2009 will be remembered by me as an unreal great year for Metal Music. I actually have not been this excited about Heavy Metal and all of it’s sub genres since probably the infamous 1980′s. Really, I have felt this way all year. This best of list encompasses all Heavy Metal genres, making for an all inclusive Metal bounty of greatness! These are the albums that stood out for me in 2009. It is never an easy task in compiling a list like this, I had to keep an open mind and many times… follow my Metal instincts. Certainly there are many Heavy Metal albums that are being passed over for this list, my intent is to list the best of what I listened to this past year, plus time and money was/is a factor. I hope you enjoy this list of Metal Odyssey’s 25 Best Heavy Metal Albums of 2009, these bands truly deserve a loud Metal applause for creating these albums… in my Metal opinion.
Be true to Metal and Metal will be true to you… Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Metal Odyssey!
#25 – IT’S A TIE!
SKELETONWITCH – BREATHING THE FIRE
Extreme Metal is the best way to describe Skeletonwitch. Yes, the Thrash Metal assault is constant throughout Breathing The Fire, only at the upmost maximum level. Chance Garnette on lead vocals provides both Death and Black Metal pipes, while further solidifying the Metal extremity of this band. I cannot resist songs such as Crushed Beyond Dust, Blinding Black Rage and Repulsive Salvation, these are songs that makes this album blister and burst with all things shockingly dark and… extreme again. My extreme praise for this album was posted on October 14, 2009, it’s all yours to read by clicking the header below:
JOB FOR A COWBOY – RUINATION
Another young and Metal eager band that brings it in the same extreme vain as Skeletonwitch is… Job For A Cowboy. Fitting that both bands released a hellishly great album in 2009. The parallels don’t just stop there… the key focus of both bands is playing very Extreme Metal. Jonny Davy of Job For A Cowboy has the vocals that were born for Extreme Metal. This Job For A Cowboy band tackles whatever issue is on their minds and don’t give a crap about commercial appeal. Thus, the tie for #25, too many similarities and extremities to have one band and their album leap frog the other, in my Metal opinion. Job For A Cowboy and Skeletonwitch… both Extreme Metal Bands that are forging their Metal legacy NOW. My July 9, 2009 post details my Metal reasons and applause on behalf of Job For A Cowboy and their album Ruination:
#24 – BARONESS – BLUE RECORD
I really enjoy this Baroness band, they are different… really a cool detour in the Metal road for me. Baroness entwines Progressive Metal, Sludge Metal and Psychedelic Hard Rock into a ball of unique Metal Music, that entertains me as equally as it engages my senses. A tip of the Metal hat to Baroness for being so eclectic with their styles. My favorite song is the instrumental that ends Blue Record… Bullhead’s Lament, it has a soothing affect on me. (Yes, I used the word soothing on Metal Odyssey). For some reason or another, I am gravitating to this band all the more with each listen and I am not fighting it.
#23 – NILE – THOSE WHOM THE GODS DETEST
Any Death Metal Band that scares the Metal crap out of me, while simultaneously schooling me on vocabulary and stories of Egypt… is a winner with me. All Metal kidding aside, (well, I was not really kidding there), Nile kicks it into Death Metal – extreme, on Those Whom The Gods Detest. I wouldn’t have expected anything less extreme from Nile in 2009. With some Middle Eastern crooning and musical stylings in the mix, how on Metal earth can your serious Metahead resist this band and album? I can’t… and couldn’t with this new album. Karl Sanders, (guitar and vocals) is as serious as they come in making exceptional Death Metal… as well as Dallas Toler Wade, (guitar, vocals, bass) and George Kollias, (drums and percussion).
#22 – IT’S A TIE!!
RAVAGE – THE END OF TOMORROW
Old School Heavy Metal from a band that could very well be playing the flavor of the month stuff. Ravage not only gives a nod to the sound and fury of Old School Heavy Metal, they play it with the upmost legitimacy. I seriously recommend this album to anyone who wants to hear what Metal Hammer magazine, (October 2009 issue), considers old ass… instead, Metal Odyssey feels Ravage and The End Of Tomorrow – kicks ass. On October 22, 2009, I blabbed in praise about this album… click below to see!
3 INCHES OF BLOOD – HERE WAITS THY DOOM
3 inches of blood is doing the Old School Heavy Metal gig too… and I’m jumping for Metal joy over it. Despite a change in the bands lineup, 3 inches of blood delivered an excellent album that resonates the glory days of uncommercial Metal. 3 inches of blood led a Metal charge of heavy and memorable songs on Here Waits Thy Doom. Cam Pipes on vocals is searingly unreal. Preacher’s Daughter is my standout song on this album, it gives me a Metal grin that stays on my face for hours.
