Best of Lists 2016 Best Metal and Rock Albums

Published on December 21st, 2016 | by Cody Davis

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The Top 50 Metal, Rock, & Noise Albums of 2016

What a year.

2016 was quite the roller coaster. The lows of the year have been well-documented, contorted, and regurgitated to fit individual agendas. So we’re not going to put a light on that. Instead, this is a time for reflection. Rock and metal are resilient. They are enduring. Even in a year where a handful of the genres’ biggest names passed, its music produced a number of memorable moments. There were triumphant returns and scintillating debuts from bands across the globe.

In fact, 2016 saw a release from one of Bearded Gentlemen’s esteemed writers. The Orlando, Florida-based Arms features Quinten O’Neal on bass. The mathcore/noise quartet released a new album back in January called Blackout that conjures comparisons to bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge. Quinten’s contributions to the band, and this site, certainly do not go unnoticed. He, myself and ten other contributors to Bearded Gentlemen Music have offered our picks for the very best that heavy metal, hard rock, and noise had to offer this year. Our top 50 picks are, in our humblest opinion, incredibly diverse and cover a broad spectrum of styles and subgenres. We hope you enjoy! – Cody Davis

Shout to Steve Wheeler’s dope noise-punk band Dead Arms and his label / colective Rip This Joint. We also need to shout out Jasper Hesselink’s super dope weird rock band No Man’s Valley they released an excellent album full of pysch blues stoner rock this year called Time Travel. – Jon Robertson


50. Touché AmoréStage Four
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Hardcore records don’t always bring a whole lot to the table for me personally. I only own one strictly hardcore record myself, Defeater’s Travels. However, seeing Touché Amoré sign with Epitaph and get some mainstream press sparked my attention. Stage Four, as the name might suggest, is about cancer. Yep, combine something along the lines of Hospice, by The Antlers and throw in the screaming cries of Jeremy Bolm, and you have a pretty damn depressing record. That is by no means a deterrent, though. As evidenced by mammoth roller coasters of emotion like “Skyscraper”, the journey is definitely worth hearing as Bolm exorcises his demons. – Daniel Carlson

Stage Four takes you to ride Jeremy Bolm’s rollercoaster of emotions- an album about losing his mother to cancer. Each track is carefully woven together as Jeremy’s screams his outcry of facing the stages of bereavement. Its emotion is encapsulated by storytelling lyricism, heartfelt vocal screams, and distorted melodies. Touché Amoré pours all their love into Stage Four, making it one of the saddest and most touching albums of 2016. – Angel Keene


49. Norma JeanPolar Similar
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This is just some good, old-fashioned metallic hardcore. Nothing too fancy, but ass-kicking nevertheless. Norma Jean have been dropping solid albums for awhile now and Polar Similar is no exception. – Jon Robertson

Full Review Here

 

 

 


48. Plebeian GrandstandFalse Highs, True Lows
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Toulouse’s blackened noise outfit, Plebeian Grandstand creates a spitting whirlwind of music. False Highs, True Lows sees the quartet at its most driven and focused. Each track is calculated chaos exacted through mathematical and hardcore elements. – Cody Davis

 

 

 


47. MeshuggahThe Violent Sleep of Reason
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Meshuggah doing what Meshuggah does. After all those years I still take this over any Djent album ever released on this planet. – Jasper Hesselink

If the world had to sacrifice all the metal bands of all time for only one metal band to exist. The world of metal would need to give themselves up so that Meshuggah could reign supreme. – Jon Robertson

 

 

 

 


46. SubRosaFor This We Fought the Battle of Ages
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The Salt Lake City troupe constructed their newest album with inspiration from a century old dystopian novel by the Russian writer, Yevgeny Zamyatin, entitled, We. SubRosa‘s avant-doom is a truly captivating listen as thunderous metal collides with the serenity of dueling violins. Songs like “Despair Is A Siren” and “Troubled Cells” were highlights in the dark, broad scope of metal this year and For This We Fought the Battle of Ages in its entirety was vivid and unique in only a way this talented quintet could craft. – Cody Davis

