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Sargon's Best of 2007

by Sargon the Terrible


Here we are again. Another year has flown by, and brought with it some great fucking metal music. Again I'm not going to even try and rank these, I'm just going to break down the best in each genre separately. Here are all the best albums of 2007 that I heard that I can think of. If you missed any of these albums, then you missed out.


Album of the Year

Primordial - To The Nameless Dead
I waited almost the whole year for this, and it fulfilled every expectation I had. Primordial have created another masterwork, and the best album of 2007.



Power Metal

Some long-awaited albums as well as some unexpected pleasures made this a good year for Power Metal. Maybe not a great year, but there was good stuff nonetheless.



Kamelot - Ghost Opera
Okay, so it's not as good as "The Black Halo", but any year that Kamelot put out an album, it's going to be on the list, as they are about the best Power Metal band alive.

Dark Moor - Tarot
Back from the brink, after two irrelevant albums Dark Moor strike back with a worthy follow up to "The Gates Of Oblivion."

Excalion - Waterlines
Excalion were one of Finland's most promising young bands. Now they're just one of the best in a country overflowing with good bands. Power Metal gold.

Agent Steel - Alienigma
Not exactly Power, but not all Thrash either, this is a powerful, furious attack from the band that won't die. Agent Steel prove there's life after death.



True Metal

Truly a great year for the march of True Heavy Metal. It seemed like this past year I couldn't find a bad album in this genre, or even a mediocre one. A lot of long-anticipated releases turned out to be even better than expected, and some new bands kicked ass with albums that will be classic in years to come.



Slough Feg - Hardworlder
After the step back of "Atavism", I worried that one of my favorite bands was losing their touch. But fear not, as "Hardworlder" stands high among the best work of this superlative, iconoclastic band. A close contender for Album of the Year.

Doomsword - My Name Will Live On
Doomsword have been off the radar for years now, but at last their fourth album has arrived, and it is mighty.

Holy Martyr - Still At War
New release from a new band, Holy Martyr march forth with a debut that slays everything in their path. Epic True Metal destined for greatness.

Seasons of the Wolf - Once In A Blue Moon
Another long-absent band, SOTW released their last album almost five years ago, but at last they return with another retro-metal epic, and it was more than worth the wait.

Wotan - Epos
This is another one that was almost my Album of the Year. I loved "Carmina Barbarica", but this one blows it away with power, heaviness, and songwriting that fulfills the album title by defining ‘Epic'.

Icy Steel - Icy Steel
Never heard of this band before, but they kicked my ass with a powerful album of Epic Heavy Metal that promises great things to come.

Crystal Viper - The Curse of Crystal Viper
A young, hungry band from Poland, Crystal Viper pumped out the best straight-up, hard-edged, ass-kicking Heavy Metal album this year. If this does not get your fist in the air, you are dead.

Icarus Witch - Songs for the Lost
Almost under the radar, IW released the follow-up to "Capture The Magic", and it is by far their best album yet. I say yet because this band has limitless ability, and is destined to be a cult classic band.

Saxon - The Inner Sanctum
Saxon just keep on going, unstoppable and more metal than a truck full of steel ingots. I don't care if it sounds different from their old stuff, this band is incapable of making a bad album.



Progressive Metal

A great year for prog all around. This is not my favorite genre, but there were enough real quality releases this past year to satisfy even me.



Symphony X - Paradise Lost
After a long absence, this great US band released their most solid and cohesive album to date. Also their heaviest. The best Prog/Power album of 2007, and another close contender for Album of the Year.

Pathosray - Pathosray
Debut from an unknown band, and while it may not be that original, it is the strongest debut I have heard in the genre. A band to watch.

Anubis Gate - Andromeda Unchained
After years of slogging through the underground as also-rans, Anubis Gate have finally figured out what they want to be, and they do it so well eyebrows are shooting up all over the world. The arrival of a major band.