* A METAL ODYSSEY NOTE… THERE ARE NO MORE TIES IN MY TOP 25 LIST!
#21 – HAMMERFALL – NO SACRIFICE, NO VICTORY
There is no doubt in my mind that Hammerfall respects the true spirit of Heavy Metal… I hear it on No Sacrifice, No Victory. This album exhibits why Power Metal is a musical force to reckon with. The cover of The Knack’s My Sharona, is an unreal listen in cover song excellence. A very good album of songs, one I won’t put aside anytime soon. On June 20, 2009, I told the planet just how much I like this Hammerfall album. You are one click away below, to reading all about it:
#20 – EDGUY – TINNITUS SANCTUS
I wrote on this very blog that this album to me, would be the very best Power Metal album of 2009. Well, I really have not strayed from that Metal thought. Tobias Sammet and his band get all the Metal accolades from me for Tinnitus Sanctus. Edguy in my Metal opinion, has to be the most underrated Heavy Metal band in the United States, releasing the most underrated Heavy Metal album of 2009. If you feel like it, you can read a more detailed review I wrote by clicking: EDGUY – TINNITUS SANCTUS
#19 – QUEENSRYCHE – AMERICAN SOLDIER
Alert! A Heavy Metal band created a patriotic album! Run to the politically correct hills! I love this album from Queensryche, it is rich with patriotism and (gasp), songs with deep meaning. American Soldier hit home with me upon my very first listen… it will always be a favorite of mine. You are not getting Jet City Woman on American Soldier, instead you are getting a (gasp), tribute to the men and women who protect the United States of America and practically the rest of the whole world too. I give a huge Metal salute to Queensryche for creating this fabulous album. On April 3, 2009, I posted a more meaty review of this album… click below to check it out, (only if you want to):
#18 – HEAVEN & HELL – THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
From everything I have read this past year, you either love this Heaven & Hell album or you hate it. I love it. Without these guys what would Heavy Metal be like today? I am not giving out free passes based on Metal sentiment… The Devil You Know really is a heavy hitter – for my Metal senses. On April 30, 2009, I boasted very loudly about how much I love this Heaven & Hell album. It is a click away below:
#17 – IMMORTAL – ALL SHALL FALL
In a year of Metal comebacks, Immortal is standout. The legend of Immortal continues through 2009 and beyond with the release – All Shall Fall. All seven songs are of equal importance, a total Black Metal achievement. The Rise Of Darkness and Norden On Fire may be my favorite songs, in reality however… every song is a Black scorcher. Be it speed, hard, heavy or the combintion of the three, add darkness to the mix and it is all relative. A Black Metal album to seek out if you haven’t already.
#16 – KISS - SONIC BOOM
That’s right… KISS. They made a monstrous comeback, in my Metal opinion, with Sonic Boom. I had quite the experience in getting my hands on Sonic Boom on it’s release date, yet that is another story I blogged about a couple of times already. Never Enough is my favorite song and every song is memorable. The companion CD – KISS Klassics is an unreal listen in Kisstory. I feel it was a justifiable move to reinvent these great KISS songs from years ago. This is KISS 2009 and Sonic Boom is a reflection of KISS’s glory days. I predict I will never tire of this album… never.
#15 – STRYPER – MURDER BY PRIDE
Stryper set the standard for Christian Heavy Metal decades ago. Stryper has set the bar even higher with Murder By Pride. Just a fantastic, melodic, Heavy Metal album of quality songs. My two top favorite songs are Run In You and the cover song of the Classic Rock gem from Boston… Piece of Mind, (which also features Boston legend Tom Scholz). I am pleased to have gotten my ears into this Stryper album, fellow Metalheads… this one is a keeper.
#14 – CANNIBAL CORPSE – EVISCERATION PLAGUE
Now, this is my cup o’ Metal tea. Cannibal Corpse. Heavy duty – Death Metal. This album does not find Cannibal Corpse straying off the extreme path of deathly, brutal Metal they are so famous for. Nope. Cannibal Corpse made sure that their fans brains get the maximum shock and awe that we so crave from this legendary Death Metal band. A sheer Death Metal delight all the way through. Metal Odyssey hereby dedicates this album to the PMRC. For a more defined review I wrote on Evisceration Plague, click here: CANNIBAL CORPSE – EVISCERATION PLAGUE
#13 – SACRED OATH – SACRED OATH
Sacred Oath is not a stranger to the world of Heavy Metal. This Old School Heavy Metal Band has proven that great Metal things come to those who persevere and… wait. I like this album so much, I found myself pumping my fists into the air and jumping up and down upon my first listen… (now I am embarrassed). Nonetheless, just being able to bang my head to this amazing album of Traditional Heavy Metal and slap it into my top 25 list is – enough to make me grin fiendishly. From beginning to end, Rob Thorne on vocals and the rest of this ultra talented group makes me think… why couldn’t you have made an album every year for the last 20 years? Hey, I’ll accept whatever Sacred Oath has accomplished and be thankful for it. Very expensive Connecticut should consider erecting a Sacred Oath visitors bureau… and realize what real talent does exist in their state.
