10. Torche: Restarter
Restarter is a massively enjoyable melange of sludge, doom, fuzz and stoner rock. Also inclusive of some actually surprisingly catchy songs, such as “Minions” and “Annihilation Affair.” This album kept me on my toes from the off.
9. Pomegranate Tiger: Boundless
For a one-man progressive metal solo project, Pomegranate Tiger is quite impressive. Martin Andres is nothing short of genius.
8: Klone: Here Comes the Sun
I can’t believe I only discovered Klone this year. Here Comes The Sun is certainly a departure from the heavy vibe of the band’s previous releases, but there’s no shortage of substance. “Immersion” is easily one of the best tracks I’ve listened to in years.
7. Shinedown: Threat to Survival
This is an odd one for me, because I’ve always found Shinedown just a little too corny. When I first heard Threat to Survival, I really didn’t like it. On the train one day, I ran out of music to listen to (believe it or not) on my iPod and decided to give it another spin. I just couldn’t help but enjoy the catchy, commercial sounds of “Asking For It” and “Cut The Cord,” This is a solid, hook-laden rock record.
6. Puscifer: Money Shot
Any music that has been created by Maynard James Keenan will make me content. Sure, this isn’t the next Tool album, but this is Keenan in all of his gloriousness with tracks filled with vocal melodies and alt-rock vibes.
5. A Dark Orbit: Inverted
Sometimes, you don’t want to listen to an album that is inclusive of the odd, slow, boring song. Sometimes, you just want to listen to music that is punishing. A Dark Orbit‘s Inverted is exactly that. It is delicious atmospheric noise metal.
4. Shining: International Blackjazz Society
Since the first time I saw Shining, I’ve been captivated. International Blackjazz Society is everything that I could ever want from the slick looking gents. It’s progressive, industrial, experimental, melodic and moody. Shine on, fellas.
3. The Great Discord: Duende
Sure, this album took a few spins before I fell in love with Duende, but I did. This is a progressive metal record that gets under the skin and makes the listener feel anything and everything from exhilarated to completely crushed. Fia Kempe is perfect, too, and she has no time for soppy vocals, that’s for sure.
2. Eschar: Nova
I only discovered Eschar this year, but Nova is just a massively enjoyable album for fans of post-rock/metal. More rock-y than metal, it is still rammed with groove and solid riffs in all of the right places without being painfully bleak-sounding like many post-rock outfits.
1. Tempel: The Moon Lit Our Path
Put simply: doom-y, instru-metal gloriousness. For just a two-piece from Arizona, Tempel‘s sound fills the room. I fell in love with The Moon Lit Our Path from the opening track and still spin the record frequently.