This year’s top 10 looks a lot different that I’d expected it would a year ago, with long-time-coming albums from several classic bands and supergroups failing to impress, and various Baltimore-area records not making it out by press time. Still, there was plenty to take in this year: sludge vets Thou’s “Heathen” finally bringing the Louisiana band broader critical attention after years of quality and hard work; excellent records from local fixtures Misery Index and Old Lines; and the surprise “return” of Portland-via-Baltimore’s Nux Vomica, a band I hadn’t thought about in years. While this list has some pretty classically “metal” entries, this year marked the release of a slew of more experimental records that almost made this list, Pharmakon’s sophomore effort being the one that caught my ear the most.
Disclaimer: I've taken photos for a bunch of the bands listed on here, but they would've been on here anyway, because these records are sick. Not to mention all the ones I did photos for that didn't make the list.