Dec 012016

NCS The Best of 2016 graphic


We’re now beginning the final month of 2016, and you know what that means: Now begins the final countdown to the end of the year (and the strengthening onslaught of the annual holiday season). In the world of metal, this month we’ll also start seeing more and more lists of the year’s best releases.

Back in 2009, when this site was just a few days old, I wrote a post about year-end lists and why people bother with them. The best reason still seems to be this: Reading someone else’s list of the albums they thought were best is a good way to discover music you missed and might like.

We don’t do an “official” NCS year-end “best albums” list. However, we publish the picks of each of our regular staff writers as well as a large group of guest writers (which we’ll start doing later this month). Every year we also invite our readers to share their lists and we’re doing that again right here, right now.




If you’ve been pondering what you’ve heard this year and have made your own list of the albums, EPs, or splits released in 2016 that you think are the best of what you’ve heard, we invite you to share it with us in the Comments section to this post. And if you haven’t made a list yet but want to, there’s still plenty of time (read below).


We don’t have any hard-and-fast rules about year-end lists. Your list doesn’t have to be a specific number — it doesn’t have to be a “Top 10″ or “Top 20″ list, it could be a Top 2 list or a Top 15, or any other number.

And it doesn’t have to be a cross-genre list, i.e., the best of all metal you’ve heard this year. It could be the best hardcore albums you heard, or the best death metal, or the best black metal, or the best grind, or the best folk metal, and on and on — pretty much whatever you want to do and feel comfortable doing, as long as it fits your definition of metal.

Don’t be shy, and don’t worry about being judged — if you haven’t figured it out already, it ain’t our style or the style of our commenters to ridicule what someone else thinks is great metal.

And if you don’t have a list ready yet, no sweat, because you can come back to this post whenever you like and add your list later — or comment on the lists others have posted. I’ll put a link to this post at the top right side of every page so people can find it quickly — look for the link to 2016 NCS READERS’ YEAR-END LISTS. That will make the comments to this post a collection point for “Best of” readers’ lists. And that link will stay on our page throughout 2017.

So start thinking and start commenting (please, and thank you).


  1. Zeal and Ardor – Devil is Fine
    Aenaon – Hypnosophy
    Anagnorisis – Peripeteia
    Hannes Grossmann – The Crypts of Sleep
    Cloat – S/T
    Ghoul – Dungeon Bastard

    Some others were pretty good, but not really worth mentioning. Will see how i feel in 6 months tho. need to listen more to a ton of releases.

    • Ok, Bölzer also gets a spot on the list

      • I was actually a little bit disappointed by them, and a mere “good” just don’t do it in this rat race competition, I’m afraid. I was even more disappointed with Aenaon. Their previous album was amazing, but Hypnosophy became a bit to splayed and far to big-band jazz for my liking. Just getting it of my chest.
        By June, you’ll be buried alive, only halfway through the first tonn, you’ll already have another metric tonn to listen to.
        Never heard of Anagnorisis, but it sure sounds good.

        • i have no inside info, but I’m willing to bet that Aenaon is the one that will be on Andy’s “Disappointing” list this year (see below). And one reason I’m willing to bet is that I’m betting with your money.

        • Bolzer failed to connect with me as well, aside from a couple of tracks.

          • It didnt click for me either on my first couple listens, but everyone Ive heard who seems to like it says it takes awhile to actually grow on you. I plan to give it a bit more time before making a final judgement on it

            • For sure. I can’t tell how much of my reaction was just being put off by some of the vocals, and there were some standout parts. I’ll give it a chance when I’m in the right mood.

        • Wait, metal that strays into big band jazz territory? that is my fucking favourite kind of big band music. I have to listen to this right now!

    • So, ONE of those is probably going to end up on my “Disappointing” list. I am prepared for the flame-war.

    • That Zeal and Ardor record was an odd listen. I certainly approve of the melding of styles on display—they certainly suit the lyrical themes and overall mood—but I don’t think they’ve quite perfected the combination yet. I eagerly anticipate what they’ll do next, however. Even if it’s not perfect, it should be fascinating.

  2. Devin Townsend Project- Transcendence
    Gorguts- Pleiades Dust
    Dark Funeral- Where Shadows Forever Reign
    Insomnium- Winter’s Gate
    Agoraphobic Nosebleed- ARC
    Ghoul- Dungeon Bastards

    Didn’t get to hear as much metal this year as I would have liked, but there you go.

    • Judging by how often I’m seeing that Ghoul name in this comment thread, I’m thinking I made a mistake in not making time for it. They played here in Seattle last night, and I probably made a mistake not being there too.

  3. All three of the releases Phillipe Tougas was involved in this year – Chthe’ilist, Zealotry and First Fragment.
    Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    Vektor – Outer Isolation
    King Goat – Conduit
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
    Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony

    That’s my current Top 10, with Meshuggah, Gorguts, Textures, Ravensire and Inter Arma just missing out.

    Ulcerate is next up in my listening queue – and, based on past experience, they are likely to jump this lineup within minutes of pressing play.

    • You mean “Terminal Redux”, right?

      • Whoops – brain fart. Yes, I meant “Teminal Redux.” I’ve been listening to all of their albums a lot this year…

    • I really like everything on your list. Hyperion is my #1 and a lot of your others are in my top ten. Only one I’ve never heard of is King Goat so I’m listening to that now and I really like it. Thanks!

      • Thanks! That King Goat album was possibly the year’s biggest surprise – you can thank Angry Metal Guy for bringing it to a wider audience. He called it “Candlemass-core,” which is a genre the evolution of which I fully support.

    • Funny, I got into the strangest argument with an acquaintance about Chthe’ilist when I suggested half-jokingly that the Le Dernier Crépuscule did the whole Old World black-sabbaths-and-tarantelles kitsch vibe really well. Totally flew off the handle about Satanic imagery and Finnish death metal and… I was quite bemused, to tell you the truth. Regardless, it’s a fun album. Great production, really solid songwriting.

      I’ve heard good things about the new Fleshgod, but not a lot of things, so I’m a little curious about it.

  4. Khemmis-Hunted
    Obscure Sphinx-Epitaphs
    Allegeaon-Proponent For Sentience
    Inter Arma-Paradise Gallows

  5. Woman is the Earth – Torch of our Final Night
    stoic. – Fall below
    Stam1na – Elokuutio
    Reproacher – Nature’s Bastard
    Ondt Blod – Finnmark
    Nordjevel – Nordjevel
    Kvelertak – Nattesferd
    The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
    Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

    • Others I suspect will eventually make it on to the 2016 list, but haven’t gotten around to really spending time with them due to bedgetary constraints:
      Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
      Oranssi Pazuzu – Varahtelija
      Thy Catafalque – Meta
      Car Bomb – Meta
      Alcest – Kodama
      Ulver – ATGCLVLSSCAP
      Wardruna – Ragnarok

      and since I’m including Ulver and Wardruna, a couple of non-metal albums that I did buy and love this year:
      Jóhann Jóhannsson – Arrival OST
      O’Brother – Endless Light

      • Just checked out O’Brother. Interesting stuff, definitely some leanings towards metal going on there. And I loves me some sci-fi soundtrack so I’ll give Arrival a crack too. Thanks for the recommendations!

      • I loved Arrival, and thought the score brilliantly meshed with the mysterious, almost dreamlike ambience and pacing of the movie. I didn’t realize the soundtrack had been released, so many thanks for your mention of it.

        • Yeah O’Brother is really close to metal, could almost be included in a metal list, I guess I get just enough of a Jane’s Addiction alternative type feeling (not saying they sound like Jane’s, but Jane is also just not metal) to put it in a non-metal list. And the Arrival soundtrack, yeah it just oozes atmosphere. I noticed on the second watching of the movie that there is a lot of water in the movie: clouds, fog, car washes, lakes and the soundtrack works perfectly with that, especially the fog

    • OK so the six albums I actually ended up buying were:
      Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
      Harakiri for the Sky – III: Trauma
      Khonsu – The Xun Protectorate
      Kilner – Walk Type
      Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
      Ion Dissonance – Cast the First Stone

      and have also been enjoying:
      Setentia – Darkness Transcend
      Frontierer – Orange Mathematics
      Autolux – Pussy’s Dead

  6. Battle Dagorath – I – Dark Dragons of the Cosmos
    Furia – Księżyc Milczy Luty
    Glass Shrine – Lapidary
    Cult of Fire – Life, Sex & Death
    Wędrujący Wiatr – O turniach, jeziorach i nocnych szlakach
    Terra Tenebrosa – The Reverses
    Mentor – Guts, Graves and Blasphemy
    Martyrdöd – List
    Entropia – Ufonaut
    Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of the Law
    Thy Worshipper – Klechdy
    Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    Saor – Guardians
    Brain Tentacles – Brain Tentacles
    Wardruna – Runaljod: Ragnarok
    Zaum – Eidolon

  7. Not in particular order:

    DeathSpell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    Dark Tranquillity – Atoma
    Sumerlands – Sumerlands
    Urfaust – Empty Space Meditation
    Glorio Belli – Sundown
    Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution
    Oathbreaker – Rheia
    Setentia – Darkness Transcend
    Be’Lakor – Vessels
    Cult Of Luna – Mariner

    • I forgot probably the absolute best, the new Coultes Des Ghoules of course.

      • The new Cultes Des Ghoules – Coven, Or Evil Ways Instead Of Love has only been leaked and is a February 2017 release so technically not a this year contender.

        • Not true. My copy of the digi-book double CD, which I had pre-ordered, arrived at my home last week. I know that the Hells Headbangers Bandcamp page for the album shows a release date of Feb 17, but that’s for the digital edition. They’ve been shipping the CDs since late November, and even the Bandcamp page says that CD orders will ship out within 2 days.

        • Double digi-book was released October 31…standard digi-book was released November 25th

        • They really messed up with the release date, It’s misleading.

      • I’ve failed finding time for this megalithic piece. I’ve been considering awaiting the digital release date, but that’s unfortunate if it’s good enough to squeeze in on the year-end list.

    • Sorry I mistyped *Glorior Belli and *Cultes des Ghoules writing from phone.

  8. Inter Arma “Paradise Gallows”

    Mizmor “Yodh”

    Altarage “Nihl”

    Slaves BC “All Is Dust and I Am Nothing”

    Vermin Womb “Decline”

    Blood Incantation “Starspawn”

    Ulcerate “Shrines of Paralysis”

    Anaal Nathrakh “The Whole of the Law”

    CHTHE’ILIST “Le Dernier Crépuscule”

    Denouncement Pyre “Black Sun Unbound”

    Gevurah “Hallelujah!”

