TOP 20 METAL albums
#1. Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake
Testament continues to wow me with their savage power, melody, riffs, drums, vocals, just everything about this band continues to exemplify perfection.
#2. Primal Fear – Rulebreaker
One of my fav bands continue their delivery of supreme power metal. Maybe a tiny step down from their previous release, but nothing to worry about as the album is still a very enjoyable listen. Maybe a couple faster songs and 1-2 less mid-tempo ones would have made this my #1 album but I’m not complaining.
#3. Borknagar – Winter Thrice
Although this album didn’t make my number one, this band, and album, made a big impact on me in 2016 as I went back and revisited a bunch of their releases along with all the Vintersorg albums in my collection. I’ve always liked the band, but with this album I found myself mesmerized by the mixture of folky metal mixed with some kind of prog black metal.
#4. Megadeth – Dystopia
Loved this album and it’s more aggressive Rust in Peace feel (I also really enjoyed 2013’s lighter Super Collider though). Kiko Loureiro on lead guitar is amazing, but it’s the riffs and songwriting that are just soooo good. Hope this band continues for many more years!
5. HammerFall – Built to Last
The Swede’s 10th studio album is in line with the bands early days as the album cover-art hinted at. I love all their albums so anything they do that even comes close to GLORY TO THE BRAVE is going to make me happy.
Iron Savior – Titancraft
Avantasia – Ghostlights
Anthrax – For All Kings
Death Angel – The Evil Divide
Rhapsody of Fire – Into the Legend
Striker – Stand in the Fire
Metal Church – XI
Prong – No Absolutes
Sabaton – The Last Stand
Metallica – Hardwired…to Self-Destruct
Pain – Coming Home
Flotsam and Jetsam – ST
Anvil – Anvil is Anvil
Sodom – Decision Day
Brainstorm – Scary Creatures
Vader – The Empire
Eternal Champion – The Armor Of Ire
Iron Fire – Among the Dead
Freedom Call – Master of Light
VoiVod – Post Society
Best Remake Album
Einherjer – Dragons of the North XX
Wow it’s been 20yrs!? I have the original on CD and it was a special album. Now with a much better studio budget and recording production, the album sounds ever better.
Metallica – Back to the Front by Matt Taylor
Primal Fear with Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. I’ve seen PF live umpteen times now as they are about my fav band, but Rhapsody are not a band that comes this way so it was quite a treat to be front row and watch Luca Turilli melt my brain for the two concert dates I followed the tour for (Montreal and Toronto).
Best New Band
(debut full length was from 2016)
Almanac – Tsar
Eternal Champion – The Armor Of Ire
Disappointment of 2016
There is is one main thing that tops my musical disappointments for 2016 – that is the lack of new Gamma Ray music or from what I’ve heard, any solid plans. With the (albeit super exciting) announcement of Kai re-uniting with Helloween for a 2017 tour (not a permanent reuniting) and with Henjo off starting his new band Unity….Kai’s 2016 solo album which was mostly OK, but it wasn’t Gamma Ray…etc…yes they are alive and doing musical things, but not together. As well, for me, there is the question mark of Gamma Ray’s new vocalist Frank Beck. They sadly don’t tour here, so I haven’t heard him (shit phone YouTube clips do not count). I would of course prefer to have Kai sing in Gamma Ray, or maybe get Ralf (as long as it didn’t detract from PF)…but time will tell and I’m willing to give it a chance. Regardless, for 2016, my greatest disappointment is with the lack of new material, with Canadian tour dates, etc for what is my favorite band, Gamma Ray. I have faith in Kai Hansen. He is one of those musicians to whom I look up to the most (why can’t their be a detailed autobiography about Kai and his complete musical life? Rather than more 80’s pop metallers writing books…) So I still have hope there will be life for Gamma Ray but it seems that won’t be until 2018?
Hopes for 2017
- I’d love for the reunited Helloween re-united to not only tour (including some Canadian dates please!) but to record an album that will have on vocals: Kai, Kiske, and Deris! That would be such a gift as a long time fan of the band and a fan of all the bands incarnations.
- New King Diamond studio album….please!!!
- The reunited Ratt must record a new album that will be as cool as 2010’s Infestation. As well, the band needs to play some Canadian dates.
- Týr release a follow-up to their 2013 album….and it will be glorious.
- A new Slayer album would be nice…wishful thinking that it might come in 2017.
- New studio albums from Jag Panzer, Metsatöll, Edguy, and so many more
- I’ve given up wishing for a reunited Savatage. It was on my list for about a decade…but I’ve given up and will just go crank Hall of the Mountain King and remember what once was.