The 75 Best Albums Of The 2010s
So that’s it, we’re at the end of the 2010s. Another decade lost to history and what do we have to show for it, eh? Well how about some of the best rock music ever recorded! The past ten years have been some of rock’s most fruitful, with bands old and new pushing the genre in exciting, expansive and exhilarating directions.
From new innovations in just how hard hardcore can be to grandaddies of metal returning to form in glorious fashion, the years 2010-2019 unleashed some of our all-time favourite albums – the impact and influence of which we’re still riding into the next decade.
Below we count down our Top 75 albums of the 2010s. It was originally going to be a Top 50, but there were just too many great albums to mention. So let’s crack on, shall we?
75. The Xcerts – There Is Only You
Although Aberdeen alt. rockers The Xcerts never quite followed their countrymen Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic in scaling the heights of (super)stardom, they still managed to lay out plenty of the decades most honest and affecting tunes. 2014’s third LP There Is Only You finds frontman Murray MacLeod at the height of his songwriting powers, with tracks like Shaking In The water, Live Like This and the aptly-titled Pop Song packing the requisite ingredients for a major breakthrough that never quite came.
74. Blood Command – Funeral Beach
Even now, Norwegian punks Blood Command mightn’t seem like one of the great bands of the decade to all that many, but even seven-plus years down the line, the unhinged heft of their second full-length feels guaranteed to get your blood up and beers in your belly. From the snot-flecked attack of March Of The Swan Elite to the infectious woah-oahs of High Fives For Life, they were galvanising the template that peers like Kvelertak and Bokassa would stick to in the years that followed.
73. Will Haven – Voire Dire
By the time their furious fifth LP arrived, some had already begun to question whether Will Haven were a spent force. The Sacramento metalcore mob responded in deafening fashion. After losing vocalist Grady Avenell for 2007’s Hierophant he was back here, bringing then-Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn in on bass and the music was heavier than ever, with the depthless likes of A Beautiful Death and Object Of My Affection delivering catharsis by sheer heaviosity.
72. You Me At Six – Sinners Never Sleep
Dropping three years after 2010’s Hold Me Down, the third album from Surrey lads You Me At Six saw the quintet taking their first meaningful steps towards maturity. Sure, Loverboy arrived with the same adolescent swagger as always and Bite My Tongue (featuring a cameo from Oli Sykes) felt like a somewhat petulant response to past inter-band disharmony, but the likes of Little Bit Of Truth, No One Does It Better and The Dilemma were the vital first strides towards what was to come.
71. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata
If Triptykon’s soul-rattling debut Eparistera Daimones was a breakup album fuelled by frontman Thomas Gabriel Fischer’s (Tom G. Warrior to his mates) righteous anger over the breakup of avant-garde metal trailblazers Celtic Frost, its follow-up took a more considered – albeit no less weighty – approach. Picking up the creative baton dropped by his previous outfit, rather than raging against the dying of the light, it found them delving deeper into devilish darkness across tracks as brilliant as Tree Of Suffocating Souls and Demon Pact.
70. BABYMETAL – Metal Resistance
At the start of the decade, it’d have taken a brave prophet to predict that a Japanese kawaii-metal band revolving (originally, at least) around three teenage girls yelping about chocolate and their fox god would become one of the biggest bands in the world. Truth is stranger than fiction, though, and by 2016’s second LP Metal Resistance, BABYMETAL had nailed-down their absurdly infectious formula across tracks like KARATE and No Rain, No Rainbow. Brilliantly bonkers.
69. The Bronx – The Bronx IV
After a five-year break and an extended detour into outrageous punk-mariachi territory, it felt like fucking anything was possible when The Bronx returned with their fourth self-titled LP. Fortunately, it was business as usual, with vocalist Matt Caughthran and his merry men ploughing a characteristically gritty furrow and digging up banger after banger, with the likes of Youth Wasted, Too Many Devils and Torches leading the way.