 


45. Hammers of MisfortuneDead Revolution
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This one was a grower. I initially wrote this album off in the first few weeks following its release, however, the riffs to songs like “The Velvet Inquisition” and “The Precipice (Waiting for the Crash…)” found their way into my brain. John Cobbett, Leila Abdul-Rauf, and Paul Walker are exceptional guitar players. The multiple types of percussion from Will Carrol and the piano and organ from Sigrid Sheie breathe unique light into Hammers of Misfortune‘s music. On top of the catchy rhythms within Dead Revolution is Joe Hutton’s soaring vocals that give the entire album a feeling of masterful, progressive triumph. – Cody Davis


44. SpotlightsTidals
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Heavy. Dreamy. Creative. I have said this about Spotlights a couple of times this year. – Jon Robertson

 

 

 

 

 

 


43. Every Time I DieLow Teens
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Every Time I Die aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel here. It could be said that they have made the same album over and over. But I’m not saying that. Low Teens shreds and there some cool breakdowns and rhythms and whatnot going on. Plus, Keith Buckley is on point vocally this time around. – Jon Robertson

 

 

 


42. Earth and PillarsPillars I
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Earth and Pillars has an uncanny knack for creating an immersive atmosphere throughout their black metal. Pillars I is a stark contrast to what the Italian trio did on Earth I in 2014. This latest offering feels barren and void of life. A big change from the vividness of their debut over two years ago. Such a change might stir up detractors, yet Earth and Pillars wonderfully maintain their identity. Their long form metal keeps listeners engaged whether it is through walks in a forest or over desolate landscapes. Pillars I was one of the brightest examples of atmospheric black metal that 2016 offered. – Cody Davis


41. True WidowAvvolgere
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True Widow hasn’t done anything incredibly out of the box with their sound on Avvolgere. But they don’t have to. Honestly, their super low-key, lo-fi, shoegaze-y stoner rock is perfect just the way it is. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live on many occasions, they never fail to disappoint. Their sound and persona on stage are the perfect accompaniment to a few beers and just vibing out. As with all True Widow records, this is a perfect driving with the windows down in fall album. – Isaac Atencio

True Widow makes me feel whole. The band speeds the songs up a bit on Avvolgere, which totally works. I guess this could be considered downer music, but to me, this is just chill music. I wish we got a little bit more of Nicole Estill singing on Avvolgere. Maybe next time around. – Jon Robertson


40. BoyfrndzImpulse
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Boyfrndz is the go-to band for when you miss The Mars Volta. They have a strikingly similar approach in their froth-at-the-mouth-mad indie prog rock, a similar awesome gender-bender vocalist (those high notes!!!), and a similar octopus-armed-drummer. Yet they do give their own ring to their Mars Volta-isms, and let’s not kid ourselves: can we ever get enough Mars Volta? – Jasper Hesselink

I want Boyfrndz to be my boyfriends. Love technical yet smooth this band is. Impulse shows the band getting better and better. – Jon

 


39. Big UpsBefore A Million Universes
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There has been a lot of interesting genre mutts popping up this year; the June of 44, Slint, early Thumbnail meets METZ and Crain sound of Before A Million Universes is a combination that has yielded interesting results. The album bounces in an out of angular and aggressive post-punk/post-rock into the signature sounds of the “slowcore” bands on Touch and Go Records and Quarterstick Records from the late 80’s and 90’s; feels new and nostalgic all at the same time. – Brandon Perras

 


38. Mondo DragThe Occultation of Light
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It seems like only yesterday that I handed in my 2015 end of the year list with Mondo Drag’s self-titled album firmly established on it, somewhere between places ten and twenty. It was a dreamlike record; short, flighty, super psychedelic and with more emphasis on entrancing the listener than on rocking out. It was just a great album, worth touring on for a little while at least I would think. And yet, here is the new one already! Coming out so early in the year with guns blazing and with quite a different sound palette. It’s like the band put themselves on the map with Mondo Drag, gathering strength to REALLY blow minds with The Occultation Of Light. – Jasper Hesselink


