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My Top 50 of 2016

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by Harvester, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Harvester

    Harvester The Promoter

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    Welcome to the big pain in the ass Top 50 of 2016 list! There may be another month left, but I have received essentially all of the unreleased discs for this year I’m interested in. I encourage you to take your time with sampling all of the music below. I guarantee you missed a few gems along the way.


    For those unfamiliar, this is my annual post where I put politics and label/band relationships aside. You get my honest thoughts on the releases that caught my interest this past year across numerous heavy rock/metal genres.


    Disclaimer:


    a. This list caters to my personal taste, not the full spectrum of metal genres. If you are looking for tons of death metal, black metal, whateverthefuckcore metal, or anything like that…move along...nothing to see here.


    b. I do not rank albums based on pure musical instrumentation ability or sonic clarity. While I fully believe technical chops demonstrate musical superiority in many aspects, I also think it is just as hard to write a *good* hook that draws a listener back again and again. Furthermore, a passionate vocal delivery that adds emotional depth to the lyrics wins out over power/range most of the time.


    c. There is no right or wrong to this list. Music is a subjective listening experience. My opinion is no more valid than yours if we are on opposite sides of the fence.


    d. I do not listen to every single release. If your favorite disc did not make the list, I may simply not have heard it…or I could have thought it sucked.


    e. Keep in mind a highly ranked disc in any genre may not make the list. For example, the 10th best power metal disc of the year is not there. It’s still a great record, but there are only so many slots.


    f. I may have simply forgotten a release. I reserve the right to insert a disc into the list at any time. It happens every year.


    Onward….


    50. Noveria- Forsaken: The band’s debut was pure Symphony X worship. They don’t stray too far from that formula here either. I will say that the slower moments veer more towards DGM territory. While not reaching the heights of either of those bands, they do a nice job of carrying the torch in this style. I don’t need the wheel reinvented with my music every time. Just give me a good song.



    49. Grand Magus- Sword Songs: If you are looking for the most manly chorus in metal this year, look no further. “Viking Metal! Bring you to your knees.” That’s just Manowarian glorious. The rest of the power metal world can have their elves, unicorns, & dancing fairies. I’d rather drink beer in some dive bar with a Grand Magus.



    48. Fallujah- Dreamless: Is it ok to call a disc brutally ambient? Truth be told, this is a dark progressive death metal disc that teeters here and there with some technical chops. I’d actually rank this a bit higher, but the songs start to blend too much as the disc goes on. Warning: If you cannot handle growls, then move your wussy ass along.



    47. Spellcaster - Night Hides the World: Screw re-thrash. “Retro” traditional metal is where it’s at. Clean vocals, clean leads, clean melodies…it doesn’t get much better for this child of the 80’s. I’d like to give special props to the lead guitar player in the video. Sunglasses at night..check. Bon Jovi jacket...check. High kicks galore..check. Points at me after a shredding solo and smiles…check. This entire disc just gets a big fucking check from me.



    46. Whispered- Metsutan: Songs of the Void: Samurai metal from Finland! That’s right, fucking Finland. The band blends their scorched earth style of melodic death metal with far Eastern folk influences. It’s Kabukis gone wild.



    45. Universal Mind Project- The Jaguar Priest: Nils K. Rue, Mark Jansen, Diego Valdez, Charlie Dominici, Henrik Bath are just some of the names that appear on this fantastic melodic prog/power debut from guitarist, Michel Alexander. The real revelation are the vocals of newcomer, Elina Laivera. She anchors the disc while the others come and go in a cohesive maelstrom.



    44. Serenity- Codex Atlanticus: Kamelot’s little brother has stepped out beyond the shadows and cemented their status in the symphonic power metal genre. Georg’s melodramatic vocals drip with a conviction that is not easy to pull off without being cheesy. He is Gouda free. Is this their best release? Nope. However, it’s still a deserving entry in their catalog.



    43. Withem- The Unforgiving Road: While Circus Maximus zigged in this style, Withem continued to zag. They have the traditional melodic Prog metal formula down perfectly already. It’s just a matter of good songwriting going forward. I still think their best is yet to come.



    42. Sirenia- Dim Days of Dolor: Sirenia have always been just one step behind the “name” bands of their genre a la Epica, After Forever, and even Delain now. They have had a bit of an identity crisis with their style over years in terms of combining elements of aforementioned bands. Regardless, any fan of symphonic beauty & beast metal needs to check it out.