    Graves at Sea “The Curse That Is”

  9. Oranssi Pazuzu – – Värähtelijä
    Ovaryrot – – Suicide Ideation
    Enthean – – Priests of Annihilation
    Panopticon / Waldgeflüster – – Split
    Unfathomable Ruination – – Finitude
    Khemmis – – Absolution
    Mephistopheles – – In Remembrance of Forever
    Radian – – On Dark Silent Off
    Ossuary Anex – – Mutilation Through Prayer
    Deviant Process – – Paroxysm
    Svmerlands – – S/T

    • FVCK I forgot about that Inter Arma!

    • Finally, someone else with Unfathomable Ruination! Kudos!!!

    • Some of my top albums so far (in no particular order):

      Ripper – Experiment of Existence
      Unfathomable Ruination – Finitude
      Harm – October Fire
      Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
      Protector – Cursed and Coronated
      Profanal – Supreme Fire
      Funeral Whore – Phantasm
      First Fragment – Dasein
      Deviant Process – Paroxysm
      Defeated Sanity – Disposal of the Dead / Dharmata
      Bewitcher – Bewitcher
      Escarnium – Interitus
      Hellbringer – Awakened from the Abyss
      Interment – Scent of the Buried
      Reptilian – Perennial Void Traverse
      Ruinous – Graves of Ceaseless Death
      Scorched – Echoes of Dismemberment
      Spirit Adrift – Chained to Oblivion
      Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
      Aenaon – Hypnosophy
      Fifth to Infinity – Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire

      Most disappointing albums of the year:
      Blues Pills – Lady in Gold
      Cult of Fire – Life, Sex & Death

    • I checked the Unfathomable Ruination based on its inclusion here (and the comments below). Holy shit. Great call, great record.

  10. Mortalized-complete mortality
    Deathspell Omega-the synarchy of molten bones
    Ulcerate-shrines of paralysis
    Behexen -the poisonous path
    Martyrdod -list

  11. Yanked from a list so albums aren’t mention but you get the idea.

    Haikai No Ku
    Zeal and Ardor
    Aluk Todolo
    Sorciers De Glace
    Hands of Thieves
    Boss Keloid
    Tim Hecker
    Metá Metá
    Nox Formulae
    Sus Scrofa
    The Spacelords

    • *mentioned

      Also no real order but the new Arizmenda (the good digital version that’s now vanished) and that Ayahuasca one are probably my faves.

    • Some very deep cuts on here. Makes me realize that despite how much metal I listened to this year, there’s still a vast underground trove that I never made time for.

      • Same here really; this has been my least exploratory year so far. So much I’ve missed out on and I think I was just lucky to find the ones I did.

  12. In no particular order, the albums on my EoY are:

    Be’lakor – Vessels
    Ravencult – Force of Profanation
    UR – R’lyeh
    Paganland – From Carpathian Land
    Ossuary Anex – Mutilation Through Prayer
    Borknagar – Winter Thrice
    Urgehal – Aeons in Sodom
    Novembre – Ursa
    Belenos – Kornôg
    In the Woods… – Pure
    Urfaust – Empty Space Meditation
    Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    Battle Dagorath – I – Dark Dragons of the Cosmos
    Deathkin – Kohti Kotiani Kaaosta

    We have a full month ahead of us, things might still change…

    • They may indeed. There are still some potential gems headed our way in December.

      • After Batushka sneaked that one on us, I don’t think we’ll be overlooking December again…

        • I like the Batushka album, love those baritone vocals, but I don’t understand the amount of praise they get. Like some other recent black metal albums, I thought “Litourgiya” played it too safe in terms of songwriting and melody. Seems like those songs could have been written any time over the past twenty years, you know? Not to crap on your taste here, just talking.

          • Yeah granted that any album that receives copious praise does tend to make you think it’s overblown. And song-wise, I don’t regard them as particularly breaking new ground; for me, it’s more there’s a raw passion in it that just gets me fired up. Throw in some religious chants in a language I don’t understand, and it ticks the right boxes – each to their own 🙂

            • Don’t get me wrong, I dig the album. The chanting is awesome. I just have a fondness for more quirky and/or distinctive melodies, and songs that go more places, if that makes sense. If the chanting was any less cool, the whole thing would come off as a gimmick.

    • Deathkin! Just discovered that one yesterday and hoping to make room for it on some future post…. I also completely forgot about that Novembre album.

  13. My metal picks, in no particular order…

    Car Bomb – Meta
    Entheos – The Infinite Nothing
    Gatecreeper – Sonoran Deprivation
    Infecting the Swarm – Abyss
    Defeated Sanity – Disposal of the Dead/Dharmata
    Astronoid – Air
    Seven Sisters of Sleep – Ezekiel’s Hags
    Wormed – Krighsu
    I Declare War – Songs for the Sick

    Adding in non-metal (grind, hardcore, etc.) I’d add:
    Knocked Loose
    Trap Them
    Every Time I Die
    Rotten Sound
    True Love
    Bent Life
    Animals as Leaders
    Russian Circles
    Brain Tentacles
    Weekend Nachos

  14. Top Tier:
    Dark Forest – Beyond the Veil
    Thrawsunblat – Metacthonia
    Saor – Guardians

    Second Tier:
    Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crepuscule
    Mithras – On Strange Loops
    Anciients – Voice of the Void
    Omnium Gatherum – Grey Heavens
    Seax – Speed Metal Mania

    Third Tier:
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    Dunedain – Pandemonium
    Sojourner – Empires of Ash
    Myrath – Legacy
    Netherbird – The Grander Voyage
    Dark Tranquility – Atoma
    Wo Fat – Midnight Cometh
    Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    Sabaton – The Last Stand
    XII Boar – Beyond the Valley of the Triclops
    Inquisition – Bloodshed Across…
    In the Woods… – Pure
    Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    Helion Prime – s/t
    Sumerlands – s/t
    SubRosa – For This We Fought the Battle of Ages
    Thy Catafalque – Meta
    Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
    Haken – Affinity
    Theocracy – Ghost Ship
    Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

    • I’m happy to see I’m not the only power metal fan around these parts. Dark Forest, Helion Prime and Sumerlands would have all made my list if this was All Clean

  15. Shit…I guess I need to actually get writing at some point if I want to have an actual list to post here

  16. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
    Krallice – Hyperion
    Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia
    Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner
    Sun Worship – Pale Dawn
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    Arizmenda – Beneath This Reality of Flesh
    Wederganger / Laster – Split
    Verwoed – Bodemloos
    Cobalt – Slow Forever
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Fluisteraars – Gelderland
    Neurosis – Fires within Fires
    Zhrine – Unortheta
    Sinistro – Semente
    Opeth – Sorceress
    Torrid Husk / The End – Swallow Matewan
    Gilded Lily – Mongrel’s Light
    Oathbreaker – Rheia

    I’ve only heard the new Ash Borer twice, but I bet it’s going to be up there as well.

  17. I’m bad at lists, but this year I’ve enjoyed:

    Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust
    Ulcerate – Shrines Of Paralysis
    Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows
    Wormed – Krighsu
    Vektor – Terminal Redux
    Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep Of Reason
    Grave Miasma – Endless Pilgrimage
    Ritual Chamber – Obscurations (To Feast On The Seraphim)
    Mortichnia – Heir To Scoria And Ash
    Setentia – Darkness Transcend
    Virvum – Illuminance
    Unfathomable Ruination – Finitude
    Skuggsja – A Piece For Mind And Mirror

    and lately I’ve been spending some time with the Dead Congregation and Sunless EPs, Khonsu, Voidthrone, and Zhrine, and was favorably struck by Inverloch and Australis.

  18. Best Albums:
    Cobalt – Slow Forever
    Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation
    Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Mithras – On Strange Loops
    Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    Saor – Gaurdian
    Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia
    Vredehammer – Violator

    Best EPs:
    Cloak – s/t
    No Trust – Heavy Hand
    Homewrecker – Extinction by Design
    Flom – Elders
    Oarfish – Oarfish
    High Command – The Secartha Demos

    • Looks like a lot of people are gonna pick that Hyperion. Wasn’t aware so many people were hip to it.
      Damn good huh? And I just downloaded that High Command, it kicks ass!
      I so thought Cobalt would be my #1 for months but Hunted was just so mammoth that it bludgeoned it way to the top.

      • I overlooked that Hyperion album until I went through the comments on our post soliciting “most infectious song” candidates for this year, and that Hyperion album turned out to be one of the most frequently appearing sources of recommendations.

    • How did I miss a Moonsorrow album this year? I just heard one song after seeing your list, and it sounds like this is quite good.

  19. Vinterblot – Realms of the Untold
    Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    Vredehammer – Violator
    Vektor – Terminal Redux
    Acyl – Aftermath
    Brymir – Slayer of Gods
    Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia
    Be’lakor – Vessels
    Oracles – Miserycorde
    ADE – Carthago Delenda Est
    Harakiri For The Sky – III: Trauma
    Altar of Oblivion – Barren Grounds
    From the Vastland – Chamrosh
    Anciients – Voice from the Void
    Netherbird – The Grander Voyage

    … plus probably a good handful of albums from October, November and December that I haven’t had time to listen to enough to justify placing them on par with the above. I’m slow, I know.

  20. 1. Schammasch- Triangle
    2. Obscura- Akraosis
    3. Vektor- Terminal Redux
    4. Ihsahn- Arktis
    5. The Deer Hunter- Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional
    6. Haken- Affinity
    7. A Sense of Gravity- Atrament
    8. Car Bomb- Meta
    9. Fleshgod Apocalypse- King
    10. Katatonia- The Fall of Hearts
    11. Khonsu- The Xun Protectorate
    12. Shokran- Exodus
    13. Dillinger Escape Plan- Dissociation
    14. Anaal Nathrakh- The Whole of the Law
    15. Textures- Phenotype
    16. First Fragment- Dasein
    17. Wormed- Krighsu
    18. Mithras- On Strange Loops
    19. Oracles- Miserycorde
    20. Aborted- Retrogore
    21. Allegaeon- Proponent for Sentience
    22. Animals as Leaders- The Madness of Many
    23. Fallujah- Dreamless
    24. Meshuggah- The Violent Sleep of Reason
    25. Cyborg Octopus- Learning to Breath
    26. Alcest- Kodama
    27. Virvum- Illuminance
    28. Rotting Christ- Rituals
    29. Abbath- Abbath
    30. Moonsorrow- Jumalten Aika

  21. I still have year end lists to comb through, but based on what I’ve been listening to this year:

    (in no particular order)
    Anicon – Exegeses
    Mizmor – Yodh
    Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
    Lotus Thief – Gramarye
    Sun Worship – Pale Dawn
    Qrixkuor – Three Devils Dance
    Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    Eight Bells – Landless

  22. Snap. At this point my list of albums that I’m still really looking forward to hearing might end up being almost as good as a “best of”. I haven’t matched the sheer number of albums I listened to in years past and haven’t spent as much time with some of these as I’d like, but here’s what I’ve got at this point:

