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20 Greatest Metal Albums Since 2000

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18. Decapitated – Nihility (2002)

Decapitated Nihility

In the early 00’s, Death Metal had become so saturated by mediocrity and identikit bands that Decapitated’s arrival was a welcome surprise; one that literally snuck up and took your head clean off.

Still in their teens, these precocious upstarts had no right to challenge a scene so imbedded in limited rules, but their arrival did exactly that. In the process, Decapitated ushered in a new era of Death Metal that re-embraced groove while maintaining its technical audacity and focused on headache-inducing riffs which hammer around your skull for days. Decapitated simply oozed technicality but never at the expense of an honest-to-goodness abrasive Death Metal riff.

Their Winds Of Creation debut just 2 years prior had rejuvenated the scene but it’s follow up raised the bar even higher. Nihility‘s ever shifting tempo’s never fail to impress as they jostle with classic lead guitar nuances, while the drumming, courtesy of the sadly deceased Witold “Vitek” Kiełtyka, is masterful and majestic. The vocals may be an acquired taste for many, Wojciech “Sauron” Wąsowicz utilises a raspy guttural growl for the majority of the record, with very little deviation, but his brutal delivery matches the music for relentless intensity.

Each track is memorable and picking a highlight is relatively pointless but “Spheres Of Madness” is the one to hear first if you fancy dipping your toe into extreme waters before diving in headfirst. The staccato riffs and ridiculously accomplished and innovative double-bass work should be enough to have you hooked to Decapitated’s brand of Metal malevolence.

In 2002, Death Metal needed Decapitated and they were man-enough to deliver an album which gave a moribund genre a swift and necessary kick up the caboose.

About Chris Jennings (1471 Articles)
I love Heavy Metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about Metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' Metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

74 Comments on 20 Greatest Metal Albums Since 2000

  1. Where’s Nevermore’s Dead Heart In a Dead World?

  2. Suffocation Pinnacle of Bedlam?

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 3:35 pm // Reply

      Thanks for commenting dude. If Effigy Of The Forgotten or Pierced From Within had been written post 2000 they’d have been included; both albums are simply stunning. As good as Pinnacle Of Bedlam is, I don’t think it betters their early work or anything included in the list. \m/

  3. Durish Gingerboard // December 14, 2014 at 10:29 am // Reply

    Fuck yeah I love this album

  4. Celtic Frost – Monotheist
    Neurosis – Given To The Rising
    Deathspell Omega – Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum
    Mayhem – Ordo Ad Chao
    Asphyx – Death…The Brutal Way

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm // Reply

      Great suggestions Robert, especially Celtic Frost which very nearly made it in. As did Triptykon, incidentally. \m/

  5. First off At the Drive In isn’t even close to be considered Metal, at least in my eyes. Lamb of God’s Ashes of the Wake and Killswitch’s End of Heartache were better than the albums you listed for them.

    Half of your picks stem from 2001, which is not a knock on you, but you should’ve just made a top twenty for that year alone.

    With that said you left out bands with multiple albums that could have and should have easily been on this list.

    The Black Dahlia Murder
    Dimmu Borgir
    Cannibal Corpse
    Amon Amarth
    At the Gates
    All That Remains (early shit)
    Morbid Angel

    I could go all day with bands that deserve to make this list over half of whom you listed. Just baffling that none of the bands I listed made the cut. Mediocre list at best.

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm // Reply

      No apologies for At The Drive In, an extraordinary album and thoroughly deserving of inclusion. As to whether they are Metal? We’ll have to agree to disagree.

      All the bands you mention have released albums of merit, many pre 2000 mind, but it’s all down to opinion as to who deserve to be included.

      With regards to At The Gates, I presume you are referring to this years At War With Reality album? A good album but not a great one. If Slaughter Of The Soul had been post 2000 then it would have been included.

      Thanks for commenting \m/

  6. John Sullivan // December 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm // Reply

    Tool rose from the ashes of grunge?? Ummm, what??? Seriously, what???

    And the lyric is “hope this is what YOU wanted, hope this is what you had in mind”. Major fail dude.

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm // Reply

      I was referring to the era in which they emerged John. Opiate (1992) and Undertow (1993) came out during the Grunge explosion and yet Tool stood out despite Grunge’s dominance.

      The lyric I ‘paraphrased’ is “Is this what you wanted?”. No fail there dude.

      Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

      • John Sullivan // December 15, 2014 at 12:48 am // Reply

        Rising from the ashes of something means to be born or reborn from it – it’s a reference to the phoenix of mythology. Tool was not born from grunge, so I still think you muddled the metaphor.

