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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

The Heavy Metal Review’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2012

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Every metal blog/magazine/musician out there is publishing its Top Albums List around this time of year and The Heavy Metal Review is no exception. It’s interesting to see how so many people’s lists can vary based on genre preference and life experiences that made a particular album hit home harder than the rest. So here is my heavily contemplated Top 10 in terms of what I rocked out to the most this year.

10. Black Breath – Sentenced to Life

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Sentenced to Life takes the distorted death metal of Entombed and combines it with more traditional thrash and hardcore influences to make an album that is unrelenting, yet highly listenable. This is easily Black Breath’s best release to date (though it’s only the band’s second full-length) and the album’s short run-time means it does not overstay its welcome in your rotation.

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Meshuggah’s ‘Koloss’ crushes everything

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Meshuggah is the least accessible mainstream metal band on the planet.

Someone with ears that aren’t trained for odd time signatures and a never-ending barrage of distortion and harsh vocals – and even some metal fans – will argue all Meshuggah since 1995’s Destroy, Erase, Improve, or maybe 1998’s Chaosphere, sounds like muddled noise (arguably 2008’s Obzen was a return to more traditional song structures, but those tracks tended to run a bit long at times).

The group’s latest effort Koloss provides an answer to this dilemma, in that it is the grooviest record the band has ever released – the jazzy solos and ridiculous rhythms are still present and there is nothing that resembles a vocal hook to be found, but the tracks vary enough to stand on their own (try and play a friend who hasn’t heard of Meshuggah a single track from Catch Thirtythree and you will understand the difference).

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Written by Eric

March 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Album Review

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