    1. Howls of Ebb
    2. Vektor
    3. Thy Catafalque
    4. Waxen
    5. Spektr
    6. Borknagar
    7. Sacrilegium
    8. Castle
    9. Abbath
    10. Hammers of Misfortune
    11. Todtgelichter
    12. Graves at Sea
    13. High Spirits
    14. Inquisition
    15. Mare Cognitum
    16. Hail Spirit Noir
    17. Mithras
    18. Seremonia
    19. Megadeth
    20. Darkend
    21. Mizery
    22. Subrosa
    23. Hobbs’ Angel of Death
    24. Albez Duz
    24. Stone Magnum
    25. Necromancing the Stone
    26. Blood Incantation
    27. Thrawsunblat
    28. Ningen Isu
    29. Destroyer 666
    30. Bolzer (just listened to it yesterday, but my initial impression is good)

  23. In alphabetical order because I’m cool like that

    Anicon – Exegeses
    Asphyx – Incoming Death
    Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    Brutally Deceased – Satanic Corpse
    Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule
    Destroyer 666 – Wildfire
    Gatecreeper – Sonaran Depravation
    Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Marsh Dweller – The Weight of Sunlight
    Nordjevel – S/T
    Uada – Devoid of Light
    Unfathomable Ruination – Finitude
    Wormed – Krighsu
    Zhrine – Unortheta

  24. I’m a dork, so I started to keep a running list in May or June and it turned out to be a never-ending exercise in revisiting records and revising my opinions. My main criterium was how much enjoyment I got out of each record (plus I tend to be biased by live performances). I could keep doing this for another six months, but might as well call it now. I’m pretty set on the order in the top half of this list and feel very strongly about the top 4, each of which I think I will be listening to for many years to come.

    1 – Vektor: Terminal Redux
    2 – A.M.S.G.: Hostis Universi Generis
    3 – Messa: Belfry
    4 – Blood Incantation: Starspawn
    5 – Ulcerate: Shrines of Paralysis
    6 – Inter Arma: Paradise Gallows
    7 – Khemmis: Hunted
    8 – Anicon: Exegeses
    9 – Thy Catafalque: Meta
    10 – Revocation: Great is our Sin
    11 – Hammers of Misfortune: Dead Revolution
    12 – Wormed: Krighsu
    13 – Bethlehem: Bethlehem
    14 – Cobalt: Slow Forever
    15 – Death Fortress: Deathless March of the Unyielding
    16 – Thrawsunblat: Metachthonia
    17 – Neurosis: Fires Within Fires
    18 – Inquisition: Bloodshed
    19 – Gojira: Magma
    20 – Mizmor: Yodh
    21 – Inverloch: Distance | Collapsed
    22 – Plebeian Grandstand: False Highs, True Lows
    23 – Ripper: Experiment of Existence
    24 – Marsh Dweller: The Weight of Sunlight
    25 – Profanatica: The Curling Flame of Blasphemy
    26 – Antaeus: Condemnation
    27 – Oranssi Pazuzu: Värähtelijä
    28 – Ash Borer: The Irrepassable Gate
    29 – Kvelertak: Nattesferd
    30 – Reptilian: Perennial Void Traverse
    31 – Schammasch: Triangle
    32 – Withered: Grief Relic
    33 – Hail Spirit Noir: Mayhem in Blue
    34 – Eschatos: The Grand Noir
    35 – Terra Tenebrosa: The Reverses
    36 – Phobocosm: Bringer of Drought
    37 – Krypts: Remnants of Expansion
    38 – Ultha: Converging Sins
    39 – Oathbreaker: Rheia
    40 – Urfaust: Empty Space Meditation
    41 – Zhrine: Unortheta
    42 – Unfathomable Ruination: Finitude
    43 – Glorior Belli: The Flock that Welcomes Sundown
    44 – Black Table: Obelisk
    45 – Bölzer: Hero
    46 – Void Omnia: Dying Light
    47 – Draugnim: Vulturine
    48 – Gevurah: Hallelujah!
    49 – Nadra: Allir Vegir til Glotunar
    50 – Wode: Wode

    Honorable mentions:
    Stilla: Skuggsflock
    Anagnorisis: Peripeteia
    Skaphe: Skaphe2
    LVTHN: Eradication of Nescience
    Oozing Wound: Whatever Forever
    Forteresse: Themes Pour la Rebellion
    Mare Cognitum: Luminiferous Aether
    Tarnkappe: Winterwaker
    Graves at Sea: The Curse that is
    Auroch: Mute Books

    • That Eschatos album is really good (should have a Synn Report for them next year sometime), but it was originally released at the tail-end of 2015… so I don’t feel right including it in this year’s list(s).

      Same with The Infernal Sea.

      • Dang, didn’t realize that. Eschatos caught me by surprise, really solid record.

      • Serpents Lair, Gorrch, Khthoniik Cerviiks, Zørormr, Grey Heaven Fall, Serpent Seed, The Shiva Hypothesis and Blot suffer the same destiny as The Infernal Sea on my part. Did I discover the latter thanks to you? Very possible.
        I almost find it legit to add second-half-of-December releases to next year’s list. Almost.

    • It’s not a competition buddy, hahaha

    • A.M.S.G. and Eschatos sounds like awesome gems.
      Islander claims these list are a great way of discovering such.
      I say it’s a great way of inducing a guilt-trip for all the gems I’ve lost out on, dammit.

      • I’m kinda surprised not to see A.M.S.G. on more lists. I could listen to that record all day and night. So vile, dense and dark, yet containing great hooks and fantastic songwriting. Very close to being my number one for the year if it wasn’t for Vektor’s excellence in absolutely every department.

    • That Black Table is greatness. It just missed my list as I cut off at 20. Oh and that Eschatos was super close to making it too. Just too many insane records this year and I felt 20 was enough.

  25. Wyrding–S/T Just about my favorite record of the year, puzzled that very few other folks seem to be talking about it.
    Auroch–Mute Books
    Inter Arma–Paradise Gallows
    Mithras–On Strange Loops
    Old Graves–Long Shadows
    Zeal & Ardor–Devil is Fine
    Darkthrone–Arctic Thunder
    Rebel Wizard–Triumph of Gloom
    Forteresse–Themes Pour la Rebellion
    Funeral Mourning–Intertia of Dissonance (A Sermon in Finality)

    And a few that are mostly electronic but creepy, abrasive, or unsettling enough to appeal to metal fiends:
    Valerio Tricoli–Clonic Earth
    Puce Mary–The Spiral
    Mika Vainio–Mannerlaatta
    Tim Hecker–Love Streams

    Keep up the good work, NCS!

  26. 1. Coma Cluster Void – Mind Cemeteries
    2. Gorguts – Pleiades Dust
    3. Ulcerate – Shrines Of Paralysis

    Honorable Mention: Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep Of Reason

  27. 1. Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    2. Imperium – Titanomachy
    3. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    4. Gatecreeper – Sonaran Depravation
    5. Grimner – Frost Mot Eld
    6. Primordial – Shadow of Intent
    7. Swine Overlord – Entheogenesis
    8. Dawn of Disease – Worship the Grave
    9. Mare Cognitum – Luminiferous Aether
    10. Blade of Horus – Monumental Massacre

    • Actually, number 6 should be: Shadow of Intent – Primordial. And I would also add honorable mention: Infinite Density – Recollapse of the Universe

  28. So many list already! I dread making mine but I always wait till after Christmas as I don’t run like a Magazine publication. This was another awesome year for Metal with some killer stuff still on the way.

  29. Thy Catafalque – Meta
    Stoned God – Discordant Divinity
    Bifrost – Mana Ewah
    Rhine – An Outsider
    Necromancing the Stone – Jewel of the Vile
    Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    Lord Vicar – Gates of Flesh
    Lone Wanderer – The Majesty of Loss
    Hordak – Padres
    Brutality – Sea of Ignorance
    Kryptos – Burn Up the Night

  30. In alphabetical order / EPs/Demos included

    Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    Cancer – Terminal
    Death Fetishist – Clandestine Sacrament
    Funeral Mourning – Inertia Of Dissonance (A Sermon In Finality)
    Fvnerals – Wounds
    Gateway – Scriptures Of Grief
    Gespenst – Forfald
    Imperceptum – Collapse Of Existence
    Imperceptum – Entering The Domains Of Complete Nonexistence
    Inverloch – Distance | Collapsed
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Krypts – Remnants Of Expansion
    Lycus – Chasms
    Sinistrous Diabolus – II
    Sinistrous Diabolus – Monolith III-V
    Skáphe – Skáphe²
    Setentia – Darkness Transcend
    Sol Sistere – Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum
    Ulcerate – Shrines Of Paralysis
    Urfaust – Empty Space Meditation
    Veneficium – Demo
    Voidspawn – Pyrrhic

  31. You can count on another list from us!

  32. My top 10 for now. Small changes may happen between 06 and 10.
    There may be changes higher up, but I think it’s unlikely.

    Top 10 – 2016

    01 – The Infernal Sea – The Great Mortality
    02 – Allegaeon – Proponents for Science
    03 – Netherbird – The Grander Voyage
    04 – Wode – Wode
    05 – Watchtower – Concepts of Math: Book One
    06 – Wolverine – Machina Viva
    07 – Dark Funeral – Where Shadows Forever Reign
    08 – Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of the Law
    09 – Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
    10 – Opeth – Sorceress

    • As Andy mentions under Comment 24, The Great Mortality was initially released in 2015. On the other hand, that was just on cassettes limited to 100 copies, whilst CD, LP and digital(?) releases were dropped this year. I wish it’d been a 2016 release, as I want it on my list too.

      • They actually self-released a cd version in 2015 too, which I also have.

        • Never put your full confidence in Metal Archives. About damn time I learn this now.

          • Not this again!

            Listen, the band themselves consider the official release date of ‘The Great Mortality’ to be Februari the 19th 2016. Both the cassette and the initial cd release were very limited editions before the regular release of the album.

            The 19th Februari release date 2016 is mentioned on their Bandcamp page on their Facebook en in an answer to me when I asked them about this. See here:


            • Hey, if you want to count it as this year, feel free.

              But considering the original independent release was definitely in 2015 (I received my cd copy in October, and reviewed the album month), and we, and several others, featured it prominently in our end of year round-up for 2015… we’re going to stick with that.

              I’m fine with it being re-released this year. It definitely deserves more attention and wider exposure. But we counted it last year, so we’re not going to count it again.

