7) All Them Witches, Lightning At The Door (New West)
Lightning At The Door is the 3rd album in two years from All Them Witches, who already have another album due out at the end of February. However their music never feels rushed or slapped together – these are complete thoughts with well defined themes. This is blues-infused metal with a penchant for fable storytelling it feels like a melancholy Graveyard album.
Track Pick: “Swallowed By The Sea”
6) Cough, Still They Pray (Relapse)
I listed to a lot more drone metal this year than I ever have, I don’t know if that is a good sign or a bad sign for my mental state. Cough kept me warm at my desk during my day job better than any sweater could. This is an album that feels close to you, so close it almost suffocates you.
Track Pick: “Masters of Torture”
5) Bossk, Audio Noir (Deathwish)
Bossk isn’t afraid to go quiet or to linger for a while in some ambient atmosphere. They create lush tonal environments only to subsequently destroy them like a vengeful god. This is a really sophisticated genre-bending release. Tracks like Kobe lure you in (or perhaps dissuade you, depending on your tastes) with lush almost Explosions In The Sky instrumentations only to reach down your throat and yank your breath away.
Track Pick: “Atom Smasher”