It's been a wild decade, full of political turmoil, natural disasters, mass shootings and many, many superhero movies. It's also been full of great heavy music. We've picked our top albums of the last 10 years; now it's your turn. We asked you to select what you consider to be the single best LP of the 2010s, and you came through with diverse picks spanning the gamut of styles and scenes. See below for that top five vote-getters — which overlap with our picks but notably deviate in order.
Once frontman Nergal beat leukemia, he buckled down with Polish blackened death-metal act Behemoth and created an album that far surpassed their previous efforts in terms of raw, emotional passion and icily empowering riffs. With a powerful cover painting literally infused with the singer-guitarist's own blood, The Satanist struck a chord with a wider international audience and positioned Behemoth as one of the 2010s' biggest and most talented extreme-metal acts.
Mastodon dropped three of their excellent seven albums this decade, but it's the most recent, Emperor of Sand, that garnered the most fan votes here. A concept album that grapples with illness and mortality (their first of that nature since 2009's Crack the Skye), the record is a perfect blend of the Georgia group's progressive convolutions and the outright heft of their earlier, more aggro material, all brought together beautifully into one epic fucking ride.
Born of tragedy after a car crash left bassist Chi Cheng in a coma (and eventually led to his death), Diamond Eyes is the album that kicked off a whole new era of Deftones and saw the Sacramento alt-metal outfit dig deeper than ever to create something ethereal, heavy and deeply moving. The LP was Revolver's pick for the album of the decade, so it comes as no surprise that many of our readers would throw their support behind it, too.
Few bands have seen the sort of meteoric rise to stardom that Swedish occult-rock act Ghost have. Infestissumam was not the album already-existing Ghost fans expected at the time, but complete with carnivalesque synths and surf guitar, it propelled them closer toward the dreams that bandleader Tobias Forge had for the then-fledgling act. On the steam of hits "Secular Haze" and "Year Zero," the record helped catapult the band from relative unknown opening act ready to steal the show to bona fide arena headliner.
Whether or not you believe the album is the best of this decade, there's no doubt it was — by a long shot — the most anticipated in the heavy-music world. Tool's Fear Inoculum wasn't just a record, it was an earth-shattering event, and its reverberations linger on. The long-winding explorations of sound, texture and metaphysics that exemplify the essence of Tool combine here for a fully immersive 90-minute journey, giving their insatiable fan base all the meat, bone and spirit that they deserved after their 13-year wait.