If you hit a mall or turn on the TV, it’s like Christmas is tomorrow. We’ve still got another six weeks of 2016, however. Given that, there’s going to be a hell of a lot of year-end lists coming out soon. Usually, they start the week after Thanksgiving, but “usually” isn’t in Decibel’s vocabulary, apparently. Their year-end look at the 40 top metal albums of 2016 will be their December issue, but they’ve given everyone a sneak peek of what those albums are. The reasoning behind those albums will be in the full issue, which you’ll probably want to pick up

Decibel always errs on the side of kvlt, and is a lot less mainstream than many of what might wind up on some other year-end lists. Albums from Gojira, Metallica Opethe and Megadeth that will likely be on other year-end lists don’t appear on here, but it’s a great list of heavy and truly underground metal. Given that albums by Cobalt and Oathbreaker were beloved by so many, we were a little surprised to see them so low on the list, and equally caught off guard by Nails not being the #1 choice. Here’s what they chose:

40. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
39. Eternal Champion – The Armor of Ire
38. Venomous Concept – Kick Me Silly VC III
37. Aluk Todolo – Voix
36. Inverloch – Distance | Collapsed
35. Eerie – Eerie
34. Sumac – What One Becomes
33. Child Bite – Negative Noise
32. Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith
31. Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner
30. Graves at Sea – The Curse that Is
29. Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule
28. Phobocosm – Bringer of Drought
27. Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake
26. SubRosa – For this We Fought the Battle of Ages
25. Bölzer – Hero
24. Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
23. Mizmor – Yodh
22. Wretch – Wretch
21. Virus – Memento Collider
20. Oathbreaker – Rheia
19. Ghoul – Dungeon Bastards
18. Diamond Head – Diamond Head
17. Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
16. Destroyer 666 – Wildfire
15. Crowbar – The Serpent Only Lies
14. Funeral Moth – Transience
13. Blood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule
12. Asphyx – Incoming Death
11. Trap Them – Crown Feral
10. Cobalt – Slow Forever
9. Gorguts – Pleiades Dust
8. Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution
7. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
6. Gehennah – Too Loud to Live, Too Drunk to Die
5. Abbath – Abbath
4. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
3. Blood Incantation – Starspawn
2. Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us
1. Khemmis – Hunted