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Metal Asylum’s Best Of The Decade: 2000-2009

As picked by Rich Catino and Kevin Alba

Nevermore – Dead Heart In A Dead World (2000): Take two parts thrash and prog from "The Politics Of Ecstasy" album, one part doom and melancholy from "Dreaming Neon Black" and you get "Dead Heart". Outstanding!

Testament – The Formation of Damnation (2008): Couldn’t ask for much more from the first new album with Alex Skolnick (guitar) and Greg Christian (bass) back in the band joining original members Chuck Billy (vocals) and Eric Peterson (guitar).

Nightwish – Century Child (2002): A nice follow up to the excellent "Wishmaster" album but a little heavier in the guitars.

Iron Maiden - Brave New World (2000): First new album with two important pieces to the songwriting team; Bruce Dickinson back on vocals and Adrian Smith on guitar. Champion!

Stratovarius – Infinite (2000): Strato at the height of their powers before things got too bloated with "Elements 1&2".

Threshold – Dead Reckoning (2007): These guys wrote a flawless progressive rock/metal album combining musicianship with memorable chorus’.

Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (2001): Just enough orchestrations sprinkled into the blasphemous assault of guitars and vocals. The soundtrack to Hell!

Edguy – Hellfire Club (2004): Could very well be their "Master of Puppets". European style power metal mixed with L.A. hair metal hooks.

Megadeth – Endgame (2009): What a return to form for Dave Mustaine. It’s "Countdown to Extinction" meets "Rust In Peace".

Grave Digger – The Grave Digger (2001): After almost 20 years of making music the reaper delivers its heaviest and darkest album yet based on the tales of Edgar Allen Poe.

Helloween – Gambling With The Devil (2007): Obviously legends, never short on variety when it comes to their albums. One of their heaviest and best with Andi Deris on vocals.

Gamma Ray – No World Order (2001): Former Helloween guitarist Kai Hansen delivers another solid album of the musical style (European Power Metal) he had a hand in creating.

Saxon – Lionheart (2004): An excellent melding of their classic early 80s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal style with the heavier sounds on albums "Metalhead" and "Killing Ground".

W.A.S.P. – Dying For The World (2002): Their best album since "The Crimson Idol".

Evergrey - Recreation Day (2003): Poetic, sometimes somber, progressive metal from Sweden. Great vocals and melodies.

King Diamond – Give Me Your Soul…Please (2007): Another chilling tale from a unique artist unlike any other. King Diamond has an endless supply of story ideas.

Metal Church – A Light In The Dark (2006): Second album with third singer Ronny Munroe who is a great voice. The best of David Wayne and Mike Howe Church.

Hammerfall – Crimson Thunder (2002): One of the forerunners of the classic Heavy Metal resurgence in the 90s.

Judas Priest – Angel of Retribution (2005): Priest return with Halford back at the mic. A nice follow up to ‘Painkiller".

Kreator – Enemy of God (2005): All around their best one since 1990’s "Coma Of Souls".

Avantasia - The Metal Opera Pt.2 (2002): Part 2 of 3 from Edguy frontman Tobias Sammet’s grandiose project featuring many guest musicians.

Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos (2007): Easily the Kings of Progressive Metal.

Witchery – Symphony For The Devil (2001): An underrated black/thrash metal band that you unfortunately never really hear from and doesn’t do nearly enough touring.

Satyricon – Volcano (2004): Proof that Black Metal doesn’t have to sound one dimensional as they stretch the boundaries of the genre.

Demons & Wizards - Demons & Wizards (2000): Features the collaboration of Hansi Kürsch from Blind Guardian and John Schaffer from Iced Earth.

Circus Maximus – The 1st Chapter (2005): This is what happens when you combine Styx with Dream Theater; rich harmonies and great playing.

Marduk – Plague Angel (2005): Formed in 1990, pure classic Scandinavian satanic Black Metal.

Opeth – Blackwater Park (2001): Where all the pieces fit together; mid-paced riffing, acoustic guitar interludes, frequent tempo and mood changes, switching between death and clean vocals, continuing to push the boundaries of extreme music.

Cannibal Corpse- Kill (2006): The title sais it all. Their best sounding album.

Sodom – Sodom (2006): Along with fellow countrymen Destruction and Kreator, Sodom, 20 years after their debut continue to make new music. Their best since "Tapping The Vein".

Halford – Resurrection (2000): Aptly titled, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford returns to his heavy metal roots.

Gotthard – The Domino Effect (2007): Bon Jovi could learn something from these guys!

Shadows Fall – War Within (2004): Where they traded in their hardcore breakdowns for more of a traditional thrash approach.

Scar Symmetry - Holographic Universe (2008): Melodic progressive death metal with a great mix of sheer brutal to soaring clean vocals. One of the best in this style.

Lizzy Borden – Appointment With Death (2007): A nice return for these L.A. shock rockers.

Firewind – Allegiance (2007): Scorpions meets Whitesnake, meets Gamma Ray and Edguy. In 2009, mainman Gus G has been tapped to be Ozzy’s guitarist. Need I say more?

Immortal – Damned in Black (2000): Icy cold groove based Black Metal from Norway.

House of Lords – Come To My Kingdom (2008): A little less keyboard and more guitars, still plenty of excellent melodies for post 80s Lords.

