AOTY 2016, as chosen by Jason Kolkey, Link Leonhart, and Boss the Ross!

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We heard you like lists, so here are the Top 10 metal records of 2016 as selected by Dr. K, Link, and Boss the Ross!

Jason Kolkey’s Top 10 of 2016

metallicahardwiredcd10. MetallicaHardwired…to Self Destruct | Blackened

Okay, I readily admit I have taken my role as resident Metallica apologist to heart. There are probably plenty of albums that deserve this spot more (a few that immediately spring to mind include Blood Incantation, Chthe’ilist, and Danny Brown), but I know I’ll be spinning this album far more than any of those. Why? Because it’s a catchy, groovy album, packed with all the Metallica trademarks I love. Hetfield and company manage to fuse a few choice callbacks to their thrash roots with their mid-period exploration of mainstream rock. There are four or five bona fide great songs on this album, and the rest still manage to get stuck in my head constantly. So, fuck it, metal up your ass forever!


psalm2 9. Psalm Zero – Stranger to Violence Profound Lore

I never really gave this band my attention until the opportunity arose to interview singer/bassist turned guitarist Charlie Looker for this site. When I did, though, I was immediately taken with the way the songs combined elements of 80s post-punk with extreme metal influences and then added certain inviting pop sensibility. Looker’s thoughtful, confrontational lyrics, full of unflinching reflections on the current political and cultural moment push the album over the top for me.


skeletontree 8. Nick Cave & the Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree | Bad Seed

Nick Cave had apparently completed much of the songwriting for this album before the tragic loss of his teenage son. Certainly, it’s not a huge departure from the band’s previous release – Push the Sky Away – which exhibited a mournful, introspective, and stripped-down sound after he had embraced harder rocking for a few years. Nonetheless, there’s no way to listen to this record as anything other than a father lamenting the worst possible loss. The overwhelming sense of grief, along with the stark, piano-heavy arrangements, and stark soundscapes provided by longtime Bad Seed Warren Ellis makes this record an intense, harrowing experience.


Metachthonia 7. ThrawsunblatMetachthonia Broken Limbs

When Woods of Ypres leader David Gold died in 2011, it was a huge loss for metal. Still, some of his spirit comes through in this record featuring all three members of that band’s final lineup. Of course, guitarist and vocalist Joel Violette’s songwriting sticks to a more straightforward pagan/melodic black metal sound, but that works out just fine. The album is packed with majestic riffs and declarations of nature’s greatness that are convincing – rather than cheesy – in the way only the best exemplars of this style can be.


 6. IhsahnArktis | Candlelight

The Norwegian black metal great seems to have settled into a comfortable pattern in recent years, alternating between playing a few big ticket reunion gigs with Emperor and forging his way into more daring territory with his solo work. While all the albums Ihsahn has released under his own name have all been good in their own ways, this is the one where he seems to have struck the right balance between his black metal roots, love for King Diamond, and fascination with progressive rock and electronic sounds. The result is an album that touches on many genres and has an array of guests – including everyone from Shining saxophonist/frontman Jørgen Munkeby to Trivium’s Matt Heafy to a spoken word part by short story author Hans Herbjørnsrud – without losing its sense of cohesion.


oranssipazuzu5. Oranssi PazuzuVärähtelijä | Svart

There were several excellent releases this year that fall under the rubric of weird, ambitious, exploratory, and vaguely black metal material. While I really enjoyed the work from, say Schammasch and Hail Spirit Noir, this was the most fully realized such album in my estimation. The psychedelia and the heaviness come together for a fascinating journey that doesn’t let up on the intensity even as it digs into unsettling rhythms and krautrock influenced soundscapes.


youwantitdarker 4. Leonard CohenYou Want it Darker | Columbia

One of the greatest songwriters of his time faces his own mortality with his signature mordant wit and off-kilter spirituality. Cohen’s output since he was forced by financial necessity to emerge from a Buddhist monastery was largely solid but unspectacular. Though he suffered from mobility issues during the recording process, this final record exhibited a renewed focus and urgency that makes it his best work overall since 1992’s The Future. Even more than Dylan, with whom he is endlessly compared, Cohen has always made the limitations of his voice work for him. He’s world weary, bemused, and mocking his own sad sack reputation, usually while addressing either a departed love or a God whose creation is too full of pain and despair to ever quite make sense.


