20 Best Metal Albums of 2014

The year in heavy from Scott to Slipknot

Twilight, 'III: Beneath Trident's Tomb'
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20. Twilight, 'III: Beneath Trident's Tomb'

Nine years after helping ratify black metal as an obsession for American nerds, supergroup Twilight subverted the genre on their third album, which sounds more like a post-punk-indebted sludge record built on unwieldy static and industrial clanging. Part of the transition can be attributed to the group's lineup for the LP, which found members of black-metal mainstays Leviathan and Krieg playing alongside Sonic Youth's noisemaster general Thurston Moore. Together, they blend blastbeats with scraping white noise on tracks like "Oh Wretched Son" and "A Flood of Eyes" to expand extreme metal's frosty atmosphere. The punky closing track "Below Lights" rattles with machine-like rhythms and its murky feedback hints at a new sound altogether. However, its fadeout will be the band's last — their break-up was announced in January. K.G.