It’s that time of year. The time of year when Steel Druhm reminds that I, indeed, run a blog and that, yes, I am expected to read it. Occasionally, he suggests, I should even write something for it! Alas, 2016 has been busy shitting all over me, as well as everything except this blog. Lemmy, George Michael, Prince and David Bowie have all died. Vladimir Putin has successfully managed to dare Donald Trump to stick his tongue to the frozen nuclear warhead that is a new Cold War. And I have an all-consuming job that is figuratively eating everything but itself. Yet everything is calm here at Angry Metal Guy. Surprisingly, we’ve managed to make it to the end of the year relatively intact and about as mentally stable as we were last year. This is due to the influx of new writers, many of whom are featured with Top 10(ish) lists for the very first time on this blog. Unfortunately, we’ve got so many fucking writers now that we might as well be Metal Hammer (or Atheismo forbid, Metal Wani), putting out the Top 500 Albums Released in 2016. These lists essentially amount to a fucking gold star for participation for all the bands and everyone involved in this whole endeavor should be ashamed.

Moving beyond the outrage. I have some thank yous to begrudgingly bestow upon certain persons without whom this blog would probably not exist. First and foremost, Steel DruhmMadam X, and Dr. A.N. Grier deserve particular thanks for keeping this blog afloat during the year, and for herding this motley crew of new kids who like fucking metalcore toward publication deadlines and as many DR4 mastering jobs as they can eat. Without the hard work of these three, extremely dedicated and capable administrators, gentlemen and scholars—Madam X included— would be a distant memory. And therefore, it is important to recognize and thank the hard work of these people in addition to the work put in by our dedicated staff of writers—new and old.

A special shoutout need also be given to Sentynel our dedicated server guy. Without him, we’d still be overloading our old host and no one would actually be able to read the blog. So in addition to all the content published by our writers, it’s important that we acknowledge that without Mr. Sentynel‘s work, this blog would be paddleless and up Shit Creek, as it were.

Lastly to all our readers new and old: thank you for showing up and reading our stuff every day! It’s wonderful that you guys have been so patient with everything—except the Record(s) o’ the Month, you fucking whiners—and with all the new and changing faces. Periods of transition are tough and yet you guys have stuck it through, told your friends, and generously namedropped us in the statuses of important people all the time. Thank you for doing that! We love you very much.

In a spirit of Christmas, and since I’m grateful the blog still exists because it gets me on guest lists for bands I like, I will once again give a stay of execution. May 2017 be the year I finally decide to pull the plug on everyone hired after Steel Druhm. So good night, Sleep tight. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

L. Saunders

#10. Unfathomable Ruination // Finitude
#9. Blood Incantation // Starspawn
#8. Vainaja // Verenvalaja
#7. The Dillinger Escape Plan // Dissociation
#6. Mantar // Ode to the Flame
#5. Départe // Failure, Subside
#4. Anaal Nathrakh // The Whole of the Law
#3. Haken // Affinity
#2. Khemmis // Hunted
#1. Vektor // Terminal Redux – For better and worse, 2016 was a year full of surprises. Vektor landing the top spot on my End of Year list following the release of their mind-boggling third album Terminal Redux was not one of them. It’s a rare thing for a band to exceed unrealistically high expectations following a five year recording gap, but Vektor delivered everything I hoped for and more. Almost endearingly flawed, Terminal Redux is an astonishingly complex, impeccably performed and bravely ambitious conceptual masterpiece that I’m confident we’ll be talking about for many years and looking back on the album as a modern classic of high concept progressive thrash. And while I didn’t find the time to absorb all the quality metal 2016 had to offer (I still haven’t scratched the surface of albums from SubRosa and Mithras to name but a couple) I’m more than happy to crown Vektor the champions of 2016.

Honorable Mentions:

Messa // Belfry
Hyperion // Seraphical Euphony
The Reticent // On the Eve of a Goodbye
First Fragment // Dasein
Revocation // Great is our Sin
Wormed // Krighsu
Biggest Disappointment: Bölzer // Hero

Song o’ the Year: Tie: Haken“The Architect”/Khemmis – “Hunted”


#10. Uada // Devoid of Light
#9. Wormed // Krighsu
#8. Saor // Guardians
#7. Schammasch // Triangle
#6. Skáphe // Skáphe²
#5. Khemmis // Hunted
#4. Sumerlands // Sumerlands
#3. Spire // Entropy
#2. Blood Incantation // Starspawn
#1. Vektor // Terminal Redux – Is there anything left to write about this absolutely mental piece of progressive thrash metal? One of the easiest #1 metal picks in years. Just go listen to it. A masterpiece from start to finish.

Vektor - Terminal Redux

Honorable Mentions:

Cobalt // Slow Forever
Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas // Mariner
Downfall of Gaia // Atrophy
Oathbreaker // Rheia
The Body // No One Deserves Happiness
Thy Catafalque // Meta

Song o’ the Year: Brujeria “Viva Presidente Trump!”

Al Kikuras

#10. Abhomine // Larvae Offal Swine
#9. Crimson Moon // Oneironaut
#8. Gorguts // Pleiades’ Dust
#7. Embalmer // Emanations from the Crypt
#6. Attacker // Sins of the World
#5. Death Angel // The Evil Divide
#4. Brutality // Sea of Ignorance
#3. Watchtower // Concepts of Math: Book One
#2. Voivod // Post Society
#1. Devin Townsend Project // Transcendence – Like Transcendental Meditation (yeah, I do that) or hot yoga (yeah, I do that too. Turning in my man card now), Transcendence leaves you feeling like you are reborn. Never before has music been this heavy, dark, and simultaneously uplifitng. Every performance is exemplary. DTP came together to create an album that transcends genres and should be heralded as Mozart, Slayer, Tom Waits, Gorguts, James Brown and John Coltrane have been before them. A new level from a musician that constantly sets new levels. The Ween cover doesn’t hurt either.

Song of the year: Devin Townsend Project – “Higher”

Biggest disappointment: Outliving Lemmy.

Jean-Luc Ricard

#10. Madder Mortem  // Red in Tooth and Claw
#9. Ulcerate // Shrines of Paralysis
#8. Ihsahn // Arktis.
#7. Moonsorrow // Jumalten aika
#6. Mithras // On Strange Loops
#5. Hammers of Misfortune // Dead Revolution
#4. Wormrot // Voices
#3. Thy Catafalque // Meta
#2. Hail Spirit Noir // Mayhem in Blue
#1. Vektor // Terminal Redux – They were my number one back in 2011 and, wouldn’t you know it, they’ve gone and done it again. Super technical and wildly adventurous, Terminal Redux is a progressive thrash masterpiece that pushes Vektor‘s sound further than ever before. Despite its progressive leanings, the record never feels self-indulgent, with excellent songcraft and perfect pacing meaning its seventy three minutes absolutely fly by. Thrash metal at its absolute peak.

Honorable Mentions:

Revocation // Great Is Our Sin
The Dillinger Escape Plan
// Dissociation
Opeth // Sorceress
Katatonia // The Fall of Hearts
Polyptych // Defying the Metastasis
Deftones // Gore
Inverloch // Distance | Collapsed
Vainaja // Verenvalaja
Martyrdöd // List
Root // Kärgeräs – Return from Oblivion
Jute Gyte // Perdurance
Be’lakor // Vessels
Tid // Fix idé

Sentynel (Our intrepid IT mastermind and resident hacker-buster)

#10. Kryptos // Burn Up the Night
#9. Myrath // Legacy
#8. Novembre // Ursa
#7. Dark Tranquility // Atoma
#6. Witherscape // The Northern Sanctuary
#5. Three Trapped Tigers // Silent Earthling
#4. Saor // Guardians
#3. Oceans of Slumber // Winter
#2. Esben and the Witch // Older Terrors
#1. Haken // Affinity – I loved The Mountain, and Affinity is at least as good. Catchy, clever, and free with its 80s references without feeling tired, it’s consistently excellent and a joy to listen to. Several tracks from the record could easily have been my Song o’ the Year, but “The Architect” takes it (bonus points for sysadmin-friendly lyrics and generally being excellent coding music).

Honorable Mentions:

FOES // The Summit Lies Skyward
Blues Pills // Lady in Gold
Theocracy // Ghost Ship

Song o’ the Year: Haken –  “The Architect”

Best Thing I Missed in 2015: Shepherds of Cassini // Helios Forsaken


#10. Wildernessking // Mystical Futures
#9. 40 Watt Sun // Wider than the Sky
#8. Hail Spirit Noir // Mayhem in Blue
#7. Oceans of Slumber // Winter
#6. Vektor // Terminal Redux
#5. Barishi // Blood from the Lion’s Mouth
#4. Khemmis // Hunted
#3. The Dillinger Escape Plan // Dissociation 
#2. Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas // Mariner
#1. Inter Arma // Paradise Gallows –   Inter Arma’s magical conglomeration of sludge, death, and prog has hooked itself onto my brain like nothing else in 2016. Many albums this year have stormed into my heart, left their imprint, and rapidly stormed away; like many things in life their impact is fleeting and my feelings can only be connected to certain moments and incidences of my life. Paradise Gallows, on the other hand, has moved with me – it’s never really left my side. I didn’t really understand it at first either, but the more I listened the more I was able to connect to its huge emotional and musical range. It’s an album that moves with the patient force of tectonic plates and the moment that the plates collided was glorious. Lyrically it’s captivating, production-wise it’s expansive and immersive, musically it’s diverse and (for me) timeless, but most importantly as an album it feels complete: it’s a work of art sent from paradise itself.

