True Widow - Circumambulation cover

40. True Widow – Circumambulation

To be honest, I’m not completely sure how to describe this album. It has a pretty unique sound, especially for being on a major metal label. Its main ingredient is an incredibly fuzzy, doomy guitar tone, but stylistically it sounds like some kind of ’90s alternative/indie rock. Regardless of the description, this is a great chill out record.



Black Star Riders

39. Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose

This album is more of a hard rock record than anything, but I love it. It features Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and a few of the guys that toured as Thin Lizzy over the last few years. It’s super catchy, memorable rock n’ roll done perfect.




Batillus - Concrete Sustain cover

38. Batillus – Concrete Sustain

On their last album, Batillus churned out pretty awesome slow, sludgy doom. On Concrete Sustain, however, they shortened up the songs and made them a lot more accessible and with a ton more groove. This could easily serve as the soundtrack to a




October Tide - Tunnel Of No Light cover

37. October Tide – Tunnel Of No Light

This is European doom metal done correctly. Not too melodic, not too sludgy. Thanks to ex-members of Katatonia, these dudes know how to bring the bummer just right.




Nails - Abandon All Life artwork

36. Nails – Abandon All Life


I feel like Nails is one of the most underrated bands in underground music. One reason is because they are difficult to compartmentalize into one genre, due to their ability to perfectly execute thrash, doom, death, black metal and hardcore.




35. Suffocation – Pinnacle Of Bedlam

Pinnacle Of Bedlam is a pretty simple album. It features one of the best death metal bands in the game doing exactly what they do best. Making the most brutal, genital-smashing death metal possible.




Kylesa - Ultraviolet cover

34. Kylesa – Ultraviolet

Kylesa is a band that never ever seems to stop tweaking their sound. On Ultraviolet, they’ve managed to take it to a completely different level, one that’s soaked in psychedelia, but also features tons of the bone-crushing riffs that they’ve been known for.




Jucifer - За Волгой для нас земли нет cover

33. Jucifer – За Волгой для нас земли нет

If you’ve ever seen Jucifer live, then you have a pretty good idea of what they’re capable of, even if you can barely hear anymore. On their new record that’s conceptually based on the Russian battle of Stalingrad, they have taken their sound to incredible new and louder than ever heights. There aren’t many bands on the planet that do doom metal quite like this amazing husband and wife duo.


Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum cover

32. Church Of Misery – Thy Kingdom Scum

Jap Sabbath has done it again! I’m not sure this album will be as memorable as House Of The Unholy in hindisght, but it’s definitely a fantastic showcase of their talent. Few bands do the stoner metal/rock sound better than these guys.




Intronaut - Habitual Levitations cover

31. Intronaut – Habitual Levitations

Musically, Intronaut have upped the ante in terms of technicality of their music, but thanks to the newfound clean-singing throughout the album, they’ve elevated their sound to a different plane completely.




Toxic Holocaust - Chemistry of Consciousness cover

30. Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry Of Consciousness

I’m not sure why, but for some reason I just never liked this band…until now. There was something about their past albums that just didn’t interest me at all, so I was skeptical at best about Chemistry of Consciousness. After giving this album a few spins, I’m very glad I did, because it is definitely one of the best thrash albums I’ve heard all year. Something about the way they mix in elements of black metal and crust punk/hardcore with gut-churning thrash metal makes this the perfect soundtrack to a night of heavy drinking and debauchery.

Orchid - The Mouths of Madness cover

29. Orchid – Mouths Of Madness

The first time I heard this album, I wrote it off as Black Sabbath tribute tomfoolery. Boy was I stupid. Though they do have a heavy dose of Sabbath influence in their sound, this album is definitely a finely tuned, rock n’ roll killing machine. The tone from the title track alone is said to have caused six volcanic eruptions alone on the day it was laid to tape.



Red Fang - Whales And Leeches cover

28. Red Fang – Whales and Leeches

On their last album Murder The Mountains, these Portland, Or rock n’ roll warriors showed a lot of incredible potential. On their sophomore release for Relapse, they have taken that potential and really made it come out in spades. This record is an absolute monster. It perfectly showcases their talented style of rock n’ roll fury, but mixed in a very steady punk rock influence to give it a much more unique vibe that absolutely kills.

Cover of Issue #5! Get it here.

Lost Society - Fast Loud Death cover

27. Lost Society – Fast Loud Death

Easily one of the best thrash albums of the year. Even though the members of Lost Society are all in their teens, they still crank out thrash that’s incredibly reminiscent of much older bands New York thrash bands like Nuclear Assault, Overkill and old school Anthrax.




