Best of 2016: EvilG

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TOP 20 METAL albums

#1. Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake`
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

Primal Fear "Rulebreaker"
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

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

Megadeth - DYSTOPIA
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

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.

  1. Iron Savior – Titancraft

  2. Avantasia – Ghostlights

  3. Anthrax – For All Kings

  4. Death Angel – The Evil Divide

  5. Rhapsody of Fire – Into the Legend

  6. Striker – Stand in the Fire

  7. Metal Church – XI

  8. Prong – No Absolutes

  9. Sabaton – The Last Stand

  10. Metallica – Hardwired…to Self-Destruct

  11. Pain – Coming Home

  12. Flotsam and Jetsam – ST

  13. Anvil – Anvil is Anvil

  14. Sodom – Decision Day

  15. Brainstorm – Scary Creatures

Honorable Mentions:

Vader – The Empire
Eternal Champion – The Armor Of Ire
Iron Fire – Among the Dead
Freedom Call – Master of Light

Best EP

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.

Best Book

Metallica – Back to the Front by Matt Taylor


Best Concert

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).

Primal Fear - Toronto
Primal Fear – Toronto

Luca Turilli's Rhapsody - Toronto
Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – 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.

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