2006 was an extremely tough year to judge, with a bumper crop of outstanding releases fighting to land at the top of the heap. A pleasure particularly worth noting was Theatre of Tragedy's Storm; it seems that any worries about the band's future without Liv Kristine have been laid to rest, as new vocalist Nell Sigland proved that she was up to the task of carrying on the group's legacy of breathtaking singing. At the same time, Liv Kristine turned in a noteworthy performance of her own. Gary Zon gets high marks for creating the best album of the year, Dismantled's Standard Issue, while slapping the entire darktronica scene in the face. Mesh gets my vote for producing the best song of the year, the irresistibly catchy "Crash."
Despite the strong year for darktronica, my two favorite albums of 2006 were from artists not covered here: Audition by rapper P.O.S., and Summoning's post-black metal opus Oath Bound.