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Best Albums of 2016

Hellboy’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

You guys have had your turn at selecting a top 10, and after much procrastination it’s time for me to reveal mine.  Over the weekend I might also add the best of the rest – a list of albums that gather lots of votes, but not quite enough for the top 10 or I think you may have missed in general.

I present this list from 1 to 10 in some order of preference.  My opinion on albums changes sometimes on a daily basis, and while it’s safe to assume I like album #1 more than #10, there are others that have a position that may be somewhat interchangeable.

Gojira – Magma

To many the latest Gojira album was a bit of a step down from their earlier work.  While I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement, I feel like this is a really strong album, which is a testament to how fucking great some of their earlier work is!  With some great and unique sounding tracks – no one writes riffs or sounds quite like Gojira.

Every Time I Die – Low Teens

“Metalcore, urghhh” – I hear some of you moan! It’s true that some if it is quite shit, but Every Time I Die are one of the best examples of the genre. It’s got some great songwriting, relentless energy and just fucking rocks. Get behind it!

Red Fang – Only Ghosts

Only Ghosts was released during a period this year stuffed with albums.  It seemed like months passed with not much being released, and then BAM! a bunch of great bands all released albums in a short period of time.  One of these was Red Fang‘s album, which I actually think is one of their best and more mature works.  Surprisingly it get very few votes in the readers top 10!

A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

A long time between albums for these guys, and We got it from Here was well worth the wait!  It’s got plenty of great rhymes, excellent sampling and beats and is accompanies by a range of interesting guests.

Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

Meshuggah threw away the amp modelling software for this album, and to me have come back with one of their more organic and compelling releasing since Nothing.  While not pushing the limits of their songwriting chops on this album, I found this album to be more cohesive and consistent that their somewhat more diverse last two releases.

Sex Prisoner – Tannhauser Gate

It wouldn’t be a top 10 of mine without at least on grindcore or power violence album, and Sex Prisoner‘s Tannhauser Gate is the best of 2016. 20 minutes of grindy bliss!

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

I’m more of a fan of Nick Cave‘s more energetic work (think Grinderman and 90s Bad Seeds) however this album while mellow, is heavily laden with enough emotion that I found it an enticing listen.

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

When I first heard this album, it was a bit “meh, this is ok” and didn’t really expect it to come close to making my top 10.  Much like the last Queens of the Stone Age album (which is relevant as the album is co-written by Josh Homme) it’s a grower, with most tracks offering something for the attentive listener.  I think the final track Paraguay would be close to my favorite track of 2016.

Wrong – Wrong

I’m a really big fan of early Helmet, and clearly Wrong are as well.  In fact several of the tracks on this album sound like borderline plagiarism based on their similarity to tracks from the seminal Strap It On and Meantime albums.  But fuck it – I really enjoyed their tribute of sorts, and is a great listen unlike most recent Helmet albums (though to be fair I enjoyed Dead to the World)

Meek Is Murder – Was

Meek Is Murder are a relatively recent addition to my library.  I was impression with the brand of hardcore on their last EP, and their latest album Was is just as good.  The album is full of energy, great riffs and is done in about 20 minutes.  As all good (non-Tool) albums should be!

Fourtheye Readers Top 10 albums of 2016

The votes have been counted for the Fourtheye Readers Top 10 albums of 2016, and without further ado I present you the list!

1. Deftones – Gore

The Deftones are a firm favorite with Tool fans and typically perform very well in Fourtheye polls.  This time around they have claimed the number 1 spot with the excellent Gore.  Probably one of their more mellow releases, this album gives us a diverse range of sounds from these nu-metal stalwarts.

2. Gojira – Magma

Interesting to see French Metal band Gojira at number 2.  Speaking anecdotally with fans suggested this album was a little disappointing, though it appears to have made the top 10 list of many readers none the less – a testament to their increasing popularity, or possibly a sign that 2016 was a weak one for records?

3 Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

Meshuggah are another favorite of Tool fans and it’s no real surprise to see them in this years top 10.  In fact I think The Violent Sleep of Reason is one of their best since Nothing.

4 Russian Circles – Guidance

Instrumental Rock is pretty popular with Tool fans, and former touring buddies Russian Circles are at the top of their game.  While I didn’t think Guidance was quite up to the standard of Memorial, it was still a very solid and atmospheric record.

5. Opeth – Sorceress

Swedish Prog Rock outfit Opeth have put out another 70s themed album along the lines of their last one, and it seems to be pretty well received by Fourtheye readers.  I guess the lack of death growls isn’t a big deal after all?

6. David Bowie – Blackstar

Released days before David Bowie passed away, his strong musical legacy was left intact by a powerful final album.

7. The Swans – The Glowing Man

I can’t say I was a fan of this album, but the Swans remain and popular choice among Fourtheye readers.

8. Cult of Luna & Julia Christmas – Mariner

I actually haven’t listened to this album yet, so it was a bit of a surprise to me that it made the top 10.  I like Cult of Luna so really should have a listen, especially since many of you hold it in high esteem!

9. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

The highly anticipated new album from Radiohead came out early in 2016, and seemed to get some mixed reviews.  Despite that, it easily made the top 10 which shows how much Tool fans enjoy their music.

10. Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation

Dillinger Escape Plan announced their latest album Dissociation earlier this year, and also announced that the band would be calling it quits (though some think it might be a hiatus).

So there we have it – maybe not a whole load of surprises in that top 10, but they are a range of excellent albums.  Stay tuned as over the next couple of days I’ll post my top 10!

 

Fourtheye Readers Poll: Best Albums of 2016

Time has come for our annual Fourtheye readers poll to determine the best albums of 2016.  The same rules as the last few years apply:

  • You can vote for up to 10 albums.  Feel free to vote for less than 10
  • Each vote is worth one point.  The order you enter the albums has no relevance
  • You can only vote for an album once
  • The album must have been released in 2016
  • It must be a studio album – re-issues, live albums, best of collections and such are ineligible.  EPs are ok though!

The poll will close on New Years Eve, with the final results available not long after.  Feel free to post your lists below, or come discuss it in the forum.  I know I personally get a lot out of reading peoples lists, and typically go and listen to many of your non-nu-metal related suggestions.

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