Honorable Mentions:

Inverloch // Distance | Collapsed
Blood Incantation // Starspawn
Xoth // Invasion of the Tentacube

Song o’ the Year: Oceans of Slumber“Winter”

Huck N’ Roll

#10. Dark Tranquillity // Atoma
#9. Gygax // Critical Hits
#8. Gojira // Magma
#7. The Reticent // On the Eve of a Goodbye
#6. Neurosis // Fires Within Fires
#5. Khemmis // Hunted
#4. Fates Warning // Theories of Flight
#3. Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas // Mariner
#2. Haken // Affinity
#1. Darkher // Realms – No album in 2016 really put me in a tizzy, but there were a lot of “really good” albums as opposed to “excellent.” Of all those, the one I came back to most often was Darkher’s Realms. Superb yet sparse arrangements, haunting vocals, and stellar production added up to a gripping and immersive record. To quote AMG’s legendary Grymm, Darkher’s “ethereal songwriting and emotional singing” made this one of the most compelling listens of the year. Realms was the cream of the doom metal crop – and metal in general – for 2016, and I can’t wait to hear what the multi-talented Jayn Wissenberg throws our way in the future.

Darkher - Realms

Honorable Mentions:

Blues Pills // Lady in Gold
Deftones // Gore
Spiritual Beggars // Sunrise to Sundown
Sumerlands // Sumerlands

Biggest Disappointment: Myself, for not liking the new Meshuggah album. Again.

Song o’ the Year: Deftones“Hearts/Wires”


#10. Spiritual Beggars // Sunrise & Sundown
#9. 40 Watt Sun // Wider than the Sky
#8. Khemmis // Hunted
#7. Mithras // On Strange Loops
#6. Vredehammer // Violator
#5. Avenged Sevenfold // The Stage
#4. Fates Warning // Theories of Flight
#3. Witherscape // The Northern Sanctuary
#2. Dark Tranquillity // Atoma
#1. King Goat // Conduit – How often does an album open up an entire subgenre for you? I had avoided doom metal for years, having only heard the extremely slow droning type and understanding it to be the standard. King Goat opened my eyes with their amazing record Conduit, which is the epitome of grandeur and consistently engaging songwriting. The quality and diversity of the vocal delivery is the star of the album, and not for a second does the music drag or bore. Through this record I came to understand the power of doom metal and have since enjoyed several others, with decades still to catch up on. But this came first, and it has not been surpassed for me all through 2016.

King Goat - Conduit

Honorable Mentions:

Opeth // Sorceress
High Spirits // Motivator
Insomnium // Winter’s Gate
Sumerlands // Sumerlands

Song o’ the Year: King Goat – “Conduit”

Treble Yell

#10. Anaal Nathrakh // The Whole of the Law
#9. Destruction // Under Attack
#8. Darkthrone // Arctic Thunder
#7. Vektor // Terminal Redux
#6. Violet Cold // Magic Night
#5.  Metallica // Hardwired… To Self Destruct
#4. Conceived By Hate // Death & Beyond
#3. Katatonia // The Fall of Hearts
#2. Megadeth // Dystopia
#1. Anthrax // For All Kings – The metal vintner’s can all agree that this year bore a very good crop and of those musical grapes For All Kings proved the sweetest of wines. Despite releasing early in the year my priapism hasn’t flagged even in the face of an overwhelming torrent of quality albums, a testament to its excellence and staying power. The potential hinted at on Worship Music is realized in full on For All Kings, a stunning return to Anthrax’s salad days of Among the Living and their magnum opus, The Persistence of Time. It’s not just that the riffs are neck-breaking or the vocals anthemic, nor is the overall standard of musicianship being oxygen-sappingly high what makes this album so special. No, what makes For All Kings worthy of superlative praise is that Anthrax for the first time in years sound downright dangerous. The album isn’t flawless as a couple of tracks towards the end don’t quite measure up to the sparkling brilliance of the first half — something Steel Druhm adroitly observed in his review – but that doesn’t take away from what is undoubtedly one of the best thrash albums of the last 15 years.  2016 finally got something right.

Honorable Mentions:

Darkher // Realms
Mithras // On Strange Loops
Testament // Brotherhood of the Snake
The Dillinger Escape Plan // Dissociation
Devin Townsend Project // Transcendence

Song o’ the Year: Katatonia – “Passer”

Lord Lucan

#10. Uada // Devoid of Light
#9. Thrawsunblat // Metachthonia
#8. Alcest // Kodama
#7. Wildernessking // Mystical Future
#6. Haken // Affinity
#5. Negură Bunget // Zi
#4. Darkestrah // Turan
#3. Moonsorrow // Jumalten Aika
#2. Saor // Guardians
#1. Messa // Belfry – I find drawing up lists like this to be an exhausting process as the music I gravitate towards depends enormously on my frame of mind at any given time. I spent hours agonizing between Belfry and Guardians for the number one spot, but in the end it was Messa that won out. With perhaps the exception of ingesting various combinations of weird and wonderful chemicals, music is the ultimate form of escapism, and in terms of sheer hypnotic wonder, Belfry is in a league of its own. A diverse creation with a plethora of catchy riffs and an utterly haunting vocal performance, Messa snuck up out of nowhere to deliver one of the most potent and memorable doom records, not just of 2016, but of the last decade. There’s no two ways about it; Belfry is a work of art.


Honorable Mentions:

Fuath // I
Goatpsalm // Downstream
Witchery // In His Infernal Majesty’s Service

Song o’ the Year: Moonsorrow“Ruttolehto incl. Päivättömän Päivän Kansa”

Biggest Disappointment: Winterfylleth // The Dark Hereafter

Ferrous Beuller

#10. Death Angel // The Evil Divide
#9. Darkher // Realms
#8. Unfathomable Ruination // Finitude
#7. Anaal Nathrakh // The Whole of The Law
#6. Mantar // Ode to The Flame
#5. Messa // Belfry
#4. The King is Blind // Our Father
#3. Khemmis // Hunted
#2. Ihsahn // Arktis
#1. King Goat // Conduit – In a year rife with major label releases, the metallic spirit of 2016 was defined by those artists toiling in obscurity. King Goat strode out of the ether with a record of captivating and gargantuan doom metal, seething with planet sized riffs and exemplary vocals. Conduit not only showcases a level of songwriting to shame infinitely more established bands, but it does so without compromising an inch of the genre’s leaden reputation. This album has dominated my listening rotation since its release and continues to etch its way further into my bones, bold and unapologetic; a veritable David turned Goliath.

Honorable Mentions:

Oceans of Slumber // Winter
Haken // Affinity
Mithras// On Strange Loops
Thy Catafalque // Meta
Ortega // Sacred States
Clouds // Departe

Song o’ the Year: Ihsahn“Celestial Violence”

Dr. Wvrm

#10. Thy Catafalque // Meta
#9. Uada // Devoid of Light
#8. Xoth // Invasion of the Tentacube
#7. Haken // Affinity
#6. Gomorrah // The Haruspex
#5. Dormant Ordeal // We Had It Coming
#4. Insomnium // Winter’s Gate
#3. Khemmis // Hunted
#2. Vektor // Terminal Redux
#1. Dark Tranquillity // Atoma – As anyone who’s ridden in my car in the last two months can attest, Dark Tranquillity‘s stunning return to form has yet to leave my CD player. Vektor complicated matters more than I would have liked, but in the end I cannot resist fanboying out over an album that reignited my passion for one of my all-time favorite acts. In a 2016 slammed with huge melodeath releases, Atoma not only justifies Dark Tranquillity‘s continued existence but re-solidifies their name in melodeath’s upper echelon. Atoma is the album to beat for the genre’s next album cycle. Good luck to the field, cause this one will be hard to top.

Honorable Mentions:

Borknagar// Winter Thrice
Be’lakor// Vessels
Wormrot // Voices
Nails// You Will Never Be One of Us

Song o’ the Year: Fleshgod Apocalypse – “The Fool”

Disappointment o’ the Year: Gojira – Magma

Eldritch Elitistö

#10. Xoth // Invasion of the Tentacube
#9. The Vision Bleak // The Unknown
#8. Dark Tranquillity // Atoma
#7. DGM // The Passage
#6. Violet Cold // Magic Night
#5. Morrow // Covenant of Teeth
#4. Vektor // Terminal Redux
#3. Wardrum // Awakening
#2. Anaal Nathrakh // The Whole of the Law
#1. Khemmis // Hunted – When I first heard Hunted back in October, I began a desperate search for a record in 2016 that could surpass it. After all, this would be my first top ten list at AMG, and there was no way I’d ever be caught dead having my number one record being such an obvious pull! Ultimately, my search proved fruitless. With Hunted, Khemmis crafted a masterpiece in the vein of my favorite bands in the genre (ie: Pallbearer and While Heaven Wept) while in many ways surpassing them. Crushingly heavy and hauntingly beautiful, Hunted effortlessly earns a place alongside records like Nightfall and Vast Oceans Lachrymose as one of my favorite works of doom metal.

