Year-End Lists

Top 22 of 2022

  1. LebriqueHead Trap (review)
  2. PsychonautViolate Consensus Reality
  3. TerraFür Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht
  4. ArcheTransitions
  5. An Evening RednessAn Evening Redness (review)
  6. Chat PileGod’s Country (review)
  7. MountaineerGiving Up the Ghost (review)
  8. E-L-RVexier (review)
  9. Private PrisonsExtrication (review)
  10. SatanEarth Infernal
  11. Chrome GhostHouse of Falling Ash
  12. DruidsShadow Work
  13. GavranIndistinct Beacon
  14. DarkherThe Buried Storm
  15. Ether CovenThe Relationship Between the Hammer and the Nail
  16. NornaStar is Way Way is Eye (review)
  17. KrvvlaX (review)
  18. Body VoidBurn the Homes of Those Who Seek To Control Our Bodies
  19. The OtolithFolium Limina
  20. ConanEvidence of Immortality
  21. FoehammerMonumentum
  22. OlhavaReborn



Top 21 of 2021

  1. SarinYou Can’t Go Back (review)
  2. Human FailureCrown on the Head of a King of Mud (review)
  3. KataanKataan (review)
  4. OryxLamenting a Dead World (review)
  5. PyrexiaGravitas Maximus (review)
  6. FluisteraarsGegrepen door de Geest der Zielsontluiking
  7. GlassingTwin Dream (review)
  8. AquilusBellum I (review)
  9. KiteCurrents (review)
  10. SepulcrosVazio (review)
  11. ComatoseA Way Back (review)
  12. Agnes VeinDeathcall (review)
  13. Psychonaut / SâverEmerald
  14. OlhavaFrozen Bloom (review)
  15. LLNNUnmaker (review)
  16. Mors VerumThe Living (review)
  17. Boss KeloidFamily the Smiling Thrush (review)
  18. Cave of SwimmersAurora (review)
  19. Kowloon Walled CityPiecework
  20. Hellish FormRemains (review)
  21. Body VoidBury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth (review)



Top 20 of 2020

  1. AtavistIII: Absolution
  2. MegatheriumGod
  3. KonventPuritan Masochism (review)
  4. Demonic Death JudgeThe Trail
  5. SvnthSpring in Blue
  6. HymnBreach Us
  7. Battle DagorathAbyss Horizons
  8. VölurDeath Cult
  9. Escape is Not FreedomSurrounded By the Great Nothing
  10. (a.) YatraBlood of the Night (review)
    (b.) YatraAll is Lost
  11. KassadLondon Orbital (review)
  12. In the Company of SerpentsLux (review)
  13. SwarmingPrimeval Arteries of the Sacred Dead
  14. Plague YearsCircle of Darkness
  15. Oranssi PazuzuMestarin Kynsi
  16. Drom / TengriUR
  17. Primitive ManImmersion
  18. Ether CovenEverything is Temporary Except Suffering (review)
  19. Vile CreatureGlory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!
  20. HumInlet



Top 19 of 2019

  1. Stone Machine ElectricDarkness Dimensions Disillusion (review)
  2. Problem with DragonsAscendant (review)
  3. CandlemassThe Door to Doom (review)
  4. VesperithVesperith (review)
  5. (a.) HorseburnerThe Thief (review)
    (b.) Howling GiantThe Space Between Worlds (review)
  6. Barbarian PropheciesOrigin (review)
  7. Primitive Man / HellSplit
  8. These BeastsThese Beasts
  9. SâverThey Came with Sunlight (review)
  10. FinsterforstZerfall
  11. TraumaAs the World Dies
  12. NagaVoid Cult Rising
  13. Forest of TygersI Will Die of Violence (review)
  14. Forged in BlackDescent of the Serpent
  15. Earth and PillarsEarth II (review)
  16. Dead to a Dying WorldElegy
  17. AseetheThroes
  18. Body VoidYou Will Know the Fear You Forced Upon Us (review)
  19. Imperial CultSpasm of Light (review)



