Well, albums that I should think impact the future of metal and albums that will are two different things.
This is quite true, especially in the short term. The trend movements, such as metalcore, djent, hipster BM, etc. usually make a sudden but brief impact, creating an equally sudden but enduring reaction from the trend-averse metal community in general, which ultimately renders those movements innocuous as far as leaving a lasting impression on 'metal'.
The impact and resulting influence left by the progenitors of said movements, ie. At the Gates, Meshuggah, Agalloch, respectively, will inevitably carry on in some form or another.
That said, here are a few artists and albums that I would not mind seeing future bands take a few cues from:
Ihsahn - From Anthems... and onward, Emperor was always a step ahead of the BM game as far as I'm concerned, but he's really been taking his songwriting to the next level on his past three albums. Nobody writes such jagged yet melodic solos, and Eremita and After have been two of the most seamless examples of how genre marriages can work. Black, doom, and prog metal have never sounded so happy together.
Triptykon/Celtic Frost - Admittedly these bands are tough acts to even dare to try to imitate, but I'm surprised that no one has taken a shot at it yet. Two records that are of a kind, that stand completely unique from everything else that's out there. Monotheist and Triptykon's album (whose title I cannot spell), might have changed the face of metal, were there any bands talented enough to follow up on what they started.
Disillusion - A lesser known, lesser appreciated choice. Their first album, Back To Times of Splendor, combined everything good about melodic death, gothic doom, the heavier side of folky prog, and the darker side of power metal, and the result was a masterpiece. For their second album, Gloria, they scratched everything but the theatrics, went back to the drawing board, and came back with a genre-defining work of cinematic industrial prog metal. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's worth a listen.
There are more, but I'm outta time here.
Thank you for the response, and you nailed it with this post. I try not to bring up Warriors work
because I'm a rabid Celtic Frost fanboy, but his last two albums have had a profound impact on how we can look at and expand the definition of metal. You are correct in saying however, that few bands have come close to imitating their sound. I think Serpentcult was obviously influenced by these doom albums though (more on Weight of Light than their last album.)