Honorable Mentions:

Whispered // Metsutan – Songs of the Void
Polyptych // Defying the Metastasis
Inquisition // Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith

Song o’ the Year: Khemmis – “Hunted”


#10. Mistur // In Memoriam
#9. Ihsahn // Arktis
#8. Fates Warning // Theories of Flight
#7. Haken // Affinity
#6. Fleshgod Apocalypse // King
#5. Saor // Guardians
#4. Insomnium // Winter’s Gate
#3. Khemmis // Hunted
#2. Witherscape // The Northern Sanctuary
#1. Vektor // Terminal Redux – 2016 in metal has been one hell of a ride and there’s been a great number of killer releases this year. When it came time to compile my year end list however, there was no doubt in my mind which album I wanted at the top. From it’s heady, science fiction themes to it’s incredible flow and composition, Terminal Redux gave me everything I could possibly want in a concept album, and then some. Vektor‘s masterclass release is a triumph in both creativity and execution, and for that they have more than earned my top album of the year.

Honorable Mentions:

Dark Forest // Beyond The Veil
Alcest // Kodama
Thy Catafalque // Meta
Frost* // Falling Satellites

Song o’ the Year: Fates Warning “The Light and Shade of Things”


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  • ashcindersmoke

    We appreciate everyone’s hard work, especially these lists! I tried making a top 10 a couple weeks ago and ended up just sad and frustrated. I’ll just keep listening to Hunted until I get sick of it.

  • Martin Knap

    Not enough Insomnium.______ When will the overlords post their venerable lists?

    • GardensTale

      Between now and new year’s.

  • TheTransmuted

    Great lists. A happy holiday to AMG. Thank you for directing this reader to some incredible music this year. May next year be even more fruitful on the front of metal. Without solicitation, here’s my best-of list for 2016. Would love to see what other readers found to be awesome!

    The Top 25:

    25. Spellcaster – Night Hides the World
    24. Cult of Luna + Julie Christmas – Mariner
    23. Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue
    22. King Goat – Conduit
    21. Polyptych – Defying the Metastasis
    20. Sumac – What One Becomes
    19. Inverloch – Distance | Collapse
    18. Saor – Guardians
    17. Cobalt – Slow Forever
    16. Départe – Failure, Subside
    15. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    14. Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    13. Ihsahn – Arktis
    12. Wormed – Krighsu
    11. Thy Catafalque – Meta
    10. Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule
    9. Car Bomb – Meta
    8. Schammasch – Triangle
    7. Zhrine – Unortheta
    6. Alcest – Kodama
    5. Mithras – On Strange Loops
    4. Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    3. Khemmis – Hunted
    2. Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    1. Vektor – Terminal Redux

  • Reese Burns

    Here’s my list, for anyone who cares:
    10. 16 – Lifespan of a Moth
    9. Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia
    8. The Soulscape Project – Liberation
    7. Brymir – Breathe Fire to the Sun
    6. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    5. Uada – Devoid of Light
    4. Saor – Guardians
    3. Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
    2. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    1. Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage

    This was a brilliant year for heavy metal. Lots of bands I’d never heard of caught me off guard, and my favourite band put out an album that breathed new life into their career. I wanna thank each and every writer for their work. We all appreciate it more than yall know. Also, big round of applause for Roquetin for his Song O’ the Year, and to GardensTale for putting A7X on his list. Hope yall had a good year in spite of the shitshow 2016 was. Here’s to an Angry Metal 2017!

    • TheTransmuted

      Lifespan of a Moth is a solid and underrated album. Didn’t get a ton of press, but man is that thing good. Nice picks!

      • Reese Burns

        Thanks! I was wondering if it would get some love around here, glad you enjoyed it too!

    • Roquentin

      Thank you for recognising that that Brujeria song is the only rational choice for song of the year!

    • Scionyde

      Did you mean Slayer of Gods, not Breathe Fire to the Sun? Because that album came out 5 years ago.

      • Reese Burns

        Huh, that’s extremely strange. It’s listed as a 2016 release on iTunes, I feel a bit dumb now, but thanks for clearing things up!

  • razerwolf

    Well you say you might as well be Metal Hammer, they went bust a week ago too – you might be able to pick up even more reviewers.

    • Survival of the trvest!

    • Reese Burns

      Metal Hammer folded?

    • Oscar Albretsen

      didn’t read MH too often, but didn’t have any isssues with them. That’s too bad they’re closing the doors. :(

  • Morrowind542

    I’m surprised that King didn’t get more love here

    • GardensTale

      Enjoyed it but didn’t really stick for me.

  • These lists, esp in 2016 b/c there was so much metal getting released, are always a reminder “I gotta check that out still.” Unfathomable Ruination-Finitude for me today…totally forgot that was out :(

    • Kronos

      Enjoy the year’s best brutal death release!

      • Jrod1983

        Completely agree. Had to edit my own list to include it, can’t believe it wasn’t on there to begin with!

  • WhamBamSam

    Nice to see Xoth getting some love here, as the rest of the metal blogosphere has largely missed them. Makes sense, as this is one of the only places Invasion of the Tentacube got a review.

    My top 10ish:
    (ish) Monument – Hair of the Dog
    (ish) Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
    10. First Fragment – Daesin
    9. Myrath – Legacy
    8. Revocation – Great Is Our Sin
    7. Avantasia – Ghostlights
    6. Chthe’ilist – Le dernier Crepescule
    5. Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution
    4. Euphoria – Operation: Genesis
    3. Holy Grail – Times of Pride and Peril
    2. Xoth – Invasion of the Tentacube
    1. Vektor – Terminal Redux

    • GardensTale

      I’ve been enjoying them a lot this week. Those infernal riffs for the opener, title track and andiluvian annihilation are gold!

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Oh, crackers, I forgort Ghostlights was this year! I LOVE that album! well, I can fortunately still edit my post to add it (just replaced Green Day. Loved that album, but it definitely wasn’t metal). It’s still probably too low on my list at 5, though. That album consumed me for like 2 whole months after it came out!

    • Xoth should have been on my list too! Fab album. I dropped the ball there… Fortunately others picked it back up for me

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Agree about Xoth being under the radar. It’s been in and out of my top 10 and is currently residing in my honourable mentions.
      Cracking good and fun album

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Myrath and Avantasia were far and away the most enjoyable sing-along albums of the year. I had enough problems with both to have to drop them off my list but I probably wore those CDs to the bone this year. Nice choices.

      • WhamBamSam

        Let the Jorn descend upon you!

      • El_Cuervo

        Heck yeah. “A Restless Heart and Obsidian Skies” was competing for song of the year.

        • Dr. Wvrm

          “Master of the Pendulum” for me, it’s impossible to play that song only once.

  • Reese Burns

    That’s an honest shame. I didn’t read MH too often, but fuck, you gotta feel for all of those out of a job.

    • That and the fact it’s the end of an era as more long running metal mags go out of business. Sad to see.

      • Reese Burns

        I discovered a lot of great music through their sampler CDs. I’d be lying if I said that MH wasn’t an important part of the development of my taste in music.

  • Diego Molero

    Here’s my top 10 of the year(not that you should really care, but anyway)

    (ish) King Goat – Conduit
    10- First Fragment – Dasein
    9- Hannes Grossmann – The Crypts of Sleep
    8- Xoth – Invasion of the Tentacube
    7- Mortichnia – Heir to Scoria and Ash
    6- The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
    5- Vektor – Terminal Redux
    4- Saor – Guardians
    3- Ihsahn – Arktis.
    2- Latitudes – Old Sunlight
    1- Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony

    • We care!

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I love The Unknown, in and of itself, but also because it introduced me to The Vision Bleak. I’m sure Dr. A will have something to say about it in his list.

    • Reese Burns

      If I did more than three honourable mentions, Dasein definitely woulda gotten a mention. That album is killer.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      I care, especially because you got #1 completely correct.

      • Diego Molero

        Oh yes, you can take all the credit for that! Love that album. I have read your review like 6 times this year.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      That’s a decent looking list with 4 from mine. Latitudes I completely missed will have to check it out

      • Diego Molero

        You really should, love that album. If you do, tell me what you think of it!

      • dedseed1

        “Body Within A Body” sucked me in and the rest of the album is just as good.

    • AgonMcDuck

      Man I am thrilled to see someone has Hyperion at #1. It was really damn close on my own list. Most played record of the year for me, for sure.