#12 – MARILYN MANSON – HIGH END OF LOW
Marilyn Manson. Just as Alice Cooper and Blackie Lawless before him have done, it’s all about theatre and Metal. I don’t give a rats butt about gossip or what celebrities do on the side. All I give a crap about is the music… the Metal. Marilyn Manson is Metal, a very unique brand too. In his very own splendid way, Marilyn Manson is a Metal genius. (I just used the word splendid on Metal Odyssey). To use the language that is most cliche and street… this album F’n Rocks. Why the heck should I beat around the Metal bush? Arma-godd**n-motherf**kin-geddon is my Metal song of 2009. Metal hands down, the best damn Metal song of the year. I’m not kidding around… High End Of Low is fabulous. This album is the beginning of my must own list.
#11 – OBITUARY – DARKEST DAY
Oh, how I love quality Death Metal. Especially when the quality is derived from a group, that is instrumental in putting Death Metal on the damn map to begin with. I felt just a couple of months ago, that Darkest Day from Obituary would be my #1 album of the year… it is that Death Groove laden great. Man, I can listen to Darkest Day repeatedly and still want more. Metal truth be told, this is a Death Metal album that without doubt in my mind, should convert non Death Metal fans into this realm. If you have the Metal time, take a gander at my detailed review I posted about Darkest Day, from September 9, 2009:
#10 – ACE FREHLEY – ANOMALY
How can I not embrace the comeback of Ace Frehley? A Rock legend this phenomenal couldn’t stay away forever. Especially when his comeback is an album so incredibly great as Anomaly. The cover song of Fox On The Run, made infamous by Sweet, just resonates with Old School… as does this entire album. I cannot find a song on Anomaly that I don’t like. Today’s younger bands should listen to Anomaly and learn about the roots of Heavy Metal. Space Ace definitely made a return to form in 2009. On September 24, 2009, I blogged loud and proud about this Ace Frehley comeback album, click the link below to read on if you like:
#9 – KREATOR – HORDES OF CHAOS
I have said it numerous times that 2009 was an amazing year for Metal Music, with so many of my favorite core bands not just releasing albums… releasing GREAT albums. Kreator was no exception, with Hordes Of Chaos. Thrash Metal that is raw, Old School and straight up. There were no fancy recording tricks done on Hordes Of Chaos… instead this album was created with the purpose of it being performed live. Very Hard, fast, lean and mean is Hordes Of Chaos. I can go on for hours about how enormously great this album is… instead I will stop myself here by adding… GET THIS ALBUM! Yes, you can certainly read my more detailed review I did back on March 14, 2009 – just click below please.
#8 – SHADOWS FALL – RETRIBUTION
I have one word to start off with, whoa. Shadows Fall has already made a dent in the world of Metal Music, now they are into bigger dents. Retribution is an all-out Thrash Metal attack. I did not anticipate such a powerful and full-on Thrash assault, such as this, from Retribution. Just when I thought Kreator was going to be hard to top in the Thrash Metal category, Shadows Fall decided to embark on a new album of their own in 2009… and it is worth every stinking, germ laced, copper penny I paid for it. You betcha I blabbed Metal praise for Retribution, did so on September 16, 2009:
#7 – MASTODON – CRACK THE SKYE
What Mastodon has accomplished with Crack The Skye is achieving harmony with Metal, progressiveness and psychedelia. These three ingredients are what makes Crack The Skye so damn Metal satisfying. Honestly, as with any progressive band in Metal, it will take me numerous more listens to hear every minute, musical detail that is happening. Oh drat, that means I will have to keep on listening to this unreal great album again and again. On May 6, 2009, I told the universe about what a cool Metal journey it was for me, listening to Crack The Skye:
#6 – DREAM THEATER – BLACK CLOUDS & SILVER LININGS
I marvel at the musicianship of Dream Theater. This is a Progressive Metal Band that just seems to hit the right spots within my Metal soul. Black Clouds & Silver Linings is so unbelievably layered musically, with lyrical content that is emotional hardness, touching on the human spirit and overcoming pain. Yes, a deep album, only it is a gem of a Progressive Metal album. My standout song for 2009 is Wither, the rest of the songs on this album are worth their weight in platinum. I did let the Metal community know my feelings on this album, on July 16, 2009:
#5 – LAMB OF GOD – WRATH
From the opening instrumental of The Passing to the last song, Reclamation, this is as complete a Thrash Metal album as you will hear. It’s always about the songs… great ones to be heard on Wrath. Lamb of God’s strengths is in carving out their own identifiable sound, (musically and vocally) and their astounding musicianship. Wrath is an album that signifies just how great Lamb of God has become as a unified band. Once again, there are no scraps or shavings in the mix on Wrath… just damn excellent Thrash Metal songs. July 30, 2009, was the day I posted my detailed review for Wrath:
#4 – ALICE IN CHAINS - BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE
I won’t argue with anyone who puts Black Gives Way To Blue at #1 for their year end list. When an album rivets me and takes me over the way this album does, a permanent bond takes place between myself and the songs. Alice In Chains have shown an amazing testament of pride, talent and the will to carry on that has driven this band to create such a brilliant album of songs. Vocalist/rhythm guitarist William DuVall has his presence heard on this album, with the seamless transition into a new era of Alice In Chains… a Metal bravo. Jerry Cantrell, (guitarist), can take a bow and lament in any and all the glory that this band derives from this albums success. Rightfully as well should Sean Kinney, (drums) and Mike Inez, (bass guitarist). What? A favorite song from this album? Forget it… it’s all eleven of them. THIS IS AN ALBUM.