    41. Airbourne- Breakin’ Outta Hell: Sometimes, I just want to drink beer and crank the volume. I don’t want to analyze production, read lyrics, or ponder the meaning of life. I just want to laugh or break shit. Airboune does this for me as the bastard child of AC/DC.



    40. Devilment- II: The Mephisto Waltzes: For the record, I despise Cradle of Filth. I hate Dani’s shrieking vocals on those discs. However, here he restrains himself just enough the majority of the time here with a more gritty approach. I do have to mention that I really enjoyed when he goes into his Oliva vocal cadence (check out the video around the 50 second mark for an example). It’s a campy Broadway show gone to hell.



    39. Almanac- Tsar: On paper, I didn’t understand how this would work. David Readman, Andy Franck, & Jeannette Marchewka (who?) would perform triple threat vocals. Was this going to be Victor Smolski’s powermetal Amaranthe? Nope. It ended up being one of the more anthemic power discs this year with outstanding choruses. The balls & chunk style is always welcomed.



    38. Edensong- Years in the Garden of Years: Let’s ask the obvious question with this disc? Are you man (or woman) enough to handle shredding lead flute solos? I mean the kind that would make Ian from Jethro Tull envious? If you said yes, this disc is essential to check out. It’s Prog rock with elements of everything- folk, symphonic, classical guitar, Dream Theaterisms, etc. It’s a complex & exhausting undertaking straight through. The 9 part title track takes up the majority of the album (“Chronos” is an amazing instrumental). Themere mention of that should give a few of you old fart proggers a bit of wood.



    37. Theocracy- Ghost Ship: Theocracy deserve a wider audience. Matt has taken the old school Edguy approach and ran with it. If you miss those type of riffs and choruses from Tobias, this is for you. Unfortunately, the vast majority of power metal heads continue to refuse the band simply because of thelyrical content. I guess they simply cannot handle that much positivity in their life.



    36. Mob Rules- Tales from Beyond: This gem cane and went a bit too quickly. It deserved more hype as they really took their melodic power metal to the next level here. They wear their influences on their sleeves with nods to Maiden, Savatage, and others. Despite being around forever, they are one of power metal’s best kept secrets



    35. Dynazty- Titanic Mass: The band has developed into melodic Power metal black ice. They are simply slick as hell. The disc is really just a continuance of “Retanus” and that is more than acceptable with me. Nilsdeserves to be recognized as one of the vocal elite. Arjen & Tobias need to take note next time around on their projects.



    34. Tarja- The Shadow Self: It’s always nice to welcome back the lady that truly helped define a genre. I’m like everyone else in in that I long for the days of her fronting some bouncy, symphonic music. You are not going to get that here. What you do get is a vast improvement from the prior album in terms of both diversity& heaviness. This was quite the surprise.



    33. Primal Fear- Rulebreaker: While many Power metal veterans have floundered with recent releases, PF continue their winning streak of traditional Power metal. They write some of the best damn crushing riffs in heavy metal. Check out the video link if you gave up on them a while back.



    32. Pain- Coming Home: It’s always tough when a band follows up a release that you consider one will never be topped. I stand by that as “You Only Live Twice” is just a monster album that will remain at the apex of Peter’s career. “Coming Home” continues to diversify the band further away from the industrial vibe of prior releases. There is a wicked sense of humor found in the tongue-in-cheek lyrics in more than a few of the tunes. This one is for those that don’t take life too seriously & want a little something different in their metal.



    31. Eternal Deformity- No Way Out: Devin Townsend goes Black metal? Cradle of Filth goes Prog? The answer lies somewhere in between. This one is not for the lighter crowd as they mix blackened vocals, deathgrunts, and some cool Alice in Chain type harmonies everywhere. The other reason I dig it is because it has so much more groove than full-on blast beat shit.



    30. Katatonia- The Fall of Hearts: While it takes an act of congress to get the majority of Katatonia fans to agree on what is their best release, all will agree that this is a damn good disc. The grooves are still there, but the melodies are a bit more luscious. They are inching closer and closer to the Anathema world of Prog with excellent results.



    29. Testament- Brotherhood of the Snake: The battle vest and white-high tops crowd can shut up for a second. None of the older Thrash bands will ever reach their early career heights. That said, Testament (andOverkill as well) continue to put out quality releases. Chuck sounds fierce and the riffs are neck breaking. I honestly wouldn’t mind if they went even heavier in the future despite being a bigger fan of the “Souls of Black” era.



