Top 30 Albums of 2016

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Disclaimer: Long post ahead. Probably my longest yet.

So, here it is. That long albums post I was talking about in my last Quick Album Thoughts post. Enjoy!

It’s that time of year again. Where die-hard music freaks like myself gather up all the music we’ve killed our ear cells and knocked some years off our hearing ability with during this year and rank them from least best to best, as if our opinions mean anything to others. So for this occasion, I’ve racked up 30 of those albums that I have enjoyed more than the rest of them in 2016. So, without any further adieu, here they are…

My Top 30 Albums of 2016

30. Agoraphobic Nosebleed: Arc (EP)

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Once one of sleazy Grindcore’s finest, now back in a different form with a fine slab of chunky, crunchy, doomy, nasty Sludge. Fronted by the great Kat Katz, known for her former Sludge Doom project Salome (also highly recommended). Considering what AG are known for, this experiment could have gone either way, but in my opinion it went the right way and we got this splendid 3 song assault of sludgy, doomy filth. This is also the 1st of 4 EPs of this nature that the band is planning on releasing, and I patiently await the next 3 assaults with a smile.

29. Morgue: Doors of No Return

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Speaking of Grindcore, here’s another band with a very special brand of it. New to the scene, and arriving with an impact, Morgue bring a very unique style to the table. A blend of hazy, muddy, dismal, filthy Death Metal in the vein of Impetuous Ritual or Portal and Grind similar to that of Repulsion or Terrorizer, and it makes for quite a terrifying mix. Very different, very out there and very much deserving of a spot on this list!

28. Seven Sisters of Sleep: Ezekiel’s Hags

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By the time April rolled around, I said to myself that this would be a really good year for Sludge. Maybe even the YEAR OF Sludge, and this album, as well as the aforementioned Agoraphobic Nosebleed EP and a few other albums on this list were the reasons why. This album is fucking tremendous! One of the best Sludge albums not only of this year, but also one of the best I’ve ever heard. Heavy, thick, dark, great riffage, pissed off vocals, keeps your interest no matter how long a song is. Just all the workings of a great Sludge album rolled up into one. Highly recommended if you’re into stuff like Fister, Lord Mantis, The Lion’s Daughter or even Coffinworm!

27. Death Index: S/T

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Over the last year or two, I’ve really gotten into the Noise Rock/Noise Punk genre. Starting with bands such as Brainbombs, Rusted Shut & Drunks With Guns and continuing with bands such as Rectal Hygenics, Pissed Jeans & So Stressed. This band fits that mold well while also bringing a weird but unique twist of Indie Rock & Post-Punk to the mix. Very well done, especially for a debut album. Loud and groovy when it needs to be, slow and mysterious when it needs to be, this band brings a certain brand of darkness to an already sleazy scene and they do it with this great debut. Highly recommended for those into any of the bands mentioned above!

26. Blliigghhtted: Into the Cunt of the Witch

The moment I found out about this band was the moment I first layed eyes on the cover art for this twisted journey of an album. The face of their now deceased singer Ruhan (and all the hate that comes with it), who committed suicide last year (I believe). When I found out about this band and their history, it prompted me to give them a listen, and i’m glad I did. Particularly this album. This is a concept album that deals with the themes of death, suicide and everything in between. The album is broken up into 4 sections of songs. Each section dealing with a different theme and each containing it’s own brand of weirdness and just outright disturbingness. A very experimental and eclectic effort that definitely is a required taste, but if you’re of an open mind, you should check this one out. Very dark and very good. Reminiscent of Maniac era Mayhem in some parts, which is a plus.

25. Walls of Jericho: No One Can Save You from Yourself

After an 8-year hiatus, these guys (and gal) return and fucking killed it with this one! Easily one of, if not THE best Hardcore release this year. Still the same viciousness and brutality that made them famous while still keeping things fresh and interesting. With tracks like Forever Militant and Wrapped in Violence that display the same throat-punching brutality that WoJ are known for but in a very fresh way and just as good as, if not better than when they left off. The most interesting thing however, is the closer Probably Will. A slower, fully sung, powerful, emotional song that will leave some pleasantly surprised, and others perhaps, disappointed. Either way, great comeback album by a consistently great band!