      Props to your (2)(9) & (10) picks…

  • Professor Confusion

    Can’t believe Oak Pantheon didn’t crack these lists! Easily my AOTY. There are a few highly rated ones here I haven’t heard, have to check them out.

    • Zach Ward

      I’d prob put it around 13th for me. It’s definitely underrated.

    • Dr. Wvrm

      I got to it too late in the game, as I’ve been spinning non-stop since I first heard it… the day after locking my list in. Climb has quickly become one of my favorite tracks of the year.

  • Eldritch Elitist

    How the hell did you obtain a picture of our newbie meet-up? That was supposed to be a secret, dammit!

    • You’ve all been chipped.

      • GardensTale

        I’ve had blood in my stool for a few months now. Where was this chip placed?

        • Sorry, that’s proprietary information.

        • sir_c

          I think you should ask Chip

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I don’t think I’ll be complaining anymore about the lack of staff photos.

  • Diego Molero

    Big thank you to all of the people that are involved on this website. It has become a huge part of my daily life and I don’t know what I would do without it (nor do I want to know). So thank you all!

    • Serjien


  • SegaGenitals

    While I am still sifting through 2016’s offerings … My current top 10 in no particular order:

    10. Moonsorrow – Jumalken Aika
    9. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    8. Gojira – Magma
    7. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    6. Neurosis – The Fires Within
    5. Blood Incantation – Starspawn
    4. Revocation – Great is Our Sin
    3. Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
    2. Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    1. Mithras – On Strange Loops

    Best Song: Meshuggah – Monstrosity
    Biggest Disappointment: Opeth – Sorceress
    Best live show I saw this year: Ne Obliviscaris

    • Satthia

      Never heard Mithras before this, omg thank you

      • SegaGenitals

        Very unique band.

      • GardensTale

        Mithras is boss, it’s on my list too. Great record.

    • Ugo Poifol

      I swear there’s no band on Earth as clean as NeO when it comes to live.

    • FutureBeyondSatan

      Too much Vektor.
      Monstrocity is a kick ass song!

  • GardensTale

    The greatest thing about these lists is seeing both how much our tastes differ and how some albums still appear on these lists time and time again. Vektor didn’t appear on my list but it did on nearly everyone else’s, often #1. Transcendence had a #1 but barely appeared anywhere else. You can’t account for taste… But consensuses still exist.

    All you readers, thanks for visiting. i won’t say you’re the real stars, that’s us, but you’re important too! Love y’all!

    • I am surprised I was the only one with Transcendence on there, besides I believe one honorable mention!

      • GardensTale

        I used to love Devin Townsend, but his recent work left me fairly cold. While Transcendence had enough good tracks to not disappoint me, it had too many uninspiring ones to put it on the list for me. Didn’t really help that the opener was just unnecessary and the two subsequent tracks were the weakest ones, so whenever I did listen to it I just wound up skipping to track 4.

        • I loved SYL. Some of his solo albums didn’t do it for me, but I love every moment of Transcendence.

        • JL

          Secret Sciences is an amazing song. Listen again.

          • I love Stormbending and Failure. The solo on Failure is awe inspiring

  • Kelli Caltabiano

    King Fleshgod Apocalypse

  • srethx

    Been reading this blog since the beginning of the year. Thanks for the great site with great writing which, thankfully, doesn’t overrate every band. Thanks for introducing great music and curse you for making me spend money on said music.

    Top ten from this great year in metal:
    1. Iamthemorning – Lighthouse
    2. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    3. Cult of Luna – Mariner
    4. The Reticent – On the Eve of a Goodbye
    5. Barishi – Blood from the Lion’s Mouth
    6. King Goat – Conduit
    7. Mistur – In Memoriam
    8. Northern Crown – The Others
    9. Eths – Ankaa
    10. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate

    Thy Catafalque – Meta
    Uada – Devoid of Light
    Darkher – Realms
    Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    Departe – Failure, Subside

    Top Songs:
    Vektor – Charging the Void
    King Goat – Conduit
    Messa – Blood

  • dedseed1

    HUGE thanks to AMG for making me realize how horrible metalsucks is and what a quality metal blog should be like! My list is small and in no particular order.

    Car Bomb – Meta
    Oni – Ironshore
    Candiria – While They Were Sleeping
    Oceans Of Slumber – Winter
    Shokran – Exodus
    Alcest – Kadoma
    Knocked Loose – Laugh Tracks
    Latitudes – Old Sunlight

    Song of the year (3 way tie)
    Oceans Of Slumber – Winter
    Oni – The Science
    Source – Forgiveness

    Honorable mentions
    Fates Warning

  • Zach Ward

    Lack of Insomnium makes me kind of angry.
    10. Vale of Pnath – II
    9. Unfathomable Ruination – Finitude
    8. First Fragment – Dasein
    7. Saor – Guardians
    6. Be’lakor – Vessels
    5. Anciients – Voice of the Void
    4. Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    3. Winterhorde – Maestro
    2. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    1. Vektor – Terminal Redux

    Yall’s lists needs more Insomnium.

    • Ugo Poifol

      Yours is close to mine. I’ll defend my boys Textures, Mistur and In Mourning ’til the end though (why no mention of these masterpieces at all ??).

      • Zach Ward

        Saw no mention of anciients either. Been a tough year to list i guess. So much good metal, so little space.

      • Diego Molero

        In Mourning is my favorite band, but I was truly disappointed with Afterglow. I mean, I really like it, but I was expecting much, much more.

      • dedseed1

        Phenotype didn’t click with me like their previous albums did (HUGE Textures fan since Drawing Circles). Maybe a few more spins will do the trick.

    • LExpoZiod

      Bit late but +1 for Winterhorde! That album really grew on me and ended up being one of my favourites this year. “They Came with Eyes of Fire” is my song of the year.

      • Zach Ward

        Winterhorde was my number 2 pretty much all year. Wasn’t till recently that I thought that Winter’s Gate was better. I’d probably choose Heart of Coryphee as my fav song but hell yea that album is good. Sad to see its not on a single list.

  • Jason

    That’s a lot of Vektor. I feel like I’m missing out on something.

    • Zach Ward

      If you haven’t listened to it yet you definitely should. As everyone seems to think it’s the best, as do I. Also unrelated comment, Boo on the raiders Go Broncos (Still Crying on the inside because of last night :(

      • TheTransmuted

        Died on the inside last night. Next year. Damn o-line.

      • Jason

        I was rooting for the Broncos, too.

  • EnslavedEld73

    10. Borknagar
    9. Sarke
    8. Panphage
    7. Wildernessking
    6. Oranssi Pazuzu
    5. Diamond Head
    4. Stilla
    3. Swans
    2. Darkthrone
    1. Voivod

    • Lord Lucan

      Nice to see some Panphage love. Sweatpants and balaclavas for everyone!

      • EnslavedEld73

        So I changed my mind. I listened to the new Still record the other day and I decided I don’t love it as much as the last Stilla record. So I would like to replace that entry with Death Angel or Chthe’ilist. Take your pick. Sorry for all the confusion and frustration this has caused everyone.

    • Darren Simes

      The Borknagar album was great.

  • The Nerd.

    Lack of Insomnium makes me sad. Thanks to all involved with the website, I don’t know what my mornings would look like without this place.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Good lists. Tough to argue at all with Khemmis or Vektor being so high on so many of them!. My personal list (for anyone that cares):

    10.Fates Warning – “Theories of Flight”
    9.Avenged Sevenfold – “The Stage”
    8.Delain – “Moonbathers”
    7.Alcest – “Kodama”
    6.Katatonia – “The Fall of Hearts”
    5.Green Day – “Revolution Radio”
    4. Opeth – “Sorceress”
    3.Vektor – “Terminal Redux”
    2.Darkher – “Realms”
    1.Khemmis – “Hunted”

  • Kronos

    Good lists all around, I’m pleased to see Sentynel showing some love to Three Trapped Tigers. I have not listened to that album enough, but that band is awesome.

    • Sentyneli

      They were a new discovery this year for me – caught them at ArcTanGent and was super impressed. I admit if you’d asked me to guess who else on the staff was a TTT fan I wouldn’t have picked you!

      • Kronos

        Dude they are fantastic, easily one of my favorite bands or there! I listen to them all the time. Adam Betts makes most metal drummers look like amateurs.

        • Sentyneli

          He sold me a t-shirt last time I saw them. Cool bloke.

          • Kronos

            Did they play Reset?

          • Sentyneli

            I don’t think so, alas, though the internet informs me they played it on one of the other shows on that tour.

          • Kronos

            Look up the drum playthrough on YouTube, it’s insane.

          • Sentyneli

            Yeah, I’m impressed. He’s damn good live, too.

          • Westpaceagle

            Underground dissonant/avant DM band from Hong Kong called Karmacipher has some insane drumming. Trying to rep them up think their release this year is a stunner

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Kronos has ousted these guys a few times over on the forum. Very cool band.