a0144143476_10 3. VektorTerminal Redux | Earache

Immediately upon hearing the latest from these Arizonan Voivod worshippers, I felt they had transcended that tag and created one of the best thrash albums I’d heard in years. My stance has not changed after many spins and watching them perform every track live. I’ve heard others complain that the album is too long, but it’s so packed with great riffs from start to finish that I’ve never been bored by it. Also, the way more and more progressive elements, including some melodic vocal parts, come in over the course of the record adds another dimension to this interstellar journey. This has been a great year for sci-fi-themed metal, and this was my favorite of the lot (but Nucleus rules too!).


mariner-frontcover-1024x1024 2. Cult of Luna & Julie ChristmasMariner | Indie

This is one of those albums that seems like it was made for me. I’ve been a huge fan of Julie Christmas’s various projects, especially Made Out of Babies, and I think Cult of Luna are one of the best bands around to be stuck with the dubious label of post-metal. On first listen, I felt like Christmas was a little underutilized on certain tracks, but on further reflection I came to appreciate the tasteful way her voice is incorporated into the bands sound. Her eerie, chameleonic stylings become a part of the orchestration, sometimes pressing with the manic urgency that makes her such a compelling frontwoman and at other times fading into the background while Cult of Luna deliver their usual brand of slow-burning, atmospheric riffage.


BlackstarBowie 1. David BowieBlackstar | ISO, Columbia, RCA, and Sony

Where Cohen’s last album is a man facing and ultimately embracing death, Bowie’s is an apotheosis. The ultimate chameleon takes on one final transformation, exploring Scott Walker-like art rock with infusions of jazz and other experiments. Bowie was never going to strip down for some Rick Rubin-helmed rediscovery of his definitive self. He was characterized by constantly pushing new boundaries and finding different ways to write songs that were tied together only by the overwhelming power of his voice and personality. His love for embracing what was new and interesting carried on to the end, drawing on artists like Death Grips and Kendrick Lamar as influences to develop the production for Blackstar. The album makes a perfect epitaph for one of the greatest artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but that has as much to do with its inventiveness as its somber tone.

 

Link Leonhart

1000x100010. Twilight ForceHeroes of Mighty Magic (Nuclear Blast).

Listen to: “Flight of the Sapphire Dragon”.

Power metal saw a great resurgence this year for me. The army of the power STEEL had commanders in Angel Sword, Derdian, Dyscordia, Helion Prime, Iron Mask, Iron Savior, Knightmare, Rhapsody of Fire, Sinbreed, Wisdom and Zephaniah. But, Twilight Force is the true commander of this realm. With soaring high vocals, speed solos and a bombastic chivalry of orchestrations. The sound of Heroes of Mighty Magic is expansive and bright, and it made me remember my childhood and all the imaginative fields inside my head since then.


cover9. ArmageddonCrossing the Rubicon (Revisited) (Listenable Records).

Listen to: “Astral Adventure (The Escape)”.

Chris Amott impressed me this year again with Armageddon. This time, we have the re-recording and re-imaging of the debut of his project, originally released in 1997. Chris repeated the lineup choice with Joey Concepcion and Martón Véress on guitars and drums, respectively, but he also brought new blood with Antony Hämäläinen on the vocals. Antony gives me a certain Johan Liiva vibe that I truly love, but the compositions and the new production enhances the listening experience too. Melodic death metal as its finest, once again.


2016-triangle8. SchammaschTriangle (Prosthetic Records).

Listen to: “Above the Stars of God”.

This was a difficult listening, probably because the long 3 CD format, but it paid every second of it when I felt in need of a ritualistic magical experience. I found their vision pretty enthralling and alluring on this wonderful interview, made by my brother Dubya with C.S.R. My low-level synesthesia spell cracked up with the whole listening sessions, going up and down showing me visions of darkness and light. It is a very special record, for sure, since, for the first time in my metal life, I found a black metal band that deals with the real twilight reality of the magical side of the humanity.


