2006 was a strong one for heavy metal
. Some veterans proved they still have it, some lesser known bands became stars and a lot of talented newcomers burst upon the scene. Here are our choices for the top heavy metal CDs of 2006.
On their latest album Mastodon
has made the jump to a major label. Did that also make them jump the shark, or do they continue their streak of excellent albums? The latter is definitely the case. Mastodon hasn't lost any of their quirkiness or innovativeness on Blood Mountain.
Read the complete Mastodon review
approach on this album was very different than in the past. First they decided to use a producer for the first time instead of just having an engineer. They were also able to quit their day jobs and put in intense songwriting sessions for this album. The result is their most focused and polished release to date.
Read the complete Amon Amarth review
Whenever a legendary band like Iron Maiden
releases a new CD there's a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. They've had so many great albums over the years and you hope that this one can at least come close to some of those classics, but know that a band that's been around so long could be on the down side of their career and is just hanging on. In Iron Maiden's case there is no need to put them out to pasture just yet.
Read the complete Iron Maiden review
delivers under pressure, and their latest release ranks right up there with their best. They don't break out a whole lot of new tricks on this album, they just bludgeon you with what they do best. Devastating riffs, blistering solos and maniacal drums are played with technical precision.
Read the complete Cannibal Corpse review.
hasn't completely changed their stripes. The songs still have some keyboards and an element of darkness. They've just amped up the melody and the hooks. And as always, Tom Englund's vocals are outstanding. His powerful voice is one of the best in metal.
Read the complete Evergrey review.
With As Daylight Dies Killswitch Engage
is ready to take things to the next level. They continue to bludgeon the listener with monstrous and aggressive riffs, but also incorporate even more melody than they have in the past. They've managed to write songs that are catchy as hell, but still brutal enough that metal fans will be able to mosh to their heart's content.
Read the complete Killswitch Engage review.
This is a CD that starts with a bang and doesn't let up until the end. The dual guitar attack of Mark Morton and Will Adler shreds and solos their way around the rock solid and very underrated drumming of Chris Adler. There are some very memorable and catchy songs, including "Redneck," which seems destined to be a crowd favorite at Lamb Of God
Read the complete Lamb Of God review.
This carries forward the style Mercenary
evolved into on the last album while breaking new ground. The songs are lengthy, with only one clocking in at under five minutes. They combine the complexity of progressive metal
and the soaring melody of power metal
with the speed and aggression of thrash.
Read the complete Mercenary review.
The 2006 edition of Celtic Frost
is closer to the 1983 edition of Hellhammer. The songs are dark, plodding and heavy with droning doom metal
guitars. Fischer's voice has aged nicely. His baritone is strong and unique, and he throws in some black metal style vocals as well. You'll also hear some female goth style vocals. The songs are flawlessly and painstakingly constructed with layer after layer of music that you appreciate more with each listen.
Read the complete Celtic Frost review.
This album has a nice combination of Voivod
's trademark chaotic and unusual riffs and more traditional and simpler thrash metal compositions. Michel "Away" Langevin is a superior drummer who is able to add a lot of texture and bombast with his unique style. Piggy's guitar work is as distinctive and skilled as ever, but it's Snake who really shines. His vocals are some of the best he's done, and delivered with range and emotion.
Read the complete Voivod review.