Not exactly sure what happened this year, but I couldn’t be any happier with the plethora of kickass releases that has been coming out this year which started from January with Avantasia’ Ghostlights to the recent release of Gojira’s Magma. The list is endless and there is still one more quarter left of 2016. It is difficult to pick the top anticipated along with favorable Metal albums of the year since there is an extensive amount of sub-genres that coincide with it as well. However, after doing an extensive amount of research to see what is yet to come which are at least over 100, I have managed to narrow the list down to twenty-four to look forward to. The choice was difficult, as I already regret leaving a few out but I believe this is a fair list for different styles of Metal.
In The Woods, Pure (Debemur Morti)
The long wait is finally over with the return of Norwegian black metallers, In The Woods with the release of Pure on September 16th. It has been seventeen years since the epic album Strange in Stereo, and one can only wonder what direction they will move towards. Three tracks are already revealed here; that includes “Blue Oceans Rise (Like a War),” “Cult of Shining Stars,” and “Mystery of the Constellations.”
Insomnium, Winter’s Gate (Century Media)
The iconic Finnish melodic death metal band Insomnium has decided to do something completely different than 2014’s Shadows of the Dying Sun. Winter’s Gate includes one track clocking at forty-minutes, and it will be released on September 23rd via Century Media Records. It is a concept album based on vocalist/bassist Niilo Sevänen’s short story Winter’s Gate. There are quite a few trailers about this release including the latest fourth one that you can see here.
Trap Them, Crown Feral (Prosthetic)
Trap Them are back to lock us in with more insanity on September 23rd of Crown Feral under Prosthetic Records. The Boston/Seattle grindcore act has given us a sample of their explosive riffs and energy with “Hellionaires.” It is a follow-up from 2014’s Blissfucker, and the wait is almost over for hopefully another album filled with speedy adrenaline.
Epica, The Holographic Principle (Nuclear Blast)
It was 2014 when the Dutch symphonic metal act Epica showcased their new direction with The Quantum Enigma. The band has persisted with this new evolvement and possibly their most ambitious effort with The Holographic Principle set to release on September 30th under Nuclear Blast. I must say, it is well constructed and can be considered as the bigger brother or sister from the prior The Quantum Enigma. It is an exciting direction for the band as their technique continues to strengthen where you can see in the two new tunes “Universal Death Squad” and “Edge of the Blade.”
Opeth, Sorceress (Nuclear Blast)
Progressive metal Swedish gods Opeth are making a triumphant return with their twelfth studio album Sorceress on September 30th via Moderbolaget Records/Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Whether you enjoy their earlier and heavier style should not matter as their flawless mastery has been proven with the title track “Sorceress.”It is the follow-up from 2014’s Pale Communion, and I do not think Opeth can or will ever disappoint.
Skálmöld, Vögguvísur Yggdrasils (Napalm)
Hailing from Iceland, these Viking metallers Skálmöld have returned with their fourth studio album Vögguvísur Yggdrasils on September 30th under Napalm Records. According to the band’s website they described this unique album as containing “9 Lullabies, one from each of the 9 Worlds of the tree of life.” It is the follow-up from 2014’s Með Vættum and all we can hear thus far is the catchy tune “Niðavellir.”