We Picked the Best Songs of 2016


Our writers have each selected their favorite track of the year. Get in here and share yours.

My favorite track of the year is a Sisters of Mercy cover by one of the toughest d-beat bands to come out in the last decade. LA’s Nomads threw listeners for a wild left turn with the last entry on Love it or Leave It. Listeners got 10 tracks of hard as nails punk and then “Lucretia, My Reflection”, a song that was pretty cool when the Sisters of Mercy did it, but cartoon-character-smoking-a-cigarette cool when Nomads offer their take. –Joe Thrashnkill

The final crescendo in Oranssi Pazuzu‘s much-acclaimed Värähtelijä, Valveavaruus breaks the listener’s earthly bonds through a massive auditory dose of mind-altering Spice and sends them gently floating through space (0:00 to 2:53), hurtling through hyperdrive (2:53 to 6:30), wrestling with gravity wells (6:30 to 8:57) and finally drifting freely into the waiting unknown (8:57 to 10:17) with no means of return. –CyBro

How to choose the best song in an album full of nothing but instantly memorable, high quality choruses? An arduous task, but at the end of the day I have to go with the one that hits me hardest in the feels. “Caverns”, a complex number where Thank You Scientist start out heavy on the prog, has a beautiful buildup that leads to a chorus both catchily upbeat and fundamentally dark. The melody being sung over the simple bar-chord guitar progression, accompanied by the counterpoint flourishes provided by the violin, sax and trumpet, create the best chorus of the season bar absolutely none. Top that with depressing lyrics, cool bass lines, an amazing guitar solo and a freakin’ theramin, and you have the best song of this nerd’s 2016. –Mosh Hoff

This album wasn’t in my top ten (it was close), but that doesn’t matter when it contains THE MOST BADASS SONG OF 2016. Eternal Champion’s “I Am the Hammer” makes you feel exactly like the band’s namesake. The guitars and drums steadily march forward as vocalist Jason Tarpey warns incoming armies of his power. This is all just set up for an incredible chorus, one where the guitars seemingly ascend to Valhalla chord by chord as Tarpey howls “I command the guards of Lourn, I am the hammer.” It’s getting me pumped just thinking about it. A great album, an unfuckwithable song. –Leif Bearickson

THUNDERCHUNK – Hammerhands (Largo Forte) — A violent anthem for the toxically masculine. The riffs pound you into the ground like a railroad spike driven into unforgiving earth by a man with everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain by it. Heed its warning well: bare your teeth and flex your muscles, but in the end there will be nothing left. Listen loud, preferably in a space that is not occupied by fragile or valuable objects. –Old Man Doom

I don’t know if future me will forgive myself for not including Moon Tooth’s Chromaparagon on my top 10 list, but I hope this makes up for it. From the crazed but perfectly matching vocals to the unique stylings of the guitar, it is somehow heavy, accessible, and totally weird all at once. I don’t see how you can not pay attention while this song plays. –Joaquin Stick

I am ever so tired of writing about the music that is already on my Top 10 list, so I’m going off list to choose my favorite song from my favorite album that did not make the list. Soft Kill‘s Choke is a great addition to the exciting modern post-punk thing, and only really fell off my Top 10 because their previous album, 2015’s Heresy, was sooooooo much better. “Wake Up” is one of those songs that inspires happiness and sadness at the same time. It has an upbeat rhythm and bright chiming guitar tone, but the low breathy mumble of the vocals and the bittersweet guitar melodies keep any true hope from breaking through. Best served driving in winter with the windows down and the heat on for maximum sensory confusion. Shocker: it’s not even a little bit metal. –Richter

There are three songs from Zeal and Ardor that have conveniently disappeared from the internet that I would’ve put down as song of the year here, but I’ve decided to soldier on without them with a more than worthy replacement. I have Sect’s “Curfew” on standby to fill the void. When I think of a song, it’s music and lyrics working together to achieve maximum effect. Sect released this song well in advance of their self-titled debut in response to the police shootings of African Americans over the course of the summer. Lyrically, Chris Colohan is at the top of his game on this track as he lays down a scathing indictment of the systems and institutions that enable cops who kill unarmed citizens to essentially get off scott free with no accountability for something any other ordinary civilian would certainly be tried and sentenced for. Musically, the band channel’s 90’s death metal from the likes of Entombed and Cannibal Corpse and deliver it through the lens of a crusty hardcore band. It’s a molotav cocktail of a song in every aspect. Click on the link that will take you to the Bandcamp page and follow along with the lyrics as you listen. It’s been a great year for music, but pretty awful in just about every other aspect so this song will most certainly not cheer you up, but it will offer confirmation of just how rotten everything has been. –Ron Deuce