37. Årabrot The Gospel
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Noise-rock-weirdo-pervert-propaganda-dopeness! – Jon Robertson

 

 

 

 

 

 


36. Russian CirclesGuidance
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Another solid album from Russian Circles. – Jon Robertson

 

 

 

 

 

 


35. SwansThe Glowing Man
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In a world, without David Bowie, Lemmy Kilmister, and Leonard Cohen we desperately need Michael Gira. – Jasper Hesselink

 

 

 

 


34. AurochMute Books
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Mute Books sees Auroch at its most punishing. The seven-song narrative that wallows in subjects of the occult was one death metal’s most radiant displays in 2016. The Vancouver trio has found a way to fuse dense atmosphere with blistering, ferocious riffs and blast beats that is very much akin to greats like Morbid Angel. Auroch’s ascension adds to an ever-burgeoning dominion for Canadian death metal. Mute Books stands as the trio’s best moment in an early career. – Cody Davis

 


33. FinishedCum Inside Me Bro
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2016 was stingy with the noise rock this year and only gave us a handful of quality albums, Cum Inside Me Bro being one of them. It’s just the right amount of trash rock meets the perfect amount of drug-fueled noise rock; kinda like when Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan were totes BFFs, (pre-Nicole). Raucous, deviant, smut that will lure your ears into a back ally and shank them with a sharpened toothbrush. – Brandon Perras

Interview and Review Here

 


32. GevurahHallelujah!
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Hallelujah! is a dark, brimming evil. It is comprised of seven epic compositions of grandiose Black Metal that rage and roar of the transcendence of Satan. From its booklet depicting valleys of fire and serpentine imagery (not to mention the striking artwork from Denis Forkas Kostromitin) to its haunting lyrics of infant sacrifice and recurrent slayings of Christ, this album burns with rampant hellfire. – Cody Davis

 

 


31. Ash BorerThe Irrepassable Gate
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The gold standard of United States Black Metal returned in 2016. The mysterious Ash Borer arrived in the dying weeks of this year and created a reminder for how the frigid, unforgiving expanses of black metal can be altered to force introspection. Their long-form approach makes for personal journeys into not only the quartet’s music but into the listeners themselves. The Irrepassable Gate sees Ash Borer tinker with their formula a bit, bringing a darker flair to their music than on prior releases. It pays off in heaps as this new album is their best work yet. – Cody Davis


30. AlcestKodama
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The Alcest that spurned the (I hate this word) Blackgaze movement has returned. Kodama is beautifully composed post-black metal that was inspired by the great Hiyao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke film. Neige and Winterhalter’s newest iteration of their brand serves as a reminder of where the bar truly sits amongst their imitators. This artfully crafted album brings back the band’s darker mystique from their earlier work. It is cinematic in its execution and wildly imaginative throughout its entirety. I used Kodama on a number of occasions for meditation. – Cody Davis

A brilliant return to form, highly addictive! And that’s coming from someone who shouldn’t even like this kind of emotive post-black metal bullshit – Jasper Hesselink

Kodama is an album where black metal and shoegaze collide to produce an explosion of vibrant soundscapes that will captivate any lover metal and even shoegaze. – Angel Keene


29. Inter ArmaParadise Gallows
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While Paradise Gallows emanates many hues of the Heavy Metal spectrum, it should be known as just such. This is not just what Post or Sludge or any subgenre of Metal should be, this is what all of Heavy Metal should strive to be. A diverse, holistic album that radiates with vibrancy and ferocity from beginning to end. Every song is orchestrated in such a powerful and precise manner, that these pieces make an absolutely satisfying whole. Inter Arma have crafted a truly captivating album that fans of any kind of Rock or Metal can love and appreciate. Paradise Gallows is a marvelous plumage of musicianship, intelligence, and creativity that rivals anything that has been released this decade. It stands to be the Richmond group’s opus until they decide to top themselves again. – Cody Davis

