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Our East Coast Editor, Christopher J. Kelter, picks his "Best Of" for 2000

by Christopher J. Kelter

    Y2K started with a whimper. There wasn't a catastrophe in sight, not one single computer meltdown, no software glitches, nor was it the end of the world as some would have you believe.

    However, Y2K was a good year for hard rock and heavy metal. I thought it would be fun to list out my Top Ten CDs of Y2K. Maybe it will be a starting point for a discussion as Top Ten lists have a way of getting under everyone's skin in one way or another. Or perhaps my choices will be a reason for everyone to cuss me out (go ahead, it doesn't stop anyone else from doing it). {Editor's note: Please use the helpful e-mail link above!}

Anyway, read on to get an idea of what my little twisted head actually liked listening to this year. 

I love metal so much that no mere Top Ten list could even begin to describe the CDs that I found worth listening to over and over again. As such, I've prepared a little Honorable Mention list which are in no particular order: "Brave New World" - Iron Maiden, "Undeceived" - Extol, "Disconnected" - Fates Warning, "Please Come Home ... Mr. Bulbous" - King's X, "Rated R" - Queens Of The Stone Age, and "Of One Blood" - Shadows Fall.

Now, without further ado, here is my Top Ten of 2000:

Number 10: "Upon The Shores Of Inner Seas" - Mental Home: Great metal from Russia. Yeah, that's right: Russia. Mental Home are the leading band of the soon to be stunning wave of Russian metal bands making waves on this side of the globe.

Number 9: "Sindustries" - Gardenian: Since the 'melodic death metal' scene was in dire need of a swift creative kick in the ass, Gardenian stepped up with a worthy effort that expands on the Gothenburg sound with confidence, aplomb, and guts. 

Number 8: "A Sceptic's Universe" - Spiral Architect: I've always loved progressive metal and no Top Ten list of mine would be complete without a progressive band on it. While milling about the Powermad 2000 concert I couldn't help but notice the many folks wearing Spiral Architect t-shirts. A quick look at advertisements for Spiral Architect said that these guys were thinking man's metal. I decided to take a chance on Spiral Architect and damn if these guys fit the bill perfectly. 

Number 7: "Haven" - Dark Tranquillity: A great blend of totally metal guitars, awesome keyboards, and brutal vocals. It may not be as good as its predecessor "Projector," but "Haven" has its own special kind of beauty.

Number 6: "Dead Heart In A Dead World" - Nevermore: Nevermore have been around for a few years and I'll be damned if these guys keep getting better and better. "Dead Heart In A Dead World" gives Nevermore a heavier, edgier presence to their power metal prowess. 

Number 5: "Oracle Moon" - Garden Of Shadows: Aside from Lamb Of God there aren't too many new American bands to get excited about. Get to know Garden Of Shadows before any one else does. 

Number 4: "Crimson" - Sentenced: Many have decried Sentenced's melancholy direction - I love it. 

Number 3: "New American Gospel" Lamb Of God: Lamb Of God are virtually the only new American band that I heard this year that I actually got excited about. "New American Gospel" is a devastating mix of death metal and grindcore wrapped in a blanket of technicality and cloaked in pure metal.

Number 2: "Black Seeds Of Vengeance" - Nile: Ever since Nile's "Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka" came out back in '98 I've waited with great anticipation for the band's follow-up CD. "The Black Seeds Of Vengeance" doesn't disappoint and raises the bar for American death metal. 

Number 1: "Clayman" - In Flames: Was there any doubt in your mind that In Flames' "Clayman" would be at the top of my list? Yeah, I thought so. In Flames may not be throwing any curveballs with their new material, but it is consistently getting better and more melodic without losing their penchant for aggressive music. 

Now that I've taken care of that little business, I can't resist taking a little peek into the year 2001. What should you expect to see on my Top Ten of 2001? Top contenders in Y2K+1 will be new releases from Opeth, Soilwork, Emperor, and Meshuggah.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:09 -0400