24. Nails: You Will Never be One of Us

What else do you expect from Nails besides what’s already expected? Viciousness? Ruthlessness? Filth? The audio manifestation of hatred? Well, here it’s no different. This is classic Nails at it’s finest. Call it whatever you want. Blackened Hardcore, Grindcore, Crust, Powerviolence, all of the above, whatever. No mater what it’s classified as, this album does what it was created to do. Ravage your fucking ear-holes and make you want to bludgeon your cheating ex with a sledgehammer. Great album, great band, no matter what the hacks at I Heart Powerviolence or Fucked by Noise try to tell you. Give a listen!

23. Korgonthurus: Vuohen Siunaus

When it comes to countries that produce the best Black Metal, Finland has really climbed high on my list the last couple years, and this album solidified the reason why. Going into this I was expecting something pretty much standard, from what I’ve heard with their previous works, but boy did this one ever surpass that expectation. This album packs a punch of relentlessness that I wouldn’t even expect from Horna (one of my favorites), but damn, never judge a book (or album?) by it’s cover. I was blown away by this one, especially the manic, shrieked vocals. Top notch, highly recommended Finnish Blackened goodness!

22. Gatecreeper: Sonoran Depravation

Death Metal mixed with Crust & Hardcore seems to be on the rise lately (which I’m thrilled to bits for). Culture Killer & Bombs of Hades really confirmed that, and pretty much set the standard. This album/band is right up there with those 2. Really, really good Crust/Hardcore-splattered Death Metal, and trust me, NOT Deathcore. This band’s sound isn’t blanketed in over-done chuga chug breakdowns, repetitive, boring pseudo-growls or scene haircuts. This is full-on old-school style Death Metal with genuine Crust Punk attitude sprinkled in and I urge you to give it a chance. This isn’t the only album of this sort to appear on this list… just one moment.

21. Knocked Loose: Laugh Tracks

Some may call this ‘Beatdown’, some may call it “Down-Tempo’ or whatever other crap. To me, this is a fucking pissed off, relentless, banger of a Hardcore album by one of my favorite bands currently on the scene. Almost 30 minutes of audio fury. Highly recommended if you’re into stuff like Code Orange, Old Wounds or even Expire.

20. Venom Prison: Animus

Aaaaaaand time for more Death Crust! This time, the debut from these female-fronted up and comers who have previously released 2 solid EPs and now have come back with this monster. Same can pretty much be said for this that has been said for Gatecreeper, Culture Killer & Bombs of Hades. A heavy, ruthless, abrasive blend of Death Metal & Hardcore done well and without accentuating that generic Deathcore loserdom. Awesome and highly recommended!

19. Psychonaut 4: Neurasthenia

The follow-up to one of my favorite albums of last year (almost my #1 until Windhand came and changed that) by one of my favorite bands of the Depressive Black Metal variety (the term DSBM is dumb, by the way). Can I say it’s as good as Dipsomania? Not quite. In fact, considering this album came out just a year after the last one, It felt kinda rushed. BUT, this turned out to be a really good album regardless! The same formula, as expected, melancholic through and through, all the way down to the riffs and the atmosphere. Manic, shrieked vocals, Tortured mental patient-styles mumbling, spoken word passages and so on. Very well put together and well done. If you’re into stuff similar to Lifelover & Bethlehem, give a listen.

18. Asphyx: Incoming Death

Dirty, ruthless, crushing and loud as fuck straight-up Death Metal by one of the best in the genre today! A great follow-up to the fucking banger that was Deathhammer. If you’re an old school, no frills, no bullshit Death Metal fan or just looking for something groovy and crushing, this is your destination. Great Death Metal. Nothing less, nothing more.

17. Graves at Sea: The Curse That Is…

I heard about this band numerous times before I finally gave them a listen. I finally did so when I saw the great cover art for this album and it intrigued me. I’m glad I finally did. Great, heavy, chunky Sludge with a hit of Stoner Doom a la Cough, Haarp and Agoraphobic Nosebleeds latest output. Music just as awesome as the cover art, which is always a plus for me. Give this one a listen if you’re into any or all of those aforementioned bands!

16. Athame: With Cunning Fire & Adversarial Resolve

I like Black Metal, I like Crust. When those 2 genres are mixed together, you will get 1 of 2 results: either weak, poorly done crap where one genre relies on the other like a crutch, or fucking bangers like mid-era Darkthrone and this band and album right here! Raw, fast, pissy, filthy and vicious. Which is how I like both genres! A simple yet effective approach to the blossoming crop of Blackened Crust that blesses us today. Highly recommended if this is your thing!

