2005 was a great year for heavy metal. It was difficult narrowing down the list. Some that just missed making the cut include Between The Buried And Me - Alaska, Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor, Soilwork - Stabbing The Drama, Strapping Young Lad - Alien and Trivium - Ascendancy. Here are my Top 10 Metal Albums Of 2005.
There are always high expectations for Opeth's albums, and they don't disappoint with their latest effort. It is unbelievably diverse, both musically and vocally. Heavy riffs, acoustic interludes, tempo and key changes, screaming and clean vocals, this album has it all. You'll hear something new every time you listen.
The guitar virtuosity of Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho and Roope Ukk Latvala is front and center on this album as they show exceptional technical skill. It's traditional metal flavored with some power and thrash influences. Children Of Bodom are melodic and polished, but don't let the keyboards fool you. There are still plenty of rough edges and aggression.
God Forbid took a risk in doing a concept album, and it paid off. The storyline is interesting and they incorporate a lot of variety into the music. They've accomplished the difficult feat of being both more melodic and more complex. Even with more melodic vocals and catchier riffs they still manage to keep the atmosphere dark. This is heavy metal with substance.
Legendary Bay Area thrashers Exodus are back with a new singer and a new album. Rob Dukes is the new singer and his voice is angrier than the previous Exodus vocalists, and that adds an edge of intensity to the band's sound. That combined with guitarist Gary Holt's patented thrash metal guitar riffs makes for a crushing album. Even with personnel changes Exodus just keeps rolling along.
Almost 15 years into their career, the Swedish death metal band Hypocrisy has released one of their strongest albums to date. It's filled with devastating drums, shredding guitars and growling vocals. They combine death metal with thrash and grind and play at maximum tempo and intensity. After a couple of recent less than stellar releases, this is a great return to form.
UK Satanic metallers Akercocke have a new guitarist, former Berserker shredder Matt Wilcock. They also have a different sound on their latest album. In addition to their usual death and black metal, there are many progressive elements, including long instrumental sections. There are also some mellow and melodic moments that complement the intense brutality.
On their sixth studio album Primal Fear has pulled out all the stops. From simple riff-laden straight up metal to sophisticated epic compositions, the German band can do it all. It's traditional metal with power metal influences and great vocals by Ralf Scheepers. The guitars are outstanding and the production is flawless. It's a stellar album from a very underrated group.
Every release by the Swedish band is unique and different, and this is no exception. Strange rhythms, complex riffs and heaviness mixed with some mellow interludes makes for an unusual album. It's one long track broken up into 13 sections of interesting and unique technical death metal. It's refreshing to hear a group like Meshuggah that continues to push the musical boundaries and break new ground.
Angela Gossow is a rarity, a female metal vocalist who doesn't sing in an ethereal melodic soprano. Instead she shrieks and growls and howls in true death metal style. The melody is provided by the fantastic guitar work of brothers Michael and Christopher Amott. From grungy riffs to crystal clear solos, Arch Enemy has the ability and flexibility to show many different sides.
The German power metal band Symphorce is back with another excellent album. Vocalist Andy B. Franck is very versatile, sounding great in the lower, middle and high registers. Their music combines power metal with progressive influences. They can pull off both melodic soaring ballads and heavy, more intense songs.