High Watermark

Reviews 10
Approval 79%

Soundoffs 12
Album Ratings 2593
Objectivity 78%

Last Active 12-24-22 6:15 am
Joined 12-24-22

Review Comments 1,187

06.07.24 Biblical Albums05.30.24 Steal These Albums!
05.25.24 A fowl assemblage of 101 death(ish) met05.21.24 I have no cred and am a complete poser
05.11.24 Fowl Work Playlist May '2405.06.24 A Fowl 25 GOAT Black Metal Albums
04.19.24 All Guitar Music Is BAD03.27.24 Redundigz
02.18.24 High on Listicles01.14.24 Menacing Music
12.21.23 Songs to pick your nose to12.17.23 8 Bad A7X Songs
12.04.23 Quick Digs05.11.23 Ranking the Slayer albums worth discuss

A Fowl 25 GOAT Black Metal Albums

There have been enough fun metal lists recently that I thought I’d toss my hat into the redundancy sputfire. These are pretty much the 25 greatest black metal albums I have ever heard, limited to one entry per artist. m/////

(Honorable Mention) While it hasn’t quite earned a place on the list, Π​α​ρ​α​μ​α​ι​ν​ο​μ​έ​ν​η remains the most compelling black metal release I’ve heard in 2024.

Check - Παραδειγματιζομένη μουσική

(Honorable Mention) As much progressive and death metal as it is black metal, Antichrist doesn’t make the list but rules so much I had to mention it. Very few metal albums possess the nuance to capably walk that fine line between camp and horror, but Akercocke were always a special group. Oh, and the guitar solos are incredible.

Check - Axiom
Old Star

(Honorable Mention) Oldschool Darkthrone are too muddy for me. It just sounds like shit imo, the riffs aren’t meaty enough to have presence, the drums are lost to the fuzz, and there is nothing discernibly enjoyable about the experience outside of the raw, unwavering cred of it all. Transilvanian Hunger is pretty cool, I will grant you, but I find myself returning to The Underground Resistance and Old Star just as much, if not more, than anything from their classic era.

Check - The Hardship of the Scots

More whimsical metal please.

Check - Journey to the End

One of the loveliest black metal albums ever, Peripeteia is driven by heart-wrenching guitar melodies and tortured vocals. Some albums have earworms, but Disgust & Remorse, Pt II has become a heartworm for me since I first heard it.

Check - Disgust & Remorse, Pt II
Scar Sighted

Unsurprisingly, a genre dependent on self-flagellation and misanthropy is championed by less-than-savory people. Leviathan are just the first example that the best black metal comes from filthy hands – art and artist moral grandstanding and all that. What can I do? It has riffs!

Check - A Veil is Lifted
22Progenie Terrestre Pura

This might deserve a bump. Electronics in black metal have been a calculated risk since the beginning, and few bands have used them to the effect of PTP. Very rarely does an album truly embody 'cosmic horror', but the expanses of oltreLuna weave a journey into the depths of space with a mix of tribal instruments and electronic ambience.

Check -

Perhaps overly dependent on its own grandiosity, (Un)reality is a bloated slab of progalicious, saxxed up black metal. Still, it stands above saxy peers White Ward as the most interesting jazzed-up black metal out there.

Check - A Flash Before Death
20Anaal Nathrakh
In the Constellation of the Black Widow

Half hooky, operatic and catchy, half grindy nonsense, Anaal Nathrakh live only in extremes. Constellation... is only the most radical combination of these extremes: Vanitas, The Whole of the Law, and Eschaton are all equally worth your time.

Check - The Lucifer Effect

Musically and thematically oppressive, Gin is a nihilistic tour de force. There's just something special about black metal from Colorado.

Check - Arsonry

Representing Iceland, Misthyrming take an almost rock-n-roll approach to black metal. Less-so in the sense of assuming the black-n-roll style of a band like Midnight, and more-so that Algleymi is packed full of straight bangers with soaring guitar solos and earworms.

Check - Með svipur á lofti

Unsurprisingly, a band from Philly makes some damn grimy, nasty disso black metal.

Check - The Lowest Abyss
Ashes Against the Grain

Ashes > The Mantle

Does it ever reach a greater high than that breathless, unwavering chord at the beginning of Limbs, or that heartbreaking descent into the melody? No, but it was enough to earn this spot no. 16.

Check - Limbs

I probably have this overrated: it’s meandering, unfocused and bloated, yet delightfully evil. Alongside Mirror Reaper, Tchornobog stands in defiance of every musical trend I suppose to value, and dammit it if I don’t love them for it.

