Voivod – The Wake
The kings of progressive thrash are back with a killer album which evokes the extraterrestrial chaos of their essential albums, Killing Technology and Nothingface.
Clutch – Book of Bad Decisions
The boys returned with a firebrand of rock and roll might, going from metal to psychedelic funk and nearly everywhere in between, and doing it with a style and grace and power that only they can. A true contender for Album of the Year.
Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind of Horror
“A New Kind of Horror” is just as the name suggests, Anaal Nathrakh is destruction in musical form and this album is no exception! It’s got everything, horrid screams, war sounds, raging guitars, and a choir to make this musical representation of pain even more intense.
Empty – Vacio
Well crafted evocations of desolation and despair. Do yourself a favor and give it a spin.
Psychotomy – Aphotik
Dark and low end death metal that handles speed as well as they do doomier segments. Likely to end up in my top releases for this year.
MaYan – Dhyana
I was not expecting this album to be as good as it is. Incredibly epic, delightful complicated, and all together well written. Mark Jansen continues to impress me with his songwriting ability.
Dödsrit – Spirit Crusher
Everything crusty black metal should be. Dödsrit from Sweden deliver no frills, to the point black metal with long cuts and a satisfyingly dark production.
Krisiun – Scourge of the Enthroned
The Kolesne brothers deliver straight forward Death Metal that crushes everything in its path.
Revocation – The Outer Ones
A brilliant blend of soul crushing groove, and epic technicality. Revocation are amongst the best of tech death and have an unmistakable sound.
Pig Destroyer – Head Cage
I’ve been a huge PxDx fan since middle school and while this record is a departure from the harsher side, it’s still Grindy and groovy with the punishing psychotic lyricism and musicianship I’ve come to expect as a fan of theirs. The features on the album are amazing as well with Kat from agoraphobic nosebleed being my favorite.
Horrendous – Idol
Horrendous have done it again. Old school death metal with a twist of Death and Atheist prog thrown in. This record has some of their best guitar and bass work to date.
Irreversible Mechanism – Immersion
Immersion is finely crafted and benefits from a beautiful and unique musical clarity.
North of South – New Latitudes
I’m a sucker for prog and quick-changing song structures so this was an easy pick. The fact this was written by a single person makes it even better.
Cauldron – New Gods
Traditional heavy metal from Canada. Maybe a bit too much of a glam approach on this one. It could be faster and more aggressive, but the hooks are catchy as hell and the overall songwriting is awesome.
“The demo was better.”