Best Albums of 2004
by: Pedro Azevedo
If last year's undisputed winner, Melechesh's _Sphynx_, was not a very surprising choice, 2004's runaway winner and CoC Album of the Year is likely to be the cause of some astonishment: Drudkh's _Autumn Aurora_ is not only victorious, it left all competition well behind -- Watain, My Dying Bride, Elend and Enslaved slugged it out for second place at a safe distance.

Besides an underground band on a small label having won Album of the Year, there is a notable absence of heavyweights in our selection of the best albums of 2004. Although many famous bands with lengthy careers and large fan bases released albums this year, most of them failed to even make any individual lists.

This year the votes were also very scattered, with only Drudkh emerging as a consensual choice by making it into more than half of the individual charts. Only two other albums appeared on one third of the charts: My Dying Bride's _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_, Watain's _Casus Luciferi_ and The Dillinger Escape Plan's _Miss Machine_ -- and the latter ironically failed to gather enough points to enter the overall top 10.

(Note: Watain's _Casus Luciferi_ is officially a 2003 release. We allowed its inclusion in our 2004 lists due to the album only having been made available to the public in early 2004.)

The criteria for the first two lists you will see below is as follows. The Best Albums of 2004 list is the result of summing the points gathered by each album in each individual list (first place gets 10 points, second place 9, etc.). The Most Consensual Albums list follows a similar pattern, except each time an album is mentioned counts as one point, regardless of position.

Here is the complete list of our choices for 2004:

CoC Writers' Best Albums of 2004

1. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_
2. Watain - _Casus Luciferi_
3. My Dying Bride - _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_
4. Elend - _Sunwar the Dead_
5. Enslaved - _Isa_
6. Neurosis - _The Eye of Every Storm_
=. The Chasm - _The Spell of Retribution_
8. Axis of Advance - _Obey_
=. Lamb of God - _Ashes of the Wake_
=. The Gathering - _Sleepy Buildings_

CoC Writers' Most Consensual Albums of 2004

1. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_
2. My Dying Bride - _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_
=. The Dillinger Escape Plan - _Miss Machine_
=. Watain - _Casus Luciferi_
5. Axis of Advance - _Obey_
=. Behemoth - _Demigod_
=. Enslaved - _Isa_
=. Neurosis - _The Eye of Every Storm_

Gino Filicetti's Top 10

1. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_
2. Axis of Advance - _Obey_
3. Pest - _Daudafærd_
4. Watain - _Casus Luciferi_
5. Nargaroth - _Raluska Part I_
6. Hate Forest - _Battlefields_
7. Bloodbath - _Nightmares Made Flesh_
8. Ulfsdalir - _Christenhass_
9. Clandestine Blaze - _Deliverers of Faith_
10. Suffocation - _Souls to Deny_

Pedro Azevedo's Top 10

1. Elend - _Sunwar the Dead_
2. Insomnium - _Since the Day It All Came Down_
3. Enslaved - _Isa_
4. My Dying Bride - _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_
5. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_
6. Nortt - _Gudsforladt_
7. Behemoth - _Demigod_
8. Shape of Despair - _Illusion's Play_
9. The Dillinger Escape Plan - _Miss Machine_
10. The Amenta - _Occasus_

Brian Meloon's Top 10

1. Necrophagist - _Epitaph_
2. Avec Tristesse - _How Innocence Dies_
3. Isis - _Panopticon_
4. MC Hawking - _A Brief History of Rhyme_
5. Requiem Aeternam - _Philosopher_
6. Augury - _Concealed_
7. PsyOpus - _Ideas of Reference_
8. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_
9. Capharnaum - _Fractured_
10. Spastic Ink - _Ink Compatible_

Paul Schwarz's Top 10

1. Cult of Luna - _Salvation_
2. Textures - _Polars_
3. The Chasm - _The Spell of Retribution_
4. Nasum - _Shift_
5. Comets on Fire - _Blue Cathedral_
6. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - _Abbatoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus_
7. Fall of the Leafe - _Volvere_
8. Mono - _Walking Cloud _
9. Neurosis - _The Eye of Every Storm_
10. The Dillinger Escape Plan - _Miss Machine_