Cop out choice? Not at all. Unlike virtually every other progressive metal concept album that is “meant to be listened to as a whole”, every riff in these 33 minutes of music actually seem like logical extensions of one another. “Pleiades’ Dust” is not 4 different 8 minute song arbitrarily lumped together in a single track, nor is it a repetitive, droning undertaking ala Dopesmoker, nor is it merely riff salad. This is a unified piece with peaks, valleys, a consistent vision, and a tragic story at its core. It is a unique accomplishment, and therefore the best song of 2016. –HessianHunter

2016 has been an interesting and fortuitous year in the continuation of my life-long musical journey. I have listened to more music than any year beforehand and 2017 looks like it will be just as intense. However, one thing remains for certain; I will not be able to rediscover Dungeon Synth. Now, so far this year you have heard my ramblings regarding this mysterious genre and dealt with a number of articles depicting my discoveries. it should be fairly obvious that I enjoy this music and and its surrounding mythos. To signify this momentous occasion I have chosen “In My Medieval Dreams” as my personal song of the year. It is the song that I feel best represents my newfound passion for this genre and the friendships that have, in turn, grown from that seed. Join me now in remembering a time far gone as we look forward to the new year. –Boss the Ross

Above all else, VRTRA‘s competence lies in harnessing the power of the riff. Genres be damned (or in this case, perfectly blended), as long as the riffs are right, you’ve staked a claim in this packed metal underground. And in VRTRA’s case, it’s a mighty big claim. At just 3 tracks, “My Bones Hold a Stillness” stands as one of the best releases of the year. This track tells the whole story. –Celtic Frosty



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  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Come on guys, get a grip. 2016 was ALL ABOUT the throwback old school soul jams.


    • CyberneticOrganism


    • Depechemodeisgangsta

      My cousin showed me that song, and it for some reason, i enjoyed the crap out of it.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Haha I don’t think I’ll ever be able to tolerate Mumford & Sons.

  • Brock Samson

    Celestial Grave released my favorite demo this year and the opening track on it was by far my most played song this year.


    • Stanley

      This would be my favorite song also. Except my post above.

  • I want to like that Gorguts, but I’m not a fan of single song albums or super long songs

  • Stanley
  • GL
    • GL

      Just talked to my boss. Got a promotion and a 10% raise.



      • Was he like “sure, all you had to do was ask GL!”

        • GL


    • Celtic Frosty

      Dude, scout’s honor, I almost picked this one. It’s such a great song.

  • Rob M
    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Asphyx is consistently enjoyable, but they set a rather high standard with their first two albums, which they never bettered imo. Anyway, any excuse to hear some more Van Drunen is a valid one. Van Drunen could even provide vocals for a deathcore band and I’d listen to it.


      • Rob M

        Van Drunen is one of my favorites as well, hes just one of those old school dudes who really seems to live for metal.

        I thought Death…The Brutal Way was a pretty good return to form, but between Hail of Bullets, Grand Supreme Blood Court, and Aspyhx it felt like there was too much coming out in too short a period of time. As weird as it is to not have him doing vocals for H.o.B anymore, I think it made the new Asphyx album stand out more to me

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm


  • I have a few!

    This one follows a pretty tried and true punk formula, but the results are quite effective.

    My favorite, most ignorant song this year.

    Dig that groovy intro before the blasting starts.

    I love arpeggio Virvum uses throughout this track.

    Starship Troopers meets quality tech death.

    Snazzy synthwave buoyed by boner-hard rhythm guitars.


    This strikes some mournful chord deep within me.

    • Joaquin Stick

      Cheater. The whole point of this thing is to torture yourself until you just spit out a song to make the voices stop.

