10. Ne Obliviscaris, Portal of I (Aural Music)
The Australian group’s debut full-length made it onto two of our contributors’ top ten lists. In fact, Daniel claims Portal of I (ranking #1 on his list) has become one of his favorites of all time. As Kodi explains, “picture Alcest playing tech-death, or old-school Opeth with more violin (yes violin).” But of course, we wouldn’t expect anything less than great from the group, whose guitarists Benjamin Baret and Matt Klavins rightfully earned the 2010-2011 Metal Insider Best Unsigned International Guitarist(s) Award.
9. Borknagar, Urd (Century Media)
The black metal Norwegians made it onto two of our contributors top ten lists with their ninth studio album. Both Chris and Daniel praised co-vocalist from Vintersorg and ICS Vortex’s work on Urd, calling them an epic vocal duo in metal, Chris even went as far to declare that Urd is “the most incredible material that Borknagar has ever released, even somehow besting 1998′s The Archaic Course in terms of pure compositional brilliance.” Whether you’re familiar with Borknager’s past catalog or not, it’s safe to say that Urd will please all fans of black metal.
8. Deftones, Koi No Yokan (Reprise)
Three out of seven contributors listed Koi No Yokan in its top ten. Everyone was ecstatic to find out earlier this year that Deftones were in the studio. Could they come even close to topping 2010’s Diamond Eyes? Well according to most fans, the answer is yes. As Kodi puts it, “It’s an impressive, hypnotic feat that outdoes its predecessor Diamond Eyes, and while it doesn’t quite top the alt-metal game-changer that was White Pony, it’s the closest Deftones has gotten to that level of majesty in a very long time.”