Inter Arma mix their Neurosis-inspired sludge and doom with a tablespoon of black metal and succeed in doing two rare things: 1. keeping it listenable 2. Staying far away from becoming leather-clad caricatures. These shamans of heavy build their songs up like sonic cathedrals. Us feeble listeners can just humbly get down on our knees and take in its ferocious beauty. Like taking a shower in a roaring cascade; it’s terrifying, awe-inspiring and goddamn beautiful all in one. Plan your trip well ahead with this one, because it’s not one to undertake lightly. – Jasper Hesselink


28. Blood IncantationStarspawn
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Denver’s Blood Incantation does death metal right. A little off-kilter, a bit of atmosphere, and a healthy dose of 90’s death metal thrown in. Starspawn is the cosmic debut for the quartet and follows a crushing EP, Interdimensional Extinction. While it may be a little on the shorter side, it still was the best death metal album that 2016 had to offer. Blood Incantation is primed to take the reins as a future titan in modern death metal, consider Starspawn the launching pad for this greatness. – Cody Davis

 


27. Red FangOnly Ghosts
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One of the absolute most fun heavy bands around. – Isaac Atencio

 

 

 

 

 


26. OathbreakerRheia
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I would recommend all misogynists of this planet to just listen to this album once. This is not girl power, this is a goddamn tsunami! As frighteningly aggressive as it is grippingly emotional, Rheia is a modern hardcore/metal masterpiece if there ever was one. – Jasper Hesselink

 

 

 


25. PillConvenience
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There was a bit of a nod to Brooklyn style no-wave this year; bands like Naked Lights and Foster Body both released quality records, but the freewheeling, saxophone driven, manic, post-punk of Convenience stole the show; bands like X-Ray Spex, Destroy All Monsters, and Subtonix come to mind. Swashes of guitar noise splash against a plodding rhythm section while squalls of sax zig-zag in and out of site all being lead by the commanding vocals of Veronica Torres. If you’re in the mood for some upbeat and gnarly art punk, this is your album. – Brandon Perras


24. Dust MothScale
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Probably one of the most overlooked albums this year, Scale is a heavy psychedelic slab of modern metal that can easily take on the new Deftones album and that Garbage record at the same time. Powerful stuff, don’t sleep on this! – Jasper Hesselink

Love this album. More Dust Moth please! – Jon Robertson

Interview Here / Full Review Here

 


23. GojiraMagma
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Gojira has a good track record of creating album masterpieces so it’s no surprise that this album didn’t live up to its high expectations. Nonetheless, Magma shows Gojira are capable of creating catchy riffs as well as experimenting with softer dynamics, proving how metal doesn’t have to be menacing and ferocious to bang your head to it. – Angel Keene

Super slick and easy listen. You can’t hate it. – Jon Robertson

 

 


22. Cult of Luna & Julie ChristmasMariner
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From my review of Mariner: “you took us by the hands and danced your crazy dances, and showered us with your genius poetry. We can only describe this collaboration as magical, the way you have no boundaries, no rules, and still have this “anything-goes” mentality seamlessly melt with our musical mold. A mold we thought was set in stone, but it became like wax in your hands, and while we completely followed your every move, you showed us a way to establish real beauty again.” One of the highlights of the year! – Jasper Hesselink

Mariner is a perfect representation of what Cult of Luna is all about. Each track has their own special element, filled with layers upon layers of detail. From the dark and desolated aura in ‘Approaching Transition’ to the serene, unearthly synths in “Chevron”, Cult of Luna drowns you in an array of post metal noise. We also cannot forget their collaboration with Julie Christmas, where the duo flawlessly capture endless moments of haunting beauty. –Angel Keene

