Alright Everybody! the 10th edition of my top albums of the year is about to commence, but before we do, I must lay down some of the foundation of what I do. As I continue to grow in popularity, there is more and more people discovering my year end binge of the best music of the year and are in utter shock to find out how many albums I take into account for review each year.
A couple things to keep in mind here:
1.) Because of the radio show, I get tons and TONS of brand new music every single day. For 2016 music, I collected 9,681 songs that equate to 104GBs of music that was either sent to me or I bought on my own accord. That is more music than some people go through in a life time. And I check out every single release that is sent to me.
2.) I feel absolutely wretched if I don't give every single release I enjoy proper credit, hence a top 100 and 20 honorable mentions.
3.) Just because an album is listed low on the list does not mean that I feel the album sucks or is subpar. With the sheer amount of music I get every year, if an album makes the list, that means I love it!
4.) Not every release will be everyone. Check out the FFO (For Fans Of) part of every album and see if it's something that you would enjoy.
5.) The list is 100% my creation. The only influence on this list is myself. No other lists out there, not others thoughts on an album, no pressure from a label or PR or band to have an album on a list. Again, 100% what I enjoy.
666.) With 100 albums to choose from, it is my goal that you discover at least one album and band that you can dig. The difference between myself and a hipster is that I want EVERYONE to check out every band I enjoy!
So let's begin!!!
100.) Walking with Giants- Worlds Apart
FFO: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock
My thoughts are categorized in my track by track review here: www.thatdrummerguy.com/written-material/album-review-walking-with-giants-worlds-unknown
99.) Inter Arma- Paradise Gallows
FFO- Sludge Metal, Doom Metal, Post Metal
With their previous releases, they have shown how strong of a band they can really be, but with Paradise Gallows, they continue to forge towards higher greatness in their diversity. It's not your typical slow doom and gloom; there is so much more to them including dynamics and tempo changes not often seen here. These guys keep exploding and they definitely deserve it!
98.) Darkhaus- When Sparks Ignite
FFO- Darkwave, Alternative Rock. Hard Rock
The international band's second album expands upon the groundwork laid out on the debut album. Amazing production, fantastic hard rock songs, catchy as hell. For those that wanna hear what Top 40 rock should sound like in the states, this is what you need!
97.) Gygax- Critical Hits
FFO- Dungeons and Dragons, Classic Metal, Classic Rock
Formed after the dissolving of Gypsyhawk, Gygax (named after the creator of D&D) explores the classic 70s Heavy Metal and Hard Rock sound but done with more modern production and attitude. Fantastically written material and musicianship. The perfect soundtrack to your next D&D gathering in your basement.
96.) Rock Wolves- Rock Wolves
FFO- Classic Metal, Classic Rock, Supergroups
Formed by Herman Rarebell (Ex-Scorpions), Michael Voss (Mad Max, Michael Schenker), Stephan Hinz alias Gudze (H-Blockx); Rock Wolves takes on a modern approach to their past lives. Classic songs that capture you with mesmerizing solos, beautiful production and superb musicianship. You know you need some great rock music to bring you from the abyss known as 2016, this is how you do that.
95.) Eternal (Of Sweden)- Heaven's Gate
FFO- Power Metal, Melodic Metal, Hard Rock
Soaring vocals, monstrous songwriting and absolute sheer power, what else could you possibly need? Eternal Of Sweden takes you on an amazing journey of sound. If you want amazingly catchy power metal, this is right up your alley.
94.) Germ- Escape
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal, Blackgaze
This band is definitely not for everyone, but for those that it is for, it is a sight to behold. Germ explores all that is possible with blackgaze. The vocals will throw some people for a loop (and again, not for everyone) but it perfectly captures the mood of the music, which is too good to ignore. Sometimes you just get depressed and you wanna hear some depressing music; this covers you and much more.
93.) Running Wild- Rapid Foray
FFO- Pirate Metal, Power Metal, Hard Rock
Easily the best Running Wild album in DECADES! Rock N Rolf has knocked it completely out of the park with the band's catchiest songs, deadly production and such a utterly fun listen. Definitely for those that want some cheesy, happy goodness. I know I do.
92.) Spiritual Beggars- Sunrise To Sundown
FFO- Classic Metal, Hard Rock
The powerhouse supergroup is at it again with their latest album, Sunrise To Sundown. This is some of the best material the band has ever produced and absolutely some of the most inspired. It's impossible to be bummed while listening to this album. A feel good rocker of 2016!
