Wow. Things have been busy around here, honestly. One of the downsides of doing this for fun is that one makes no money doing it and has to come up with other ways to pull together an income. I’ve been trying to do that, plus, other things. Anyway, this is the stuff that I’ve been up to and listening to in my freetime (of which there is actually very little). In this time, however, I have pieced together a list that I would call the “best albums of the 2000s.” I don’t know if I’d actually call them the best, so much as the ones that have really stuck with me. As a guy who thinks that it was actually the mid/late 90s that were really the defining point in heavy metal for the modern era, and that what we’re dealing with is very much the outcome of this, this list was actually very difficult for me to produce.
1. Opeth // Ghost Reveries – This is always the toughest for me. Choose which Opeth record I think most defines the modern era. I finally always decide on GR, which incidentally I hated when it came out. But it totally grew on me after that and now it’s probably my favorite.
2. Katatonia // Last Fair Deal Gone Down – Again, this is tough. I love all of their modern stuff, but I think this is probably the most consistent of all their albums. Another defining record in my life, I think, too.
3. Turisas // The Varangian Way – I consistently come back to this record over and over. It pretty much represents everything that big, awesome extreme metal should be. I also think it was very much new. It combined much of that power metal and viking metal stuff that’s been threatening to merge for years into a cohesive whole.
4. Vintersorg // Visions from the Spiral Generator – Again, how do you really choose? I chose this one because I think the whole album is fantastic. But they’re all fantastic. It’s definitely between this one and Cosmic Genesis. I chose this one ’cause I love Digorgio and Mickelson’s performances.
5. Amon Amarth // Versus the World – Again a hard one to choose. But this record has some of the best tracks these guys ever wrote and some of the best melodic death metal ever.
6. Anathema // A Fine Day to Exit – This record is fucking tremendously written and perfect from first note to last note.
7. Amorphis // Eclipse – The rebirth of Amorphis is quite possibly one of the greatest things that happened in the two-thousandsies. This album, and the two that have followed since, are some of the finest metal records produced in the modern era.
8. Rhapsody // Power of the Dragonflame – Sets the bar for orchestrated, ridiculous over-the-top metal. They’ve never produced anything like it since, nor has anyone else for that matter.
9. Ihsahn // angL – I love Ihsahn’s solo stuff. It’s a perfect blend of extreme metal and prog. His writing is massively improved since being out of Emperor, in my opinion, but I’m sure there’s a black metal guy on this board who will shriek in horror at those words.
10. Shining // V:/ Halmstad – This record hooked me immediately and hasn’t let go.
You have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to write a list like that. And I do really like writing lists, I think it’s a good time. A game for me has always been top 5s or top 10s.