HMs: Avantasia - The Scarecrow, Eluvetie - Slania
10. Falconer - Among Beggars and Thieves
Really, any of these albums could have been number 10. They were all really good, solid releases but lacked the spice to push them into the upper echelons this year. They were all safe albums and while they were good safe albums, they lose points for not doing amazing things outside of their norm. The title track of The Scarecrow is the notable exception to this.
9. Protest the Hero - Fortress
I like this much better than Kezia though I might be in the minority. Good evolution of sound and a step away from the -core stuff that dragged them down previously. Outstanding musicianship, as usual.
8. Amon Amarth - Twilight of the Thunder God
Possibly the best album this band has put out. Definitely the best of the last few. Normally I find the whole scene these guys play in quite tired and uninspired...generic. This sounds good though.
7. Opeth - Watershed
Most people thought this album was a huge disappointment, so commercial sounding and blah blah blah. I like Pop Punk, so this didn't bother me and I felt the album was quite solid.
6. Sculptured - Embodiment: Collapsing Under the Weight of God
What an underrated record. The drumming on this album earns it a place in the top 10 albums of the year overall. The concepts were also pretty cool and the progression and experience of this album is great.
5. Genghis Tron - Board Up The House
Electronica/Grindcore has every opportunity to sound awful. The fact that this doesn't says a lot I think. The mix of experimentation and the safer grind these guys did before is perfect. Much more experimentation and the album might have been dragged down by it, but instead is just serves to accentuate it.
4. Meshuggah - Obzen
This album is good and better than some other stuff by them but I wish they'd play more with their sound.
3. Intronaut - Prehistoricisms
The epic closing track here is phenomenal. Fantastic mix of the darker stoner/doom style and the more progressive stuff. This album could define my show.
2. Burst - Lazarus Bird
Metal bands that mix in Hardcore should all sound like this. Jazz Fusion, Hardcore, Metal, all in one song...this is soooo great.
1. Cynic - Traced In Air
They hadn't released an album for 15 years, and their last album is highly regarded and considered one of the better and definitive metal albums of all time. Then they released this and topped that album. Enough said.
I want to reiterate that this is metal albums only because otherwise I'd be hard pressed justifying leaving off the new albums by Anathema, Jack's Mannequin, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Panic ath the Disco, Thrice, United Nations, and many others that slip my mind currently.