20 Best Metal Albums of 2014

The year in heavy from Scott to Slipknot

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Tombs, 'Savage Gold'

15. Tombs, 'Savage Gold'

During the last seven years, Tombs has worked through a mess of members and styles, from metals both black and industrial to punks both post- and hardcore. Their albums and EPs, particularly 2011's Path of Totality, could thrill, but not like Savage Gold, their riveting and refined third LP. Building atop a base of black metal with bits borrowed from Godflesh, Joy Division and even Slint along the way, Tombs consolidates its toughness into 10 tracks that aim to maximize one stylistic effect rather than adulterate through many. "Spiral" is a maniacal tirade that reinvigorates the aplomb of early Mayhem, while "Deathripper" is an unflinching, cold stare across a fence built with barbed-wire guitars and dense blastbeats. G.C.

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