The 13 best death metal albums of the decade so far

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When I was asked to give a list of my favourite death metal records, it sounded like fun.

But the more I thought about it, I wondered, ‘Does the metal community need another jackass who wasn’t there to tell them how good Autopsy’s Mental Funeral or Incantation’s Onward To Golgotha is?’ I think not. At this point, it’s pretty common knowledge.

But it got me thinking about when I listen to death metal. These days, it’s more than likely to be released during this decade. Then the more I dug in, it became apparent how many classic-sounding death metal records – in my opinion – were released in the last five years.

With this decade only halfway through, and with releases from Interment, Vastum, Cruciamentum and Horrendous coming to the surface, the underground death metal community shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Different shades and depths of death metal are represented well these days – there really is a band for everyone. So, with all that in mind, I give you 13 of my favourite death metal releases from 2010 on…

Black Breath's Jamie Byrum (second left)

Black Breath's Jamie Byrum (second left)
(Image: © Invisible Hour)

ACEPHALIX – Deathless Master (2012)
This one is extra special for me as I was asked to fill in on drums for their only European tour in 2011. We basically played this album in its entirety. It took me years to be able to listen to it again but now I find it a highly enjoyable piece of buzz saw death metal. The members are currently active in the equally amazing Necrot, Vastum, and Serpents of Dawn.

CORPSESSED – Abysmal Thresholds (2014)
In my opinion, Finland is the home to the heaviest of death metal bands. So naturally, this album is fucking crushing. Disgusting, murky, doomy death metal that makes me feel like I’m getting devoured by quicksand.

**DEAD CONGREGATION – Promulgation Of The Fall **(2014)
This shit just annihilates everything. Dead Congregation constantly remind me why I don’t listen to grind. Who needs it when you can be this fast, brutally heavy and evil. I’m very inspired and humbled by these guys.

DISMA – Towards The Megalith (2011)
This is heavy-as-fuck, American-made death metal. I really love the drumming on this album and the musical pedigree is about as good as it gets for this style.

GOREPHILIA – Ascend To Chaos (2011)
More bone-crushing heaviness from Finland. Less on the doom side and more on the brutal side of the spectrum, which is generally how I like things. Very heavy vocals and riffing to match.

GRAVE MIASMA – Odori Sepulcorum (2013)
Extremely inventive and totally atmospheric doomy death metal of the English variety. Very cool guitar playing and a very otherworldly feeling all around.

**GRUESOME – Savage Land **(2015)
This one is a no brainer. I don’t care what band you’re ripping off. When it’s this good, I’m headbanging. It was like Christmas for a week for my friends and I when this was released.

NIGHTFELL – Darkness Evermore (2015)
I’ve been following and enjoying (worshipping in my younger years) Todd Burdette’s bands for close to 20 years now and seeing it end end up like this in 2015 really pleases me. Heavy and melodic doom death in the English vein. Way to fucking go.

SONNE ADAM – Transformation (2011)
Bizarre and atmospheric death from Israel. This shit is just incredible. Again, I don’t care if your sound is reminiscent of another band. If the songs are good, I’m listening .

**TORMENTED – Graveyard Lust **(2012)
Classic old school Swedish death metal straight outta Finspång from my brothers from a different mother. Killer riffs, huge buzz saw guitar sound, horror-themed vocals. It’s all there, folks.

**VALLENFYRE – Splinters **(2014)
While this may be lumped into this whole modern crossover sound the kids are into these days, to my ears this is just English death metal and some grind – so naturally it’s influenced by punk. This album absolutely smokes from start to finish and is a product of total veterans of the scene. It’s maybe Kurt Ballou’s heaviest production to date.

VANHELGD – Relics of Sulpher Salvation (2014)
Really great melodic death metal from Sweden. The good kind – not the tribal tattoo nu metal kind. Very blackened atmosphere and raw production.

**VASTUM – Patricidal Lust **(2014)
From the minds that brought you Acephalix we have the Bay Area’s Vastum. While there are similarities, this is a different beast entirely. There’s more focus on atmosphere and doom than just bludgeoning riffs. No less heavy though.

Black Breath’s new album, Slaves Beyond Death, is out now via Southern Lord. For more information, visit their official website.