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Our Top 5 Albums of 2016

Another year comes to an end! It’s been a great year for metal music, even if we lost some great musicians. We’ve seen releases from big names as well as very promising debut albusm. As every year we say goodbye to the last year and we welcome 2017 with our top 5 albums of 2016. Here are our top 5 lists:

 

Matthew:

  • #5 Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
    #5 Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
    While there is some legitimate criticism of the album, Metallica is still a force to be reckoned with. A few of the songs on Hardwired...To Self-Destruct contain some of the best material that the thrash metal legends have put out to date.
  • #4 Devin Townsend Project - Transcendence
    #4 Devin Townsend Project - Transcendence
    Devin Townsend is one of those artists who seems to have the golden touch, even with his past tongue-in-cheek space operas, and Transcendence is no exception. Mind-blowing progressive metal incubating a wide range of collaboration, the album will sate your appetite for prog one-hundred times over.
  • #3 Sinbreed - Master Creation
    #3 Sinbreed - Master Creation
    Sinbreed plays gritty melodic metal with touches of power metal. Their third album, Master Creator, is filled with intelligent song-writing and catchy riffs and choruses -- the band is definitely one of the best-kept secrets of the German music scene.
  • #2 Zao - The Well-Intentioned Virus
    #2 Zao - The Well-Intentioned Virus
    One of the biggest surprises of the year, Zao's The Well-Intentioned Virus brings the influential metalcore band back stronger than ever. The album features the down-to-earth heaviness of what metalcore is supposed to be, without the plague of breakdowns or choruses that are often associated with the current scene.
  • #1 Gojira - Magma
    #1 Gojira - Magma
    Gojira's sixth studio album is a masterpiece of progressive death metal. While its tone is more subdued than its predecessor L'Enfant Sauvage, Gojira steals the stage with their cornucopia of unique riffs and melodic brilliance.

 

Jasper:

  • #5 Anaal Nathrakh - The Whole Of The Law
    #5 Anaal Nathrakh - The Whole Of The Law
    This album wouldn't be in my top 5 this year if I could include a non-metal album. But since this is a website for metal releases and not dungeon synth (Thangorodrim - Taur Nu Fuin by the way), I'll put Anaal Nathrakh on my number 5 spot. And well deserved, of course. Anaal Nathrakh delivered the best adrenaline rush of 2016 and they really pulled themselves back together after the mediocre Desideratum from two years ago. Better production, better writing, fresh ideas. I even enjoyed this album more than most, but not all, of their earlier stuff.
  • #4 Forteresse - Themes Pour La Rebellion
    #4 Forteresse - Themes Pour La Rebellion
    My most anticipated release this year. Forteresse returns with an onslaught of fierce riffs and obliterating drums, while at the same time keeping the focus on the intense atmosphere and a terrically executed album theme rather than just pure chaos. They are undeniably a lot more aggressive than ever on this release and I for one love it.
  • #3 Vordr - In The Shadow Of The Wolf
    #3 Vordr - In The Shadow Of The Wolf
    And now for something completely different. Raw black metal with a punk attitude and no bullshit 2 minute songs. Just catchy riffs, addictive drumming and a punchy bass. There's just so much to love about this album. Not to mention the final track on here is a completely sudden shift in pace. Almost 7 minutes in length, it focuses more on melody with slow riffs and almost, dare I say, emotional vocals. And it f*cking works too!
  • #2 Mesarthim - .- -​.​.​. .​.​. . -. -​.​-​. .
    #2 Mesarthim - .- -​.​.​. .​.​. . -. -​.​-​. .
    Wow. This is how I like my atmospheric black metal the most. A dense sound that's also very melodic and packs a ton of emotion. Hard to find, I admit. But that makes it all the more enjoyable when an album like this comes around. Mesarthim's signature space theme takes a more dramatic turn and becomes an incredibly immersive experience. I can practically feel myself floating through space, while looking down at planet earth in melancholy. Let your imagination run wild with this release, I say, it's amazing. Also worth mentioning is that at times it really reminded me of Woods Of Desolation's Torn Beyond Reason. And let that just be one of my all time favourite albums.
  • #1 Violet Cold - Magic Night
    #1 Violet Cold - Magic Night
    Funny how an album I didn't really care for at first, turns out to be my album of the year. I remember listening to this twice and it just didn't do much for me. But something drew my attention and I kept coming back to it. Until eventually I listened to it for a third time, but this time like the title suggested, at night. I closed my eyes and I gave it my full attention. And then this album just hit me. It's dreamy, melancholic and soothing. I must've fallen asleep to this album at least 50 times by now. I put this on almost every single night. It's just beautiful.

