14. Russian Circles - Blood Year
Chicago-based instrumental post-everything powerhouse Russian Circles just keep getting better and better — and on their seventh album, Blood Year, heavier, too. Jaw-clenched psychedelic bombast is seemingly the name of the game here, yet the trio — which notably features ex-Botch/These Arms Are Snakes bassist Brian Cook — never sacrifices subtlety and dynamics, pulling the rapt listener through dramatic swells and cataclysmic crashes. F.P.