Greetings folks, and welcome to another year end list from the Weekly Injection guy.
This year, I didn’t intentionally lean further away from the less heavy side of the metal (and metal adjacent) world, it’s just what the heart wanted. So blame my shitty heart. So if you’d be so kind as to yell at me for all the albums you loved that I didn’t in the comments that would be rad. It would be like each week when I’m talking about new album, just on a grander scale or something?
Anyway, to the metals…
15. Descartes a Kant – Victims Of Love Propaganda
Somewhere between Amanda Palmer, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Stolen Babies, and 6:33, you will find Descartes a Kant. Th
e Mexican sextet dropped this album that is insane as it is poignant. I covered them during the Thinking Man’s Thursday run and am excited to be able to follow-up on their album here. Weird, chaotic, and proggy. My jam.
14. Dreadnought – A Wake In Sacred Waves
This band is severely underrated (I say as I list them as number 14 continuing to underrate them). They’re progressive, they’re spooky, their doom-y, and they are adventurous. This is the best album of its kind in a long, long time and I have the hardest time even comparing it to anything else. Like Agalloch with more whimsy and flutes, perhaps?
13. Without Waves – Lunar
I love me some prog. This point will be the beginning of a pretty steady trend in my list. Anyway, this band is all over the place jumping between moods, time signatures, and genres.
12. Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Her metallic qualifications are oft challenged by metal purists, but I have no places for purists (and you’re going to hate my list anyway, so you might as well jump off here). This album carries so much weight emotionally, but it’s coupled with heavy riffs and doom majesty. It’s technically an experimental album, I suppose, but she’s been experimenting with metal, and the conclusion is pretty great.
11. Caligula’s Horse – In Contact
Oh hey, more prog! This might be the band’s best album yet. The musicianship is top notch, song writing is solid, and the melodies are so damned catchy.
10. Dead Cross – Dead Cross
Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo playing their own brand of hardcore. Enough said, right? Add Michael Crain and Ryan Bergmann from Retox, who both have legit chops, and you have a perfect twenty-eight minutes that’s as weird as it is chaotic.
9. Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pacifisticuffs
Coming in under the wire, we have a long-running favorite of mine. The new DSO is easily their wildest and most diverse yet. I credit this in part to the fact that they have a new singer in Kristen Evegard, whose approach isn’t as operatic as previous female leads. It is also likely because it’s been five years since their last record, and that’s plenty of time to find new ways to go crazy in their unique blend of swing, metal, polka, and more.
8. Galactic Empire – Galactic Empire
Star Wars music, but metal.
7. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
Fans of Mastodon will forever be split, and this album was no different. I’m on the side of it being their best album since Crack The Skye. It’s what I wanted The Hunter and Once More ‘Round the Sun to be, both of which I enjoyed. I just fell in love with this one so much easier.
6. Nine Inch Nails – Add Violence
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross took a break from scoring every other movie to plop this fantastic Nine Inch Nails EP. It feels like everything NIN can be in five songs and that impressed me. I’m also mad than an EP snuck into my list, by the way. I would much rather have a full NIN record right here. Hell, if I did, it might be higher.
5. Ne Obliviscaris – Urn
I had a hunch that NeO were going to become an old faithful when I heard “Intra Venus.” The full album goes on to prove that the band is great at what they do. Still, the band felt aware that they could trap themselves in a sound that wasn’t different enough from past material. You know you have a Ne Obliviscaris album here, but it’s far from the same one as Citadel.
4. Steven Wilson – To The Bone
Read my full review gushing about this album here. TLDR version: Poppy, but prog pop. Kinda like Peter Gabriel did. Still sounds like Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree.
3. Brendon Small – Galaktikon II: Become the Storm
When it was announced that Metalocalypse was no more, I was sad for several reasons. A big reason was that there would be no more Dethklok albums. Then in a decision that seems obvious in hindsight, Small melded the Dethklok sound into the Galaktikon project and created the perfect blend of both of those outputs. He still shreds, he still soars, he’s still heavy, and he’s still got Gene Hoglan in tow.
2. Brutus – Burst
I can’t get over this album. I’ve never heard anything like this band. They are sludgy, melodic, raw, and they even include some math rock in their sound. So many heavy hitters came through, and yet this album kept me coming back. This is one of the best debuts I’ve heard in a long time, and I look forward to the next chapter form them.
1. Queens of the Stone Age – Villians
QotSA are one of my favorites ever and I was super skeptical of Mark Ronson producing the record with his track record (Honestly, I just despise Bruno Mars’ music, and I can’t even figure out why). I should’ve known that Josh and the gang wouldn’t do me wrong. I feel like they pulled one over on me, and I’m not even mad. Start to finish this album is what I want from a Queens of the Stone Age album.
Disperse – Foreword
Nova Collective – The Further Side
Gone is Gone – Echolocation
Ghost Toast – Out of this World
Arcadea – Arcadea
Leprous – Malina
Enslaved – E
Vvon Dogma I – Communion
Ayreon – The Source
The Contortionist – Clairvoyant
Top 15 Non-Metal Records
- St Vincent – Masseduction
- Beck – Colors
- Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest
- Bob's Burgers – The Bob's Burgers Music Album
- And So I Watch You From Afar – The Endless Shimmering
- Thundercat – Drunk
- Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights
- Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up
- The Family Crest – Prelude to War
- Bjork – Utopia
- Big Boi – Boomiverse
- MC Chris – Marshmellow Campground
- Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
- Gorillaz – Humanz
- Haim – Something To Tell You
See you twits on the other side!