Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Top 10 Albums of 2016

Top 10 albums of 2016

10.) Begrime Extemious - The Enslavement Conquest

     I always try to go out of my way to listen to Canadian bands because I am Canadian and I like to see what my fellow countrymen are up to in the metal scene.  Hailing from Ontario, these dudes really know their death metal.  The Incantation cover in the middle of the album raised suspicions that this would be another Incantation clone but there is a lot more going on.  On this release we have Morbid Angel shit, Death shit, Entombed shit and of course Incantation shit.  The amount of variety of OSDM influence on this album will have me coming back to this for a long time.  This is a MUST HAVE.

9.) Odinfist - The Old Lighthouse

     Never underestimate a band from your home town.  It is so easy to hear the music your old, school classmates recorded and dismiss it as, "just another local band."  The assumption being that local bands are inferior to "big" bands but we all know this isn't true.  Famous bands are famous because they are talented, innovative and in the right place at the right time.  Many bands never become famous because they were never in the right place at the right time.  It doesn't mean they're not innovative or creative.  Odinfist (if you didn't guess) are a band I've been aware of since I saw them at my high school talent show in 2006, they weren't much then but they are SO much more now.  The Fist are pumping out some wicked power/traditional metal with some thrashy leanings in the vein of Iced Earth and Judas Priest.  Like Judas Priest they opted to include some hard rock tracks which are always welcome.  My favorite track on the album is Symphony of a Burned out City which was originally recorded by one of their guitarist's side project, Son of Scarlet which is also worth checking out.  Remember, just because a band hasn't gone on a world tour or been featured in Guitar World Magazine doesn't mean they are unworthy of your playlist.

8.) Ripper - Experiment of Existence

     Ripper comes thrashing out of Chilli like a bat out of hell.  These dudes are the real deal.  If you dug Beneath the Remains you'll love this one.  That's not to say that this band is a Sepultura rip-off or anything, they actually bring a much more modern twist to an old sound and it's really cool.  The best thing about this release is the bass playing, it is top notch and out of this world. 

     7.) Anaal Nathrakh - The Whole of the Law

     If you're anything like me, when you think of blackened grind you imagine something like Blasphemy or Revenge but these guys are there own beast.  If you're reading this you probably know all about these guys, they are a pretty big name in extreme metal.  This is actually my first introduction to the band and now I am thirsty for more.  The drum machine adds a lot more than it takes away and these guys can unleash some pummelling music that will kick the shit out of you and leave you singing along, yeah, that's right, these songs are as catchy as they are destructive.  Sick album.

6.) Auroch - Mute Books

     In the year 2011 my mind was blown by Mitochondrion's second album, Parasisgnosis and I have been searching for another album that can achieve that same sort of esoteric and evil atmosphere ever since.  In my search I came across Auroch who actually share to members with Mitochondrion but they had a bit of a different style to them and I never really got into them.  In 2016 I figured I would give these dudes another chance and I am glad I did, this album is incredible, you've got to hear it to believe it, it may even surpass Parasignosis! 

 5.) Khemmis - Hunted

     Look at that album cover!  LOOK AT IT!  How cool is that?  Super cool!  Know what's even cooler?  The music that is attached to it.  These dudes put out their first album last year and have shown no signs of slowing down.  This album manages to be crushingly heavy and beautifully melodic.  Their singer has a great voice and delivers some amazing cleans and some devastating growls which are used sparingly.  The lead guitarist also does an excellent job with some Iron Maiden influenced melodies that add a delicious layer of icing to this doom metal cake. 

4.) Desaster - The Oath of an Iron Ritual

     It is sad to say that CD stores are slowly becoming a thing of the past and metal heads have to order things online if they want anything even slightly underground, which is why I was surprised to stumble across this album in HMV.  I had actually never heard of the band but the misspelled band name (yeah, I know it's the German spelling), pentagram infused logo and grim looking cover immediately got me excited.  The music was also really cool unlike most black/thrash bands these guys actually have black metal riffs and thrash metal riffs side by side on all of their tracks; while most bands will just throw some black metal aesthetic on a thrash tune and call 'er a day.  The vocals took me a couple of listens to get used to but they are actually really good, even if they don't sit well in the mix.

3.) Darkthrone - Arctic Thunder

     Darkthrone have released yet another album and this time things are different.  They are actually playing black metal again!  Don't expect to hear a rehash of A Blaze in the Northern Sky or anything.  This album has more in common with Ravishing Grimness and Hate Them than anything from the early nineties but it is still cool to hear more tunes in the style of their mid-era.  I should also note that although this is in the same style as their older albums, there are still new ideas to be found, there is a stronger prevalence of doom metal than the band has ever had before, even on Panzerfaust which is a really nice surprise.  I will admit that I am a bit disappointed they didn't continue in the traditional metal direction but this is still a really good album.

2.) Anthrax - For all Kings

     Anthrax have Joey back on vocals and have released their best album since State of Euphoria... nothing more for me to say.

 1.) Baby Metal - Whatever this album is called

     Well, folks.  This is as good as it gets.  They play METAL and they have CUTE GIRLS THAT DANCE.  How awesome is that?  The hired musician's that preformed on this release are quite talented as can be displayed in the Dragon Force influenced lead work but who cares?  There are plenty of talented guitarists in real bands so lets focus on what's important: CUTE GIRLS DANCING!  #bestbandever