According to my album list of 2016, I already checked out 36 albums, and I still have around 15 left on my list that I have yet to listen to. Of the ones I have listened to, this is a pretty accurate top 10, I believe.
This might be the heaviest end-of-the-year list I have ever made:
1. Obsidian Kingdom - A Year With no Summer
Yeah, well. This has basically been my 'jam' all the way through the year. A stunning record in all aspects. Very different from their first one, Mantiis, which I actually like slightly better, but so very good throughout. It's probably an acquired taste though, even though I've sent songs in many a roulette, they didn't always receive high scores at all.
2. Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason
This might well be the best album these Swedes have ever released. Holy shit, some of the stuff that's going on here is absolutely insane. If you thought this band's creativity had gotten stale, their renewed interest in actual guitar amps, instead of digital sounds, made for a stunning metal album.
3. Ihsahn - Arktis.
Superb quality throughout, the black metal mastermind shows us that he's capable of far more than just blast-beats and high-pitched shrieks.
4. Cult of Luna ft. Julie Christmas - Mariner
Julie Christmas is the highlight on this record, that women's voice ranges from soft croons to complete satanic mayhem. Very nice and atmospheric, but very heavy as well. Amazing stuff.
5. Kayo Dot - Plastic House on Base of Sky
Toby Driver delivers a peculiar, weird album focusing on synthesizers, more than anything else. The album's centerpiece has some haunting stuff going on in the middle, while the overall vibs of the album is something I haven't heard before. Special stuff.
6. Losers - How To Ruin Other People's Futures
This trio creates some of the most messed up sounds, utilising synthesizers and guitars, as well as vocals to get the job done. Metal mixed with dubstep done best.
7. Ulver - ATGCLVLSSCAP
The experimental group's latest album fails to be coherent in some places, but in others the band shines like they usually do. Not their best, but contains some very good stuff. Of special interest is the sixteenth anniversary re-recording of 'Nowhere / Catastrophe', from their album perdition City.
8. Slice the Cake - Odyssey to the West
Yeah, this one. While it initially wowed me, it has lost some steam on subsequent listens. Still very solid throughout.
9. The Dear Hunter - Act V: Hymns With the Devil in Confessional
I had expected more from this record, but it's still pretty damn good. It doesn't top ACt IV or Act II, and some sections of songs feel unnecessary. Where it's good though, it's usually really good.
10. Gojira - Magma
Gojira took an alternative route. Instead of going all out, this record is far more laid-back than their previous records. Focusing more on textures and song-writing, the band crafted an album unique in their discography, with some very strong songs scattered on the disc.
Just missed the cut:
Haken - Affinity
Anciients - Voice of the Void