Best heavy album of the year as far as I am concerned. If you don’t get the chills listening to Christmas’s vocals on “The Wreck of S.S. Needle,” you’re dead. Sorry that you had to find out about your death this way, but clearly you’re not an intelligent person capable of human emotion. – Jon Robertson


21. Goes CubeShadows Swallowed the Flood
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I for one, am very happy to see this make the list. Goes Cube is such and underrated and often overlooked band, and they deserve so much more attention. While Mastodon is playing 70’s prog heroes and Kylesa is on hiatus Goes Cube delivers the much-needed sludgecore-oomph we all love and crave for. Definitely the best sludge metal record of the year. – Jasper Hesselink

My favorite thing about this album is its ability to maneuver between jaw breaking intensity and subtle vulnerability. They’re not the only metal band to utilize tempo changes, but I can’t think of any other release in recent years that does it this well. “The Stand” goes from a beautiful clean guitar melody to head-spinning spoken proto-punk spoken word refrains, to break-neck thrash! It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album and pretty much sums up what the band have to offer. – Aaron Cooper


Pleiades' Dust Cover20. GorgutsPleiades’ Dust
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From my review of Pleiades’ Dust: Pleiades’ Dust is a single-track EP that spans over 33 minutes of dizzying and calculated madness. It ebbs and flows through tempered segments and raucous rhythms during its entirety. The opening two minutes is a dramatic build to an eruption of vocals from Lemay and a wave of maddening guitars from Lemay, Colin Marston, and Kevin Hufnagel, the wave bolstered by Patrice Hamelin’s blasting drum patterns. It is a controlled chaos that Gorguts pulls off so well… What Gorguts also masterfully pulls off on Pleiades’ Dust is the inclusion of these periods of gloomy ambiance that have seemed particularly atypical to the Gorguts formulae of years long gone. It is brilliant. These moments allow for an easier immersion into Gorguts’s intense tech death.” –Cody Davis


19. MersoRed World
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Being a fan of their previous band, Leatherdaddy (go to their Bandcamp and download The Plague House for 3 tracks of pummeling and catchy post-rock), I was curious to see what this new project was all about. What we got was one of the more bizarre albums of the year; imagine some of the art-damaged, slower jams of late era Shudder to Think and Eureka Farm cross bred with spastic, math rock bands like Lynx, Don Caballero, and Volta Do Mar mixed with progressive undertones of King Crimson. This is also one of the only times where falsetto vocals work; not all the vocals are sung in falsetto, but when they do, they soar majestically over the sonic landscapes. Unclassifiable and a fun listen, Red World is an epic first album as well as a total musical anomaly. – Brandon Perras

I was late to the game on this one. I was passed down the recommend on Red World through a couple people. It is such an incredible listen. Merso really takes an interesting approach on soundscape and dynamic. Red World starts out super mellow and a little funky and progresses into an aggressive (at least as far as tone) and dark end. It’s wacky in the best possible way. I would have voted it higher if I were more aware earlier! – Isaac Atencio

So good! – Jon Robertson

Full Review Here


18. Planes Mistaken For StarsPrey
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Comeback heroes of 2016. Welcome back, boys! – Jasper Hesselink

Got to see PMFS just before putting this album together. It was in a super scuzzy dive bar here in SLC and they were having a great time, you could tell it was practice for musical greatness to come. Stoked to have them back. – Isaac Atencio

Who is stoked to see my new lower back PMFS tat?! I got it to celebrate the band’s return to glory. – Jon Robertson

Planes Mistaken for Stars makes a triumphant return as they claim their throne again as post-hardcore kings. It’s been more than a decade since PMFS have released an album. The bar was set high but the band was able to reach it. Prey is filled with furious palm mutes, pounding percussions and a touch of nostalgia that takes you back to the days when post-hardcore wasn’t overproduced. – Angel Keene

Interview Here


17. Oozing WoundWhatever Forever
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Yes is there such a thing as smoking too much weed. – Brandon Perras

