Over the past handful of years the Denver/Colorado metal scene has fucking boomed thanks to a slew of well received and recognized bands, a diverse and creative slew of bands, local promoters pushing local bands to be on bills and setting up a ton of local shows, and old and new venues opening up to more and more metal acts. It’s been a real fucking treat being able to see it grow and see/hear all the bands that are brewing in our preverbal stew. 

10. Oak, Ash & Thorn – May Every Altar Linger
Denver is not exactly the hotbed of European folk metal but that isn’t stopping Oak, Ash & Thorn. The overly folky bands I can’t even get into but that’s what I really enjoyed about this album, is that while it is wholly embracing folk metal, it’s more reserved and allows the other elements to shine through as well. Like their sweet melodic riffing, the grand power metal boasting, and the blackened, death metal beats. It’s a good mix without going too far into excess but still keeping that heathen warrior vibe.

9. Boar Worship – Balance of Terror 
Boar Worship finally released a full length album and just dropped a filthy fucking, doom/death/sludge bomb of vile heaviness all over the fucking place. Coming in at barely thirty minutes, Boar Worship kicks it up with raw, fuzzed out production, skull crushing riffs, and a punk as fuck drive. Nasty and raw, this is fucking sick in all meanings of the word.

8. Hail Satan – Rad Metal
Good times, in your face, party thrash with a “Fuck You” punk edge and an Overkill like drive. Insanely fun to bang your fucking head to. 

7. Pile of Priests – Tenebrous Labyrinth
This is some fairly energetic and fun death metal with a nice spattering of thrash and a bit of an old school death metal vibe. You can pretty much sum up the bands sound with the three covers on here from Coronor, Sadus, and Kreator but the three original songs stand out much more, in particularly “Intergalactic Departure.”

6. Seed of the Sorcerer, Womb of the Witch – Cunt of Ceridwen
Denver has a TON of doom bands but Seed of the Sorcerer, Womb of the Witch is by far one of the nastiest. Combining just fucking crushingly heavy doom, nasty vocals and a smattering of black metal here and there, Seed is a perfect example of the diverse and unique qualities doom has to offer in this city. 

5. Inoculated Life – Exist to Decay
Inoculated Life go heavy on the HM2 pedal for their death metal face pounding but where they incorporate power violence and grind is where they really shine for me. I’ve heard all the fuzzed up death metal, but mix in something else and show me some fucking force and I’m perked up. 23 minutes of awesome. 

4. Necropanther – Eyes of Blue Light
NecroPanther are from the Skeletonwitch camp of melodic, thrash/death/black metal. Super ferocious and melodic. They may be even more melodic than Skeletonwitch, surely more nerdy. Their first album was all about the Terminator movies and this new one is all about Dune. I’ll never read those books so I’m not so much concerned with the concept here but the music fucking rips and scratches that melodeath itch something fierce.

3. Akhenaten – Golden Serpent God
From two of the members of Colorado’s symphonic black metal band Helleborus, Akhenaten also revels in that symphonic bombast but from an intense fusion of middle eastern musical influences and Mesopotamian themes. Combine that with an Industrial backbone and some Emperor worship and you have Akhenaten.

2. Glacial Tomb – Glacial Tomb
Glacial Tomb have been gaining some notoriety the past year or so for their overtly aggressive and nasty sludge-d up death/black metal hybrid over a handful of EP and single releases. The anticipation for a full-length has been palpable and said album did not disappoint. It’s all the promise of their previous EP and singles with some more nastiness thrown in and some new killer riffing. 

1. Wayfarer – World’s Blood
Following Wayfarer for three albums now I think this is the one where they’ve finally found their own voice. Their past two albums were excellent, focussing on the nature oriented, atmospheric black metal style abd they did it extremely well but there was a bit of sameness to them, as are the pitfalls of such specific genres. On World’s Blood they’ve kept those elements for sure but added more of a progressive black metal element as well as a dark, post, moodier, americana folk tinge to their sound. Did I mention it was produced by the Krallice dude so that’s probably part of the reason there, but whatever, this album is killer and I love watching this band unfold and expand with each new release.