    28. Be’lakor- Vessels: I’m late to the party on this band as I had not heard a note prior to this release. That is huge regret. For those unaware, they are a Melodic Death metal band that appeals to your Prog senses witha dreamy, thick atmosphere & acoustic passages. Highly recommended for old Opeth fans that like to bitch.



    27. Delain- Moonbathers: At the risk of getting my ass beaten by my wife, Delain lost me with the last two releases. They were just too pop oriented for me. I'm happy to say that I'm totally back on board as their previous Symphonic/heavier (relatively speaking) vibe has returned. In fact, I rank this just behind "April Rain" in their discography.



    26. Bind Ego- Liquid: Excellent heavier Prog rock that was an unheralded discovery. The disc would have ranked even higher if Arno (Subsignal) had done all of the vocals (there are three different vocalists). This release is more song oriented than instrumental wankery. The world would be a better place if more bands took that approach. This song is just beautiful:



    25. Nordic Union- Nordic Union: Eclipse & Pretty Maids are at the top of the Melodic rock genre right now. It’s a no brainer that a union of Erik & Ronnie would produce an outstanding slab of catchy as hell hooks. Don’t over think this one.



    24. Utopia- Mood Changes: It is an absolute crime that this did not get any hype in the Prog world when it was released. This just has that extra “it” factor with hooks & chops that flavor the music instead of drowning it. Those that want some crunchy Prog that doesn’t sound like DT, check them out.



    23/22. Fates Warning- Theories of Flight/Redemption- The Art of Loss: Yes, this is a chicken shit move. However, I’m being honest. Obvious Ray comparisons aside, I cannot choose which I prefer more. One has more vocal melody lines and the other is superior in musical chops. There should be a rule where both bands cannot release music in the same year.





    21. Dream Theater- The Astonishing: A friend of mine said, “I love this because it is like one 3 hour song.” That is the exact same reason it didn’t make my top 20. I couldn’t tell you what I heard on about half of the 2 discs even after repeated listens. You would think I hated the disc based on that. Wrong. It is still miles above the wannabees when it comes to musicality. They are just on another plane of existence in that regard. The bottom line is that I need more hooks to hang in there for that long of a listen. I need Scenes, Part II.



    20. Pretty Maids- Kingmaker: I cannot think of another band who has made such as strong comeback this late in their career. It may be heresy, but I actually prefer the last 3 releases over any earlier era. While most Melodic rock bands tend to lighten up as they grow older, PM did the opposite. They are one of the few that add some balls to the genre.



    19. Striker- Stand in the Fire: Take everything I said about Spellcaster and magnify it times ten for this disc. The disc is even further elevated as they also crank it up into traditional Power (perhaps a bit of NWoBHM?) as well with some galloping riffs & sky high vocals. This makes me proud to be a child of the 80’s.



    18. Innerwish- Innerwish: One of the few bands that truly put the power into Power metal this year. They took the mantle from Brainstorm and ran like hell with it. They keep this up and I won’t retire without them getting a shot on stage in Atlanta.



    17. Pervy Perkins- ToTeM: They are officially categorized as “experimental Prog rock.” In actuality, it’s the most fucked up disc I heard this year. Seriously. It’s like watching Adult Swim at 4:00am while tripping on acid. There are some sort of lyrics on there, but I was too busy trying to get my ears adjusted to the wild stylechanges & mood swings to even bother trying to focus on the Minion cult chanting. I have set the video to start off in the middle of the disc with the 23 minute cut. Hang in there till at least the 40 minute mark before you say a word.



    16. Sunburst- Fragments of Creation: I cannot help but be obvious. The first thing I thought was Conception meets Nevermore. Gus’s shotgun riffing, along with Vasilis’s glorious Khan-esque pipes, combine for a one-two star punch that a lot of bands are missing these days. There really isn’t another band out there playing this style.



    15. Fractal Cypher- The Human Factor: The band’s debut hits this chart with a bullet. They play a style that hasn’t been heard much of since Andromeda’s “Extension of the Wish.” In other words, it is heavy as fuck melodic Prog. Now, they do add the djenty picking along with some grunts here and there to sound modern enough. I see huge potential for these guys down the road.



