Reinier de Vries – Staff Poll 2016

Top Metal Albums of the Year

I did make a top 25 just because there have been a lot of new albums with about the same score in my opinion. I numbered them from 1 to 25, but certainly the last 15 are a bit in random order. Number 23 could have been on place 12 and vice versa…

01. After All – Waves Of Annihilation

If you have listened to this album and have read my review, you know why it is my number one this year. The best speed/thrash album released in years, that’s my opinion. Just read the review of the album.


02. Epica – The Holographic Principle

There are a lot symphonic female fronted metal bands, but I think this Dutch combo has found the perfect mix of harsh grunting parts and angelic singing parts. Also the balance between soft and heavy is executed and recorded in perfection.


03. Wicked Maraya – Lifetime In Hell

Always been a fan of this band and when I read that they were going to release their actual debut album which, due to circumstances beyond their control never had been released, I was very curious. That it would be one of the best releases for me in 2016 I would have never dreamt of, but it was!


04. Textures – Phenotype

Dutch progressive technical metal masters Textures released one of the best albums earlier this year. The perfect mix of extreme heavy parts and clean singing and melodic stuff made me choose for them in my list. Also the variety in styles and the great song writing make this an album you should not have missed.


05. Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

You have thrash and you have thrash. From all the old school bands that started in the eighties, Testament did deliver the best album this year. I know that not all of them released new songs this year, but compared to Metallica this is so much better and played from their heart. I do not doubt about their pleasure in playing thrash and that I hear back in their songs.



06. Flotsam and Jetsam – Flotsam and Jetsam

Like Testament another band that made their best album in ages. With this album they returned more to their early eighties style, but without reproducing old riffs. If you want to know why they are on my list, just read the review.



07. Artillery – Penalty By Perception

The third thrash band from the eighties that did record their best album in years. It makes me remind of the good old times a lot. The best years in metal in my opinion. I was a teenager and I could enjoy the upcoming of all the mighty thrash bands of which the most are still around. The album ‘By Inheritance’ is still one of the all time best and this new album made me remind of that a lot.


08. Vicious Rumors – Concussion Protocol

I agree with you that there are a lot of metal bands in my list of which the members are older than me. Not the new vocalist of this band! He is the first singer in the band since Carl Albert that makes me think of him a bit. Sure he is not of his caliber yet, but he is still young. Besides that the new songs written by the band are their best ones in years.



09. Chronos Zero – Hollowlands

Mix music of bands like Symphony X, Epica, Dream Theater, Meshuggah and Scar Symmetry together and you have an idea. This is a phrase from my review in January this year. This says it all, this progressive band is a musical mix of the best bands in the progressive metal genre. They do that in a unique way and that makes them for me a real hammer this year.




10. Allegaeon – Proponent For Sentience

The technical melodic death metal with touches of black metal and progressive parts is a feast for the ears. The guitar riffs are very thrashy and don’t bore for any second. This band knows how to mix black/death in a unique way and adds some progressive pieces which made it for me good enough to be in my top 10.


Fates Warning – Theories of Flight

I just found out that I had no room left in my top 10 for this progressive masters. Perhaps I should have put them in the top 5, because they sure deserve that position. I am sure I forgot more bands that should have gotten a place in the top 10. That’s why I did add a lot of other albums that made do a lot with me this year. Several songs on this Fates Warning album reminded me of their Pleasant and Perfect time. That’s why I like it so much..



11. Megadeth – Dystopia
12. Izegrim – The Ferryman’s End
13. Cirrha Niva – Out Of the Freak Show
14. Delain – Moonbathers
15. Fire Leaf – Behind the Mask
16. Almanac – Tsar
17. Death Angel – The Evil Divide
18. A Tortured Soul – On This Evil Night
19. Dark Tranquility – Atoma
20. Necromancing the Stone – Jewel Of the Vile
21. Metal Church – XI
22. Megadeth – Dystopia
23. Be’Lakor – Vessels
24. Myrath – Legacy
25. Dream Theater – The Astonishing


Best Newcomer of the Year

Steel Angel – In A Quiet Dream

This band serves a mix of Heir Apparent and Crimson Glory. In the eighties they recorded a cassette only for friends, so I will call this a debut album. You just read my review and listen to a song and I know you will agree.


Best Metal Songs of the Year

I think it is impossible to choose the best metal songs of this year. I think I have listened to over 8.000 easily. I just have put 2 below I listened to rather often, but there are a lot more I liked very much.

Best Videos of the Year

Biggest Surprise of the Year

The first band that entered my mind was Necromancing the Stone as surprise of the year, but the longer I kept thinking about it there were several other bands or moments as well. The live performance of Exodus was also something that kept me busy and motivated weeks later.



Top Artist of the Year

I can’t pick one.

Top Concerts of the Year

Dragonforce – DOA
Exodus, Carcass and Kreator – Into the Grave Leeuwarden
Martyr – Bolwerk Sneek
Suicidal Angels – Stars on Thrash Leeuwarden

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Metallica – Hard Wired … To Self-Destruct

I was a fan of them in the eighties, there wasn’t a day without playing one of their albums. The black album was still o.k., but after that the band lost it. With this new album they really tried to write a good album but somehow it doesn’t do a lot with me. I don’t hear the pleasure in playing anymore and they are just not capable anymore to write really good songs with new ideas. Many many bands have overtaken them on the left and right and they just can’t make my piss boil anymore… sorry….




Biggest Wishes for the coming Year

A healthy year for family, friends and all other people who deserve it.

Reinier de Vries
About Reinier de Vries 188 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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