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Top 10 Metal Albums of 2016

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By Andy Cheung

 

1 – DEATH ANGEL – The Evil Divide

I haven’t stopped listening to this album since it came in May.  The Evil Divide is thrash metal at its finest, and one of the band’s albums since releasing Act III in 1990.  The guitar work is phenomenal, the rhythm section is heavy and grooves, and Rob Cavestany’s vocals soar and growl…providing the emotions portrayed in each song.

 

 

2 – KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – Incarnate

The fathers of metalcore impress once again with their release of Incarnate.  Jesse Leach’s passionate lyrical musings and delivery are top-notch, with his clean vocals and death growls throughout the album.  The Killswitch recognizable sound is there with Adam D’s and Joel Stroetzel’s guitar mastery, rounded out with bassist Mike D’Antonio and Justin Foley’s pounding rhythm section.  Incarnate is a great album released by a great band.

 

 

3 – ANTHRAX – For All Kings

This member of “The Big Four” released one hell of an album this year.  For All Kings might very well be one of Anthrax’s best releases to date.  The album is heavy and polished, something to be expected from veterans of the thrash metal scene.  Joey Belladonna sounds just as good now as he did back when the band first started 35 years ago, as does Scott Ian, Frank Bello and Charlie Benante.  Jonathon Donais (ex Shadows Fall) is a great addition to the classic lineup of a classic thrash metal band.

 

 

4 – GOJIRA – Magma

These environmentalist metallers from France released their 6th album this year.  The band has always made their own rules (as far as sound goes), and Magma is no different.  It’s atmospheric at times, brutally heavy at other times.  One of Gojira’s best releases to date.

 

 

5 – TWELVE FOOT NINJA – Outlier

Another album that I have not stopped listening to is Twelve Foot Ninja’s Outlier.  This album is so eclectic and unique – heavy with a mixture of djent, folk, and jazz – that dissecting each song would take years to do.  Their musical compositions have impressed me and made me an instant fan.

 

 

6 – AMON AMARTH – Jomsviking

Brutal and melodic, two reasons why Jomsviking is one of the best releases of 2016.  Their 10th studio album is the band’s first concept album, and probably one of their strongest to date.  This melodic death metal band takes the Viking/Norse mythology and dials it up a notch.  Raise your horns!

 

 

7 – OPETH – Sorceress

Metal fans will always gripe about Opeth’s change in direction from death metal to progressive rock/melodic metal, but at the end of the day, the band’s 12th studio album is a great one.  Sorceress is chock-full of imagery, ranging in sound from folky prog-rock, to bluesy to heavy.  The album is an overall excellent addition for all progressive metal fans.

 

 

8 – KATATONIA – The Fall of Hearts

In the realm of emotional metal, there is none better than Sweden’s Katatonia.  Each song on The Fall of Hearts drips with passion and emotion as the band laments on love and loss, while backed with beautiful, haunting melodies and gorgeous music.

 

 

9 – LACUNA COIL – Delirium

“The House of Shame” was the first single I listened to when the album was first released in May.  From the eerie intro, to the death metal growl of Andrea Ferro, and the operatic voice of Cristina Scabbia, I knew right away that this was going to be one of their best albums yet.  The rest of the album is just as heavy and dark (even more than their previous releases).

 

 

10 – SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – World Gone Mad

Classic crossover hardcore/metal band from Venice Beach, CA, Suicidal Tendencies released a highly-anticipated album this year.  The addition of Dave Lomabardo on drums is awesome!  The classic Suicidal sound is there, with Mike Muir’s vocals, the funky bass and heavy guitars are all accented with the ex-Slayer’s pounding drumming.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/15/16

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/15/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

JUDAS PRIEST – “United”  (1980)

After attending the Epiphone Revolver Music Awards this week (read full story), and being immersed in an environment of like-minded people, it took me back to a time when life was all about music, not politics.  Living in the U.S. these days, the “U” in the abbreviation has felt like something of a misnomer, as we are more divided than ever.  But for one night, all of the troubles of the world disappeared, and I truly felt like I was a part of one big group.  Metal has a way of bringing people together, and no one does it better than Rob Halford and company, with anthems like “United” that feel like much more than a song.  It’s more like a rallying cry to their throngs of fans.  The song is far from the most popular off of 1980’s British Steel, but it’s one of the most powerful.

 

JUDAS PRIEST – “Take On The World” (1978)

Judas Priest fans around the world know their 1978 release as Killing Machine.  In the U.S., the album was released as Hell Bent For Leather.  The title was changed in the U.S. because record company executives didn’t like the “murderous implications” of the title used outside of the country.  Regardless of where you live, or what you call the album, the one thing that is consistent for everyone is that it is a Priest classic.  “Take On The World” is another us-against-the-world anthem from these heavy metal legends that preaches the power of unity.

