Terrorizer’s Albums Of The Year 2016 – Part 3

By on 8 December 2016
neurosis-band-1

Neurosis

2016 has been one hell of a turbulent year, but if there’s one positive we can all agree on, it’s the last twelve months have given us a metric fucktonne of great metal records. Though we’ll probably never be able to agree on which one is definitively “the best”, and there’s something strangely futile about even trying to do so in the first place given the wealth and diversity of music we’ve been granted this year, we persevered, asked our writers to vote for their favourites and then compiled those into a list of 50 of 2016’s most essential albums. We’ve beeen counting down to number one over the last few days, beginning with numbers 50 to 31, and continuing with 30 to 11, and finishing today with the top ten. So, don’t get too wound up over the order; instead, kick back, relax and ask yourself, ‘how many of these do I still need to hear?’

10-nails10. NAILS ‘You Will Never Be One of Us’ NUCLEAR BLAST
Dialling up the weightier elements of their grindy hardcore genre soup, Nails’ epic third album (21 minutes!) finds them ploughing a furrow somewhere between latter-day Napalm Death and the sort of hardcore that brags about what weight it benches, bro. Nails remain as intense as ever but now also sound as tough as, well, nails. [Ed Chapman]

 

 

9-oranssi-pazuzu9. ORANSSI PAZUZU ‘Värähtelijä’ SVART
On their fourth album the Finnish band shed their black metal roots almost entirely, letting their krautrock-inspired experimental nature take over, and the end result is the masterful ‘Värähtelijä’. Jazz fusion jams commingle with expressive guitar solos and spaced-out passages with astonishing grace, with something thrilling to discover at every turn. [Adrien Begrand]

 

 

8-cult-of-luna-and-julie-christmas8. CULT OF LUNA AND JULIE CHRISTMAS ‘Mariner’ INDIE
A transatlantic collaboration born from mutual admiration, ‘Mariner’ sees Cult Of Luna and Julie Christmas deliver a compelling journey that draws on tranquil calm and unearthly heaviness, with Julie’s mix of innocent falsetto and banshee wails offseting Johannes Persson’s guttural roar. An exhilarating voyage forged with equal parts bold experimentation and absence of ego, ‘Marnier’ is a bona fide classic. [Ross Baker]

 

 

7-cobalt7. COBALT ‘Slow Forever’ PROFOUND LORE
Putting the Phil McSorley drama behind him, Cobalt mastermind/multi-instrumentalist/visionary Erik Wunder enlisted ex-Lord Mantis vocalist Charlie Fell to create a psychologically-searing, metaphor-laden tour de force that beautifully exhibits Cobalt’s ever-evolving artistry and depth. ‘Slow Forever’ offers listeners an enthralling, and at times utterly harrowing, musical treatise on the dark, savage instinctual nature of man. [John Mincemoyer]

 

 

6-subrosa6. SUBROSA ‘For This We Fought The Battle of The Ages’ PROFOUND LORE
SubRosa solidified their reputation as doom innovators thanks to an album that delves into darker territory than before. The key components remain – Rebecca Vernon’s powerful songwriting accompanied by dual violins – but its dystopian themes inspired by Yevgeny Zamyatin makes it a fitting soundtrack to a year of great unrest. [Adrien Begrand]

 

 

5-40-watt-sun5. 40 WATT SUN ‘Wider Than The Sky’ SVART
Easing off on the distorted wall of sound that had defined both Warning and 40 Watt Sun’s previous album, ‘Wider Than The Sky’ proves that Patrick Walker’s songwriting is every bit as powerful and emotive when stripped back to basics. Walking a fine line between elation and sorrow, this could be Walker’s most mature, nuanced set of songs. [Kez Whelan]

 

 

4-trap-them4. TRAP THEM ‘Crown Feral’ PROSTHETIC
Tweaking the HM-2 for their own nefarious purposes, Trap Them sound suitably rejuvenated on their fifth full-length. They also sound as miserable and angry as ever, like life has been kicking them around like a football in a schoolyard. Tack a powerful wall of Swedish death metal melodies onto transposed anger and the results are blackened and sublime. [Kevin Stewart-Panko]

 

 

3-oathbreaker3. OATHBREAKER ‘Rheia’ DEATHWISH
Few can deny the impact Belgium’s Oathbreaker have had with third album ‘Rheia’. From Caro Tanghe’s stunning vocal performance to the nuanced musicianship that embraces black metal, hardcore, post rock and more besides – it’s a rare thing when an album deserves every shred of critical and fan praise that’s lavished upon it. A vital release. [Jay Hampshire]

 

 

2-darkthrone2. DARKTHRONE ‘Arctic Thunder’ PEACEVILLE
Just like Neurosis, so too Darkthrone seem to have closed out a cycle with their previous album. In the case of the legendary Norwegian duo of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, their creative restlessness has become a staple, especially with their 21st century output, but this effort felt more like the beginning of a whole new chapter than most other Darkthrone records have. More unified, consistent and focused, less celebratory, recapturing a more serious vibe, with Nocturno Culto’s vocals reigning over the overall Celtic Frost-ness, ‘Arctic Thunder’ was a veritable catalogue of dark and heavy riffs that few other bands could ever match in their wildest dreams. [José Carlos Santos]

 

tp0004c_Double_Gate_Cover_only1. NEUROSIS ‘Fires Within Fires’ NEUROT
Just like their live show after the departure of Josh Graham, Neurosis became rawer, more hardened and even simpler in a way, following the cycle-closing ‘Honor Found In Decay’. ‘Fires Within Fires’ is their shortest and most concise record since ‘Pain Of Mind’, but at the same time it’s one of the deepest, most memorable and dynamic of an illustrious, world-changing career that has celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Only five songs, but as one full piece they unleash the spontaneous, exploding-star kind of energy that Neurosis, and no one else, are capable of creating. [José Carlos Santos]

 

About Kez Whelan

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