The top albums of 2016

2016 comes closer to an end and every passing year of my life feels like an accomplishment.

You might have already seen and read how 2016 has been a tormentor for the global music scene by claiming a lot of very important figures into oblivion. Meanwhile, I spent my time drinking, getting sick, studying, killing time and anxiously thinking about the future. I always have lingering doubts in my mind about most of the choices I make but I am also a natural believer of silver linings, keep your fingers crossed.

As I promised last year, I did gather the records I heard whole at least once, counting from January 1st. I listened to 453 full length albums throughout these twelve months and it was fun, even though I'm planning not to hunt down a large number of releases in 2017. I don't know how it will go. I'll try to focus on black metal more than anything else because I feel I missed stuff this year, something inevitable anyway.

There wasn't a distinct #1 this time, just a number of albums I really liked but it was clearer in 2015 with Sulphur Aeon for example. Also, some words need to be said about Hardwired... I'm not a Metallica fan and the new album was nothing special to my ears, I only listened it because of the band's gravity and importance. What is this lame album cover by the way?

Since at spots 40-100 the list get a bit homogenous, I decided just to include a number of albums I chose among the material I listened instead of creating a specific 100 pick list. There will be a pack of the first 20-25 albums and then the rest in random order. I don't think you paid much attention in the places after 30 the previous years anyway. For next year, I'm thinking of fabricating a song playlist out of albums as well, because good tracks get lost when the record doesn't make the cut.

Check out the side lists I posted the previous days, in case you missed them:

So, here are my picks of the top metal albums of the year, after countless hours of listening and detailed analysis. Or not.

A pool of albums I enjoyed:

Zhrine – Unortheta
Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis
Denouncement Pyre – Black Sun Unbound
Ash Borer - The Irrepassable Gate
Martyrdöd – List
Principality of Hell – Sulfur & Bane
Throwers – Loss
Aenaon – Hypnosophy
Wake – Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow
Uskumgallu - Rotten Limbs In Dreams Of Blood
Asphyx – Incoming Death
Decomposed – Wither
Apognosis – Phase 6
Sun Worship – Pale Dawn
Grafvitnir - Obeisance To A Witch Moon
Wode – Wode
Alcest – Kodama
Hemelbestormer – Aether
Spektr – The Art to Disappear
Cirith Gorgor – Visions of an Exalted Lucifer
Cantique Lépreux - Cendres célestes
Blood Red Throne – Union of Flesh and Machine
Baptism – V: The Devil's Fire
Abnormality – Mechanisms of Omniscience
Fange – Purge
Filthdigger – Damned by the Living Dead
Flagellum Dei – Diabolis Enim Et Alli Deamones
Ragnarok – Psychopathology
Earth and Pillars – Pillars I
Morgue Supplier – Morgue Supplier
Mortualia - Wild Wild Misery
Netherbird – The Grander Voyage
Spire – Entropy
Sorcier des Glaces – North
Vektor – Terminal Redux
Ellende – Todbringer
Seven Sisters of Sleep – Ezekiel's Hags
Iron Witch - A Harrowed Dawn
Kawir – Father Sun Mother Moon
Trap Them - Feral Crown
Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder
Rotten Sound – Abuse to Suffer
Incinerate – Amazon Violence
Ohtar - Euthanasia Of Existence
Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows
Angerseed – The Proclamation
Urgehal – Aeons in Sodom
Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
Nuclear Devastation – Inferno
Lihhamon – Doctrine
Gadget – The Great Destroyer
Lutece – From Glory Towards Void
Lycus – Chasms
Insision – Terminal Reckoning
Slaughterday – Laws of the Occult
Sorcery – Garden of Bones
Interment – Scent of the Buried
Iskandr – Heilig Land
Korgonthurus – Vuohen siunaus
Krater – Urere
Sodom – Decision Day
Wilderness King – Mystical Future
Winterfylleth – The Dark Hereafter
Raven Throne - Sliacham Zabytych
Witchery - In His Infernal Majesty's Service
Battle Dagorath - I - Dark Dragons Of The Cosmos
Black Fucking Cancer – Black Fucking Cancer
Wormrot – Voices
Lykaionas – Luciferian Fullmoon Necromancy
Urfaust – Empty Space Meditation
Throane – Derrière-Nous, La Lumière
Destroyer 666 – Wildfire
Draugnim – Vulturine
True Black Dawn – Come the Colorless Dawn
Universe217 – Change

