Wrong One To Fuck With – Dying Fetus

This album is devastating. The instrumentation alone is so sharp, it feels like it can cut you. Dying Fetus have not only put out one of the best records of the year, but easily the heaviest record of the year. Their chaotic grind utterly rips with evil. The drums pummel away as the vocals go off in their iconic guttural fashion. Wrong One To Fuck With is severely heavy, capturing the essence of pure and unapologetic death metal. Not for one moment does the record ever take pause; it continues with each song to utterly annihilate the listener’s eardrums.

Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten – Carach Angren

There really isn’t any other band that pulls off horror like Carach Angren. There’s no maniac with a meat cleaver, no satanic gimmicks — just a rich, haunting tale in Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten. The album tells the story of a girl’s obsession with an Ouija board and the terrifying horrors she must face due to her choices. What the record pulls off so successfully is luring the listener into the story. Like a really good audiobook, you feel like you’re there. Like Carach Angren’s captivating live show, Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten is full of spine-tingling horrors that will make you keep your nightlight on while you try to sleep.

The Grand Annihilation – Tombs

Tombs are perhaps one of the smaller acts to make this list, but they’re on the way up, having recently signed with Metal Blade. They are easily one of the most unique bands around, and their new record The Grand Annihilation proves it. It isn’t just the blackened sludge that does the trick, but how frontman Mike Hill weaves storytelling and instrumentation into a massive aura of darkness and intrigue. The Grand Annihilation produces strong black-metal vibes: the sense of the outsider and a sense of cold, loneliness and discovery within the dark. It’s a record that pummels, it’s a record that lashes out, but it’s also a work that lingers with atmosphere and mystery.

Vengeful Ascension – Goatwhore

The NOLA boys have released one of the most unique albums of their entire discography in Vengeful Ascension. This time around, the band tread literary waters, taking direct inspiration from John Milton’s famous epic poem Paradise Lost. The poem tells the tale of Lucifer’s fall from heaven and touches on man’s sense of free will. The album roars with the classic Goatwhore sound of searing shredding and screams of rage. The material also tries some new things, tossing in a bit of blackened atmosphere, adding to the philosophical questions the music dives into.  

Unparalleled Universe – Origin

For those who love their technical death metal, Origin are where it is at. Unparalleled Universe is like a LSD trip in the middle of a mosh pit. Each cymbal clash rings like a pinball game in outer space. The album booms with metallic echoes and vibrant melodic riffs. The vocals are rich with anger and chaos, looming with an otherworldly mass. Unparalleled Universe is just a blast of technical mastery that keeps everything fresh from beginning to end. With fluid song structure and brutality, Origin are able to mesmerize listeners with some of the most speed-driven and cataclysmic metal to hit this year.

What metal records have you been listening to this year?