Top 18 of 2018

  1. HuntsmenAmerican Scrap (review)
  2. Vile CreatureCast of Static and Smoke (review)
  3. Imperial TriumphantVile Luxury
  4. JIRMSurge ex Monumentis
  5. Brujas del SolII
  6. EmpressReminiscence
  7. Body VoidI Live Inside a Burning House (review)
  8. BeldamPasung (review)
  9. Apostle of SolitudeFrom Gold to Ash
  10. SlowV – Oceans
  11. ConanExistential Void Guardian
  12. FisterNo Spirit Within (review)
  13. Krakowminus
  14. PrimordialExile Amongst the Ruins
  15. Seventh GenocideSVNTH
  16. Slaves BCLo and I am Burning (review)
  17. Boss KeloidMelted on the Inch (review)
  18. YOBOur Raw Heart (review)



Top 17 of 2017

Honorable Mention:

  • Ever Circling WolvesOf Woe or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gloom (review)This incredible album — by a Finnish death-doom band whom I’ve been a huge fan of for many years now — should have ended up near the top of this list, probably at least somewhere in the top five. But the simple fact is, I had written about the album so long ago (way back in May 2016), before the band had hooked up with Cimmerian Shade Recordings and ultimately officially released the record in January 2017, that frankly Of Woe was accidentally left off the overall list of contenders for the year’s top releases. So, pretend this album was slotted in there somewhere, and meanwhile please enjoy the rest of 2017’s best …
  1. NudistBury My Innocence
  2. Ufomammut8 (review)
  3. Seventh GenocideToward Akina
  4. Flesh of the StarsAnhilla
  5. LividBeneath this Shroud, the Earth Erodes (review)
  6. WeltesserCrestfallen
  7. IdreUnforgiving Landscapes (review)
  8. Black AnvilAs Was (review)
  9. Body VoidRuins (review)
  10. ThantifaxathVoid Masquerading as Matter
  11. Primitive ManCaustic (review)
  12. FenWinter
  13. DeathCrawlAcceptable Level of Misery (review)
  14. CormorantDiaspora
  15. UnsaneSterilize
  16. In the Company of SerpentsAin-Soph Aur (review)
  17. Bell WitchMirror Reaper (review)



Top 16 of 2016

  1. Spirit AdriftBehind-Beyond / Chained to Oblivion (review)
  2. Marsh DwellerThe Weight of Sunlight
  3. NorthLight the Way (review)
  4. (a.) AenaonHypnosophy (review)
    (b.) Hail Spirit NoirMayhem in Blue (review)
  5. Devil to PayA Bend through Space and Time (review)
  6. Hollow LegCrown (review)
  7. WolvserpentAporia:Kala:Ananta
  8. MAKEPilgrimage of Loathing (review)
  9. The ReticentOn the Eve of a Goodbye
  10. WretchWretch (review)
  11. SlomaticsFuture Echo Remains
  12. CobaltSlow Forever
  13. Lord MantisNTW (review)
  14. Slaves BCAll is Dust and I am Nothing (review)
  15. Graves at SeaThe Curse that Is (review)
  16. ConanRevengeance (review)



Top 15 of 2015

Honorable Mention:

  • DerkétaIn Death We Meet (review)
    Over twenty years in the making and originally released in 2012, this album took on a whole new life when it was given a new mix and master for the vinyl release and CD reissue in 2015.
  1. Brothers of the Sonic ClothBrothers of the Sonic Cloth
  2. Year of the GoatThe Unspeakable (review)
  3. NorilskThe Idea of North
  4. Hooded MenaceDarkness Drips Forth (review)
  5. Wrekmeister HarmoniesNight of Your Ascension (review)
  6. Cave of SwimmersReflection (review)
  7. FoehammerFoehammer
  8. Dead to a Dying WorldLitany
  9. Primitive ManHome is Where the Hatred Is (review)
  10. AniconAphasia (review)
  11. KrakowAmaran / Genesis (review)
  12. Kowloon Walled CityGrievances
  13. AhabThe Boats of the Glen Carrig
  14. UfomammutEcate (review)
  15. MAKEThe Golden Veil (review)