Places 25-11:

2014 world champions Anaal Nathrakh released a beast again, the reason it didn't make it to the top 10 is that I was slightly let down by it's production. Somehow, the insane riffs and melodies sound less edgy than I expected, more attention went into the electronics... Still top-notch. Ripper also impressed my with their high class old school thrash / death, and their brilliant bass lines.

Gilded Lily, El-Ahrairah, Antaeus, Teloch, Behexen are all different reasons why black metal is good for you as a person, while Slow Forever is the first Cobalt album I sincerely like. Krypts released an album much better than their already good debut, Forteresse dominated their own discography, Mare Cognitum finally won me and Crimson Moon might be the happiest comeback I saw. I don't like their previous albums very much, this is excellent.

I knew Blood Incantation would release the monstrous album they put out and and Abbath proves he might as well be the very soul of Immortal. I can't say I like the new Oranssi Pazuzu as much as their previous one, they focused on the trippy, psychedelic side of theirs more than their heavier face. It ain't a negative point by itself, I'm just saying. Valonielu and this are both perfect and in alignment with the band's best outcome.

Now moving to the distillate of the whole year...

The essential top 10:

The above three sections add up to a total of a hundred releases, just not in specific order from 25 to 100. Despite Metallum showing The Synarchy of Molten Bones as a full length, I think it's an EP and that's why it's not in this list. If it was a full length, it would be very high somewhere inside the first 25 for sure. I'm aware albums like Dissociation, The Violent Sleep of Reason, Triangle, Hunted are missing but what can you do.

Thumbs up to Chthe'ilist for coming up first with a magnificent, grandiose record that makes you proud you like death metal.

For the more needy black metal fans, don't let the following albums be lost into obscurity. Check each one of them individually and carefully:

  • Ancestors Blood - Hyperborea
  • Anu - Nighthymns
  • Azaxul - The Fleshly Tomb
  • Baptism – V: The Devil's Fire
  • Belenos - Kornôg
  • Black Funeral - Ankou and the Death Fire
  • Dark Fury - This Story Happened Before
  • Darkestrah - Turan
  • Flagellum Dei - Diabolis Enim et Alii Deamones
  • Folteraar - Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw
  • Grafvitnir - Obeisance To A Witch Moon
  • Iskandr - Heilig Land
  • Kalmankantaja – Tyhjyys
  • Lair – Icons of the Impure
  • Lathspell - Torn Cold Void
  • Mortualia - Wild, Wild Misery
  • Nahtrunar - Existenz
  • Near - Our Sun
  • Occultum – Towards Eternal Chaos
  • Ohtar - Euthanasia of Existence
  • Oskoreien - All Too Human
  • Panphage – Drengskapr
  • Raven Throne - Sliacham Zabytych
  • Sorcier des Glaces – North
  • Tardigrada - Emotionale Ödnis
  • Tartarus - Et Eritis Sicut Dii
  • Urgehal - Aeons in Sodom
  • Vurvarat – Vurvarat

That's all I had to say about for now, it's been a wonderful, amazing, and at some moments, literally breathtaking year. Remember, every post of this kind is objective and it's normal to forget stuff, I encourage you to gather your favorite records and try to pile them up in a list.

I wish you all the best, happy new year, spend these holy days with the people you love. I hope 2017 will bring us the best experiences, good music and many achievements. We deserve happiness and all things beautiful. Happy days, root for the stars.



  1. Really enjoyed all of your top 2016 lists and i am for sure going to check out a lot of stuff that i just let pass away...

    Kαλή χρονιά!!

  2. Ευχαριστώ και καλή χρονιά και σε σένα!

    Very good work with your blog, keep it up \m/