I felt compelled to comment on some of these.
RHCP have been making the same album for about 10 years now. Deftones SNW is a great album, furthur solidified after having just seen them live, but there are a few tracks that REALLY bog it down, i.e. "Pink Cellphone". Disturbed, same music, different album. Their songs are basically interchangable. Catchy, but monotonous.
As for what I would pick, submitted expecting some backlash, representing my favorite genres.
5) Torture Killer's - "Swarm!"
This was a much needed return to straight up DEATH METAL. Track listings, song material, the looks, everything. Death metal has lost its roots, and this is the way back.
4) Protest the Hero's - "Kezia"
A concept album as a major label debut is ballsy, IMO. This was EASILY one of my albums of the year. It's incredibly original, enjoyable, and fluid considering the bending of genres and technicality. One of the first "punk" bands I can really enjoy.
3) Gnarls Barkley's - "St. Elsewhere"
One of musics most important albums. Ever. Pure genius.
2) Mastodon's - "Blood Mountain"
This is probably the best full-fledged rock album I've heard in along time, and really opened my ears to prog-rock on the whole. I tended to keep away after hearing "Blood and Thunder" so often off of "Leviathan", now I fully embrace it.
..now I apologize in advance, but I have a tie for Number 1.
1a) Hatebreed's - "Supremacy"
What Hatebreed did with this album has ruined bands in the past. They were forced tochange their style because of copycats, but for the better. No more straight up yelling on this one. Jamey Jasta actually has some "choral articulation", and it felt more personal than anything he's ever written. Just a brutal, brutal metal-core album.
1b) Killswitch Engage's - "As Daylight Dies"
Overall, one of the best crafted albums I have ever heard. KSE have their own sound, but on this one, Howard Jones' range is just insane, as is how he can flow from each one into another seamlessly. I've listened to this about half as many times as I have Gnarls Barkley's album, which is roughly 100 to KSE's 50.
This is an essential album for metal fans that can appreciate a little emotion.