11 Albums To Watch for in 2016

Dec. 23, 2015


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So 2015 is almost over, and let me just say this has been a great year for music as well as our site, which is still very much in its infancy.  There is still much growing to do, and I already have my eyes on a few releases coming (or hopefully) coming in 2016.  These are my most anticipated releases.  They are mostly underground, but there are a few mainstream acts as well.

11 Deftones See Details for Deftones

Deftones are the chameleons of the metal world.  They were once quoted saying, during the nü-metal craze, something along the lines of "we're not part of them, and you will still see us standing when the rest are long gone."  Indeed.  While the majority of those bands are now defunct, and those remaining are but parodies of their former selves, Deftones continue to innovate and mature.  Songs can still be heavy enough to blow the lid off your home, or soft (but still interesting) enough to play on the radio.  They navigate between all things alternative as well as the post-metal and groove metal worlds.  This has always been one of my favorite bands, and a large part of what got me into metal to begin with.  Always excited to hear new material from Chino and the gang.

10 Meshuggah See Details for Meshuggah

This ain't underground, you say.  No, but I have yet to be truly dissapointed by these guys going all the way back to the first time my mind was violated by the fusion of freeform jazz, abrasive crunch, and polyrhythms of these Swedes on "Future Breed Machine."  And even after all of these years, I named Koloss one of the best albums in their entire catalog.  This new album was originally slated for 2015, but I am confident we will hear it sometime in the first half of 2016.  Groovy.

9 Seer See Details for Seer

FIRST!  Ha, just kidding, but yes I have listened to this sludgy outing from Seer, and let me say it is pretty astonishing.  The review is written and cued, with a stream hopefully up by the time it publishes.  This is some brooding, expansive metal very much inspried by the less-populated areas of the United States.  The music helps one visualize what it is like driving through endless nothingness of deserts and between the incredible mountains and plateaus formed long ago.  Watch for it in early 2016.

8 Cult of Fire See Details for Cult of Fire

I have been meaning for sometime to add a review for Cult of Fire's black metal opus, मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान, but as you can see I have been kept pretty busy as it is.  If you have not heard that album, you need to find it streaming on bandcamp.  Infernal Vlad has already nabbed a high spot on my top releases in 2015 with Death Karma, but after seeing the (yet again) gorgeous cover art for the upcoming CoF release, I am wondering if he will top himself yet again.  Here's hoping.

7 Missing See Details for Missing

Charlie Fell (former Lord Mantis, current Abigail Williams, Negative Mantra, etc.) has been a busy man.  He has lended his disturbing presence to a number of albums in various forms in 2015 and also nabbed a spot on my Top 10 of 2014 list with the incredible Death Mask.  This album is supposed to be a "spiritual successor" to the ideas on that album, and with the help of people like Jeff Whitehead (Leviathan), among others, this is an EP that you will not want to miss.

6 Nokturnal Mortum See Details for Nokturnal Mortum

I know I keep pimping these guys out, but it has been a long time coming since Voice of Steel (review reachable from link).  They have been working on material for a long time now, but I'm sure it's rough being a largely underground phenomena in Ukraine with limited resources.  They continue to tour and perservere, but perhaps our added support can help the new material finally see the light of day in 2016.  Their entire catalog is now on their bandcamp, so get on that.

5 Exmortus See Details for Exmortus

Heard this one, and MAN is it a blast.  You have probably caught a few of the singles already in our feed or elsewhere, but it was not until I heard Ride Forth in its entirety that I realized what a delightful mix of old-school melodeath, thrash, and viking metal it is.  And to say that about a couple dudes from California?  I was certain this had to be from Sweden.  Kudos fellas.  Be sure to check this one out in early January.

4 SPEKTR See Details for SPEKTR

Here is an album that I have already had the pleasure of hearing, as will all of you in January.  This is another fantastic take on the avantgarde subgenre of black metal; one that takes some of what we heard from Dendritic Arbor this year but grounds it more fully in the BM aesthetic.  A little ambient, a little pseudo industrial, very raw.  For every bit of melodic post-black entering the world today, there seems to be an equal and opposite fury and grimness to balance the poles.

3 Absu See Details for Absu

Will we finally hear what is supposedly the final chapter of Absu in 2016?  Only time will tell.  I'll be honest and state that I was not too fond of the self-titled comeback, but Abzu blew me away almost as much as the first time I heard Tara.  This is THE black/thrash band to know.  The guitars and drums are among the most technical of the genre, or perhaps any genre.  It's blackened thrash by Dillinger Escape Plan.  I hope that Apsu can live up to the hype.  Check out the review of the previous album by following the link to the right.

2 Cobalt See Details for Cobalt

This group was definitely a grower for me.  I initially was not too impressed when a friend passed me a copy of Eater of Birds (review reachable from the link to the right), but it has quickly become clear why that and Gin are darlings of the underground USBM scene.  Now with the addition of the abominable Charlie Fell on vocals, this album is poised to be the downpour of acid rain that purges the filth from the streets.  Can't wait.

1 God of Atheists See Details for God of Atheists

I'm not exactly sure how long this project has been in the works, but I've personally been checking back on it periodically since sometime in 2014.  There seems to have been some progress according to the Facebook page updates, but really this is all you need to know: Asgeir Mickelson, Guitar-Trym, Drums-ICS Vortex, Vocals-Carl August Tidemann, Solo guitar-Ihsahn, Keyboards-Sareeta, Violin Bass-Lars K. Norberg Soprano, Vibeke Stene.  That is a line-up to end all line-ups.  Keep your fingers crossed and let them know that we are all patiently waiting the final product.