    14. Borknagar- Winter Thrice: Don’t hate me, but I have never been a big Borknagar fan. That changes with this release. Why? Primarily, because of the emphasis on clean vocals & harmonies by everyone (Eagles of Progressive Death Metal?). Don’t get me wrong though as the bleak Scandinavian frost of despair (along with the blast beats) still permeates the disc & pummels the shit out of your skull.



    13. Lords of Black- II: This captured my attention due to two specific things: 1. Ronnie’s amazing voice. 2. Their use of a building crescendo that simply explodes. The combination brings an emotional intensity to the entire disc that few melodic/power discs rarely capture in their best songs. “Ghost of You” is damn near flawless.



    12. Avantasia- Ghostlights: Anyone that can make Tate sound good these days deserves a medal. It’s the best song he has performed in 20 years. This is also the strongest Avantasia disc from Tobias since the debut. The songs perfectly match up with their guest vocalist. That is becoming a lost art form in the drowning world of all-star projects.



    11. Epica- The Holographic Principal: Epica have done something extremely rare. They have stuck to their guns and gone from being part of a genre to being the genre. There is absolutely no one that comes close totheir mastery of the symphonic, beauty & beast style currently. This disc seems a bit less bombastic with the choirs & orchestration than in the past. That works well for me as it keeps it fresh.



    10. Heaven Below- Good Morning Apocalypse: A concept album from a band that arose from Sunset Strip? Hell, yes….and a fantastic one at that. While it does have plenty of ass-shakin’ &bangin’ moments,
    it is far deeper than the awesome single (damn, it gets the blood boiling) would have you believe. It just flat out rips in places. Guests include Jason McMaster, Kobra Paige, Udo Dirkschneider, & Lita Ford. I probably would have ranked it higher if I hadn’t been turned on to it so late.



    9. DGM- The Passage: A band that is truly hitting their stride in all aspects. The disc ebbs & flows with crunch/melody/speed/atmosphere/Prog/etc. “The Secret Parts 1 & 2” are arguably one of the best songs of the year. I’d also like to proclaim that Simone ranks up there with the best guitarists of the genre.



    8. Ihsahn- Arktis: Ihsahn continues to elevate his game with each release. It takes sheer genius to mesh catchy as hell melodies with a sheer sense of harsh, cold terror. One minute you are singing along with his fantastic clean vocals….the next your veins freeze full of ice with his trademark blackened vocals. If hell would ever freeze over here in Georgia, I cannot wait to spin it on a cold, winter night.



    7. Allegaeon- Proponent for Sentience: Hell yes, a technical death metal disc just made the list! I have no idea about actual notes, scales, etc. Even lacking that knowledge, I still shake my head in awe watching these guys play. I have a hard time defining the difference between technical and progressive when it comes to labels, but they get both this time out. They add so many unique things that keeps it from just being a brutal aural assault. Check out the Spanish guitar they add on the video below:



    **Bonus!!! They also released the best cover song this year (clean vox) as well. You *must* check this Rush cover out regardless of how lazy a bastard you truly are:



    6. Southern Empire- Southern Empire: We now head in the opposite direction with a combination of classic rock & classic Prog. There are two things that jump out at you immediately: the choruses & extended musical jams. Think Toto, Yes, and the Eagles in a blender. It’s easy listening Prog. Props on the awesome soprano sax solos.



    5. Haken- Affinity: All it took was the opening chords of “1985” and I fell in love with this disc. The nostalgia for the music of that decade just overwhelmed me. Add in the traditional approach of “The Architect,” and it only took Haken two songs to prove they are among the genre’s elites.



    4. Neal Morse- The Similitude of a Dream: Let’s get this obvious out of the way. Portnoy won this round of the double concept albums. The big difference is this is chock full of individual songs that stick in your head. I make no secret of my love for bands (not projects) that use multiple vocalists & radio-friendly harmonies a la The Eagles. Furthermore, the pacing of the album allows both the music and your mind to breath instead of drowning. I cannot say that about certain other double concept albums.



    3. Myrath- Legacy: This one hit me right in the Prog/Power gonads. I must have watched the video for “Believer” 20 times straight when it first hit. It didn’t end there as they delivered one great song after another (“all killer, no filler”). I’m manly enough to admit that I practiced my white boy belly dancing moves more than once while spinning this.



