guitars and various "twangs" and "bongs" give this album and eerie vibe that I sincerely doubt will ever be reproduced.
Close to a World Below

It wasn't really a question of whether Immolation would be on this list but where they'd fit in. Close to a World Below was the ultimate culmination of their sound, the number of riffs per song was reduced slightly but that only accentuated them in a way these guys never quite pulled again. The production actually gives the impression this was recorded in Hell and then there's Dolan's vox and Hernandez' drumming which adds to the chaos it's all too damn much!
Black Death Horizon

2013 was such an incredible year for death metal and music in general and this album stood out as one of the absolute finest. Sindre Solem is the best vocalist in modern death metal and conveys a feeling of genuine insanity, the riffs have a strong hardcore punk vibe and rule to no end and so does the drumming. I'm also not usually a solo man but if the solo in The Distant Sun isn't the best solo of the decade so far I don't know what is.

Psychostasia isn't a technical marvel, or a genre-bending masterpiece or even particularly inventive any way, but it just has an intangibly evil atmosphere the likes of which I've rarely if ever heard before. The vocals are like some kind of false chord whispering incantation, the riffs, while incredibly infectious just feel "off", that's the best way I can describe them. Perhaps it's because it's so difficult to pinpoint what is so demented about this is why it works as well as it does, like an uncanny valley of metal.
Infernal Warriors of Death

This album does absolutely nothing original, in fact if I didn't know better I'd think it was straight from 1991, but that's precisely why it's so damn good. Hordes of bands come along trying to recapture that bare-bones OSDM sound, and if they don't fail miserably, still don't quite manage to make something as good as their influences, Blaspherian are an exception. The production on this is as thick as cement, the vocals are deeper than the Hadal zone, and the riffs are absolutely relentless.
Musta Seremonia

One of the best things about Finndeath is you can pick any particular album as your favourite and no one will argue with you, such was the quality of the scene circa 1990-1996. Although "sounds like it was recorded in a cave" is a pretty common description in OSDM, Musta Seremonia is one of the few albums to genuinely deserve it. The riffs and drums resonate with a force that needs to be heard to be believed, and the vocalist sounds like he gorges on the decaying remains of those silly enough to enter his quarters.
Onward to Golgotha

The prototypical caverncore album, which also remains the best 22 years later, every riff on Onward to Golgotha is tainted with a film of grime that no one has been able to recreate and probably never will. Craig Pillard may be a wanker but I'll be damned if these aren't some of the best gutterals in existence, and the drums are fast and complex but also muffled and sonorous and rule really hard. Every element of this album sounds like it has a purposeful place in a dusty cob web of human remains and pure evil, a synergetic amalgamation of things that never meant to see the light of day.
The Erosion of Sanity

Including only one Gorguts album feels wrong because they've released four that could probably fit happily in my top 20, but Erosion still trumps the rest of their discog. Although it lacks most of the experimentation of Obscura and From Wisdom, Erosion still feels just as psychotic and is also much more comprehensible as a whole. It has probably the hardest riffs in the genre, and also has Luc Lemay's best vocal performance as well. The instrumentation, while grounded, is infused with a touch of that quirkiness which would become the focus of their later work, and so it strikes a balance of sorts.
The Ending Quest

Swedeath is similar to Finndeath in that it's highly atmospheric, but instead of using filth as a means to an end, the Swedes usually perfered a more ethereal approach, of which The Ending Quest is the perfect embodiment. Instrumentally, this album doesn't do anything particularly adventurous, but it has this completely inimitable eeriness that I've seldom heard in any album in any genre before. The drums are quiet and relatively basic, the rhythm guitar is crunchy but not overpowering, the vocals are gutteral but unobtrusive and the leads are thin and reverberant. The Ending Quest seems build on stylistic paradoxes, in that everything that could otherwise be seen as a detriment actually helps accentuate an atmosphere that can be simultaneously endearing as well as unsettling.

Portal are truly one of a kind, although Impetuous Ritual and Grave Upheaval (both of whom share members with these guys) have similarities, nobody nails the dimension twisting atmosphere like Portal. This album feels like the soundtrack to a 1940s horror film if the sound track was death metal, and is one of the most unique and evil sounding experiences the world of metal has to offer. The twisted riffs and drumming fuse into a wall of sound that deliberately echews dynamics so to be as punishing as possible. Outre feels utterly claustrophobic as a result, and the small moments of respite feel like pockets of fresh air in a dank and dimly lit penitentiary cell. However, Portal are perfectly conscious of human ears' craving for sonic relief, and make sure to keep these hushes as brief as possible, furthering the torment by making sure you are aware of what you're missing.
Everything is Fire

Anybody who knows me to even the slightest degree would've seen this coming, and I've already dedicated some 1100 words to explaining my position on this album. Everything is Fire is the musical score to the apocalypse, living up to its name by crafting a soundscape of complete chaos and destruction. Although considered a tech death album, there is nothing ostentatious about this, there aren't even any solos. Every single note, drum stroke and textural nuance is as integral and purposeful as the next. Jamie Saint Merat is my favourite drummer in death metal, ever so slightly edging Reinert thanks to his uncanny dexterity and willingness to forgo conventional wisdom in terms of technique. I can't help but feel that although Jamie deserves every bit of praise he receives, people seem to forget about Michael Hoggard, who makes all that polytonal guitar magic happen. The chemistry that they share is completely unvaluable, as all the composition, writing, editing, mixing and mastering is handled by the two of them, meaning they can approach an album with a clear vision and execute it without any interference. Although Vermis and Destroyers are both supreme albums in their own right, Everything is Fire towers over them and the rest of the death metal scene as a testament what a handful of musicians can achieve.
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