The Dillinger Escape Plan - One Of Us Is The Killer cover

26. Dillinger Escape Plan – One Of Us Is The Killer

This definitely seems like it’s their fastest album in a while. When it gets heavy, it gets HEAVY and even when they try to be weird and quirky, it never loses sight of the goal.

Cover of Issue #2. Get it here.



Anciients - Heart Of Oak cover

25. Anciients – Heart Of Oak

These guys have mastered the art of manuevering through different styles of metal without really losing focus. There are a lot of styles at play on this album, but the most obvious are black metal and sludgey, Mastodon-esque rock n’ roll.




Coliseum - Sister Faith artwork

24. Coliseum – Sister Faith

They upped the punk-quotient on this album and gave it a gothier feel. Feels like the record Ryan Patterson has wanted to make his entire career.





ASG-Blood-Drive artwork23. ASG – Blood Drive

This is a record that caught me completely off guard. They managed to make the perfect mashup of incredibly heavy hard rock riffs, with gorgeous, catchy melodies that stay stuck in your head all day. A lot of bands these days are trying their hand at playing old school, bluesy rock n’ roll, but very few manage to conjure up the same passion and fury of these North Carolina veterans.



Hypocrisy - End of Disclosure cover

22. Hypocrisy – End Of Disclosure

Peter Tagtgren’s voice is one of my favorite heavy metal voices of all time. On Disclosure, they have once again released a rock solid collection of bludgeoning Swedish Death Metal full of both impossibly heavy riffs, as well as sugary sweet choruses and melodies.




Iron Tongue - The Dogs Have Barked The Birds Have Flown cover

21. Iron Tongue – The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown

These folks from Little Rock, AR clearly understand the art of slow, doomy, depressing classic rock. They feature Rwake vocalist C.T. whose vocals aren’t screamed, but they are just as depressing and violent. The combination of C.T’s amazing vocals with perfectly executed, old school hard rock definitely makes for one of the more interesting hard rock albums you’ll hear all year.

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  1. I dont know half of these bands but you left off HUNTRESS!!!! with star bound beast fantastic album you scum over looked!

  2. Wow you must not have heard the newest shade empire album omega arcane. I have that my album of the year hands down and it’s not even in the top 100! Listen to it it’s an absolute masterpiece

    • Clutch,Vista Chino,Queens of the Stone Age,Coliseum,Palms,Mutoid Man,Kadavar,KEN Mode,Doomriders,True Widow,Black Star Riders,Kylesa,Intronaut,Orchid,Red Fang, and ASG are all pretty much rock bands.

  3. I didn’t see the parallax II by between the buried and me! Cmon man!

  4. Wow.No Deafheaven,Kvelertak,Pelican,Whores,Beastwars,Bovine,Tsar Bomba,Grandfather,Beastmilk,Melvins,Tomahawk,Anacondas,Kongh,Zozobra,Tidal Arms,Lumbar,Black Thai,Big Business,Pissed Jeans,Kings Destroy,California X,Big Jesus or Gozu?

    • Sadly I didn’t get to hear the new Pelican, Beastmilk, Big Business or Kings Destroy albums in time, otherwise they would have been on the list for sure. also, Kvelertak, Whores, Kongh and Zozobra were very close to making the list.

  5. Damn good list. This year I just started to listen to doom/sludge/stoner stuff.

  6. Hello, Black Sabbath not in the top 100? Saxon, Argus, Procession, Dream Death, Manilla Road, Cardinals Folly, Asomvel, Satan, Hell.

    • Both good albums, but I’d bet money this writer hasn’t considered either, as they’re both mostly considered punk/hardcore, which are pathetically represented in this list. In other words, TA and MLIW have 100% too little death metal to even be mentioned. Ridiculous.

  7. Chemikillibrium Reply

    There is a glaring gaping black hole chasm where PRONG should appear… How in the f**k this mighty force of brilliant sonic exploratory surgery could be omitted is incomprehensible… Correct this folly forthwith.

  8. The ability of this list to focus on only a tiny sliver of the “rock” and “metal” genres while claiming to be anything resembling an all-encompassing list is absolutely mind-blowing.
    There are maybe a half-dozen hard rock albums on here, and essentially zero representation of punk, which clearly falls under the rock/metal umbrella as well- not to mention literally nothing in softer/indie rock, which believe it or not is also considered “rock” by most standards. Absurd. Maybe broaden your horizons if you’re gonna make this kind of list, or just make a list of only ” death metal” albums?

  9. It’s a good list, but there are many of the above which wouldn’t be on my list at all. Kvelertak, Bovine, Deafheaven, Steak number eight, all would have taken the flag from Kylesa in my honest opinion. and where is Sabbath?! :)

  10. Not a metal rock mentioned but death metal thrashhardcore. Check out great metal rock bands out there and listen to their screams and howls.

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