The 100 greatest metal albums of the 21st century

40) Testament – The Formation Of Damnation (2008)

Band Pick: “I think it’s hard for a band to get more extreme and, at the same time, get catchier and still include strong melodies. But on The Formation Of Damnation, that was absolutely true. I never get sick of songs like More Than Meets The Eye and Killing Season. It’s a truly great record.” – Jamey Jasta, Hatebreed

What We Said: “This is Testament’s finest hour. The Formation Of Damnation is a great fucking heavy metal album, and no mistake.”

39) Glassjaw – Everything You Wanted To Know About Silence (2000)

Band Pick: “This was one of the first rock albums I owned. I saw the video for Siberian Kiss on a Roadrunner VHS – Daryl [Palumbo, singer] was going mental, and I thought that must be the best job in the world. His lyrics were what I wanted to write like. It’s chaos. It felt like they just went into a room and jammed. I’d never experienced music like it.” – Oli Sykes, Bring Me The Horizon

What We Said: “If Glassjaw don’t quite live up to their promise, this album shows off a potential for originality that next time will be realised.”

38) Trap Them – Darker Handcraft (2011)

One of the first bands to seriously tackle blackened hardcore, Trap Them’s third effort brought with it a new level of hostility, aggression and venom previously kept in the depths of the underground. Packed with throat-stripping vocals and frantic turboriffery, it’s an achievement in audioviolence and opening punks’ ears to the glorious world of extreme metal.

What We Said: “Trap Them have concocted another deliciously evil combination of rock’n’roll recklessness and merciless heaviness. It deserves your attention.”

37) My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (2004)

Few could discredit the enormous influence My Chemical Romance have wrought upon the alternative music scene over the last decade, and in the likes of Helena and I’m Not Okay (I Promise), Three Cheers… carried anthems that would define an entire generation, propelling them to become one of the world’s biggest bands and landing them on the cover of this very magazine.

What We Said: “Overlook the damp squib ending as Three Cheers… excels as a contemporary post-hardcore album with integrity and tunes in equal part.”

36) Rammstein – Mutter (2001)

Rammstein’s third album was a polished evolution of everything they embodied – industrial rhythms, riffs and darkly poetic lyrics. In short, it was the perfect companion for their pyro-filled show. It also spawned six colossal singles, including the Nazi-refuting Links 2-3-4 and the sinister-sounding Sonne, which remain live staples today.

What We Said: “Here in the UK this German six-piece deserve better than being dealt the rough end of the stick. Marilyn Manson, bow down before the meisters.”

35) Converge – Jane Doe (2001)

Band Pick: “It was the heaviest and best shit I’d ever heard in my life. It was so emotional and chaotic, and it was the first time I’d heard music like that. I think, because their time signatures change so much, people don’t realise how fucking heavy it is. And even though they’re not really a hardcore band, they brought musicianship back to that scene.” – Joel Birch, The Amity Affliction

What We Said:Jane Doe’s brilliance isn’t just down to its madcap musicianship, but because it’s bewilderingly affecting, like the clockworks of a broken heart laid bare.”

34) Baroness – Red Album (2007)

Proving that the humid climes of Savannah, Georgia, were a breeding ground for a new form of progressive yet riff-heavy rock, Baroness’s debut full-length still sounded like an exotic new bloom on a scene that had already sired Mastodon and Kylesa. Its kaleidoscopic riffs teemed with exploratory wonder, their classically styled leads finding fresh new terrain to pollenate.

What We Said: “It’s been coming for years, the moment when Savannah, Georgia’s own Baroness stake a claim as one of the most dynamic forces in metal.”

33) Within Temptation – The Silent Force (2004)

The Netherlands’ premier symphonic metal crew were well on their way to greatness by 2004, but The Silent Force sealed the deal. An immaculate exercise in pop-tinged metal melodrama – sonically state-of-the-art but steeped in pomp and romance – it was an album that bulged with grand anthems and even grander ambition.

What We Said: “This is a powerful band, with bags of personality. A poor man’s Evanescence? You’re having a laugh.”

32) Gallows – Grey Britain (2009)

One of the angriest records ever recorded, Gallows took all the major label money they could to make Grey Britain a sprawling, ugly, bleak, punk rock masterpiece that sounded like the apocalypse. It horrified the mainstream, but inspired a whole generation of heavy UK hardcore bands to form.

What We Said: “An album with such integrity, grit and honesty is more than important… it’s fucking vital.”

31) Electric Wizard – Dopethrone

There’s heavy… there’s really heavy… and then there’s Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone. The Dorset doom destroyers’ third studio album was the sonic equivalent of an all-night bucket bong and LSD marathon, replete with malevolent hallucinations and a creeping sense of impending madness. None more doom.

What We Said:Dopethrone is a stroke of genius – in fact six strokes of genius, ripping into the skin, the soul and the spirit.”

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