Haydee G. – Staff Poll 2016

Top Metal Albums of the Year

(In no particular order)

Obscura – Akróasis

This is by no means Obscura‘s best album up-to-date but this album has definitely grown on me. That distinctive Obscura sound, how could one hate it. I haven’t heard an album I haven’t liked, to be honest. Let’s hope it stays that way in the coming years.

 

Obscura review

Whispered – Metsutan – Songs of the Void

These samurai warriors are full of creative ideas with utilizing the oriental instruments which made this album pack a lot of punch from beginning to end. They’ll be the next giants in the Finnish music scene. Immense and glorious “Album of the Year” material indeed.

 

Whispered review

Myrath – Legacy

This year these guys have brought themselves to an even higher plateau; redefining the demanding vision of what a metal band should be. I have listened to this album way too much and I think they’ve outdone themselves this time.

 

Myrath review

Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence

Mesmerizing as usual. I don’t think I really need to convince anyone of how great a musician Devin is right about now as there seems to be no end to this man’s creativity.

 

Devin Townsend Project review

Paul Wardingham – Spiritual Machines

With Paul Wardingham around, you might as well cast all doubts aside. You can’t really go wrong with his highly unique and futuristic sounds, they’ll just leave you wanting more. Very humble and talented individual.

 

Stortregn – Singularity

I enjoyed this album quite thoroughly. It is reminiscent of old fused with Stortregn‘s own contemporary twist on the Gothenburg sound with great clarity. It is perfect for this cold frosty weather.

 

Listen to Stortregn here

Winterhorde – Maestro

A highly underrated band from Israel that sorely deserves more attention than they are getting. This is a very well-written album with great story telling.

 

Winterhorde review

Epica – The Holographic Principle

Out of all the symphonic female-fronted metal bands out there, Epica is perhaps the only one I can truly hold admiration for without protest. Interesting album concepts, clean and harsh vocals, slow angelic songs, fast and brutal songs,  geeky band members… They are still way ahead of their game.

 

Epica review

Best Newcomer of the Year

Inanimate Existence – Calling From a Dream

Inanimate Existence is not a new band at all. In fact, this is their 3rd release but they were quite new to me, therefore, they are worth mentioning.

Inanimate Existence review

Best Metal Songs of the Year

Adagio‘s “Subramanya” sounds monstrous. It’s reason enough to get excited about Adagio‘s upcoming album, “Life“.

 

Best Videos of the Year

Myrath‘s “Believer” was definitely the eye candy. With the video telling an alluring tale of a man’s life in this mythical setting, it’s aesthetically pleasing to watch personally. Prince of Persia springs to mind when watching this video, very cool.

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Megadeth – Dystopia

Megadeth is still alive and kickin’, I see! Peace sells and Dave‘s still not buyin’!

 

Megadeth review

Top Artist of the Year

Stéphan Forté seems to be working hard creating some magic in the studio with elements that are not of this world.

Top Concerts of the Year

I had great fun seeing Whispered this year. How often do you get to see Finnish Samurai warriors on stage with amazing guitar skills? Indeed, not very often. What a great act, “hail Gojira!”.

See interview here

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Rage – The Devil Strikes Again:

They’ve expended too much effort on trying to be the way the were but clearly too much is lost and not much gained, as this album reveals.

Rage review

Dream Theater – The Astonishing:

I looked forward to this album with too much optimism (as per colleague’s review). What a letdown, this was for me. 2 discs full of disappointment.

Dream Theater review

Dark Tranquillity – Atoma

Too dull for a Dark Tranquillity album. What happened?!

Dark Tranquillity review

 

Biggest Wishes for the coming Year

I can already see that 2017 will be a significant year for quite a few bands that I like and I am looking forward to that but most of all, I wish for us all to be more compassionate towards one another and be a little more grateful.

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