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Top releases 2016:
1)Primordial - Gods to the Godless
Score: 10/10
In a way it's not fair, with a back catalogue as rich as Primordial it's almost easy to make a good live album. Still they amazed me by managing to chuck 82 minutes worth of excellent battle music on one cd. One minus: The title should of course have been "Where Greater Bands Have Fallen - Primordial Stands Guard at Bang Your Head Festival"
2)Various - In Mordor Where The Shadows Are - Homage to Summoning
Score: 10/10
Tribute CDs are usually an uneven collection of hit-and-miss covers, ranging from 'improving upon the original' to 'how could you mess up such a great song?'. But when the band being tributed is as brilliant as Summoning, and the tribute consists of 3 full CDs, there's a whole lot of hit. Standout moments come from Caladan Brood, the Summoning-inspired band finally playing an actual Summoning cover, and the brilliant Kalmankantaja.
3)Kalmankantaja - Waldeinsamkeit
Score: 10/10
A late addition to the year-list, as I've only recently discovered this excellent Finnish band and I'm still working through their discography. In their short existence they've spit out a new release every month or so, ranging from ambient to very atmospheric black, with the album Waldeinsamkeit as the highlight so far.
4)Rotting Christ - Rituals
Score: 10/10
Over their almost 30 years career Rotting Christ have gone through several phases musically, each with their own highlight. Rituals is the highlight of a new phase that combines the sound of Khronos with the evil atmosphere of their older work like Non Serviam. Christ is rotting like never before!
5)Monolithe - Zeta Reticuli
Score: 10/10
The not-quite-funeral-doom of Monolithe again hits you in the face like a bag of bricks. Following the same 3-song formula as Epsilon Aurigae, this time it includes one songs with usual growls, one instrumental, and for the first time one song with clean vocals which works surprisingly well. Running 45 minutes it somehow feels like an EP and ends too soon though.
6)Kawir - Páter 'Ilie Míter Selána
Score: 9.5/10
Kawir is one of those bands in the Greek black metal scene that always left me wondering why they don't get the recognition they deserve. For me their epic black metal song style with folky influences has always guaranteed a solid release with their latest as crowning achievement.
7)Cobalt
Slow Forever
Score: 9.5/10
8)Winterfylleth - The Dark Hereafter
Score: 9.5/10
I discovered Winterfylleth fairly recently, but their Primordial-like atmosphere and guitar layering instantly attracted me. Compared to earlier releases The Dark Hereafter does feel a bit EP-ish, but on the positive it does not disappoint anywhere in its shorter running time.
9)Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika
Score: 9.5/10
Nobody does epic viking-metal songs quite like Moonsorrow. In that aspect you know what to expect here, which is nothing negative if you like their sound. For me it's not as brilliant as Verisäkeet, but an very entertaining release nonetheless.
10)Otkroveniya Dozhdya
Akrasija
Score: 9.5/10
11)Drudkh / Hades Almighty - Split
Score: 9.5/10
I do love me a good split. It's a great way to get to know bands, and it often manages to better hold my attention than a band's full-length. The two strong Drudkh tracks do just that, and while I already heard the comeback-ep of Hades Almighty last year, it is excellent enough to include it here again.
12)Novembre - Ursa
Score: 9.5/10
I used to be a huge Novembre fan, so naturally I was very excited to hear they would release an album again. While it doesn't disappoint, the only downside is that it's the same style as their last albums without adding much news. I hope this is a warm-up to a new masterwork soon!
13)Clouds
Departe
Score: 9.5/10
14)Wędrujący Wiatr
O Turniach, Jeziorach I Nocnych Szlakach
Score: 9.5/10
15)Kalmankantaja / Wyrd - Split
Score: 9.5/10
As said before, I love when a split album introduces me to a new band. Especially to a band as good as Kalmankantaja, which makes me wonder how I could have missed them for so long. Mostly consisting of cover tracks, the sludgy Sisters of Mercy cover is something I can literally listen to on repeat for days.
16)Kroda
Kälte Aurora - Live in Lemberg II (digital)
Score: 9.5/10
17)Mistur - In Memoriam
Score: 9/10
Though not a new band, Mistur's last album was long ago and quite different stylistically that it might as well be a new band. On this album there are few of the viking or black influences, instead it contains some very decent mid-tempo death with keys and great production, reminiscent of Hypocrisy. And it doesn't hurt to have a new Hypocrisy.
18)Christ Agony
Legacy
Score: 9/10
19)Laster / Wederganger
Split
Score: 9/10
20)Fenris
...En Doodenakkers tot den Horizon
Score: 9/10
21)Saor
Guardians
Score: 9/10
22)Fjörd / Heresiarch Seminary
Split
Score: 9/10
23)Nocte Obducta
Mogontiacum (Nachdem die Nacht herabgesunken)
Score: 9/10
24)Timor Et Tremor
For Cold Shades
Score: 9/10
25)Sarkom
Anti-Cosmic Art
Score: 9/10
26)Thy Worshiper
Klechdy
Score: 9/10
27)Waldgeflüster
Ruinen
Score: 9/10
28)Vanhelgd
Temple of Phobos
Score: 9/10
29)Abbath
Abbath
Score: 8.5/10
30)Augrimmer
Moth and the Moon
Score: 8.5/10
31)Ancient
Back to the Land of the Dead
Score: 8.5/10
32)Frostmoon Eclipse
The Greatest Loss
Score: 8.5/10
33)Insomnium
Winter's Gate
Score: 8.5/10
34)Coldworld
Autumn
Score: 8.5/10
35)Mesarthim
.- -... ... . -. -.-. .
