Here we go, my top...however many this is. Alphabetical until the EPs, which I separated just because. Youtube links are for my favorite track(s) or the ones I feel give the best overall representation of each album. Andy Hauck - The Winding Way This weird djent-tinged Western Rock thing that he's doing continues to tickle my fancy. It's different in a great way. Between the Buried and Me - Automata I'm combining these cause they shouldn't have been split. Taken as one album, it's a friggin monster. A fantastic followup to Coma Ecliptic indeed. I love all the quirky pieces so much. Distorted Harmony - A Way Out A very solid album through and through. Just good heavy prog. Erra - Neon I was kind of expecting another more laid-back album like Drift, but that's not what we got, and I'm just as happy for it. I loved Drift but, man, this is a fiery beast. The tapped riffs are still prominent and they've branched out into more variety than ever before, to great effect. The riff right after the opening just smashes fuckin skulls. C'thulu take me I love that shit so much. Just...all of this. It's something different from them and it smokes. Haken - Vector Well, it's Haken. I mean...yeah. It's just really good. My only quibble is the length, which could be a bit more substantial. I wasn't really expecting all this heavy, but I am sure glad to have gotten it. Ihsahn - Ámr I could probably write tomes on what Ihsahn's music does for and to me. He's got an understanding of the dark side of being human that he expresses in a way that no other does. Considering that my mind is perpetually in dark places I really jibe with his lyrics, and they do a lot to help me accept that innate darkness and make it feel less isolating. Monuments - Phronesis As much as I love Monuments I was surprised that I found this album a grower. But grow it did, and the more whole-band writing on this record has revealed itself to be some of my favorites from these madmen. Polyphia - New Levels New Devils Most of this album I spend thinking "holy fuck did they really just do that!?" and I wouldn't have it another way. It's more jazzy and more ridiculous and I love the hell out of it. Sevendust - All I See Is War Sevendust had a kind of a rough patch after Animosity where they didn't have full creative control and it showed in the product. This album and their last, though, showcase them at their best. I can't get enough of Lajon's vocals and the riffs deliver. This album takes me back 17 years in ways that don't make me hate everything. Shattered Skies - Muted Neon Many of us that loved the first disc were still not completely sold on the new vocalist coming into this one (though the Auxilium EP helped). All doubts are now removed as to whether or not this band still has it, though, because this album is a monster. Sithu Aye - Homebound Turns out I have some personal/political disagreements with the artist, but the album's so good I won't let that make me push it out of a mention. If you like happy instrumental prog metal don't sleep on Sithu Aye. Skyharbor - Sunshine Dust I wasn't sure how I'd adjust to the change in vocals, but uh...turns out I didn't need to worry. Eric does a great job taking charge of the new sound, and boy is it great. They do a little bit of all of their influences on this disc, and they do them all very well. The outright nu metal of Dissent still sticks out like a sore thumb, though. Time, The Valuator - How Fleeting, How Fragile Damn, these Germans really got it. I may have listened to this album more than any other on this list, just because it's so incredibly listenable. Lots of chops, riffs for days, great vocals, yadda yadda it's all there. I loved it so much I couldn't even just pick two tracks. Universe Effects - Desolation A little more in every direction. Another album of just really good solid prog, and more metal this time than before. And tons of drama on this one! Valis Ablaze - Boundless The previous material was good, but this is excellent. It's heavy and djenty, but in that sorta smooth ambient space. It evokes a mood not terribly far off from the first VOLA album, and it's damned brilliant from start to stop. Plini - Sunhead This man can do no wrong, it seems. Just shoot this music into my veins and give me a new album and take this fistful of cash from me, please! Conception - My Dark Symphony Well it's Conception and it sounds like it came out 2 years after Flow and holy fuck how did they do that!? Gods it's good to have these soundscapes back in my ears. Please give me full length albums now, fellas. My cash awaits.