We’ve gotten a lot of great music this year, and while you may have been following along with our list of the best music of 2016 as according to us, the artists that made some of that music should have a say in it as well. That’s why we reached out to a handful of people via their publicists (or in some cases directly) to get their take on what they were listening to the most this year.
Doc Coyle, Vagus Nerve/Meytal
The infusion of fresh talent from Chris Adler and Kiko Loureiro ignited Megadeth to create their best album possibly since Cryptic Writings. Luckily, I got to see the album line up live, and it was the best and most energetic Megadeth show I’ve seen.
The Black Queen is Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato’s gothy nu-wave side project that just totally hit the mark for me when I was looking to listen to something moody and sexy.
Again Metallica showed us all cynics and cry babies they mean business and they don’t crack under pressure. beautiful speed metal album, with and justice for all recalls, in our face!Metal Church, XI (Rat Pak)
I always loved Metal Church and thought them quite underrated all the time. The Dark is for me one of the best melodic thrash metal ever and this new one is brilliant as well!Rotting Christ, Rituals (Season of Mist)
My brothers did it again. Since three, four albums I think RC got into their own dark twisted dimension and they are building a solid temple, where rituals can for sure be performed.
The Foreshadowing, Seven Heads Ten Horns (Metal Blade)
Quite an overlooked band I must say. They excel on death, doom, great singer, great keyboards but they are lost in the mist of many other bands which i think they are way better than.
Gojira, Magma (Roadrunner)
I never heard them before this album, just a lot about them so I had to check them out! Brilliant band, original, strange even but powerful. They really live up to the hype, and above all they are not from the US or UK or Sweden but France which is also a great addition and an inspiration for bands out of the metal axis.
Bloody Hammers, Lovely Sort of Death (Napalm)
This one is really up my alley, horror metal at its best. Been following them for a while and they keep getting better at it!
Myrkur, Mausoleum (Relapse)
I have mixed feelings about Myrkur. Sometimes I think she’s caricaturing black metal sounding like a demo band yet when she does more ethereal stuff and daring choirs I really like that stuff, thus the section of this live album.
Evergrey, The Storm Within (AFM)
Whenever bands from this creative caliber make an album it’s only fair to put it on a best of list. It was a long wait but great stuff, really great.
Anthrax, For All Kings (Megaforce)
Never a huge fan of Anthrax for no reason other that they weren’t dark enough for me but this record in 2016, this quality, this absolutely top of the chain Belladona made this album for me into one of the best from this year.
Myrath, Legacy (Nightmare)
I really want to tour with this band as they fit so much Moonspell. It’s a great band, with revolutionary ideas and a superb ethnic flavor into it.
Deftones, Gore (Reprise)
I was very excited for this album, they have always been one of my favorite bands. Deftones are so diverse and always give you something new without losing the style that makes them so unique in today’s music world. This album was top notch and another classic from a great band. Very deep and melodic with the heaviness that only they can do.
Holy Grail, Times Of Pride And Peril (Prosthetic)
These dudes define power metal in 2016. We had the privilege of touring with these guys and they’re just as cool as their music. This album is so good, it’s got very catchy vocals and amazing guitar work. A lot of new bands try the power metal route and fail miserably, but not Holy Grail, they are textbook perfect and you’ll definitely feel the same after listening.
DevilDriver, Trust No One (Napalm)
Dez & Co. returned with a vengeance on this new one. They’ve always made great records and this is no different. The production on this album is amazing and new members Neil, Austin and Ashes all brought new flavor to the mix. We got to tour with them and these new songs crushed live. Check out “My Nights Sky”, it’s a banger.
Crowbar, The Serpent Only Lies (eOne)
Sludge metal kings return with a metal doom record for the ages! Kirk never disappoints – he is the riff master. This record has so much of that from beginning to end. The line-up is solid and getting better with each album. I’ve been jamming this one a lot that’s for sure. If you like Crowbar, you’ll love this album.
Lody Kong, Dreams and Visions (Mascot)
My little brothers released their debut full length album and it’s amazing. They have such a new style and feel, like nothing any other band is doing today. They blend grunge with metal and melodic vibes and it really shines. You can rage, smoke a joint and totally vibe out to this album. Igor can write just like our father Max and play every instrument, and Zyon is one of the best young drummers around. This record was them showing the world what’s up. Check out “Smashed and Blasted”, that’s my favorite track.
Hatebreed, The Concrete Confessional (Nuclear Blast)
These guys always destroy. When you pop in this album, just like all their others, you’re ready to break shit. This album was very political, which felt like a new direction from what I’m used to from them. This one felt more hardcore than metal to me, which I actually preferred. Jasta’s voice is crushing, drums are solid and Beedie kills it on bass. Like always, the tone is massive. Killer sound… production is one of the best I’ve heard from Hatebreed as well.
Black Tusk, Pillars Of Ash (Relapse)
This band has been through a lot. When you lose a member, you never know what to expect, but they came together and made a kick ass record. Love how the albums starts… it’s very in-your-face and powerful. They’re a great band and really take it to the next level on this release. Big salute to them for kicking ass and keeping it going. Once again, this record has great sound – for me, this is how you want your metal to sound.
Death Angel, The Evil Divide (Nuclear Blast)
Thrash legends came back with a fury, every song on this record rips your face off. It’s perfect Oakland metal. The vocals for me crush and the guitar playing is so on point that you feel the riffs peeling your face off! I was not impressed with their last two releases, but to me they found there groove again on this record. Definitely can jam this from beginning to end without skipping a track.
Gojira, Magma (Roadrunner)
Probably my album of the year. They’re just so tight like no other band out there today. The drums, the riffs and the vocals are all just so huge, like nothing you’ve ever heard. Glad to see a killer band getting the love they deserve. They’re a force to be reckoned with and this is a great example of why. Fucking metal. I love these songs and they were written so well, like they were written to destroy the pit.
Anaal Nathrakh, The Whole Of The Law (Metal Blade)
This band makes dicks hard… it is the heaviest of heavy! They chew you up and spit you out. I love the theme of the lyrics too. I love the bass playing in this – that’s something you don’t hear often, but Duncan is a monster. We toured with them and they absolutely bring it. This album is no different. Check it out if you think you’re metal.