  • Alex Benedict

    all my favorite albums from this year snubbed :/
    Xoth is fucking awesome though, great amg find

    • GardensTale

      Share your list! We might learn a thing or two :)

      • Alex Benedict

        I didn’t listen to a whole lot of 2016 albums so I’ll just do top 5
        1) Hope for the dying – legacy
        2) shadow of intent – primordial
        3) sithu aye – set course for andromeda
        4) the algorithm – brute force
        5) waveshaper – station nova

    • Roquentin

      Which ones were snubbed? I’ve only heard Xoth yesterday (once my list was long compiled) and it absolutely rocks.

      • Alex Benedict

        By far my favorite album from this year is Hope for the Dying – Legacy. They’re a pretty unknown band sadly

    • Luke_22

      Man I need to get on that Xoth album, sounds very cool.

  • brklyner

    I’ll spare you my top 50 list, but below is my top 10. Looks like almost everything in it ended up on one of the reviewer lists here. Glad I’m not the only one who got hooked on Messa. But I’m surprised that A.M.S.G. doesn’t get more attention, here or elsewhere. To me Hostis Universi Generis was easily the BM record of the here, with great songwriting, captivating hooks and a devastating, bleak atmosphere. And I might be biased toward Anicon because they are hometown heroes and I get to see them play frequently, but Exegeses to me is a killer record.

    10. Revocation: Great is our Sin
    9. Thy Catafalque: Meta
    8. Anicon: Exegeses
    7. Khemmis: Hunted
    6. Inter Arma: Paradise Gallows
    5. Ulcerate: Shrines of Paralysis
    4. Blood Incantation: Starspawn
    3. Messa: Belfry
    2. A.M.S.G.: Hostis Universi Generis
    1. Vektor: Terminal Redux

  • mtlman1990

    This is my top ten. If anyone cares…
    10. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    9. Khemmis – Hunted
    8. In The Woods – Pure
    7. Insomnium- Winters Gate
    6. Haken – Afinity
    5. Mistur – In Memoriam
    4. Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    3. Mare Cognitum/Aureole – Resonance
    2. Devin Townsend – Transcendence
    1. Vektor – Terminal Redux

    Honorable mentions:
    Deviant Process – Paroxysm
    Witherscape – Northern Sanctuary
    Void Omnia – Dying Light
    Opeth – Sorceress
    Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      We all care!
      Good to see Void Omnia mentioned, yours is the first list I’ve noticed it on.
      Really good album thats flown totally under the radar in a busy year.

      • AgonMcDuck

        Void Omnia album was great. Was in my top 15-ish.

    • Hammersmith

      That Hyperion album was really good.

  • Westpaceagle

    Thank you AMG and co! Like pac’s mom you are appreciated. Had Vektor as my number 1 and King Goat as my 4 so you have validated my taste and restored a modicum of my faith in humanity. Peace and happy New year to all!

  • Happy Holidays to everyone!May 2017 be better than 2016 in every possible aspect!Thank you AMG for keeping company in a daily basis and i hope all the contributors that make this site possible manage to stand your ground in the metal blogosphere(as you still do),and keep the identity of this blog as clean and focused as it is!!I see we are posting lists so i jump the list-train and here is my top 10:
    10: Cultes des Ghoules – Coven,or evil ways instead of love
    9: Eternal Champion – The armor of Ire
    8.Mithras – On strange loops
    7.Thy Catafalque – Μετα
    6.Ulcerate – Shrines of paralysis
    5.Zeal and Ardor – Devil is fine6
    4.Antaeus – Condemnation
    3.Vektor – Terminal Redux
    2.Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder
    1.Deathspell Omega – Synarchy of molten bones

    Honourable Mentions : Book of Sand – Occult Anarchist Propaganda
    Agatus – The Eternalist
    Aenaon – Hypnosophy
    Plebean Grandstand – False Highs True Lows
    Hail Spirit Noire – Mayhem in Blue

  • Norfair Legend

    Not sure my top ten but these would exist in some order; Echelon, Circle of Dust, Wormrot, Morgue Supplier, Witchcraft, Norma Jean, Khemmis, Dead When I Found Her, Candiria.

  • Eryops

    My list is pretty pathetic for this year — I think I only bought two 2016 releases:

    1. Moonsorrow – Umalten Aika
    2. Spellcaster – Night Hides the World

    The best part about not buying a lot is that end of the year lists practically create themselves.

  • Arsath

    Here’s mine based on what I have actually listened to this year:
    10: Obscura – Akroasis
    9: Wormed – Krighsu
    8: Vipassi – Sunyata
    7: Fallujah – Dreamless
    6: Be’lakor – Vessels
    5: Sunburst – Fragments of Creation
    4: Sunburst – No Heroes (different band)
    3: King Goat – Conduit
    2: Sylvaine – Wistful
    1: The Reticent – On the Eve of a Goodbye

    Honourable Mentions:
    Neurosis – Fire within Fires
    Mindsedge – Shades

    Seems I have a lot more music to listen to now…

  • Adrian Rigter

    My top ten (and first post):
    10 Harakiri for the Sky – III: Trauma
    09 Saor – Guardians
    08:Darkher – Realms
    07: Khemmis – Hunted
    06: Alcest – Kodama
    05: Rimfrost – Rimfrost
    04: Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    03: Oranssi Pazuzu – Varahtelija
    02: Vredehammer – Violator
    01: Vainaja – Verinvalaja

    Honourable Mentions:

    An oddly great year for Finnish metal.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Rimfrost!! Good man.

      • SegaGenitals

        Solid album.

      • Adrian Rigter

        Loved it. They out-Immortal’d Abbath!:)

    • Dudeguy Jones

      Love Vainaja!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    List overload!!!!
    Pleasantly surprising is the lack of Oranssi Pazuzu, this years most overrated album.
    Shocking, was the mental image of Al Kikuras doing hot pants Yoga to Devon Townsend.
    Gratifying, is all the Vektor love, confirming my long held belief that AMG is the last bastion of good taste in the blogosphere.
    Creepily similar to my list is Jean Luc’s. Clearly a chap with good breeding.
    Hi fives and thanks to all you staff writers for your efforts which make my daily AMG stop a great way to start my day.

    • I’ve always liked you.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Mayhem in Blue at no. 2 was a class act. I’m still ordering my list but it’s going to be somewhere in the top 3 for me.

    • AgonMcDuck

      I liked Valonielu but I can’t get myself to finish Varahtelija. It has moments of brilliance but it’s exhausting to listen to. :'(

    • Stevhan The Invincible

      To those with the good sense of avoiding overhyped Oranssi Pazuzu I have one word of encouragement: Atomikylä! Quite unbelievably it seems their album is in nobody’s AOTY list but mine. They’re a band combining both the best musical elements and musicians of O.P and Dark Buddha Rising into one occult mess of heavy DOOM/drone/psych jams. Those who witnessed it live at Roadburn will never forget it.

    • My mission is to get them to play Transcendence DURING hot yoga

  • Eli Valcik

    1 Vektor-Terminal Redux
    2 Khemmis-Hunted
    3 Mistur-In Memorium
    4 Messa-Belfry
    5 Darkher-Realms
    6 Ulcerate-Shrines of Paralysis
    7 Mammoth Weed Wizzard Bastard-Y Proffwyd Dwyll
    8 Spiritus Mortis-The Year is One
    9 Thrawsunblat-Metachthonia
    10 Phobonoid-S/T

    Song of the Year: Recharging the Void by Vektor and Hunted by Khemmis

    Honorable Mentions
    1 Wildernessking-Mystical Future
    2 Auroch-Mute Books
    3 Deathspell Omega-The Synarchy of Molten Bones (would of probably
    made my list but I still haven’t spent too much time with this record)
    4 Thy Catafalque-Meta

    I am a huge doom fan and I have loved Khemmis since the day that
    they released their first album and I was blown away by “Hunted’
    but nothing could beat Vektor’s “Terminal Redux.”

    • Reese Burns

      About time we see Thrawsunblat on some more lists! Good picks!

      • Eli Valcik

        I know, I was really surprised that not a lot of people included it, I loved that album.

      • Dr. A.N. Grier


      • Monsterth Goatom

        Yep, aweseome. Still stops me in my tracks when I hear it it’s so good.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      Your 1 and 2 are exactly the same as mine

      • Eli Valcik

        That’s great, I’m glad someone has a similar taste in metal.

  • Mephisto

    Yes, even we ESL know that behind the moth eaten curtains of AMG circus Inc., it’s bloody business, where newby’s get tortured till every single last cynical syllable is wrenched out of there dying corpses. That we on the consumers end shyly look away and search for a way to live with ourselves as we are being served a five star meal, while glancing at the crippled with theorie 25 hour workday, down in the dungeon of the kitchen. But we can’t help it. We are too, slaves of the system. My compass in hand, the metal needle always towards AMG. Going nowhere. Together.

    • You know too much! Here’s a nice, juicy steak.

