So the main distinguishing factor about this month's roundup of well-regarded new metal albums is that there are so darn many of them. They've piled up like dead autumn leaves these past few weeks, so I went with 20 instead of the usual 15. Notable trends: (1) five bands -- 25 percent of the list! -- from Sweden; (2) two albums by OG industrial metal bands who've lasted decades; (3) two more albums by geezer-metal bands who've been around since the '70s, which is almost definitely before kids in some of the punkier bands below were born; (4) debuts by two bands spun off from better-known American prog-metal bands; and (5) two or three bands who sound like Soundgarden sometimes, though their new albums all rock harder than Soundgarden's new one (which you're welcome to check out, too, though calling it metal would be a stretch).
Anyway, here's how I'd more or less rank these, top to bottom. 1 through 5: Treponem Pal, Lord Fowl, The Sword, Hellwell, Bullet. Six through 10: Tygers of Pan Tang, Skånska Mord, Metz, Honky, Witchcraft. Eleven through 15: Graveyard, Adrenaline Mob, Ensiferum, Killing Joke, Trash Talk. Sixteen through 20: KISS, Converge, Crucified Barbara, Coheed and Cambria, Pig Destroyer. Could have probably left off the bottom five or even 10 albums, which are actually more well regarded by other people than by me, but decided to keep them in for the sake of metal diversity, and because your tastes are no doubt different from mine anyway. Metal is one big, heavy tent!