I just can't help myself. I'm like a fat kid eying off the last slice of pizza or a Kardashian with an internet-enabled camera. I just have to do it. I've been writing these lists for about ten years now, so why stop? Because THEY don't want me to? In the words of the great prophet DJ Khaled, THEY don't want me to, therefore I must. (I don't think he said that last part. Did I just play myself?)
2016 sucked ass in so many ways. Music was the one way it didn't. Here's my Top 10 in order of what I thought was the best - remember when people did that? Yeah anyway:
SPECIAL MENTION: Gunship - Gunship
The fact Gunship is "retrowave" precludes it from a place on a mosh/metal/punk list. But it really is my favourite this year. It's not a mere 80s nostalgia trip, it's something trancendental. It's new, it's old, it's like it was always with you. (Killjoy Deluxe Owen tells me this came out in 2015. THANKS BRO)
SEE ALSO: The black celebrated 80s sounds of The Black Queen's Fever Daydream.
1. White Lung - Paradise
I might need a new copy of this on vinyl cos I've played it so much this year. Punk, pop, perfection.
2. Dark Tranquillity - Atoma
I think our melodeath masters deserve to soundtrack 2016. It's like an ice-wind cutting through your ribcage. It'll draw you in and never let go.
3. Katatonia - The Fall of Hearts
The second of my favourite bands released their best in many a year, reinvigorated by a new lineup. No fucking emo, just fire and balls.
4. Hellions - Opera Oblivia
It really is their Number of the Beast - a proud testament to being yourself and doing it right.
5. Architects - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
"Really Tom, you are into fuckin Architects now?" When a band produces something with as much heart as this, you bet your ass in the middle of a prison riot that I dig 'em.
6. Vektor - Terminal Redux
Space metal. Enough said.
7. Evergrey - The Storm Within
Sweden's dreamboat not only floats, but cruises over emotional seas in this front-to-back belter.
8. Rotting Christ - Rituals
Beware of bloodthirsty Greeks bearing riffs.
9. Witherscape - The Northern Sanctuary
'Member prog metal? 'Member when it was cheesy but awesome at the same time? OH, I 'Member!
10. Sabaton - The Last Stand
History metal that's more historic, battle-ready, and epic than ever. Duh.
The Honourable Mentions
Gold Award: Deftones - Gore
Silver Award: Driven Fear - Free Thinker
Bronze Award: In Mourning - Afterglow