AllMusic 2016 Year In Review

Favorite Metal Albums -

 The finest and heaviest releases in the metal world this year included Nails' line-drawing You Will Never Be One Of Us, Meshuggah's mighty The Violent Sleep of Reason, and the Dillinger Escape Plan's swan song, Dissociation.
Jomsviking

Amon Amarth

Jomsviking

The tenth LP from the pillaging and plundering Viking metal horde is also their first concept album.

All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

Architects

All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

An icy blast of politically charged apocalypse theater delivered by a band surveying the ruins below from their creative peak.

AIR

Astronoid

AIR

Powerfully cathartic debut from the genre-defying Massachusetts band that combines black metal, thrash, shoegaze, and dream pop into a dizzying blend.

Aggressive

Beartooth

Aggressive

Sophomore set from the Ohio metalcore outfit that turns its fury outward on a collection of cathartic, visceral anthems.

Pillars of Ash

Black Tusk

Pillars of Ash

A straight-up haymaker of an album; an oil-stained middle finger rising out of the brackish water of a swamp forest.

Slow Forever

Cobalt

Slow Forever

This unwieldy mix of post-hardcore, post-grunge, punk, prog, folk, and yes, black metal exists in its own dark universe.

Gore

Deftones

Gore

The veteran alt-metal quintet refuses to rest on the laurels of legacy with an enthralling juxtaposition of the pretty and the pummeling.

Transcendence

Devin Townsend / Devin Townsend Project

Transcendence

The prolific Canadian musical polymath surrenders total control to collaboration on the brilliant follow-up to Sky Blue.

The Astonishing

Dream Theater

The Astonishing

Even in a catalog noted for its concept albums and sprawling ambition, this two-plus-hour rock opera pushes the band's envelope.

The Veil of Control

Dysrhythmia

The Veil of Control

After four years away, this East Coast trio deliver some of their knottiest, most adventurous compositions to date.

Low Teens

Every Time I Die

Low Teens

An inward looking, but undeniably pugilistic blast of no-frills might that should please longtime fans and newcomers alike.

Magma

Gojira

Magma

The French extreme metallers take a bold step forward into new territory, experimenting with melody, groove, shorter songs, more straightforward structures, and actual singing.

The Concrete Confessional

Hatebreed

The Concrete Confessional

Muscular to the point of T-shirt ripping, and punishing enough to incite an arrest warrant.

Stillicide

Helms Alee

Stillicide

The Seattle-based trio delivers both might and magic via an 11-track blast of glacial post-rock/stoner metal grandeur.

Treehouse

I See Stars

Treehouse

Obliterating genre boundaries, the Michigan quartet combines electronica, hip-hop, pop hooks, emo passion, and metalcore fury on their dizzyingly inventive fifth effort.

Paradise Gallows

Inter Arma

Paradise Gallows

The Virginia quintet delivers a 71-minute behemoth of intense, devastating heavy music as darkly beautiful as it is ambitious.

The Serenity of Suffering

Korn

The Serenity of Suffering

The nu-metal godfathers make a welcome return to basics on their best album in a decade.

Nattesferd

Kvelertak

Nattesferd

For their third LP, Kvelertak flex their greasepaint-lined NWOBHM muscles via a savage, nine-track set of Valhallic party anthems

Delirium

Lacuna Coil

Delirium

Visceral and divine, this eighth album from the Italian goth metal vets excites and breathes life into their catalog.

Dystopia

Megadeth

Dystopia

The band's 15th studio album reveals a reinvigorated Dave Mustaine and a new lineup with Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler.

The Violent Sleep of Reason

Meshuggah

The Violent Sleep of Reason

On this killer live-in-the-studio date, the veteran Swedes capture the ferocity and technical prowess of their concerts.

You Will Never Be One of Us

NAILS

You Will Never Be One of Us

A vital and unrelenting set of high-caliber hardcore ragers that celebrate the worst that humanity has to offer.

ZI

Negura Bunget

ZI

In the second volume of their Transylvanian Trilogy, the Romanian legends deliver a welcome -- and sorely needed -- return to form.

Fires Within Fires

Neurosis

Fires Within Fires

In their 30th year, the San Francisco post-metal pioneers show no signs of creative dearth with a relatively brief, creatively abundant offering.

Draugr

Obake

Draugr

The extreme metal superband offers a more organic follow-up to Mutations and achieves creative symbiosis in the process.

Sorceress

Opeth

Sorceress

The Swedish band's 12th studio album tautly balances prog rock and traces of its historic past while traveling in new directions.

Desire's Magic Theatre [Deluxe Edition]

Purson

Desire's Magic Theatre [Deluxe Edition]

The mercurial Londoners cast an aural net of kaleidoscopic doom/wonder that manages to touch on nearly every facet of the psych-rock playbook.

No One Deserves Happiness

The Body

No One Deserves Happiness

The Portland-based doom metal duo successfully incorporate hip-hop and dance elements into their sludgy, punishing sound.

Dissociation

The Dillinger Escape Plan

Dissociation

The revered and eclectic New Jersey mathcore ensemble release their sixth and final album.

Shrines of Paralysis

Ulcerate

Shrines of Paralysis

Creating a palpable aura of fear, dread, and despair, this music is like a black hole that sucks all the light out of the room.

Mark of the Blade

Whitechapel

Mark of the Blade

On this date, Tennessee metal outfit deliver a further evolution, offering something for everybody, including themselves.

The Northern Sanctuary

Witherscape

The Northern Sanctuary

The sophomore full-length by this Swedish duo is more balanced and diverse than its predecessor, and pays homage to (nearly) the entire history of metal.

The Gospel

Årabrot

The Gospel

The band's seventh studio album bristles with the zeal of a recently escaped inmate.