#3 – MEGADETH - ENDGAME
Yes, Endgame is a great Thrash Metal album… from a great Thrash Metal Band. Legend status does not seem to corner Dave Mustaine as of late, as the songs on Endgame are as fiery and heavy as any past and great album from Megadeth. To understand the longevity of Megadeth is to listen to Endgame… there is a vast supply of original Metal ideas in the mind of Dave Mustaine. Thrash Metal is thriving today, due in part to the contributions that Dave Mustaine and Megadeth have given to this genre over the decades. This is not a Thrash Metal album being touted by a Thrash Metal fanatic… Endgame is as legit as it gets when it comes to Metal – period. September 20, 2009, was the day I raved about Endgame:
#2 – SLAYER – WORLD PAINTED BLOOD
In my original review I posted on Metal Odyssey, regarding Slayer – World Painted Blood, (on December 7, 2009), I basically stated there really isn’t anything to breakdown here. I am sticking to that Metal sentiment. Why should I get all fussy and serious about a Slayer album? Slayer epitomizes what METAL is supposed to be about… brutal, raw, hard, heavy, fast, extreme and at times very pissed off. That is World Painted Blood in a Metal nutshell. O.k., throw in that Slayer really did go back to basics with the Old School sound and production… and that only made this Slayer album that much more METAL LETHAL. If you don’t own this Slayer album by now, you must make a new years commitment to go out and get it… and listen to it over and over again. F’n Slayer Rules. To read my initial review, (if that’s what you call it), on World Painted Blood, click below at your own Metal convenience:
#1 – W.A.S.P. – BABYLON
THIS IS MY #1 HEAVY METAL ALBUM OF 2009! So let it be Metal written, so let it be Metal known. The songs, man it’s the songs on Babylon. From Crazy to Promised Land and every song in between… this album scorches with all the fantastic elements of Old School Heavy Metal – wrought with the fire of today’s Heavy Metal sound. Blackie Lawless has never sounded more focused and determined vocally. Babylon could be interpreted as a partial concept album… I will take the high Metal road and steer away from the concept mentality. The cover songs of Burn and Promised Land are like two sticks of Heavy Metal dynamite. Since my very first listen to Babylon, I knew… this is THE ONE for 2009. The total Metal impact this Babylon album has had on me is beyond incredible. Babylon is an all encompassing, psyche-out the senses party – of a Heavy Metal experience. Thank you, Blackie Lawless for making this Babylon album. I also thank my best Metal buddy Scott for steering me in the right W.A.S.P. direction, more times than I can remember. I posted my Metal jubilation for this W.A.S.P. album on November 10, 11, 14 of 2009. Below is from November 10th:
Thank you for visiting Metal Odyssey and my Top 25 Heavy Metal Albums Of 2009 List! Yes, the list can be considered a tad detailed… I love Heavy Metal, I cannot help myself. Do yourself a Metal favor and check out the other great Hard Rock/Heavy Metal blogs below for their Best Of 2009 lists as well… you should find it interesting to see what other Music Bloggers consider great albums, plus it’s good fun.
Heavy Metal Addiction – http://heavymetaladdiction.com/
All Metal Resource – http://allmetalresource.com/
Bring Back Glam – http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
Hair Metal Mansion – http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
Hard Rock Hideout – http://hardrockhideout.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine – http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Imagine Echoes – http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock – http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
Metal Excess – http://metalexcess.com/
The Metal Minute – http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/
Rock Of Ages – http://rockofages.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect – http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/