Full Review Here

 

 

 

 

 


16. SavagesAdore Life
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Welcome to the comedown machine. Savages are back in 2016 with an ever self-indulgent mystique. Yet somehow, they are found this time around with a new, refined maturity. The vortex of raw power and dark energy are halted in many regards to a slower paced, adroit execution of punk. On their debut, 2013’s Silence Yourself, waves of crashing intensity were carried by lead singer Jehnny Beth’s howling screams and abrasive gothic influence in climatic bursts. Now, Beth and the band find their muse in carefully guided appeals to discovering the purest of loves. Her lyricism weighs deep reflections of empathy and self-doubt. There, rising out of the ashes is an entirely stronger being. This course of action prominently favors an artful execution of punk rock, all the while maintaining the familiar post-punk flavor that garnered Savages praise in their early stages. Adore Life is brooding, sophisticated, and above all, an interesting step in a learned direction of artful influences. – Daniel Carlson

Full Review Here


15. NailsYou Will Never Be One of Us
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Brutal. – Isaac Atencio

Super brutal. – Jon Robertson

 

 

 

 

 


14. CobaltSlow Forever
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The first release from a reconfigured Cobalt is one of a few records that is still in constant rotation from the opening months of 2016 and one of a few albums that can keep my attention for almost 90 minutes. Cobalt‘s newest effort is its own brutal beast, a double-album animal. Slow Forever sheds the black metal moniker in favor of a more encompassing style of metal that draws inspiration from everything from different extreme metal genera to Americana, psychedelic/progressive rock, and punk. Wunder handles all instrumentation for Slow Forever while Fell focuses on all of the vocal arrangements. It is a new start for Cobalt. – Cody Davis


13. KhemmisHunted
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Khemmis doesn’t need me to say anything else about how great they are, but I’m going to. Hunted was electrifying. The Denver quartet channeled more of the classic rock and metal titans like Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden for their sophomore album. In turn, they gave rise to the year’s most infectious riffs and melodies. Hunted was the result of a total group effort from Phil, Ben, Zach, and Dan during the album’s creation. It is wonderfully reflected in its five songs. Every moment is focused, exacted, and executed in clinical fashion. Khemmis are in the early stages of building a monumental legacy. The maturity in their sound and knack for excellence are highly indicative of it. –Cody Davis


12. O’BrotherEndless Light
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O’Brother is my favorite band. Still. Endless Light is incredible and understated. Everything about this album is meticulous but subtle. I can’t say enough great things about these them. These dudes are on the path to being true rock gods. – Isaac Atencio

This band owns. See them live and forever change your outlook on all that is awesome because you will have a new definition of the word/concept. Make sure to say “hello” to them after the show. Super dope dudes. O’Brother is doing important things in the world of rock music. – Jon Robertson

Interview Here


11. SuunsHold/Still
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Hold/Still is an interesting listen. Songs tease the essence of a big buildup likely leading into an explosion of sound, yet the music never seems to get there, and that’s not the point in a loudness war generation used to gratification via an explosion of sound. Rather, the blend of electronic noise and reverb-soaked guitars target a different kind of response, one of wavy uneasiness in the picking guitar of “Resistance”, or the brooding noisiness of “Translate”. Hold/Still is blatantly creepy. You could attribute that to many staples of post-punk classics, but that era of new artful developments in the genre’s pioneers don’t speak for the plethora of copycats in our present day. Suuns I can safely say are different. there is something new served here, most noticeably by the accompanying electronics, with slithering guitars and muddied bass. As our generation further disillusions itself in the romanticized musical world of yesteryear, there are still new creators and bigger ambitions in mind. There is a ton of post-punk in my personal musical diet. Much of that invokes much of the past, and moreover becomes a product of its own influences. Hold/Still challenges the notion and leaves audiences to decide how they wish to label it. Just try. – Daniel Carlson


