1) Muscle and Marrow, The Human Cry
It may seem somewhat odd that the top album on this list would be the debut from an independent band signed to a smaller indie label over all the metal heavyweights that populate this list, especially being Muscle and Marrow lives on the outer fringes of the metal world. But that should tell you how much this album affected me upon multiple listens. One part doom metal melange and one part occult ritual, Portland’s Muscle and Marrow are as much a dark sonic experience as they are a metal band. With harrowed female vocals akin to Jarboe or Diamanda Galas, coupled with sparse yet heavy guitar work, this album is a truly exceptional journey through the darkened recesses of the musical world.
Key Track: “Surround the Fire”
Encoffination, III: Hear Me, O’ Death
Indian, From All Purity
Pallbearer, Foundations of Burden
Secret Cutter, Self Titled
Torch Runner, Endless Nothing