2016-jumalten-aika-017. MoonsorrowJumalten Aika (Century Media Records).

Listen to: “Suden Tunti”.

This is the blizzard I needed on my list. It is slow and harsh, but the plodding heaviness of the Moonsorrow trademark sound is certainly reminiscent of a huge avalanche coming through your preferred sound system. An expanded sound of the folkloric side of the band is tied up with a heroic mythical style. Jumalten Aika is the definite Moonsorrow album, a mix of the melancholy and the legend in right doses.


2016-motvind6. NifrostMotvind (Independent).

Listen to: “Byrdesong”.

It is incredible that this record got under the radar this year, but I felt better when Spear praised it over our humble blog. Bergen’s Nifrost pay homage to their ancestors and uses old Viking metal stylings as a template to sing about the nature and the mystery of death. Overall, the riffing is amazing and the rhythmic counterpoint the druidic songs. Such an amazing debut! (And I hope this band goes and goes in the future).


2016-the-northern-sanctuary5. WitherscapeThe Northern Sanctuary (Century Media Records).

Listen to: “Wake of Infinity”.

Dan Swäno and Ragnar Widerberg wrote the best Witherscape record, and one of my favorites of this year, for sure. The progressive linings of The Northern Sanctuary meet the melodic death/hard rock/heavy metal inspirations of their own harvest. The darkest cuts are ace choices, but the short energic songs are so good too! I do not know how many times I have listened “In the Eyes of Idols” these months. Check out our review.


cover4. FiefI (Independent).

Listen to: “Tales by Tavern Hearthglow”.

I won’t cheat on this one. I freaking love it! Fief’s debut cross paths with the traditional dungeon synth instrumentation, but turns the formula with a more bright and playful presentation. Unlike its peers, the unknown bard of Fief face the magical landscapes, the nature and the mythical creatures with delicate honesty. Is a journey through your mirror. His new record is amazing as well, do not forget to check it out, to cover your magical needs. My mellon, Boss the Ross, informed us about this.


2016-sunrise-to-sundown-013. Spiritual BeggarsSunrise to Sundown (Inside Out Music).

Listen to: “What Doesn’t Kill You”.

I waited for this album and Spiritual Beggars do not disappointed me. Mike Amott rewards my melodic needs with his soulful guitar leads, and the band sounds tight, professional and competent in each role they have. From the Deep Purple inspiration, the band touches different shades in just one listen. This record deals it all: melancholic pieces, hard-rocking anthems, and a gorgeous multi-colored analog mixing. Sunrise to Sundown makes me so happy! This is our review.


katatonia-tfoh2. KatatoniaThe Fall of Hearts (Peaceville Records).

Listen to: “The Night Subscriber”.

Their best? I still do not know the answer to this, but Katatonia really slashed my heart and threw it through the window once again. Following the enchanting effects of Sanctitude and Dead End Kings (including the revisited stripped down version), the Swedes turned the page and went to a more progressive (and sometimes more aggresive) route on their map. A varied record that does not stop into mindless reflections, instead, it is brutally honest, highly engaging and deeply touching. Katatonia have my heart once again.


darktranquillity1. Dark TranquillityAtoma (Century Media Records).

Listen to: “The Pitiless”.

Few bands have a consistent sound like Dark Tranquillity, given their long-standing career they have since the 90s. Morphing and changing through the pass of time, Mikael Stanne & co. symbolize with their career the life of a being that pursues with his entire soul to reach new levels and unveil new truths, but also willing to stay at his own path with a pure heart. Atoma can be resumed as masterful melodic death metal honesty, blended with the experimental side of their gothic melancholic masquerade. You have, probably, be a fan of all these things to enjoy this record, but I love every instant and second of it.

 

Boss the Ross’ Top 10 of 2016

maligner-cover-sm 10. Maligner DemonUnspeakable Axe Records

This top 10 list very well could have run rampant with Unspeakable Axe releases, but it is Maligner’s Demon that hath dethroned Ripper and Sewercide as UAR release of the year for me. Short, concise and unrelenting, this EP tears it up from front to back. “Shattered Reality” has been stuck in my head since first listen and has paved the way for this band’s future. They should have no problem coming back with an even stronger full-length to kick the world’s teeth in.