      • Mephisto

        Yumyum, human flesh, what a treat for xmas

  • Shawn Cypher

    The first two are very strong.

    The rest were just randoms that came in mind which I liked.

    1) Zao – The Well-Intentioned Virus
    2) Khemmis – Hunted
    3) Sumerlands – s/t
    4) Abbath – s/t
    5) Soilwork – Death Resonance
    6) Alcest – Kodama
    7) Metallica – Hardwired
    8) Vektor
    9) Solution 45 – Pt 2
    10) Sumac – What One Becomes

  • RuySan

    No SubRosa?? This site is dead to me:(

    Khemmis would be my second album of the year (after you know what) if it wasn’t for that awful overloud mastering.

    The only thing i can hope for is for the release of Guitar Hero:Khemmis videogame so I can have a decent mastering.

  • Treble Yell

    Better buy the Messa album.

  • Chris

    Huh, apparently I need to give that Vektor another listen. I wasn’t all that impressed the first time, and never went back to it.

    Anyhoo, my personal top 10:

    Album of the year: Anaal Nathrak – The Whole of the Law.

    2. Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary (honestly, this one is a very close second. More like #1a)
    3. David Bowie – Blackstar (not metal, but…Bowie)
    4. Khemmis – Hunted
    5. Goatpsalm – Downstream
    6. Vainaja – Verenvelaja
    7. The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
    8. Ihsahn – Arktis
    9. The Gorge – Thousand Year Fire
    10. Oak Pantheon – In Pieces

    Song of the year: Witherscape – Marionette.
    2. Fleshgod Apocalypse – The Fool.
    3. Anaal Nathrakh – Hold Your Children Close and Pray For Oblivion.
    4. David Bowie – Lazarus. (Put in context of what happened, this is the biggest gut punch of the
    year. I still have a really hard time listening to it, and can’t
    believe he’s really gone)
    5. Ihsahn – Frail.

    Disappointment of the year: Tie between Gojira’s Magma and Opeth’s Sorceress. Both had a couple really good songs, but overall were just so…boring.

    • GardensTale

      Marionette was super close to my song of the year, edged out only by Conduit. The sheer grandeur and theatrical drama without sacrificing songwriting quality… So good.

      • El_Cuervo

        It was on my shortlist of 6. Great track.

  • Here are Hidden Metal’s 2016 picks. Odd Cobalt and Hammers of Misfortune didn’t make many of your list’s, happy to see Khemmis and Vektor on most!

    10. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
    9. Blood Incantation- Starspawn
    8. Arcana13 – Danza Macabra
    7. Castle – Welcome To The Graveyard
    6. Moon Tooth – Chromaparagon
    5. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    4. Astronoid – Air
    3. Khemmis – Hunted
    2. Cobalt – Slow Forever
    1. Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution

  • Hammersmith

    TOP 10




    This is the list currently, there are some things I’ve still got to check out.


    • GardensTale


  • I feel kinda left out for not digging Vektor as much as everyone else. The instrumentation and lyrics are cool, but I guess the vocals make it not so enjoyable to me. And not enough instrumental diversity to justify 73m. Oh well.

    Seems like Sentynel has a taste closest to mine out of all the voters. Both Oceans and Esben are on my list too, as well as Blues Pills on honorable mention.

    • Vektor is very good, but I cannot listen through 73 minutes of the album without my attention wandering all over the place which means I can’t justify it as a top 10 album in my own list. Oh well.

    • Sentyneli

      Virtual high five! Esben was definitely the most surprising record I listened to this year. I can’t entirely put my finger on what it is exactly, but within a couple of minutes into the first time I heard it I knew it was something special. It’s one of those records where listening to it makes you feel like you’re somewhere else, I guess.

  • Frost15

    First things first – Happy Holidays to everyone!
    Next, Gorguts in only one list!!!!?? No way… Now I feel the need to post my top 10 just for that unconceivable miss:
    10 – Ihsahn – Arktis
    9 – Voivod – Post Society
    8 – Messa – Belfry
    7 – Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    6 – Wormed – Krighsu
    5 – Haken – Affinity
    4 – Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    3 – Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
    2 – Vektor – Terminal Redux
    1 – Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust

    • Frost15

      Honourable Mentions go to:
      Anciients, Blood Incantation and Meshuggah

    • I am surprised about Gorguts too!

      • Frost15

        Yeah Al, it’s borderline metal blasphemy! It’s one of the best albums Ive heard in my whole life. No doubt.

        • That EP and the Voivod EP are both fucking amazing. Canada killed it in ’16

  • Wilhelm

    10. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight
    9. Summerlands
    8. Alcest – Kodoma
    7. The Wounded – Sunset
    6. Novembre – Ursa
    5. Saor – Guardians
    4. Sylvaine – Wistful
    3. Agatus – The Eternalist
    2. Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika
    1. Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts

    The best sounding album is either Moonsorrow or Agatus (DR9 and DR10 respectively)

  • My list is all of the damn place right now, but so far I’ve got:

    10. Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution
    9. Spirtus Mortis – Year is One
    8. Khonsu – The Xun Protectorate
    7. The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
    6. King Goat – Conduit
    5. Anthrax – For All Kings
    4. Mistur – In Memoriam
    3. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    2. CB Murdoc – Here Be Dragons
    1. Madder Mortem – Blood on the Sand

  • BranMakMorn

    I’m not gonna make a top-10 list because here and there most of the albums I liked are listed. But I just want to add a few doom/stoner gems which seem absent (I found Khemmis kind of over-inflated TBH, and Conan was a disappointment):

    Tombstoned – Tombstoned
    Arcana 13 – Danza Macabra
    Blizaro – Cornucopia della Morte
    Lord Vicar – Gates of Flesh

    and mostly

    Goatess – Purgatory Under New Management

    Not sure there’s an album fuller of sheer fucking GROOVE than Goatess this year :p

  • One More Thing

    My Top 10 of 2016:
    1. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
    2. Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of the Law
    3. Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    4. Mantar – Ode to the Flame
    5. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    6. Unfathomable Ruination – Finitude
    7. Dark Tranquility – Atoma
    8. Venom Prison – Animus
    9. Wormed – Krighsu
    10. Kvelertak – Nattesferd
    Ish. Harakiri For The Sky – III: Trauma

    Honorable Mentions:
    Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
    Haken – Affinity
    Khonsu – The Xun Protectorate
    Oceans of Slumber – Winter
    Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    Mistur – In Memoriam
    In Mourning – Afterglow

    Didn’t Give It Enough Time (Yet):
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Cobalt – Slow Forever
    The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
    Saor – Guardians
    First Fragment – Dasein

    Song of the Year:
    Harakiri For The Sky – “Funeral Dreams”

    SotY Runner-Ups:
    Mantar – “Praise the Plague”
    Dark Tranquility – “Faithless by Default”

    Biggest Surprises of the Year:
    Theocracy – Ghost Ship
    Gygax – Critical Hits
    Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
    KoRn – The Serenity of Suffering
    Lacuna Coil – Delirium

    Biggest Disappointments of the Year:
    Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
    Gojira – Magma

    • One More Thing

      Additionally, thank you in advance for all the hard work you do all year on this site. It’s my number one source for all things metal and, outside of the routine visits to NCS, this site is my exclusive preference and I love you all for bringing so many great releases to my attention.

  • 1 Screaming Dizbuster

    Not gonna post my entire top 10 as most are duplicated on other’s lists. But these two aren’t so I’ll will share them.

    Raspail – Dirge
    Keoma – Synthesis

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Al, your year-end lists are always among the most unique and fascinating. I don’t always share your likes (such as Ghoulgotha), but you definitely open my mind to new musical landscapes. Never heard of DTP before, but streaming it now. Not sure if I love or hate it, but it definitely has a surging emotional quality that is indeed uplifting, so I at least like it.

    Great cover art, which shares similarities to the King Goat cover. And does anyone else see the Husky dog head wearing sunglasses in the Earth beneath the female figure?

  • Anarchist

    I don’t think it was the best song of the year, but The Reticent’s Funeral for a Firefly was the most powerful song of the year for me. Left me crying. In fact that entire album probably takes a place somewhere near the top of my list just for the sheer power of it.

    • GardensTale

      Yep, when he’s screaming “selfishly left me behind” I couldn’t keep my eyes dry either. Powerful stuff.

  • Levly

    Thank you all for the hard work and constant stream of reviews, this truly is the best little Metal community on the interweb :).

    Two records I was surprised didn’t get more love were Fleshgod Apocalypse and Borknagar, they are both near the top of my list.

    To which:
    Ish. Novembre – Ursa
    10. Ihsahn – Arktis
    9. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    8. Myrath – Legacy
    7. Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
    6. Wildernessking – Mystical Future
    5. Amon Amarth – Jomsviking
    4. Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    3. Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
    2. Borknagar – Winter Thrice
    1. Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika

    It was a terrible year for the world, but an amazing year for Metal (and video games) as far as I’m concerned, so here is to hoping 2017 will be just as good musically!

