20 Best Metal Albums of 2013

The year's wildest, smartest, most intense heavy music

Inter Arma, 'Sky Burial'
Courtesy of Inter Arma9/20

9. Inter Arma, 'Sky Burial'

Metal is always good at evoking the sound of lost hopes and the ravishing beauty of the emotional abyss. Inter Arma understands. "Sky Burial" is the sound of a Richmond, Virginia crew dragging the corpse up a Blue Ridge mountain, full of noisy drones and mathed-out overtones of fuzz and bellowing and complicated (sometimes very complicated) shadows lasting 10 minutes or more. Impossibly dense guitars soar and dive like buzzards, a flock devouring the fallen.

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