Bathory, "Song To Hall Up High"
Black metal pioneer Bathory (which was pretty much just Quorthon) pivoted away from the pure black metal of their earlier albums towards Viking metal, more or less establishing that genre too. Hammerheart is one of the key albums of that genre, and if you wanted more bombast in your black metal, Bathory can help you out.
Nine Inch Nails, "Gave Up"
After Pretty Hate Machine, there wasn't any new music from NiN for several years, due to label disputes. When the dry spell lifted, it brought a six-song EP (not counting the two bonus tracks that weren't really connected) of fury. Broken sounded to my ears like a totally new direction for the band, which was actually OK with me, as I had really moved away from industrial dance. It really was a preview of what The Downward Spiral was, and is just an excellent set of tunes.
Ozomatli, "Cumbia De Los Muertos"
I picked up this album because I love Chali 2na (of Jurassic 5), and the album as a whole is a lot of fun even beyond the tracks where he's not present. But let's face it - those are my favorites. It's shame he only worked on this album.
Son Volt, "The Reason"
Son Volt released an album last year, Union, where Jay Farrar is clearly trying to grapple with our times. I'm not sure it totally works. It's an ok album, but honestly, putting in lyrics like "still water run deep" is a little obvious. And the tunes aren't quite strong enough to really get you to ignore the sometimes duff lyrics.
Action Bronson & Statik Selektah, "The Stick Up"
Ghostface imitator Action Bronson is pretty good at his schtick, and his second album in collaboration with Statik Selektah is a better record than his debut by virtue of having stronger beats. If you really wanted a ton of food metaphors and horn stabs, well, you found your album!