68. Paramore – Paramore
Having dropped from five members to three and almost calling time on the band at the start of the decade, Paramore came skipping back. Diving through the pop-rock looking-glass with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, their self-titled fourth LP revealed itself as a far more lightweight, fleet-footed affair, still delivering those arena-rattling choruses but now stripped-back and brightened-up to allow the enterprise to endure.
67. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Blossom
After leaving Gallows in 2011, it took Frank Carter a couple of goes to strike the right balance between the nihilistic rage of his past and the more considered warmth that he wanted for his future. After the somewhat abortive experiment of Pure Love, his collaboration with guitarist and good friend Dean Richardson for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes let loose his passion, with just a little venom on the side.
66. Watain – Lawless Darkness
At the turn of the decade, Swedish terrors Watain seemed to be at something of a crossroads. Once a throwback to the self-indulgent chaos and carnage of second-wave black metal (infamously fond of throwing bucketfuls of pig’s blood over the stage and into their audiences), attention had grown to the point where they might seriously attempt to infect the mainstream. Lawless Darkness is their gloriously overblown, blacker-than-a-burnt-church attempt to do just that without toning things down one bit.
65. Creeper – Eternity… In Your Arms
Although the ghoulish ‘New Grave’ movement to which they found themselves reluctant figureheads has long since passed, the debut from Southampton horror-punks Creeper stubbornly endures. Drawing on influences as varied as Alkaline Trio and David Bowie, the concept album account of the disappearance of paranormal investigator James Scythe brims with defiant vigour and intoxicatingly dark romance.
64. Culture Abuse – Bay Dream
Although the media’s favoured talking-point around San Franciscan punks Culture Abuse is frontman David Kelling’s cerebral palsy, their music deserves to be experienced on its own joyous terms. That’s never been more the case than on 2018’s compellingly positivist second LP Bay Dream. Brimming with earworm hooks, sun-dappled atmosphere and numerous passages of wistful bliss, it’s as potent a reminder as any this decade of the beating heart of simple humanity.
63. Lamb Of God – Resolution
Arriving after the death of 19-year-old-fan Daniel Nosek at a show in the Czech Republic, but a few months before frontman Randy Blythe’s arrest and the subsequent manslaughter prosecution that would define their decade, the sixth LP from Virginian NWOAHM heroes Lamb Of God seethes, retrospectively, with poignant violence. A perfect distillation of the razor-sharp musicianship, crossover-thrash pace and sludgy groove that’ve been their trademarks, tracks like Ghost Walking and The Number Six still raise goosebumps today.
62. Frank Iero – Parachutes
Although there was much to love about Frank Iero’s first “solo” album – 2014’s .STOMACHACHES. with The Cellabration – it wasn’t until he returned for Parachutes with “The Patience” that his vision felt truly fulfilled. A gleeful post-hardcore/punk-rock blend steeped in emotion and painted in cutting blacks and lurid primary colours, this felt like the first time the many thread’s so the MCR man’s fascinating personality had been coherently laid out on record.
61. Slayer – Repentless
The final Slayer album was a spectacular culmination of all that had come before, walking the line between the gritty, serrated violence with which the Los Angeleno demons had made their name and the comic book excess that had become their reputation. Across 12 tracks of blood and brutality Repentless proved itself less a fond farewell than a gleeful last twist of the knife.
60. Machine Head – Unto The Locust
Rather than trying, hopelessly, to better their 2007 masterpiece The Blackening on its own brilliant terms, Bay Area bruisers Machine Head used the new lease of life it had granted the band to stridently broaden their horizons. From arena-straddling epics (Locust) to daringly stripped-back ballads (Darkness Within) to balls-out bangers (This Is The End), this pushed the boat out farther than ever before – or since.
59. The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang
The Gaslight Anthem’s third LP is often overlooked, having fallen between The ’59 Sound’s breakout blend of energy and nostalgia and the potent iconography of Handwritten. Attaching their punk soul to tunes that’re slicker and often more defiantly upbeat, however – The Diamond Church Street Choir is a finger-clicking favourite – American Slang remains, fittingly, one of the decade’s landmark American rock records.
58. Melissa Auf Der Maur – Out Of Our Minds
While iconic bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur will always be best remembered for her work with Smashing Pumpkins and Hole, it is as a solo artist that she’s delivered some of her most distinctive work. Her second solo release – oddly, a concept-album based on the Viking era – creaks and groans with the bobbing momentum of a longboat gliding through her rich alt. and post-rock soundscape.
57. My Chemical Romance – Danger Days
The fourth and final(?) My Chemical Romance LP saw the New Jersey punks ditching the darkness with which they had bust onto, then taken-over the scene in favour of a post-apocalyptic wasteland bathed in blinding light. Drawing on the psych-rock, power-pop and proto-punk of the sixties and seventies, tracks like Sing, The Kids From Yesterday and the brilliantly-titled Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) saw them bow-out with a defiant grin.
56. Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
Four albums in, we thought we’d gotten a handle on brilliant Sheffield experimental metallers Rolo Tomassi. How wrong we were. 2017’s fifth LP Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It arrived as a sprawling showcase of their every creative urge, with longer compositions such as The Hollow Hour, A Flood Of Light and Contretemps toying with greater light/dark contrasts to build up the dynamic drama at the heart of their sound.
55. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
The 2010s might’ve been the decade the Foos ascended, properly, to stadium-straddling ubiquity. But despite Dave Grohl’s recent insistence that they were always ‘dad rock’ they’ve never descended into tired greatest-hits territory. On 2011’s Wasting Light – the first album since 1997’s The Colour And The Shape to feature guitarist Pat Smear – they were at their most vital and thrillingly alive.
54. No Devotion – Permanence
Bringing together Brooklyn-based ex-Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly and the instrumentalists at the heart of defunct Welsh rockers Lostprophets, most fans approached No Devotion with a sense of cautious trepidation. Unfolding with far more in common with synth-soaked power-pop and post-punk than either of those previous bands’ rockier sound, it proved to be a leftfield delight.
53. The Wonder Years – Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing
With a title referencing Allen Ginsberg’s poem America and a position as the pivotal middle-album in a trilogy that began with 2010’s The Upsides and ended with 2013’s The Greatest Generation, The Wonder Years’ third LP was definitive proof that they were no longer the simple pop-punks as whom they’d started-out. Charting vocalist Dan Campbell’s existential anxiety, tracks like Don’t Let Me Cave In and Local Man Ruins Everything fizz with an intoxicating blend of sadness and fragile hope.
52. A Day To Remember – Bad Vibrations
As the world took a lurch in the middle of the decade, Ocala pop-punk/metalcore heavyweights A Day To Remember followed suit, upping the feelings of anger and uncertainty with banging lead single Paranoia, before running a whole gamut of tortured emotions, from cathartic racket Exposed to the gloomy alt of Justified. There was light at the end of the tunnel, too, though in surging call-to-arms Turn Off The Radio and the downright uplifting We Got This.
51. Marilyn Manson – Pale Emperor
Marilyn Manson’s transition from bar-setting nineties shock-goth-rocker to elder statesman amongst musical provocateurs was a messy, often painful journey. On Pale Emperor, he seemed to have finally gotten there, declaring himself The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles as he toyed with the old themes – sex and drugs, violence and emptiness – with the jaded maturity of a very real Hollywood vampire.
50. Kvelertak – Kvelertak
Kvelertak took the essence of metal, punk and rock’n’roll and squeezed it all into shot glasses. Their eponymous debut album threw out references from Darkthrone to the Stooges but all stirred into Kvelertak’s own unique sonic cocktail. It was loud, vicious and a whole lot of good, unclean fun.
49. Bring Me The Horizon – amo
All you need is love. Well, that and a comprehensive collection of synth-pop, electronica, alternative rock, trap and even occasionally metal. The Bring Me The Horizon that ended the decade was a vastly different beast to the one that started it, but this is unlikely to be their final form as the evolution continues.
48. Every Time I Die – Low Teens
Every Time I Die never seem to have an off day, whether it’s in the recording studio or cranking it out live in a foetid pit. Low Teens took their consistency to new levels of chaos, or perhaps vice versa, with a full roster of filthy riffs, accomplished musicality and poetic lyrics to obsess over.
47. Green Day – Revolution Radio
After two grand concepts and the triple whammy of ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!, Revolution Radio initially felt like a step back. It might have been ‘just’ a Green Day album but it was an excellent one, seeing the band take aim at various targets with a compact punk-rock focus that had been necessarily lacking from their more ambitious outings.
46. Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
During that MCR-less part of the decade before they announced the second coming, fans had to make do with a grab-bag of wildly different releases from the various members. Gerard’s debut solo album was splendidly diverse all on its own, stepping from fuzzed-out garage-punk to glam rock with a gleeful sense of go-anywhere abandon.
45. Queens Of The Stone Age – ...Like Clockwork
Queens Of The Stone Age’s sixth album emerged out of adversity. Josh Homme had been hospitalised and longtime drummer Joey Castillo left partway through, but there are worse fill-ins to get on the stool than Dave Grohl. With the likes of Elton John and Trent Reznor also involved, this was typically star-studded but also a swaggering return to their finest form.
44. Weezer – Weezer (White Album)
Being a Weezer fan can be like following a football team. There are moments of triumph and sheer celebratory joy mixed with confusion, disappointment and sheer abject misery. The white instalment of their several self-titled albums was definitely a triumph, reigniting Rivers Cuomo’s pop-rock genius and garnering wide if not quite universal acclaim.
43. Alcest – Kodama
French post-metallers Alcest have created numerous intricate and engrossing soundscapes now but none more finely-woven than Kodama. Influenced by Studio Ghibli anime Princess Mononoke and its central themes of technology versus nature, it’s an album in perfect balance with itself and a stunning piece of work.
42. letlive. – The Blackest Beautiful
letlive. had already made a splash with their second album Fake History and tear-streaked, acrobatic live shows. It was on this third full-length that they really came into their own, expanding their already elastic post-hardcore with glorious funk, hip-hop, pop and a dozen other flavours.
41. PVRIS – White Noise
You might expect an album called White Noise on the Rise label to be on the noisier end of the musical spectrum. Instead, PVRIS presented a gloriously sparkling shot of synth-fuelled pop-rock, but one that still retained a hard-hitting emotional heft amidst all the fizz.
40. Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang (2015)
‘Storm and Stress’ (as the translation has it) is right. This was Lamb Of God’s first album following Randy Blythe’s imprisonment on remand and trial for manslaughter in the Czech Republic. The resultant turmoil permeates the record, which marked a welcome return that was not entirely certain at times.
39. Converge – The Dusk In Us
Metalcore pioneers they might be, but Converge have never seemed able to rest on past glories and The Dusk In Us continues to push against the boundaries. The Salem slammers remain as furious as ever but are even more emotionally resonant here, even adding a few more shades to their musical palette.
38. Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare
When drummer and founding member Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan died in 2009, it could have spelled the end of Avenged Sevenfold. Instead they channelled their grief and rage into the aptly titled Nightmare, producing their heaviest and most emotive album to date and crafting an enduring monument to their fallen brother.
37. While She Sleeps – This Is The Six
They’d already set out their stall with The North Stands For Nothing, but it was this debut full-length that saw While She Sleeps hit the scene like a bomb. There wasn’t anything overly complex about their early formula but their mixture of slamming metalcore riffs and gang sing-alongs was near perfect in its delivery.
36. Nothing – Dance On The Blacktop
A lot of trauma has been poured into Nothing, from incarceration to hospitalisation. Live they’re all about the punishing volume, but here they manage to imbue an astonishing emotional depth into fuzzed out walls of shoegaze-inspired noise that actually look you straight in the eye.
35. Myrkur – Mareridt
Black metal has been coaxed into many different shapes, from symphonic excess to atmospheric ambience. Few of these forms have been as intriguing as Myrkur’s blending of feral aggression and dark Nordic folk. Mareridt (or ‘Nightmare’) is certainly one of the most evocative and effecting releases of the past ten years.
34. Rammstein – (untitled)
When Rammstein returned after a decade’s recorded absence they did so in typically enigmatic fashion. There were no initial interviews or even an album title but the music and accompanying aesthetics spoke for themselves. Explosive yet intelligent and amazingly well-crafted, this album restored the momentum as if they hadn’t skipped a beat.
33. Linkin Park – A Thousand Suns
By some counts Linkin Park are the biggest selling rock band of the 21st Century, but that doesn’t mean they ever stopped pushing the boundaries or fell in line with expectations. The polarising A Thousand Suns was a hugely ambitious concept album and a bold musical departure, experimenting much more with textures and big sonic sprawls.
32. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
The arrival of a new Metallica album is always a seismic event in the metal world and, arriving after the longest gap in their career, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct always looked set to explode. It didn’t hurt that it was a banging return to form, with at least a partial revisit to their thrash metal roots.
31. Beartooth – Disgusting
Now this one was a revelation. Attack Attack!’s most enduring contribution to the world might have been that crabcore GIF, but Caleb Shomo went on to create something of real depth and substance. Beartooth’s debut was musically ferocious but just as importance was the emotional honesty and intensity it bore.
30. Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor
Despite the emo cabaret tag they attracted at the beginning Panic! At The Disco have spent each album since redefining themselves and busting apart genre restrictions. Death Of A Bachelor was entirely Brendon Urie’s vision, in which he gave his Sinatra worship and unfettered fancies a fantastically free reign.
29. Faith No More – Sol Invictus
Some comebacks fail to live up to expectations but when one of the world’s most influential, inventive and contrary bands made their long-awaited return they did so in superb style. Sol Invictus recalled Faith No More’s artistic rather than commercial peak, with a genre-hopping melee of wonderfully awkward and unpredictable turns.
28. Bring Me The Horizon – There Is A Hell Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let's Keep It A Secret
Suicide Season had introduced some different elements but There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret was really the transition point that saw Bring Me The Horizon start to develop from cult deathcore noise merchants to something bolder and more ambitious.
27. Black Sabbath – 13
13 was Black Sabbath’s first studio album in nearly two decades and their first with Ozzy since 1978’s Never Say Die. It would also turn out to be their last so it’s fortunate that it was an absolute stormer, capturing the band’s original menacing doom metal mojo in an avalanche of classic Tony Iommi riffs.
26. Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
There’s nothing new about crossover thrash but Power Trip’s second album was far more than a hi-top and battle vest throwback. The Texans took familiar ingredients but formed them into an updated and near-perfect 21st Century wrecking ball of filth, fury and socio-political angst.
25. Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Their bleakest album yet, Architects’ seventh found the Brighton band’s blades sharper than ever as they tore into the selfish and self-destructive nature of humans. The power in this outrage was matched by the group’s best playing to date, as their technical riffs meshed with foreboding electronics. It held the confidence of a band ready to take on arenas.
24. Employed To Serve – The Warmth Of A Dying Sun
Having already made a name for themselves with their guttural 2015 debut, Greyer Than You Remember, Employed To Serve’s follow-up saw the Woking metallers outgrow the underground thanks to its expertly-calculated assault of sludgy, explosive chaos. With song names like I Spend My Days (Wishing Them Away), it was the perfect, screaming antidote to the ennui of modern existence.
23. Turnstile – Time & Space
With their second full-length, Baltimore’s Turnstile gave hardcore music an update. Featuring appearances from EDM producer Diplo, Sheer Mag’s Tina Halladay and former Lauryn Hill back-up singer Tanikka Charraé, elements of funk, hip-hop, jazz and post-punk infiltrated the five-piece’s bone-shaking bluster, resulting in a set-up that you can both rage and dance to.
22. Marmozets – The Weird And Wonderful
The debut from Yorkshire’s Marmozets is the sound of a young band doing whatever they want. Written while some members were still in their teens, the record’s 13 tracks vault from intricate mathy riffs to convulsing heaviness with little warning, while singer Becca Macintyre takes in both sleek pop balladry and banshee hurls with consummate ease. It’s a wild ride overflowing with daring ideas.
21. Gojira – Magma
The sixth studio album from French metallers Gojira was a lesson in restraint. Having built their brand on heavy experimentation, this time out they sharpened their songs into controlled, groove-led anthems that were still fiercely intelligent but just a little smoother going down. Wrapped around the album’s heavy emotional core, the result was some powerfully imaginative metal.
20. Parkway Drive – Ire
Having essentially been a metalcore band for 10 years, Australians Parkway Drive ripped up their own rulebook for their fifth album. Instead, Ire bends to the band’s leftfield influences, folding in nu-metal grooves (Crushed), classic metal riffs (Destroyer) and orchestral arrangements (Writings On The Wall). It saw the band transcend their metalcore restraints, and set course for big things.
19. The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past
The Menzingers’ third album crafted the blueprint for which the Pennsylvania punk-rockers would become famed. Mired in a molasses-thick nostalgia, dual-vocalists Tom May and Greg Barnett authored rose-tinted episodes on beaten-up hearts, forgotten dreams and Rust Belt bars, finding sweetness even in their darker days. Paired with the band’s hard-worn melodies, it should be considered a modern punk-rock classic.
18. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
Far from being short of ideas in their fourth decade together, Iron Maiden’s 16th studio album was their first double LP, clocking in at over 90 minutes. It’s an ambition that’s spread thick throughout The Book Of Souls: equal parts grandiose and thrillingly raw, its spellbinding tapestry is reward for the band refusing to play things safe in their twilight years.
17. IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance
Toxic masculinity, immigration and the British class system are all picked apart in the hurtling, cathartic punk of IDLES’ sophomore. Frontman Joe Talbot handles these knotty subjects with a poet’s eye, with taboo-challenging lyrics that can be gloriously silly one moment and quietly heartbreaking the next. It’s a record of considerable heft, but it’s also a lot of fun.
16. Baroness – Purple
Having survived the 2012 bus crash that caused injuries so severe that two of their members gave up touring, Baroness’ fourth album felt like an astonishing comeback. Hotter and more focused than the gentler sprawls of 2012’s Yellow & Green, Purple steered the Georgia band’s hallucinatory riffing into their most dramatic, euphoric and – perhaps most surprisingly – uplifting form.
15. Behemoth – The Satanist
Frontman Nergal has described Behemoth’s 10th album as a liberation. The first work since the Polish musician’s leukaemia diagnosis and treatment, it presented a more emotionally propelled, organic reading of the band’s extreme metal without severing the technical smarts. But its biggest trick? An evil construction that appealed to metal purists and the rock mainstream alike.
14. Enter Shikari – The Spark
For album five, St Albans’ Enter Shikari sought great change. Toning down their aggressive tendencies, The Spark found the four-piece evolving into a dreamy alt-pop formation, while the album itself exhibited space-age themes that enveloped very contemporary, homegrown concerns: from social anxiety to Brexit. It at once feels otherworldly but incredibly human.
13. Tool – Fear Inoculum
Despite a 13-year wait buried in rumour and secrecy, Tool’s fifth record was somehow everything fans had spent all those years imagining. Layered with hypnotic complexities, primal power and a 55-year-old Maynard James Keenan sounding as youthful as ever, it’s a work from the LA prog-metal masters that may take another 13 years to properly unravel.
12. Ghost – Prequelle
Ghost’s Prequelle is the magnitude of Tobias Forge’s gothic opera vision finally being realised. No idea was deemed too big and no detail too small as the Swedish hard-rocker constructed a deliciously theatrical fourth album that marries a Black Death concept with 80s-inspired tunes, culminating in radio-friendly epics with a sinister smirk.
11. letlive. – Fake History
Characterised by Jason Aalon Butler and co’s notoriously ferocious live shows, Fake History’s arrival felt like diving into a whirling mosh pit. Manipulating elements of metal, punk, hip-hop and pop into one cohesive burst of energy, it’s an album that owes as much to Swedish firebrands Refused as it does Prince, while its furious appeal for societal changes still feels vital.
10. twenty one pilots – Blurryface
Warping the idea of what modern alternative music could be, with Blurryface Ohio duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun dreamed up dark-pop anthems that borrowed greedily from hip-hop (Stressed Out), reggae (Lane Boy) and dance music (Doubt), all cemented together by Tyler’s eerie takes on mental health and religion. The world of rock is still dealing with the aftershocks.
9. Deftones – Diamond Eyes
After a car accident left bassist Chi Cheng in a coma, Deftones shelved their planned follow-up to 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist – an experimental album tentatively titled Eros – and instead wrote the more concise Diamond Eyes. Despite being built from tragedy, it’s a record that dances in the light, with dynamic heaviness to rival the band’s 2000 magnum opus White Pony.
8. Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
The word from frontman Corey Taylor was that Slipknot’s sixth album would be as heavy as the Iowa metallers’ earliest work. It was a promise not only made good on but also exceeded, with WANYK becoming their most experimental and artistic produce yet. There’s a choir (Unsainted), weird interludes and searing pain, while the whole thing churns with a mechanical ungodliness.
7. Code Orange – Forever
With their third studio album, Pittsburgh’s Code Orange bent their hardcore punk roots into twisted new shapes. Bleeding In The Blur, for example, deviates into clean-sung stoner rock, while moments like Hurt Goes On play with a soundtracky, industrial mood. It’s all bound together by a screeching energy and the sense that every boundary has been explored.
6. Deafheaven – Sunbather
Deafheaven’s Sophomore Sunbather became known for the point when singer George Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy cracked their vision of fusing black metal with ethereal post-rock, and its brilliance hinges on those contrasts. Snarling vocals hit blushing guitars while crushing darkness finds pastel lightness. It’s a disorientating, technical, euphoric rush, and it saw the San Francisco band pave the way for an entire movement.
5. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
As Against Me!’s first record since Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender in 2012, Transgender Dysphoria Blues gives an intense examination of gender politics, while also plying the singer’s signature melodic-punk rage to songs about addiction and death. But while it may be the Florida group’s darkest listen, its 29 minutes are flooded with unconquerable passion and anthems of world-beating defiance.
4. Mastodon – The Hunter
Named for guitarist Brett Hinds’ brother, who died while hunting, Mastodon’s fifth full-length is a metal record that’s drawn comparisons to Metallica’s Black Album for its accessibility. Freed from any constricting concepts and with their proggy epicness dialled down, these space-themed songs are brilliantly easygoing without any artistic weight shed from the Atlanta four-piece.
3. Architects – Lost Forever // Lost Together
When Architects returned with their sixth record, it felt like they had been down the gym. The Brighton group had always been pacesetters for others in metalcore, but now their writing felt heavier and more complex, while their political and personal fights struck harder. It showed the power this type of music could still possess in its purest form.
2. Biffy Clyro – Opposites
To follow up the commercial heights reached by 2009’s Only Revolutions, Britain’s hardest-touring trio went even bigger. A conceptual double album with artwork from Storm Thorgerson (the artist behind Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin album covers) may have sounded pompous, but through its daring blend of stinging hard-rock, piercing sentiment and bold experimentation (bagpipes, anyone?) Biffy Clyro lived up to their own hype.
1. Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal
The introduction of Jordan Fish to Bring Me The Horizon’s roll call would prove pivotal. The vivid pop electronics added by the Sheffield group’s fifth member eased some mainstream-baiting stickiness into their fourth record, without sacrificing the muscle of their snarling metal. It would be their most composed, colourful production, and plainly state their plans for world domination.
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