I’ve seen some best of lists claiming that metal had a crappy year in 2016, and I just can’t accept that. This year I listened to more metal then I ever have. New releases that is, I still always make time for my favorites, and honestly, all of it was good. There were only three albums this year that I didn’t enjoy at all, and out of so many good ones, that’s saying a lot. This year had so much going for it: the new bands were exciting and refreshing, some older bands came raging back with some of their best work, the tours were fucking awesome (at least in Denver), and  bands of all calibers defied genres and limitations. Metal grew this year and it’s better for it and I was so blown away by it that it seems like a crime not to mention all the other bands that simply fucking killed it this year.

My year end list could have been an entirely different mix of albums and have been just as impressive so here are some of the other albums that made an impact on my ears this year, presented in no order or with no descriptions except for this caveat: these are fucking awesome.

Nadra – Allir Vegir Til Glotunar
Borknagar – Winter Thrice
Widower – The Unholy Oath (EP)
Fuath – I
Rotting Christ – Rituals
SeroLogiikal Scars (Vertex of Dementiia) – Kthiniik Cerviiks
Ripper – Experiment of Existence
Rotton Sound – Abuse to Suffer
Draugnim – Vultrine
Ragehammer – The Hammer Doctrine
Panopticon & Waldgefluster (Split)
Panopticon – Revisions of the Past
IOTUNN – The WIzard Falls (EP)
Krisgrave – Waves of Degradation
Desaster – The Oath of An Iron Ritual
Rebaelliun – The Hell’s Decrees
Uprising – Uprising
Wode – S/T
Nadra – Form (EP)
Savage Master – With Whips and Chains
Winterlore – Winterlore
Fausttophel – … Sancta Simplicitas…
Rocky – A Pregnant Light
Sol – Sistere – Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum
Behexen – The Poisonous Path
Mortillery – Shapeshifter
Gevurah – Hallelijah!
Master’s Hammer – Formulae
Sanctuaire – La Sang sur – I’acier (EP)
Vale of Pnath – II
Vukari – Divination
The Morningside – Yellow
Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia
Denner / Shermann – MAsters of Evil
Void Omnia – Dying Light
Sivyj Yar – Не оплакано былое / The Unmourned Past
Wayfarer – Old Souls
Numenorean – Home
Baptism – V: The Devil’s Fire
Ghoul – Dungeon Bastards
Spirit Adrift – Chained to Oblivion
Korgonthurus – Vuohen siunaus
Oath – Mustan Liekin Veljeskunta
A.M.S.G. – Hostis Universi Generis
 Stilla – Skuggflock
Mist of Misery – Abscence
Medevil – Conductor of Storms
Dark Forest – Beyond the Veil
Vermin Womb – Decline 
High Spirits – Motivator
Battle Dagorath – I – Dark Dragons of the Cosmos
Oathbreaker – Rheia
Winterfylleth – The Dark Hereafter
Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of the Law
Odal – Geistes Unruh
Uada – Devoid of Light
Cara Neir – Perpetual Despair is the Human Condition
Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust
Devin Townsend – Transcendence
Red Fang – Only Ghosts
Lotus Thief – Gramarye
Sumerlands – Sumerlands
Eternal Champion – The Armor of Ire
Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
Civil War – The Last Full Measure
Inverloch – Distance | Collapsed (Honorable Mention)
Alcest – Kodama
Death Fortress – Deathless March of the Unyielding
Graves at Sea – The Curse that is
Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake 
Subrosa – for this we fought the battle of ages 
Asphyx – Incoming Death 
Aenaon – Hypnosophy
Twilight Force – Heroes of Mighty Magic
Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue
Old Graves – Long Shadows
Ash Borer – The Irrepassable Gate
Cultes Des Ghoules – Coven
Waldgefluster – Ruinen
Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crepuscule
Ghoulgotha – To Starve the Cross
Murg – Gudatall