05) Every Time I Die, Radical (Epitaph)

Twenty-plus years into their career, ETID seems to be getting more popular with every release. That’s how things are supposed to work, but they wouldn’t unless each album continued to get better. This 16-track album is full of bangers like “Planet Shit” that are as furious, if not more so, than anything the band’s done. Then they throw a melodic song like “Thing With Feathers” that shows they still have plenty of innovation left. Hopefully, they can patch things up on a personal level since it feels like they’re just starting to hit their stride. 

Key Track: “Planet Shit” 


04) Turnstile, Glow On (Roadrunner)

Is this metal? Not by the textbook definition, no. However, it’s a damn catchy album from a band that has been viewed as hardcore. Before this album, I compared the band to a throwback to ‘90s bands like Quicksand, where it was the first time that metalheads and hardcore kids came together without wanting to beat each other up in the pit. And while I don’t live 311 and the Offspring so much, these guys play with such enthusiasm while referencing the aforementioned bands that there’s going to be a whole new contingency of heavy music fans that get turned on to guitar-based bands because of the infectiousness of this album. 

Key Track: “Holiday” 


03) Genghis Tron, Dream Weapon (Relapse)

I liked Genghis Tron’s first two albums, but not enough for me to lament when they went on hiatus in 2010. Back after 11 years, I’m not sure I had any expectations whatsoever from them. However, the combination of their first non-drum machine drummer and working with Kurt Ballou made for their first album of theirs that I loved. Truly unique, melodic, and psychedelic; I’m not sure there’s an album I listened to more this year. Key Track: “Ritual Circle” 


02) Converge/Chelsea Wolfe, Bloodmoon I (Epitaph)

Converge have been pushing against the constraints of the sound that they pretty much invented 25 years ago. Usually, that’s in the form of a song or two on each of their recent albums that sound nothing like the furious hardcore on the rest of it. However, they’ve truly outdone themselves by recording with singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe and Cave In/Mutoid Man singer/guitarist Stephen Brodsky. The trinity of artists pushes themselves in different directions than any before. Songs like “Coil” are hauntingly beautiful, and “Scorpion’s Sting” wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nick Cave album. 

Key Track: “Coil”