Listen to – “Shattered Reality”


9. Solstice – To Sol A ThaneWhite Horse

I was hoping beyond hope that Solstice would, in fact, release their latest album upon the world in 2016. Alas, that was not the case and I must wait until next year for the glory. However, the band was so gracious as to release a demo in the form of To Sol A Thane to satiate the lust for true metal I had. The three songs that lie within are mountainous in their own right and stand proudly among the remainder of this list as some of my favorites this year. If this demo is any indication, next year’s release will truly be grand.

Listen to – “White Horse Hill”


1000x10008. Twilight Force – Heroes of Mighty MagicNuclear Blast

Heroes of Mighty Magic is an epic fantasy tale come to life with many bright colors and bright sounds, I mean, just look at that cover. Twilight Force really outdid themselves with their sophomore album, no slump for them, just full force ahead with dragonic power and white magic might. Heroes is drenched with symphonic grandiosity that, in my opinion,  aligns itself more to movies scores than it does any other metal albums this year. It also stands as the only album on my list to somehow procure a smile from my face for the majority of its play time. A big fat, cheeseball, life loving smile.

Listen to – “Battle of Arcane Might”


a1183314672_107. Occult Burial Hideous Obscure | Electric Assault Records

Hideous Obscure is an effort of Black Metal in its most primal form. Playing off of my favorite band formation, the power trio, Occult Burial create an album of well-articulated riffs and ample atmosphere that take the listener through classic speed and black metal tropes with ease and precision. Not only are the lyrics simple to howl along to, but Hideous Obscure also has my favorite album cover of 2016. The mysterious blue fog surrounding the band sets the mood perfectly for this haunting album that, according to the liner notes, is dedicated to both Quorthon and Lovecraft. Hail!

Listen to – “A Witch Shall Be Born”


6. Discharge– End of Days | Nuclear Blast

D-beat innovators and hardcore legends, Discharge, have returned in 2016 with one of the strongest albums in their extensive history. These old farts, complete with new vocalist JJ, prove that they can still outperform today’s young whippersnappers with ease. 15 songs in 33 minutes, that’s how it’s done. Tighten your Dr. Martens, don your studded jacket, crack a beer, smash play and have one helluva a time.

Listen to – “End of Days”


a3577500501_105. Eternal Champion The Armor of Ire  | No Remorse

There isn’t much more to be said about this album that hasn’t been said already by our own Simon Phoenix in this stellar 5 out ov 5 review, so read it and then get back to me. Are you back? Excellent! Now here is my take on this glorious album: The Armor of Ire is simply True Metal in its purest, most epic, form. “I Am The Hammer” has been stuck in my head since I first heard the preview track and constantly sing out “I AM NOT! NOT TO BE CROSSED!” at impromptu times. Join me as we raise our hands on high and praise the TRUE METAL TEXAN WARRIORS!

Listen to – “I Am The Hammer”


limited-get-on-down-variant-cover-czarface4. Czarface A Fistful of Peril  | Silverage Records

Everyone here already knows about my adoration of the immortal Wu-Tang Clan, or at least they should if they paid attention. The Wu’s master wordsmith, Inspectah Deck, has yet again paired with 7L & Esoteric to release the third installment of CZARFACE, a Hip Hop superhero. By the looks of things, there is no holding back this powerful force. A Fistful of Peril proves the group’s prowess as an unstoppable showcase of beats, intricate rhymes and the most excellent comic and movie references. I better be getting CZARFACE pajamas for Christmas this year.

Listen to – “Monster, Man and Machine”


3. Thangorodrim  – Taur Nu Fuin  |  Deivelforst

2016 has been a pretty important year for me in my musical journey, it has introduced me to Dungeon Synth and for that, I am very thankful. I have listened to many albums and figuring out which album needed to be represented on this list was a daunting task. However, my choice became clear when I realized how many times I had listened to Taur Nu Fuin. This album represents the deepest and darkest origins of the Dungeon Synth genre and will forever remain a staple in my personal collection as I continue to listen to this masterpiece.

Listen to – “In Hills of Shadow Bleak and Cold”


grand-magus_sword-songs2. Grand Magus  Sword Songs Nuclear Blast

In their 15 years of recording history, Grand Magus have done no wrong. They first started as a quasi-stoner band, worshipping at the Sabbathian altar, but throughout the years have grown into another beast completely. Step -by-step the band has gathered tomes of the mystical arts, discovered the secret of steel and felt the glory of battle. Now, in their most current form, Grand Magus have embraced the way of the mighty falcon and spread their wings throughout the nine realms. Brought forth to you in the vein of the mighty allfathers Manowar, Sword Songs is a chronicle of power, triumph and pure glory that will truly be a tale for the ages. WIMPS AND POSERS LEAVE THE HALL!

Listen to – “Forged In Iron, Crowned In Steel”


a3959809749_101. Wastëland RidersSpeed Rock & Roll | Independent 

Speed Rock n Roll has been the most infectious release for me this year. I have played and sang along with it countless times, this EP never let’s go and never gets old. Wastëland Riders’ blend of Venom, Motörhead and Mad Max is pure fun in the most old-school of ways. Sure, there isn’t anything groundbreaking on this release, but if you don’t find yourself headbanging along to the likes of “Fire”, “Headbanger Bitch” and “Wastëland Riders” you can, well, follow this link. Not only does the band rip false ones to shreds, but the members are extraordinarily righteous dudes. I am seriously stoked for their future.

Listen to  – “You Will Die”

 

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  • W.

    Dr. K, I’m glad you dug that Julie Chrimbus/CoL album. I like it a lot, but I felt that one or two of the tracks were eh. Cygnus is incredible, though.

    • Guacamole Jim

      That Cult of Luna is an awesome album.

    • Dr. K

      Yeah, I really loved it. Like I said, I kind of agreed with you on first listen, but it kept luring me back and I came to appreciate the overall vision of the record and feel it all fit together extremely well. A lot of the time, those are the albums I like best.

      • W.

        I can back it. It’s still probably top 20 for me this year.

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    I’m with you on the Metallica Kolkey, but my reason is mostly because it’s something that both my wife and I can agree on.

  • Dumpster Lung

    Dark Quiltility and Witherscape! Nice picks, Link!

    I haven’t spent nearly enough time with Northern Sanctuary, but I bought the LP of the first Witherscape album, The Inheritance, semi-recently. Love it!

    That reminds me, I just checked in with Black Mark Productions, and apparently the test pressing for Moontower went well, so in a couple weeks they might finally be able to take preorders for the vinyl!

  • Stanley

    Boss, the opening/main riff to “Hades Son” is a goodie.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Yesssssss!

      The uttered “Ughhhh, evil metal” on A Witch Shall Be Born is still one of my favorite moments on music this year.

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Excellent lists and write ups, Dr. K and Link!!!

    • Dumpster Lung

      So much stuff I haven’t heard. I’m pretty much just skimming these lists for the time being, then I’ll jump in and really check this stuff out at some point later.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        That’s my plan too, hahah

    • Thanks to you, Melloooon!

  • Stanley

    I still haven’t listened to that Katatonia record. The first single “Old Hearts Falls” is magical. I need to sort myself out.

    • tigeraid

      It’s amazingly tranquil. Not something I tend to listen to a lot, but found myself putting it on for long drives or when puttering around the office.

    • RJA

      I haven’t either man – feel like I may need to rectify that after a lot of the response I’ve seen.

  • RustyShackleford

    Awesome write ups dude. Loving all the variety so far in these lists! I’ve gotten more into hip hop recently so I’m stoked to check out Czarface at the Boss’ suggestion. Yep!

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Check out their first 2 as well, killer jams

  • Randall’s Sweaty Space Pants

    Kolkey picked Metallica. He is our very own Axl.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      He is our very own Kolkey, actually.

      • Randall’s Sweaty Space Pants

        Get outta here.

    • Dr. K

      You can tell the difference because I know how to write in the English language.

      • Randall’s Sweaty Space Pants

        Siqqqqqqqqqq

      • GoatForest

        I’ll go get the burn kit.

  • Jack Rabbit

    Just started listening to that Nick Cave album earlier this week, and man, it is so moving

  • RJA

    I am a big fan of list season (I know, I’m a maniac) – they remind me to revisit things though – like the Thrawsunblat and Witherscape. Nice work fellas!
    My own lists:

    METAL

    1. Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    2. Skaphe – Skaphe2
    3. Cultes Des Ghoules – Coven..
    4. Ripper – Experiment of Existence
    5. Zhrine – Unortheta
    6. Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    7. Eucharist – Endarkenment
    8. Holy Arrow – Oath of Allegiance
    9. Forteresse – Themes pour la Rebellion
    10. Irakallian Oracle – Apollyon
    11. Destroyer 666 – Wildfire
    12. Uada – Devoid of Light
    13. Vanhelgd – Temple of Phobos
    14. Temple Nightside – Hetacomb
    15. Black Funeral – Ankou and the Death Fire

    NOT METAL (no ranking)

    Angel Olsen – My Woman
    Pinegrove – Cardinal
    Sturgill Simpson – Sailor’s Guide to Earth
    Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
    Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had a Dream..
    White Lung – Paradise
    Whitney – Light Upon the Lake
    Nick Cave – Skeleton Tree
    Touche Amore – Stage Four

    • RustyShackleford

      That Sturgill Simpson album was awesome. I should revisit that soon. Played the hell out of the first one!

      • RJA

        The new one is quite different – but definitely grew on me – he performed it live in it’s entirety too which helped me grow to love it.

    • Howard Dean

      Byah! This is a good list right here. Fun fact: 2 of your top 3 are also in my top 3. MmmHmm.

      • RJA

        That Deathspell delivered completely for me. When I’m that excited for an album it’s easy to be disappointed, but I obviously was not.

        • Howard Dean

          Same. I’d been waiting for that mother since Drought dropped 4 years ago (and really since Paracletus hit in ’10), so there was so much buildup and anticipation. Would’ve been easy for me to over hype it in my mind and then be disappointed. But that fucking album is a monster. So good. One of the best extreme metal vocal performances of the year, too (the vocals on Coven were pretty awesome, as well).

    • Upvote specifically for that glorious Angel Olsen!

      • RJA

        As her sound has expanded and become less spare I figured I would like her less, but it hasn’t been the case – each album seems to be better than the last.

    • GoatForest

      Oooh. I didn’t know Black Funeral had a new one out.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Just discovered this album…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7uokcxOAL4

    • CyberneticOrganism

      That’s a good one

    • Howard Dean

      One of my favorites from the year, for sure (and perhaps the most impressive thing released all year in metal). Fucking massive. If you dig it I suggest you grab it on a physical format. I got the CD and it’s fucking righteous. The album is organized as a play with different acts, and the booklet is basically a playbill. Really cool.

  • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    ATOMA MIGHT REALLY BE GORAK FAVORITE ALBUM THIS YEAR TOO!!!!!!!!!!!
    https://youtu.be/qLzcYx6iWec

  • tigeraid

    Ahhhhhh, now this is my kinda list.

    And thank you, Jason, for having the balls to put Metallica in your list. It’s not the greatest album of the year, it’s not even remotely THEIR greatest album, but it’s solid work and deserving.

    Great to see Katatonia and Witherscape on these lists too. Excellent.

    I’ll have to post mine here I guess, tonight, when I have the albums in front of my face. Can’t remember through the KHEMMIS BLURRRRR.

    Also, why the fuck no Khemmis on these lists so far? SHAME.

    • Dr. K

      I’m kind of wondering if everyone, like me, sort of thought everyone else would pick Khemmis and therefore left them off.

      • This statement sounds quite parallel to a recent political situation (see how I’m not picking sides though, hehe!)

    • Joaquin Stick

      Spoiler alert, there’s at least one coming. (I’m just as shocked as you, fucking hipsters).

      • tigeraid

        Joaquin, you have redeemed the Bowl.

  • tigeraid

    OH AND HAIL! GRAND MAGUS! WITH STEEL! A solid return to form.

    Freja’s Choice might be my “song of the year.”

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      HAIL!