        Good call on the lyric, I completely misread your sentence. 🙂

  7. A few to many bands that kind of don’t belong in place of bands that do by a long shot but, hey it’s your opinion

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm // Reply

      A fair comment TRC. The fun is in getting a discussion going about these topics. Which bands/albums do you offer as an alternative? \m/

  8. What a terrible list

  9. Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 3:56 pm // Reply

    Do you mean terrific?

  10. Although a good list, I’d have included Fleshgod Apocalypse and/or Carach Angren. While both bands aren’t that big (yet?), they show a major part of the orchestral influence, that’s getting more and more into metal and both are extreme in their own way as well as innovative and unique.
    I often thought things like “this is it, there’s nothing more(/better) to come” and then bands like those two come along and proof me wrong.

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 5:28 pm // Reply

      I was listening to Carach Angren the other day….liked ’em. Definitely ones to keep an eye on. Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

  11. A few albums i think should have been on there:
    This godless endeavor – Nevermore
    Epitaph – Necrophagist
    Colored Sands – Gorguts

  12. Surprised myself of everyone that made this list. I do enjoy everything on this list except a couple, but surprised no mention of anything from Soilwork, Devin Townsend, Katatonia, Bloodbath, Ihsahn (besides Emperor), Vintersorg or Borknagar, Mercenary, Symphony X, Between the Buried & Me, Evergrey, Porcupine Tree, Protest the Hero, Nevermore, Trivium, and also didn’t see any love for female fronted bands. I know it’s all an opinion, but all the band’s I listed put out masterpieces that would knock off half the band’s listed.

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 5:33 pm // Reply

      Hi Mark. Soilwork’s Natural Born Chaos came close as did Porcupine Tree’s Fear Of A Blank Planet. As is always the same with these lists….too many good bands/albums…too few spaces in a Top 20 Countdown! We appreciate the comments, thanks for reading \m/

  13. Definitely Terrific!!!!

  14. No Kreator? Enemy of God? Violent Revolution? Hoardes of Chaos? Slayer’s God Hates Us All? Avenged Sevenfold?! lol Kreator pisses all over them…

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm // Reply

      We love a bit of Kreator here at Worship Metal and all their Post 2000 releases have been excellent, there’s no denying that they have gone from strength to strength over the years. Avenged Sevenfold are here to stay and they really do divide opinion….definitely a Marmite band. We just happen to like Marmite. \m/

  15. Brown Jenkins // December 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm // Reply

    Well out of my 3 favourite bands GWAR, Necrophagia and Behemoth I’m glad at least one was included. The Satanist is a true masterpiece in every way and much deserving of its praise. I would also have argued Amon Amarth deserving the list somewhere. They’re quickly pushing into my top 5 metal bands easily. I also think Gwar’s War Party deserves a spot and Necrophagia’s Death Trip ’69 both albums have this amazing flow to them and I really believe that people who like GWAR for the showmanship over the music which is a wonderful mush mash of political punk and straight riffy metal is really missing out. But we can only like so much and your taste is probably much broader than my own. Alot of these bands are a bit too mainstreamy for me. And I think Lamb of God had better efforts than sacrament. I’ll shut up now I could talk about this shit all day. Lol

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm // Reply

      The Satanist is a modern masterpiece and deserves all the plaudits it has received since its release. You are correct to say that the article has been approached with a broad mindset and I believe ‘mainstream’ (does mainstream really make sense in Heavy Metal?) bands are often overlooked for fear of a backlash. A good album is a good album, regardless of how many copies it sells. Thanks for commenting and I also could talk about this all day! Hopefully I’ll get the chance to hear your thoughts on future articles \m/

      • Brown Jenkins // December 15, 2014 at 4:44 am // Reply

        I would consider any band who is given regular radio rotation mainstream for sure heavy metal or not generally it’s the stuff you can play around children and your elders, inoffensively. Avenged Sevenfold for example I understand you listed an album that came before they were accepted as mainstream artists and that’s all I was saying I guess when a band branches their sound out to the point they get mainstream exposure at times it feels sickeningly commercial. I really enjoy music like Behemoth, Mercyful Fate, etc. not for the gimmick but the music itself takes me some place and I guess that’s because it has a theme driving the sound where I’d say most really popular music doesn’t really have that. Doesn’t give me that overwhelming since of joy as something like GWAR does. It’s not the theatrics but the music that is built around the theatrics. So music technicality doesn’t really mean shit in the long run for me, it can be as technical and difficult to play as possible but if it doesn’t flow and it’s not really catchy I’m probably not going to like it. Misfits over Megadeth kind of attitude. But that’s just the approach I take to music. I like it to capture a setting and mood and not to take itself to seriously. I’m always interested in hearing peoples approach to why they enjoy this and I enjoy that. so really cool of you to reply to all these posts. At the end of the day it’s all music and its all pretty incredible any of it exists.