    2. Evergrey- The Storm Within: I think the only surprise here for most that know me is it wasn’t #1 for this fanboy. Every Evergrey release is a personal journey for me. They are one of the few bands whose lyrics mean just as much to me as the music. There is such a different feeling when you able to become the character singing instead of just listening to them. What takes this specific release to another level is something missing in 99.9% of metal albums, *Love &Hope.* And yes…the big 6 ft. Swedish mangina is still my favorite vocalist on the planet.



    1. Devin Townsend- Transcendence: I’m going to leave you with a note I wrote to Devin that I posted previously online to explain why this is an album I will never forget. I won’t share what Devin replied to me. Just know that I will forever be a fan.

    “I want to take a moment to personally thank Devin Townsend. However, it is not for the reason you think. I'm not thanking him for being the nicest guy in "Lower Mid-Tier Prog Metal". I'm not thanking him for the fantastic performance this year at the fest that reminded me of why I still do this after all these years. I'm not even thanking him for all the amazing music over the years.

    I want to thank him for "Stormbending."

    There are times when a song transcends art. It brings out powerful emotions in you that you try to keep hidden from the rest of the world. It wraps its lush arms around you and takes you on a majestic journey from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. It can be a lyric that reminds you of someone. It can be a melody that brings back a single thought that makes you smile although you don't truly understand why. There is no exact science as to why a song connects with us on a deep, personal level. We simply all experience music in different ways.

    I imagine standing on the beach staring into the darkness of the ocean. Memories of my mother continue to drown me in sorrow. Dawn beings to break. The sky begins to turn into the most beautiful collage of colors I have ever witnessed. "Stormbending" is the soundtrack playing that only I can hear. My sadness begins to lift as the music plays. The line, "Your soul: let if fly," whispers to me through the crashing of the waves. It's at that exact moment that I see my mom smiling at me from the clouds as they being to brighten. I shed a tear, but I know she is proud of me. Things are going to be ok.

    Thank you, Devin. That scene will forever be a part of me.”




    Complete youtube playlist for reference (courtesy of Jen): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLKbU7H3GVFKONJE7fugccVoCAlvv2xp3
     
    #1 Harvester, Nov 23, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  2. ManipulatorGeneral404

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    Are you able to say how close, incidentally, was InnerWish to getting a shot next year? A lot of people I spoke to were expecting them to get one based off the quality, the style, and your reaction when you first heard it.
     
  3. Mardoch

    Mardoch Defender of the Universe

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    Stormbending is the song that made me start to "get" Devin. The video REALLY helps bring the song's glory out, too. I've gotten a lot of this vibe out of Arktis, as well. Ihsahn has a real knack for helping you to process the darkness in life and take it all in as just part of the experience. In the Vaults and Until I Too Dissolve have been two incredibly important pieces of music for me this year.

    Other comments:
    Noveria is just good fun. Like Symphony X meets DGM with a dash of extra angularity. I'm really digging this one right now.

    Sunburst is just the right combination of their influences. It's obviously beneficial that they just ooze talent and skill, too. That album's a real asskicker.

    I'm still trying to get past the fact that the vocal style on the Fractal Cypher disc doesn't quite land for me. The music is so awesome I'm committed to working my way into it.

    DGM's disc is just continuing the trend of them being solid as hell and a quality purveyor of smiles. DGM's music just makes me smile. I love that stuff.

    Haken...what can you say. I love everything they've done, and next year's going to be an absolute treat just like this year was.

    Myrath has gotten so damned catchy it's unbelievable. They just stick in your head. Can't wait to see them again.


    I'm a little surprised there's no love for the new Hemina in your list. Did it just not chart for you or what? I'm loving the hell out of it currently.
     
  4. eppst1

    eppst1 Member

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    Glad you finally came around on Borknagar. :)
     
  5. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Member

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    As always, I look forward to your top 50 not to legitimize my purchases, but to find discs that might not have gotten my attention. Given how few of the new releases I pick up in a year, I'm lucky if I have a fraction of them. While I don't own all of them, I can't disagree with your top 5. All are top notch albums for the year.

    Some comments:

    Universal Mind Project - One of my few purchases at ProgPower, mostly on the strength of YouTube clips. Can't say it has made a strong impression on me as of yet, but I probably need some additional runs through it.

    Edensong - I'm probably one of the few on this board who had heard of them previously. I saw them a few years back at ProgDay and thought they were very good. If you like the new one, I highly recommend their previous album, "The Fruit Fallen".