      • Rob M

        I thought I was the only one!

      • Huh. Y’know the introduction sounds more like a suggestion (“Our writers have each selected their favorite track of the year. Get in here and share yours.”) and less like a mandate to pick one song.

        • Joaquin Stick

          THE IMPLICATION THO!!!!!!!!!!


          • GL


          • Señor Jefe El Rosa


    • ONE SONG. ONE.

      • Ugh, you expect me to READ?

        • W.

          We learned to lower our expectations after the promise of a second OSDM article.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod


          • I say a lotta cruel shit, but I can’t top when you hit Gurp and Moshito with taunts about their aborted blog posts.

          • W.

            I’d direct them at Randall too, but at least he has the decency to just not write anything in the first place.

          • I should probably write things again. I keep flirting with the idea, but never fully committing.

          • Your disappointed face haunts my dreams at night, dad.

      • Brutalist_Receptacle


    • CyberneticOrganism

      Trap Them >>>>>
      Dance With The Dead >>>>>

    • Waynecro


  • Howard Dean

    Top 5 tracks of the year:

    Deathspell Omega – title track from The Synarchy of Molten Bones

    Dark Fury – Sharp Steel (one of the best riffs of the year in this beast)

    Mindkult – King & Priest (dread-inducing occult doom–great lyrics, as well!)

    Vapaudenristi – Wotanin Pedot (total banger)

    Dead Congregation – Wind’s Bane

    • ONE.

    • Stanley

      I was learning to play that Sharp Steel riff yesterday.

      • Howard Dean

        Fuuuuuck man, that’s awesome. That riff is deadly. Leading off the album with that beast was almost unfair. Five seconds in and I was hooked.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      Yeah but Kansojen Hävittäjä

      • Howard Dean

        Indeed, my friend. Can’t wait for that new Goatmoon album.

  • Sir Crawfish The Based

    I guess I’ll go with this one

  • Rob M

    Not to completely derail this thread…but holy shit this is freaking me the fuck out!


  • Oooh sexy, dat CyBro pick!
    Here is mine (for oddballs who care): Do you remember when bands really took the time to craft a memorable and emotional song to endcap an album? One that brings the feels, often of relief, after the br00tality which proceeded it. Enjoy the melodic closer “Veritas” from Entropia’s Ufonaut:


    • Entropia is amazing

    • Maik Beninton™


      • I am a procrastinator and it would appear that the lists are finished for the year

        • 1. Mama
          2. Just killed a man
          3. Put a gun against his head
          4. Pulled my trigger
          5. Now he’s dead
          6. Mamaaaa
          7. Life had just begun
          8. And now
          9. I’ve gone and thrown it all away
          10. Mamaaaaaaaaaoooooohhhhhhh

          • NO KANSAS

          • It’s not Kansas it’s Adele

          • JWEG

            Is it me you’re looking for?

          • more beer

            Funny because those are Queen lyrics. Bohemian Rhapsody to be precise. Here is a lyric video of it. Starts at 55 seconds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWE7boPU6kI

          • Whoosh

          • more beer

            Since I don’t listen to Adele. How do I know she didn’t cover it. I never listen to the radio. I don’t even have stations set in my truck.

          • Me either lol. I just tried to name a popular artist. I haven’t used the radio in ages. Bluetooth for life

          • more beer

            Yep way to many choices besides the crap that is on the radio.

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    A powerviolence cover of a Sisters of Mercy song? My life is now complete.

  • mother☆shabubu

    This is the song of 2016. Just as a warning: the video is quite NSFW.


    • I made it 28 seconds. This is literally the worst.

    • This album made me really happy that rammstein lyrics are in German so that I don’t know how fucked they are.

  • GL

    I tried listening to that Eternal Champion a few times this year, I just could not get into it.

    After seeing all the love for it, I am going to give it another try.


    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      At first I wanted to call you a poser, I will wait until after you relisten to call you a poser.

    • Elegant Gazing Globe

      you liked sumerlands but couldn’t get into EC? FOUND THE POSER

      • GL

        Correction, I loved Sumerlands. Top album of 2016 for me. The EC vocals are just kinda winy sounding? The timbre sounds weird too… I don’t know.