91.) Wayfarer- Old Souls
FFO- Black Metal, American Folk Metal
Wayfarer has surfaced in a huge way in 2016 with their signature blend of Black Metal and American Folk Metal (also check out MN's Panopticon for further research of amazing American Folk Metal). Wayfarer writes another solid album about the Rocky Mountains and it's an extreme ride of emotions. Absolutely killer stuff.
90.) Painted in Exile- The Ordeal
FFO- Progressive Metal, Experimental
The ordeal is a fantastic phrase for the band's struggling career up to this point. On the plus side, in 2016, it's finally starting to pay off as they are starting to get the attention they deserve. Mindblowing musicianship, crisp and clear production, and so many twists and turns, this will make you destroy the repeat button just so you can hear those awesome sections over and over again. These guys will continue to soar, I can feel it.
89.) Crematory- Monument
FFO- Gothic Metal, Industrial
One of the most legendary bands in the genre, Crematory is at it again with some of their most promising music in years. A great blend of Gothic and industrial, with cleans and screams in all the right spots. This is beyond catchy and definitely deserves your attention.
88.) Serious Black- Mirrorworld
FFO- All Star Power Metal
Serious Black absolutely delivers incredible Power Metal and their latest album is no exception! Stellar vocals, excellent musicianship, catchy and melodic power metal at it's finest. They are absolutely incredible live as well!
87.) Allegaeon- Proponent Of Sentience
FFO- Technical Metal, Melodic Death Metal
Without question, the best question the best Allegaeon album to date! A great blend of Modern Melodic Death Metal mixed with tech and prog in all the right spots. There is so much focus on melody and groove mixed in, it makes for a phenomenal album. The crap they have been catching lately for their Patreon is completely unneeded and you should go support them on their Patreon page. If any band is worthy of your time, it's these guys.
86.) Headspace- All That You Fear is Gone
FFO- Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
The brainchild of masterminds Damian Wilson and Adam Wakeman; Headspace's 2nd album is a melodic progressive masterpiece. Everyone attached to this album is in top form with such skilled songwriting that screams of sheer beauty among it's heavier sections. A prog rock fan's cream dream, especially if the heavy side of prog is hard for them to get into.
85.) Red Fang- Only Ghosts
FFO- Hard Rock, Sludge
Sadly a case of being released a little to late for me to rank it higher, Red Fang completely shows off their best material to date with Only Ghosts. These guys continue to get better and better. Their videos are hilarious and they put on a killer show. If you just need some heavy, gritty, catchy, and awesome hard rock; you are really missing out if you haven't heard Red Fang yet. Only Ghosts is a fantastic start for you.
84.) Votum- :KTONIK:
FFO- Progressive Metal
Dark, heavy, progressive metal in the vein of Pain Of Salvation (as far as emotion), Votum was an amazing discovery for me this year, and while it may not seem that way with them coming in on 84 our of 100; don't let that fool you (as mentioned in the beginning of this list) I am completely floored by these guys. They grab you and never let go until the album is done. Such fantastic stuff.
83.) Cult Of Luna & Julie Christmas- Mariner
FFO- Post Metal, Doom Metal, Progressive Metal
The legendary Swedish Metal band, Cult Of Luna, is joined with American vocalist, Julie Christmas for a twisted blend of celestial excellence with Mariner. Exploring space and the great beyond; this epic masterpiece captures Cult Of Luna at their best and Christmas with some of her most soul crushing lyrics and screams to date. A don't miss if you enjoy either of them....SERIOUSLY!
82.) Sunburst- Fragments of Creation
FFO- Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Dark Metal
Do you miss Nevermore as much as I do? This fills the void. Hailing from Greece, Sunburst creates the dark, haunting progressive Metal that Nevermore, Symphony X and others have mastered so very well, but make it completely original at the same time. simply jaw dropping material!
81.) Nails- You Will Never Be One Of Us
FFO- Grindcore, Hardcore, Punk
Nails latest release is going to soar amazingly high on most people's and publication's Best Of Lists; and it deserves to be. This under a half hour release completely tears you apart with ferocious musicianship, pounding rhythms, crushing vocals, and intensity that is impossible to beat. Make no mistake that this album brutally awesome. A great choice if you need to destroy something in a half hour or less.
Next Time: That Drummer Guy's Top 100 Albums of 2016 Part II: 80-61