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

GOJIRA – “Liquid Fire” (2012)

One of the best metal bands to have come out this past decade is France’s Gojira.  This band is so unique, it’s hard to fit them into a category.  Call them progressive metal or groove metal, but their style stands apart from the masses.  “Liquid Fire” is one of these songs that shoves the emotion of the song into your gut when you listen to it, with nihilistic lyrics that make the listener mourn for the destruction of our world.  From their fifth studio album, L’Enfant Sauvage, “Liquid Fire” is a masterpiece of a song with both technical uniqueness and social commentary.

 

TIAMAT – “Cain” (2003)

One of the best goth metal bands around is Sweden’s Tiamat.  Formed in 1987, the band’s albums have ranged in genre from death metal to gothic rock.  Johan Edlund’s vocals change with the style of the song, from a death metal growl to low whispers building to a crescendo of melodic vocals.  Their music sets the mood for any quiet, moonless night.  It’s dreamy at times, and oftentimes the keyboards give their songs a hypnotic ambiance.  Although I prefer their earlier works (when they were more of a death band), their slowed-down goth rock works for them too.  Fans of bands like Sisters of Mercy would enjoy Tiamat.

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN – “Don’t Let It End” (1985)

Guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen took the metal world by storm in 1984 with his debut album, Rising Force.  He followed it up a year later with another masterful entry into the genre with Marching Out.  This song nicely highlights Yngwie’s blistering riffs and Jeff Scott Solo’s soaring range on vocals as well.

 

IMPELLITTERI – “Stand in Line” (1988)

When forming the band Impellitteri, guitar virtuoso Chris Impelliteri originally recruited Rob Rock for vocals.  They released an EP together, but the band’s first full album was 1988’s Stand In Line, featuring Graham Bonnett (Rainbow, MSG, Alcatrazz) on vocals.  Since then, both singers have appeared on different albums, with Rock as the current singer over the past ten years.  Here on the title track to the band’s first full-length album, Bonnett and Impellitteri work some magic together, playing off each other beautifully.  Also, check out their remake of Rainbow’s “Since You Been Gone.”

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 10-29-16

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 10-29-16.

10-29-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 – “The Duke” – LAMB OF GOD

#14 – “Amnesia” – RED SUN RISING

#13 – “Square Hammer” – GHOST

#12 – “My Name Is Human” – HIGHLY SUSPECT

#11 – “How Did You Love” – SHINEDOWN

#10 – “Stuck In Your Head” – I PREVAIL

# 9 –  “Devil’s Calling” – PARKWAY DIRVE

# 8 –  “Stranded” – GOJIRA

# 7 –  “Seal The Deal” – VOLBEAT

# 6 –  “Remember We Die” – GEMINI SYNDROME

# 5 –   “Push” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

# 4 –  “I Apologize” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

# 3 –  “Moth Into Flame” – METALLICA

# 2 –  “Rotting In Vain” – KORN

# 1 –   “The Stage” – AVENGED SEVENFOLD

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q3

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q2

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 10-15-16

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 10-15-16.

The 10-15-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 – “Stranded” – GOJIRA

#14 –  “Square Hammer” – GHOST

#13 –  “My Name Is Human” – HIGHLY SUSPECT

#12 –  “Stuck In Your head” – I PREVAIL

#11 –  “Amnesia” – RED SUN RISING

#10 –  “I Don’t Care Anymore” – HELLYEAH

# 9 –   “Seal The Deal” – VOLBEAT

# 8 –   “How Did You Love” – SHINEDOWN

# 7 –   “Push” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

# 6 –   “Remember We Die” – GEMINI SYNDROME

# 5 –   “Open Your Eyes” – DISTURBED

# 4 –   “I Apologize” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

# 3 –   “Moth Into Flame” – METALLICA

# 2 –   “Take Me” – KORN

# 1 –    “The Stage” – AVENGED SEVENFOLD

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q2

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

2015 Mid-Year Recap: HRD Radio Report Active Rock and Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs: January 2014 – June 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 10-8-16

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 10-8-16.

The 10-8-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 – “Stranded” – GOJIRA

#14 –  “Dark Daze” – SYLAR

#13 –  “Square Hammer” – GHOST

#12 –  “Excuse Me” – FIRE FROM THE GODS

#11 –  “My Name Is Human” – HIGHLY SUSPECT

#10 –  “Moth Into Flame” – METALLICA

# 9 –   “Devil’s Calling” – PARKWAY DRIVE

# 8 –   “Stuck In Your Head” – I PREVAIL

# 7 –   “Open Your Eyes” – DISTURBED

# 6 –   “Remember We Die” – GEMINI SYNDROME

# 5 –   “Push” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

# 4 –   “Rotting In Vain” – KORN

# 3 –   “Seal The Deal” – VOLBEAT

# 2 –   “Hardwired” – METALLICA

# 1 –    “I Apologize” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q2

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

2015 Mid-Year Recap: HRD Radio Report Active Rock and Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs: January 2014 – June 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 10-1-16

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 10-1-16.