Nickelback – Darkhorse (2008): American style hard rock. Judging by the amount of people filling arenas they are liked by someone.

Destruction – The Antichrist (2001): German thrash legends return with Schmier on bass and vocals for more ‘Thrash Till Death’.

Brainstorm – Soul Temptation (2003): Excellent German power metal that combines the traditional Iced Earth type melodies with the power of Metal Church.

Moonspell - Night Eternal (2008): Black Metal from Portugal incorporating the sounds from their native country to create excellent levels of aggression and melody.

Scorpions – Unbreakable (2004): Very close to recapturing their classic sound from the early 80s.

Trivium – The Crusade (2006): If Metallica had a son it would be called "The Crusade".

Mercanary – 11 Dreams (2005): This is what would happen if Evergrey and Carcass had a baby.

Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire (2001): This should have been the followup to Judas Priest’s "Painkiller"! If Tim Owens didn’t get the gig replacing Halford in Priest then Ralf Scheepers should have been the next obvious choice.

Kamelot – The Black Halo (2005): European style power metal meets Queensryche’s "Operation Mindcrime".

Metallica – Death Magnetic (2008): After many years of fucking up they get it right.

Jon Oliva’s Pain – Maniacal Renderings (2006): The lost Savatage record??

Candlemass – Candlemass (2005): Messiah Marcolin is back singing, the songs sound fresh while retaining the classic characteristics of their past.

Heaven and Hell – The Devil You Know (2009): Black Sabbath (under the name Heaven and Hell) return with the classic lineup of Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Tony Iommi on guitar, bassist Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice on drums.

Guillotine – Blood Money (2008): Solid old school thrash metal from Sweden. Second album from an underground name.

Overkill – Bloodletting (2000): These New Jersey thrash legends never stopped making albums and this is one of their best post 80s.

Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles (2008): A much needed return to form for the L.A. rockers.

Meshuggah - ObZen (2008): Machanized industrial metal at its best.

Arch Enemy – Wages Of Sin (2001): Death/thrash metal with a touch of melody in the music. The blueprint for the records that followed.

Blind Guardian – A Twist In The Myth (2006): A little less Queen and a little more edge than "A Night At The Opera" from these Euro Power Metal legends.

Annihilator - Carnival Diablos (2001): One of these Canadian thrashers strongest collections. Guitarist Jeff Waters continues to be the captain.

Slipknot – All Hope Is Gone (2008): Much better than an entire album of just 100% yelling and screaming.

U.D.O. – Mastercutor (2007): If you listened to this record you would realize Accept is still alive and well.

Symphony X – Paradise Lost (2007): Top notch Progressive Metal with an emphasis on the METAL. Yngwie style guitar playing, Dream Theateresque arrangements.

Angra - Aurora Consurgens (2006): Third album with new singer Edu Falaschi. Strong Brazilian flavored Euro style power metal and a different sound in the genre.

Slayer – Christ Illusion (2006): Dave Lombardo is back on the drums! Tom Araya is singing again and the music has more melody.

Winger – Karma (2009): Great songs, lots of guitar leads. Go buy the album "Pull" while your at it!

Children of Bodom – Follow The Reaper (2001): Third album from these Fins. A great mix of musical styles; Neoclassical, thrash, extreme, power metal.

Exodus – Tempo of the Damned (2004): Back in action with Steve Souza back on vocals. ‘Blacklist’ is classic Exodus!

Pagan’s Mind – Celestial Entrance (2003): Prog meets Euro Power Metal genres. These Norwegians mastered the formula many try to get right.

Rage – Soundchaser (2003): Over 20 years of great music. German power/ prog/ speed metal. Victor Smolski on guitar, Mike Terrana on drums should answer any questions.

Disturbed – Indestructible (2008): American heavy rockers leave the urban flavor behind for a darker more traditional direction.

Susperia – Unlimited (2004): Under the radar (at least in the States), these Norwegians are a little bit Testament and a little Dimmu Borgir.

Dio – Master of the Moon (2004): Legend Ronnie James Dio crafts an album this time that’s more Rainbow than Dio or Black Sabbath.

Dark Tranquility – Damage Done (2002): From Sweden, one of the pioneers of the melodic Death Metal genre.

Behemoth – Demigod (2004): Polish Death Metal. I think this song title sais it all; ’Christians To The Lions’ (from the album "Thelema.6").

Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad (2008): David Coverdale reforms Whitesnake with a killer band and recaptures their classic formula.

Iced Earth – Horror Show (2001): Mainman John Schaffer shows his respect for the classic Universal Studios Monsters on this concept album.

Lazarus A.D. – The Onslaught (2009): Leaders of the next generation of American Thrash Metal.

Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle (2009): Guitarist Alex Beyrodt is the next Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Rob Rock - Holy Hell (2005): Underrated American singer Rob Rock’s third solo album.

Death Angel – Killing Season (2008): West coast thrashers reform and return with their contributions to the Bay Area movement.

Sebastian Bach – Angel Down (2007): With "Metal" Mike Chlasciak on guitar, Steve DiGiorgio on bass, Bobby Jarzombek on drums, and producer Roy Z, Sebastian delivers an album his former band (Skid Row) wishes they could make.

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