Apologies for the lengthy spell of silence. As I try to get back on top of annoying real-life work hurdles and settle into a new flat, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on the current top 10 metal albums of 2016 so far, according to Rate Your Music (soon to be Sonemic). The full list of top metal albums of 2016 is available here, and I urge you to sign up to the site and cast your own votes if you’re into your music. I guess you probably are if you’ve stumbled on to this. Alas, without further ado, here’s the current list of the year’s top 10 metal albums (with Spotify links to each album embedded in the album titles):
- Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika (Century Media)
- Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä (Svart)
- Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner (Indie)
- Fallujah – Dreamless (Nuclear Blast)
- Obscura – Akróasis (Relapse)
- Ihsahn – Arktis (Candlelight)
- Deströyer 666 – Wildfire (Season of Mist)
- Chthe’ilist – Le dernier crépuscule (Profound Lore)
- Myrath – Legacy (Verycords)
- Cobalt – Slow Forever (Profound Lore)
As you can see, the excellent Canadian label Profound Lore has a couple of its releases represented here, followed by one each from other big players such as Century Media, Indie, Nuclear Blast, Relapse and Season of Mist, and emerging labels such as Svart and Indie. I’d never heard of the independent, Paris-Based Verycords until writing this post, and I’m guessing the new Ihsahn album will be the swan song from Candlelight, since they announced they had been acquired by Spinefarm earlier this year.
Looking over this top 10, you’d be hard pressed to argue that this hasn’t been a strong year for metal releases thus far. There’s a really variety there, with many different subgenres represented, and an abundance of quality throughout. What comes to mind for me are some of the incredible closing tracks on these albums, from Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas’s impassioned ‘Cygnus’ and Ihsahn’s powerful ‘Celestial Violence’, to Destroyer 666’s anthemic ‘Tamam Shud’. My only recommendation is to give them all at least a couple of listens and decide for yourself, regardless of the style of metal you generally have a preference for.
What do you think of this top 10? What do you make of the albums that are currently included? What are some of your favourite albums of the year that don’t currently make an appearance? For me, I’m pretty certain the new Schammasch triple-album, Triangle, will make an appearance here once everyone’s actually had a chance to have a listen or two and absorb what sounds like it could be a career-defining masterpiece.