15. Every Time I Die: Low Teens

Blah blah, Metalcore blah blah. I get it. In a world where that genre has been reduced to scenesters who somehow made it to 2016 making unlistenable Pop-Metal faggotry and bearded, pompadour haircut having Hipsterellas making squeaky-clean, overproduced Progcore or ‘Djent’, or as I like to call it, ripping off Meshuggah. Which I don’t get either because Meshuggah in themselves are pretentious, overproduced, Progressive cock-jerkery. But I digress. In the current climate of what Metalcore has to offer, Every Time I Die are one of the only bands who still hold up. Even after all these years now of them existing. These guys are one of the pioneering bands within the Metalcore genre who come from the times of bands like Converge, Starkweather, Catharsis, Zao, When Knives Go Skyward, ect. who brought something fresh and different to the table in the mid to late 90s with the advent of the genre. Now, sure they’ve gotten cleaner and more melodic in sound as years and albums went by, but even in their current state, they still deliver in a monstrous way, and this album, in my opinion is their best example of that. Heavy when it needs to be, melodic when it needs to be and done very well on both ends. Combining great, southern-style, almost Stoner Doomy riffage with Metallic Hardcore ferocity and great lyricism as well. The stand out track and best example of this is without a doubt It Remembers. Great track (despite it featuring an appearance by the guy from Panic at the Dickhole). Great album by one of the only greats left in this now cesspool of a genre.

14. Graveir: Iconostasis

You want something ugly? This album (as well as the next one) is what you’re looking for. This band treads the line of the murky, muddy Black Metal style of bands such as Vastum, Bestia Arcana & Misþyrming, but put a very unique but equally as twisted spin on it. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but it just sounds so different compared to those bands, and yet so similarly ugly and brooding. It’s quite hard to explain, but I dig it and recommend it to those looking for something that will make you feel as dirty as what you’re hearing.

13. Plague Porter: Don’t Let Them Breathe

Speaking of ugly, here’s something even more terrifying. The second album by these experimental Black Metal purveyors brings something even more outside the box but equally as messed up to the table. They play a brand of experimental Black Metal that can be described as manic and chaotic, sorta similar to Leviathan’s newer material. A combination of odd, almost psychotic riffs, manic shrieks, dramatic, raspy yells, and just plain chaotic weirdness all around. Not to mention lyricism dealing mostly with BDSM, which is kind of a rarity in Black Metal (shockingly) but still great. Highly recommended for those looking for something sorta quirky but fucking scary at the same time.

12. Raging Speedhorn: Lost Ritual

One of my favorite bands of the Sludgey Hardcore variety (or ‘Sludgecore’ if you believe those genre names are actual things). After breaking up in 2007 with a catalog of some of the angriest, most aggressive, thickest, sludgeyist Hardcore out there. Criminally underrated and fucking awesome. After being MIA for 9 years, they return with easily their BEST album yet. Comeback albums can go either way. You either get incredible albums like what At the Gates brought us after 19 fucking years with At War With Reality. Or not so incredible albums like what Refused gave us with Freedom. Well, with this is Raging Speedhorn’s At War With Reality. A great fucking comeback album with so much more than what we got with the band’s previous output. Still as heavy and pissed off, but with much more doomey, stonery, riff-work and catchy grooves. Now, granted, they weren’t gone for nearly as long as At the Gates were, but it’s amazing how much time can revitalize a band and their abilities and ideas and bring them back better than ever, if they have the drive for it as these guys clearly did. Awesome fucking album and highly recommended!

11. Katatonia: The Fall of Hearts

It’s no secret that Katatonia is my second all-time favorite band, next to Acid Bath, so some may think that their spot on this list may be a little biased (okay, maybe a little), but i’ll still criticize when I need to, and I will admit, this isn’t their best album. They’ve done much better. BUT this is still a damn good one and a much different one than the last few. The same core style as what we’re used to at this point, but much more proggy (but not TOO proggy, thankfully) and more experimental as well as longer song lengths. Katatonia are usually known for not making songs any longer than 5 minutes, but that changes here. Some songs clock in at 6-7 minutes at most, which was surprising, but makes sense considering how much more experimental this album is. The longer the track, the more room for trying new things. This album possesses the same dynamic you would expect from a newer Katatonia album, but also branches outside the box (I’ve said that so much already in this post. Ughh) and incorporates some interesting new elements that actually do work with the initial style. The heavier side of the spectrum takes on a faster, heavier, and slightly more technical form a la Symphony X or even newer Dream Theater, but again not overly technical like those 2. Examples of this are The Night Subscriber & Passer. While their softer side takes on an even more melodic and complex styling with tracks such as the excellent Decima & Old Heart Falls. There’s even a hint of Industrial with the closing track Vakaren. So, if you’re a fan of Katatonia, this one is just fine, it just may take a little mind-opening to really get into. But you will. Again, while not my personal favorite, still another very good output by these amazing Swedes. So give a listen and enjoy!

