5. Giraffe Tongue Orchestra - Broken Lines
I was hyped on this months before it was ever released...and it ended up being even better than I was expecting. if anyone can point me in the direction of more alternative rock and alternative metal somewhere along these lines, just make sure it's the scenic route. there's a lot of danceable energy to this one; further cements my desire to start a dance-rock band once I learn to play my instrument with any sort confidence and adequate ability. I just hope these guys follow it up with a sophomore effort, and sooner rather than later.
4. Periphery - P3: Select Difficulty
hey! an album on my list that made a few other top 5's on this forum! I've been along for the ride since Periphery's first album dropped, and despite how much I loved Juggernaut, with Select Difficulties, they've somehow continued the unsustainable pattern of once again one-up'ing the predecessor. I wish I could complain about the decrease in guitar solos, but how can I when it's perfect just the way it is(?). Not sure what else to say, other than I've been planning to photoshop Misha's head into a bunch of my wedding photos (I need to replace somebody). oh, I know, I'll give a shoutout to Catch Fire for combining the likes of Faith No More verses with the likes of Evanescence choruses and the likes of a One Direction bridge with some overarching Periphery flare for one of the best accessible tunes of the year.
3. Paul Gilbert - I Can Destroy
no one writes and executes standards like this guy. i belly flopped into Paul's discography after hearing Vibrato in 2012, and he's gotta be my most listened to artist in the 4 years post discovery. [(un)interestingly, despite being a big instrumental fan, i don't particularly care for his 3 vocal-free albums of originals (though I am huge on the instrumental stylings on aforementioned Vibrato as well as the covers LP)]. and yeah, I Can Destroyprobably remains my new favorite Paul album, despite the fact there's been enough time for the romance to wear off at this point! not so fun fact: the Japanese bonus track is a candidate for the album's top tune...Shazam doesn't even know that song exists, fuck.
2. Destrage - A Means To No End
my album of the year (or so i thought...). I stumbled upon Destrage's Are You Kidding Me? No. in November 2015 and immediately fanboy'd the isht out of it. Even after the arbitrary romance period, I realized I had a new retroactive 2014 AOTY (sorry bout your luck, Closure In Moscow's Pink Lemonade). while AYKM?N remained in heavy rotation for nearly a year, it had a few hundred spins, and I was more than ready for it's follow up, aka my most anticipated album of the year...it had the sort of expectations I've tried to simmer in recent years for the most eagerly anticipated releases...but it wouldn't have mattered; the album didn't disappoint at all! still too early to tell, but I think I even like it more than its predecessor. it's the type of follow up to an AOTY that makes me think I might have a new favorite band.
1. Cyborg Octopus - Learning To Breathe
circa a week before Christmas, I see Destrage link to a "top albums of the year" list they made from MetalInjection...SO GLAD I checked out the dude's list, cuz I'm obsessed with this gem he unearthed (perhaps unhealthily obsessed; perhaps shouldn't be 'so glad'). despite only spending 6 or 7 weeks with this treasure, I'm confident it shall remain my AOTY after the romance has worn off. I'm just disappointed I didn't see anyone else mention it in their lists; this is the type of album I used to come to DTForums to help me discover...I see a thread was seeded many months ago but died stillborn, RIP. 8-(
Steve Vai - Modern Primitive. Steve's my guy. Love him to death. this album's ambitious and killer (as per usual). but something had to get bumped from my top5 when I got into Cyborg Octopus, and I s'pose I docked this one a few points for being mostly old songs that are finally being brought to life, and for the bummer of a fact I haven't been revisiting it recently.
Orbs - Past Life Regression. this one was initially a disappointment for me. mostly cuz of the expectations it was cursed with for being the follow up to my 2010 AOTY. but it's been heavy in the rotation lately, and it has grown on me immensely...'cept for that one song; maybe it just needs another week.
The Dear Hunter - Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional. another one that suffers from having to live up to it's predecessor, but a tall drink of quality, no doubt. anyway, I don't think it's gonna suffer from missing out on my top 5 as far as the ballot stuffing on DTF's AOTY goes ;-)
Levin Minnemann Rudess - From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess. man, these dudes are my dudes. despite a decent amount of spins, I haven't fully wrapped my head around the entirety of this one; I could see it retroactively climbing up my 2016 rankings in due time.
Haken - Affinity. to be honest, I just haven't been in the mood to really dive into it for some reason...but I'm sure if I do, I could fall in love with it. maybe I'll further try forcing it on myself in the coming weeks.
Dream Theater - The Astonishing. so, here's the thing...I purchased this album the weekend it dropped...and I still haven't listened to it :-I. honestly, I was quite intrigued when the concept was first announced prior to the release. my gusto waned a little when I seen the track lengths and track quantities. but that's petty. it wasn't until more and more tidbits of negative feedback found their way to me that my gumption essentially disappeared completely. trippy enough, a lot of that was on this forum just from catching random remarks in this here General Music Discussion subforum (in fact, I don't think I read any of the reactions on the All Things Dream Theater subforum). anyway, I'm near certain I'm not gonna be impressed and still have no desire to give it a chance and be left legitimately disappointed. the wife didn't hate it, but she hardly revisited it, so that doesn't help it's cause.