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!
Killswitch Engage Incarnate CD | MP3 Label: Roadrunner Records
Release date: March 11, 2016
Killswith Engage‘s last album, Disarm The Descent, was a ripping return to form for a band that many had written off as being past their prime. The return of original vocalist Jesse Leach after a nine-year absence was just the injection of new lifeblood that the Massachusetts metalcore pioneers had been in desperate need of. Disarm The Descent was an absolute master class in modern metal that kicked the listener’s ass up one side and down the other. I gave the album a perfect 10 out of 10 and would ultimately go on to name it my favorite album of the year for 2013. The lead single “In Due Time” earned Killswitch a Grammy nomination for “Best Hard Rock or Metal Performance.”
Now, after three years KSE is back with their seventh studio album Incarnate. The question on everyone’s mind is, “How do you follow up a nearly perfect record?” The answer… by somehow ramping up the quality of songwriting and a heavier than ever delivery!
Incarnate is the name of the upcoming album from Massachusetts metalcore mavens Killswitch Engage. It will be available March 11, 2016 via Roadrunner Records. The record will be the band’s seventh full-length album and the second since the return of original singer Jesse Leach in 2013. Leach’s first album after rejoining, 2013’s excellent Disarm The Descent garnered the band the highest praise of their career and it’s lead single “In Due Time” was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Metal Performance” category.
Killswitch Engage never disappoint. The Massachusetts metalcore pioneers are set to release their seventh album next Spring and they have gifted us with a sneak peek in the form of the album’s first single, the ripping “Strength of Mind.” Fans of the band may recognize the song, as they have been playing it on recent tour dates, but now we are getting to hear the final album version. The official video for the song has just been released and it is sure to please any hardcore KsE fan.
Check out the official video for “Strength of Mind” here below.
At the end of last year, we learned that metal titans Anthrax would be contributing a song to Catch the Throne: The Mixtape Vol. II, the official Game Of Thrones album featuring music inspired by the events of Season 4 of the popular HBO series. The New York thrash band had been in the studio working on their follow-up to 2011’s Worship Music, their first album with lead singer Joey Belladonna since 1990’s Persistence Of Time, when they posted studio photos to their social media accounts that were captioned #”ŽCatchTheThrone”¬. The hashtag was an obvious Game Of Thrones reference, as that was the title of the first mixtape compilation featuring songs inspired by Seasons 1-3.
Now, Anthrax and HBO have released a quick teaser video that contains interviews with several members of the band talking about the television series, intercut with footage of them in the studio, so we get to hear a snippet of the song, which is about the Lannister family.
Check out the teaser video here below, which features guitarist Scott Ian — who just appeared as the Steel Pole Walker on last Sunday’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead — bassist Frank Bello, and drummer Charlie Benante.