7. Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph)
Album number 8 by Converge made it onto two of our contributors’ top ten lists, while also being given an “honorable mention” by one contributor. Converge rarely disappoint, having become one of the most respected groups blending metal and hardcore with 2001′s Jane Doe and 2009’s Axe To Fall. So naturally Converge once again hit it out of the ballpark with All We Love We Leave Behind. “It’s almost boring to nominate Converge, since they’re pretty much an automatic entry whenever they put something out,” declares Bram.
6. The Faceless, Autotheism (Sumerian)
Like Converge, two contributors named Autotheism in their top ten and one named it as an “honorable mention.” However, it was Matt who ranked The Faceless’ third album #1 on his list, stating he was “blown away at first listen and it only gets better the more I spin it.” And Matt wasn’t the only one impressed by Michael Keene and the tech-death metal group. As Kodi puts it, “Keene’s singular focus catapulted The Faceless from a pretty good technical death act to standing at the forefront of progressive (and still technical) death metal.”
5. Royal Thunder, CVI (Relapse)
Four contributors included Royal Thunder’s first full-length in their top ten lists. Mixing heavy rock with Mlny Parsonz’s soulful voice (imagine Black Sabbath fronted by Janis Joplin), it’s hard not to fall in love with the Savannah, GA quartet. Chip made a point to note that “Every review I’ve ever read about this band talks about their Southern roots and how that has affected them musically. But if you come in thinking this is just another Southern sludge album you are going to be disappointed…or pleasantly surprised.”