This year’s top 10 looks a lot different that I’d expected it would a year ago, with long-time-coming albums from several classic bands and supergroups failing to impress, and various Baltimore-area records not making it out by press time. Still, there was plenty to take in this year: sludge vets Thou’s “Heathen” finally bringing the Louisiana band broader critical attention after years of quality and hard work; excellent records from local fixtures Misery Index and Old Lines; and the surprise “return” of Portland-via-Baltimore’s Nux Vomica, a band I hadn’t thought about in years. While this list has some pretty classically “metal” entries, this year marked the release of a slew of more experimental records that almost made this list, Pharmakon’s sophomore effort being the one that caught my ear the most.
Disclaimer: I’ve taken photos for a bunch of the bands listed on here, but they would’ve been on here anyway, because these records are sick. Not to mention all the ones I did photos for that didn’t make the list.
- Thou, “Heathen” (Gilead Media /Vendetta/Howling Mine)
- Horrendous, “Ecdysis” (Dark Descent Records)
- Behemoth, “The Satanist” (Nuclear Blast)
- Pharmakon, “Bestial Burden” (Sacred Bones)
- Blut Aus Nord, “Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry” (Debemur Morti)
- Dead Congregation, “Promulgation of the Fall” (Profound Lore)
- Misery Index, “The Killing Gods” (Seasons of Mist)
- Old Lines, “No Child Left Behind” (No Sleep Records)
- Nux Vomica, “Nux Vomica” (Relapse Records)
- Eyehategod, “Eyehategod” (Housecore)