Runner-up: Captain Murphy’s Duality.

Record Review / Om

Om certainly absorb religious images from every corner of the Old World with a certain reckless abandon, but despite a wandering path that would find most lost in appropriative disrespect, it all seems to melt effortlessly together into the band’s unique tapestry of the void.

Record Review / Led Er Est

It may have come more easily on the group’s less blissfully ramshackle debut, but that record’s relative stylistic cleanliness was easily counteracted by a thick sheet of lo-fi lead. Here, it takes a little more work for the clearer mix to not make heavily processed vocals in particular sound too imitative or forced, but in general The Diver wins out at getting mussed up without looking at all careless.

Track Review / In Aeternam Vale

“Dust Under Brightness,” originally from 1988’s DUB cassette, is as frothing and fierce as any of the ’77 punk classics, but the cold isolation that burns it into focus through the veiled, echoing arctic spaces that define the band’s work is what makes it something relatively more.