The Best Melodic Black Metal Album

1.  Melechesh - Enki 235
2.  Panopticon - Autumn Eternal 96
3.  Downfall Of Nur - Umbras De Barbagia 73
4.  Obsequiae - Aria Of Vernal Tombs 53
5.  Forgotten Tomb - Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love 39
  So Hideous - Laurestine 39
7.  Cradle Of Filth - Hammer Of The Witches (write-in vote) 25
8.  Mesarthim - Isolate 24
9.  Archivist - Archivist 20
10.  Secrets Of The Sky - Pathway 19
11.  Thulcandra - Ascension Lost (write-in vote) 9
12.  Keep Of Kalessin - Epistemology (write-in vote) 4
  Batushka - Litourgiya (write-in vote) 4
  Thurisaz - The Pulse Of Mourning (write-in vote) 4
15.  Ereb Altor - Nattramn (write-in vote) 3
  Vreid - Solverv (write-in vote) 3
  Falaise - As Time Goes By 3
Total votes:
679




Archivist - Archivist

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Incredible debut concept album from the UK. Although Archivist claim they are not a black metal band, blast beat drumming, heavily textured, reverbed guitar and distinguished vocals from none other than Alex Bradshaw (Light Bearer, Fall Of Efrafa and Anopheli) deem otherwise. The tone is dreamy and melodic but also dark and chaotic, while the lyrical notions are complex and thought-provoking. Archivist is a majestic, transcendent post-black metal entity all its own.

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Downfall Of Nur - Umbras De Barbagia

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This one-man project is all about atmosphere. Umbras De Barbagia comes at you with hauntingly beautiful melodies, razor-sharp guitars and painful shrieks. Its compositions are beautiful because they are slow. Multi-minute buildups create tension that is then carefully released over the remainder of the songs. This is music to dream and to think to, carefully constructed to give the listener room to breathe and regenerate before the next storm unravels. All the while it tells the story of a falling dynasty that is easily conveyed by musical themes alone. If you're looking for black metal beyond blastbeats and speed, this might just be up your alley.

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Falaise - As Time Goes By

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Bordering on blackgaze/metalgaze, this two-piece outfit from Italy sure knows how to instill atmosphere into its music. Blissful and shimmering song structures accentuated by aggressive mid-tempo melodies and riffs. Bursting with passion, blazing with an emotional ferocity, As Time Goes By illuminates the night. The stars sure look bright for this raw but contemporary duo.

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Forgotten Tomb - Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love

Sporting a heavier, fuller sound than a lot of black metal, Forgotten Tomb exhibit a strong focus on groove and rhythm more than icy tremolo-picking. They bring a certain hard rock attitude and groove metal swing to meloblack, which makes for an interesting combination of methodologies. Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love is dense and atonal, with a lot of modern influence mixed in with its blackened roots.

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Melechesh - Enki

It's not too much of a stretch to call Enki "melodic groove black metal"... or something like that. This album sees the kings of Mesopotamian black metal returning in full force, with powerful music that packs all the catchy, bouncy riffs, delicious Eastern tinges, and awesome atmospheres that Ashmedi and company have always been known for. I'm not quite sure that black metal is "supposed" to make you want to get up, jump around, and gyrate your skull like a Babe Ruth bobblehead, but in the case of Melechesh, it definitely does.

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Mesarthim - Isolate

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Utilizing keyboards to build up palatial soundscapes, Mesarthim have already mastered the art of atmosphere. The harshness of black metal becomes lost in the vast emptiness of space, set adrift in a sea of electronic tessellations. Brimming with emotion and delicate beauty, Isolate is a stellar debut in more ways than one.

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Obsequiae - Aria Of Vernal Tombs

With their sophomore release, Obsequiae serve up 44 minutes of folk-infused melodic black metal that grabs your attention from first note to last. From the echo-y style vocals and brilliant guitars to the beautiful integration of a medieval harp, everything just works & blends together so perfectly to create an ethereal atmosphere, which really adds to what makes this such an interesting & compelling record. Despite the folk influences, don't expect to be raising your drinking horn & stomping your feet to the sound of cheesy choruses about partying & getting wasted; oh no, Obsequiae are a lot more refined than that.

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Panopticon - Autumn Eternal

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Austin Lunn, the mastermind behind the black metal powerhouse that is Panopticon, is back. Autumn Eternal is the final chapter of the bluegrass-infused trilogy that started with Kentucky and continued with Roads To The North. Some of the unorthodox instrumentation has been pulled back, giving the album a more traditional tone in comparison to its predecessors. But fear not! These influences have just been used in a subtler manner, thus giving the compositions a greater flow. Fiery solos, unrelenting riffs, animalistic drums and triumphant melodies. What more can you ask for?

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Secrets Of The Sky - Pathway

The music of Pathway is very immersive. It wanders between exquisite clean vocals and piercing growls, layered guitar structures, deeply-rooted melody and chilling black/doom, sprinkled with interludes throughout. Secrets Of The Sky have an unusual talent for producing grandiose songs that will stir up something inside you.

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So Hideous - Laurestine

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Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata opens up Laurestine gentenly. Intense Black mixed post-hardcore will follow. Through intense shrieks and immense walls of tremolo-picked guitars, So Hideous add an exquisite orchestral vibe throughout the whole album, which is just one big composition divided into sections. The band's complex understanding of their main influences is remarkable. The result is highly emotional. Both uplifting and melancholic. Daring and elegant.

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