Things I missed in 2016

Oathbreaker - Rheia

Unbelievable mixture of Post-Metal and Black Metal which results in a trippy and very emotional joyride. Very captivating album from start to finish.

Take Over and Destroy - Take Over and Destroy

Post-Punk at its core but dressed as a Metal band, this is Take Over and Destroy. Closest comparison is probably Sentenced in their prime time, but Take Over and Destroy are much more energetic and the obvious Post-Punk influences are presented with pride.

Ladyhawke - Wild Things

One of the best Pop releases of the year and I didn't even notice it. While Ladyhawke was always one of the good ones of the genre, "Wild Things" might be her best offering yet. More polished, more diverse and just a fun record, which is all one should expect from a Pop album.

Sylvaine - Wistful

Sylvaines "Wistful" came out early in the year and noone could yet predict Alcest returning to their roots a few months later. Sylvaine basically filled the hole Alcest left open when they decided to go all Shoegaze on us and she delivered. While she doesn't always succeed in providing the really big vocal melodies the album strikes with its atmosphere.

Shura - Nothing's Real

Another little Pop gem, which wasn't to be expected after her EP released last year. This album on the other hand is pure fun with styles ranging from early Madonna inspired New Wave to a more modern aproach.

Elephant Tree - Elephant Tree

Doom Metal meets Psychedelic/Stoner meets Grunge. Not a rare combination of genres, but Elephant Tree prove to be capable of writing great songs that work even though most of them are relatively long. The vocal harmonies are some of the best Alice in Chains alike I have heard in a while.

Lotus Thief - Gramarye

Let me combine a few quotes from their bandcamp page: "Text Metal band 'Lotus Thief' feautures members of Green Metal band 'The Botanist'" I don't know who comes up with these genre names, but personally I find those hilarious. Anyway, what DO Lotus Thief sound like after all? Well, hints of Post Metal, hints of Black Metal, with a healthy dose of Ambient and Doom and with the album opener they easily created one of the best songs in 2016.

Sinistro - Semente

Not much to say about this album. It's Doom Metal with female voices done right. Really right, her voice is out of this world and the songs are just so bloody good it might get close to Year of the Cobras album with a few more listens.

A Swarm of the Sun - The Rifts

Great Post-Metal album which is more on the atmospheric side than on the Metal one. Very captivating from start to finish.

Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika

While I am not a huge fan of their past work, Jumalten Aika simply clicked. It's the production of the album and the melancholic feel of the whole album that simply hit my sweet spot. What you get: Pagan Metal, delivered in overly long and epic tracks that couldn't be further away from the usual crap this genre usally provides.

Trees of Eternity - Trees of Eternity

Admitted, Trees of Eternity play regular Gothic Metal, but the mixture of a well rounded production, a nice female vocalist (who sadly passed away this year) and all in all great songs just have that special something. Yes, the album is not diverse which holds it back a bit, but it's still a very satisfying listen.

Aurora - All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend

Pop again. 2016 was my personal Metal year, but at the same time lots of Pop albums were insanely good and this one is one of them. Somewhere between Singer/Songwriter and Electronic Pop Aurora just has that special something to make this style of music enjoyable.

Hail Spirit Noir - Mayhem in Blue

And something special for the end. Hail Spirit Noir are a Progressive Black Metal/Rock band from Greece and with this new album they emphasise the Progressive Rock elements of their music even more resulting in their most accessible album yet.

The Reticent - On the Eve of a Goodbye

Older Opeth take #1. This one is pretty much brand new for me but I can already tell this is one of the highlights in the genre of Progressive Death Metal.

Perihelion Ship - A Rare Thunderstorm in Spring

Older Opeth take #2. Not an album I missed, but I simply forgot to add it to original list. What Perihelion Ship celebrate on their debut album is just breathtaking. Clearly Opeth influenced the band manages to create an album that is demanding, melodic, heavy and just alltogether brilliant. Hopefully not their last one!

Prong - X-No Absolutes

How embarassing. I was so convinced that this album came out in 2015 which led to it being excluded from toplist alltogether. Too bad, because this is another stunning work from Prong. Building on top of what made "Ruining Lives" so good and add even more hooks to it even more Thrash and even more heaviness. Accessible as f*** but at the same time in your face to the max. Simply a fun Metal album.

Slothrust - Everyone Else

A band that went totally under my radar. Luckily not any longer, because the low-fi Alternative Rock with some crunching moments and a charming vocalist with witty lyrics are just too good to be missed. Somewhere between Courtney Barnett and Sonic Youth Slothrust should be on anyones list who can appreciate 90s Alternative music.

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