We are just one more list away from hitting the top 100 albums of 2016 in my humblest of opinions. With being the caring man that I am, I always like WAY more albums than I plan to list out and I always feel bad leaving out so many fantastic albums in the process. Hence, the honorable mentions for 20 albums that I feel bad about not having in the top 100, but still deserve praise.
I'm going to do things differently this year with the Honorable Mentions list; Instead of listing it from 120-101; I'm going to list them in alphabetical order and save the ranking for the top 100. Let's begin!
Anima Tempo- Caged In Memories
FFO- Modern Progressive Metal
A fantastic debut album from Mexico's Anima Tempo. Skillfully crafted songs, lots of melodic, catchy, proggy moments. Everything Modern Progressive Metal should be.
Casket Robbery- Evolution of Evil
FFO- Death Metal, Groove Metal
Sometimes you need a brutal death metal album with killer grooves, slasher horror inspired lyrics and excellent production. That's what Madison Wisconsin's Casket Robbery brings to the table. This isn't just constantly blast beats and the same riff of 0s and 1s that you hear so much in modern death metal today, this has a killer spirit (pun intended) and grabs your attention like nothing else.
FFO- Symphonic Metal
Delain has drastically grown in popularity in the last 14 years and Moonbathers proves how they haven't lost their roots along the way. Super catchy symphonic metal with power and force. Definitely worth a listen if you've never checked them out before.
Downfall of Gaia- Atrophy
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal, Post Rock
One of many victims of my end of the year roundup where I simply didn't have enough time to appreciate it due to the release date. Fantastically written atmospheric black metal with post rock over tones. For those that want something dark in this style unlike Deafheaven.
Dream Theater- The Astonishing
FFO- Progressive Metal, Musicals
Surprised to see this so low on my list? I am too. This is the first time that this has ever happened. Not just not having Dream Theater in my top 5, but not in my top 100! Despite the songs being great and well written for the story at hand, it is a very hard listen all the way through both discs. If you split up listening time, it is much more enjoyable. On the plus side, live it is a phenomenal album and if they release a live version of The Astonishing, it will be on my best Live Albums list. Also, it's my girlfriend's favorite Dream Theater album. So there's some definite perks to it.
Exmortus- Ride Forth
Neo-Classical Thrash Metal
Exmortus is another band tearing through everyone in their path to become a successful band. With their blend of thrash and love of classical music, the band expands their sound to even greater territory with Ride Forth.
The Forshadowing- Seven Heads Ten Horns
FFO- Doom Metal
Do you like Doom Metal without the sludgy tones and groaning vocals now associated with it? The Foreshadowing is for you! Classic sounding doom metal with superior clean vocals ala Candlemass and the clean vocals of My Dying Bride. Hauntingly beautiful music.
Hammers of Misfortune- Dead Revolution
FFO- Progressive Metal, Classic Metal
Hammers of Misfortune are a killer band that incorporates dark evil tones mixed with the classic rock, classic metal we all love and enjoy. Dead Revolution explores even more sides to the bands and rocks you just as hard. A absolutely must check out!
Hell In The Club- Shadow Of The Monster
FFO-80's Glam Metal done in 2016
Do you like Steel Panther's music, but can't take them seriously? Well, that's kinda the point, but if you want a Glam worship band to take a little more seriously, Hell In The Club is the band for you. Fronted by the lead singer of Elvenking, the band pays accurate tribute to the classic 80s sound with a modern production and attitude. Cool stuff!
Kissin' Kynamite- Generation Goodbye
FFO- Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Modern
A fun, yet sad, look at the generation we live in today, Kissin' Dynamite excellently pokes fun of everything wrong with modern society with awesome riffs, great vocal lines and lyrics that make you laugh, then awkwardly laugh, then feel bad. They have always been a fun band, but this time around, they want you to think too.
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal, Post Rock
A band that absolutely would have made my top 100 if I had discovered them sooner. Oathbreaker is a female fronted Black Metal band that tears down the borders of what is possible with blackgaze. Jaw dropping hooks, insane vocals, and such a great, eerie overtone. Oathbreaker are only going to be getting bigger and bigger.
Periphery- Periphery III: Select Difficulty
FFO- Progressive Metal, Modern Metal
Another band that I'm sad to see so slow, but I still enjoy it. Maybe I'm just growing out of the band, but they just aren't hitting me the way they used to. Some songs on here I absolutely love and others make it feel like it should be in the honorable mentions. Basically, if you enjoyed Juggernaut or if you felt like Juggernaut needed more edge to it, PIII is what you need.
Rotting Christ- Rituals
FFO- Experimental Black Metal
Rotting Christ has never written the same album twice; for better or for worse. Rituals is the latest expansion of the band's sound and it blows you away. With many great guest appearances from some of your favorite black and death metal musicians, RC put out one of the finest albums in their discography while continuing to explore as much territory as possible.
Spellcaster- Night Hides The World
FFO- Speed Metal, Classic Metal
Spellcaster is slowly but surely picking up speed in this classic genre. Night Hides The World is an excellent example of what is possible in 2016 with this style done in fantastic production and songwriting. for the classic metal fan in all of us, get that denim vest of, grab a PBR, and throw this album on the turntable.
Starkill- Shadow Sleep
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
I've always referred to Starkill as the American Children Of Bodom. With Shadow Sleep, they step outside of that term and explore more more clean vocals, groove and dare I say mainstream sounds? For someone that needs to ease into MDM that never explored it before, this is an excellent start!
Theocracy- Ghost Ship
FFO- Progressive Metal, Power Metal
Sadly, another casualty to a later release date. Ghost Ship is an absolute gem of progressive power metal. Theocracy has always been known for writing fantastic albums that really capture you. This latest album will do the same and so, so much more.
Thranenkind- King Apathy
FFO- Black Metal, Sludge Metal, Post Metal, Crust Punk
Combining so many genres in one sound can sometimes sound like a terrible hodgepodge; that is not the case here. Thranenkind found a way to combine all the great aspects of these genres and make a very heartfelt and heartbreaking album. This was so close to being in my top 100, but alas, I need to give it props, it deserves it.
Vicious Rumors- Concussion Protocol
FFO- Power Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal
The latest album from Vicious Rumors is a concept album about the end of the world and we are to blame. It's kinda true. The music, vocals and atmosphere of the album really brings that intensity needed in the genre. A real headbanger of an album.
The best active Grindcore band is back with their latest album and truly expand upon what is possible in the genre. It's not just a gargled mess that a lot of people think of Grindcore as. There is so much melody, harmony, genre changes and soul on this album. A true highlight for the band and genre.
Wovenwar- Honor Is Dead
FFO- Modern Metal, Melodic Hardcore, Metalcore
Bringing back the aggression that As I Lay Dying fans missed with the debut album, Wovenwar shows that they can keep the metal spirit alive but keep the mainstream appeal that they started earning. Awesome songwriting and production work; it's a great album to kick back and enjoy.
Next Time: That Drummer Guy's Top 100 Albums of 2016- The Beginning
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.