Circus Maximus - Isolate
A band I had been avoiding, but after hearing this, I am a convert. Another band that remembers the ‘Metal' in ‘Prog Metal' and writes songs that exist as songs, not wads of notes. Another band breaking into the big time.



Death Metal

2007 was not the amazing year for Death that 2006 was, but some killer shit got released nevertheless, observe:



Nile - Ithyphallic
Has this band ever made a bad album? Nile strike back with all their trademark fury and technicality, and it was a whole lot of fucking fun. Another killer from the biggest, baddest Death Metal band around.

Sodom - The Final Sign of Evil
Retro at its best. Sodom ‘reimagine' their debut EP into a whole album, and it absolutely kills. Color me shocked.

Vital Remains - Icons of Evil
Giving Nile a run for the crown, Vital Remains return with their fastest, most blasphemous album to date.

Legion of the Damned - Sons of the Jackal
From Occult rises the new incarnation known as Legion Of The Damned, with "Sons Of The Jackal" they throw down a Death/Thrash gauntlet that's hard to beat.

Spun In Darkness - Birthright
Old-school in the extreme, this band I never heard of chop and saw their way through an album of pure, unadulterated Death Metal.

Arch Enemy - Rise Of The Tyrant
And I thought they were done. Arch Enemy proved they have more load to shoot with their best album in five years.



Doom Metal

Doom is always a small pond, but every year, there are some almighty big fish swimming in it. This year we had several albums more than worthy of the list.



Swallow The Sun - Hope
The most depressing, mournful, and creepy album of the year. Marvelous.

Keen Of The Crow - Hyborea
Doom masters Morgion resurfaced in part as Keen Of The Crow, who have already broken up; but not before leaving us with this awesome slice of Doom/Death majesty.

Colosseum - Chapter I: Delirium
Lovecraftian Funeral Doom that crushes everything in its path with ocean-deep riffs and gurgling vocals from the depths of R'lyeh. A mountain walked or stumbled.

Runemagick - Dawn Of The End
The most dependable band on earth just can't miss with their umpteenth album of killer Doom/Death magic.



Black Metal

Something of a disappointing year for Black Metal, with few really must-have releases. Nevertheless, some first-rate albums found their way out from the depths of hell and into my CD player.



Moonsorrow - V Havitetty
Magnificent folk-flavored Black Metal with majesty, style, and grace. Moonsorrow make no compromises, just great music.

Wolves In The Throne Room - Two Hunters
Perhaps not as amazing as their debut, this is still one of the most original and emotional Black Metal bands working today.

Charnel Valley - The Igneous Race
Underground, vicious, and ugly. Charnel Valley have no gimmick, they just play Black Metal so raw it will give you frostbite.

Slavia - Strength and Vision
Quirky, individual, and artistic, not to mention some of the most filthy, hate-spewing Black Metal you will ever hear.

The Ruins Of Beverast - Rain Upon The Impure
Technically this was released in '06, but it came out in the last few days of the year on the tiny Van label, and so no actual humans had it before '07 dawned. A magisterial evocation of what Black Metal is about and what it can do. Meilenwald followed up his amazing debut the only way he could – by completely overwhelming the senses with an age of dark, hateful sound. Black Metal for the elite.



Disappointments



Root - Daemon Viam Invenient
How could this happen? One of the greatest bands ever fails utterly.

Sacred Oath - Darkness Visible
Not bad, but from this band I was expecting much better.

Candlemass - King Of The Grey Islands
Decent, but a let-down from what I wanted from this band.

Annihilator - Metal
I had low, low, low expectations, and this album went even lower. Not really a disappointment, as I knew this would suck, I just underestimated how bad it would suck.

Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free II
A poor excuse for a Gamma Ray album.

Nocturnal Rites - The 8th Sin
A once-mighty band reduced to embarrassingly awful crap. Sad.

Pagan's Mind - God's Equation
You're doing it wrong.





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