• Emil

50 YEARS OF METAL

Part IV: A World Ablaze ... the 2000s


Starting around the mid 1990s, alongside grunge, metal maintained a quasi-mainstream edge via nu-metal and other deviations … (A/N: not something that I care to represent here.) Despite the rise of the extreme underground the future of the genre was rather dim by the late 1990s. Starting to lose steam and to an extent diluting from their core, death and black were simply insufficient in maintaining the entire genre’s status quo. By the end of the decade true metal lost fans in troves and its very existence was questioned. Metal was (no pun intended) at the death’s door … What happened next could have easily be a motif lifted from archaic mythology: like a Phoenix, metal obtains new life by arising from its own ashes!


Underground metal spread like napalm at the dawn of the new millennium. It progressed and crossed itself over in a truly ascending fashion. Sound productions polished but also gained aggression. Music and lyrics were mostly emotionally dark and stoically melancholic. Musicians reached new levels of technicality. Six-strings warriors popped out of all sub-genres and styles. Keyboards reemerged onto the main-stage. The underground metal, while reaching new milestones, remained in total counter-culture to what was happening in the music’s mainstream. A highly intelligent, and sometimes extravagant answer to the pure bullshit that was polluting the airwaves and beyond. This was the real music! A lot of the metal released during the first decade of the new millennium was melodic. It is however a decade that could be easily overlooked despite the uber-quality of the offerings. All the albums on this list are superb and unique. They are all majestically executed. A new generation of underground was forming in the digital era.


A world ablaze …



2000

DEMONS & WIZARDS

(USA)

Demons & Wizards

Released on February 8, 2000

Power metal

Album's Spotify link


ANGEL DUST

(Germany)

Enlighten The Darkness


Released on July 18, 2000


Progressive power metal/speed metal


Album's Spotify link






VADER

(Poland)

Litany


Released on March 20, 2000


Death metal


Album's Spotify link






IMMOLATION

(USA)

Close To A World Below


Released on November 7, 2000


Death Metal


Album's Spotify link






KRISIUN

(Brazil)

Conquerors Of Armageddon


Released on March 7, 2000


Death metal


Album's Spotify link







2001

MOONSORROW

(Finland)

Voimasta ja Kunniasta

Released on November 26, 2001

Folk/pagan black metal

Album's Spotify link


GRAVEWORM

(Italy)

Scourge Of Malice


Released on July 31, 2001


Melodic/symphonic black metal/

Gothic metal


Album's Spotify link





THERION

(Sweden)

Secret Of The Runes


Released on October 8, 2001


Symphonic metal


Album's Spotify link






ABSU

(USA)

Tara


Released on May 23, 2001


Black metal/thrash metal


Album's Spotify link






SILENCER

(Sweden)

Death - Pierce Me


Released on October 30, 2001


Black metal


Album's Spotify link







2002

AGALLOCH

(USA)

The Mantle

Released on August 13, 2002

Folk/black metal/doom metal/post-metal

Album's Spotify link


NEGURA BUNGET

(Romania)

'N Crugu Bradului


Released on October 3, 2002


Folk/black metal/avant-garde metal


Album's Spotify link






MERCENARY

(Denmark)

Everblack


Released on March 11, 2002


Melodic death metal/thrash metal


Album's Spotify link






ARCTURUS

(Norway)

The Sham Mirrors


Released on April 22, 2002


Avant-garde/progressive metal


Album's Spotify link






PAGAN'S MIND

(Norway)

Celestial Entrance


Released on November 18, 2002


Progressive power metal


Album's Spotify link







2003

DREAM THEATER

(USA)

Train Of Thought

Released on November 11, 2003

Progressive metal

Album's Spotify link


ENSLAVED

(Norway)

Below The Lights


Released on April 13, 2003


Progressive black/viking metal


Album's Spotify link






PSYCROPTIC

(Tasmania/Australia)

The Scepter Of The Ancients


Released on May 12, 2003


Technical death metal


Album's Spotify link






WINDIR

(Norway)

Likferd


Released on March 27, 2003


Melodic/folk/viking black metal


Album's Spotify link






TWISTED TOWER DIRE

(USA)