        • Chris Jennings // December 15, 2014 at 7:08 am // Reply

          My aim is to try to reply to all, the more chatter the better!

          My philosophy is good music is good music, whether mainstream or underground. I can get as much enjoyment from a commercial Megadeth record as I can from an Electric Wizard album. the 2 bands have virtually nothing in common but do eventually fall under the umbrella of Heavy Metal. Like you say, it’s all music and I get a kick out of having so much choice in Metal alone.

          Thanks for the positive comment, much appreciated.

  16. it seems like the list is based of personal opinion rather than skill level and musical talent and the more deserving bands even bands I don’t like that are skilled and put out awesome albums should be considered with I think you have only pick ones of your liking and choosing the list of a global top 20 in metal would be 100% different cause u missed out on many masterpieces and put a bunch of popular bands in instead once again this is my opinion on how you chose and sounds like you haven’t chos n wisely for the sake of music and seems like a lot of people agree maybe you haven’t heard of some of the bands maybe research needs to be done there’s a lot people and yourself haven’t meantioned that is clearly more deserving

    • Chris Jennings // December 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm // Reply

      Hi Josh. Isn’t everything based on personal opinion? All the albums in this article have received unanimous critical acclaim, all are classics and all were chosen wisely. To decide who is more deserving comes down to pure conjecture, your opinion versus mine etc. The point is to get people talking (mission accomplished) and I’m glad you took time to read and comment. The bands on this list are worthy though and all demonstrate skill and musical talent; to suggest otherwise seems rather naive.

  17. Absolute shit list.

  18. Where’s Necrophagist’s Epitaph?

  19. Andrew Bartholomew // December 15, 2014 at 9:58 am // Reply

    I took great satisfaction in reading this list. Prometheus was my first listen of Emperor. So impressed and listened to religiously that I had their ’emperial’ symbol tattooed on the crest of my shoulder. Gojira, Meshuggah, Decapitated, SYL, Celtic Frost, Dillinger Escape Plan, and particularly Behemoth’s recent decent through modification of Dionysian rage are all worthy acknowledgements. Thank you for the read.

  20. Some decent stuff on this list, definitely don’t agree with machinehead at all. Not because I don’t like them, I just feel as though better albums exist that have been released since 2000. Nice inclusion of all different styles, although I think Parkway Drive sucks balls it’s nice to see you included black metal, death metal, nu- metal/ alternative metal(too many people rag on this style), thrash. My choices for that style would have been the same KSE album, Skeletons by Nothingface, the End of All Things to Come by Mudvayne, and Iowa. Deathspell Omega has some amazing work, and I would probably put Conquering Dystopia in there somewhere, probably 18. This is all opinion though of course \m/

    • Chris Jennings // December 16, 2014 at 8:13 am // Reply

      Parkway Drive don’t really do anything for me either, they’re not on the list. Glad you enjoyed the diverse array of styles. As mentioned in the intro the term ‘Metal’ was used loosely in order to encompass the full spectrum of bands….some seem to have appreciated this approach, others not so much. As you say, it’s all down to opinion of course. Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

  21. Some of mine would be
    Immolation – Close To A World Below
    Cult of Luna – Somwhere Along the Highway
    Knut – Challenger
    Extol – Undeceived
    Pig Destroyer – Prowler in the Yard
    Gorguts – From Wisdom to Hate
    Devin Townsend – Terria
    Zao – The Funeral of God
    Cursed – I and II
    Every Time I Die – Hot Damn!
    Burst – Origo

    • Chris Jennings // December 16, 2014 at 8:14 am // Reply

      Thanks Nathan, some great albums. Close To A World Below and From Wisdom to Hate are personal favourites. Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

  22. Appreciate the list. Could use some Nile in there somewhere, pick an album any album. I don’t listen to a lot of death core but I’ve also been liking Rings of Saturn Lugal Ki En and was pretty entertained cover to cover.

    • Chris Jennings // December 16, 2014 at 8:19 am // Reply

      I will pick Annihilation Of The Wicked, love that album. I’ll check out Rings Of Saturn, thanks for the tip \m/

  23. Great list! Found many old favorites there, and a number of albums I must check out.

    I quickly assembled a Spotify playlist of all albums except two that weren’t available on Spotify (Tool & Clutch), feel free to subscribe and listen.


