This list is presented in no particular order, with the exception of my number one album, and is genre-inclusive. Simply put, these were my favorite albums and EPs of 2016. As a special bonus, I also included some other categories after the music, just for poops and hahas.
Oh, and please feel free to tell me how wrong I am on Twitter @CelticFrosty. Enjoy!
The Grand Prize:
Mare Cognitum – Luminiferous Aether [Listen]
Atmospheric Black Metal is my favorite genre of music, and no one is bringing it right now like Jacob Buczarski. What sets Mare Cognitum apart from its peers is that Buczarski doesn’t lean on repetition, fuzzy guitar tone, or lo-fi production to build atmosphere in his songs. He relies instead on high-flying riffs that build into ethereal crescendos, rapturing the listener into the cosmos and bringing Buczarski’s visions of the universe to life. In a word, this music is exciting, which is not often a term used to describe Atmospheric Black Metal. That’s why Luminiferous Aether is my favorite album of 2016.
And All the Rest:
VRTRA – My Bones Hold a Stillness [Listen]
Dreaded Void – The Abyssal Plane of Suffering [Listen]
Gaoth – Dying Season’s Glory [Listen]
Emma Ruth Rundle – Marked for Death [Listen]
Miserable – Uncontrollable [Listen]
Névoa – Re Un [Listen]
Spirit Adrift – Chained to Oblivion [Listen]
Obed Marsh – Innsmouth [Listen]
Eternal Champion – The Armor of Ire [Listen]
Kevin Morby – Singing Saw [Listen]
Slabdragger – Rise of the Dawncrusher [Listen]
Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä [Listen]
Mithras – On Strange Loops [Listen]
Earth and Pillars – Pillars I [Listen]
G.L.O.S.S. – Trans Day of Revenge [Listen]
Mesarthim – .- -… … . -. -.-. . [Listen]
Venetian Roses – Erosion of Love [Listen]
PUP – The Dream Is Over [Listen]
מזמור – Yodh [Listen]
Rookie of the Year:
Dying Season’s Glory, which made it into my list of favorite albums above, is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve heard in a long time. Gaoth is one to watch.
Most Metal Album of the Year:
H I V E – Emergence
They had me at “Penetration of the Froth Plug.” Also it’s a concept album about locusts in which the vocalist goes by the name “Brood Mother.” This is the most metal thing I’ve seen all year. [Listen]
Album Cover of the Year:
Dormant Ordeal – We Had It Coming [Listen]
Original artwork by Kuba Sokólski. Facebook
Label of the Year:
Earth and Pillars, Névoa, Sivyj Yar, Mare Cognitum/Aureole Split, Astral Path, Selvans/Downfall of Nur Split, Mesarthim, Recitations, Botanist/Oskoreien Split, Sojourner, Battle Dagorath, Ashbringer…do I need to keep going? Atmospheric Black Metal fans like myself had an absolute field day with Avantgarde Music this year.
Metal Blog of the Year:
I am perhaps the teeniest bit biased here, since I do write for TovH from time to time and I am a very active member of the blog’s online community. That being said, Toilet Ov Hell consistently highlights the absolute best in underground metal and heavy music, is well written, and has the best online community for a metal blog I’ve ever seen. The site really came into its own this year, and with any luck it will continue evolving into one of the best metal sites on the internet. THE FLUSH PREVAILS!
Most Overrated Album:
Cobalt – Slow Forever
Slow Forever is right. I know a lot of you loved the shit out of this thing, but the whole album just bores me to tears. I come across an album every year that gets massively hyped that just doesn’t do it for me, but this is by far the most perplexing to me in a good long while. [Listen]
Douchebag Band of the Year:
Say a bunch of racist and homophobic shit on stage, get called out by a metal blog for saying racist and homophobic shit, call upon your hordes of man-baby fans to come after journalist from said metal blog, dox said journalist, continue being a bunch of racist, insecure babies. Yep, that’ll just about do it.