Check - I. The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods of Cognitive Dissonance)
Autumn Eternal

Feels like home – besides its ferocity, black metal has always appealed to me because of its deep sense of isolation, and how it grounds this isolation in the familiarity of places or emotions. Its deff their North American heritage, but nothing stays my yearning to sprint headlong into the mountains forever like a Panopticon album. Autumn Eternal is just their best.

Check - Oaks Ablaze

Stunning, melodic atmo-black w/ bagpipes. Not quite as grimy as Summoning or Caladan Brood or Bloodbark, but I prefer my atmo-black lush and colorful anyways.

Check - Hearth
The Dreaming I

Naas Alcameth is one prolific dude. Between Akylys, Nightbringer, and Bestia Arcana he’s released more excellent black metal albums than pretty much anyone. I like the ambient spaces he creates on The Dreaming I best, however.

Check - The Dreaming Eye
In the Nightside Eclipse

There was a time when I preferred Anthems, but I was wrong. In the Nightside Eclipse is the peak of the 2nd wave black metal scene (unless you count another entry further up), and is also this the only 90s BM album on this list. Hmm, maybe I am a poseur.

Check - Into The Infinity Of Thoughts
The Satanist

Oh boy nostalgia! I remember being extra afraid that my parents would find this and hiding it super deep into my CD collection; there was a time when this was the most blasphemous thing in the world to me. The Satanist has since lost some of the luster, but it's still a magnificently theatrical piece of art, and the production on the drums still hits like the clap of thunder calling the hellish legions from their abyss.

Check - O Father O Satan O Sun!
The Suns of Perdition - Chapter II

There are simply too many riffs here to handle. Crunchy, pummeling, dynamic, intuitive, the complete package really. Four n’ a half star meat n’ taters

Check - Areopagitica

Shame we’ll never see another Dodecahedron album, (RIP Michiel Eikenaar), but of all the disso-black/death bands to pop up in the late 2010s (i.e. Plebian Grandstand, Suffering Hour, the aforementioned Skaphe) Dodecahedron always seemed most fit to assume DSO’s throne. Apparently they’ve rebranded as Autarkh, I suppose I have homework to do.

Check - Allfather
7Blut Aus Nord
The Work Which Transforms God

Ahh, the other French disso black metal boys. And their best album too. Sure it's a predictable choice, but only because The Work Which Transforms God is a monolithic slab of dissonant delicacy.

Check - The Choir Of The Dead

Is this second wave black metal? It certainly isn’t a 90s album, but it's also certainly the best album to arise from Euronymous’ circle of influence. Does it distinguish itself enough to ascend its status as a one-off, or is it forgotten now primarily because it was steeped in an exhausting style? Either way Thorns rules and remains one of the most unique black metal projects ever composed with its industrial flare and Matrix samples.

Check - Interface to God
Heart of Akamon

Agalloch-gone-anarcho-primitavist, Nechochowen trade the nordic larping of their Scandinavian peers for the folk stories of the American Indian to rousing results. The soaring leads and captivating acoustic passages certainly help too.

Check - The Serpent Tradition
4Thy Catafalque

I need to spend more time with this. It's progressive, unique, and almost fundamentally untrve. Very few black metal albums have been so brave as to discard genre tropes as intentionally as Meta, or to such rousing success. A modern classic.

Check - Ixi​ó​n D​ü​ü​n

Pure bombast, Batushka’s mix of Gregorian chants with groovy, melodic black metal creates an album perfect for beginners yet borne with unplumbed depth. And remember, Panihida is the true sequel, not that Hospodi mess.

Check - Yekteniya III: Premudrost’
2The Ruins of Beverast
Rain Upon the Impure

I have deliberately avoided calling anything so far apocalyptic, in part because it's cliched, but equally because there are albums where the cliche objectively applies. Rain Upon the Impure is an apocalyptic album. It is the soundtrack of the approaching war against God and the defiant gnashing of the rebellion as they are torn asunder by the ravenous angels. Its horror is esoteric and primordial, it steals you away and stands you before the throne of God and finds you guilty, disgusting and filthy.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.” Revelations 19:17-18

Check - Soliloquy of the Stigmatized Shepherd
1Deathspell Omega
Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum

Yeah it's Fas. The fuck do you expect? Of course the edgiest band oat made the best black metal album too. Fas has an utterly diabolical riff count and a perfect drum performance, every moment is a delicate exercise in tension driven by a pummeling landslide of overwrought satanic pretension. Black metal perfection, just pirate it maybe?

Check - Bread of Bitterness
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