    Katatonia - Just recently picked up the new one from an Amazon $5 sale. I don't think anything on there is as good as "My Twin", but after one listen I think it is a good album.

    Allegaeon - It was hard not to run into their "Subdivisions" cover this year on YouTube. Personally, I think they nailed it. Not sure I like that they are mostly death metal vocals, but I should at least give them a chance.
    Southern Empire - I've been interested in this since I found out they were one of the bands formed out of the ashes of Unitopia, which made some excellent prog rock. Almost picked it up at RoSFest, but felt the CD was above my price threshold.

    The Neal Morse Band - I'm kinda still playing catchup, given that I only got their previous album, The Grand Experiment, a couple of months ago. To be honest, while I thought it was solid, it didn't quite live up to the hype some were giving it. From what I've heard of the new album (before it was pulled by YouTube), it is definitely a step up.

    Surprises not on the list:

    Oceans Of Slumber - Maybe because it was from very early this year it got lost in the wash, but I felt that they were one of the best "new" bands. A doom band with soulful female vocals.

    Wolverine - Maybe a victim of being consistently good that it doesn't stand out from the pack.

    Helion Prime - These guys hit me high on the geek meter and I find them catchy as hell.

    Bands high on my list:

    Thank You Scientist - I don't think Stranger Heads Prevail is a better album than their debut, Maps Of Non-Existent Places, but they are and damn fun band live.

    Bent Knee - A band that has gotten a lot of buzz from the prog rock festival circuit this year. I think that their album, Say So, is one of the best of the year. I think their upside is pretty huge.
     
  6. chazzyf

    chazzyf Member

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    Holy Shit I have just one of those disks (Katatonia), as I've been damn lazy purchasing anything this year. I will probably continue to avoid anything that has Devin Townsend's name on it (because sometimes it takes me an age to get over initial bad reactions to some artists), but will add Haken, Evergrey, Fates Warning (the previous disk was so disappointing), Redemption (similar problem) and I might even try the new Morse.

    Delain, Sirenia, Dream Theater and Epica are toast and I can't see me ever bothering with any new music from those bands ever again. Isahn's blackened vocals give me nightmares, so I wont be bothering with that release either.

    I might try some of the lesser names, and some of that old-style 'Happy' Power metal stuff.
     
    Kez likes this.
  7. zedowns

    zedowns Member

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    Stuff I'll definitely be checking out from here: Southern Empire, Fractal Cyber, Utopia, Allegaeon

    I'm excited, my years been filled with way too much mellow prog rock and not enough high energy prog metal.
     
  8. Formerly known as Chris F5

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    Most of our top 3 to 5 are the same . ..

    Strangely I dont see anything on need to check out on your list so I can now make mine
     
  9. jingle.boy

    jingle.boy The changing of the worrd is inevitabre!

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    21 of these would also (most likely) make my Top 50. A few likely wouldn't crack my Top 100. And even still, there's another 10 albums to check out - based on the description. The rest I'll gladly take a pass on because I know they're not my cuppa tea. I'll just post some love for some releases that didn't make the list, namely Cloudscape, Poverty's No Crime, Now Or Never, Ocean's of Time, King Company, Thunderstone, Eternity's End, and Hemina.

    2016 has been a fantastic year.
     
  10. Harvester

    Harvester The Promoter

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    Your tastes have become incredibly narrow over the past few years. I dare say that even outside of those I described as power (which I know you aren't a fan of), you still didn't check out 75% because I didn't use the word "ambient" or compare them to Riverside. :)

    Did you bother with Heaven Below (for the gym or your models to shake their ass to)? At least try Allegaeon's Rush cover?
     
    #10 Harvester, Nov 25, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  11. Harvester

    Harvester The Promoter

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    To all:

    My actual rankings don't mean anything more than your personal rankings. The reward for me writing this list is to see the feedback on releases you missed along the way.

    Nothing is worse than silence.
     
  12. General Zod

    General Zod Ruler of Australia

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    Glenn... if you're vibing a lot of retro 80s music, I'd recommend Sumerlands. Unlike Striker and Spellcaster, who sound like they were raised on a fairly strict diet of Hair Metal, Sumerlands feels more like they grew up listening to the more esoteric bands of the early and mid 80s.

