Written by: Ed Howson
Published: 13 Dec 2016 - 12:41 AM


A brief look at the best and worst albums of 2016


2016 has been a turbulent time for heavy music, and the albums that have been released have been on both the good and bad ends of the spectrum. Let’s take a look at 10 albums that shaped the year.

Chaos - Attila

I’ve already given this one a full review titled ‘Sex, Drugs and Chaos’, so if you haven’t read that, go back to the reviews page and check it out. Essentially, this album is a massive fuck you to everyone, and it’s kick arse.

Monster - Graves

For me, this album came out of nowhere and blew my fucking mind. Australia is no stranger to breeding the best heavy music, but this band took it to a whole new level. A solid debut album, back up by a solid national tour. 

Straight From The Barrio - Upon A Burning Body

If you’re a fan of UABB, you’ll know they can rip out a solid album. ‘Red.White.Green.’ was a brilliant mix of metalcore brutality and Latino vibes that made you want to jump, dance and mosh all at the same time. Sadly, ‘Straight From The Barrio’ does not do this, and their sound is less ‘I’m Mexican and I’ll fuck you up’ and more ‘We’re the ghetto version of Attila’.

All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us - Architects

Architects seventh album is an absolute kicker, the crème de la crème. Much of the album revolves around life, death, and guitarist Tom Seale’s struggle with cancer. Shortly after its release, Seale passed away, which was painfully felt by the band and fans alike. A true testament to their courage, the band continued their tour in the latter half of the year.

Retrograde - Crown The Empire

The album starts with something that sounds like it should be in a high school musical, and it doesn’t get any better from there. The little band from Texas showed so much potential when they released their EP Limitless in 2011, but five years later have released something more pop-rock than Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘That’s the Spirit’.

Love Don’t Live Here - Lionheart

Aside from being a bitchin’ hardcore album that will make you want to throw down, the album centres around dealing with life’s struggles. Many fans have said that listening to it has helped them deal with depression, anxiety and many more of life’s struggles. Just goes to prove the power of music. 

Songs For The Sick - I Declare War

I thought it would be impossible for I Declare War to outdo their 2011 self titled album in brutality, but this album goes to show that anything is possible. Frontman Jamie Hanks has certainly stepped up his vocal game, perfecting a menacing high scream to compliment his low growls which sit in a mix that is heavier than an elephant’s stomp.

This Could Be Heartbreak - The Amity Affliction

TAA has been on the downslope ever since they released ‘Chasing Ghosts’ in 2012. Their latest album is nothing short of disappointing to people with ears, and is probably only palatable for sixteen year old girls. Although I agree that King Gizzard shouldn’t have won best metal album, TAA was never in the running anyway, because that album is about as metal as balsa wood. 

Collaborative albums

Equinox - Northlane / In Hearts Wake

These two Aussie heavyweights belted out an amazing split EP earlier this year, which I reviewed as my first article for Ozgigs. It’s innovative, inspiring and incendiary. Get on it.

The Depression Sessions - Thy Art Is Murder / The Acacia Strain / Fit For An Autopsy

It’s not easy to tackle the subject of climate change, social upheaval or economic disparity with a metal song, but if there was a mystical solution, this collaboration has the answers. ‘They Will Know Another’ certainly kicks you in the guts, when half of you wants to jump around, and the other half has come to the grim realisation that the world is in a state of ill-repair. The album is both uplifting and crushingly depressing, which will have you feeling pretty ambivalent about everything. The Du Hast cover is pretty dope, and I must say is much better than the Motionless In White version, which is more or less exactly the same as the original. It’s supposed to be a cover, but some of your own personality into it.

Actually offended or upset about the review? Cry to your mates, I’m a writer, not a safe-space concierge.

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