For various reasons, L4M will not, unfortunately, publish a listing of the writers' top ten lists. Therefore, I'll post mine here.
Top Ten Of 2006 (and more)
Once again, this is an impossible list to compile, mostly due to the sheer quantity of excellent releases. You may or may not agree, but here are my picks.
1) Gorgoroth- "Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam". Easily the best black metal release of the year comes from Gaahl and company.
2) Krisiun- "AssassiNation". Essentially playing in the same style as all of their other albums, this is simply their best effort. Crushing.
3) Carpathian Forest- "Fuck You All!!!" Bay area thrash disguised as black metal. They won’t win awards for their personal hygiene, but this is a great album.
4) Merrimack- "Of Entropy And Life Denial". The French BM scene is one of the strongest.
5) Antaeus- "Blood Libels". More blistering black metal from France. This will flatten you.
6) Xasthur- "Subliminal Genocide". Malefic perfects his art.
7) Deicide- "The Stench Of Redemption". Essentially, Deicide is a new band with this release. Comeback album of the year.
8) Keep Of Kalessin- "Armada". I was just blown away by the guitar work.
9) Misery Index- "Discordia". Fast, technical DM.
10) Urgehal- "Goatcraft Torment". Another great, straightforward BM album.
Honorable mentions: Suffocation- "Suffocation". Grave- "As Rapture Comes". Anaal Nathrakh- "Eschaton". Putrid Pile- "The Pleasure In Suffering". Celtic Frost- "Monotheist". Incantation- "Primordial Domination". Nachtmystium- "Instinct: Decay". The Ruins Of Beverast- "Unlock The Shrine". Drudkh- "Blood In Our Wells". Negura Bunget- "Om". Black Funeral- "Ordog". Kampfar- "Kvass". Insomnium- "Above The Weeping World". Motorhead- "Inferno". Napalm Death- "Smear Campaign". Belphegor- "Pestapokalypse VI". Vader- "Impressions In Blood". Anata- "The Conductor’s Departure". Gorod- "Leading Vision". Skinless- "Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead". Devourment- "Butcher The Weak". Voivod- "Katorz". I- "Between Two Worlds". Too many more to mention, this honorable mentions list is already far too long. Aren’t we all just so lucky that there are so many great bands? Metal as an art form is stronger than ever.
Disappointments: Satyricon- "Now, Diabolical" (maybe I just didn’t get it). Slayer- "Christ Illusion" (certainly not a bad album, but it’s evident that their best days are far behind them). Blut Aus Nord- "MoRT" (just not up to par with the absolutely brilliant "The Work Which Transforms God").
Fantastic live shows: Cannibal Corpse/ Dying Fetus/ Necrophagist/ Unmerciful: HOB, West Hollywood. Celtic Frost/ Sunn O)))/ Goatwhore: HOB, West Hollywood. 1349/ Nokturne et al: Safari Sam’s, Hollywood. Nile/ Hypocrisy et al: Key Club, West Hollywood. Obituary et al: The Whisky, West Hollywood. Emperor at the Key Club in West Hollywood was mildly disappointing (no Samoth).
Please feel free to provide criticism.