“The Metal Observer”‘s Top 30 Albums of 2016

TMO Top 30 2016

It is done—The Metal Observer’s convent has come to an end, and the votes have been cast. Enter to find out who survived the fire and emerged victorious!

Click on the band – album for the review link (if applicable). Click the cover art for music.

T W E N T Y – N I N E
Witherscape
The Northern Sanctuary

“One of the best amalgamations of prog and death of the year, if not the decade.”
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T W E N T Y – N I N E
Perturbator
The Uncanny Valley

“Dark electro wave that will chill the bone marrow.”
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T W E N T Y – S E V E N
Devin Townsend Project
Transcendence

“Continuing his continued continuation.”
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T W E N T Y – S E V E N
Dark Funeral
Where Shadows Forever Reign

“Seven years have passed, the funeral is still as dark.”
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T W E N T Y – S I X
Ihsahn
Arktis

“As expansive and genre-pushing as ever.”
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T W E N T Y – F I V E
Fates Warning
Theories of Flight

“Striking an excellent balance between progressive mastery and grand accessibility.”
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T W E N T Y – F O U R
Twilight Force
Heroes Of Mighty Magic

“Sailing the bombastic power metal dragon in its full soaring grandeur.”
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T W E N T Y – T H R E E
Chthe’ilist
Le dernier crépuscule

“The nightmarish soundtrack to Lovecraftian horror.”
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T W E N T Y – T W O
Anthrax
For All Kings

“The band’s most engaging album in years.”
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T W E N T Y – O N E
Alcest
Kodama

“A partial return of old elements boost Alcest’s latest into the future.”
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T W E N T Y
Moonsorrow
Jumalten aika

“One of the most truly progressive metal bands out there, Moonsorrow continue to forge on and push boundaries.”
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N I N E T E E N
Mithras
On Strange Loops

“Take brutal death metal and go into space, taking 70s prog and 80s glam and voila, here are Mithras.”
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E I G H T E E N
Death Angel
The Evil Divide

“Death Angel continue to belt out high quality thrash, returning with some of the most balanced material yet.”
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S E V E N T E E N
Forteresse
Thèmes pour la rébellion

“One of Quebec’s finest with a historic and tight effort.”
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S I X T E E N
Megadeth
Dystopia

“Taking queues from various eras of their career, Megadeth are back on top of the game.”
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F I F T E E N
Epica
The Holographic Principle

“Complex and heavy, the album cements Epica’s place as one of symphonic metal’s premier acts.”
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F O U R T E E N
Oranssi Pazuzu
Värähtelijä

“A suffocating experience, the album is both bizarre and rewarding.”
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T H I R T E E N
Theocracy
Ghost Ship

“A sweeping ride through the storms of epic power metal.”
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T W E L V E
Deathspell Omega
The Synarchy Of Molten Bones

“A visceral outlash that harkens back to the band’s seminal ‘FAS’ album.”
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E L E V E N
Demon Bitch
Hellfriends

“Leaning towards the more eccentric side of the American power metal scene, Demon Bitch deliver their very own kind of retro.”
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T E N
Darkthrone
Arctic Thunder

“While visiting a heavier past, the Norwegians still never look back.”
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N I N E
Harakiri for the Sky
III: Trauma

“A complete package, HFTS’s third is a slab of depressing, yet beautiful post-black metal.”
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E I G H T
Saor
Guardians

“With the folk instruments playing a stronger role, ‘Guardians’ is Saor’s most well-rounded album to date.”
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S E V E N
Insomnium
Winter’s Gate

“Not many bands can pull off a 40-minute song, but these Finns do it masterfully.”
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S I X
Thrawsunblat
Metachthonia

“One of the biggest surprises of the year, these Canadians melt folk, black, heavy, progressive and other metal like no other.”
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F I V E
Cobalt
Slow Forever

“With a massive slab of American black metal, Cobalt convince their fans after a 7-year hiatus.”
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F O U R
Borknagar
Winter Thrice

“Underlining the Norwegians’ status as one of metal’s truly progressive bands, ‘Winter Thrice’ seamlessly fits into their gem-studded back catalogue.”
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T H R E E
Inquisition
Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith

“Consistency is key for Inquisition, improving around the edges, but staying as pitch black at the core.”
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T W O
Ulcerate
Shrines of Paralysis

“Sheer unearthly and often unnatural might.”
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O N E
Vektor
Terminal Redux

“Technical thrashcore to twist your brain into a nebula!”
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4 thoughts on ““The Metal Observer”‘s Top 30 Albums of 2016

  1. Can’t figure out how Megadeth and Anthrax albums made the list, but the far superior Testament album did not…For that matter, the same could be said for including Twilight Force and Theocracy, but not Sabaton…

    • It’s easy to disparage some bands because of their popularity (deserved or undeserved). But “Dystopia” and “For All Kings” are both engaging albums from start to finish. But then my personal top 10 included Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Twilight Force AND Sabaton, so what do I know? 😛

      • Right there with you on “For All Kings”. It didn’t make my top 10 or come close to doing so but it’s a strong album for Anthrax with some excellent songwriting. I wasn’t that fond of “Dystopia” but it was definitely an improvement (not saying much I know). I was actually let down by that Testament album. It’s good but I expected a lot more from the duo of DiGiorgio and Hoglan. They’re both incredible musicians that weren’t used to their full potential on that album.
        Also, I don’t care what anyone says. That Twilight Force album was glorious. Sabaton was an early favorite of mine but was edged out by stronger albums in the genre like Theocracy, Eternity’s End and Veonity.

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