Crest Of The Martyrs


Released on May 26, 2003


Power metal/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link







2004

DISILLUSION

(Germany)

Back To Times Of Splendor

Released on April 6, 2004

Melodic/progressive death metal

Album's Spotify link


INTO ETERNITY

(Canada)

Buried In Oblivion


Released on February 10, 2004


Progressive/melodic death metal


Album's Spotify link






ARSIS

(USA)

A Celebration Of Guilt


Released on March 30, 2004


Technical/melodic death metal


Album's Spotify link






WINTERSUN

(Finland)

Wintersun


Released on September 13, 2004


Symphonic/neoclassical melodic blackened death metal


Album's Spotify link





WINDS

(Norway)

The Imaginary Direction Of Time


Released on April 27, 2004


Neoclassical progressive metal


Album's Spotify link







2005

NEVERMORE

(USA)

This Godless Endeavor

Released on July 26, 2005

Progressive metal/thrash metal

Album's Spotify link


WHISPERING GALLERY

(Netherlands)

Shades Of Sorrow


Released on December 20, 2005


Melodic death/doom metal


Album's Spotify link






PELICAN

(USA)

The Fire in Our Throats

Will Beckon the Thaw


Released on June 26, 2005


Post-metal


Album's Spotify link





PRIMORDIAL

(Ireland)

The Gathering Wilderness


Released on February 7, 2005


Black metal/Celtic folk


Album's Spotify link






MOURNING BELOVETH

(Ireland)

A Murderous Circus


Released on March 29, 2005


Death/doom metal


Album's Spotify link







2006

KEEP OF KALESSIN

(Norway)

Armada

Released on March 27, 2006

Black metal

Album's Spotify link


INSOMNIUM

(Finland)

Above The Weeping World


Released on August 9, 2006


Melodic death metal


Album's Spotify link






AMON AMARTH

(Sweden)

With Oden On Our Side


Released on September 22, 2006


Melodic death metal


Album's Spotify link






OUTWORLD

(USA)

Outworld


Released on November 13, 2006


Progressive power metal


Album's Spotify link






SADUS

(USA)

Out For Blood


Released on February 26, 2006


Technical thrash metal


Album's Spotify link







2007

MAN MUST DIE

(Scotland/UK)

The Human Condition

Released on March 29, 2007

Technical death metal

Album's Spotify link


ANUBIS GATE

(Denmark)

Andromeda Unchained


Released on August 17, 2007


Progressive power metal


Album's Spotify link






SIGH

(Japan)

Hangman's Hymn:

Musikalische Exequien


Released on May 23, 2007


Avant-garde black metal


Album's Spotify link





THUNDERSTONE

(Finland)

Evolution 4.0


Released on March 14, 2007


Power metal


Album's Spotify link






RAINTIME

(Italy)

Flies & Lies


Released on March 21, 2007


Melodic death metal/

progressive power metal


Album's Spotify link






2008

IN MOURNING

(Sweden)

Shrouded Divine

Released on January 2, 2008

Progressive/melodic death metal

Album's Spotify link


LIGHT THIS CITY

(USA)

Stormchaser


Released on November 11, 2008


Melodic death metal


Album's Spotify link






EQUILIBRIUM

(Germany)

Sagas


Released on June 27, 2008


Folk/symphonic black metal


Album's Spotify link






GRAND MAGUS

(Sweden)

Iron Will


Released on June 9, 2008


Heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






DIR EN GREY

(Japan)

Uroboros


Released on November 11, 2008


Avant-garde/experimental/fusion metal


Album's Spotify link







2009

OBSCURA

(Germany)

Cosmogenesis

Released on February 17, 2009

Technical/progressive death metal

Album's Spotify link


LUNA MORTIS

(USA)

The Absence


Released on February 10, 2009


Progressive/melodic death metal


Album's Spotify link






TRAIL OF TEARS

(Norway)

Bloodstained Endurance


Released on May 27, 2009


Symphonic Gothic metal/

Melodic blackened death metal


Album's Spotify link





NAZXUL

(Australia)

Iconoclast


Released on July 27, 2009


Black metal/symphonic black metal


Album's Spotify link