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Top 25 Metal Albums of the 2010s

on November 08, 2019, 1:33pm
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15. Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind (2019)

Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind

We Are Not Your Kind is easily the most creative and thrilling work Slipknot have released since Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses. With various lineup changes over the past few years, Slipknot have unleashed a brilliant delivery of emotional madness. From creepy jaunts to minimal atmospheres to brutal onslaughts of guitar thrashing and guttural screaming, Slipknot embrace chaos. While standing on its own as a unique work, We Are Not Your Kind also feels like an homage to the band’s history; in each track, one can pick up on various elements that have been utilized in their previous records. As the band’s sixth studio record, We Are Not Your Kind is a representation of how far Slipknot have come. —Michael Pementel

14. Judas Priest, Firepower (2018)

Judas Priest - Firepower

Judas Priest earned their legendary status decades ago, but instead of resting on their laurels, the band delivered one of their strongest albums to date in 2018. On the band’s 18th studio LP, Firepower, the metal icons serve up a powerful, raging blend of sharp riffs, thundering rhythms, and Rob Halford’s instantly identifiable vocals. Firepower is the kind of album that is created for, and by, people who simply adore metal, with each song presenting a different round of a musical arsenal. “Lightning Strike”, “Children of the Sun”, and the album’s title track are must-listens and among Priest’s best all-time songs. Firepower is a metal tour de force that is as classic as it is modern, proving that Judas Priest are as vital as ever 50 years into a celebrated career. –Anne Erickson

13. Deftones – Koi No Yokan (2012)

Deftones - Koi No Yokan

Deftones’ passionate Koi No Yokan combined the romanticism and atmospheres of 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist with the textural guitar-work Stephen Carpenter had begun to employ on Deftones’ unreleased 2008 album, Eros, and 2010’s Diamond Eyes. Around this time, Chino Moreno was also working with post-metal supergroup Palms, and some of their lush, spacious sounds may have rubbed off on his songwriting for the album. Songs like “Leathers” and “Tempest” swirl with a dream-like atmosphere that’s erotic and undoubtedly heavy. No band makes sexier metal than Deftones, and Koi No Yokan might be their sexiest effort. The album is obsessed with the spirituality of relationships, taking its title from a Japanese phrase that means “premonition of love.” —Jon Hadusek

12. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind (2012)

Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Eleven years after the release of the heavily acclaimed Jane Doe, Converge would release the poetic and devastating All We Love We Leave Behind. The Massachusetts metalcore band have always provided emotion through hectic delivery; on their eighth studio record, Converge offer a collection of moving cuts, each exuding feeling and ferocity. All We Love We Leave Behind contains sporadic and slamming instrumentation, vocals screaming, and sharing intimate tales; all these elements come together to create the record’s melancholy air. In all its aggression, however, the record is a heartfelt experience. Converge are masters of capturing and presenting emotion through all facets of their band, and All We Love We Leave Behind is a phenomenal display of chaotic poetry. —Michael Pementel

11. Baroness – Gold & Grey (2019)

Baroness - Gold & Grey

Gold & Grey is the first Baroness album to feature guitarist Gina Gleason and saw the band once again expanding their palette of melodic heavy rock. It’s perhaps the most emotive and romantic album in the band’s discography, connected by interludes and atmospheric transitions that beckon the listener into the autumnal world depicted on the cover. Frontman John Baizley’s soaring melodies are complimented by Gleason’s backing vocals, adding a new facet to Baroness’ sonic repertoire. It’s not really accurate to label them as a “metal band” anymore. Just as Baroness changed course on 2012’s Yellow & Green — their previous dual-color album — Gold & Grey is another artistic pivot toward creative freedom, far from the restrictive tones of their sludge metal past. —Jon Hadusek

