05) Slipknot, We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner)
Slipknot always knows how to tickle my fancy with each release. Particularly for this record, “Critical Darling” and “Solway Firth” are the next level. “Solway Firth” is one of their heaviest songs in years and it’s so dark and brooding, whereas “Critical Darling” has the best chorus. Even though this album has a lot of interlude tracks, the core songs are top notch earning this record in the top 5 of the year.
Key Track: “Solway Firth”
04) Hath, Of Rot and Ruin (Willowtip)
Coming in hawt at #4 are the dudes in Hath. This album was on constant repeat for most of the year and gave a breath of fresh air to the metal realm. Being a huge fan of the pre-Watershed years, the blend of technical death metal and Opeth is what got me off each and every time. With songs like “Usurpation,” “Currents,” and “Accursed” you would think this band was around for decades being the top band in their scene. Of Rot and Ruin will melt your face on the first listen. Shout out to AJ Vianna for the amazing production.
Key Track: “Usurpation”
03) Killswitch Engage, Atonement (Metal Blade)
Atonement was probably this year’s most anticipated album for me, as Killswitch Engage are incapable of making a bad record. This album incorporates everything you love about the band; the catchy hooks, powerful choruses, and the implementation of thrash and hardcore. Ex-vocalist Howard Jones also made an appearance making this album even better. I also wrote a full review for this, which can be read here.
Key Track: “The Signal Fire”
02) Norma Jean, All Hail (Solid State)
When Polar Similar was released back in 2016, I didn’t think Norma Jean could ever top that record. Lo and behold, All Hail was released and proved me wrong. The strongest attribute of this release is Cory Brandan’s droning, chanting vocal melodies. It adds another layer of emotion that the music compliments so well. You can read my full review here.
Key Track: “Landslide Defeater”