7) Messa, Belfry (Aural Music)
Sitting much more on the classic end of the doom spectrum, this album came out of nowhere from a new Italian band on the scene. Full of atmosphere and dark occult vibes, this record is a must for old-school fans.
Track Pick: “Babalon”
6) Spirit Adrift, Chained to Oblivion (Prosthetic)
Obviously it was a banner year for doom, and this one-man debut album continues that trend for this list. Strong stoner grooves and psychedelic wanderings make this a solid release.
Track Pick: “Form and Force”
5) Hyperion, Seraphical Euphony (Black Lion Records)
Symphonic black metal hasn’t been had much in the way of exciting releases in the past few years, especially with genre forerunners Dimmu Borgir being largely inactive. Luckily, these newcomers came along with a platter of tight, blistering tracks of melodic brutality.
Track Pick: “Novus Ordo Seclorum”
4) Oracles, Myserycorde (Deadlight Entertainment)
Again, only technically a debut since this is largely just a new and reshuffled version of System Divide, but when you’ve got members of that band, Aborted, and Abigail Williams playing together you know there’s going to be some killer music. Think Lacuna Coil for grown-ups.
Track Pick: “Catabolic (I am)”