        • Elegant Gazing Globe

          since when does Mr Scary not focus solely on the riffs?

          • GL

            I uh… huh. I have no idea!

        • Óðinn

          Haha! I didn’t realize it was your favorite album. My apologies. Now I kind of feel like a dick.

        • EsusMoose

          I agree, Sumerlands was great, EC’s vocals were not good

    • Óðinn

      Yes. There’s always that one album that everybody loves, but you can’t seem to get into. I’m feeling the same way about Sumerlands if I’m honest.

      • GL

        And if you are not being honest?

        • Óðinn

          Fuckin’ love Sumerlands, bro. Fuckin’ Metal, kick ass!!!!

          • GL

            THERE’S MY BOY!

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    Old Fart Halls – Katatonia

    Probably not my actual favorite but it’s been a repeat a bunch recently and also makes a great spoonerism

  • JWEG

    No, I’m not actually kidding:


    If I measure my favourite song of the year solely by how often I’ve repeated it compared to others this is it. And finding one I liked “more” but for some reason played less has become too much of a chore so I’m leaving it at the above.

    • I like this song way more than any other Ghost song I’ve heard, and way more than any other songs on the buttrock station, so . . . I guess I kind of like Ghost now?

      • Joaquin Stick

        Unrelated, Finally just got a chance to listen to everything in the post and really like that Soft Kill song. I’ll listen to that last album you said is better asap.

        • The previous album is “Heresy” and it is much darker and more depressive.

    • EsusMoose

      So stupidly catchy that I’m pissed they didn’t play it when I saw them a month or so before they released popestar would have saved that concert from being a boring experience (had seen them before and they were lacking a bassist so it was weird, also buttrock station fans were there)

    • CyberneticOrganism

      This is a great song, but I’m not wild about the covers on the rest of that EP.

  • Maik Beninton™

    Dormant Ordeal – The Mist.
    Looking at all these lists, I realized I didn’t listen to almost anything released this year, kinda expected cause I only listened to old shit.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Old shit>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • Lacertilian

      Nice pick Maiko

  • KyleJMcBride
  • AeonsOvChaos

    Christmas tunes are coming for all the others:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px4rTPl1mqI

  • KyleJMcBride
  • GL

    Where have Tyree and KSOFM been? Did they both leave?

    • KyleJMcBride

      KSOFM has been about recently, don’t know about Tyree.

      • Óðinn

        He became so true that he only exists now as a haunting demonic force in a Norwegian forest somewhere. Butt seriously, I don’t know.

    • Sir Crawfish The Based

      I wanna know where KJU is

  • Eliza

    Well, since the song I was thinking of has been taken, I’ll go my other favourite song of the year: https://youtu.be/JAmt6zN9vOk

    • GL

      Never listened to more than a song or two from these guys… That track was good!

      • Eliza

        Being a massive fan of theirs, of course I will advise you to listen to their entire discography, since I know it’s worth it.

  • Depechemodeisgangsta

    Sorry i’m breaking the rules, but Sumac, Clutch of Oblivion (1-2) was amazing for me.

  • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ
  • tigeraid


  • tigeraid

    I know I just wanna post all of Khemmis but I feel like some sort of record… that is damaged…

    Does this work?


  • <3 Joaquin.

  • EsusMoose

    Celestial Violence, Square Hammer, or Below are up there for me

  • Waynecro

    Man, I couldn’t even limit my favorite albums of 2016 to ten, so there’s no way I can pick a single song.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I decided on a song that best describes my personal year, rather than a “best song” what a cop out

      • Waynecro

        That’s not a cop out at all. In fact, it seems pretty appropriate. Hell, I was just going to say this was my favorite song of the year because I couldn’t make up my mind about a metal song.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Nice! Picking a metal somg is wayyyy too hard.

  • lagerbottoms


    I think Sets was the second song I heard of this album. Been a fan of Car Bomb since w^w^^w^w and always loved their style, but on Meta they perfected it. And that Frank Mullen feature is probably my favorite vocal feature of all time. His crazy death growls are as deep as they were on Effigy of the Forgotten.

    Car Bomb riffs like fucking laser guns