10. Orgy of Carrion: Obscured Ceremonies Under Hell Moon

Raw Black Metal is a very polarizing sub-genre. Some see it as ‘Black Metal in it’s purest form’ and others see it as a very passé style, considering how much the genre has evolved over the years. I used to be part of the ladder, but as my taste changes and dwells in the realm of the more obscure, dirty and darker side of Black Metal, I see it much differently, and with the more recent crop of bands (most notably on Bandcamp) of this variety, I now see how good a band can be with even the most minimal of production, as long as some effort is put in. This album is the most evident of that and as a result, this one man project has become one of my current favorites in all of Black Metal. Orgy of Carrion plays a very brooding and nightmarish brand of Raw BM, drenched in ugliness all the way down to the visuals. An intense combination of low-fi, tape-recorder level sound quality, distorted guitars, pencil tapping on a desk drumming (if that makes sense) and distant, echoed vocals, all wrapped up in a creepy, abyss like atmosphere that completes the terrifying package, and it all just works. If you need more proof that Black Metal bands can still be unique and fucking scary, while still using old tropes and stylings that may be considered outdated, then this is the band for you. One of them at least. Raw Black Metal, is on the rise again. I may even make a post about it with many more recommendations. But for now this is my first one. If you’re looking for something atmospheric, out there and fucking terrifying. Give this project a listen! Can’t recommend it enough.

9. Dark Funeral: Where Shadows Forever Reign

Dark Funeral is one of those bands who I’ve always had an on-and-off thing with. At one point i’m a fan, at another, i’m not really into them. It’s weird, and I think what’s to blame for that is their last 2 albums, Attera Totus Sanctus & Angelus Exuro Pro Externus. While they’re not terrible albums per se, the damper on them, in my opinion is the vocals. I wasn’t a huge fan of Emperor Magus Caligula or his style. He did have some really good moments here and there. Especially on the ladder album, but overall his voice just wasn’t anything special. I do, however love the bands catalog prior to these two albums. Now, going into this one I was cautious. I knew it featured a new vocalist, but also knew it could have gone either way quality-wise, especially since this is their first album in 7 years. What a surprise this turned out to be. This album is a fantastic return to form for these guys and I was immensely pleased with this one. Just a few minor changes have completely revitalized not only the band’s sound, but my liking of them! New vocalist Heljarmadr, also of Grá, breaths a new life into Dark Funeral’s sound and style that they have desperately needed since Diabolis Interium. The band takes on a new ferocity in sound, similar to mid-ere or newer Marduk, as opposed to the underwhelming, melodic BM style of the previous 2 outputs. This is a pleasantly surprising Swedish Black Metal damn-near masterpiece and I can’t recommend it enough. Especially if you’re like me and used to like Dark Funeral, but fell off with them after the last 2 albums. Give a listen!

8. Ересь: Жестокосердие

There’s always talk about which countries produce the best Black Metal. Countries that often pop up in those conversations are Sweden, Poland, Norway, Finland and in recent years, France. But one nation who I think deserves much more credit than it gets is the great mother Russia. There are numerous underrated and unrecognized gems who hail from this land, such as Nebelwerfer, Lutomysl, Lucifugum & Затемно. This album, however comes from my (now) favorite of the bunch. Ересь (Yeres) is a one-man project that plays a very dark and creepy style of Black Metal. Blast beats galore, that sound pretty good for a one-man band, dirty, brooding production and vocals that range from manic shrieks to equally as manic, dramatic yells. This is one of those albums where the music matches right up with the artwork, which is always a good thing. The creepy vibe of both the artwork and the music blend well together to create this unsettling atmosphere that flows all the way through to the end. This album is more proof that artwork is just as important as the music itself, and if the right piece is chosen to catch the eye of the listener, it will  set the tone perfectly for what goes into the ears. Highly recommended for anyone looking for something brooding and scary!