  33. 01 – Thränenkind – King Apathy (just hit a sweet spot between post and black metal)
    02 – Uada – Devoid of Light (just “fun” melodic black metal with a raw touch)
    03 – Ashbringer – Yugen (that’s how atmospheric black metal should sound like)
    04 – Be’Lakor – Vessel (definitly a slight departure of the typical sound and a improved over the last album which showed signs of stagnation)
    04 – Adam Angst – Adam Angst (sweet fun and political german punk/hardcore)
    05 – Netherbird – The Grander Voyage (took me by surprise)
    06 – Morrow – Covenant of Teeth (love me some crust)
    07 – Anaal Nathrakh – The whole of the law (that’s how depravity and armaggedon probably sound like…)
    08 – Crippled Black Phoenix – Bronze (sometimes weird combination of psychodelic rock and melancholic, kinda Archive-like sound)
    09 – Dark Tranquillity – Atoma (it’s dark tranquillity 😉
    10 – Spellcaster – Night hides the day

  34. Darkend – The Canticle of Shadows. I had this on my bandcamp ‘wishlist’ since release. I use it just as a bookmarking system for things I mean to check out; it only ever gets longer. When I finally got around to listening to this a month or so ago I kicked myself for sitting on it so long. Probably album of the year for me. Reminds me of Shade Empire, but taken in a different direction.

    Others in no particular order:
    Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience
    Khonsu – The Xun Protectorate
    Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole Of The Law
    Myrkur – Mausoleum
    Sarcoptes – Songs and Dances of Death
    Schammasch – Triangle
    Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
    Zeal and Ardor – Devil Is Fine
    Acyl – Aftermath
    Wardruna – Runaljod: Ragnarok
    Youth Code – Commitment to Complications (thanks Wil Cifer!)
    Dormant Ideal – We Had It Coming
    Revocation – Great Is Our Sin
    Protean – The Burning Centuries

    Albums I thought were ‘good’ but didn’t fully grab me as much as previous releases:
    Rotting Christ – Rituals
    Be’lakor – Vessels
    Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep Of Reason
    Mechina – Progenitor
    Gojira – Magma

    Dymna Lotva – Самотны Чалавечы Голас (they released an album too, but I haven’t heard it yet)
    Kartikeya – The Golden Blades

    My favourite ‘Late to the party’ album this year (pre-2016 release I only discovered in 2016):
    Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs

  35. Wow, already so many lists! 🙂 So much new shit to listen to!

    My top 33:

    1. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    2. In Mourning – Afterglow
    3. Cult of Luna/ JUlie Christmas – Mariner
    4. Obscure Sphinx – Epitaphs
    5. Be’lakor – Vessels
    6. Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of Law
    7. Deftones – Gore
    8. Korn – The Serenity of Suffering
    9. Alcest – Kodama
    10. Omnium Gatherum – Grey Havens
    11. Coldworld – Autumn
    12. In Flames – Battles
    13. Trees of Eternity – Hour of the Nightingale
    14. Gojira – Magma
    15. Moonsorrow – Jumalten Akia
    16. Haken – Affinity
    17. Hands of Despair – Bereft
    18. Sylvaine – Wistful
    19. Obsidian Kingdom – A Year With No Summer
    20. Fallujah – Dreamless
    21. Dark Tranquillity – Atoma
    22. Hanging Garden – Hereafter
    23. Red Moon Architect – Fall
    24. Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
    25. Downfall of Gaia – Atrophy
    26. Khonsu – The Xun Protectorate
    27. Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
    28. Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue
    29. Opeth – Sorceress
    30. Novembre – URSA
    31. October Tide – Winged Waltz
    32. Lessen – A Nebulous Being
    33. Countless Skies – New Dawn

    • I totally forgot about Clouds – Departe, which is an amazing doom record (à la Shape of Despair, Eye of Solitude, Saturnus) that is simply amazing.

  36. In no particular order (probably will forget also a couple):

    Furia – Księżyc milczy luty
    Schammasch – Triangle
    Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    Obscure Sphinx – Epitaphs
    Mithras – On Strange Loops
    Krypts – Remnants of Expansion
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Thy Catafalque – Meta
    Zhrine – Unortheta
    Wędrowcy~Tułacze~Zbiegi – Światu jest wszystko jedno
    Mizmor – Yodh
    Entropia – Ufonaut
    Inverloch – Distance | Collapsed
    Escarnium – Interitus
    Lycus – Chasms
    Draugnim – Vulturine
    Wode – Wode
    Unfathomable Ruination – Finitude
    Imperium Dekadenz – Dis Manibvs

    Probably in the end I would add some of the albums that were released not long ago, stuff like Antaeus, Bolzer and Aenaon.

  37. Every album I loved and remembered to write down, in no order:

    Thèmes pour la rébellion-Forteresse
    Torn Cold Void-Laspell
    Allir Vegir Til Glötunar-Naðra
    In the shadow of the wolf-Vordr
    Animus-Venom Prison
    Triumph of Gloom-Rebel Wizard
    Arctic Thunder-Darkthrone
    Commitment to Complications-Youth Code (not metal, but loud enough)
    Luciferian Fullmoon Necromancy-Lykaionas
    Without Providence-Reverend Brooks Wilson (not metal, but he’s the singer for Crypt Sermon)
    L’Aube Glacée-Bahrrecht
    Ode to the Flame-Mantar
    Ars Veneficium-The Reign of the Infernal King
    From the Vastland-Chamrosh
    Terminal Redux-Vektor
    In the Shadows Below-Year of the Cobra
    Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood-Uškumgallu
    Kings in Sauron’s Service-Barrow Wight
    Vindland-Hanter Savet
    Hour of the Nightingale-Trees of Eternity
    Worms-Barbarian Swords
    The Year is One-Spiritus Mortis
    Vermin Lord-Anguish
    Demon Summoning-Eternal Alchemist

  38. Cheers to you guys on letting the plebs have their say. As you’ll see from this list I get quite a lot of nice recommendations that would otherwise pass me by from this site. I’ve essentially given up on most other metal blogs which seem to be more concerned with who’s wearing a Metallica shirt nowadays and whatever the fuck Varg has to say about American elections. Keep up the great work! \m/

    Black Crown Initiate (I don’t know why people aren’t digging this, mayhaps I have a man crush on Andy’s cleans)
    Blood Incantation
    Dark Tranquility
    Johannes Grossmann
    Hanging Garden
    In Mourning
    Terra Tenebrosa (The End is Mine to Ride is what I shave to every morning… true story)

    Witherscape may be my favorite of the year. It’s certainly the album I’ve been spinning the most. Disappointment of the year certainly belongs to Gojira. There are 2, maybe 3 quality songs on that album, the rest is too lean, and sounds forced. My $.02

    • Very pleased to see Polyptych make an appearance. On my list as well. Some great tech death made the rounds this year, and “Defying the Metastasis” may be the best of the lot.

      • Yeah definitely overlooked album. The song-writing is top-notch. It’s a great example of tech death that doesn’t sacrifice good grooves to show us how fast everyone in the band can noodle.

    • Thanks for the kind words Pierre, and for the story about shaving to Terra Tenebrosa, which sounds like a very risky maneuver. 🙂

      • It’s possible that starting the day with The Cuckoo crooning about what I assume are the end times may sour my demeanor for the rest of the day. It’s definitely the cause of some uneven shaves. Cheers!

  39. Now that you mention it I happen to have mine ready to go. Although I’m still running across great stuff every day. Spellcaster and Sear Bliss should probably be on here but I literally just heard them.
    Cobalt was #1 all year since release and I thought there was no way they would be ousted, but then Hunted took over my life and I had to give it too them. Great year of music!

    1. Khemmis, Hunted
    2. Cobalt, Slow Forever
    3. Asphyx, Incoming Death
    4. Witchery, In His Infernal Majesty Service
    5. Kvelertak, Nattesferd
    6. Tower, Tower
    7. Hyperion, Seraphical Euphony
    8. Spirits Adrift, Chained To Oblivion
    9. Oathbreaker, Rheia
    10. Mindscar, What’s Beyond The Light
    11. Nails, You Will Never Be One Of Us
    12. Mantar, Ode To The Flame
    13. Destroyer 666, Wildfire
    14. Spell, For None and All
    15. Nekrokraft, Will o’ Wisp
    16. Summerlands, Summerlands
    17. Cremosity, Witness of Human Brutality
    18. Salems Pot, Pronounce This
    19. Black Hate, Through The Darkness
    20. Arkaik, Lucid Dawn

    Skeletonwitch, The Apothic Gloom
    Pallbearer, Fear And Fury
    Lord Mantis, Nice Teeth Whore

  40. a non-exhaustive list of some favorites that come to mind immediately:

    Gorguts – Pleiades Dust
    Zhrine – Unortheta (this is probably my number 1)
    DSO – Synarchy
    Mare Cognitum – Luminiferous Aether
    Selvans/Downfall of Nur – Split
    Virus – Memento Collider
    Liminal – Fugue
    The Wayward – Plutonic
    Mithras – On Strange Loops
    Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
    Aluk Todolo – Voix

  41. (since all my other favorites have been mentioned)

    No love for SVARTELDER around here?

  42. So far, and in no particular order

    Battle Dagorath – I – Dark Dragons of the Cosmos
    Clouds – Departe
    Ancestors Blood – Hyperborea
    Tardigrada – Emotionale Ödnis
    Saor – Guardians
    Imperium Dekadenz – Dis Manibvs
    Marsh Dweller – The Weight of Sunlight
    Old Graves – Long Shadows
    ColdWorld – Autumn
    Elffor – Malkhedant
    Forteresse – Thèmes pour la rébellion
    Sojourner – Empires of Ash
    Sarcoptes – Songs And Dances Of Death
    Winterlore – Winterlore
    Draugnim – Vulturine
    Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika

    • In my haste I forgot two of the absolute best ones!