10. The Dillinger Escape PlanDissociation
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In what is to be The Dillinger Escape Plan’s swan song, they brought forth one of their greatest and most emotive records. It is tough comprehending that these chaotic stalwarts are hanging it up, but such is life. All I can do is thank them for all of the great music they have released over the years. – Cody Davis

Tons of lyrics about death and being alone on Dissociation seems fitting for a final album. Dillinger brings the tech math spazz thrash as usual, but what it important here is the breakdowns and other elements added into the songs. This album not only shows that Dillinger is an all time great band but also some of the all-time greatest musicians and song composers ever in any genre. The bridge of “Nothing to Forget” is a prime example of their range. Also, is there more of a perfect final song for the band than “Dissociation”? Greg Puciato’s vocals on that track or so full of haunting emotion. This band will be missed. – Jon Robertson


Deftones Gore9. Deftones – Gore
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From Phil Maye’s review of Gore: “Gore is Deftones’ eighth album. How haven’t they used this title before? Such a short, simple word with so much imagery attached to it. Literal violence, a common theme of Deftones’ music, as well as the metaphorical meaning… Spilling your guts. Leaving your insides bare. As always, however, the title is a bit of a subversion. Gore is arguably the lightest in tone for all Deftones’ records. While Deftones’ choruses have always soared, a majority of the tracks on this record could be described as genuinely uplifting and almost positive. Chino likes to segment his musical personalities off into different projects, but there’s no doubt that the brightness of his Crosses project has carried over onto the development of this record… The pink and light blue pallet of the cover art serves as a good indication of the music, gentler and less foreboding than what you’ve come to expect from a band whose strong sense of melody is matched only by its esteemed, world-crushing heaviness.” – Phil Maye


Krallice Hyperion Artwork8. Krallice – Hyperion
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From my review of Hyperion: “Hyperion, was recorded in 2013 in guitarist Colin Marston’s Menegroth studio. The extended player just eclipses 23 minutes in run time, but each of the songs, “Hyperion,” “The Guilt of Time,” and “Assuming Memory”, are extravagantly precise displays of black metal. There is such a fiery intensity packed into these three songs, it barely feels like an EP… Krallice is a mastermind of metal and some of the most forward-thinking musicians around. With the quality of music this group produces, it is easy to understand the fervor that surrounds something like Hyperion. Krallice does not miss. Another release, another stirring success.” – Cody Davis


7. The Body & Full of Hell – One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache
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This collaboration on paper sounds great. The Body is has become a polymorphic duo that escapes musical classification. Full of Hell is one of grind’s most promising talents. The execution of this collaboration? Jarring. Horrifying. This ranks highly as one of The Body’s best collaborations and one of Full of Hell’s brightest (darkest?) works yet. – Cody Davis

Full Review Here

 


6. Mizmor – Yodh
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I attempted to write a review for this album around its official release date. Yet, every time I tried to organize my thoughts on it, I could not fix the jumbled pile of emotions and cogitations that Yodh created. This hour-long slab of “wholly doomed Black Metal” was one of my few subjectively perfect albums this year. Mizmor is the Portland-based one-man black metal project spearheaded by A.L.N. who has been creating music under this moniker for over four years now. Yodh is his second full-length album, following a self-titled LP and a handful of smaller releases. Within this beast is an intense battle with existentialism. Yodh asks the question of “why humankind continually chooses life each day in the face of adversity, pain, depression, and suffering.” A.L.N.’s massive vocal range and masterful execution of all instruments made this one the single-greatest displays of musicianship. – Cody Davis


5. Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
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It’s Neurosis. – Cody Davis

Yep! – Jon

 

 

 

 

 


SUMAC Interview 20164. Sumac – What One Becomes
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Last year’s defending champions may have been dethroned, but it does not detract from how greatly Bearded Gentlemen Music views their music. What One Becomes is a goliath. It shook the walls of my house when I listened to it. Over the course of five songs, Sumac sways between tempered lulls of minimalism and towering instrumentation that only members of their pedigree can accomplish. Sumac continues to be a pummeling, sonic onslaught. – Cody Davis