10. Mayhem – Daemon (2019)

Mayhem - Daemon

It is a wonder that the legendary band Mayhem, whose legacy is rife with controversy, are still alive, let alone still releasing kick-ass albums like Daemon. Bassist Necrobutcher, who is the only founding member left in the band, is joined by fellow classic members Attila Csihar on vocals, and Hellhammer on drums, along with guitarists Ghul and Teloch. With a creepy atmospheric sound that only they can create, Daemon is brimming with the galloping rhythms and tremolo picking that defined the signature Norwegian black metal sound Mayhem helped create. Tracks like the symphony of evil “Falsified and Hated” and the searing bonus track “Black Glass Communion” solidify Mayhem’s legacy as a band that is worthy of the hype that surrounds them. Daemon is a perfect blend of the newer style on albums like Ordo ad Chao and the classic sound of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, with slightly better production. –Colette Claire

09. Gorguts – Colored Sands (2013)

Gorguts - Colored Sands

After Gorguts temporarily disbanded in 2005 following the suicide of drummer Steve McDonald, the band’s leader, Luc Lemay, disappeared into a life of woodworking. Lemay briefly joined Negativa as a guitarist for a short stint, eventually reforming Gorguts upon Negativa singer Steeve Hurdle’s suggestion. Following a lengthy contract dispute with Gorguts’ old label, Century Media, the band returned in 2013 with the masterful Colored Sands — some of the most elaborate technical death metal of their illustrious career. Far more mature than the Morbid Angel-inspired gore metal of their formative years, the compositional extremes of tracks like aptly titled “An Ocean of Wisdom” demanded virtuosity from Gorguts’ new lineup of Lemay, bassist Colin Marston, lead guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, and drummer John Longstreth. While essentially a new band, they sound like they’ve been playing together for years. —Jon Hadusek

08. Carcass – Surgical Steel (2013)

Carcass - Surgical Steel
Aptly titled as ever, the first album in nearly two decades from one of England’s finest thrash/death metal bands, Surgical Steel was as precise and clean and perfect as a scalpel removing a vital organ. Six years after Carcass had finally, gloriously reformed, they proved they had lost not a step in the interim. If anything, they’d gained a lot more strength with the inclusion of new drummer Daniel Wilding and concentrating on what they could do as a power trio. That left the room for guitarist Bill Steer to send his fleet-fingered solos slicing through each song like razor wire. And left nowhere to hide from Jeff Walker’s unholy growl and his visions of exsanguination, disembowelment, and other bloody bits of nastiness. –Robert Ham

07. Bring Me the Horizon – Sempiternal (2013)

Bring Me the Horizon - Sempiternal

Prior to going in a more pop direction on their last two albums, That’s the Spirit and amo, Bring Me the Horizon unleashed a metalcore masterpiece in 2013 with Sempiternal. In a genre that started seeing a cookie-cutter formula in crafting songs, the UK act delivered a truly unique and captivating LP that is as infectious as it is heavy. The album’s masterwork is the anthemic “Shadow Moses”, a crushing track with a sing-along chorus. Elsewhere, songs like “Go to Hell, For Heaven’s Sake”, “Sleepwalking”, and “Can You Feel My Heart” impacted rock radio, evoking vibes of Linkin Park and Deftones. Sempiternal brought Bring Me the Horizon to new heights, and deservedly so. It’s a crowning achievement for a band that continues to evolve musically. —Spencer Kaufman

06. YOB – Our Raw Heart (2018)

YOB - Our Raw Heart

While struggling with a serious heart issue, YOB singer-guitarist Mike Scheidt was able create what would become Our Raw Heart. As the doom metal act’s eighth studio LP, Our Raw Heart is a captivating delivery of somber emotion and grit. Along with heavy distortion comes melancholy strings and vocals, all woven together to create a tapestry of majestic sound. Unlike other doom acts that solely rely on dense distortion, however, YOB present a thrilling experience throughout Our Raw Heart; touches of melody elevate the music’s aggression, adding an ethereal pain to each composition. Even though this is a very personal record for Scheidt, Our Raw Heart is a work capable of exuding profound emotion to all who listen. —Michael Pementel

Click ahead to see the very best of our Top 25 Metal Albums of the 2010s…

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