The Heavy Metal Review

Archive for December 2016

Best Metal Albums of 2016

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All right! Back on track. Here is my “Top 10” list for 2016.

10. Borknagar – Winter Thrice

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I’ll admit I never really even discovered progressive black metal supergroup Borknagar until this year. And I was even late to the game on listening to Winter Thrice, but I was totally on board the minute I hit play on epic opener “The Rhymes of the Mountain.” And if black metal isn’t your thing, this album features a heavy dose of fantastic clean vocals. This is also a great listen in the cold of January and February.

9. Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

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2012’s Koloss was in my top 10 from that year and 2016’s The Violent Sleep of Reason continues the trend. It’s at times a harsher, less structured listen than Koloss and the music takes a few spins to digest. The album is driven by Dick Lovgren’s bass and Thomas Haake’s drums (the duo get the majority of songwriting credits here), and because of this, Meshuggah’s The Violent Sleep of Reason feels fresh and full of groove.

8. Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

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If you found Metallica’s Hardwired…To Self Destruct to be enjoyable, but a little too long-winded in the back half, then Testament’s Brotherhood of the Snake is the album for you. It’s a 45 minute thrash thrill-ride that demands repeat listens. In the words of Chuck Billy “smoke ’em if ya got ’em.” Preach on, brotha.

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Written by Eric

December 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Lost List: Best Metal Albums of 2015

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Once you get a paying gig as a writer and editor your blogs tend to go by the wayside—at least that was the case for me in 2015 and 2016. However, before posting my Best of 2016 list, I thought I’d dig up the list for 2015 that I actually did put together last year, but somehow never managed to actually post on here.

As usual, let’s start it up with No. 10!

10. Gama Bomb – Untouchable Glory

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I’ve been a casual fan of Irish thrash revivalists Gama Bomb ever since listening to Citizen Brain and Tales from the Grave in Space (I think I discovered both in 2009 or so). The band is very comparable to Municipal Waste in terms of lyrics/style, but Gama Bomb delivers that extra “oomph!” of pure thrash with less hardcore styling in the vocals. And its those same vocals that catapulted Untouchable Glory to the No. 10 spot.

9. Black Breath – Slaves Beyond Death

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I got real into Black Breath’s Sentenced to Life back in 2012. The album pulled a lot of inspiration from Entombed. In 2015 Black Breath released Slaves Beyond Death, which wins the band some originality points and also ups the ante with the riffs. Riffs that’ll make you say “ugh.” And then get into the pit.

8. Lamb of God – VII: Sturm and Drang

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VII: Sturm Und Drang is Lamb of God’s comeback album in two ways—it is the band’s best front-to-back album since 2006’s Sacrament and it also is the first to be released following vocalist Randy Blythe’s Czech Republic prison ordeal (in which he was eventually found not criminally liable for a fan’s death). Perhaps because of this tragedy—or in spite of it—the band delivers its most inspired performance in years.

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Written by Eric

December 31, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Best Of