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Metal Insider contributor Chip McCabe’s Top 10 of 2016

Posted by on December 16, 2016

testament_-_the_brotherhood_of_the_snake_20167) Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake (Nuclear Blast)
With all do respect to some of the other elder statesmen of the genre, the thrash album of the year belongs to Testament. Hands down. For a band that is 30 years and 12 full-length albums into their career Testament continues to deliver absolutely ripping material, complete with headbanging songs and stellar musicianship all-around. This is no grab-ass attempt at reclaiming some past glories. It’s a band firing on all cylinders and delivering something wholly memorable. 

Key Track: “Brotherhood of the Snake” 

 

bethlehem6) Bethlehem – Bethlehem (Prophecy Productions)
To me there are a precious few bands as important to the black metal genre as Germany’s Bethlehem. This is a band that truly took black metal to strange new places and expanded the boundaries of what we consider ‘black metal.’ While the band themselves may not recognize as a black metal band per se, it doesn’t dull their influence on a generation of black metal musicians in the least. Their newest album is a torrent of depressive, blackened metal unlike anything else released this year. A unique and spellbinding listen from start to finish.

Key Track: “Kalt’ Ritt in leight faltiger Leere” 

 

waldgefluster5) Waldgeflüster – Ruinen (Nordvis)
I don’t throw around the term “epic” very often since it was buzz worded to death over the last decade or so. But there are few other ways to truly describe this album. Majestic, atmospheric black metal is deftly woven together with ethereal interludes to create this vast soundscape that just engulfs you at every turn. Less a collective of songs, and more a full-scale listening experience, Ruinen is the type of able you can continue to come back to over and over again and still discover little nuances you didn’t notice the first time through.  As gorgeous and lush an album as you’ll find this year.

Key Track: “Ruinenfelder”

 

tomb4) T.O.M.B. – Fury Nocturnus (Peaceville)
The name stands for Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy and that’s exactly what this outfit has been delivering for quite some time. Their Peaceville debut, Fury Nocturnus, is arguably their best work to date as they weave together a devilish array of black metal, industrial, and noise to create something altogether ritualistic in nature. It’s a downright evil record that even most metal fans will not find wholly accessible. However, if you’ve ever wanted to stumble into some ceremony celebrating the dark arts and hoped they asked you to stay and partake, you’ve just received your invite.

Key Track: “Fury Nocturnus”

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Categorised in: Best Of 2016, Top 10