[Albums] Top 2016 – The Ten Best Albums of the Year

Another year and another list, but maybe the most important one, or at least the most traditional, after the letter to Santa. Every website, blogger or forum user with some degree of interest in contemporary releases will do one and feels obligated to share it’s opinion. What makes the exercise interesting is how to gives away easily one person’s center of interest during the year. A top 10 is very restrictive with the thousands of releases available every month, especially if you’re interested in more than Metal (as the title of this website betrays). It’s also a good occasion of discovering releases you might have missed or to give exposure to albums that didn’t make the cut during the year due to lack of time or space with the busy schedule I have tried to keep during the year. Unlike last year where the top 2015 consisted mostly of album covers, i will try to give a bit more details about the album, especially since this list digs into genres only alluded in the News of the week (Rap, Electronic Music and Soul). Let me know what you think in the comment, on Facebook or Twitter.

Once again, the numbers do not represent any preference, only the fact that the ten albums are in it matters. Also, I have put an emphasis this year on albums I have listened on a physical format rather than just on a digital one, so any release that I was not able to buy was disregarded to complete this list (no Inter Arma, Aesop Rock, MNDSGN or Deftones, for example).

01 – Plebeian GrandstandFalse high, true lows (Throatruiner Records)

plebeiangrandstand

Glowing in a sanguine red, the album covers leaves little room for darkness as the material always pushes to the verge of collapse by pushing each musician to the end of their ability.

An interview with Olivier (bass) and Ivo (drums) can be found here.

02 – Trap ThemCrown feral (Prosthetic Records)

trapthemcrownferal

After Darker handcraft, Crown feral might have felt a bit repetitive but after a disappointing album, this sounds like a perfect return to form filled with excellent songs that won’t be out of place on the band’s set-list.

03 – MeshuggahThe violent sleep of reason (Nuclear Blast)

meshuggahtheviolentsleepofreason

When Meshuggah plays, Djent does not exist. No band has yet to surpass these Swedish masters at their own game and this album proves they are highly capable of crushing expectations.

04 – Danny BrownThe Atrocity Exhibit (Warp Records)

dannybrowntheatrocityexhibit

Some rappers can be summed up with a word, Danny Brown can only be summed up by his name, even if it seems like he changes identity with every album.

05 – NxWorriesYes, lawd! (Stones Throw Records)

nxworriesyeslawd

Some say Rap, some say Electro, I say Soul and Funk. Some may also question how the sun can be captured on vinyl, this album proves it.

06 – Every Time I DieLow teens (Epitaph Records)

everytimeidielowteens

Eight albums in their career and Every Time I Die still plays the best Rock and roll you could ever hope to find on an Hardcore record.

07 – FangePurge (Throatruiner Records)

Aptly titled Purge, Fange‘s second album opens the valve of hate and let it all flow on the listener’s face with no restraint and no regret. A brutal and uncompromising experience you only want to come back to, more and more.

08 – Dälek – Asphalt for Eden (Profound Lore)

dalekasphaltforeden

Seven years of silence broken by a resounding beat and a wave of bass most Doom can only dream of, Dälek are back in full force with their mix of Rap and Industrial. Like Oktopus once said to me to describe their material on Gutter tactics: « The heaviest of J Dilla mixed with the heaviest of Black Sabbath mixed with Joy Division« . This description still fits this new album.

09 – CoughStill They Pray (Relapse Records)

coughstilltheypray

As the saying goes, Slow and steady wins the race. Cough is not reinventing anything, but they sound like themselves and their songwriting makes this album one of the most memorable of this year.

10 – Cult of Luna & Julie ChristmasMariner (Tabu Recording)

cultoflunamariner

What is a hiatus if not an occasion to say to everyone « Watch this space! ». Cult of Luna is now back after a very short break but this time they have found a collaborator to make their music as catchier as a pop song but as personal as a day spent in a confessional thanks to Julie Christmas‘ voice and personality.

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