Harm.us - Death, Black, Doom and Gothic Metal WebZine
Main Bandlist Writings Forum Services About us
Curumbor Elendil's Top Ten of 2005

{Edited Feb. 14, 2006}

2005 continued last year's resurgence of good metal, although so far nothing has blown me away the way Haggard and Orphaned Land did last year.

First, some honorable mentions to albums that barely failed to crack the Top Ten:

  • Xandria, India
  • Rapture, Silent Stage
  • Korpiklaani, Voice of the Wilderness
  • Sentenced, The Funeral Album
  • Shadow Gallery, Room V
  • Candlemass, Candlemass
  • Sigh, Gallows Gallery
  • Arcturus, Sideshow Symphonies
  • Chalice, Augmented

Now for the official list:

10. Helloween, Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy
I'm not as enthusiastic about this album as Eyeless Sentry is, but it's still a very fine piece of work, showcasing some new guitar styles and giving us almost 80 minutes of music. Not a typical Helloween album.

9. Within Temptation, Silent Force
Yes, it's a bit of a letdown from Mother Earth, but so what? It's still a good album. Maybe a bit "commercial"-sounding at times, but the keyboard arrangements are as lush and interesting as ever, and it's still metal (barely).

8. Primordial, The Gathering Wilderness
This album was tough for me to grade. Some parts of it are downright dull, but some parts are just incredible. In the end, I rate it slightly below their previous album, Storm before Calm. For you poor souls who don't own it, it's atmospheric and vaguely naturalistic and folkish black/doom metal. Now remedy your condition.

7. Opeth, Ghost Reveries
I thought this was a step forward for the band. Clearly better than Deliverance, at least in the sense that it is more original. Opeth is trying different atmospheres and textures to create a wider range of emotions. Not everything is clicking yet, but it's a start.

6. Kamelot, The Black Halo
Definitely one of Kamelot's best albums - I still rate Fourth Legacy a little higher, though. Nice mix of differently paced songs, some progressive interludes, but always remaining focused on the melodic vocals and guitar leads.

5. Leaves' Eyes, Vinland Saga
Right up there with their debut album. Very fine femme-metal that avoids both "gothic" and "beauty-and-the-beast" labels. The album concept thankfully is not overdone; the music is not forced into a one-dimensional plot. Pay attention, Rhapsody and Silentium.

4. Dream Theater, Octavarium
Interesting and diverse album. How this band maintains their superhuman amount of output, considering their side projects, is beyond me. I guess it helps to be one of the few metal bands who can work on music full-time.

3. Dark Tranquillity, Character
Good album. Doesn't advance a whole lot on Damage Done, but it's still solid and enjoyable.

2. Angra, Temple of Shadows
What happens when a progressive metal band does power metal? They conquer: they've got the chops and ideas to make one of the best power metal albums in recent memory. I wish they were still progressive, but this is really good.

1. Nevermore, This Godless Endeavor
I agree with Wayfaerer in ranking this one number one, although I'm not quite as positive on it as he is. A superb album? Yes. A Masterpiece for All Time? Not sure about that one. I'd rate it about as good as Dead Heart in a Dead World, but it's good enough to take number one honors this year.

January 8, 2006
Main | Bandlist | Reviews | Interviews | Articles | Forum | Samples | About