Top 20 2016
- Almanac – Tsar
Not since Avantasia, the Metal Opera, has a concept album grabbed me so much. How can it not with Victor Smolski as the maestro; David Readman and Andy B Franck on vocals; and a concept drawing from my heritage. Tsar has without a doubt dominated my ear space.
Almanac Tsar cover.jpg
- Avantasia – Ghostlights
As always, Tobias Sammet has presented us with a diversely written selection of songs and maximised impact by his choice of vocal contributors—regular and new (Dee Snider, Marco Hietala and more). See my full review at http://www.metal-rules.com/review/viewreview.php?band=Avantasia&album=Ghostlights&post_by=Brat&month=February&year=2016&pos=0
- Kissin Dynamite – Generation Goodbye
Since their first release in 2008, this band has not only matured as men, but with each release Kissin Dynamite music gets better and better. Maturity of life is evident in Generation Goodbye with songs such as “Hashtag your Life” highlighting the absurdity of being a slave of social media.
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- Serentiy – Codex Atlanticus
- Sabaton – The Last Stand
- DGM – The Passage
- Enbound – The Blackened Heart
- Symphonity – King of Persia
- Trick or Treat – Rabbit’s Hill Pt 2
- Mob Rules – Tales from Beyond
- Circus Maximus – Havoc
- Pain – Coming Home
- Lords of Black – II
- Pretty Maids – Kingbreaker
- Rhapsody of Fire – Into The Legends
- Delain – Lunar Prelude
- Sonata Arctica – The Ninth Hour
- Iron Savior – Titancraft
- Twilight Force – Heroes of Might Magic
- Thunderstone – Apocalypse Again
Best New Band
Almanac, of course!
Delain – Lunar Prelude
Delain Lunar EP.jpg
Best Live Album
Secret Sphere – One Night in Tokyo (2CD + DVD)
Best Rock release
- Inglorious – Inglorious
New UK band Inglorious released a strong and addictive debut album. The heaviness and speed with a hint of blues contributed to this hard rock album towering over far more established bands—rock and metal–in 2016.
- 2. The Defiants – The Defiants
Paul Laine, Bruno Ravel and Rob Marcello? How can this not be a great melodic rock album?
- 3. Hardline – Human Nature
Star-studded lineup (obviously Johnny Gioeli, Alessandro Del Vecchio, Josh Ramos, Anna Portalupi, Francesco Jovino) on this album had it on high rotation this year.
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Best ‘Best of…’
Graham Bonnet Band – The Book
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Apocalyptica – Metro Theatre, Sydney
Best Music DVD/Blu-Ray
Orden Ogan – The Book of Ogan
Sabaton – Heroes on Tour
Best Fancy-Schmancy Box Release
Sabaton – The Last Stand Tank Edition
Definitely something for the collection, alas at approximately AUD$300 including shipping, so far has been too painful to purchase.
Sabaton tank edition.jpg
After almost 15 years I have finally obtained my very own copy of Mental Metal Meltdown, sure it doesn’t contain current metal trivia, but who cares? It’s a good test of heavy metal history….and makes me want to pull out my vintage metal magazines (Kerrang, Metal Hammer, Metal Edge, Hot Metal) out of storage to read.
Missing out on listening to so many 2016 releases. It happens every year.
Rest in Peace
We lost some metal (and non-metal) icons this year – a sobering reminder that I’m older than I act.