Picking our 10 best metal albums of 2013 -- from anywhere, not just L.A. -- was extremely difficult. Here are our choices.
See also: The 20 Greatest Metal Albums in History
Old Mornings Dawn
Austrian folk-black metal duo Summoning is more about the atmospherics than aggression. The cacophonous, desperate screams of band founders Silenius and Protector are backed by traditional folk instruments, symphonic keyboards, and tribal drumming. The duo's Tolkien-inspired musings take dark, musical journeys to Middle Earth.
The bone-rumbling stoner doom of Richmond's Windhand evokes genre legends like Saint Vitus. Their sound contains equal parts hooks and fantastically psychedelic guitar work. The haunting vocals of Dorthia Cottrell would be equally at home in the '70s Sabbath worship scene and the '90s shoegaze scene.