February 1, 2017

Connor's Favorite Albums from 2016

1. Saor - Guardian          

Scottish Highland metal with huge, epic soundscapes mixing in traditional instrumental music. About four minutes into the last track Tears of a Nation, it breaks into a wall of bagpipes and metal, closing track of the year.

2. Thrawsunblat - Metachthonia             

Perfect album from maybe the best metal band to come out of Canada so far, just killer from start to finish.         

3. Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika

Another sweeping, cinematic epic from Moonsorrow. These guys are a very special band, and their dense, long format songs are packed end to end with great moments.          

4. Alcest – Kodama

Prog/post-rock shoegaze from France. These guys kind of slept on their last couple albums, but this one is the real deal.     

5. Insomnium - Winter's Gate   

Winter’s Gate is basically a single 40 minute track/concept album, about a band of Vikings searching for a fabled island with winter fast approaching. So pretty much an instant classic. 

6. Wardruna - Runaljold Ragnarok          

If you watch Vikings, Wardruna contributes a lot of music to the show. Really fucking cool traditional Scandinavian folk played with ancient instruments. This album is good, their last album Yggdrasil is great.  

7. Skuggsjá        

A side project created by Einar Selvik from Wardruna and Ivar Bjørnson from Enslaved. A single piece of music originally commissioned to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Norway’s constitution. Super interesting arrangements of folk music, ambient, spoken word, etc. Not really a casual listen, but definitely rewarding.       

8. Mare Cognitum - Luminiferous Aether             

Spacey/cosmic atmospheric black metal…created by a one man band from Orange County of all places.  

9. Harakiri for the Sky - III: Trauma         

Blackened post-rock, heavy on melancholy atmosphere, extremely melodic.        

10. Winterfylleth - A Dark Hereafter      

Classic atmospheric black metal from England. Winterfylleth isn't breaking new ground, but they are really good at what they do.   

11. Witchery - In His Infernal Majesty's Service

Classic party thrash, the kind of album that sounds exponentially better with every beer you crack open.  Riffs on riffs, shreddy solos abound. Best track: The Burning of Salem

12. Vindland - Hanter Savet       

Heavily influenced by Windir, buckets of riffs, incredibly catchy, folky interludes, bouncy leads, lots of radness. Best track: Treuzwelus            

13. Morthus - Over the Dying Stars         

Raw, thrashy, old school death metal at it’s best, killer production, big riffs, crushing drums. Best track: Revelation Hunt is brimming with radness, one of the best tracks of the year             

14.High Spirits - Motivator         

Classic anthem rock inspired by the best the 80s.              

15. Skyforest - Unity      

Weirdly infectious mashup of post-rock, pop, and black metal from Russia.  The kind of album that shouldn’t work, but somehow pulls it off. Best track: The Swan


awmercy said...

Digging Alcest. Shoegaze is definitely my entry point into metal.