7. Cult Widow: Cursed II: Corrupting Worship

Blackened Crusty Hardcore is another sub-genre that has been budding in the last few years. Taking the heavy, angry, chaotic sound of modern Hardcore & Crust and adding a little modern Black Metal seasoning to it makes for quite a dish. Some bands that have come up within this sub-genre recently that I’ve come to love are Young and in the Way, Trap Them, Cult Leader, Bone Dance, Plebeian Grandstand, Hexis & Sunlight’s Bane. All of which are part of this movement and do it well, and another band that fits perfectly into this group is this band right here. Perhaps the best of the bunch. Cult Widow are a relatively new band, only around for a few years and have only released 2 EPs thus far. This being the second of them. Their first EP Cursed I: Feed Me Death is a 5-track offering of furious & ridiculously heavy and dark blend of Hardcore, Crust, Sludge & filthy, Thrashy Black Metal. Very well put together and structured. This EP is no different, in fact, even better! If you want something along the lines of Young and in the Way & Trap Them, but still it’s own enigma, absolutely give this one a listen. These guys are now a favorite of mine and I can’t wait for their first album!

6. Inquisition: Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith

Inquisition is a band that you’ll either love, hate or hate at first then warm up to. When I heard them for the first time, I wasn’t sure if it was for me. The groggy, monotone vocal style of Dagon was the main factor in deciding my liking for them. At first I was like ‘meh’, but as I get older and my taste shifts more in the direction of more raw and primitive styles of Black, Death & Thrash Metal, I’ve warmed up to Inquisition’s unique brand of it. The style that Inquisition brings to the table is, as I would imagine, a very polarizing one. Their style as I would describe it, is mid-era Immortal style cold, blasty and groovy at times Black Metal with more depth and complexity added in. Weirder riffs, vocals that some may compare to Abbath, but much darker and groggier and more cosmic-oriented aesthetics rather than being obsessed with snow and mountains. This pattern has continued throughout the band’s existence with very few changes in their style other than production wise, and this album is no different. That does not however, affect the quality of this beast of an album. Again, same formula, but unique in it’s own way and still fantastic. This is a great album full of great riff-work, thick sounding, blasting drums and the same groggy, creepy vocal style that Dagon is known for and still as interesting as ever. This is the same Inquisition we all know and love (or not), but higher production quality, which doesn’t hurt things at all and more complexity injected in. I almost considered this one for #1 as well, but the last 5 albums on this list were just too stiff of competition. Oh well. I highly recommend this one for fans of Inquisition or fans of unique, interestingly themed Black Metal. So get at it and enjoy.

5. The Body & Full of Hell: One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache

Collaboration albums is another budding trend that’s around these days. I’m not complaining, there have been really good ones. Last year gave us two great ones with Dragged into Sunlight & Gnaw Their Tongues as well as The Body & Krieg, and also a great one with Full of Hell & Merzbow in 2014. This years big banger in this department is this slab of collaborative grindy-industrial terror. If you know what both these bands are known for, you should pretty much know what you’re in for. A blend of the grindy, crusty Hardcore style of Full of Hell and the drony, sludgey, dark and hateful industrial ways that The Body is known for. They put it all into a proverbial blender and this was he result. You can call it a bunch of things, Industrial Grindcore, Industrial Hardcore, Industrial PowerGrindViolentFuckcore, whatever. What it really is is a great collaborative effort by two recognizable acts of their respective genres with an equal and fair balance of effort from each side that shows. Both styles play off of each other really well and smoothly and it shows on tracks such as World of Hope and No Pain and the excellent Bottled Urn. You would think coming from two bands like these with almost polar opposite sounds, this would have turned out to be somewhat of a mess, but that’s not the case at all. The blend of these two styles creates an almost Gnaw Their Tongues like feel and both sides play off each other almost perfectly. If you’re familiar with one or both of these acts, you’ll know what I mean. I highly recommend this one to anyone into either of the genres these two are known for and for fans of collaborations. I’ve become one myself and I hope this trend is long-standing.

4. Cobalt: Slow Forever

This album almost had the #1 spot on this list… almost. Experimental/Avant-Garde Black Metal, although I have my exceptions (Acherontas, Cult of Fire, ect.) to me is a very stale sub-genre. Unique sonically, yes, but aesthetically and stylistically, not so much. This album/band, however, breaks the mold of that. I discovered Cobalt about a year or so ago and was automatically hooked. They play a very unique brand of Experimental Black Metal that breaks clean away from the usually generic and yawn-inducing cesspool that the sub-genre has become in recent years. They bring a uniqueness to the table that transcends the current status quo withing the sub-genre of bands attempting to do something different and out there, employing the same formula of odd riffs, alternating harsh and dramatic vocals and hooded cloak costumes, but ultimately just end up doing the same goddamn thing as one another. The direction this one takes is a little bit more straightforward and primitive. The riffs aren’t per se ‘odd’, but very unique, and I mean that literally. I’d even say their style has a bit of a southern Metal drawl to it with a hint of Hardcore. The music itself is very melodic but unpredictable and takes many twists and turns throughout. Even the vocals that range from shrieks to yells to weirder yells. There are also some pretty cool melodic passages featured. This album is a very mixed bag that keeps your interest from start to finish, despite being pretty damn long. That, to me is the hallmark of a great album, especially in an over-saturated and stale genre like this one. Overall, a fucking great album by one of the best in the USBM scene today. I can’t recommend it enough. It was almost #1 for a reason.

