My album of the year is:
Scale the Summit - “The Collective”. Instrumental, prog-metal. Third album from the group. These guys are really coming along as musicians who not only have incredible technical chops, but can also write great songs.
Other great to good albums, roughly ordered;
Puscifer - “Conditions of My Parole” - Maynard James Keenan, of Tool & A Perfect Circle, with his 2nd full lenght release under this project. Great album, recommend it to anyone here.
Opeth - “Heritage” - Musically this is phenomenal, fantastic production too. The only thing holding it back is the lyrics (something i find with Opeth in general), but then Akerfeldt isn’t writing in his native tongue, so I can’t hold it against him too much.
Machine Head - “Unto The Locust”. First 3 or 4 tracks are great but it drops off with the last 2 or 3.
Metallica - “Beyond Magnetic” (EP) - 4 songs from the Death Magnetic sessions that didn’t make the album, that fans have been clamoring for since the albums release, make their way out during Metallica’s 30th Anniversary celebrations in San Francisco last week. All good songs, one of which just happens to be one of the best songs they’ve written in the past 20 years (Rebel of Babylon).
Christy Moore - “Folk Tale” - Another solid outing (actually better than his last release) for the Irish folk legend.
Russian Circles - “Empros” - Another instrumental rock album, this one with a bit of an Indie vibe. Solid.
Lou Reed & Metallica - “Lulu” - This is a whole other animal. I know I’m in the minority liking this album. The type of record I can only listen to rarely, when I’m in a certain mood, but when I am in the mood I thoroughly enjoy it.