LIST: Best of 2016 (So Far)

best-albums-of-2016-so-far

I know a lot of people do these quarterly look back at the current year so far but I don’t really do that. When it gets to June I tend to have a brief listen to all albums I have bought throughout the year and, in my mind, I tend to place said albums on a mental list. Of course, each and every year, musically, the standard seems to just get better and better so it becomes increasingly trivial to place one album above another; it’s the same with the end-of-year ‘best of’ lists.

2016 seems to have been hit-and-miss so far, unlike last year which saw a bunch of good/great released in such a short period. If we’re going off music I have bought so far, here’s a list:

  • We had Dream Theater’s The Astonishing;
  • Abbath’s self-titled debut album;
  • Anthrax’s new one For All Kings;
  • Megadeth’s triumphant return with Dystopia;
  • Ihsahn’s new masterpiece Arktis;
  • Deftones’ new album Gore;
  • Rotting Christ return with Rituals;
  • Conan’s third album Revengeance;
  • Killswitch Engage return with Incarnate;
  • Haken’s new prog outing Affinity;
  • Bill Laurance’s new one Aftersun;
  • Jim Rotondi’s Dark Blue and, lastly,
  • Bury Tomorrow return with Earthbound.

LISTING AND EXPLANATIONS WHY

  1. Ihsahn – Arktis
    ihsahn arktisWithout any hesitation, I bought this album along with Deftones’ new one Gore, and after the brief initial getting used to the album, after that I pretty much loved the album and it’s still a constant listen. It’s less experimental than his last record, and more in line with meshing both sides of his personality together.

  1. Bill Laurance – Aftersun
    bill laurance aftersunA few month ago, towards the end of February beginning of March, I got bored of constantly hearing metal band after metal band say the same thing when promoting a new record. “Oh yeah, this is our best album, EVER!” I need something different to rejuvenate myself. It’s not that I was becoming bored of metal, I still love metal no doubt, but it’s just after a while it’s just like I needed something different. Bill’s new album, Aftersun, is such a fun and laid-back record to listen to.

  1. Megadeth – Dystopia
    megadeth dystopiaWith the two new members on board – Kiko and Chris, respectively – I wasn’t sure exactly how to judge this record at first: was it good or was it bad? Time would pass. I would begin to listen to this album more and more, “Post American World” becoming a favourite. Slowly, this record got more spins than I thought it ever would. 

  1. Abbath – Abbath
    abbath albumThis is one those albums that I instantly knew I would be buying, even before I heard the single. Of course I love Immortal, that goes without saying, and I was slightly disheartened at how Abbath leaving threw the band into turmoil, but despite that they assured fans something new will be coming from Immortal in 2016. I breathed a sigh of relief. Despite that, this album is still fantastic and really has many influences going into, not just your standard black metal — it’s groovy, it’s melodic, it has blast beats (obviously), and just about everything you’d want. Revisiting the album again, I was sure that this will be among my top 5 come December. 

  1. Killswitch Engage – Incarnate
    killswitchengageincarnatecd

  1. Deftones – Gore
    deftones gore

  1. Anthrax – For All Kings
    anthrax-for-all-kings-album-cover-resized

  1. Jim Rotondi – Dark Blue
    jim rotondi dark blue

  1. Conan – Revengeance
    conan

  1. Rotting Christ – Rituals
    rotting christ

  1. Bury Tomorrow – Earthbound
    bury tomorrow earthbound cover

  1. Haken – Affinity
    haken affinity cover

  1. Dream Theater – The Astonishing
    dream theaterNow, I never feel the need to call any Dream Theater album ‘bad’, but I feel this one is a hit-and-miss album: you’ll either get it or you won’t. 2 hours and a bit of music a lot to digest in one sitting. I’ve done it a few times already and, believe me, it isn’t easy. I place this last because, as I’ve said, I’ve given it a few listens but apart from that it’s been the one song here and there. Quite honestly, there are better albums I have in this list I can listen to.

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