It’s December, which means that everyone’s starting to look back at the year that was, even though we’re not quite through it yet. Over the next several weeks, Metal Insider will be bringing you our picks for the best albums of the year, as well as those from some of the artists that made some of it. Below is who made Metal Insider contributor Zach Fehl’s list. Want to hear what he’s writing about? Check out the Spotify playlist at the end of the chart. And hey, you can also follow us on Spotify.

10) Sabaton – The Last Stand (Nuclear Blast) sabatonthelaststandcd

With Sabaton, you generally know what you’re going to get: catchy, up-tempo, battle anthems that burrow into your brain until there is nothing left but to storm into battle. This time around to take that model and draw inspiration from legendary ‘last stand moments’ in history. The Last Stand delivers, and certainly won’t be Sabaton’s last stand… I’ll see myself out.

Track Pick: “The Last Stand”


9)  Myrath – Legacy (EarMusic / Nightmare Records) myrath-legacy

Myrath continues to display the beauty of Middle Eastern culture and the Arabic language with their fourth album, Legacy. Underneath its melodic exterior can be found contrasting themes of hope in the world at large and the struggles in the world around them.  This album has been making waves throughout the progressive and power metal communities since it’s release, and deservedly so. You can expect to see this name a little more often over the next few years. They’re even going to be coming to the United States for at least one show soon. 

Track Picks: “Believer”


8) Witherscape, The Northern Sanctuary (Century Media) witherscape_the-northern-sanctuary

Admittedly, my year featured far more rock n roll and far less death metal than usual. This year’s big harsh hit with me was The Northern Sanctuary. It is an intelligently written concept album that picks up where their previous LP The Inheritance left off, but this time the songwriting, instrumentation, and production have come to full stride as Dan Swanö and Ragnar Widerberg discover the mastery of both melodic death metal and prog rock. 

Track Pick:  “Divinity”