10. Skeletonwitch- Beyond the Permafrost
Ohio's finest dirtball thrashers. Excellent thrash riffs with a little black metal influence in the vocals and guitar strumming. Also showcases some excellent dual guitar leads ala Priest and Maiden. Will make you bang your head.
9. Njiqahdda - Njimajikal Arts
Some Christian guys took the atmospheric and droning style of certain black metalers and then made it totally their own. Epic and beautiful. This would be huge if they were European and Satanists/Pagans.
8. Forgotten Woods- Race of Cain
Totally bizarre black metal from Norway that walks the line between totally mind-blowing and severely inept. I can't decide which. That is what makes it awesome. These guys don't give a fuck, but you should. Pick this up.
7. Wolves in the Throneroom- Two Hunters
More black metal. This time from some eco-hippies that live on a commune in Oregon. Seriously grim and emotive. Their music sounds like catharsis for a bunch of fellas that wish that society would crumble and we would all return to a more pastoral life.
6. Today is the Day- Axis of Eden
Hard to describe TITD, except to say they are very unique, very sonically harsh, and one of the best metal bands of all time (who doesn't get the respect they deserve). I've loved them since I first saw them live in 1992. This is their best album since Temple of the Morning Star.
5. Melechesh- Emissaries
Blackened thrash metal from Israel. It has all kinds of cool middle eastern influence. I am hoping they make it the US shores sometime soon. I must see this band. Just amazing.
4. Deathspell Omega- Fas, Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum
This band of French black metallers are so fucked up, they are operating on a whole 'nother level. The first time you hear this you will say "What the fuck?" They write music that is unlike any I have ever heard. I get no point of obvious reference, with the exception that it is played in a black metal style. Guitar lines snake around, tempos shift, it sounds like it is gonna fall apart in a million pieces, but it doesn't. Seriously damaged, seriously cool.
3. Cephalic Carnage- Xenosapien
Death metal, grindcore, noise, free jazz, catchy riffs......it's all here. This band of Colorado potheads are insanely original. I've heard other bands in the scene (who are much bigger) I think have tried to emulate them, but couldn't even come close. These guys should be huge.
2. Sloan- Never Hear the End of It
Believe it or not, I don't only listen to metal. This album is 30 of the catchiest pop melodies, pretty acoustic numbers, and obvious Beatle worship I ever heard. It's long, but you can listen to it from start to finish and still be wanting more. It may have come out in 2006, I'm not sure and I don't care. This album is an all-time classic.
1. Pig Destroyer- Phantom Limb
My criteria for album of the year was simple. Dick. Check. Knocked into the dirt. Check. Holy shit, do these guys pummel you. Obvious reference point is grindcore, but it is so much more. And the craziest thing.....the songs are all catchy. You will hum this music. Scott Hull comes up so many crazy good riffs, he can't cram them into songs fast enough. A bassist would just get in the way.
These guys are the most vital extreme metal outfit active today.