Aaron McKay's Top 10

1. Lamb of God - _Ashes of the Wake_
2. The Gathering - _Sleepy Buildings_
3. God Forbid - _Gone Forever_
4. Neurosis - _The Eye of Every Storm_
5. The Haunted - _rEVOLVEr_
6. Orphaned Land - _Mabool_
7. Death Angel - _The Art of Dying_
8. My Dying Bride - _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_
9. The Dillinger Escape Plan - _Miss Machine_
10. Diecast - _Tearing Down Your Blue Skies_

David Rocher's Top 10

1. Sigrblot - _Blodsband (Blood Religion Manifest)_
2. Watain - _Casus Luciferi_
3. De Lirium's Order - _Victim no. 52_
4. Skyfire - _Spectral_
5. Sotajumala - _Death Metal Finland_
6. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_
7. Ensiferum - _Iron_
8. Cipher System - _Central Tunnel Eight_
9. Centinex - _Decadence - Prophecies of Cosmic Chaos_
10. Behemoth - _Demigod_

Matthias Noll's Top 10

1. Hail - _Inheritance of Evilness_
2. Nachtmystium - _Eulogy IV_
3. Baptism - _Wisdom and Hate_
4. Bloodbath - _Nightmares Made Flesh_
5. Nehemah - _Requiem Tenebrae_
6. Watain - _Casus Luciferi_
7. Clandestine Blaze - _Deliverers of Faith_
8. Tankard - _Beast of Bourbon_
9. Axis of Advance - _Obey_
10. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_

Chris Flaaten's Top 10

1. Mayhem - _Chimera_
2. Slumber - _Fallout_
3. Minas Tirith - _Dissertatio Prophetae_
4. Meshuggah - _I_
5. Pest - _Daudafærd_
6. My Dying Bride - _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_
7. Shape of Despair - _Illusion's Play_
8. Anorexia Nervosa - _Redemption Process_
9. Decapitated - _The Negation_
10. Spastic Ink - _Ink Compatible_

Quentin Kalis' Top 10

1. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_
2. Hate Forest - _Battlefields_
3. Enslaved - _Isa_
4. My Dying Bride - _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_
5. Graveland - _Dawn of Iron Blades_
6. Woodtemple - _The Call From the Pagan Woods_
7. Countess - _Heilig Vuur_
8. Anaal Nathrakh - _Domine Non Es Dignus_
9. Mortifera - _Vastiia Tenebrd Mortifera_
10. Mayhem - _Chimera_

Jackie Smit's Top 10

1. The Amenta - _Occasus_
2. Ministry - _Houses of the Mole_
3. Rotting Christ - _Sanctus Diavolos_
4. Cannibal Corpse - _The Wretched Spawn_
5. Behemoth - _Demigod_
6. Lamb of God - _Ashes of the Wake_
7. The Dillinger Escape Plan - _Miss Machine_
8. The Haunted - _rEVOLVEr_
9. Therion - _Lemuria / Sirius B_
10. Marduk - _Plague Angel_

James Slone's Top 10

1. Esoteric - _Subconscious Dissolution into the Continuum_
2. Elend - _Sunwar the Dead_
3. Monster Movie - _To the Moon_
4. Neurosis - _The Eye of Every Storm_
5. The Gathering - _Sleepy Buildings_
6. Morgion - _Cloaked in Ages, Crowned in Earth_
7. Neko Case - _The Tigers Have Spoken_
8. Secret Chiefs 3 - _Book of Horizons_
9. Enslaved - _Isa_
10. Orphaned Land - _Mabool_

Todd DePalma's Top 10

1. Krieg - _The Black House_
2. Velvet Cacoon - _Genevieve_
3. The Chasm - _The Spell of Retribution_
4. Watain - _Casus Luciferi_
5. Lugubrum - _De Vette Cuecken_
6. Deathspell Omega - _Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice_
7. Axis of Advance - _Obey_
8. Graveland - _Dawn of Iron Blades_
9. Drudkh - _Autumn Aurora_
10. Leviathan - _Tentacles of Whorror_

(article submitted 2/28/2005)


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