Another exciting year in Metal music has gone by and as a member of the music press, I’m tasked with not only doing reviews here on the website but also in lining out what releases that I felt were the years very best. Initially, this post was going to feature the whole gamut of the years in terms of the music, the videos and the concerts but when my album list went on and on and on I decided to give it a post of its own to go easier on you. Let’s go.
The Best Albums Of 2006
Mercenary “The Hours That Remain” (Century Media Records): A great follow up to “11 Dreams”, this band shows that they are taking chances in Metal.
Mastodon “Blood Mountain” (Warner Brothers): Jazz Fusion Metal? I dunno, but the new Mastodon sure kicks your ass around the block.
Amorphis “Eclipse” (Nuclear Blast Records): Finnish boys return and do more good. Lots of feels on this one.
Scar Symmetry “Pitch Black Effects” (Nuclear Blast Records): Raging guitar solos, soaring clean vocals, brutal death metal growls-brilliant!
Lamb of God “Sacrament” (Epic Records): Their best yet. Future legends. The first four songs are instant classics and if you don’t find your fist in the air for this release you don’t have one. Go watch American Idol
Iron Maiden “A Matter of Life and Death” (EMI Music): Up the Irons, pure and simple. Some bad press from some people who don’t see the return to form. They are idiots.
I “Between Two Worlds” (Nuclear Blast Records): Great project from members of Immortal, Enslaved, and Gorgoroth.
Enslaved “RUUN” (Candlelight Records): The Black Metal titans get even more progressive and this is an incredible listen from start to finish
Satyricon “Now, Diabolical” (Century Media Records): More Metal needs to be like this. A resounding effort that lays waste to that which tries to come close.
Vanden Plas “Christ O” (InsideOut Music): Stunning operatic progressive metal. Their best yet! Especially the bonus track
Into Eternity “The Scattering of Ashes” (Century Media Records): Super complex prog-metal with an attitude.
Cradle of Filth “Thornography” (Roadrunner Records): The always controversial UK demons release their most traditional metal & gothic album yet.
Dragonforce “Inhuman Rampage” (Roadrunner Records): Insanely wicked UK power metal with the sickest guitar & keyboard shredding around!
unexpecT “In a Flesh Aquarium” (The End Records): You will listen to this three times and still be lost. It is that good and that diverse. Siriak for Prime Minister of Montreal
In Flames “Come Clarity” (Ferret Music): Legends of Gothenberg’s melodic death metal scene return to form!
Ihsahn “The Adversary” (Candlelight Records): Emperor front man’s first solo album is a winner of progressive & black metal styles.
Deicide “The Stench of Redemption” (Earache Records): Florida’s Death Metal legends best album ever! I can say this proudly as someone who only casually followed them
Blind Guardian “A Twist in the Myth” (Nuclear Blast Records): The most accessible album yet from these Power Metal leaders.
Decapitated “Organic Hallucinosis” (Earache Records): Poland’s mighty Technical Death Metal lads return with their best yet.
Agalloch “Ashes Against The Grain” (The End Records): Avant-garde Black Metal with plenty of prog & ambient elements.
Trivium “The Crusade” (Roadrunner Records): Their homage to 80’s Metallica. Killer riffs!
Jon Oliva’s Pain “Maniacal Renderings” (Locomotive Music): Fans of 80’s Savatage should love this!
Amon Amarth “With Odin By Our Side” (Metal Blade Records): Have you ever felt like a Viking warrior on a quest? If so, please enjoy your soundtrack.
Callenish Circle “Pitch Black Effects” (Metal Blade Records): Soilwork meets Mercenary meets Scar Symmetry, excellent stuff. Tech-Metal is now the new force to be reckoned with.
Green Carnation “The Acoustic Verses” (The End Records): A band that never disappoints and yet still needs a larger US audience, hey peoples ARE YOU LISTENING???.
Korpiklaani “Tales Along This Road” (Napalm Records): Folk Metal’s finest purveyor returns with another goodie.
Queensryche “Operation Mindcrime II” (Rhino Entertainment): It’s not MC1 by any stretch, but it should not have been. This takes a couple of listens and is a powerful conclusion to the tale we have known for years.
Dissection “Reinkaos” (The End Records): A stellar release and sadly their last recording ever, Jon Nodveidt RIP.
Evergrey “Monday Morning Apocalypse” (InsideOut Music): This grew on me after a few listens.
Rebel Meets Rebel “Rebel Meets Rebel” (Big Vin Records): Southern Fried Metal featuring Dimebag and Company. A sad reminder of why we miss him so much.
Cheap Trick “Rockford”: Cheap Trick return to a style they excelled at and this is good and tasty Rock & Roll.
Motorhead “Kiss of Death” (Sanctuary Records): Who does what Motorhead does like Motorhead? No one.
Eidolon “The Parallel Otherworld” (Escapi Music): The Drover Brothers show what else they are capable of.
All that Remains “The Fall of Ideals” (Prosthetic Records): An intense effort, bridging the gap of Metalcore with strong Melody. A welcome change.
Gojira “From Mars to Sirius” (Prosthetic Records): Good stuff, ala Mastodon only from France
To-Mera “Transcendental” (Candlelight Records): Progressive Melodic Experimental Metal. Julie Kiss rules my friends.
Angra “Aurora Consurgens” (SPV Records): Angra is a band that never seems to disappoint.
Fairyland “The Fall of an Empire” (Napalm Records): All hail the heir apparent to the throne of Rhapsody.
Wednesday 13 “Fang Bang” (Ryko) – Ever wanted to dance with a dead body in a graveyard with a serial killer? Wow, me too and this is the music to do it by (only kidding, so please any serial killers do not contact me)
Dream Theater “Score” (Rhino Entertainment): The 20th Anniversary show, wow, has it been that long.
Fish “Return to Childhood” (Chocolate Frog UK): Fish brings to life once again the Marillion that more people miss than do not. A stunning live rendition of “Misplaced Childhood” by its mastermind.
Children of Bodom “Chaos Ridden Years” (Spinefarm Records): The live CD to accompany an equally kick ass live DVD.
Kamelot “One Cold Winters Night” (SPV Records): The bands tour for “The Black Halo” is a superb live release and also has a DVD that can be purchased.
Whew, that was some list and believe me I was ready to keep on going but felt that it was best to quit while I was ahead. I really did love all of the releases that I lined out though and ask that you please stick around because I will be posting the best videos, concerts and the stuff that I felt was a bit of a disappointment in a new post shortly. While you wait, you should take a few minutes and let us know what your favorite albums of the year were. Try to do it like we did so anyone reading can easily find the album if you generate some curiosity. I hope that I have inspired you to investigate some works as well. See you soon.