Slipknot’s first album in six years landed high on two contributors’ list. It’s an album made during a tremulous time for the band (being their first since the death of Paul Gray and the split with Joey Jordison). Yet Slipknot overcame the odds, and made an album that Zach went as far to declare as their strongest material in years. “Upon seeing the gimmickry of Slipknot and their organized chaos in 1999, it would be hard to imagine they’d still be around 15 years later. That they are, and that they’ve made such a solid album speaks to their success,” stated Bram.
“Let’s get this out of the way: War Eternal is Arch Enemy’s best record since Wages of Sin, and if you disagree, I will fight you,” Kodi boldly claims about Arch Enemy’s latest effort, which snuck its way onto three contributor’s lists. Even Chris agrees with Kodi, noting how “In a somewhat ironic twist, War Eternal takes me back to the days of [Angela] Gossow’s first album with Arch Enemy.” Ironic indeed, since War Eternal marked the band’s first album with new singer Alissa White-Gluz, whose “vocal performance is delightful in its ferocity,” as Chris puts it. However, let’s not forget Michael Amott, who Zach says once again proves he’s a “genius at crafting brutal yet melodic riffs” with War Eternal.
Even though Opeth continued to steer away from its death metal roots on Pale Communion, the album found itself on three contributors’ lists and earned two honorable mentions. “This is the only album on this list that I listened to three times in one day,” admitted Matt. “The album is so meticulously crafted with beautiful melodies and passages that are both dark and strange yet somehow charming.” Chris further claimed that “Over time, I’ve found myself shifting away from recalling the brutal masterpieces on Deliverance or Ghost Reveries, and instead humming the equally-memorable melodies of Pale Communion to myself. It’s a surprising departure, but I’ve learned to welcome it.”