      Thrawsunblat – Metacthonia, and
      Svirnath – Il Regno Della Natura

  43. Well, in no particular order (and i’m sure i’ll forget some…) here they go:
    Monolithe-Zeta Reticuli
    Destroyer 666-Wildfire
    Anciients-Voice Of The Void
    Vale of Pnath-Vale of Pnath
    Devin Townsend-Transcendence
    Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of the Law
    Eneferens-The Inward Cold
    Vektor-Terminal Redux
    The Zenith Passage-Solipsist
    Cobalt-Slow Forever
    Ulcerate-Shrines Of Paralysis
    Mare Cognitum-Luminiferous Aether
    Mare Cognitum-Resonance: Crimson Void
    Névoa-Re Un
    Mouth Of The Architect-Path Of Eight
    Devian Process-Paroxysm
    Inter Arma-Paradise Gallows
    City-On The Edge Of Forever
    Mithras-On Strange Loops
    Latitudes-Old Sunlight
    Wayfarer-Old Souls
    Hail Spirit Noir-Mayhem In Blue
    Cult Of Luna-Mariner
    Minarchist-In Absence
    Lotus Thief-Gramarye
    Départe-Failure, Subside
    Dementia-Dreaming In Monochrome
    Hammers Of Misfortune-Dead Revolution
    First Fragment-Desain
    Obsidian Kingdom-A Year Without Summer
    Russian Circles-Guidance

    Top 5 were probably Astronoid,Cult Of Luna, Hail Spirit Noir, Ancients and Entropia.
    Biggest dissapointments? I’d say Fleshgod Apocalypse, Alcest and Be’Lakor. I was just expecting so much more, especially from the last two…

  44. Great lists so far! I really enjoyed many of these albums. To avoid repetition here’s some great stuff which has not been mentioned yet (I’m referring to album releases by these bands):
    – Latitudes
    – Ehnahre
    – Ecferus
    – Pogavranjen
    – Mesarthim
    – Krater
    – Goatpsalm
    – Cantique Lépreux
    – Vlk
    – Palace Of Worms
    – Jute Gyte
    – Blizaro
    – Wendess
    – Darkestrah
    – Mur
    – Book Of Sands
    – Haunter
    – Toska (well ok, this one’s an EP)
    – Funeral Moth
    – Subterranean Disposition
    – CB Murdoc
    – Internal Suffering
    – Fange
    – Black Fucking Cancer
    – Ahpdegma
    – Circle Of Ouroborus (Uskottomien Kirkossa / Tarpeeton)
    – Medevil
    – Cognizant
    – Odal
    – Seputus
    – Forgotten Spell
    – Goes Cube
    – Tardigrada
    – Helcaraxë
    – Jassa
    – Downfall of Nur & Selvans
    – Scum (because it has just been released this year, actually it’s a 90s release)

    • Latitudes was great 😉

      • Was a great year for post metal 🙂 latitudes (my favourite among these) cult of luna, sumac, russian circles, mouth of the architect, make, pyramido and ofc Neurosis! Post metal isnt dead yet 😀

    • Cognizant, hell yes. I also dig the new Wake, may be overshadowed by others though.

    • Great list! One day when I have a lot of free time I’m going to lock myself inside and listen to Jute Gyte until I can wrap my head around the music. I have a feeling it might be one of the best things I never had the patience to get into.

  45. Deathspell Omega — The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
    Gorguts – Pleiades Dust
    Ulcerate – Shrines Of Paralysis
    Gevurah – Hallelujah!
    Throane – Derrière Nous, La Lumière
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    Zhrine – Unortheta
    Urfaust – Empty Space Meditation
    Aluk Todolo – Voix
    Qrixkuor – Three Devils Dance
    Irkallian Oracle – Apollyon
    Schammasch – Triangle
    Vektor – Terminal Redux

  46. Vlk – Of Wolves’ Blood
    Darkestrah – Turan
    Vektor – Terminal Redux (AotY)
    A.M.S.G – Hostis Universi Generis
    Daedalvs – Apotheosis
    Fromhell – March On Gravitation
    Mithras – On Strange Loops
    Balance Interruption – Door 218

    Singularity – Void Walker

  47. Pretty much everything i got this year.

    In alphabetical order:
    An Abstract Illusion – Illuminate the Path
    Alcest – Kodama
    Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
    Anup Sastry – Bloom
    Barishi – Blood from the Lion’s Mouth
    Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule
    Crisis Actor – Rape Crisis Actor
    Départe – Failure, Subside
    Devildriver – Trust No One
    The Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
    Dormant Ordeal – We Had It Coming
    Dream Theater – The Astonishing
    Enigma – Stars Misaligned
    Entheos – The Infinite Nothing
    Fallujah – Dreamless
    First Fragment – Dasein
    Fuath – I
    Gojira – Magma
    Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust
    Infant Annihilator – The Elysian Grandeval Galèriarch
    Intonate – The Swerve
    Korn – The Serenity of Suffering
    Lustmord – Dark Matter
    Mare Cognitum/Aureole – Resonance: Crimson Void
    Martröð – Transmutation of Wounds
    Neurotech – In Remission
    The Noumenon – Terminus
    Periphery – Periphery III: Select Difficulty
    Perturbator – The Uncanny Valley
    Perturbator – The Uncanny Valley (Expansion)
    Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows
    Setentia – Darkness Transcend
    Slabdragger – Rise of the Dawncrusher
    Slice The Cake – Odyssey to the West
    Summit – The Winds That Forestall Thy Return
    Sunless – Demo
    Writhe – Writhe
    Wanzwa – Wanzwa IV
    Wormed – Krighsu
    The Zenith Passage – Solipsist
    Zhrine – Unortheta

    • Nice to see Setentia get a mention. That Sunless demo is wicked. And I’m personally gratified that you dug Crisis Actor enough to put it on a list. 🙂

  48. This is what I’ve got on my running list for the year:

    Latitudes – “Old Sunlight”
    Wildernessking – “Mystical Future”
    Batushka – “Litourgiya” (technically Dec 2015)
    Spotlights – “Tidals”
    Astronoid – “Air”
    Basement – “Promise Everything”
    Zeal and Ardor – “Devil is Fine”
    Gojira – “Magma”
    Russian Circles – “Guidance”
    Harakiri for the Sky – “III:Trauma”
    IOTUNN – “The Wizard Falls”
    Alcest – “Kodama”

    I’m also partial to Oak Pantheon’s latest… but that doesn’t count. 😛

  49. I haven’t ranked them yet, so here are 20 in no order whatsoever…

    “Starspawn” – Blood Incantation
    “Order of the Vulture” – Cemetery Piss
    “No One Deserves Happiness” – The Body
    “Värähtelijä” – Oranssi Pazuzu
    “Slow Forever” – Cobalt
    “Paradise Gallows” – Inter Arma
    “Jumalten Aika” – Moonsorrow
    “Allir vegir til glötunar” – Naðra
    “The Art to Disappear” – Spektr
    “Terminal Redux” – Vektor
    “Bloodiest” – Bloodiest
    “Save Yourself” – Happy Days
    “Voices” – Wormrot
    “Inferno” – Nuclear Devastation
    “The Rest is Silence” – The Von Deer Skulls
    “Kodama” – Alcest
    “Arctic Thunder” – Darkthrone
    “The Irrepassable Gate” – Ash Borer
    “Yodh” – Mizmor
    “The Devil is Fine” – Zeal and Ardor

    I didn’t include any EPs, but notable ones for me were from Gorguts, Grave Miasma, Voivod, Tombs, and Skeletonwitch (which was surprising, because I just couldn’t fathom them without Chance’s vocals)

  50. My Spinal Top Ten list for 2016. This wasn’t everything I enjoyed this year, not by a stretch, but these are the albums that really piqued my interest and got me excited enough to want to shout their praises to hell and back. In alphabetical order.

    1. Bestial Raids – Master Satan’s Witchery.
    If you thought disco metal peaked with Kiss’s Dynasty, then I have good news for you, because the best pop-metal band in recent memory just released a killer album. But that’s not important right now, because this Bestial Raids album is set to destroy all music as we know it. Listen to this immediately, and if your eardrums survive the massive orgasm this will cause them, listen to it again and again and again.  

    2. Blood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule.
    Blood Ceremony does it again, with what may be their strongest album yet. This one is just amazing from start to finish. Every song is clever and compelling, though my favorite is The Rogue’s Lot. If no other retro/psychedelic/rock/doom albums are ever made, this one wins the title, hands down. Don’t miss it.

    3. Cauchemar – Chapelle Ardente.
    Epic doom at its epicest. At first, the vocals on the first song don’t seem to match the massive doomy sound and tolling bells, with a muted, restrained approach that feels a bit underwhelming for the music. In subsequent songs however the singer proves that she can wail with the best of them, so this is clearly a deliberate choice for the opener. And after a few listens it really grew on me, so now I wouldn’t want it any other way. Definitely one of my favorite doom albums of the year.

    4. Cultes des Ghoules – Coven, or Evil Ways Instead of Love.
    Release date be damned, this is too good not to mention. It may even go on my list for next year too. If you haven’t heard anything by this band yet, what the fuck are you waiting for? They don’t have a single weak album in their catalogue, and this is no exception. One of my most anticipated releases since the minute I heard about it, and it exceeded my very high expectations.

    5. Grave Miasma – Endless Pilgrimage.
    Death metal album of the year.

    6. Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue.
    Their most aggro album to date, and while it doesn’t quite reach the fuck-you-in-the-brain destruction of Bestial Raids, maybe feeling more like an awkwardly accidental caress to the cerebrum in comparison, the songwriting here is amazing. Never dull, with their progressive and psychedelic elements on full display.

    7. Hierophant – Mass Grave.
    The songs are mostly short but manage to also be interesting. I loved this.

    8. Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith.
    Any Inquisition is good Inquisition, and this is particularly good Inquisition.

    9. Profanatica – The Curling Flame of Blasphemy.
    Booming drums and that fat chunky bass just drag you in and force you to listen all the way through. I couldn’t escape its clutches, and never wanted to, but just kept going back and back for more. Despite almost unbeatable entries from Blood Ceremony and Cultes des Ghouls, this wound up in my #1 spot for album of the year.

    10. Ungod – Bewitched by Sins and Lust.
    Fucking manic, with a vocal delivery that is best described as unhinged. I waited eagerly for this to arrive, and if it was possible to wear out the digital files streaming from Bandcamp prior to the album’s release, I would have. Simply the best kind of black metal.

    11. Zaum – Eidolon.
    This was just interesting from start to finish. It’s also a damn good album. In many ways it reminded me of the first time I heard Black Pyramid way back when. I just got absorbed into it and could listen to it over and over again. Really a fantastic doom album.

    Bonus EPs:

    12. Candlemass – Death thy Lover.
    I’m physically incapable of making a best of list that doesn’t include a new release from Candlemass. If this EP doesn’t float your boat as much as their classic albums, go for the 5-disc Behind the Wall of Doom, with a 100-odd page book detailing the band’s history, with interviews and input from all current and past members. It’s a real treat.

    13. Vomit of Doom – Magnus Cruelty.
    While the band name neatly captures my reaction to our recent election, the music here promises salvation. Just listen for a little while, and all your little brains will be thrashed to bits, and you won’t care about politics or elections or countries or anything but banging your head through the next song. This is good.

    I am probably being unfair to Antaeus, Blood Incantation, Deathspell Omega, and Slaughterday, to name a few, but as good as those albums are they didn’t excite me like the ones on my list did.


    number one:::: SUMAC

    • I’m sensing a very deep-seated and possibly destabilizing admiration for Sumac.

      • Im still trying to translate it

        • Google Translate crashed when I resorted to it.

        • I feel like when humanity goes extinct this will be the last message sent out to the universe. There will be some humans left in a spaceship and they’ll see the explosion and the mass of rock and space dust headed their way as Earth is reduced to nothing, all the lights in the ship will turn deep red and power will fail and the only thing left on the multitude of screens in the ship will be this comment repeating over and over again.