The dynamics and interplay between the guitar, bass, and drums all while being insanely heavy is a thing of sheer genius. Three amazing musicians doing really amazing things musically. – Jon Robertson

Interview Here


3. Helms Alee – Stillicide
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Helms Alee’s career has been fun to follow; their first couple full lengths, Night Terror and Weatherhead ended up just being appetizers for their current mastery of thunderous and lumbering post-rock. As the band evolved, you can tell that they really spent a lot of time finding ways to make their already monstrous riffs even more gargantuan, as showcased on this album and the previous release Sleepwalking Sailors.  Stillicide is by far their heaviest and most aggressive.  The drum work is top notch. I mean, it normally is, but on this album especially; I think it’s what really separates this band from other bands in this genre. The vocals on this album are also some of their best. Ben Verellen goes from sweetly singing my panties off to howling like a sasquatch caught in a bear trap (and it gets me every time).  It’s rare when a band’s new album is your favorite of their career, but this is some of the most thoughtful and brilliant rock I have heard in a long time. – Brandon Perras

Agreed. – Isaac Atencio

Track six “Galloping Mind Fuk” is one of the best songs of 2016 for sure. – Jon Robertson

Full Review Here


 

The Body New Album2. The Body – No One Deserves Happiness
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Such a powerful symbolic title for the horror-filled shitfest of a year that 2016 was. Did you want it darker? Look no further. – Jasper Hesselink

This album scares the bejesus out of me. – Aaron Cooper

Terrifying! – Jon Robertson

The Body‘s fifth full-length album certainly registers as “the grossest pop album of all time.” No One Deserves Happiness plays as 80’s dance tracks for the possessed and debauched. Musicians who are as fluid and talented as Chip King and Lee Buford are able to avoid stagnation and create new and innovative music year in and year out. No One Deserves Happiness finds the Portland duo moving further and further away from the confines of metal, which is what King and Buford have wanted to do on their solo albums. Casual fans of The Body may not see the greatness in No One Deserves Happiness. However, understanding their current trajectory shows that this dynamic duo has made great advances on their versatility. It is a magnificent and heavy record that feels like a demonic dance album and it exists as a great disconnect from the prototypical metal album. – Cody Davis

Full Review Here


1. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
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This newest installation into the Finnish, cosmic black metallurgists’ discography is deeply immersive and a stellar display of genre contortion. Värähtelijä follows up their 2013 album, Valonielu, which now sounds like a roughly recorded demo after hearing Oranssi Pazuzu‘s newest album. This is not to slight their prior efforts, but to heap praise onto how great Värähtelijä truly is. The group has taken massive strides forward in the last two to three years. The album spans seventy minutes over the course of seven separate journeys. Every moment puts massive torsion on black metal purity and stretches the genre to its outermost limits. – Cody Davis

Oranssi Pazuzu has been delivering the spacey black metal soundtrack to Trippyville since 2007 already and they have become heavier and trippier with every release so far. The fact that they do so completely in Finnish only adds to the outlandish experience. Oranssi Pazuzu doesn’t really write songs, they make sonic attempts to recreate mental maelstroms. Just close your eyes and listen to Värähtelijä and I’ll guarantee you’ll see circles eating other circles while revolving around vicious circle shaped space demons with endless rows of teeth…Ok, It’s probably best if you have a sober buddy around whilst fully taking in this shit. Happy tripping! – Jasper Hesselink

2016 Best Noise Metal and Rock Albums

Cody Davis
Knows he doesn’t look like he listens to metal, but trust him. He does. He spends an overwhelming majority of his day listening to it. When he isn’t busy becoming a physical therapist at Duke University, he splits his time as a writer for not only Bearded Gentlemen Music but at Metal Injection, Noisey, and Treble as well. Cody can be found on Twitter or Instagram and if you ever see him in person, please buy him a cup of coffee.

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