My Top 15 Metal Albums Of 2016

After listening to probably a few dozen metal albums released in 2016, I have selected 15 of those I enjoyed listening to the most and which accurately reflect my personal tastes in heavy music at the moment.
My Top 15 Metal Albums of 2016
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Better later than never... 2016 has undoubtedly been a great year for heavy music, with an impressive number of great releases coming both from established acts and fresh names, and I have only managed to listen to maybe a fraction of those albums. Out of that rather limited amount of new music that has reached my ears I have finally decided to make a selection of my favorite albums of 2016. I don't consider them to be the best releases of the previous year since, like I said before, there is still of plenty of great music unheard by me;

after all, I can't listen to new music all the time, so I often feel need to go back to what i know and sometimes I rediscover great bands and albums from almost 50 years of hard rock and metal history, and there are also days in which I try to expand to horizons and listen to other musical genres as well. This list simply reflects the albums which  offered me a really pleasant listening experience and are very likely to be often in my future playlists whenever I feel the need to listen to what I consider to be the most fascinating type of music on the planet, known generically as metal!

I have initially thought of making a small list of only 10 albums, but I changed my mind at the very last moment and I extended it to 15, but the list remains open since I'm going to keep on exploring music from the past year from time to time. Anyway, these are the 15 metal albums of 2016 which have impressed me the most so far:

 1. Megadeth - Dystopia
 2. Insomnium - Winter's Gate
 3. Death Angel - The Evil Divide
 4. Gojira - Magma
 5. Fates Warning - Theories of Flight
 6. Anthrax - For All Kings
 7. Avatar - Feathers & Flesh
 8. Sabaton - The Last Stand
 9. Amon Amarth - Jomsviking
10.Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake
11. Primal Fear - Rulebreaker
12.Vektor - Terminal Redux
13.Sodom - Decision Day
14.Evergrey - The Storm Within
15.Borknagar - Winter Thrice

As you can see from reading this list, out of

the increasingly diverse list of metal subgenres there are a few  ones represented here: power, progressive metal, melodic death metal and above all thrash. Sure, the latest releases of two of the so-called  "big four of thrash metal", Megadeth and Anthrax, sound closer to traditional heavy metal than thrash, but nevertheless they are both fantastic albums, which I have constantly listened to since their release in early 2016, but there are also real thrashy, fast and furious albums from veterans like Testament, Sodom and Death Angel which show no sign of slowing down in spite of their age, so thrash is definitely the subgenre which has dominated my musical tastes for 2016, and  great new albums from other giants like Overkill and Kreator  seem to indicate that the pure thrash domination in my list of preferred albums might continue in 2017 as well!

That is my "official" top 15 for 2016; like I said before, there is still a lot of great music from the past year I haven't heard yet, so if I take another look at it a few months from now on I will probably make some changes. Nevertheless, what matters beyond such a top, which is definitely fun to make, is the music itself, and with each growing year it seems that metal is getting more diverse and is reaching new, unexplored territories, and it's hard to keep up with so much diversity and such an overwhelming amount of bands and styles. That is why, after trying from time to time to listen to more progressive and experimental metal, I keep coming back to the roots, to classical hard rock, to traditional heavy metal and thrash, basically the genres I grew up with and which I will always listen to. Anyway, from the point of view of a hard rock and metal fan these are truly exciting times and they will probably get more interesting because, like the great Ronnie James Dio said in his final song, metal will never die!

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