The 10-1-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 –  “Moth Into Flame” – METALLICA

#14 – “Square Hammer” – GHOST

#13 –  “My Name Is Human” – HIGHLY SUSPECT

#12 –  “Dark Daze” – SYLAR

#11 –  “Devil’s Calling” – PARKWAY DRIVE

#10 –  “Excuse Me” – FIRE FROM THE GODS

# 9 –   “Stuck In Your Head” – I PREVAIL

# 8 –   “Remember We Die” – GEMINI SYNDROME

# 7 –   “Stranded” – GOJIRA

# 6 –   “Seal The Deal” – VOLBEAT

# 5 –   “Push” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

# 4 –   “Open Your Eyes” – DISTURBED

# 3 –   “Rotting In Vain” – KORN

# 2 –   “I Apologize” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

# 1 –    “Hardwired” – METALLICA

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q2

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

2015 Mid-Year Recap: HRD Radio Report Active Rock and Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs: January 2014 – June 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 9-24-16

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 9-24-16.

The 9-24-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 –  “Square Hammer” – GHOST

#14 –  “Dark Daze” – SYLAR

#13 –  “My Name Is Human” – HIGHLY SUSPECT

#12 –  “Amnesia” – RED SUN RISING

#11 –  “Stuck In Your Head” – I PREVAIL

#10 –  “I Don’t Care Anymore” – HELLYEAH

# 9 –   “Push” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

# 8 –   “Excuse Me” – FIRE FROM THE GODS

# 7 –   “Stranded” – GOJIRA

# 6 –   “Seal The Deal” – VOLBEAT

# 5 –   “Remember We Die” – GEMINI SYNDROME

# 4 –   “Open Your Eyes” – DISTURBED

# 3 –   “I Apologize” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

# 2 –   “Hardwired” – METALLICA

# 1 –    “Rotting In Vain” – KORN

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q2

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

2015 Mid-Year Recap: HRD Radio Report Active Rock and Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs: January 2014 – June 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 9-17-16

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 9-17-16.

The 9-17-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 –  “Stuck In Your Head” – I PREVAIL

#14 –  “Dark Daze” – SYLAR

#13 –  “Excuse Me” –  FIRE FROM THE GODS

#12 –  “Naivety” – A DAY TO REMEMBER

#11 –  “Show Me A Leader” – ALTER BRIDGE

#10 –  “My Name Is Human” – HIGHLY SUSPECT

# 9 –   “Stranded” – GOJIRA

# 8 –   “Amnesia” – RED SUN RISING

# 7 –   “Remember We Die” – GEMINI SYNDROME

# 6 –   “Push” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

# 5 –   “Seal The Deal” – VOLBEAT

# 4 –   “Open Your Eyes” – DISTURBED

# 3 –   “I Apologize” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

# 2 –   “Hardwired” – METALLICA

# 1 –    “Rotting In Vain” – KORN

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q2

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

2015 Mid-Year Recap: HRD Radio Report Active Rock and Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs: January 2014 – June 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 9-10-16

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 9-10-16.

The 9-10-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 –  “My Name Is Human” – HIGHLY SUSPECT

#14 –  “Insane” – KORN

#13 –  “All Fucked Up” –  THE AMITY AFFLICTION

#12 –  “Real” – OF MICE & MEN

#11 –  “Push” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH

#10 –  “Stuck In Your Head” – I PREVAIL

# 9 –   “Excuse Me” – FIRE FROM THE GODS

# 8 –   “Stranded” –  GOJIRA

# 7 –   “Dark Daze” – SYLAR

# 6 –   “Seal The Deal” – VOLBEAT

# 5 –   “Stronger” – THROUGH FIRE

# 4 –   “I Apologize” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

# 3 –   “Open Your Eyes” – DISTURBED

# 2 –   “Hardwired” – METALLICA

# 1 –    “Rotting In Vain” – KORN

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q2

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

2015 Mid-Year Recap: HRD Radio Report Active Rock and Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs: January 2014 – June 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 9-3-16

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 9-3-16.

The 9-3-16 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 –  “Seal The Deal” – VOLBEAT

#14 –  “Dark Daze” – SYLAR

#13 –  “Take Me Down” –  THE PRETTY RECKLESS

#12 –  “Stuck In Your Head” – I PREVAIL

#11 –  “Real” – OF MICE & MEN

#10 –  “Stranded” – GOJIRA

# 9 –   “Excuse Me” – FIRE FROM THE GODS

# 8 –   “Show Me A Leader” –  ALTER BRIDGE

# 7 –   “Feel Invincible” – SKILLET

# 6 –   “Black Honey” – THRICE

# 5 –   “Stronger” – THROUGH FIRE

# 4 –   “Open Your Eyes” – DISTURBED

# 3 –   “I Apologize” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

# 2 –   “Rotting In Vain” – KORN

# 1 –    “Hardwired” – METALLICA

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q2

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q1

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

2015 Mid-Year Recap: HRD Radio Report Active Rock and Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 15 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs: January 2014 – June 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives