Another user I feel like I have a lot in common with, and the lists show it a bit clearer this time. A little black metal, a little of the avant-stuff, all reasonably good.
10. A Forest of Stars - Opportunistic Thieves of Spring
A Forest of Stars are one of the best examples of newer bands that take black metal and eschew all its traditional elements such as a cold atmosphere, grim lyrics, and lo-fi productions while injecting something new and fresh into the mix. In this case, they add some ambient interludes, progressive song structure, and flutes and violin, as well as spacey keyboards that bestow a somewhat psychedelic atmosphere. Definitely one of the most original black metal releases this year.
9. Alcest - Écailles de Lune
Better than Souvenirs if you ask me. Sounds more pure without trying to be "blackgaze".
8. Burzum - Belus
Now that Varg Vikernes is finally out of prison, he has released his first metal album in years. I’m not one to support Varg’s various illegal actions, but I still love him because his music is just that good.
7. Yellow Swans - Going Places
Amazing ambient/drone music; chaotic, majestic and incredibly dense. Listen to this with high-quality headphones and prepare to get lost in its incredibly vast, moving soundscapes.
6. Lantlôs - .neon
Beautiful, melancholic post-black metal with some almost jazzy jamming parts interspersed throughout. Not much else to say other than the fact that it’s one of the best black metal releases in a year without many good ones.
5. Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
Agalloch teaching metalheads how to do proper black metal. And succeeding.
4. Mount Eerie - Song Islands Vol. 2
Phil Elverum is without a doubt, a genius and this latest release, which is over 30 tracks long, gives him plenty of opportunity to display that genius. His subtle, lo-fi, and lyrically dense fuzz-folk style is on display in full form here. Although not quite as stunning as last year’s Wind’s Poem, a magnificent piece of music nonetheless.
3. Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
Michael Gira does it again. The only thing missing is Jarboe.
2. Deathspell Omega - Paracletus
I’ve only heard this album once, but I can already tell it will end up being one of my favorites. A few more listens and this might just blow away every DSO release before it. Aspa’s vocals are some of the best he’s ever done and there’s significantly more melody added to the songs. Overall, there is more emotion here is almost every aspect than there has ever been. Absolutely mind-shattering.
1. Kayo Dot - Coyote
With this album, Kayo Dot seems to have made the final transition from avant-garde metal to something completely different. While this change may alienate some, many fans, such as myself, will still love it. The music, which is dark and foreboding, sounds like some kind of collaboration between Miles Davis and Joy Division with a little bit of Scott Walker thrown in. The “goth fusion” sound of this album is one of loneliness that takes you through a hallucinatory world of fear and wonder. Fantastic chamber rock.