Well, folks, we are now in December. Pretty soon, we'll be going into 2017. To most people, 2016 is seen as a terrible year, with all our heroes leaving us. As depressing as it is, the one thing these events have taught me is to appreciate my favorite bands and artist even more. Because we don't know when we'll ever see them again. But of course, I didn't spend most of the year wondering what famous person will die next. I was wondering if the next album I buy will be just as kick arse as the last album I bought.
This year brought a lot of killer albums. Some from bands that I've been in love with for many years. And some that I just discovered this year. There are still some new albums I need to get my hands on. Anyhoo, after many hours of lstening to a lot of albums, I was able to bringing it down to 20. So ladies and gents, I present to you, the TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2016.
#20. Faethom - Fury of the Scorned Witch
I like to think if King Diamond and Goblin would have a kid, it would be Faethom. These terrorizors from Florida are a great combination of old-school metal, black metal, and horror soundtracks. Their 3rd release (and 2nd full-length), Fury of the Scorned Witch, is a raw and killer audio horror story with some great musicianship, that you can headbang in the campfire. Faethom are still young with a lot of potential, and I'm sure the next release will also make the Top 20.
#19. Misery Ritual - I Hurt Because I Must
This year, we've seen Kyle Ferguson put out two releases and some collaborations with other great artist. The one that I keep putting on repeat, over and over, is I Hurt Because I Must. A very brooding and punishing album, that it will make you scream your lungs out til it is shattered. Misery Ritual have definitely left their mark. And can only imagine things getting more misanthropic.
#18. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Arc
A while back, Pig Destroyer but out a Doom EP which was really crushing. I guess it's only fair that Scott Hull also does one with ANb. Of course they had Kat of Salome do the entire vocals on this release. And oh boy, what a Doom ep. Scott Hull like always, just busting out some killer riffs, as Kat does on hell of a vocal performance. Supposedly, they're doing another ep, in which another vocalist will contribute to the whole ep. Can't wait for that.
#17. Medicine Moon - Tales of a Umber Earth
One of the most powerful neo-folk albums I ever heard. The vocals sound very grand. The songwriting just sound wonderful. Never have I heard anything like this Oakland duo. Hearing Medicine Moon live is also something to be seen. Everything about Tales of a Umber Earth just sounds perfect. It's definitely a soundtrack to taking a walk in the country.
#16. Clarke and the Himselfs and Friends - Clarke and the Himselfs and Friends
I want to thank Joe Black of the Nighttime Asylum at Radio Boise for introducing me to this. For the past few years, I've been really getting into a lot of indie music. Never did I thought I would get into bands like Jay Retard, JC Satan, and Clarke and the Himselfs and Friends. Every track is really catchy with some great sing-a-long parts.
#15. Gatecreeper - Sonoran Depravation
#14. Glaare - Surrender/Control
Another band I found this year. Saw this band open up for King Woman and Wax Idols at the Slidebar in Fullerton. And I just feel in love with them. Synth-pop and Post-Punk is also something that I didn't think I would get into. Hearing Rachel's voice just takes you to a happy place and makes you feel that nothing can go wrong. And the atmosphere is very dream-like. This EP really makes me interested in post-punk and want to dig deeper.
#13. dalek - Asphalt For Eden
Who would have thought that Profound Lore would release a Hip-Hop album. If anything, dalek would definitely fit in with their roster. dalek always seem to evolve on every release. On Asphalt For Eden, dalek address some problems going on in this current society. And they do it very well. This EP continues to make me a long time dalek fan.
#12. Jagged Mouth - Louring
It's always great finding new Doom Metal bands. Especially in places where I wouldn't think there would be any. Jagged Mouth are one of those bands. Hailing from New Mexico, Louring in one hell of a crushing and punishing album. The sound will definitely punch you in the guts really hard, and you'll ask for more.
#11. Kyng - Breathe in the Water
This is a band that never disappoint. They really do a killer job at making hard rock sound so goddamn heavy. And with Breath in the Water, I really don't see Kyng calling it a day. For many years, their fanbase is just growing and growing. And I can only imagine album #3 just bringing in more people. The lyrics that Eddie pins up just really gets you. And their sound just keeps getting tighter. Seeing that they recorded this album in Austin, Tx, you can tell that it brought new life to Kyng.
