The presented list are a selection of albums that I have enjoyed all year round. They have remained in my mp3 player, phone, stereo etc and haven’t budged for no man, woman or orc. Not once did I get sick of listening to these little beauties and I recommend you check them out. These records were not selected due to their review score but by my personal tastes.
There are some which will make the die hard metal head roll their eyes. Babymetal making the list two years in a row for example. Some people will also question why the likes of Lordi are on anyone’s top <whatever> list, but the truth of the matter is that I really don’t care what others think. I had fun with these albums and I hope you will give them the time of day too.
[list_item] Babymetal [/list_item]
Once again, I have to give a shout out to the magnificent Babymetal and their album, Metal Resistance. By now, it has become quite popular to slag off or completely write off this Japanese trio. But from my point of view, they have released one of the best albums of 2016.
What’s great about it you say? Well it is simple. Their record is so full of positive energy and different styles that it is just impossible not to give the girls (and the band) their due. Metal Resistance so far has not got old for me, it is still on constant rotation in my stereo and I can’t see it ending anytime soon.
With all the coverage this band has gave the website this year, we are thankful to Babymetal and their fan sites for not only supporting us but other smaller music websites too.
[list_item] Dawn of a Dark Age [/list_item]
If you’re wanting some of the best black metal out there then Dawn of a Dark Age is your band. With their fourth release, Air, the band went onto record not only their most impressive and consistent effort but also their most professional.
Mixing jazz styles with the brutal black metal sound is something that a lot of professionals couldn’t pull off, and yet Mr Vittorio Sabelli has done just that with four consecutive albums in a row. Despite the fact that I love all four albums, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that Air is his defining album as of 2016 and is well worth picking up for those metal heads who want something different.
Support our friend Vittorio by checking out his albums on Bandcamp or purchasing them (with some cool t-shirts) from the website here!
[list_item] Blaze Bayley [/list_item]
2016 was the year that I caught up with the solo work of ex-Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley. I had caught a video of his on Youtube and I thought it sounded quite impressive. So in a move that was completely out of character for me *cough*, I purchased his album, Infinite Entanglement as well as the three previously released studio albums just to see what Mr Bayley had been up to this last few years.
The first thing that hit me was his voice. After all this time, Blaze is still improving as a singer and that much was evident within the first minutes of his album, Infinite Entanglement. He has went from the snarling Iron Maiden front man to a polished, powerful and very versatile singer. From heavy thrash numbers to a soft folkish track, Blaze puts on one of the finest performances of his career.
Infinite Entanglement is one of my favourite heavy metal albums of the year and I can’t wait to see if he’ll return to Aberdeen, Scotland. I would love to hear this material in a live setting. For those like his previous work or want something solid, buy it.
[list_item] Ghost [/list_item]
I can already hear peoples eyes roll as they see Ghost mentioned in this list. Since I got into Ghost a few years ago, they have grown in popularity much more then any of us predicted. They continue to tour and release records with an equal amount of praise and hate from metal heads. Some people accept the unique style and the fun mysterious gimmick, others are too busy drooling over their limited edition Eddy Iron Maiden jock straps to even care.
With the release of their EP, Popestar. Ghost unintentionally released one of the best singles of the year, that being the song, Squarehammer. This song has been receiving praise from rock fans young and old. They have even gone so far as to win some impressive awards.
Now as fantastic as the song is, it wasn’t the highlight for me personally. I have a weak spot for the excellent covers Missionary Man and Bible. These two songs work together as an epic one two punch that knocks me senseless every time. There is something in these songs that just make it a wonderful experience to listen to. Ghost do a great job writing songs (as we have seen with Meliora) and they clearly use the same amount of effort with their cover versions. This kind of passion and professionalism is exactly why I haven’t put this extended play down since I got it.
[list_item] Destruction [/list_item]
When you want a reasonably loud burst of vintage thrash metal, never look further than Germany’s Destruction and their release Under Attack. These guys have been blasting out consistent heavy metal for so long now that it has become a tradition to instantly think of them when you want to thrash.
Even though you could quite easily question their originality when it comes to song writing, they do have a specific style after all. You most certainly can not question their musicianship and the fact that their albums are frequent, consistent and normally leaps and bounds more entertaining than most bands in the thrash metal genre.
Those wanting some hyperactive brutal thrash metal that make Slayer and Metallica sound like a bunch of cry babies, look no further. Destruction are one of and will always be one of the best out there.
[list_item] Lordi [/list_item]
When Mr. Lordi announced that their new album, Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy) would be a split album. One side would be a party hard classic style Lordi album and the other side would be a King Diamond style concept album, my ears instantly perked up and I was giddy with excitement. If Mr. Lordi is good at one thing, it was writing some fun, dark and humorous concepts for songs.
Well it is safe to say that my excitement for, Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy) was not let down. This is a career defining album for the band Lordi and I couldn’t recommend it more, I really couldn’t. The album has some fun silly anthems as well as some dark turns here and there. These are all topped off with some tasteful guitar playing and great rhythm work from the band.
People give a lot of stick to Lordi for no real reason. It is generally quite disrespectful and quite a shame as Lordi are one of the more entertaining (and consistent) bands out there. Lordi have been releasing a lot of quality albums for a long time now and they have completely out did themselves with this one.
I can tell you one thing, GWAR have never released an album half as good as this!
[list_item] Primal Fear [/list_item]
I have been listening to Primal Fear going on fifteen years now and there is not a week goes by where I don’t crank up one of their albums in all their metal glory. These guys haven’t released much in the way of bad songs and their 2016 release Rulebreaker just destroyed any notion of that ever happening.
At a quick glance, Rulebreaker sounds like the typical heavy metal style that we’ve come to know from Primal Fear. But it isn’t until you dig deeper that you hear the superb craftsmanship of these songs, topped off by some very well done studio work. The band sound more powerful than they ever have and I doubt many bands will be able to do the same. Ralf Scheepers sings his heart out as he delivers what are (in my opinion) some of his best vocal lines, period.
This album features so many great riffs, so many fantastic tasteful solos and vocal acrobatics that it could make even the most seasoned bands blush. There is a lot of material on offer, it is a long album but don’t let that put you off. This album is one that drags you in and holds your attention for the whole time it is on. If you want an example of heavy metal defining the word bad ass, the guitar work alone would do it here.