          • So you’re saying this is actually Ultron?

            And not shitty movie Ultron, but the badass version who co-opted the Phalanx to conquer entire planets?

        • You guys are making too big a deal about this – it’s an obvious reference to the phenomenal new PUNK PUSSY album, “Lowbudged Pussy Punk”.

          Don’t know how I left that one off my list.

  52. Black Sabbath – The End
    Megadeth – Dystopia
    Master – An Epiphany of Hate
    Last in Line – Heavy Crown
    Entombed A.D. – Dead Dawn
    Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
    Death Angel – The Evil Divide
    Yngwie Malmsteen – World on Fire
    White Chapel – Mark of the Blade
    Centinex – Doomsday Rituals
    Ghoul – Dungeon Bastards
    Sodom – Decision Day
    Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
    The Agonist – Five
    Asphyx – Incoming Death
    Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
    Korn – The Serenity of Suffering
    Krypts – Remnants of Expansion
    Serpentine Dominion – Serpentine Dominion
    Vader – The Empire
    Lamb of God – The Duke
    Ghoulgatha – To Starve the Cross
    Metallica – Hardwired…to Self-Destruct
    Gruesome – Dimensions of Horror


  53. Zhrine – Unortheta
    Setentia – Darkness Transcend
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    Khonsu – The Xun Protectorate
    Départe – Failure, Subside
    Harakiri for the Sky – III: Trauma
    Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
    Wormed – Krighsu
    Natvre’s – Wrath
    In the Woods… – Pure

  54. My top 17, in alphabetical order:

    Antaeus – Condemnation
    Blood incantation – Starspawn
    Desaster – The Oath of an Iron Ritual
    Escarnium – Interitus
    Exumer – The Raging Tides
    Forteresse – These pour la Rebellion
    In Mourning – Afterglow
    Martyrdod – List
    Mistur – In Memoriam
    Noctem – Haeresis
    Nordjevel – Nordjevel
    SIG:AR:TYR – Northen
    Sulphur – Omens of Doom
    Svarttjern – Dodsskrik
    Uada – Devoid of Light
    Ulcerate – Shrines Of Paralysis
    Vukari – Divination

  55. How has no one even mentioned Cough-Still They Prey? By far my favorite album this year.

  56. Mithras
    An Abstract Illusion
    Grave Miasma

  57. I know I am far too late on this and that means no one will likely read, but here’s my list;

    Skeletonwitch; Apothic Gloom (I have to support my boys)

    Black Crown Initiate; Selves We Cannot Forgive

    Ihsahn; Arktis

    Testament; Brotherhood of the Snake

    Sinsaenum; Echoes of the Tortured

    Departe; Failure, Subside

    The Agonist; Five

    Khemmis; Hunted

    Gojira; Magma

    Hail Spirit Noir; Mayhem in Blue

    Mithras; On Strange Loops

    Cobalt; Slow Forever

    Ketzer; Starless

    Blood Incantation; Starspawn

    Anciients; Voice of the Void

    Heaven Shall Burn; Wanderer

    • You’re not too late at all. I expect more additions, especially since I’m about to circulate this post again on Facebook. It has turned into a very good (and extensive) resource for people looking for new music or reminders of things they meant to check out but haven’t.

      • Thanks. I use these lists exactly as you mentioned. So much great metal comes out nowadays and I find myself giving little time to most albums due to the sheer volume of releases. As most metalheads, I assume, I scour these lists to find those forgotten gems and always find quite a few.

    • You actually liked that Tribulation ripoff “Starless” Ketzer album?

      Question… did you listen to this band before when they were a far superior blackened thrash band?

  58. I’m pretty late this year (just seen the facebook post), but here goes. Albums in rough order within each genre.

    Alkerdeel – Lede
    Dagger Lust – Aggramica and s/t
    Woddrea Mylenstede – Créda Beaducwealm
    Mosaic – Samhain Celebration
    Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder
    Stillborn Fawn – Norn
    Ash Borer – The Irrepassable Gate
    Krallice – Hyperion
    Aosoth – IV / Appendixes (sic)

    Flysch – Madera Document
    Skin Graft – Activity Intolerance
    Mon.Ark Ammo – s/t
    The Rita – Pedicure Deconstruction of the Feminine

    Forndom – Dauthra Dura
    Arrowwood – Eye of Ivy, Thorn and Moss
    Sangre de Muerdago – Os Segredos da Raposa Vermella
    Kageraw – Shaman Tears
    Worm Ouroborous – What Graceless Dawn
    Wardruna – Ragnarok

    Honourable mentions to Cloak, The Body, Kvelertak, Ulcerate, Eos, Caveman Cult, Black Fucking Cancer, and Bestial Raids

  59. Top 50 of 2016

    Aborted – Retrogore

    Antigama – The Insolent

    Ash Borer – The Irrepassible Gate

    Blood Incantation – Starspawn

    Blut Aus Nord – Codex Obscura Nomina

    Car Bomb – Meta

    Darkestrah – Turan

    Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder

    Dawnbringer – XX

    Destroyer 666 – Wildfire

    Diamond Head – Diamond Head

    Downfall of Gaia – Atrophy

    Draugnim – Vulterine

    Entombed A.D. – Dead Dawn

    Fuath – I (Year’s best album for me)

    Gadget – The Great Destroyer

    Gehennah – To Loud to Live, To Drunk to Die

    Grave Miasma – Endless Pilgrimage

    Hellbringer – Awakem from the Abyss

    Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony

    Ihsahn – Arktis

    Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith

    Inter Arma – The Paradise Gallows

    The Lion’s Daughter – Existence is Horror

    Massive Attack – Ritual Spirit

    Metallica – Hardwired…To Self Destruct

    Mithras – On Strange Loops

    Neurosis – Fires Within Fires

    Old Chapel – Visions from Beyond

    Oranassi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä

    Piss Vortex – Future Cancer

    Planes Mistaken for Stars – Prey

    Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows

    Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

    Ravencult – Force of Profanation

    Saor – Guardians

    Spektr – The Art to Disappear

    Spinebreaker – Ice Grave

    Sumerlands – Sumerlands

    Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

    Thy Catafalque – Meta

    A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

    Vektor – Terminal Reflux

    Vermin Womb – Decline

    Voivod – Post Society

    Wildernessking – Mystical Future

    Witchery – In His Infernal Majesty’s Service

    Wormrot – Voices

    Zeal and Ardor – Devil is Fine

    Zhrine- Unortheta

  60. I’ll go with these, knowing that there are likely to be a couple last minute changes in December (Mechina’s new one comes out on Monday)

    Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of the Law
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Uada – Devoid of Light
    The Gorge – Thousand Year Fire
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
    Goatpsalm – Downstream
    Vainaja – Verenvalaja
    Ihsahn – Arktis
    Fleshgod Apocalypse – King

    Non metal
    David Bowie – Blackstar
    Myrkur – Mausoleum (live)
    Youth Code – Commitment to Complications

  61. 1. Eight Bells – Landless
    2. Deathspell Omega – Synarchy of Molten Bones
    3. Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust
    4. Subrosa – For This We Fought the Battle of Ages
    5. Sumac – What One Becomes
    6. Neurosis – Fires Within Fires

  62. I’ve been very busy this year and have missed out or slept on a lot of shit judging by these lists. This is no attempt at a “best of”, just my personal favorites from what I did get my grubbies on.

    Astronoid – Air
    Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder
    Death Fortress – Deathless March of the Unyielding
    Deftones – Gore
    Dope Smoker – Marijuana
    Ghost – Popestar
    Gojira – Magma
    Killswitch Engage – Incarnate
    Landskap – III
    Metallica – Hardwired…to Self Destruct
    Panopticon/Waldgefluster – split
    Skeletonwitch – The Apothic Gloom
    Superjoint – Caught Up In the Gears of Application
    Whitechapel – Mark of the Blade
    Wode – s/t

    • Funnily enough you’ve got two of my absolute personal favourites in there… along with two of my biggest disappointments from this year.

      • That’s me, covering the spectrum. I have a guess at the disappointments, but I’m not gonna ask you to compromise your lists early 😉

  63. Anagnorisis-Peripeteia
    Draugur-By the Rays of His Golden Light
    Endless Horizon-Cycle funèbre
    Forteresse-Thèmes pour la rébellion
    Frigoris-Nur ein Moment…
    Pénitence Onirique-V.I.T.R.I.O.L
    Sol Sistere-Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum
    Throane-Derrière-Nous, La Lumière
    True Black Dawn-Come the Colorless Dawn
    Ultha-Converging Sins

  64. Vektor-Terminal Redux
    Ulcerate-Shrines of Paralysis
    Gorguts-Pleiades’ Dust
    Insomnium-Winter’s Gate
    Jute Gyte-Perdurance
    Moonsorrow- Jumalten aika
    Inquisition-Bloodshed across the Empyrean Altar beyond the Celestial Zenith
    Xoth-Invasion of the Tentacube

    Those last two are just there because I’m from Seattle they’re both badass local bands

    Best non-metal album: Danny Brown-Atrocity Exhibition

  65. A few quality releases that haven’t been mentioned yet (if I’m not mistaken)…

    Aornos – Mors Sola
    Spawning Abhorrence – The Sleepless One
    Trees, Clouds & Silence – s/t
    Kvalvaag – Malum
    Tardive Dyskinesia – Harmonic Confusion
    Agatus – The Eternalist
    Sarabante – Poisonous Legacy
    Korgonthurus – Vuohen Siunaus
    Kalmankanta – Tyhjyys
    A Diadem Of Dead Stars – Kingdoms Bathed In Golden Light
    Ψ.Χ – Το Φως Το Αληθινό
    Dark Nightmare – Tortured Souls
    The Howling Void – The Triumph Of Ruin

  66. Subject to revision…
    1 Suma – The Order of Things
    2 Schammasch – Triangle
    3 Départe – Failure, Subside
    4 Mouth of the Architect – Path of Eight
    5 Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    6 Kodiac – Being and Nothingness
    7 Monolith – Primordial
    8 Worm Ouroborous – What Graceless Dawn
    9 Oathbreaker – Rheia
    10 Faces of the Bog – Ego Death
    11 Religious Observance – Boiling Excrement
    12 Subetroth – Native Alien
    13 Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
    14 Lycus – Chasms
    15 Suffocate for Fuck Sake – In My Blood
    16 Messa – Belfry
    17 Subrosa – For This We Fought the Battle of Ages
    18 Sumac – What One Becomes
    19 Sedna – Eterno
    20 Ortega – Sacred States
    21 Mirrors for Psychic Warfare – Mirrors for Psychic Warfare
    22 Nevoa – Re Un
    23 Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner
    24 Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    25 Phantom Winter – Sundown Pleasures
    26 Ovtrenoir – Eroded
    27 Love Sex Machine – Asexual Anger
    28 Downfall of Gaia – Atrophy
    29 Yeti on Horseback -The Great Dying
    30 Throane – Derrière-nous, la lumière

