2016 has been a trying year. An emotionally draining trip around the sun filled with national tragedy and celebrity deaths. In a much less important sense, it has been a difficult year for me, in the sense that the metal I love didn’t find me as it did in 2015. I had to go out looking. I had to dig. And for that reason, I think I feel as though 2016 doesn’t stand up to 2015 in new album releases.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some great albums this year, some real genre-shattering, creative, innovative albums, but 2016 was not 2015. This list won’t be full of the one-man symophonic ambient post-blackmetal shoegaze you’ll find on a lot of lists, but there are some great, innovative, fun albums on here. Enjoy.
13. Hollow Leg-Crown
2016 has seen a renaissance in Death n Roll. This sludgy death crossover has quickly become one of my favorite genres, and while it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what bands fall into this subgenre, if any at all, all I can say is, you know it when you hear it.
Hollow leg may fall on the sludgier side of this particular subgenre, but boy do they know how to rock. This particular 9 minute Death n Roll ballad shows off the sludge, but stays exciting. These guys are awesome.
12. Xii Boar-Beyond the Valley of the Triclops
I’ll never get tired of metal bands and their album titles. Beyond the Valley of the Triclops takes the cake this year.
Here we’ve got another one of these Death n Roll revival bands. So many adjectives come to mind, in the end Xii Boar put together an awesome album with some incredible catchy tracks. Looking forward to seeing them live someday soon.
11. Barishi-Blood from the Lion’s Mouth
Progressive post-whatever. These songs build and build. Every track is atmospheric and raw. The vocals aren’t for the faint of heart, but honestly, if you’re this deep into my list, raw growls and screams aren’t going to bother you.
10. Deviant Process-Paroxysm
This album is a bit more brutal than what I normally like. The guttural vocals fit the sound though. There is some weird off tempo stuff going on, but it is full of huge hooks and crazy tech-death wizardry. Solid album.
9. Brought by Pain-Crafted by Society
This is an EP. Three songs. Is that cheating? What the hell do I care, this is my list. You may recognize that fretless bass from Beyond Creation. You’ll recognize it again later. Everything Hugo Doyon-Karout touches is gold. This guy is about to be a metal legend for years to come.
8. Goblin Cock-Necronomidonkeykongimicon
But Josh, this is barely metal. Metal adjacent even! The fuck do I care, this album is incredible. No two songs sound the same, minus the more metal version of the singer from the Offspring. So much fun.
What is this? They call themselves Dream Metal. I guess that is appropriate. Try to listen to just one song and not go through the entire album. The vocals are clean. The hooks are DIRTY.
6. Junior Bruce-Endless Descent
Death n Roll again! This is the best, by far, in this genre. They aren’t as sludgy as some of their counterparts, but they can rock with the best of em. I don’t think this album got much attention, but they managed to put out one of the best songs of the year.
If it were the late 90’s, this track would be a radio hit.
5. Anciients-Voice From the Void
This band. This freaking band.
I stumbled across Heart of Oak a few years ago. I loved it so much. I still love it. Then they disappeared off the face of the Earth.
Well, Anciients is back. They’re heavier, they’re tighter, they’re all around better. Voice From the Void is incredible. If you want to sample 15 genres of metal in an incredible composed piece of music, see below.
4. Equipose-Birthing Homunculi
Symphonic Progressive Technical Death Metal with a Flamenco flare. Hugo Doyon-Karout. Who would have thought this EP would have ended up on my best of list. That fretless bass though.
3. Revocation-Great is our Sin
Big suprise, the hardest working guys in metal put out ANOTHER killer album. This is the almost the pinnacle of technical death-thrash.
2. Vektor-Terminal Redux
If you’re wonder why Revocation isn’t the pinnacle of technical death-thrash. You’ve found the reason. Terminal Redux is the epic we, as metal fans, deserve. Vektor gets better with every album, and I don’t know how they can get better than this.
Convince you? Oh, how about this 13 and a half minute Blackened Tech Death-Thrash ANTHEM. Those hooks, those breakdowns, those solos. That song man. That song.
1. Cobalt-Slow Forever
Transcendent. That’s not all I can say. Perhaps it is all I should say. This is one of the best put together albums I’ve ever heard in my life. What happens when you cross this weird Americana with Sludgy Death Doom mixed with Black Metal. Slow Forever is what happens. This album is nothing but raw emotion. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the whole thing.