This list was hard to make not because of all the great music I listened to, but because of all the potentially great music I didn’t get to listen to. My train of thought the whole time I scrambled to throw this list together was along the lines of “But I’ve missed so much!” or “But I haven’t spent enough time with this album yet!” Bearing that in mind, these are the albums that in this moment I consider to be my favorites of 2016. Only time will tell how I feel about them in a year, but right now I feel pretty good.
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10) Black Crown Initiate, Selves We Cannot Forgive (eOne)
I’ve been rooting for Black Crown Initiate since their excellent debut EP three years ago. Now, with their second LP, the band has delivered on the potential everyone saw in them from the beginning. The weaving of more melodic elements into the band’s aggressive technical wizardry results in some of the best songs the band has ever written.
Key Track: “Matriarch”
9) Anthrax, For All Kings (Megaforce)
Earlier this year I was happy to discover that Anthrax’s follow up to the much-lauded Worship Music was a solid addition to their discography that continued to demonstrate their newfound energy and vitality. Then some months passed, I dug into loads of other albums, and finally came back to For All Kings to see if it was as good as I originally thought. Surprise: it is.
Key Track: “Zero Tolerance”
8) Hyperion, Seraphical Euphony (Black Lion)
I always like to peruse other lists for any eleventh hour gems that inevitably managed to slip past me during the year. In 2016, that gem was Hyperion’s debut album Seraphical Euphony, a dazzling delight of blackened melodic death metal that had me sold within two minutes of hearing “Nova Orda Secolorum”. It’s fast, mean, but also has a melodic side that only enhances the excellence of this debut album.
Key Track: “Nova Orda Secolorum”