Nick Desimone (in no particular order)
Toothgrinder – Nocturnal Masquerade
Their 2014 EP was a joy, and this continues the band’s maturation into a premiere act. A rare case where I can honestly say that every time I see them (and that’s as much as humanly possible) they get exponentially better.
Silver Snakes, Saboteur (300 Entertainment)
This is a great development for a band that was already doing a great job as a Failure-esque 90’s throwback band, incorporating their love of bands like Godflesh into industrial grind and absurdly low-tuned guitars. “Devotion” is one of my favorite songs of the year.
Wonderfully 80’s. 8-string chunk, Rocky training montage synths, Dream Theater-worthy prog, it’s all here. “Earthrise” is absolute perfection.
Gojira, Magma (Roadrunner)
There’s no “Toxic Garbage Island” on this, but the meditative, atmospheric direction Gojira took on this album is just as effective. Hearing it in the studio they built only drove that home for me as someone who analyzes the lyrical and emotional content of records. This was a grower for sure, but every listen solidifies its place in the stellar Gojira catalog for me.
Church of Misery, And Then There Were None (Rise Above Records)
I go through phases with doom and stoner music in general – I think right now I’m out of love with it, but this album wins major points for the serial killer themes, great production, and one of the scariest guitar tones I’ve ever heard. Really well-done.