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My Mid-Year Top 10 of 2016

July 17, 2016
By

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We are just after the halfway point into 2016 and there have been metal releases from all corners and regions of the world. Some eh, so so albums to some great impactful and memorable releases, let’s take a look down my top ten list of albums released this year thus far.  After looking at the list, I feel there have not been as many great releases compared to this time last year as the beginning of 2015 seemed stronger than this year. Perhaps you don’t agree, I wish I could say the same but not to fret, it has still been a solid 2016 so far and there is still plenty of opportunity for more sick, tasty and eargasmic albums. Hell, there are a handful of albums I know are going to be released later this year so there is still a chance to turn things around and end the year on a high note, literally. This only means that 2017 is going to be stronger and there are a few albums from some big names rumored to be released next year! But for now, lets take a dip into what this year has brought us so far, beginning with album number 10 on the list.

Contraint - Enlightened by Darkness #10 – Constraint – Enlightened By Darkness
If you’re already an avid fan of the Symphonic scene, you’ll have no trouble connecting with the album. I almost felt like this album was it’s own genre in itself due to it’s very original sound, structure and composure. Not overbearing while being stimulating and unexpected, Enlightened By Darkness is the beginning for Constraint. There are pinnacles of Symphonic bliss with occasional intimate moments that give the album many faces to behold. I’m very much looking forward to their next album already. Hopefully this is the start of a long journey to come for them.

 

IntoThelegendCover #9 – Rhapsody Of Fire – Into The Legend
The album features classic nostalgic elements that trace back to their earlier days, which you know there will always be the fans who find an artist’s best work was during their beginning days. All your signature elements are present on the album like Neoclassical guitars, epic symphonies, select dynamics, overall an album that I think most fans would feel is very stylish.

 

 

Imperia_TearsOfSilence_cover #8 – Imperia – Tears Of Silence
This album is very much for the symphonic and power metalheads. A true variety of tracks, there’s not many albums I can say end on a strong suit and Tears Of Silence falls under that umbrella. At some points there were magical moments and at other points there were direct metal elements which spell the recipe for a wondrous album that is deemed worthy of checking out. Everything from the inspiring piano pieces to the heavier riffy style tracks, the album is synonymous with what one would think a female fronted symphonic melodic metal band could bring.

 

nemeseauprisealbum #7 – Nemesea – Uprise
Alligning themselves with the hard rock scene rather than the presumed symphonic genre, Nemesea bring an aspiring, emotional and uplifting album this time around with Uprise. Each track offers something new and there is nothing shocking about the album as the group keeps things simple yet direct which in doing so creates a better effect rather than trying to go above and beyond one’s expectations. If I were to award the most moving album of the year, it would certainly be this one, perhaps the most moving album I have heard in a long time.

 

Amon Amarth - Jomsviking #6 – Amon Amarth – Jomsviking
Amon Amarth are one of those few bands that gets better and better with every album release. Making ne excception this time around, Jomsviking is a strong, head-on charge to the metal masses. Their first concept album, it does no disapppoint. From epic adventures to dynamic and ferocious affairs, the Viking metal Gods continue their path of terror and devastating destruction alongside the Viking clan with the Jomsvikings, the most brutal force out there during that era. Fusing atmospheric senses with dynmaic moments, this is surely the album we have been waiting for.

 

Fleshgod Apocalypse - King - Artwork #5 – Fleshgod Apocalypse – King
All make way for the King! The amazingly executed fusion of classical music and brutal death metal, just an oh so sweet combination of elements that appease even the most extreme of metalheads. Everything is injected with steroids to the max. The symphonic aspect is heavily dominant and defined, the instrumentals go off the charts, the blood curdling vocals are notably more insane, this album is just beyond absurd. Once the King enters your court, believe me, it will be near impossible to get rid of his dark majesty.


Bella Utopia Cover #4 – Bella Utopia – Dilema Do Prisioneiro
Heavy, heavy, heavy pretty much justifies the album, to put it into simple terms. While most albums tend to feature one or two or more slower and more melodic sounding tracks, this album does not go in that cliche pattern. Having mature skills, the group certainly have what it takes to become notices in the metal community. Their next album, whenever that’ll be will certainly give you goosebumps you can bet. The attitude and aggressive nature of the album does not lose it’s composure at all from start to end. If more metal albums expressed themself in such a way as Bella Utopiahave done, I think there would be a lot more happier metal fans around in general. Check out Dilema Do Prisioneiro and Bella Utopia, while they are an underground gem waiting to be found.

otepgenerationdoomcover #3 – Otep – Generation Doom
Otep
certainly have built a reputation amongst the metal community. With nearly two decades now under their belt, one would think that their steam and power are running on fumes but after listening to Generation Doom, this is completely untrue. Easily one of their heaviest releases ever, one taste and you’ll want more. Generation Doom features many heavy-hitting, rebellious and awakening tracks that also come with nu-metal grooves and dark industrious furies that shapeshift into hard rock melodies at any given moment. Tackling issues that eat our society with each track, I would award this album the best lyrical content. Otep bring forth a harsh but true light to what goes on in our everyday lives.

Avantasia - Ghostlights - Artwork #2 – Avantasia – Ghostlights
The album puts the listener in a new position each and every time. With elements of metal that are prevalent and unpredictable delights that only Tobias Sammet knows how execute, you’ll certainly find yourself immersed in a whole other world. Oh you Avantasia fans surely are in for a treat I can bet you that. From the moment you press play, each track will layer on the suspense which will break you and eventually leave you wanting more. What else can one say about the album, it touches upon all my favorite metal elements and with a killer supercast of guest musicians, what more could you want?

Delain Lunar Prelude #1 – Delain – Lunar Prelude
Delain
continue on the triumphant path of tackling real world issues with their latest EP, Lunar Prelude. For you Delain fans, you must pick this album up, you will see the group in a familiar yet new light and I feel we have yet to see the group’s full potential, if they have not shown it yet with this bombastic EP. As I’ve said with many albums, once you start the album, it will be near impossible to stop it. For the 36-minute run this album has, you will feel an eternal ecstasy you wish never stopped, then real world will hit you. Luckily Delain are here to fuel those of us who seek a better version of ourselves and the world with their superb messages in their lyricism. The magic of Lunar Prelude will cast a spell over you and it’s full effect will take hold once the full-length album arrives later this year. That may be the album of the year.

With less than 6 months left in the year, there is still plenty of time for more sick and epic releases. I know of a few of my favorite artists will be releasing a new album this Fall which is giving me goosebumps just thinking about it so at this point, the list has a high chance of changing, especially who in my mind may take the #1 spot by the end of the year if they can. We’ll see what happens. The first half of 2016 has gone and with a pretty solid list of up and comers to established names I say, let the chaos begin mwahahaha. Seriously, I can feel the rest of the year is going to be insane for metal, my goodness!! Stay Metal \m/



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