One album is epic Viking metal at its best (and arguably that particular band’s best album from a production standpoint), while the other is groove metal at its best. Both are packed with killer riffs, extreme aggressions, and plain out awesome metal anthems. Thus, to pick between Amon Amarth and Devildriver’s latest offerings proved to be too hard of a choice for me to make. Both are equally worthy of praise, and made deciding my top ten the most difficult of all.
Key track (for Deceiver Of The Gods): “Father Of The Wolf”
Key track (for Winter Kills): “The Appetite”
9) Skeletonwitch, Serpents Unleashed (Prosthetic)
It’s somewhat of a struggle to explain in lengthy detail why Skeletonwitch is so goddamn amazing. At its core, there’s a formula being used that’s not exactly a new marvel to fans of melodic death and black metal fans. So what makes Skeletonwitch so special? Well to simply put it, they execute this simple yet poignant recipe to perfection and better than almost every other active band at this moment. And Serpents Unleashed is proof of this, injecting melodic hooks into in your face thrash riffs and satanic growls to flawlessness. In a scene where so many bands start to blend together, Skeletonwitch once again separates themselves from the herd as one of the best of the new crops.
Key track: “I Am Of Death (Hell Has Arrived)”
8) Death Angel, The Dream Calls For Blood (Nuclear Blast)
I’ve always considered Death Angel to be one of the most underrated bands to come out of the 80’s thrash scene. 2010’s Relentless Retribution first solidified my notion, and now The Dream Calls For Blood provides further support. Mark Osegueda’s vocals are still in top notch, and Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar’s riffs and solos are heavier than ever. But let’s give credit to their most recent additions, bassist Damien Sisson and drummer Will Carroll, for helping the band create what may be their most aggressive album since the landmark debut The Ultra-Violence. Yet somehow despite its brutal thrash elements, The Dream Calls For Blood still finds a way to be so goddamn melodic, making this album truly top notch.
Key track: “Fallen”