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.
Dale Crover (Melvins/Crystal Fairy)
1) Iggy Pop, Post Pop Depression
10) Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (Neurot)
Neurosis creep into my top ten with a strong, strong release. Perhaps stronger than the last few despite sonically being very similar. They still flex enough muscle to wipe away most of the competition. A beacon of uncompromising, unrelenting seriousness in a world of novelty. Respect.
9) Forteresse, Themes (Sepulchral)
Bringing me back to 96 with their reverb drenched hyper melodic scando black metal. It reminds me of Dawn ‘Slaughtersun’ and Naglfar. A curious release from French Canada. Totally unexpected but full of classy hooks.
8) Gorguts, Pleaides Dust (Season of Mist)
Death metal’s Deathspell?…Nah, Gorguts keep their place in my top ten as with every one of their last 3/4 releases. Absolutely raising the bar beyond everyone musically while keeping a dark pulse at the heart of their creativity.
7) Wytch Hazel, Prelude (Bad Omen)
Surprise of the year for me…A truly charming and oddball take on Lizzy and Wishbone Ash mixed with old worlde englishisms and Christian folk music. Not for everyone perhaps, but in dark times a truly heart-warming album.
6) Destroyer 666, Wildfire (Season of Mist)
Smashing our way through the boundaries of hell…D666 make an old school adrenaline speed metal rush of an album. Toxic masculinity in all its glory…Praise it.
5) Bolzer, Hero (Iron Bonehead)
Bolzer make good on their EP promises and make a bold, bold statement. Eschewing the willful negativity of the scene that sometimes surrounds them, Bolzer appeal to the innate need for self empowerment. Righteous and glorious…
4) Rotting Christ, Rituals (Season of Mist)
Ok so not as good as their last album, and true enough not flavour of the month critically, but I still love it…A more cinematic soundscape and slower in tempo, RC still deliver that sense of harmony that only they have, while sounding modern. Tell me “For A Voice Like Thunder” isn’t one of the best tunes of the year…
3) Etermal Champion, Armour of Ire (No Remorse)
Been awhile since true heavy metal reigned in my end of year top tens, but Eternal Champion blew the doors off. Forged in the fire of gonzoid 80s American metal like Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road, EC is a fist pumping masterclass in the old school.
2) Alcest, Komada (Prophecy)
I found their last album neither here nor there, but the new struck a massive chord with me. The sound is heavier and more dynamic, and the song writing while being as lush and gorgeous as you might expect, also has a stronger backbone. A total triumph.
1) Deathspell Omega, The Synarchy of Molten Bones (self)
Arguably the most important band of the 21st century bar none. DO have raised the bar for black metal to some other place and have done this with a modus operandi which is contrary to a modern connected social networking society, total anonymity. No press and no live shows. They cast a massive shadow over not only black metal, but anything that purports to be ‘dark’.
Bryant Clifford Meyer (Palms/ISIS/Taiga)
Grateful Dead, July 1978 Box Set