Thomas Nielsen – Staff Poll 2016

Top Metal Albums of the Year

A strong year for thrash metal – old bands, mind you. Thought provoking that none of the bands in my top ten are newer bands.

Metal Church – XI
One album that has been a total old-school high for me this year is Metal Church’s ‘XI’. How could I forget how great Mike Howe’s voice is?! How fantastic riffs Kurt Vanderhoof can write? This is an album that is still growing on me.

Gojira – Magma
This year, the Duplantier brothers and their two sidekicks delivered their best effort to date with ‘Magma’. Still so undeniably Gojira, the Frenchmen have managed to take their sound and songwriting to a new level.


Prong – X No Absolutes
Tommy Victor remains one of the most gifted guitarists of this world. ‘X No Absolutes’ takes you straight into his universe of great riffing and great songs delivered with an uncanny tightness.


Flotsam and Jetsam – Flotsam and Jetsam
One of the generally most underrated bands in the history of metal, Flotsam and Jetsam released another amazing album. Power, intensity and, oh, yeah, that fantastic voice of Eric A.K. I find it hard to ask for more.


Pain – Coming Home
Having never really been interested in Hypocrisy or Pain before, I was amazed to find out that the new album hit right home with me. One of the albums I’ve listened the most to this year. It’s terribly catchy!


Heaven Shall Burn – Wanderer
The Thüringer metalcore combo once again showed that they are able to expand their recipe even further with the impressive ‘Wanderer’ release. Great stuff.

Megadeth – Dystopia
The threat is indeed real. Dave Mustaine proved yet again that his writing capabilities are still relevant in this day and age with the most focused and sharp release in years. Hard and effective ‘deth album with a Mustaine cutting the vocals superbly.

Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake
Although Chuck Billy and his hardy men have been criticised a lot for ther live performances the past couple of years, there is no denying that what they deliver on tape is fantastic.

Candlemass – Death Thy Lover (EP)
Although only an EP, the release ‘Death Thy Lover’ by doom veterans Candlemass has been a disc I’ve come back to countless times during the year. Beautiful, heavy, melodic, in short: Candlemass.


Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Towards the end of the year, it finally came: the new Metallica album. A double CD, even. It’s not as if it’s all perfect, but there are really to die for riffs on this album and it’s genrally totally life confirming. And the sound is perfect. For me, this is like the album that was missing between the Black album and Load/Reload – if that makes sense?

Best Newcomer of the Year

Akhenaten, a duo from the States are toying around with Middle Eastern sounds and black metal. It sounds cool and special.

Here’s my review of their album:

Best Metal Songs of the Year

Gojira – The Shooting Star
Like a flow of sound and emotion. A riff that stays with you for hours.

See Metal Church’s No Tomorrow above. Fantastic song. Flotsam and Jetsam’s Iron Maiden too.

Best Videos of the Year

Gojira – Silvera
From Gojira, you’d of course expext something that’s slightly different from all the rest. Silvera is just that. Art, this is.


Devilment – Hitchcock Blonde
Less artistic and not at all subtle, Dani Filth and Devilment have a way of getting everyone’s attention. I like it.


Biggest Surprise of the Year

Me realising that Pain are a great band.

Top Artist of the Year

All in all, I have to say that Gojira take the prize as the most innovative metal machine this year.

Top Concerts of the Year

Queensrÿche at Train in Aarhus, Denmark. Wonderful songs, great band. Total nostalgia.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Bolt Thrower disbanding following the untimely death of drummer Martin Kearns. The world’s best death metal quits and I never saw them live. Dammit.

David Bowie  passing away? Not good.

Biggest Wishes for the coming Year

Beyond world peace, eternal love and happines for everyone I know, I’d love to see Memoriam, the new outfit of Karl Willetts (formerly of Bolt Thrower).

Thomas Nielsen
About Thomas Nielsen 1051 Articles
When my old buddy Kenn Jensen asked me if I wanted to contribute to the new site he had created, then called, I didn't hesitate. My love for metal music was and is great. I wrote my first review during the summer of 2004 (Moonspell's 'Antidote' album). In 2015, I took over the editor-in-chief role, and held that position until January 2017, where I decided to focus only on live reviews.

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