Wow! What a suck-fest 2016 was, huh? Lemmy goes and dies in the waning moments of 2015 and it’s all gone to hell since then. Bowie, Brexit, Prince, Trump, Mohammad Ali, ISIS, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Frye, Harambe, Keith Emerson AND Greg Lake, Standing Rock… the list of death, destruction, and atrocities goes on. Hell, The Cubs even won the World Series, so you know the end must be near! Thankfully though, we metalheads had a treasure-trove of great new music in which to drown our sorrows. There were so many great albums released that it was more difficult than ever for me to work up my year-end best-of list! Who would’ve though that Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Darkthrone would all drop their greatest albums in decades? Perhaps another seal of the apocalypse breaking? I’ll let you decide that one for yourself. And as for the younger bands, there seem to be great ones crawling out of the woodwork everywhere.
So, without further ado, I present to you my favorite metal albums of 2016 from across all of the myriad subgenres. Keep in mind please, that this is exactly that… my favorite albums of the year. Yours are undoubtedly different. You probably even strongly disagree with some or all of my selections. Which is perfectly fine. Go write your own damn column!
Allegaeon‘s music is so heavy and technically intricate that it needs a bit of comic relief. That’s why the technical melodeath band from Fort Collins, Colorado are as well known for their wacky and lighthearted videos as they are for their epically crushing compositions. There is something oddly satisfying about a band whose songs deal with subjects as weighty as astrophysics, trigonometry, extraterrestrial life, and stem cell research making goofy videos. In the clip for their recent single “1.618” (a song about the so-called “golden ratio”), they mocked the ridiculous modern metal scene by spinning the “wheel of subgenres” and then morphed hilariously into the corresponding fashions.
In the video for today’s Massive Metal Monday track “Threshold of Perception,” they visit the beach for a little fun, sun and death metal. You ain’t seen nothing until you’ve seen a blast beat on children’s sand pails or a death metal singer brushing his teeth while growling gutturals! So check it out, crank it up, and enjoy. And, if you dig what you’re hearing, pick up a copy of Allegaeon’s brilliant new album Elements of the Infinite on Metal Blade Records.