40.) Deafheaven - Sunbather
One of the most talked about releases of year, Deafheaven's Sunbather, has gained them quite a following and rightly so. Mixing the atmospheres and melodies of shoegaze with the sonic dissonance of black metal is no easy task, but Deafheaven pulls it off with flying colors. Whether it's the intensity of "Dream House" or the sheer beauty of the mid-section of "The Pecan Tree," Sunbather is chock full of seemingly antithetical ideas coinciding harmoniously.
39.) Hail of Bullets - III: The Rommel Chronicles
I'm still of the opinion that anything Martin van Drunen touches is gold and this does nothing to change that. This is just some well executed death metal. Akin to Bolt Thrower in the pummeling guitar sound that conjures up images of wars long past. Nothing flashy or too technical (it's no slouch either!), Hail of Bullets just let the riffs speak for themselves.
38.) Black Sabbath - 13
As good of a return as one could hope for from the progenitors of heavy metal. I don't think I need to say any more since everything that can be said about this already has.
God Is Dead?
Age of Reason
37.) Iron Lung - White Glove Test
Hard hitting powerviolence that trades off between fast, aggressive passages and slower, crushing parts. The first part of the album is abundant with tracks that focus more on the slower aspect of Iron Lung's music while the second half is full of full speed grinders. There was a pure noise companion album made that apparently enhances the listening experience when merged together with the original album. I haven't checked that out yet though.
Heirs to the Prize
Brutal Supremecy II
36.) Aosoth - IV: Arrow in Heart
Black metal in the vein of Antaeus or Mgla. This album puts up a wall of aggression and desolation that is all but palpable. The intro/title song, "An Arrow in Heart" perfectly sets up the tone of this album by encompassing all the varieties of black metal that Aosoth transition between; mid-tempo head-bobbing passages, dark atmospheric passages and crushing aural assaults. Would've been much higher if I had gotten a chance to listen to it more. Also, definitely on the short list for "Album Art of the Year."
An Arrow in Heart
(Couldn't find the full version on Youtube)
Temple of Knowledge