So, while lately I've been listening to a ton of death metal, really, my [metal] heart lies with experimental black metal and funeral dirge. I was at Villain's Tavern with friends last night drinking whiskey and we were talking about a few of our favorite bands. I wrote up a trio of lists of current mind blowing music for him, but you might want to check these out as well!
Dirge, Funeral Doom and Shoegaze-Doom Metal:
Ahab - "The Call of the Wretched Sea"
The Angelic Process - "Weighing Souls With Sand"
Esoteric - "The Maniacal Vale"
Evoken - "Antithesis of Light"
Dirge - "Wings of Lead Over Dormant Seas"
Folk/Traditional Influenced/Inflected/Inspired Black Metal:
Windir - "1184"
Moonsorrow - "Verisakeet"
Kroda - "Towards the Fimaments"
Drudkh - "Autumn Aurora"
Primordial - "The Gathering Wilderness"
Experimental, Strange, Wondrous, Frightening, Avant Black Metal:
Fauna - "The Hunt"
Blood of the Black Owl - "A Banishing RItual"
Trist - "Hin Fort"
Thalldom - "A Shaman Steering the Vessel of Vastness"
Negura Bunget - "'N Crugu Bradului"
Just a couple notes about each of the three groups of music. Firstly, these are very specific lists made in response to very specific queries about the extreme artistic fringes of music. In group #1, you will find a complete absence of anything you could rock out or head bang to. They are the slowest, most ambient, atmospheric of an already slow genre. The bands can get huge and overwhelming, but never with riffs (ala Electric Wizard). Grouping #2 is in response to the vastly overwhelming amount of complete crap that occurs when you mix metal and folk instrumentation (I'm looking at you Eluvite). They are extremely artistically serious bands who happen to incorporate some traditional melodies and/or instruments. The music is not by any stretch light or ironic. For list #3, all rules are void. Yes, technically they are all "black metal" band but these are bands know no boundaries. You are likely to get a serious mind-fuck out of listening to them. They are the bands that I go to when I need really serious artistic inspiration. Bands that scorch everything else from your mind. All they share in common is that you have to approach the whole album as the piece and you need patience and many listens to start to find the idiosyncratic nuances buried within.