    • Final version.
      1. Suma – The Order of Things
      2. Départe – Failure, Subside
      3. Schammasch – Triangle
      4. Downfall of Gaia – Atrophy
      5. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
      6. Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner
      7. Oathbreaker – Rheia
      8. Ash Borer – The Irrepassable Gate
      9. Sumac – What One Becomes
      10. Kodiac – Being and Nothingness
      11. Ortega – Sacred States
      12. Love Sex Machine – Asexual Anger
      13. Religious Observance – Boiling Excrement
      14. Monolith – Primordial
      15. Hipoxia – Si Devs Esset Occidendvs Erit – Monvmentvm ab Khaos I –
      16. Subetroth – Native Alien
      17. Black Bone Exorcism – Crack the Bone, Break the Heart
      18. Worm Ouroborous – What Graceless Dawn
      19. Névoa – Re Un
      20. Partholón – Follow Me Through Body
      21. Cobalt – Slow Forever
      22. Mouth of the Architect – Path of Eight
      23. Neurosis – Fires Within Fire
      24. Throane – Derrière-nous, la lumière
      25. Lycus – Chasms
      26. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
      27. Faces of the Bog – Ego Death
      28. Messa – Belfry
      29. Subrosa – For This We Fought the Battle of Ages
      30. Mirrors for Psychic Warfare – Mirrors for Psychic Warfare

  67. Abbath – Abbath
    Borknagar – Winter Thrice
    Conan – Revengeance
    Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
    Wildernessking – Mystical Future
    Obscura – Akroasis
    Hexvessel – When We Are Death
    Gomorrah – The Haruspex
    Desolator – Spawn of Misanthropy
    Love Sex Machine – Asexual Anger
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Varahtelija
    Cobalt – Slow Forever
    Slabdragger – Rise of the Dawncrusher
    The Bendal Interlude – Reign of the Unblinking Eye
    Wormed – Krighsu
    Krater – Urere
    Graves at Sea – The Curse That Is
    Ihsahn – Arktis
    Destroyer 666 – Wildfire
    Vektor – Terminal Redux
    Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust
    Astronoid – Air
    Swans – The Glowing Man
    Gojira – Magma
    Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us
    Skuggsja – Skuggsja
    Black Crown Initiate – Selves We Cannot Forgive
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar…
    Rebel Wizard – Triumph of Gloom
    Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
    Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
    40 Watt Sun – Wider Than Sky
    Thy Catafalque – Meta
    Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue
    Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia
    Whores – Gold
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Witchery – In His Infernal Majesty’s Service

    My inevitable conclusion of this was to post every single metal record I enjoyed this year.

  68. A bit late to the party, and still not entirely sure about the order, but mine is something like this:

    1. Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crepuscule
    2. Ehnahre – Douve
    3. Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    4. Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust
    5. Irkallian Oracle – Apolyon
    6. Auroch – Mute Books
    7. Convulsing – Errata
    8. Temple Nightside – The Hecatomb
    9. Inverloch – Distance Collapsed
    10. Vmthanaachth – Fit Secundum Regulam

    11. Ritual Chamber – Obscurations (To Feast On The Seraphim)
    12. Zhrine – Unortheta
    13. Skaphe – Skaphe2
    14. Spire – Entropy
    15. Coma Cluster Void – Mind Cemeteries
    16. Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse, The Pendlomic Vows
    17. Departe – Failure, Subside
    18. Predatory Light – Predatory Light
    19. Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    20. Setentia – Darkness Transcend

    21. Geryon – The Wound And The Bow
    22. Concrete Mascara – Perennial Disappointment
    23. Swampcult – The Festival
    24. Altarage – Nihil
    25. Our Place Of Worship Is Silence – The Embodiment Of Hate

  69. COBALT – Slow Forever
    Because I am slow, I never knew till today that Cobalt released an album in 2016, called Slow Forever. Just listening to this today. Wow, this belongs on an album of the year–I never heard such heartfelt vocals and riffs. This is real pain and anguish, presented in a stew of crushing heaviness. I read some reviews that disliked the lengthy songs but I think that enhances the effect.

  70. My 2016 best playlist, by order of release:

    Mutant – Pleiades

    The Slayerking – Sanatana Dharma

    Gomorrah – The Haruspex

    Vredehammer – Violator

    Cobalt – Slow Forever

    Orbit Culture – Rasen

    Fleshgod Apocalypse – King

    Aborted – Retrogore

    Haken – Affinity

    Schammasch – Triangle

    Vektor – Terminal Redux

    The Vision Bleak – The Unknown

    Bel’lakor – Vessels

    Frost* – Falling Satellites

    Thy Catafalque – Meta

    Khonse – The Xun Protectorate

  71. Best thing I did this year?… upgraded my iPod to 1TB. Now, I can fit all this wonderful new music you guys have turned me on to. This is the best online community in metal. ETERNAL FUCKING HAILS my friends.

  72. Great year! List could easily be twice as long:

    1. Mithras – On Strange Loops
    2. Tides Of Sulphur – Extinction Curse
    3. Voidspawn – Pyrrhic
    4. War//Plague – Carrion
    5. Dormant Ordeal – We Had It Coming
    6. Asphyx – Incoming Death
    7. Thralldom – Time Will Bend Into Horror
    8. Bädr Vogu – Wroth
    9. Ulcerate – Shrines Of Paralysis
    0. Hollow Sense – Encirclement

    • I said it could easily be twice as long and I was right! Here are the rest:

      11. Gadget – The Great Destroyer
      12. Conan – Revengeance
      13. Wormed – Krigshu
      14. Ripper – Experiment Of Existence
      15. Brutally Deceased – Satanic Corpse
      16. Dead Congregation – Sombre Doom
      17. Necrot – The Labyrinth
      18. Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crepuscle
      19. Phobocosm – Bringer Of Drought
      20. Temple Of Gnosis – De Secretis Naturae Alchemica

      2016 shaped up to be one of the best years in recent memory for metal.

  73. Lots of cool little EPs this year, and a few LP gems as well! I haven’t spent an equal amount of time with all of the following, but these are the releases I enjoyed the most:

    Wode – Wode
    Imperial Triumphant – Inceste EP
    Winterhorde – Maestro
    Auroch/Mitochondrion – In Cronian Hour EP
    Anicon – Exegeses
    Cadaveric Fumes – Dimensions Obscure
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Convulsing – Errata
    Palace of Worms – The Ladder
    Blood Incantation – Starspawn

  74. List of albums I listeneed to the most during the year:

    imperium dekadenz – vis manibvs
    The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
    goatess II – purgatory under new management
    Abbath – Abbath
    Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    darkher – realms
    october tide – winged waltz
    sahg – memento mori
    vainaja – verenvalaja
    usurpress – the regal tribe
    winterfylleth – the dark hereafter
    Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    Netherbird – The Grander Voyage
    belenos – Kornôg

  75. My Top 10 of 2016
    1. Soar- Guardians
    2. Cultes Des Ghoules- Coven, or Evil Ways Instead of Love.
    3. Thy Catafalque- Meta
    4. Schammasch- Triangle
    5. Messa- Belfry
    6. Moonsorrow- Jumalten aika
    7. Quercus- Heart of Bread
    8. Wode- Wode
    9. Jute Gyte- Perdurance
    10. Skuggsja- A Piece For Mind and Mirror

    Honourable Mentions:

    Khemmis- Hunted
    Sojourner- Empires of Ash
    Vukari- Divination
    Thrawsunblast- Metachthonia
    Ashbringer- Yugen
    Grand Magus- Sword Songs
    Amon Amarth- Jomsviking
    Throane- Derrière​-​Nous, La Lumière
    Madder Mortem- Red In Tooth And Claw
    Eye of Solitude- Cenotaph
    Clouds- Departe
    King Goat- Conduit
    Somnus Aeternus- Exulansis
    The Loom of Time- NihilReich
    Trivax- SIN
    FromHell- March On Gravitation
    Panychida- Haerecticalia (The Night Battles)
    Departe- Failure, Subside
    Dawnbringer- XX
    Petrichor- Rain
    Spirit of the Forest- A Void In The Fields of Silence
    Lucian The Wolfbearer- Seidr

  76. My Top 5 of 2016 (so far) :
    Messa – Belfry
    Thy Catfalque – Meta
    Death Fortress – Deathless March of the Unyielding
    Nadra – Allir vegir til glötunar
    Pensées Nocturnes – À boire et à manger

  77. in no particular order:

    Alcest – Kodama
    Rimfrost – Rimfrost
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Darkher – Relams
    Vainaja – Verinvalaja
    Vredehammer – Violator
    Saor – Guardians
    Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    Harikiri for the Sky – III: Trauma
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Varahtelija

    • Honourable Mentions:

      Wildernessking – Mystical Journey
      Clouds – Departe
      Kvelertak – Natteferd
      Uada – Devoid of Light

  78. Hope I’m not too late:

    Abbath – Abbath
    Astronoid – Air
    Cobalt – Slow Forever
    Cult of Luna, Julie Christmas – Mariner
    Dark Suns – Everchild
    Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
    Fallujah – Dreamless
    Ghoul – Dungeon Bastards
    Gojira – Magma
    Gone is Gone – Gone is Gone
    Grieved – Grieved
    Harakiri for the Sky – III: Trauma
    Ihsahn – Arktis.
    Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
    Luna’s Call – Divinity
    Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep Of Reason
    Obsidian Kingdom – A Year with no Summer
    Opeth – Sorceress

  79. DOOMED – Anna
    Schammasch – Triangle
    Sodom – Decision Day
    Witchery – In His Infernal Majesty’s Service
    Asphyx – Incoming Death
    Eternal Deformity – No Way Out
    Seven Sister of Sleep – Ezekiel’s Hag
    Be’Lakor – Vessels
    Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
    Zhrine – Unorthete

  80. It was painful cutting out my other top albums of 2016, but a good amount has already been listed. These are Great Albums that should not be missed by aficionados of this genre.

