The end of an era. Well, the year. Here are what I consider to be my most important albums of 2016. This was a particularly tough year to narrow down as it was truly exceptional. There were so many great albums from all kinds of calibre bands. It was, more importantly, a great year for new music, or at least younger bands, and this will hopefully continue for the next few years.
This list is not in a strict order, apart from the higher ranking albums, and if necessitated, their placement has been explained.
20. Russian Circles – Guidance
I’m not sure if this album is great, or if the guitar riff at the end of ‘Vorel’ has genuinely changed my life. Either way, it’s a decent album from the post-metallers.
19. Metallica – Hardwired … to Self-Destruct
Well, well, well. Look who decided to do something good. If they kept it to a single disc, and stuck ‘Spit out the Bone’ at the end of it (maybe another) then this album would be pretty much perfect. However, it’s still a decent record, especially considering the lack of hope so many people had.
18. Haken – Affinity
Haken is just smashing, just smashing. In a year when Dream Theater released their drawn-out overindulgent piece I was looking forward to Haken‘s release even more. I think they may just be better than DT now … maybe.
17. Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
In light of Tom Searle’s passing, this album is ever more poignant. I stress that its placement here does not diminish its value. This is truly an exceptional record and the band are at the forefront of heavy metal in Britain. This album has impacted so many people and though the year will be remembered for good and bad reasons for the band, the horizon is even brighter.
16. Oathbreaker – Rheia
This band are from Ghent (which may or may not sound like Djent \m/) in Belgium, and that’s cool. This album has been called a ‘game-changer’ and as such probably deserves a higher place on this list. It’s probably this low down because of how little I listened to it compared to how much I should have. But there is a lot of promise from this band, potentially revolutionary.