21 Best Metal Albums of the 21st Century... So Far






We recently polled a wide array of musicians, managers, publicists, label reps, and writers from within the world of metal to find out what they thought the 21 Best Metal Albums of the 21st Century So Far have been. Eligible albums were released between January 1, 2000 and  April 1, 2009. Each panelist turned in a ballot, with their #1 album worth 21 points, their #2 album worth 20 points, and so on and so forth. The ballots are now in and we’ll be counting down one album a day until we reach #1. Today we present the #15 album, coming in with a total of 117 points…

Nachtmystium, Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1 (Century Media, 2008)
Blake Judd – Vocals/Lead Guitars
Jeff Wilson – Rhythm Guitars
Zion Meagher – Bass
Tony Laureano – Drums
Produced by Nachtmystium & Sanford Parker

Is it OK to like this band because “hipsters” hypothetically like this band?

Is it OK to like a metal band that agreed to play something called the “Scion Rock Fest,” even though they got asked to leave?

Is an integral part of enjoying this band pretending you heard of them before they played in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with SunnO))), in 2005?

Do people create distinctions between “regular” metal fans and “hipster” metal fans because they feel the concept of “outsider status” threatened?

Is this album not “kvlt” enough because Century Media sends out promotional e-mails?

Is this album not “kvlt” enough because Century Media sends out promotional e-mails to indie-rock journalists?

Is “we haven’t been distributed by an NSBM label in eight years” an acceptable excuse for a metal band?

Why do a bunch of record-buyers and indie-rock message-boarders raised on punk rock values think it’s somehow “cool” or “edgy” or “interesting” to still give money to NSBM labels and/or deify unrepentant racists like Varg Vikernes?

Can an album like this succeed in killing the preconceived notions of black metal fans — or just open up a band to indie-rock fans that never had any notions about black metal to preconceive?

Is calling this album the best black metal record of the decade like calling an OutKast record the best rock album of the year?

Is this record good because of or in spite of how it pushes the boundaries of black metal?

Is that a saxophone?

-Christopher R. Weingarten

Christopher R. Weingarten is a freelance journalist who writes for outlets like Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Revolver and Decibel – but probably only for the approximately six more months when “magazines” and “paying web outlets” still exist. Watch him review 1,000 new records over Twitter at twitter.com/1000TimesYes.

Download Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1 from Amazon!


#16 – Machine Head, The Blackening

#17 – Hatebreed, Perseverance

#18 – Lamb of God, New American Gospel

#19 – Mastodon, Remission

#20 – Shadows Fall, The War Within

#21 – Slipknot, Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses


Chris Adler, Lamb of God
Dan And, Bison B.C.
Ben Apatoff, Apatoff for Destruction
/Metal Injection
Jason Bittner, Shadows Fall
Tim Brennan,
Ferret Music/Channel Zero Entertainment
Freddy Cai, Painkiller Magazine
Ian Christe, Bazillion Points
Reverend David J. Ciancio, Yeah! Management
Betsey Cichoracki, Relapse Records
Paul Conroy, Ferret Music/Channel Zero Entertainment
J. Costa, Thy Will Be Done
Dallas Coyle, ex-
God Forbid/Coyle Media
Doc Coyle, God Forbid
CT, Rwake
Anso DF, MetalSucks/Hipsters Out of Metal!
Vince Edwards, Metal Blade Records
Charles Elliott, Abysmal Dawn/Nuclear Blast Records
Brian Fair,
Shadows Fall
Leo  Ferrante, Warner Music Group
D.X. Ferris, author 33 1/3: Reign in Blood/Freelance Journalist
Mike Gitter, Roadrunner Records
Nick Green, Decibel
Matt Grenier, August Burns Red
Anthony Guzzardo, Earache Records
Kevin Hufnagel, Dysrhythmia
Mark Hunter, Chimaira
Steve Joh, Century Media
EJ Johantgen, Prosthetic Records
Kim Kelly,
Metal Injection/Hails & Horns/Freelance Journalist
Josh “The J” Key, Psychostick
Jason Lekberg, Epic Records
Eyal Levi, Daath
Bob Lugowe, Relapse Records
Matt McChesney, The Autumn Offering
Jake McReynolds,
Marc Meltzer, The Syndicate
Josh Middleton, Sylosis
Matt Moore, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder
Vince Neilstein, MetalSucks
Sammy O’Hagar, MetalSucks
Anton OyVey, MetalSucks/Bacon Jew
Rob Pasbani,
Metal Injection
Alex Preiss, Psychostick
Carlos Ramirez, NoiseCreep/Universal Music Group
Brian Rocha, Fresno Media USA
Jeremy Rosen, Roadrunner Records
Axl Rosenberg, MetalSucks
Satan Rosenbloom, MetalSucks/Cerebral Metalhead
David Bee Roth, MetalSucks
Jason Rudolph,
Heavy Hitter, Inc.
Amy Sciarretto, Roadrunner Records/NoiseCreep
Carl Severson,
Ferret Music/Channel Zero Entertainment
Gary Suarez, MetalSucks/No Yoko No/Brainwashed
Geoff Summers, The End Records/Crustcake
Bram Teitelman, The Syndicate/Metal Insider
Alisha Turull, Heavy Hitter, Inc.
Christopher R. Weingarten, 1000TimesYes/Freelance Journalist

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