TheEnigma
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01.11.17 20 from '1601.08.17 Music and Partners
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20 from '16

Better late than never I guess. Here are 20 albums from 2016 and my worthless opinions of them.
1Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas
Mariner


As a huge CoL fan, I was blown away by how well the band retained their own unique sound while incorporating vocals from Julie Christmas. An unexpected, but phenomenal pairing. I've only listened to the entire album front to back a handful of times, but whenever I'm flipping through my music, I keep coming back to 'A Greater Call', my favorite track of 2016
2Alcest
Kodama


I love Neige and everything he does. 'Shelter' was certainly a deviation from the preceding sounds of Alcest, but it worked. That said, I was very excited when I read that 'Kodama' would be a return to "the origins" of Alcest; a switch back to the black, shoegazey goodness that Alcest fans know and love. 'Kodama' lived up to the expectations, 100%
3Schammasch
Triangle


The first thing I noticed about this album was its sheer length. I pulled it up on YouTube while doing some housework and thought 'I'll probably get bored of this, but whatever'. I played it anyways. I was blown away. All 100 minutes of this album had me captivated and excited to hear what was next. Digging deeper into the album to understand it as a 3 part work has made it all that much more interesting and beautiful to me. Album of the year? Maybe. It's definitely been the one I've recommended to the most people.
4Deftones
Gore


This album did not disappoint, but only because I had low expectations. With the exception of Hearts/Wires, the whole album just felt sloppy and boring to me. The 'White Pony' days are far behind.
5Opeth
Sorceress


Loved the first single. Didn't care for the second or third. Heard the whole album and loved it as a collective. It's no 'Ghost Reveries' or 'My Arms, Your Hearse', but proggy albums have been their thing for a few albums now and that's cool. I actually got to see Opeth in concert for the first time with another sput user on the night this album was released, so that was pretty fucking cool.
6Aesop Rock
The Impossible Kid


Wait, is this the same dude who brought us 'Labor Days'? It's like two separate but equally brilliant artists...'The Impossible Kid' exceeded my expectations, not having been a huge fan of 'Skelethon'. Got to see him live too, my first hip-hop show.
7Danny Brown
Atrocity Exhibition


Hadn't heard anything by Danny Brown prior to this album. I was stunned, like 'what the hell is this?' but not in a bad way.
8Kanye West
The Life of Pablo


Nope. No good. Not even one track that I found remotely interesting. Listened to it once and that was that.
9Rorcal
Creon


Straightforward. Blunt. Not overly complex as far as albums go, but consistent and strong. Not something I'd delve into over and over, but pretty good background noise if I need to focus on something else.
10Gojira
Magma


Another band that is new to me this year. Magma was intriguing to me, and about as 'catchy' as metal can be before the word becomes insulting. Would jam their discography.
11Numenorean
Home


Hailing from my own hometown, it was pretty cool to think about the origins of this band. Did any of these guys go to the same school as me? What neighborhood did they practice in? Do we know any of the same people? Did I ever meet any of them in passing? Who knows. Aside from that...album was beautiful. Very grim when you consider the thematic elements (which I almost always do), but eerily beautiful in it's own way.
12Bon Iver
22, A Million


OH FUCK YES. Made my eyes water. I'm one of those awful individuals who thinks 'For Emma' is overrated, but this fucking had me. Non-metal album of the year for sure.
13Nullingroots
Take Care


Black and beautiful. I didn't hear this album until just this week actually, and I've only heard it once, so I can't say much about it except that I thoroughly enjoyed it. But then I'm prone to enjoy anything black and ambient. These guys don't have a huge following, but this album is worth checking out. I know I'll be giving it another handful of listens in the near future.
14Coldworld
Autumn


Sigh...it's good. But it's no Melancholie. I wish I was better at listening to the album for what it is without making comparisons, but I'm not. It is no Melancholie.
15Insomnium
Winter's Gate


Another contender for AOTY. I have loved Insomnium since the first time I heard 'Above the Weeping World'. Winter's Gate experimented with an entirely new concept while retaining consistency in the band's signature style and sound. Flawless transitions, beautiful instrumentation. 5/5 for sure
16Oathbreaker
Rheia


Couldn't do it. I was moderately enthralled with Eros|Anteros, but for some reason found this album to be much less interesting. Might be one of those albums that just takes a few listens, but I haven't bothered yet to do so.
17In Flames
Battles


Honestly, I was pumped to listen to this and never got around to it. I loved In Flames, and I still love Soundtrack especially...but I just don't care for their last few releases and haven't felt my time worth sacrificing for this album. In Flames went from touring with Dark Tranquility and Katatonia to touring with Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed, and I just don't care enough anymore.
18Sia
This Is Acting


Everyone has such a boner for the new Ariana Grande, but this, to me, is the best pop release of 2016. Sia has earned her place in the pop music industry and I'm happy to see her taking the proverbial spotlight and showing her listeners what she can really do with her voice. I respect Sia as an artist and as a person, and this album highlights her strengths as both.
19Katatonia
The Fall of Hearts


I almost forgot about this album when I was writing my list, because it feels like I've loved it for years. Katatonia has a way of inciting feelings of nostalgia, even if you haven't heard their music or that particular album before. Even with the more 'upbeat' tracks (loose use of the term), they manage to convey an aura of grey...brooding...dark but hopeful...I don't know. Whatever they're doing, it works.
20Devin Townsend Project
Transcendence


Devin Townsend...this man can do no wrong. Yet another album that surpassed my anticipations this year. From start to finish (with a few short exceptions along the way), 'Transcendence' reached out and pulled at my inner self. I would describe my first time listening to it as spiritual. Another 5/5 without a doubt.
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