1) CRYPTOPSY: And Then You'll Beg
Bound to be a controversial choice, mainly because so many people still don't like the new singer and long for the days of Lord Worm, but pound for pound, this release is by far one of the tightest, most extreme and brutal death metal albums released to date, combining the best elements of all their previous albums. Life after worm.
2) NILE: Black Seeds Of Vengeance
Cool under pressure, the band releases a worthy successor to their highly original debut 2 years ago. While not as over the top brutal as their last album, the songs hold together much more as complete compositions, and yes there's still blasting too.
3) NASUM: Human 2.0
What could have been another everyday grindcore album is elevated by a razor sharp guitar tone reminiscent of Entombed and Obituary, and some of the best groove riffs I've heard in a really long time (mixed with intense blasting, of course). A real surprise, although not a new band by any means, they're new to me, and definitely my favorite find of the year.
4) DYING FETUS: Destroy The Opposition
Not quite as good as their previous album, which is why this release doesn't get a higher position, but still solid, brutal, this band just can't release a weak CD.
5) DEFTONES: White Pony
The lightest album you're likely to see on this list, but excellent song writing and the album's ability to create dark and depressing moods with a simple collection of notes makes it worth checking out. Korn who? The Deftones have run circles around those guys.
6) DEVIN TOWNSEND: Physicist
Devin's at it again, this time with a metal musical that combines a lot of familiar flavors from many of his projects. Not quite as revolutionary as his Infinity album, but still impressive.
7) NAPALM DEATH: Enemy Of The Music Business
Constantly showing up on my charts, any album that contains the song writing maturity of Inside the Torn Apart and the blasting of Utopia Banished needs a place on this list.
8) MARTYR: Warp Zone
I was ready to write the band off until I downloaded an mp3 or two from this new album. Combining the styles of fear factory, obliveon, death, meshuggah and others into something quite unique, very technical, spacy and catchy at the same time. We need to see more music like this in the future.
9) SOUL REAPER: Written In Blood
Nothing really standout here, and yet I just can't get this CD out of my CD player, even with pliers. Great, great songs, great, great riffs, highly recommended.
10) CHIMAIRA: This Present Darkness
Short, but a good indication of things to come from a band we can expect big things from in the coming year. Although branded by that usually deadly "nu-metal" tag, the band projects an air of authenticity, pretending to be angry to get chicks is not allowed on this list, you need to be actually angry, and their music comes across as genuine.

Honorable Mention:

HATEPLOW: The Only Law Is Survival
KRISIUN: Conquerors Of Armageddon
MORBID ANGEL: Gateways To Annihilation
VADER: Litany


A big thanks to all the readers who participated.

1) NAPALM DEATH: Enemy Of The Music Business
1) DYING FETUS: Destroy The Opposition
3) HATEPLOW: The Only Law Is Survival
4) IMMORTAL: Damned In Black
5) PANTERA: Reinventing the steel
7) VADER: Litany
8) MORBID ANGEL: Gateways to Annihilation
9) NILE: Black Seeds Of Vengeance
10) KRISIUN: Conquerors Of Armageddon