Top 14 of 2014

Honorable Mentions:

  • Musk OxWoodfall (review)
    I wasn’t sure how to categorize this one, since it’s so different from what we usually deal with around here, but this was quite a remarkable album — and besides, after being published in June 2014, this soon became the most frequently visited review in VOS history, by quite a wide margin!
  • Brimstone CovenBrimstone Coven (review)
    It didn’t feel right including this with the rest of the current year’s releases, but this Metal Blade reissue was such an improvement over the original version, representing much more clearly how good this band actually sounds, that it warranted a shout-out here.
  1. PallbearerFoundations of Burden (review)
  2. PilgrimII: Void Worship (review)
  3. The Great SabatiniDog Years (review)
  4. Imperial TriumphantShrine to the Trident Throne (review)
  5. (a.) AenaonExtance (review)
    (b.) Hail Spirit NoirOi Magoi (review)
  6. GholasLitanies (review)
  7. Cold Blue MountainOld Blood (review)
  8. Cave of SwimmersCave of Swimmers (review)
  9. Black Tar ProphetDeafen (review)
  10. Wrought IronRejoice and Transcend (review)
  11. PrimordialWhere Greater Men Have Fallen
  12. AgallochThe Serpent & the Sphere (review)
  13. IndianFrom All Purity (review)
  14. YobClearing the Path to Ascend (review)



Top 13 (+13) of 2013

(Originally published at Valley of Steel)

  1. SatanLife Sentence (review)
  2. BorrachoOculus (review)
  3. Devil to PayFate is Your Muse (review)
  4. Seven Sisters of SleepOpium Morals (review)
  5. The Bloody SeamenAhoy Motherfuckers (review)
  6. MonsterworksAlbum of Man (review)
  7. FatalityPsychonaut (review)
  8. Cultura TresRezando al Miedo (review)
  9. (a.) HivelordsCavern Apothecary (review)
    (b.) SadgiqaceaFalse Prism (review)
  10. Monuments Collapse / Bréag NaofaSplit LP (review)
  11. IntronautHabitual Levitations (review)
  12. GnawHorrible Chamber (review)
  13. FenDustwalker (review)
  1. Brujas del SolMoonliner (review)
  2. Cold Blue MountainCold Blue Mountain (review)
  3. The Lion’s Daughter and Indian BlanketA Black Sea (review)
  4. Corrections HouseLast City Zero (review)
  5. LumbarThe First and Last Days of Unwelcome (review)
  6. DarkthroneThe Underground Resistance (review)
  7. The Ravenna ArsenalI. (review)
  8. BovineThe Sun Never Sets on the British Empire
  9. Sleepers AwakeTranscension
  10. SupervoidFilaments
  11. Neon WarshipNeon Warship
  12. TalbotScaled
  13. Old Man of the MountainOld Man of the Mountain



Top 12 of 2012

(Originally published — with some additional commentary — at No Clean Singing)

  1. The ReticentLe Temps Detruit Tout (review)
  2. Titans EveLife Apocalypse (review)
  3. (drama)Zastor Tišine (review)
  4. AgrussMorok (review)
  5. Pinkish BlackPinkish Black (review)
  6. (a.)AnhedonistNetherwards (review)
    (b.)ObolusLament (review)
  7. Hail Spirit NoirPneuma (review)
  8. MAKETrephine (review)
  9. Vattnet ViskarVattnet Viskar (review)
  10. VultureOblivious to Ruin (review)
  11. UndersmileNarwhal (review)
  12. Solarburn13 (review)



Top 11 of 2011

(Originally published — with explanation of the limited scope of this particular list, as well some brief remarks about each item — at No Clean Singing)

  1. In SolitudeThe World, the Flesh, the Devil
  2. Battle PathStorm & Stress
  3. WihtThe Harrowing of the North
  4. GraveyardHisingen Blues
  5. Oak PantheonThe Void
  6. De StaatMachinery
  7. BorrachoSplitting Sky
  8. BatillusFurnace
  9. YggdrasilIrrbloss
  10. The Hanna BarbariansSyzygy
  11. USXThe Valley Path