Terrorizer’s Albums Of The Year 2016 – Part 1

By on 6 December 2016

conan

2016 has been one hell of a turbulent year, but if there’s one positive we can all agree on, it’s that 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’ll be counting down to number one over the next few days, beginning with numbers 50 to 31, 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?’

50-testament50. TESTAMENT ‘Brotherhood Of The Snake’ NUCLEAR BLAST
Testament? More like Bestament on what is arguably their most interesting record to date. The callibre of challenging ideas showcased on ‘Brotherhood…’ stretch beyond their signature catchy thrash, into an ambitiously technical realm. A perfectly vital blend of classic and modern metal. [Serena Cherry]

 

 

 

49-krypts49. KRYPTS ‘Remnants Of Expansion’ DARK DESCENT
At its very core, this is classic old-school death metal akin to what their fellow countrymen Amorphis or Purtenance were doing in the early ’90s, except that there’s something really creepy and almost cosmic, in a Lovecraftian kind of way, about Krypts. [Olivier ‘Zoltar’ Badin]

 

 

 

48-sabaton48. SABATON ‘The Last Stand’ NUCLEAR BLAST
The gimmick might be the same, but the Swedish power metal kings sound rejuvenated and triumphant on their rousing eighth album, cranking out energetic war-themed anthems that never fail to get blood – and fists – pumping. [Adrien Begrand]

 

 

 

47-the-wounded-kings47. THE WOUNDED KINGS ‘Visions In Bone’ SPINEFARM
It should have been their triumph but became their epitaph. Strengthened by their original singer’s return, these Devon doomsters spread their wings musically speaking, yet deliver their most metal, and menacing sounding, record. At least they left on a high note. [Olivier ‘Zoltar’ Badin]

 

 

 

46-slabdragger46. SLABDRAGGER ‘Rise Of The Dawncrusher’ HOLY ROAR
Five years in the making, Croydon massive Slabdragger’s second album dropped from orbit like an asteroid made of super thick tone, meaty grooves and thunderous riffage, capturing their mighty live energy. Worth the wait. [Jay Hampshire]

 

 

 

45-horseback45. HORSEBACK ‘Dead Ringers’ RELAPSE
Drawing inspiration from the eccentric electronics of Coil and Nurse With Wound, the wide of variety of sounds found on ‘Dead Ringers’ makes it one of the most evocative and esoteric Horseback albums yet. [Kez Whelan]

 

 

 

44-kvelertak44. KVELERTAK ‘Nattesferd’ ROADRUNNER
The Norsemen continue to rewrite the script they’ve been flipping since day one. With the masterful inclusion of exciting references to AC/DC as well as quirky grind, ‘Nattesferd’ has the band growing beyond the walls their own signature sound created. [Kevin Stewart-Panko]

 

 

 

43-wardruna43. WARDRUNA ‘Rudaljod – Ragnarok’ SEASON OF MIST
A prime example of continuously stellar output, 2016 saw Wardruna release the final part of the ‘Runaljod’ trilogy, ‘Ragnarok’. The epic sound and host of traditional Norwegian instruments make this album an unmissable listen. [Beth Avison]

 

 

 

42-wretch42. WRETCH ‘Wretch’ BAD OMEN
Karl Simon’s logical continuation of The Gates Of Slumber announced their arrival with one of the best traditional doom records in years, evoking that Vitus vibe of fathomless doom and despair while rocking out the best Sabbath-worshipping riffs in recent memory. [José Carlos Santos]

 

 

41-katatonia41. KATATONIA ‘The Fall Of Hearts’ PEACEVILLE
After letting their increasingly mellow music become overly subdued on ‘Dead End Kings’, the Swedes righted the ship majestically on their tenth album, expertly playing up the dark/light dynamic that has always defined their sound. [Adrien Begrand]

 

 

 

40-devin-townsend-project40. DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT ‘Transcendence’ HEVY DEVY/INSIDE OUT
If ever there was an artist who wears his heart on his (record) sleeves, it’s this Canadian genius. His latest work explores a state we thought he’d achieved long ago: the state of pure prog nirvana. [Steve R. Jones]

 

 

 

39-conan39. CONAN ‘Revengeance’ BLACK BOW
Doom trio Conan continue their charge toward legendary status with third album ‘Revengeance’. A towering monolith of riffs and their signature earth-shaking tones, featuring welcome turns of speed among the roaring caveman fury. Flawless victory. [Jay Hampshire]

 

 

 

38-dalek38. DÄLEK ‘Asphalt For Eden’ PROFOUND LORE
Having lost none of their unbearable heaviness and razor-sharp lyrical approach after a few years of hiatus, ‘Asphalt For Eden’ saw the New York band still crushing down barriers with the universal appeal of their titanium-strong musical language. [José Carlos Santos]

 

 

 

37-bolzer37. BÖLZER ‘Hero’ IRON BONEHEAD
After their rapturously received EPs, the Swiss duo take things to the next level with ‘Hero’; stirringly melodic without sacrificing any of their bulldozering heaviness, it’s their most ambitious release so far. [Kez Whelan]

 

 

 

36-graf-orlock36. GRAF ORLOCK ‘Crime Traveller’ VITRIOL
Graf Orlock’s marriage of frantic grindcore and action movie samples is as amusing as ever, but dismissing them as a novelty band overlooks the seriousness with which they grind – there are big grooves here. [Ed Chapman]

 

 

 

35-rotting-christ35. ROTTING CHRIST ‘Rituals’ SEASON OF MIST
Like a recreation of a famous historical battle, this Greek Satanic legion continue to stomp onwards, crushing all in their path. What a glorious sound their victorious rally is as these destructive ‘Rituals’ take hold. [Pete Woods]

 

 

 

34-interment34. INTERMENT ‘Scent Of The Buried’ PULVERISED
Instead of trying to be smart asses, this gang of veterans (Dellamorte, Centinex, Moondark) dug out their beloved HM-2 pedals, teamed up with cult producer Tomas Skogsberg and let the purest SweDeath flow while opening another beer. [Oiliver ‘Zoltar’ Badin]

 

 

 

33-inter-arma33. INTER ARMA ‘Paradise Gallows’ RELAPSE
Inter Arma move like an athletic sasquatch, stealthily evading capture and terrorizing those who would pin them down. ‘Paradise Gallows’ sounds like a big, hairy beast monolithically treading through extreme music subgenres to stand alone, high and mighty above the rest. [Kevin Stewart-Panko]

 

 

 

32-darkher32. DARKHER ‘Realms’ PROPHECY
Dark, gorgeous, haunting and sublime, ‘Realms’ is an album that transports to far off places. Brimming with emotion and atmosphere, just one sweet caress of Jayn H. Wissenberg’s delicious voice will have you hooked forevermore. [Pete Woods]

 

 

 

31-bossk31. BOSSK ‘Audio Noir’ DEATHWISH
Somewhat unbelievably, ‘Audio Noir’ is Kent cult post-metal outfit Bossk’s debut. An intricate, cinematic aural journey, it disregards genre confines with its hypnotic instrumentation. Not just one for fans of metal, but fans of music. [Jay Hampshire]

 

 

 

Click here to continue to albums 30 to 11…

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