10. Astronoid – Air
Massachusetts’ Astronoid have taken post-metal to stratospheric new heights with Air, their aptly named first full-length. Every part of this album feels light to the touch with its ethereal reverb and Brett Boland’s clean and yearning vocals, and yet the sound itself feels like flying at supersonic speeds high above the clouds. The shoegaze riffs are major-keyed, melodic, and blisteringly quick as they perform aerobatics on all sides, and ex-Vattnet drummer Matt St. Jean is more than able to keep pace.
It’s no mistake, either, that Astronoid bring to mind fellow New Englanders Vattnet as guitarist Casey Aylward serves as their current bassist and Boland himself acted as their touring bassist. Last year, we called Vattnet’s Settler the “most optimistic album” on our list, and it seems that now Astronoid has joined them among the ranks of purely triumphant post-metal, because shredding has rarely been this inspirational. –Sean Barry