Last year was a great year for rock music, in this blogger's humble opinion. It was tough for me to pick only fifteen top albums, but I think I've narrowed it down.
In addition to lots of great albums, I went to quite a few concerts. Click here to read my 2016 concert rankings; Metallica, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Toothgrinder all appear on both that list and this one. Click on the album covers to purchase or to hear samples. If you like what you hear, please BUY IT! If you want your favorite artists to keep creating art, you must support them financially. Artists and musicians are people, first, and as such need money for food, rent, and all the other necessities of life.
- Toothgrinder Nocturnal Masquerade: My favorite new band of 2016. They kicked ass in a live setting, and their album is one of the strongest metal debuts I've heard in a long time.
- Silver Snakes Saboteur: Their previous album was good; this one is great. It's post-hardcore with a grungy bite. I really wish I didn't miss them when they were in town.
- Polyphia Renaissance: An instrumental band. Think Animals as Leaders meets Joe Satriani.
- blink-182 California: Tom who? DeLonge's departure and replacement was just what the band needed to inject something fresh into the band's discography. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I'm enjoying this album.
- Chevelle The North Corridor: Chevelle is another shocker for me. I haven't loved any of their albums since 2004, but this one recaptures some of the old fire. Another pleasant surprise.
- Showbread Showbread is Showdead: The biggest surprise of all, however, was the triumphant return of Showbread... right before they broke up. The band has gone through several lineup changes, but they brought back every previous member to record their best album since 2004. Talk about going out with a bang.
- Thrice To Be Everywhere is to Be Nowhere: Thrice today sounds way different than the Thrice of the early 2000s. They're more grungy than pop hardcore these days, and it's a welcome change in my book. The song Black Honey alone makes this album worth the purchase. (But buy the whole album.)
- Metallica Hardwired... To Self-Destruct: This is not the band's best album, but it's their best album since 1991. The fact that these 50 year olds are still playing speed metal is amazing to me, and they do it better than most. They're fantastic live, too, as I had to privilege of finding out.
- Avenged Sevenfold The Stage: After the tragic death of their drummer, Avenged Sevenfold seemed to lose their way for a couple albums. Well, they're back with The Stage, and Synyster Gates is still somehow a sorely underrated guitarist.
- The Dillinger Escape Plan Dissociation: The Dillinger Escape Plan released probably their weirdest album last year, but somehow it works. I'll miss these guys, but they went out on top of their game. If you missed them live, you missed out.
- Silent Planet Everything Was Sound: A very strong sophomore album; the song Panic Room is the best anti-war song to be released in a very long time.
- Mouth of the Architect Path of Eight: Stoner post-metal, with a sound more reminiscent of the fantastic The Ties That Blind.
- Kaada/Patton Bacteria Cult: The second collaboration between avant-garde jazz artist John Kaada and Mike Patton, and a vast improvement. The strangest album on my list, but somehow still very accessible.
- Nevermen: Another record featuring Mike Patton, this time a trip hop collaboration. I'm a fanboy, sue me.
- Spylacopa Demon John: I didn't want to include Spylacopa two years in a row, but their album deserves it. This one is more atmospheric than the last, but it still rocks.
I'd love to see your list, so share it with me in the comments. Thanks for reading!
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