The Circular Ruins
Label: Century Media
The first album in 19 years by the O.G.s of melodic Swedish death metal, and their first ever to chart in the U.S., At War With Reality got sentimental metalheads salivating fast: Decibel and Revolver magazines, which rarely agree, both named it 2014's second-best metal album. It's a respectable comeback, allegedly inspired by magic realism and tastefully mixing proggish tunefulness into its pained attack, plus film snippets and a comely instrumental called "City of Mirrors." The title track starts out like men working on the chain gang, and "Upon Pillars of Dust" sports a rather chewy riff.