  • sir_c

    A great thanks to all of you. Nice to see everyone’s lists, as there is not one I can fully agree with, each of the reviewers does mention some records of which I think they should indeed be part of a top 10.

    So even though there is a lot of coherence within the team, I believe it is the diversity that makes reading this blog so interesting. Here it is allowed to agree to disagree, so to say. Keep up the good work for 2017!

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Thanks to all for another enjoyable year!

    Here is my Vektor free list:

    Spellcaster-Night Hides The World
    Ancient Empire-Other World
    Borknagar-Winter Thrice
    Helion Prime-S/T
    Wicked Maraya-Lifetime In Hell
    Rotting Christ-Rituals
    Katatonia-The Fall Of Hearts
    #1. Be’lakor-Vessels

    Songs of the Year:
    Roots to Sever & Smoke Of Many Fires-Be’lakor
    The Final Thing On My Mind-The Pineapple Thief

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Oh dear no Vektor, what are we to do with you…?
      Nice to see Borknagar on a list tho it seems to be not getting the attention it deserves.

      • FutureBeyondSatan

        I could be sentenced to solitary and forced to listen to 1 man Black Metal bands…?

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          That would be too good for the likes of a heritect like you!

    • SegaGenitals

      Needs more Vektor

  • AgonMcDuck

    Haha! This proved to be very hard to order. My list is missing lots of stuff and believe me, there are at least 20-30 more albums I’d love to give top ten spots, but for now, this is what I’ve decided on, based on sheer impact and longevity in my playlists:

    10) Wode – Wode
    9) Messa – Belfry
    8) First Fragment – Dasein
    7) Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue
    6) Khemmis – Hunted
    5) Xoth – Invasion of the Tentacube
    4) Schammasch – Triangle
    3) King Goat – Conduit
    2) Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    1) Vektor – Terminal Redux

    Agonized over the top three. Seraphical Euphony was probably my most played this year, but Terminal Redux is truly transcendent. Love how three of my top ten (Wode, Xoth, and King Goat) are unsigned.

    A ton of honorable mentions. So many goodies this year.

  • MastersApprentice

    Many Thanks to the wonderful people that contribute to the writings, maintenance, and comments section on the AMG site. This has become my go-to place to search for all things metal. Thank you to you all.

    Glad to see Darkher – Realms appear on someone’s No 1 spot this year. This, for me at least, has been the album I’ve revisted the most in 2016. ‘Lament’ has easily made it into my ‘Top 25 most played’ songs in my music library.

    Cheers to all you wonderful patrons of Metal. Here’s to an even better 2017 _I..I

  • Alastair McAlpine

    A milestone for me, in that this was the first year I listened to metal more than any other genre. Only really got into this gig 4 years ago, but still having a blast discovering such great bands through this site. And how on earth do you guys manage to keep the comments section civilized and free from trolls? Kudos to how respectful and tolerant everyone here is. I thought metalhead were supposed to be evil satanists…

    I must say, though, that I am shocked (SHOCKED I tell you!) at the lack of Ulcerate love going on here. Shrines of Paralysis was monumental! Also, where’s Fleshgod Apocalypse’s King? Can I also be controversial and state that whilst I really enjoy Terminal Redux, it’s not the life-altering experience for me that it seems to be for others? Maybe I just need more thrash in my life.

    So: to distinguish this from all the (very good) lists here, I hereby present ‘The Newbie’s List’. Tough to compile, but the top three really stood out.

    10) Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    9) Messa – Belfry
    8) Lycus – Chasms
    7) Alcest – Kodama
    6) Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    5) Vektor – Terminal Redux
    4) Mistur – In Memoriam
    3) Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    2) Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
    1) Khemmis – Hunted

    Honorable Mentions:
    Wildernessking – Mystical Future
    Ultar – Kadath
    Astronoid – Air
    Saor – Guardians
    Metacthonia – Thrawsunblat

    Song of the year: Hunted – Khemmis

    • Kronos

      Glad you’re liking Ulcerate at so green a state. When I first heard Everything is Fire it completely changed how I thought about music.

      • basshole

        They’re basically just Immolation worship no?

        • Kronos

          Oh no, way more than that. It’s only immolation worship as far as the guitar tone. Musically they’re more like Gorguts and Neurosis.

          • basshole

            They played a small ass venue a week or two back around me. Found out about it only a week or so before. Would like to see them live.

            I’m definitely in my twilight years of being a death metal fan these days though..

          • Kronos

            Ulcerate are really at the forefront of death metal these days.

          • basshole

            For sure, I only ever hear good things about them.. For the last year or two I usually will go with the last 2 Cattle Decapitations for my DM fix. Which is usually only when I’m working out or I had a really bad day.

            I know Ulcerate is kinda “wonky” like Gorguts “Obscura” / Immolation style. Off beat, barely any repeated riffs or patterns, not really locked in with any groovy moments at all. Dissonant stuff. Tough style for me to handle these days… Maybe I’m wrong..

          • Kronos

            There is a lot of repetition, but it usually involves variation.

  • Dudeguy Jones

    For better or worse heres my picks. Top 5 really has no order.

    1. Palace of Worms – The Ladder
    2. Thrawsunblat – Metachthonia
    3. Furia – Ksiezyc milczy luty
    4. Anagnorisis – Perpeteia
    5. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
    6. Obscura – Akroasis
    7. Hyperion – Seraphical Euphony
    8. Schammasch – Triangle
    9. Entropia – Ufonaut
    10. Inverloch – Distance/Collapsed
    11. Bhavachakra – Bhavachakra
    12. Abbath – Abbath
    13. Mithras – On Strange Loops
    14. VRTRA – My Bones Hold a Stillness
    15. Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows
    16. Mizmor – Yodh
    17. Balance Interruption – Door 218
    18. Jassa – Lights in the Howling Wilderness
    19. Belenos – Kornog
    20. Wedrujacy Wiatr – O turniach, jeziorach i nocnych szlakach

    Dormant Ordeal – We Had It Coming
    Cantique Lepreux – Cendres Celestes
    Uskumgallu – Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood
    Wode – Cloaked In Ruin
    Wormed – Krighsu

    • Akerblogger

      I really really like the Entropia album. For some reason I completely forgot about it since my first few listens though. Must listen to it again!

  • Zadion

    Goodness, being a sociologist has made AMG devilishly cynical. Don’t worry; we still love you.

    Shout out to Sentynel for being the only fucking one to include Oceans of Slumber in his list. Seriously, that album was amazing. Also glad Wildernessking got a couple mentions, because in the snorefest genre that is ABM that album is a gem.

    • Sentyneli

      Cheers mate. That album seems to have been a bit divisive, but I thought it was great. They’re fantastic live, too – Camille’s voice is every bit as impressive in person as recorded.

    • Akerblogger

      I included it in my list, I am one with the Slumber!

  • Dammage

    Thank you all for writing amazing reviews and turning me onto new music every day. This marks the end of my first year reading this blog and I must say you guys have vastly broadened my musical horizons and made me buy at least 30 albums this year based solely on your reviews. Again, thank you and never stop doing what you do. And now, my totally unsolicited top 10 of this year.

    10. Dark Tranquility – Atoma
    9. Saor – Guardians
    8. Astronoid – Air
    7. Vekor – Terminal Redux
    6. Khonsu – The Xun Protectorate (Did nobody listen to this?)
    5. Countless Skies – New Dawn
    4. Whispered – Metsutan
    3. Be’lakor – Vessels
    2. Witherscape – The Northern Sanctuary
    1. Winterhorde – Maestro

    Songs of the Year
    Winterhorde – They came with eyes of Fire
    Khonsu – The Observatory
    Countless Skies – Return

    • Kronos

      I don’t know if anybody here is really, really into industrial metal. I listened to Khonsu a few times based on other blogs saying it was the best thing ever, etc. and I really don’t understand the appeal. It had some cool moments but it’s really not very interesting for me like sci-fi metal should be. It’s likely because the riffs are just so simple and repetitive. I just sat around playing along to some of the songs the first time I heard them.

      • Dammage

        I think for me it’s the fact that I’m very into the cyberpunk genre and that the whole album makes me feel like I’m going on a bounty hunting space adventure. I can see it not being for everyone though, I just happen to be in the niche that loves that kind of music in particular.

      • sir_c

        There are some pretty good moments on that Khonsu record which make it at least an honorable mention, in my opinion.
        And to add some context, I do like the Dark Tranquillity album, but it lies quite comfortably in the safe zone. So why does that album deserve a #1 spot on many a list?

        • Kronos

          It’s much better.

  • I’m glad you’re still around, AMG. I wish you a less life-consuming job for 2017, because life-consuming jobs SUCK. I’ve been there and I hope it will never happen to me again.
    Also, massive thanks for all writers for truly excellent work. I wish I had discovered this blog earlier.

