20 Best Metal Albums of 2017

Hardcore trailblazers, longform doom and genre-bending savagery: the year in heavy

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Mutoid Man, 'War Moans'

19. Mutoid Man, 'War Moans'

Mutoid Man, the hyperactive supergroup spearheaded by Cave In singer/guitarist Stephen Brodsky and Converge drummer Ben Koller, skillfully rides the rail between highbrow progcore and knuckleheaded hesher rock. Their second full-length is full of ripping, sub-three-minute rollercoaster rides jam-packed with finger-twisting riffs, head-snapping tempo shifts, oddball time signatures and jackhammer rhythms. Add in some well-placed, left-field guest spots – former Megadeth shredder Marty Friedman unleashes fury on the epic title track; Chelsea Wolfe lends her ethereal vocals to the crushing power-ballad closer "Bandages" – and you have an album that sounds like it was probably as much fun to make as it is to listen to. You can even hear Brodsky laughing in "Kiss of Death." R.B.

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