The Best Albums of 2019, #3

3. Opeth, In Cauda Venenum (Nuclear Blast) When Opeth decided to eschew the extreme metal element of their sound after 2008’s Watershed in favor of a more progressive rock-oriented approach, it angered a lot of their obsessive fans. Ten years and four albums later, those fans are still whining that Mikael Åkerfeldt doesn’t growl his […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #4

4. Tool, Fear Inoculum (Tool Dissectional) Back in 2006, a veritable lifetime ago, I reviewed Tool’s sixth album. I wasn’t overly fond of, if I can recall. Coming five years after the triumphant Lateralus, 10,000 Days had its great moments but I found it far too drawn out, too meandering to warrant a full recommendation, […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #9

9. Voivod, The Wake (Century Media) Like Judas Priest, it’s not as if I ever needed Voivod to make another classic album again. Their most fruitful years – 1986 through 1993 – yielded some of the most innovative heavy metal music ever created, and in the years after the death of cornerstone guitarist Denis “Piggy” […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #3

                      3. Pallbearer, Heartless (Profound Lore) I’m tempted to just come out and grandiosely declare Pallbearer the best American metal band of the 2010s. And five years ago I never thought I’d ever say that about this band. Contrary to the curmudgeons who grumble pathetically, […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #6

                    6. Spirit Adrift, Curse of Conception (20 Buck Spin) A strong sense of history informs Spirit Adrift’s revelatory second album, whose sublime melodies echo King Crimson’s Red, the classic doom of Trouble, the more melancholy side of Metallica, and Judas Priest’s masterpiece Stained Class. Where […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #20

  20. Enslaved, E (Nuclear Blast) The three metal artists that had the biggest influence on me personally over the last 20 years are Opeth, Meshuggah, and Enslaved. All three have one key characteristic in common (okay, two): a constant hunger for musical growth and progression, as well as an artistic vision that is completely […]

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