#5. SKELETONWITCH – Serpents Unleashed (2013): Athens, Ohio group Skeletonwitch burst onto the heavy metal scene in the 2000s with one excellent album after another, bringing together the best of black, thrash and melodic death metal in a manner very few bands had ever done. This is a band that clearly got better with each of their first four albums, and by the time they came to writing and recording their fifth, they had primed and honed their individual and collective talents to create the best album of their career, Serpents Unleashed. From the first note to its last, this album never lets up in its intensity and energy level, the absolute epitome of the phrase “all-killer, no-filler”.
#4. THE SKULL – For Those Which Are Asleep (2014): When former members of classic doom metal band Trouble came together to reactivate themselves in a brand new incarnation, it’s as if the sub-genre itself was reborn. The Skull, featuring Eric Wagner, Ron Holzner and Jeff Olson, released their debut LP For Those Which Are Asleep in 2014, instantly recreating the same magic vintage Trouble was recognized for, but in the form of fresh, new songs. Captivating vocals, memorable riffs, and a top-class rhythm section … these are only some of the magnetic qualities these songs boast of, and altogether constitute the modern-day definition of classic doom.
#3. OVERKILL – Ironbound (2010): Many thrash metal bands of the ’80s got swept by the changing trends of the ’90s and either fell prey to the trends or faded away completely. One band that did neither, was Overkill. Battling through a lean phase owing to the lack of popularity of thrash metal but never giving up, Overkill survived the ’90s and 2000s but was in need of rejuvenation, a second wind, when they entered the 2010s. Ironbound provided just that for them, by far their best album in a long, long time, one that truly lit a fire under the belly of the thrash genre and played a huge role in bringing it back to relevance. Overkill clearly had not run out of ideas, instead on Ironbound they sound younger, hungrier and thrashier than ever before. One of the most power-packed albums this decade has seen, Ironbound is thrash metal at its finest.
#2. ENSLAVED – RIITIIR (2012): Masters of progressive extreme metal, Norwegian group Enslaved is one in a rare breed of bands that successfully evolves from one album to the next. The band’s 2012 release RIITIIR marks a pivotal point in Enslaved’s evolution. Even though greater emphasis was put on clean vocals than ever before, the transitions between the black metal segments and the clean-sung, proggy passages was so brilliantly and seamlessly presented, it expanded the band’s demographic whilst retaining its existing fanbase. The sheer scope of this album’s musicality is breathtakingly vast and all-encompassing. RIITIIR is a masterpiece in no uncertain terms.
#1. GOJIRA – Magma (2016): For a band previously renowned for its signature brand of dreary technical death metal, to achieve mainstream success without completely changing their sound, that in itself takes tremendous talent. French band Gojira always possessed this talent in plenty, and put it to full use to create their sixth full-length, Magma. The sonic atmosphere remains the same, the personnel is exactly the same, and the sound is still rooted in progressive/technical death metal. But the major change came about when Gojira transitioned to express themselves in short, concise, riff-based songs. The 43-minute Magma boasts of ten such songs, each of them as stellar, compelling and stunning as the other. Gojira shows how to keep up with the times without losing touch with your roots, how “less is more”. Magma is, far and above all, the best metal album of the decade.
– by Andrew Bansal
#20. RIOT V – Unleash The Fire (2014)
#19. HOLY GRAIL – Crisis In Utopia (2010)
#18. ANTHRAX – Worship Music (2011)
#17. THE SWORD – Warp Riders (2010)
#16. MUTOID MAN – War Moans (2017)
#15. POWER TRIP – Nightmare Logic (2017)
#14. BARONESS – Purple (2015)
#13. UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS – Blood Lust (2011)
#12. KVELERTAK – Nattesferd (2016)
#11. CARCASS – Surgical Steel (2013)
#10. SYMPHONY X – Iconoclast (2011)
#09. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012)
#08. GOATWHORE – Constricting Rage of the Merciless (2014)
#07. DEATH ANGEL – Relentless Retribution (2010)
#06. DREAM THEATER – A Dramatic Turn Of Events (2011)
#05. SKELETONWITCH – Serpents Unleashed (2013)
#04. THE SKULL – For Those Which Are Asleep (2014)
#03. OVERKILL – Ironbound (2010)
#02. ENSLAVED – RIITIIR (2012)
#01. GOJIRA – Magma (2016)
SPOTIFY PLAYLIST OF ALL ALBUMS, IN ORDER FROM #20 TO #1
(Total Duration: 17 hours, 13 minutes):