Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra
Taking symphonic metal to a new level, this album features more than 100 musicians including the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Schola Cantorum Choir. This might be my favorite extreme release of the year.
Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
The British pioneers continue their streak into this new decade with another solid release, proving why they are still relevant over 30 years into their career.
Volbeat – Beyond Hell / Above Heaven
I’m not really sure this qualifies as extreme music, but this Danish band share the same magazine pages and websites as the rest of these bands, so I figure they must belong here. Influenced by Elvis and Johnny Cash as much as by Slayer and Metallica, they are definitely unique.
Black Label Society – Order Of The Black
Sometimes more of the same isn’t a bad thing and that really rings true with this 8th album from Zakk Wylde‘s blues-infused southern metal band.