#10. SubRosa - For This We Fought the Battle of Ages
I'm pretty sure by now, SubRosa are huge game changers in the Doom/Sludge scene. On For This We Fought For The Battle of Ages, this Salt Lake crew continues to get more epic with their sound and songwriting. There are also some elements that really helps their sound to grow. And for this, I just love SubRosa even more. Every praise they get is well deserving.
#9. Nails - You Will Never Be One Of Us
In order to make a really pissed off record, you really have to be a pissed off human being. Whatever it is that the dudes from Nails were channeling from, it really made You Will Never Be One Of Us a kick arse album. The riffs were just intense. The drums were blasting like a motherfucker. And Tom Jones vocals were more brutal than ever. For sure, this album is the best one Nails has ever released.
#8. Muscle and Marrow - Love
One of the albums that I've been looking forward, Muscle and Marrow's Love. The Human Cry was such a awesome record, I was really looking forward to their 2nd album. And Love did not disappoint. "Black Hole" is definitely a favorite of mines, among other tracks from this album. A bit of a pop-ish sound, but still has that dark undertone that made me a fan to begin with. Of course seeing they're from Portland, you can always expect to hear a great record.
#7. Young Hunter - Young Hunter
Here's another awesome band from Portland, Young Hunter. I have to thank Billy Goate for introducing me to this band. They got a really sick Blue Oyster Cult sound with a Portland touch. Hard to explain what that is, but I like to think you get what I'm saying. If can get into the first track, then you're really gonna dig the rest of the release. Great guitar work. Some catchy riffs. And of course a awesome chorus. I'll definitely be keeping a eye out for Young Hunter, as I can only imagine that we'll be seeing some great thing from them.
#6. The Body - No One Deserves Happiness
According to the band, the dudes from The Body were getting a bit bored of the Doom scene, that they started listening to pop records, including Taylor Swift. This would be the inspiration for their latest release, No One Deserves Happiness. With the help of some female singers, The Body were able to create a very dark album with a Pop touch. One of the things you got to admire about The Body is that they are willing to not challenge themselves, but also the listeners. One of my favorite tracks is "The Fall and the Guilt" The female vocals singing over a piano and white noise just warms my heart.
#5. Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas - Mariner
When I heard that the love of my life was doing a collaboration with one of my favorite Post-Metal bands during the 00's, I was super excited. Mariner was everything I expected to sound. Julie Christmas still sounds awesome as ever. And the dudes in Cult of Luna did great work in creating a atmosphere that brought this album to life. I like to think this is this generation's Jarboe & Neurosis. When you got great minds working together, you can only expect something awesome to brew up.
#4. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Y Proftwyd Dwyll
Another band that I feel like are game changers in the Doom Metal scene, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. When they said they were gonna bring some kick arse riffs, oh, boy, they weren't joking. On Y Proftwyd Dwyll, they really brought in some heavy riffs. This is a huge step from their last release. And their heavy use of the keyboard really made things a killer psychedelic journey.
#3. King Dude - Sex
#2. The Coathangers - Nosebleed Weekend
I have Whores to thank for getting me into The Coathangers. Just like Whores, The Coathangers come from Atlanta and they bring their own take on indie punk and the riot grrl sound. Listening to Nosebleed Weekend does bring me back to some fun times. Everyone on this record does a great job in bringing their best to make this record sound awesome. Crook Kid brings a poppy side, while Rusty brings some attitude to the vocal duty. I can now hear why the dudes from Whores are huge fans.
#1. Oathbreaker - Rheia
I so regret not getting into this band sooner. I'm pretty sure they would have made my "Best of" list a few years ago. I don't know what is it that I heard that made me give them a pass. But listening to Rheia, it really made me fall in love with this band. A lot of female fronted bands are doing the whole singing and screaming combo. But most of the time, it sounds very generic and forced. Which is why I don't give a fuck about The Butcher Babies or YOLO. Oathbreaker, that's a band that does it really right. Their take on blackened post-hardcore is something that I can really dig. Rheia is a perfect blend of beauty and intensity. This album really doesn't sound like other bands who try to do the same thing. If anything, this album really feels genuine, and it really connects with me very well. Hence why this album gets the top honors.