  24. Hungarian Metalhead // January 18, 2015 at 8:18 pm // Reply

    Here’s my top 20 since 2000:

    Ark: Burn The Sun
    Killswitch Engage: Alive Or Just Breathing
    Masterplan: I
    Hellfueled: Volume One
    Avenged Sevenfold: City Of Evil
    Mastodon: Blood Mountain
    Death Angel: The Dream Calls For Blood
    Artillery: When Death Comes
    Year Of The Goat: Angels Necropolis
    Volbeat: Rock The Rebel Metal The Devil
    Accept: Blood Of The Nations
    Audrey Horne: Le Fol
    Machine Head: Unto The Locust
    Protest The Hero: Scurrilous
    Iommi-Hughes: Fused
    Alabama Thunderpussy: Open Fire
    God Forbid: Earthsblood
    Grand Magus: Iron Will
    Slayer: Christ Illusion
    Hell: Human Remains

  25. Garbage list

    You’re a goddamn philistine.

    • Chris Jennings // March 9, 2015 at 10:18 am // Reply

      Garbage List? Well since you ask, usually I throw away things like banana skins, empty toothpaste tubes, milk cartons etc. You know, the usual. Oh, and your opinion goes in there too.

      Thanks for reading! \m/

  26. Slipknot? Really? Many commenters have suggested albums way better than that.

    • Chris Jennings // August 17, 2015 at 8:59 am // Reply

      When they arrived on the scene they represented the danger and anonymity that had been missing for far too long in the Metal scene. Unpredictable, anarchic and practically without precedent, Slipknot’s debut is a modern classic and no matter how you feel about the band in 2015, in 1999 they were a shock to the system like no other. So yeah, Slipknot? Really.

  27. wow, I own none of these albums. damn, I’m metal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. No Arcturus? The Sham mirror man!!!

  29. really missing Colors by BTBAM. I used to not be able to stand Colors but after 4 listens start to finish I went from thinking it sucked to thinking it was ok, and 3 or so more listens and I finally recognized it as the masterpiece it is. It’s one of several game changers of the 00’s, along with a few albums mentioned here (especially Jane Doe).

    I also would have included Vektor’s Black Future, and swapped out Leviathan for Crack the Skye.

    Good list otherwise.

    • Chris Jennings // January 8, 2016 at 7:42 am // Reply

      Thanks! Colors gets a lot of love – I think I need to listen to it another 8 times – and Vektor’s a great shout! Still prefer Leviathan though 😉 \m/

  30. Saw the article, and was hoping The Blackening would be at least top 3; nice choice man. “Slanderous” is my coffee in the morning…

    • Chris Jennings // May 3, 2016 at 6:24 pm // Reply

      The Blackening….simply an all-time classic by one of metal’s most reliable bands (we’ll forget Supercharger exists) \m/

  31. The moment I come to the Avenged Sevenfold album on a list of best METAL albums………..I’m done with the list. I didn’t even bother reading the list beyond that. It was just like this…

    Me: Clicks next page
    “#17 Avenged Sevenfold-Waking the Fallen”
    Me: “I’m done. Not even gonna bother reading the rest. I’ll just leave a comment and head back to Metal Rules”

  32. Good on you for responding to everyone Chris, it shows a lot of class. However I feel I do need to make a correction. Ghost is essentially a commercialized take on the band that truly resurrected “Occult Rock,” The Devil’s Blood. With their efforts “The Graveyard Shuffle” “Come Reap” and 2009’s “Time of No Time Evermore” they re-introduced the late 60’s occult sound and imagery. Many bands followed, none more popular than Ghost, however The Devil’s Blood were the first, and in my opinion, easily the best.

    • Chris Jennings // September 28, 2016 at 6:49 am // Reply

      As is tradition, I shall respond 😉 A fair point regarding The Devil’s Blood but as influential as they were they didn’t have the impact of Ghost (not to say that the sad passing of Selim Lemouchi wasn’t a great loss). The first and the best? Maybe. I’ll re-introduce them to my ears and have a good hard think about it! Many thanks for reading and commenting \m/

  33. Aaadabaadab // June 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm // Reply

    Make a top 10 best new wave of thrash metal bands list.

  34. Aaadabaadab // June 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm // Reply

    Those bands must have debut albums that were released later than 2000 and must be thrash or one its subgenres (crossover thrash, technical thrash metal, deathrash*, blackened thrash metal**)

    *Deathrash is what I call death/thrash metal
    **Blackened thrash is what I’d call a mix of thrash and black metal

  35. Electric Wizard – Dopethrone.

  36. Bolt Thrower – Those Once Loyal
    Destroyer 666 – Phoenix Rising
    Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I
    Sodom – M-16
    Morbid Angel – Gateways to Annihilation

  37. nice list, but I would add the mantle by agalloch

  38. This list is stupid. Who made it? A hipster in love with jazz. This list has the same metal as Lady Gaga of classical music

    • Chris Jennings // January 8, 2019 at 7:34 am // Reply

      Hi. Lady Gaga loving, violin playing, hipster haircut sporting, jazz aficionado here. You’re stupid. What an excellent discussion we are having.

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