Score: 8.5/10
36)Battle Dagorath
I - Dark Dragons of the Cosmos
Score: 8.5/10
37)Be'lakor
Vessels
Score: 8.5/10
38)Kalmankantaja
Tyhjyys
Score: 8.5/10
39)Dark Lunacy
The Rain After the Snow
Score: 8.5/10
40)The Vision Bleak
The Unknown
Score: 8.5/10
41)Master's Hammer
Formulæ
Score: 8.5/10
42)Various
Metallica - A Tribute to Master of Puppets
Score: 8.5/10
43)When Nothing Remains
In Memoriam
Score: 8/10
44)Ketzer
Starless
Score: 8/10
45)October Tide
Winged Waltz
Score: 8/10
46)Omnium Gatherum
Grey Heavens
Score: 8/10
47)Madder Mortem
Red in Tooth and Claw
Score: 8/10
48)Heavenwood
The Tarot of the Bohemians
Score: 8/10
49)In Mourning
Afterglow
Score: 8/10
50)Graveland / Nokturnal Mortum
The Spirit Never Dies
Score: 8/10
51)Shadecrown
Agonia
Score: 8/10
52)Cadaveria / Necrodeath
Mondoscuro
Score: 8/10
53)Downfall Of Nur / Selvans
Split
Score: 8/10
54)Grave Miasma
Endless Pilgrimage
Score: 7.5/10
55)Skoll
Of Misty Fire We Are
Score: 7.5/10
56)Germ
Escape
Score: 7.5/10
57)Gojira
Magma
Score: 7.5/10
58)Gloomy Grim
The Age of Aquarius
Score: 7.5/10
59)In The Woods
Pure
Score: 7.5/10
60)Saltus
Slavic Battle Sword - Live in Wroclaw
Score: 7.5/10
61)Crest Of Darkness
Welcome the Dead
Score: 7.5/10
62)Herder
Fergean
Score: 7.5/10
63)Inquisition
Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith
Score: 7.5/10
64)Thränenkind
King Apathy
Score: 7.5/10
65)Lux Divina
Walk Within the Riddle
Score: 7.5/10
66)Bekëth Nexëhmü
De Dunklas Återkomst (demo)
Score: 7.5/10
67)Wyrd
Death of the Sun
Score: 7/10
68)Novembre
Annoluce
Score: 7/10
69)Paganland
From Carpathian Land
Score: 7/10
70)Caliban
Gravity
Score: 7/10
71)Behexen
The Poisonous Path
Score: 7/10
72)Spire
Entropy
Score: 7/10
73)Alcest
Kodama
Score: 7/10
74)Skálmöld
Vögguvísur Yggdrasils
Score: 7/10
75)Inter Arma
Paradise Gallows
Score: 7/10
76)Gatecreeper
Sonoran Depravation
Score: 7/10
77)Dark Tranquillity
Atoma
Score: 7/10
78)Zhrine
Unortheta
Score: 7/10
79)Obituary
Ten Thousand Ways to Die
Score: 7/10
80)Drudkh / Grift
Split
Score: 7/10
81)Atropos
Desecrates Progresja
Score: 7/10
82)Fleshgod Apocalypse
King
Score: 7/10
83)Hailstone
Epitome
Score: 7/10
84)Anciients
Voice of the Void
Score: 6.5/10
85)Doomed
Anna
Score: 6.5/10
86)Various
The Plague Inside - a tribute to Paradise Lost
Score: 6.5/10
87)Glorior Belli
Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)
Score: 6.5/10
88)Cult Of Luna
Mariner (with Julie Christmas)
Score: 6.5/10
89)Severoth
Samitnist'
Score: 6.5/10
90)Todtgelichter
Rooms
Score: 6.5/10
91)Sacrilegium
Anima Lucifera
Score: 6.5/10
92)Necronomicon
Advent of the Human God
Score: 6.5/10
93)Subrosa
For This We Fought the Battle of Ages
Score: 6/10
94)Metallica
Hardwired... to Self-Destruct
Score: 6/10
95)An Autumn For Crippled Children
Eternal
Score: 6/10
96)Tengger Cavalry
Live: Trephagon WRSU FM (digital)
Score: 6/10
97)Oathbreaker
Rheia
Score: 6/10
98)Darkthrone
Arctic Thunder
Score: 6/10
99)Buried In Black
Dicio
Score: 6/10
100)Fejd
Trolldom
Score: 6/10


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