Gorguts - Colored Sands
Likewise, on Colored Sands, Gorguts present a death metal album quite unlike any that have come before it. It's a work of astounding depth and craftsmanship, taking preconceived notions of prog, tech, and brutal death and throwing them out the window to attain a unique and mature vision of the genre that will stand as a high water mark for years to come. I'm not going to pretend I'm any closer to fully understanding Gorguts, but I've never been so at peace with befuddlement.
Highlights: An Ocean of Wisdom, Enemies of Compassion, Absconders
Deicide - In the Minds of Evil
Highlights: Beyond Salvation, Even the Gods Can Bleed, Kill The Light of Christ
Dark Tranquillity - Construct
Highlights: Endtime Hearts, Uniformity, Immemorial
Ulcerate - Vermis
Highlights: Vermis, Weight of Emptiness, The Imperious Weak
Cult of Luna - Vertikal
Highlights: I: The Weapon, Vicarious Redemption, Synchronicity
Necrophobic - Womb of Lilithu
Highlights: Astaroth, Furfur, The Necromancer
Demonical - Darkness UnboundNWOOSDM, and few recent albums seemed to interest me. Luckily, Demonical reappeared to remind me why I loved the style so much. Driven by hooks and a blackened strain of melody, Darkness Unbounds wisely makes sure the Riff holds more importance than any distortion pedal. With no clear successor to Dismember in sight and their peers overly comfortable with wallowing in old school pandering, Demonical deserve to rise to the top of the heap.
Highlights: Healing Control, Contempt and Conquest, Hellfire Empire
deafheaven - Sunbatherto Pitchfork types, but don't hold that against them. Mixing shoegaze with black metal is not exactly new, but where deafheaven really shine is the way they use those elements to create atmosphere. Like the best black metal albums, Sunbather takes you on a journey, one with unexpected twists and turns.
Highlights: Sunbather, Vertigo, The Pecan Tree
Sepultura - The Mediator Between Head and Hands
Must Be the Heart
Highlights: The Vatican, Obsessed, The Age Of The Atheist
Sabazius - The Descent of Manmore than once. No other extreme metal band strove to challenge the status quo and top their past accomplishments like Sabazius. At over 11 hours long, The Descent of Man is less about catharsis and more like an endurance test, taking doom and drone to misanthropic, mind numbing depths. Part performance piece, part musical prank, it's the apex for slow and heavy music. For now.
Highlights: Cranking the volume to make your neigbours think they have tinnitus. Causing music critics to rethink their profession. Listening to the whole thing in one sitting and emerging from the other side with your sanity intact.