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Everyone really needs to check that Armageddon album. It is very, very good.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    1. Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    2. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    3. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
    4. Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    5. Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    6. Alcest – Kodama
    7. Be’lakor – Vessels
    8. Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    9. Cobalt – Slow Forever
    10. Deftones – Gore
    11. Cultes des Ghoules – Coven
    12. Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse
    13. Zhrine – Unortheta
    14. Uada – Devoid of Light
    15. Deströyer 666 – Wildfire

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      No fair! I was only allowed 10!!!

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        2016 was way too productive.

        • It was a fantastic year for metal! A shitty year for keeping amazing folks on this Earth, but good for metal

          • I think those must somehow be related. Sacrifices.

          • more beer

            We are all biological creatures. With life comes death.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Throughout all subgenres

      • Óðinn

        I’ve been meaning to check out that new Discharge album. Obviously, you liked it.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Very much so!

    • RJA

      Very nice list here – I’ve only found the time to listen to Ulcerate a little bit – suspect it would at least make my list given time. I still don’t know if I like the Howls of Ebb record or not.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Thanks! The thing with the Howls of Ebb album is that it’s just weird as fuck.

      • Hint: You like it.

    • Loved Be’lakor and Zhrine!

  • E T E R N A L L Y S U S P E C T

  • Scrimm

    Link>>>

  • Joaquin Stick

    That Withserscape is a quality piece of Swanocore. Also happy that Smash, I mean Sammich, err Shaman, (Schammasch) made a list. Love a crazy ambitious project like that.

  • I knew Ross would pick Czarface due to his undying love for the Wu Tang. I really wish Doomstarks would’ve came out this year, I’m sure it would’ve ranked high. Need to revisit Danny Brown on the hip hop front because I couldn’t find time for it. Nice listing gentleman!

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Haha!!! Aw yeah, again and again!

      I’m looking forward to Doomstarks as well

      • Can’t wait til it comes out in 2000never.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Sad face

    • Simon PhoenixKing Rising

      I need to get on the new Danny Brown as well. He’s one of the few current rappers I enjoy. Dude is so off kilter but controlled at the same time.

      • I’ve always dug the style of his delivery. He’s got a little ODB in him, not too many people do.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Everyone should have a little ODB in them.

  • Simon PhoenixKing Rising

    I’m digging Ross and Link’s lists quite a bit.

    It’s pretty awesome how Discharge in particular can still sound so angry after all these years. A lot of people sleep on their later stuff and really shouldn’t.

    • SP!! Love it when you come around the comments sections

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      HAIL SIMON! End of Days has received a whole helluva lot of plays from me this year. So infectious and angry.

  • JWEG

    Top 10 EP’s and EP-length Demos, sorted by Artist:
    – Crimoson Altar: Clairvoyance
    – EOS: Third Demo
    – Fraublucher: To The Origin
    – Gorguts: Pleiades Dust
    – Kurushimi: Shototsu
    – Nannavummiut: Leviathan
    – Nulabor: Demo
    – Robots of the Ancient World: Robots
    – Shibboleth: Sunder
    – Super Soaked: Doomstack

    5 Honourable Mentions, Or Just the Rest of a List of Top 15:
    – Anal Trump: That Makes Me Smart!
    – Ex People: Without (though I expect their next LP to be a possible AOTY ?2017?)
    – Fraublucher: Chronicles of a Trip
    – Skeletonwitch: Apothic Gloom
    – Where Lovers Rot: Autumn Tears

  • Maligner is still on my “to buy” list, but in general Unspeakable Axe is SO FUCKING GOOD! Seriously, I can’t think of another label that I’ve bought such a high proportion of their releases and loved so many of them.

  • Waynecro

    Nice work, dudes. You all make the extremely challenging task of picking only ten albums look relatively easy.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      It is most certainly not an easy task

      • Waynecro

        You’re goddamned right it’s not, but all the TovH writers crush it anyway. Good show, gents.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Thank you kindly, Mr. Waynecro!

          • Waynecro

            Thank you (and the rest of the TovH writers)!

  • Why haven’t I listened to Schammaschmasch yet?

    • Count_Breznak

      You don’t have all day ?

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      A mystery for the ages.

  • NefariousDude

    BOY DO I LOVE ME SOME YEAR END LISTS

  • GoatForest

    Did anyone else really like Massive Attacks new ep?