 

Spencer:

  • #5 Avantasia - Ghostlights
    #5 Avantasia - Ghostlights
    The new Avantasia is great, not as good as Scarecrow but still a terrific album.
  • #4 Destroyer 666 - Wildfire
    #4 Destroyer 666 - Wildfire
    This album sounds more thrashy and slightly less black metal than their previous work. This isn't nessecarily a bad thing though.
  • #3 Goatpenis - Apocalypse War
    #3 Goatpenis - Apocalypse War
    Despite the silly name, this band is pretty damn badass. They play Beastial Black Metal, a hybrid of Black/Death/Thrash Metal with some Grindcore influences.
  • #2 Skeletonwitch - The Apothic Gloom
    #2 Skeletonwitch - The Apothic Gloom
    Despite its short length, Red Death White Light alone makes this EP. Adam's vocals prove him to be a fitting replacemeny for Chance and brings out the black metal elements.
  • #1 Metallica- Hardwired...To Self Destruct
    #1 Metallica- Hardwired...To Self Destruct
    A fitting return to form after Death Magnetic. The production is much better too.

 

Darryl:

  • #5 Gojira - Magma
    #5 Gojira - Magma
    The Duplantier brothers poured the pain of losing their mother into this album, and it’s touching and brilliant. Definitely their best album to date. 
  • #4 Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake
    #4 Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake
    The best Thrash album of the year. Testament released a monster of an album that will keep you headbanging from the first song to the last.
  • #3 Dark Funeral - Where Shadows Forever Reign
    #3 Dark Funeral - Where Shadows Forever Reign
    An album that lives up to its name and it’s what you expect from Dark Funeral. It took them seven years to release this album, but it was worth the wait and they didn’t disappoint.
  • #2 Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason
    #2 Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason
    Another incredible album from Meshuggah. They just keep getting better and better.
  • #1 Vektor - Terminal Redux
    #1 Vektor - Terminal Redux
    A perfect mesh of Sci-Fi and Thrash. The album is perfect in every way from beginning to end

 

Gideon:

  • #5 Opeth - Sorceress
    #5 Opeth - Sorceress
    My family loves it, my girlfriend digs it, my 77 year old grand-nanny neighbor loves it, is it a bad thing? No, what matters is I like it. It’s okay for them not to go back but I want this style with a bit of Blackwater Park on the next album.
  • #4 Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika
    #4 Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika
    WTF is this sorcery? Though I admit that I lack a lot in terms of the really dark side of metal, somehow a friend got me into this album. Love the tone, love the sound of misery and hate, I think they opened up doors for me.
  • #3 Avantasia - Ghostlights
    #3 Avantasia - Ghostlights
    Got intrigued, got bored of it. Went back, got lost. In the end, I really love it. Songs are really friction’ catchy, and it’s a contender for my no.1 Avantasia album…the, er, the first one.
  • #2 An Abstract Illusion - Illuminate the Path
    #2 An Abstract Illusion - Illuminate the Path
    Great guys, got to interact with them. They’re just like me, but with 100 times more talent. Just listen to it, it’s really good.
  • #1 Fates Warning - Theories of Flight
    #1 Fates Warning - Theories of Flight
    When I was a kid, I used to just dismiss them for Dream Theater and the like. God, I love them so much now. Their music now is just for me. And I believe it’s for everyone now. ToF gets better overtime you give it a spin.

 

Hannes:

  • #5 Dark Tranquillity - Atoma
    #5 Dark Tranquillity - Atoma
    The melodeath veterans are still providing us with some of the best atmospheric melodic death metal. This one has some gothic metal influences as well as Mikael's beautiful clean voice.
  • #4 Epica - The Holographic Principle
    #4 Epica - The Holographic Principle
    The masters of epic symphonic metal. I couldn't imagine a better movie soundtrack than this album. Outstanding musicianship, well-written and well-structured songs that are very catchy and recognizable.
  • #3 Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
    #3 Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
    Metallica show why they are the biggest metal band on the planet. There are many too long songs on this one, but then there's great moments as well. All in all a solid album.
  • #2 Volbeat - Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie
    #2 Volbeat - Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie
    Elvis Metal from Denmark. More of a rock and roll approach than metal madness. Michael's voice and the riffs create some of the catchiest moments of 2016.
  • #1 Gojira - Magma
    #1 Gojira - Magma
    My number 1 album of 2016. They abandon the death metal for more atmospheric groove metal without sounding watered down. Great songwriting, awesome musicianship.

 

 

“The demo was better.”

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