Thursday, October 8, 2009

Autothrall's Best Metal Albums of 1997

The Top 20 Metal Albums of 1997

01. Lake of Tears (Sweden) - A Crimson Cosmos
02. Tiamat (Sweden) - A Deeper Kind of Slumber
03. October Tide (Sweden) - Rain Without End
04. Saxon (UK) - Unleash the Beast
05. Ragnarok (Norway) - Arising Realm
06. Borknagar (Norway) - The Olden Domain
07. Septic Flesh (Greece) - Ophidian Wheel
08. Sigh (Japan) - Hail Horror Hail
09. Summoning (Austria) - Dol Guldur
10. Rotting Christ (Greece) - A Dead Poem
11. Vader (Poland) - Black to the Blind
12. Deceased (USA) - Fearless Undead Machines
13. Gamma Ray (Germany) - Somewhere Out in Space
14. Nagelfar (Germany) - Hünengrab im Herbst
15. Iron Savior (Germany) - Iron Savior
16. Hexenhaus (Sweden) - Dejavoodoo
17. Intestine Baalism (Japan) - An Anatomy of the Beast
18. Bewitched (Sweden) - Pentagram Prayer
19. Ocean Machine (Canada) - Biomech
20. Dimmu Borgir (Norway) - Enthrone Darkness Triumphant

1997 might have suffered slim pickings when compared to the year before, but what wouldn't? While it's true that this was not a benchmark for metal, there were still a number of strong recordings. Sweden and sadness were the dominant themes, what with the psychedelic transformation of Tiamat and the crushing, solemn melodies of October Tide, but for myself, Lake of Tears took the prize with their masterful evolution into hippie mushroom doom. The images and nostalgia A Crimson Cosmos conjures in my mind will never be forgotten, and not to mention the thing fucking rocks. I might hold it in higher regard than, well, anyone, but that's the sole perfect record I experienced this year. But there were also a handful of surprises here, with Hexenhaus returning for their strongest effort and Saxon producing what might be one of the best works of their career. Round this out with some great Japanese black and death metal and a pair of excellent German power metal records and it's really not looking all that bad.


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