See also: Top 20 L.A. Metal Albums Ever
On the debut from Huntress, guitarists Blake Meahl and Ian Alden plunder the Judas Priest playbook and provide massive riffage to complement the devilish shrieks of vocalist Jill Janus. The witchcraft-obsessed lyrics harken back to when metal was more based in spectacular fantasy than gory reality. Huntress want to make us forget about reality, and we're ok with that.
9. Dreaming Dead
Dreaming Dead's self-released sophomore effort is a dizzying whirlwind of blackened thrash metal. On vocals and guitar, Elizabeth Schall is influenced by death metal pioneer Chuck Schuldiner, but is quite capable of living up to the burdens that go with those comparisons. The compositions here would have had lesser bands teetering on the verge of collapse within seconds.
8. The Shrine
While we cede that this release may lean more towards punk, the amount of grime and attitude present feels pretty metal to us. The Shrine blasts out a chaotic cacophony of noise that would have been at home alongside '80s crossover thrash bands like D.R.I. and Corrosion of Conformity. The pools these guys are skating in are really dirty.