    If I had to throw my two cents to the list-madness, it would look like this:

    #10. Saor – Guardians
    #9. Winterhorde – Maestro
    #8. Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
    #7. Insomnium – Winter’s Gate
    #6. Opeth – Sorceress
    #5. Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner
    #4. Ihsahn – Arktis.
    #3. Haken – Affinity
    #2. Vektor – Terminal Redux
    #1. Obscura – Akroasis

    Honorable Mentions:

    First Fragment – Dasein
    Katatonia – Fall of Hearts
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Fates Warning – Theories of Flight
    Crowbar – The Serpent Only Lies
    The Reticent – On the Eve of a Goodbye
    Vredehammer – Violator
    Schammasch – Triangle

    P.S. Have you considered posting some Artworks of the Year list? Of course this site is all about music, but I see art-related comments quite frequently and I think it would be interesting…

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I like how Al managed to squeeze Watchtower into his list two years in a row ;) Well deserved.

    Browsing AMG and the M-Fi forum (where many of your readers and writers here post) has eaten up a sizeable portion of 2016 for me and it’s always a pleasure interacting with you and your seemingly boundless collective knowledge.

    Thank you for all the words, gents.

    • Well, technically it’s a new release… with one more song…

  • The Bear

    Necronautical, anyone?

  • Felchmeister777

    Devin Townsend..?? He’s been treading water for several years now. I can only assume the writer isn’t a long term admirer, because his recent, generic, ‘anthemic pop’ totally and utterly pales in comparison to his earlier works…

    • Actually I’ve been listening to Devin since seeing SYL open for Testament in support of City. I don’t think he’s been treading water at all. The four albums Ghost, Ki, Addicted and Deconstruction were insanely varied. Epicloud somewhat tied them all together. Casualties of Cool is a total curveball and as for Transcendence, my opinion is above

      • Felchmeister777

        Well, fair enough. but I think since that ‘group of four’ albums he did several years ago he’s been doing the same stuff over and over ever since.

        Casualties is ‘cool’, but it’s only really effective as background ‘cos i find it pretty repetitive & compositionally dull.

        His verse-chorus-verse-chorus, clinical sound with the DTP these days is a shame. Your opinion is fair enough, but I don’t know how you can compare his earlier, wildly creative, eclectic records to these overly produced products he’s dishing out now he’s sober & he’s become such a big brand…

        • I felt that way about Casualties until I started listening to it on headphones. There is so much going on if you give it the attention and the songs are gorgeous. It seems you’re referring then to Z2, which is a bonkers eclectic album. Grey Skies, which I don’t dig but isn’t a real album, it’s a collection of songs that didn’t make the cut and Epicloud, which is pretty darn eclectic and Transcendence which I think is unique in that it is perhaps the most focused of his albums in sound and theme. I do respect your opinion and can even see how you developed it, even if I disagree.

        • With some exceptions, I think the songwriting on the post four albums is stronger and more consistent than what came before. I like Infinity a lot, but found Ocean Machine, Accelerated Evolution, Physicist and Terria to be inconsistent in the strength of the material. Epicloud is just as eclectic as any of those. I think Transcendence is his least eclectic but most focused.


    And another list…..of everything you need

    Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows
    Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    Zeal and Ardor – Devil is Fine
    Chthe’llst – Le Dernier Crepuscule
    Orae – Disbirth
    Mare Cognitum – Luminiferous Aether
    Anagnorisis – Peripeteia
    Aenaon – Hypnosophy
    Dysrhythmia – The Veil of Control
    Jassa – Lights in the Howling Wilderness
    Veilburner – The Obscene Rite
    Zhrine – Unortheta
    Eyexist – The Digital Holocaust
    First Fragment – Dasein
    Graves at Sea – The Curse that is
    Infinite Destiny – Recollapse of the Universe

    HM – Numenorean – Home
    Paul Ozz – Tartarvs
    Ghostlimb – Difficult Loves
    Gevurah – Hallelujah!

  • Nag Dammit

    Great work one and all. I visit every day and occasionally weigh in with some shitty comments. Vektor is up there and Xoth was mentioned a few times so I’m happy. Hopefully AMG doesn’t fire you all in 2017 in epic Scrooge style. Though the prospect of him being forced to go on some soul searching journey by the ghosts of metal past (R.I.P Piotr Grudziński, Nick Menza and Lemmy (2015)) and finding his inner Charitable Metal Guy does make me smile a bit inside. Thanks all.

  • Jrod1983

    Absolutely ridiculous year for metal, it was impossible to keep up! Just want to say thanks for the great site, some of the most well written reviews on the net.

    My top 15:
    15. Anicon – Exegeses
    14. Wode – Wode
    13. Setentia – Darkness Transcend
    12. Zhrine – Unortheta
    11. Ash Borer – The Irrepassible Gate
    10. Mylingar – Doda Vagar
    9. Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crepuscle
    8. Belenos – Kornog
    7. Unfathomable Ruination – Finitude
    6. Auroch – Mute Books
    5. Crator – Crator
    4. Uada – Devoid of Light
    3. Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
    2. King Goat – Conduit
    1. Blood Incantation – Starspawn

    Close but not quite:
    Death Fortress – Deathless March of the Unyielding
    Altarage – Nihl
    Khemmis – Hunted
    Anciients – Voice of the Void
    Denominate – Those who Beheld the End
    Ultha – Converging Sins

    Dead Congregation – Sombre Doom
    Voidspawn – Pyrrhic
    Ultha – Dismal Ruins

  • Marc Rikmenspoel

    My Top 15 for 2016. The top 3 are definite (Iron Savior was the only power/traditional I got into this year), #s 4-10 can be rearranged into most any order, while 11-15 are a notch below the top 10.

    Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika

    Romuvos – Infront of Destiny

    Iron Savior – Titancraft

    Ars Moriendi – Sepelitur Alleluia

    Mystik – Dunkla Klangor​.​.​. (Kapitel I)

    Mystik – Af Herrens Mystik… (Kapitel II)

    Sanctuaire – Le sang sur l’acier

    Graveland/Nocturnal Mortem – The Spirit Never

    Winterlore – Winterlore

    Sojurner – Empires of Ash

    Skuggsjá – A Piece for Mind & Mirror

    Fuath – I

    Druadan Forest – The Loremasters Time

    Saor – Guardians

    Borknagar – Winter Thrice

    Honorable Mention – Havukruunu – Rautaa Ja
    Tulta (reissue of the 2014 EP with four new 2016 songs)

    Song of the Year – Romuvos – Let Thy Gods Sing
    Your Glory Hymn

  • basshole

    Vektor, jesus christ.. sigh, I’ll try it ….again.. I better actually remember a section of it when its over.

  • basshole

    Allegaeon, Insomnium and Khemmis for me.. I don’t really listen to new stuff anymore.

    Just spun the Saor, while solid, not as breathtaking as Askival on first listen. Going to try Hyperion since its been mentioned a few times below and that’s my shit..

  • Pestmeester

    That’s what I love about these year lists. Get to know stuff I’ve missed. Had to adjust my top 10 (11) a bit as there were a few non-metal records in my year list (Nick Cave/Bowie); also music I really like.

    1: UADA – Devoid of Light
    2: Gandalf’s Fist – The Clockwork Fable
    3: T.i.d. – Fix idé
    4: Abbath – Abbath
    5: Borgnagar – Winter Thrice
    6: The Wounded – Sunset
    7: The Wretched End – In these woods, from these mountains
    8: Ihsahn – Arktis
    9: Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
    10: Vektor – Terminal Redux
    11: Kinggoat – Conduit

    Thanks for sharing all these lists everyone! Found some great records I haven’t listened to yet. :D

  • Doug

    So, in the “meta list” will all these upstarts be weighted equally? That said fine work faceless minions.

  • Mattias Niklasson

    I’m still waiting for Skuggsjá to be featured in some way or form on a metal music list for 2016 :( Weren’t people impressed at all by it? Or has it just went under the radar for most people? I thought it was fantastic. A natural fusion of the modern Enslaved sound and the Wardruna sound.

  • I saw plenty of Thy Catafalque’s “Meta” in the lists but Car Bomb’s new “Meta” is definitely my #1 for the year. Surprised I’ve seen no one mention it here. Nice to see so much Vektor love though

  • mr noetol

    Glad to see both Vektor and Dark Tranquillity get plenty of love on these lists. Those are probably my top 2 for 2016 so far but I’ve got a lot to listen to yet. 2017 has a ways to go to match all of the great releases from last year IMO.

  • lrn2swim

    Better late than never…..

    10. Kayo Dot – Plastic House on Base of Sky
    9. Ihsahn – Arktis.
    8. David Bowie – Blackstar (so metal)
    7. Khemmis – Hunted
    6. Opeth – Sorceress
    5. Atsuko Chiba – The Memory Empire/Figure and Ground
    4. Perihelion Ship – A Rare Thunderstorm in Spring
    3. Blizzard at Sea – Ruminations
    2. Aenaon – Hypnosophy
    1. Free Salamander Exhibit – Undestroyed

  • Tired Science Guy

    Not sure how Brotherhood of the Snake only ended up in one honorable mention list, or FGA only got mention either. AMG staff whats going on?