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Articles : Anwar Rizk’s Top Albums Of 2016

By on December 21, 2016

Well, here we are again folks. Another year, and another slue of ridiculously amazing albums have come our way. Each year it seems to get harder to narrow down my top picks for the year, but having bands continually release amazing albums definitely makes it a little easier each time. Without further ado, here are my top albums for 2016 in no particular order.

belakorBe’lakor – Vessels

A true pinnacle of melodic death metal. Australia’s Be’lakor released their fourth studio album Vessels earlier in the year and is undoubtedly the band’s best work to date. A true masterpiece which needs to be heard the world over. It’s a shame the band don’t perform more often than they do, because I’d probably just spend all my hard earned cash on seeing the band perform every weekend.

Listen to: An Ember’s Arc

static1-squarespaceIn Flames – Battles

This album is simply breathtaking. I’m overwhelmed with to many emotions, and lose count of colourful adjectives to describe how great the album is, as the album caught me off guard at first listen. The Swedes definitely know how to make amazing music, and Battles is yet another indication of this. Superb writing abilities and musicianship from start to finish.

Listen to: The End

equilibrium_-_armageddon_2016Equilibrium – Armageddon 

German folk metallers Equilibrium released Armageddon earlier this year, and features an eclectic mix of world music, fused together with the band’s traditional German heritage and folk metal roots. The album features an upbeat and contemporary feel which distant’s itself from the band’s darker tones of earlier works. If you ever feel down in the dumps put on some Equilibrium and you’ll be revitalised.

Listen to: Born To Be Epic

twilightforce-heroesofmightymagicTwilight Force – Heroes of Mighty Magic

If you’re like me and just love some good ol’ fashion power metal in the vein of Rhapsody of Fire and riddled with fantasy elements that would make J.R.R Tolkien blush. Then Twilight Force is for you. Every time I listen to this album I feel like climbing a treacherous mountain side, and when I reach the top I just swing a massive fuck off sword asserting my manhood.

Listen to: Battle of Arcane Might

sabaton the last battleSabaton – The Last Stand

Yet another solid release from the Swedish war machine. Sabaton expand upon their playability with some great singles, continuing the band’s tradition of reflecting on major battles throughout history. Stand out track, The Lost Battalion. Makes me swell with emotion and is a great fist pumping anthem. It’s also a great song to listen to when playing Battlefield 1.

Listen to: The Lost Battalion

20160818_193928_7549_939483Metallica – Hardwired…To Self Destruct

No doubt this album will become apart of a lot of people’s top album this year. I went into this album with literally no expectations as I wanted to experience it all on my own, and not have some narrow minded fuckwit tell me which era of Metallica is better than the other, and why I should or shouldn’t listen to the band. But I digress. This album is literally what everyone has been asking for from Metallica. It’s surprisingly more up tempo and does away with experimentation, giving long time fans a new reason to masturbate with fervour and entice new listeners. Whether they be awkward dads going on 40, millennials or anyone for that matter.

Listen to: Spit Out The Bone

almanac-tsarVictor Smolski’s Almanac – Tsar

Belarus native, Victor Smolski returns with his new super group, Almanac. The debut album has a great mix of traditional heavy metal, progressive and power metal elements. Twin vocalists David Readman and Andy Franck add a great dynamic to the music, and of course, Victor’s trademark neoclassical guitar wankery and crunchy, head banging riffs add great depth, with the addition of world music and classical arrangements. Making for one entertaining and highly sort after release of 2016.

Listen to: Self-Blinded Eyes

sorceress_album_coverOpeth – Sorceress

I don’t think I really need to say much. But I will anyway. This album is just fantastic! Yet another masterpiece forged by the hands of one of the world’s greatest progressive metal bands. A true pinnacle in the genre which extenuates multiple facets of emotion and colourful vibrancy. All the more reason to see them live across the country next year.

Listen to: Sorceress

sodom_-_decision_daySodom – Decision Day

The new album is pure Teutonic thrash metal. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’re expecting something wholly different, then I’m sorry to burst your bubble: thrash metal isn’t the kind of music genre that breaks new ground. Thrash metal has survived the last 30 years because is hasn’t abandoned its core fundamentals. The album is filled with plenty of great chugging riffs, as well as vocals; the majority of which heed back to the black metal days of In the Sign of Evil (1984).

Listen to: Caligula

avantasia ghostlightsAvantasia – Ghostlights

Another stellar release from the German metal super group, Avantasia. This is story telling and musicianship at its finest. The album is a little bit heavier than some of their previous releases, adding a new dimension of mystery and excitement. I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys perform at Wacken again next year. Definitely worth the price of admission wherever they happen to be performing.

Listen to: Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose


Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook