We’re just about halfway through the year so it’s about time to recap what has been shining this year for metal (and some non metal).

2016, for me, has been an extremely well rounded year for metal. So many bands, both new and old are performing at the top of their game it’s hard to elevate one above the other and there’s been so many exceptional releases it’s starting to feel like a joke. I will tell you that the new Vektor is so far my number one pick of the year. It’s a work of fucking art and is so far ahead of it’s time it might as well be time traveling.

It bears repeating that metal is the most rewarding genre of music as well as creative. Each year it gets better and better as new bands with new ideas enter the fray and older bands still hold true for the veterans. It’s a unique genre and 2016 has proven so in spades.

I didn’t labor over this list, nor are there reviews for these albums. I have reviewed all of them in my weekly metal playlist posts if you’re curious, these are just the albums that have come out this year that have crushed my skull in to some degree.


Lascar – Absence EP
Stworz – Zagony Bogów
Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule
Oranssi Pazuzu – Varahtelija
Naðra – Allir Vegir Til Glötunar
Primeval Mass – To Empyrean Thrones
Borknagar – Winter Thrice
Widower – The Unholy Oath EP
Wildernessking – Mystical Future
Baphomet’s Blood – In Satan We Trust
Fuath – I
Rotting Christ – Rituals
Urgehal – Aeons in Sodom
Chuck Ragan – The Flame in the Flood
Abysmal Grief – Strange Rites of Evil
Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
Thornbridge – What Will Prevail
Suspiral – Delve Into the Mysteries of Transcendence
Ripper – Experiment of Existence
Wisdom – Rise of the Wise
Krater – Urere
Sorcier Des Glaces – North
Sacrilegium – Anima Lucifera
Rotten Sound – Abuse to Suffer
Brian Fallon – Painkillers
Wormed – Krighsu
Draugnim – Vulturine
Cantique Lépreux – Cendres Célestes
Toska – Toska
The Wakedead Gathering – Fuscus: Strings of the Black Lyre
Sviatibor – Le Havre Du Seigneur Céleste (Haven Of The Celestial God)
MODOK – Demo
Woman is the Earth – Torch of Our Final Night
Ragehammer – The Hammer Doctrine
Panopticon & Waldgefluster Split EP
Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
Iotunn – The Wizard Falls EP
Graves At Sea – The Curse That Is
Krigsgrav – Waves of Degradation
Desaster – The Oath of An Iron Ritual
Uada – Devoid of Light
Rebaelliun – The Hell’s Decrees
Uprising – Uprising
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Savage Master – With Whips and Chains
Winterlore – Winterlore
White Lung – Paradise
Vektor – Terminal Redux
Gorguts – Pleiades Dust
Sorcery – Garden of Bones
Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
Reptilian – Perennial Void Traverse
Fausttophel – …Sancta Simplicitas…
A Pregnant Light – Rocky
Sol Sistere – Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum
Marissa Nadler – Strangers
Mortillery – Shapeshifter
Behexen – The Poisonous Path
Master’s Hammer – Formulae
Drudkh/Hades Almighty – One Who Talks with the Fog/Pyre Era, Black!
Virus – Memento Collider
Forteresse – themes pour la rebellion
Ghoulgotha – To Starve the Cross
Vale of Pnath – II
Jute Gyte – Perdurance
Sojourner – Empire of Ash
Wayfarer – Old Souls