3. Trap Them: Crown Feral

Another album that I very much considered for number 1. Trap Them were already one of my favorites of the Crusty Blackened Hardcore variety, and their last album Blissfucker solidified that, and this one keeps them at that spot. This album is a filthy, vicious, ruthless, miserable Blackened Crust masterpiece. Easily Trap Them’s best work thus far. Not only meaner and darker than their previous efforts, but also their most complex. It’s the same formula that you would expect by these guys, but with a little more of a Punkish attitude injected into it. You get the same thick, crushing riffs, fast, Thrashy drumming and harsh, miserable vocals, but with a more Punk-oriented vibe to them. It’s hard to explain but it works. There are tracks that stand out like Revival Spines and the great closer Phantom Air, but the whole album is a must-listen for fans of this style. So, corpse-painted crusties, get on this one! It’s very much worth it.

2. Darkthrone: Arctic Thunder

I never thought in a million years… or at least the last 10, that I would ever even listen to another Darkthrone album, let alone have one on a year-end list of mine. Then this album happened. Talk about a fucking comeback. I didn’t even bat an eye when I learned that there was a new Darkthrone album on the horizon. Many others were on the same boat. Then they released Tundra Leech and that all changed in an instant. Great fucking track that reminded me a lot of The Hordes of Nebulah. So after hearing that, my excitement went through the roof for this album. I was still cautious, but if that track were any indication of what was to come, then this album should be a banger… and boy what it ever. Not only is the THE best Darkthrone album in a decade, but this just may be their best ever. This album treads the lines between the cold, grim and harsh ways of early Darkthrone and the raw, Crustty, Punky, vicious as shit style of mid-era Darkthrone and it crosses between the two styles almost perfectly. Great riffs all throughout, harsh, raspy shrieks & growls, and Thrashy drumming, all done fantastically. After listening to this, all I could think was ‘Where the hell was this Darkthrone in the last 10 years?’. Well, they’re back, and I couldn’t be more pleased with this one. Well done, Darkthrone. Well done!

1. Oathbreaker: Rheia

And the album that captivated me the most this year. This one without question. Oathbreaker were known previously for playing a very primitive and heavy as shit style of Hardcore-infused Sludge, and they did it well. Now, with the release of this album, they have transcended that in a way I have never seen a band do before. They have shifted away from their Sludgey, Doomey Hardcore ways and took on a more Post-Black Metal type of sound, and they transitioned into it so smoothly. Now, a lot of people may compare this style to the likes of Deafheaven or Liturgy, and even dismiss it altogether, calling it ‘Hipster garbage’, which I can understand. I definitely do not agree with that sentiment, though. Yes, it is Post-Black Metal, but they do it in such a powerful, intense way that doesn’t rely on sugary, dreamy aesthetics or overly done Shoegaze fuckery. Yes, there are clean vocals and there is a somewhat dreary atmosphere to this, but again, they don’t treat it as a crutch. The music itself is still vicious and intense at it’s heaver moments, blending blasty Black Metal and a small amount of Post-Hardcore, and powerful and captivating at it’s softer moments, mixing dreary yet emotional clean singing and weird, but nice riff work. This is the type of album that just makes you sit there and stare off into space while soaking in all that comes to you through the speakers or headphones. They pull of this style so well that it resonates with you after the first few listens. At least that’s how it worked for me. This is a fantastic fucking album that pulls off a normally yawn-inducing style that many other bands fail at and it’s insane considering what they were doing just one album prior to this one. I loved it from start to finish and I can’t recommend it enough. So give it a listen, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself like this when it’s over…

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So that’s it. Those are my favorite albums of this otherwise horrid cesspool of a year. Hope you stuck around long enough to enjoy it. Hope it wasn’t too long. I’ll try to do this in an easier way next year. But for now, read this or not. It’s all just my opinion. If you do, enjoy.

I know I suck at writing ‘reviews’. That’s why I don’t call them reviews.

Until next time.

-Scvm

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