Best Albums: Atomic Ape, Helms Alee, ††† (Crosses), Whispered

This week’s best albums

– Led by Jason Schimmel of Estradasphere and Secret Chiefs 3, Atomic Ape’s debut will be one of the year’s best in progressive, adventurous style convergence.

– Utilizing ponderously heavy yet extra-melodic riffs, haunting vocal switches, powerhouse drumming, and rumbling low end, Helms Alee proves once again that it capital-R rocks.

– With its debut LP, ††† (Crosses) — featuring Chino Moreno (of Deftones), Chuck Doom, and Shaun Lopez (of Far) — supplies gauzy drapes of sound for Moreno to demonstrate the full extent of his powers as a vocalist when he holds back.

– Finland’s Whispered delivers a sophomore album of Oriental metal that’s even more epic and orchestrated than its predecessor.

Honorable mentions

The Glitch Mob: Love Death Immortality

Illum Sphere: Ghosts of Then and Now (Ninja Tune)

Tinariwen: Emmaar (Anti-)

Thumpers: Galore (Sub Pop)