To paraphrase Kylesa, time will fuse this past year's worth. But from the scant five days' distance we now have from 2009, it smells like one of the best years for new music that metal has seen this millennium. Mastodon and Baroness both made bold, important albums that made waves outside of the metallosphere. Krallice, Tombs and Liturgy all released big beautiful records that helped cement (heh) Brooklyn as one of the world's epicenters of black metal. The resurgence of old-school death metal bands felt more wholesome than the thrash revival of the last few years. Dormant legends like Coalesce, Brutal Truth and Immortal roared back to life with terrific albums, and even some of the old dogs (Slayer, Kreator, Megadeth) put out material that approaches their vaunted oldies.
Only one of the aforementioned bands made it into my top 20 favorite metal records of 2009. That should tell you how crowded the playing field was. The sheer amount of music will only increase in the next decade, as it becomes cheaper and cheaper to record and distribute music, and divergent music forms continue to collapse into recombinant hybrids. If the amount of great metal that came out in 2009 is any indication, I'm excited to wade through it all. The death rattle of the record industry shall be accompanied by blastbeats.
Without further ado: here's a mix (in suggested listening order!) of one representative track from each of my top 20 albums of the year. My FTP client is being a little bitch, so you'll have to download it in two parts, OG YouSendIt style. The below tracklist includes a link to my full-length reviews of these, if available. To read capsule writeups on each of these records, head on over to MetalSucks.
5. Blut Aus Nord - "The Alcove of Angels (Vipassana)" - Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With The Stars
7. Baroness - "War, Wisdom and Rhye" - Blue Record
8. Converge - "Dark Horse" - Axe to Fall
9. Revocation - "Deathonomics" - Existence is Futile
10. Secrets of the Moon - "I Maldoror" - Privilegium
11. Amesoeurs - "Heurt" - Amesoeurs
15. Oranssi Pazuzu - "Myöhempien Aikojen Pyhien Teatterin Rukoilijasirkka" - Muukalainen Puhuu
16. Nile - "Hittite Dung Incantation" - Those Whom the Gods Detest
20. Sunn 0))) - "Big church [Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért]" - Monoliths and Dimensions
Download my Adios to 2009 Metal Mix (152 MB)
Please comment if you need a re-up.