    Listed alphabetically:

    Alastor- Waldmark
    Antmateria- Valo Aikojen Takaa
    Astral Path- An Oath to the Void
    Coldworld- Autumn
    Darklaid- Modus
    Ellende- Todbringer
    Fiave- Dall Alto Di Una Roccia
    Fimbultyr- Niddikter
    Frostbite- Etching Obscurity
    Gra- Ending (late 2015)
    Krigsgrav- Waves of Degradation
    Lathspell- Torn Cold Void
    Mesarthim- -.- -… … .-.-. .
    Nullingroots- take care
    Oak Pantheon- In Pieces
    Sektemtum- Panacea
    Skyforest- Unity
    Srogosc- Umbra Mortis
    Stworz- Zagony Bogow (late 2015)
    Svarta- Lethargie
    Svirnath- II Regno della natura
    Tardigrada- Emotionale Odnis
    Thokkian Vortex- Into the Nagual
    Unreqvited- Disquiet
    Utzalu- Drowning in Sanguine Screams/Germinal
    Vallum- Insight
    Veldes- Ember Breather
    Vermine- Vermine
    Vow of Thorns- Farewell to the Sun
    We’d Be- Beyond the Line of Sanity

  81. Stuff I really liked this year:

    Vektor – Terminal Redux
    Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Alcest – Kodama
    Dark Tranquility – Atoma
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    Saor – Guardians
    Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    Russian Circles – Guidance
    Wode – Wode (This one really surprised me, but I was immediately drawn in by the album art, which for some reason made me think of Dark Souls.)

    Honorable Mentions that I didn’t spend enough time with:

    Mithras – On Strange Loops
    Thy Catafalque – Meta
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence (I’ve probably listened to Stormbending a ton though.)
    Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crepuscule

    My biggest disappointment this year would be Vessels. It’s not that it’s a bad album. I don’t think Be’lakor is capable of that. It’s just not as good as Stone’s Reach. And the honor didn’t go to Opeth because my wife enjoyed Sorceress. I think she has a crush on Mikael Akerfeldt, and I’m okay with this.

  82. No-one seems to like Brujeria as much as I do…

    – Brujeria
    – Ravencult
    – Ghoul
    – Metallica :p

  83. Love the site, check it daily (at least). Thought I’d share:

  84. 1. Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    2. Cultes des Ghoules – Cove, or Evil Ways Instead of Love
    3. Howls of Ebb – Curses Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
    4. Nucleus – Sentient
    5. Predatory Light – Predatory Light
    6. Eternal Champion – The Armor of Ire
    7. Ripper – Experiment of Existence
    8. Demon Bitch – Hellfriends
    9. Black Tomb – Black Tomb
    10. Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder
    11. Eternal Khan – Lost in the Night of Ages
    12. Mavradoxa – Sojourners
    13. Wretch – S/T
    14. Sumerlands -S/T
    15. Ritual Chamber – Obscurations (To Feast On The Seraphim)
    16. Infant Death – Violent Rites
    17. Iron Spell – Electronic Conjuring
    18. Reptilian – Perennial Void Traverse
    19. Crimson Moon – Oneironaut
    20. Ustalost – The Spoor of Vipers
    21. Skáphe – Skáphe2
    22. Black Fucking Cancer – S/T
    23. Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule
    24. Grave Miasma – Endless Pilgrimage
    25. Raptore – Rage n’ Fever

  85. Ok..there is the thing..this post is pure nerdgasm..Here we go:
    My absolute favorite top 55 albums
    54.Lord Vicar
    50.Spiritus Mortis
    38.Oranssi Pauu
    35.In the Woods
    33.Inter Arma
    32.Temple Nightside
    28.Howls of Ebb
    27.Cultes des Ghoules
    25.Anaal Nathrakh
    23.Destroyer 666
    19.Terra Tenebrosa
    15.Hail Spirit Noir
    14.Plebean Grandstand
    11.Book of Sand
    9.Eternal Champion
    7.Thy Catafalque
    5.Zeal and Ardor
    1.Deathspell Omega
    0.CELTIC FROST – MONOTHEIST 10 YEARS ANNIVERSARY(this disc got me into extreme metal)

    Top Eps: 10.Qrixkuor
    7.Auroch/Mitochondrion split
    6.Grave Miasma
    5.Agoraphobic Nosebleed

    Top 15 hardcore/crust fused with metal(i think you got the point)
    12.Slaves B.c.
    11.Hesitation Wounds
    10.Our place of worship is silence
    8.Trap Them
    2.Dillinger Esc. Plan

    Sorry for the long post and spelling mistakes in some bands’ names

  86. Best of 2016
    Void Meditation Cult – Utter the Tongue of the Dead
    Slegest – Vidsyn
    Grave Miasma -Endless Pilgrimage
    Altarage – Nihil
    Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith
    Ultha – Converging Sins/ Dismal Ruins/ In Memorian of Quorthon
    Batushka – Litourgiya
    Uada – Devoid of Light
    Death Fortress – Deathless March of the Unyielding
    Seven Sisters of Sleep
    Murg – Gudatall
    Darkestrah – Turan
    Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas
    Coffin Lust -Manifestation of Inner Darkness
    Ggu:ll – Dwaling
    Recitations – The First of the Listeners
    Sheidim – Shrines of the Void
    Gateway – Scriptures of Grief
    Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation
    Nevoa – Re Un
    Départe – Failure, Subside
    Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard – Nachthexen
    Urzeit – Anmoksha
    Goatpsalm – Downstream

    SPLITS/ E.P.
    Verwoed – Bodemloos
    Circle of Salt/Taggarik Split
    Coffins/Ilsa split
    Gateway – Unhallowed Ruins / Rites
    Nocturnal Graves
    Eucharist – Endarkenment
    Shrine of Insanabilis – Tombs Opened by Fervent Tongues
    Leather Glove – Skin on Glass
    Deus Mortem – Demons of Matter and the Shells of the Dead

    Enucleator – Demo
    Ceremented – Unbound Horror Demo
    Utzalu – Drowning in Sanguine Screams

  87. No love for Imperium Dekadenz?? Y’all are broken.

  88. MY TOP 40 RELEASES OF 2016

    1. CULTES DES GHOULES – Coven, or Evil Ways Instead of Love
    2. ASH BORER – The Irrepassable Gate
    3. WILDERNESSKING – Mystical Future
    4. COBALT – Slow Forever
    5. ANAGNORISIS – Peripeteia
    7. KRALLICE – Prelapsarian
    9. OATHBREAKER – Rheia
    10.HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY – Trauma
    12.MORPHINIST – Doomcraft,Giants,Terraforming and Nihil (Everything this guy does is golden)
    13.MITHRAS – On Strange Loops
    14.ORANNSI PAZUZU – Varahtelija
    15.DEATHSPELL OMEGA – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    16.MESARTHIM – Suffocate , Spire , Pillars , .- -… … . -. -.-. . ,The Great Filter
    17.ULCERATE – Shrines of Paralysis
    18.BLOOD INCANTATION – Starspawn
    19.VEKTOR – Terminal Redux
    20.DEPARTE – Failure,Subside
    21.UADA – Devoid of Light
    22.ENEFERENS – The Hours Beneath
    23.INTER ARMA – Paradise Gallows
    24.DIN – Rain Follows The Plow
    25.CONVULSING – Errata
    26.COLDWORLD – Autumn
    27.TARDIGRADA – Emotionale Odnis
    27.THUNDERWAR – Black Storm
    28.PLEBEIAN GRANDSTAND – False Highs,True Lows
    29.MARSH DWELLER – The Weight Of Sunlight
    30.THRAWSUNBLAT – Metachthonia
    31.WODE – Wode
    32.ALCEST – Kodama
    33.KATATONIA – The Fall of Hearts
    34.JUTE GYTE – Perdurance
    35.FUATH – I
    36.MIZMOR – Yodh
    37.SCHAMMASCH – Triangle
    38.IHSAHN – Arktis
    39.HOWLS OF EBB – Cursus Impasse The Pendlomic Vows
    40.TAKE OVER AND DETROY – Take Over and Destroy

  89. Proudly joining the much-mocked laters, here’s my belatedly formulated list.

    1. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    2. Unfathomable Ruination – Finitude
    3. Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    4. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    5. Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    6. Kvelertak – Nattesferd
    7. Astronoid – Air
    8. Inquisition – Bloodshed…
    9. Vainaja – Verenvalaja
    10. Mistur – In Memoriam

  90. now that it is 2017 i can post my list (with apologies to urzeit, uskumgallu, auroch, mizmor, anicon, withered, and uada whose albums i haven’t really listened to)
    1. graves at sea – the curse that is
    2. khemmis – hunted
    3. nails – you will never be one of us
    4. badr vogu – wroth
    5. vektor – terminal redux
    6. blood incantation – starspawn
    7. ash borer – the irrepassable gate
    8. trap them – crown feral
    9. neurosis – fires within fires
    10. body void – ruins
    11. lycus – chasms
    12. black tusk – pillars of ash
    13. ringworm – snake church
    14. chthe’ilist – le dernier crepuscule
    15. wode – s/t

  91. Obscura – Akroasis
    Surgeon – Beast of Light
    Revocation – Great is Our Sin
    Colosso – Obnoxious (#1!)
    Latitudes – Old Sunlight
    Anciients – Voice of the Void
    Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    Mithras – On Strange Loops
    Helgamite – Hypnagogia
    Departe – Failure, Subside

    Demo/EP – Ulthar – Demo, Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    Live – All Them Witches – Brussels Belgium
    “Damn if there weren’t a ton of folks could sub on this list on a given day” – The Loom of Time, Russian Circles, Lotus Thief, Cobalt, Megatherium, Sahg, In Mourning, Metal Church, The Wakedead Gathering, Warcrab…

    • I know, replying to myself…i was very ill and broke from bills most of the year, didn’t buy a lot of music. What i have bought is amazing. Being such a phenomenal year for metal, i want to mention Nevoa, which i picked up late and am just loving now and these groups always on my radar and from these lists, would love but haven’t heard at all 🙁 –
      Witchery, Vektor, Thy Catalfalque, Ravencult, Inter Arma, Destroyer 666, Gorguts, Haken, Brutally Deceased, Katatonia, AND FALLUJAH(!?!?).

  92. Well, better late than never, and being last will ensure this is easy to find if I care to reference it. Top 25:

    Abbath – Abbath
    A.M.S.G. – Nostis Universi Generis
    Be’lakor – Vessels
    Bethlehem – Bethlehem
    Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    Caina – Christ Clad in White Phosphorus
    Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crepusale
    Cobalt – Slow Forever
    Destroyer 666 – Wildfire
    First Fragment – Dasein
    Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust
    Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue
    Helcaraxe – The Last Battle
    Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
    Hyperion Seraphical Euphony
    Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith
    Master’s Hammer – Formulae
    Mithras – On Strange Loops
    Panopticon – Revisions of the Past
    Schammasch – Triangle
    Sulphur – Omens of Doom
    Uada – Devoid of Light
    Vektor – Terminal Redux
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    Zealotry – The Last Witness


    David Bowie – Blackstar
    Death Grips – Bottomless Pit
    Hexvessel – When We Are Death

    My copy of Blackstar actually says 2015, but it would have felt like a great disservice to both the album and the man behind it to not mention it.

    • Oops. Panopticon should have been under “Best Reissue”, so I’ll replace it with Eternity’s End – The Fire Within.

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