20 Best Metal Albums of 2013

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

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Windhand, 'Soma'
Courtesy of Relapse Records3/20

3. Windhand, 'Soma'

If Windhand played the songs on Soma any faster, they just might sound like a punk band. But because most of the Virginia doom crew's oeuvre maintains a pulse just above flat lining, they constructed a mournful yowl they can call their own. Their secret weapon – other than heaping servings of feedback – is frontwoman Dorthia Cottrell, whose vocals sound as if she's singing them from another realm, breaking through some gauze of reality. Judging from how Soma turned out, the rest of Windhand should encourage her to get comfortable in that headspace.

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