20 Best Metal Albums of 2014

The year in heavy from Scott to Slipknot

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Old Man Gloom, 'The Ape of God'

4. Old Man Gloom, 'The Ape of God'

On some wild Peter Gabriel trip, Old Man Gloom — featuring current and former members of Converge, Isis and Cave In — put out three albums titled The Ape of God in 2014 to spark maximum confusion. The first, and most concise, was a "fake" promo sampler of the other two that they wanted to leak online as a prank; but in some ways it's also the best. A mix of staticky noise, pummeling sludge-core riffs and a few faint glimpses of operatic melody, the record played out like a sci-fi soundtrack spinning too slow and jacked up too loud. The two proper Ape of God LPs, which have distinct track lists and catalog numbers, can be just as impactful as the truncated version and offer different mixes of the songs, as well as a handful of longer slow-burners (including the standout "Burden") — though they lack the rawness and concision of the red herring. No matter which ones you listen to, you get the same thing: acrimony and anguish unraveling in slow motion. K.G.

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