     
    Mooseknuckle likes this.
  13. johnfrank1970

    johnfrank1970 Member

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    These 18 (!) titles will be somewhere on my list of over 200 releases:

    47. Spellcaster - Night Hides the World (much better than their previous work)
    46. Whispered- Metsutan: Songs of the Void (heh heh, surprised to see this one)
    35. Dynazty- Titanic Mass (this is decent, but it is no Renatus, unfortunately)
    31. Eternal Deformity- No Way Out (surprised to see this on your list as well - rather obscure)
    29. Testament- Brotherhood of the Snake (pales in comparison to Dark Roots of Earth though)
    28. Be’lakor- Vessels
    25. Nordic Union- Nordic Union (not as good as Eclipse, probably better than Pretty Maids)
    23. Fates Warning- Theories of Flight (first Fates I have enjoyed since Parallels)
    22. Redemption- The Art of Loss
    20. Pretty Maids- Kingmaker
    18. Innerwish- Innerwish (I doubt they will catch up to Diviner, but they are making progress)
    16. Sunburst- Fragments of Creation
    10. Heaven Below- Good Morning Apocalypse (needs more spins, but this was a very pleasant surprise upon first listen)
    9. DGM- The Passage (first DGM disc I have appreciated)
    8. Ihsahn- Arktis
    7. Allegaeon- Proponent for Sentience (not as cool as their previous album, but still worthwhile)
    3. Myrath- Legacy
    2. Evergrey- The Storm Within (solid return to form)

    This seems decent. Will check out the full album.

    38. Edensong- Years in the Garden of Years
     
  14. johnfrank1970

    johnfrank1970 Member

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    Seconded. Cool disc.
     
  15. Mardoch

    Mardoch Defender of the Universe

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    On this note there are 5 here that I popped out for future listening. Some I hadn't heard of, some that I will grant more than my initial consideration based on your comments.

    I always love your top 50 to see how much we ended up with in common and to find all the stuff I invariably missed out on. And sometimes, like a few of this year's items, as a challenge to my initial perception.
     
  16. Mooseknuckle

    Mooseknuckle Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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    Summerlands is awesome. My buddy recorded at the same studio and turned me onto them. Great disc!
     
  17. Piffle

    Piffle New Metal Member

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    This has been the best year for music for me for a long time. I think about 20 things from your top 50 will make mine, and there might be 20 I haven't heard yet! Hard to keep up with everything that comes out these days. That's why I always enjoy your lists.

    Some stuff that will probably make my top 50 list that isn't on yours:
    • Death Angel - The Evil Divide (probably #2)

    • Helion Prime

    • Periphery - III

    • Damian Wilson - The Weir Keeper's Tale

    • Lacuna Coil - Delirium

    • Gojira - Magma

    • Madder Mortem - Red in Tooth and Claw
     
    #17 Piffle, Nov 25, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  18. Pitiless Wanderer

    Pitiless Wanderer Active Member

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    Crystal Palace needs to be somewhere on these lists. It destroys most of these other records IMO. Lanfear as well, just going by The Opaque Hourglass alone. Starborn's ep should be too, though it's more power/trad than prog. I enjoy it more than Summerlands, though, regardless.
     
    #18 Pitiless Wanderer, Nov 25, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  19. Formerly known as Chris F5

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    I posted the Rush cover on PMX a few months ago because to me these guys absolutely killed this (a good kill this )better than any cover in this genre in years...perfect modern prog take on a classic

    I'm not going to dissagree that my tastes have narrowed a bit...
    A lot of it has to do with some of the genre's I loved a while back getting a bit stale (I was one of the biggest Gothenburg melodic death fans back when it was thriving....kinda seems like it dried up a bit..though I have a feeling Kral's Firesoul project will be one of the best things to come out next year as it has all the key ingredients that made Mercenary so amazing)

    I actually posted what I did forgetting I had also downloaded the Pain disk so that has go be listened to...

    Forgot that this year was a greal year.for tbe old school thrashers
    Flotsam and Testament both with killer disks...did the Overkill disk come out yet)
     
    #19 Formerly known as Chris F5, Nov 26, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  20. kvona1

    kvona1 Member

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    As always another awesome read.....the best find for me was Pervy Perkins. I'm at a loss for words in describing what I heard, but needless to say minutes after listening to the sample Glenn posted, I went to their Bandcamp page and ordered both physical albums. Can't wait to listen to both discs in their entirety.
     

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