Metal Monday - Top 10 Albums of 2016 So Far

DJ Philliam from Turn On The Darkness (Tuesdays 2 PM) narrows down his picks for the top 10 albums of 2016 (so far!) for this edition of Metal Monday.


10. Varg - Das Ende aller Lügen. Was not really expecting this at all. This album blew me away, knowing that this blends elements of modern metal/Viking death metal and Metalcore? Yeah you heard me right! Lots of catchy and head bangin' tunes in this album. It's definitely worth a listen.

09. Fleshgod Apocalypse - King. I was not so sure what the direction was going to be for this album. If they were going for a conceptual one, or just a "here you go, we got more blast beats for you and your mind can go crazy over our drummer's technique". But, Fleshgod Apocalypse delivered with King. It was crazy all over the walls, with unique new elements such as operatic vocals (sounds a lot like nightwish?) With more death metally vibes. But unlike Labyrinth, this isn't a concept record. 

08. Anthrax - For All Kings. This is your typical Anthrax album and IT'S GOOOOOOOD!!! 

07. Avantasia - Ghostlights. It's been a while since I've actually listened to Avantasia, the last album being The Scarecrow. But, hot dang! Tobias really stepped it up with this new album. There's a lot of progressive elements in here, and a lot of surprise guests, which I do like. This album is actually my new favourite above The Scarecrow.

06. Megadeth - Dystopia. Megadeth is back! In a heavier direction than Super Collider? OH YAY! (That wasn't a good album) This time trying to go back into roots what they had before with crunchier riffs and catchy choruses... Ugh, I hope there's none of that 4/4 stuff on here. Ohhh wait, there is. NEXT!

05. Rhapsody of Fire - Into the Legend. THE BRAND NEW Rhapsody of Fire album goes into full concept mode with dragons, warriors, magic, and other worldly things that you can expect from Rhapsody.

04. Ritual - Ritual. It's so heavy! PERIOD.
03. Protest the Hero - Pacific Myth. This album offers a unique idea of how Protest the Hero are approaching songwriting. Instead of releasing an album every X number of years, they decided to go the à la monthly subscription-based method, giving us songs every 15th of the month. The album exceeded my expectations, and it is really interesting to see what they're capable of doing in the near future, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they've got in store.

02. Steven Wilson - 4 ½. This EP was announced sometime last year after his Montreal Jazz Fest performance. I was so hyped that Steven was going to release unheard material, which has not been done before in the Steven Wilson discography. This EP is very well done, and the production value is just insane. There's so much detail on this EP, and Steven does have a fine set of ears. I'm really looking forward to hear these songs live along with his other material.

01. Dream Theater - The Astonishing. In the not-so-distant future, music has been banned and people are protesting against the great northern empire and Ravenskill. A conflict between two factions that would shake their world, with the NOMACS looking over them, they have to be very careful of what they do. Music expression is totally out of hand, but one person fights to get his voice heard. Along with a young girl named Fayth, they must go on a dangerous journey to bring back the music. People can you hear us we won't let you down. This is by far the best album from Dream Theater. Since 1999, we've been waiting for a concept album that is complex and boggles the mind of how things are with life, music, and thought provoking and emotional moments from the introduction to the final note that this album brings. They will be playing the whole album on tour, and they should give us a more visualization on how the story plays out. Once again, this is the best work Dream Theater has ever done in years. It beats out Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory by a long shot. But I'll never forget listening to Scenes from a Memory for the first time and falling in love with it, and it's the same feeling with this album as well.