I have to say that 2016 has been an AMAZING year for music.
My top 5 favorite albums of 2016:
5) TIE: Bangladeafy! "Narcopaloma" and Abnormality "The Mechanisms of Omniscience." Drum-and-bass duo Bangladeafy! and technical/brutal death metal band Abnormality have been two of my favorites ever since I encountered them years ago during my days in Kryovax. Both bands produce complex, intelligent, and intense (albeit in different ways) music that always entices me. Their new releases are on par with the lofty expectations I have of these bands, but while they're not steps backwards, they're not blowing my mind the way they used to.
4) Dysrhythmia "The Veil of Control." I've always admired and respected Dysrhythmia, even if I haven't always liked their material. Their music is very challenging to listen to and even I have found some of their material too cacophonic for my tastes. That being said, "The Veil of Control" might be my favorite albums of theirs since "Pretest." "The Veil of Control" features some of the darkest material I've heard from the band and it spoke to me.
3) Zao "The Well Intentioned Virus." I haven't listened to Zao since 2004's "Funeral of God" (still one of my all time favorite albums ever), but Zao's new album is a total face-melter. I know they fall under the dreaded "metalcore" genre, which most people despise, but bands like them and Burnt By The Sun are just incredible bands that are challenging to listen to with complex songwriting, sledgehammer musicianship, and strong lyrics. Like much of the band's music, this album is definitely one that needs to grow on you, but I like that. Zao's sonic signature is unique and I like that in the vast sea of heavy music, their voice stands out.
2) Megadeth "Dystopia." Forget about Metallica's new album or KoRn's new album. THIS is the album to listen to if you want the new stuff from an old favorite. Everything about this album is incredible: the musicianship, the riffs, even the vocals and lyrics. Megadeth is not a band renowned for their lyrical prowess, but the lyrics on this album are good. Dave's voice is in good form too. I normally dislike his vocal style, but he has a nice snarl here. Is it "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?" or "Rust in Peace"? No, but I might have to put "Dystopia" as one of Megadeth's top 5.
1) Cyborg Octopus "Learning to Breathe" The album I've been digging the hell out of this year is "Learning to Breathe" by Cyborg Octopus. That album is like Between the Buried and Me had a baby with Dog Fashion Disco. It's heavy, epic, experimental, ferociously intelligent, and doesn't give a damn about conforming to some arbitrary genre rulebook. These guys simply play whatever the hell they want, and I like that. The songwriting structure is incredible too- it's not just masturbatory noodling. So GOOD! It is easily my pick for favorite album of 2016. I simply cannot stop listening to it. Not since Ever Forthright and Dog Fashion Disco has a band just exploded my mind like this. When I posted that "recommend Dincrest some music" thread last year... I found some killer stuff in that thread, but THIS is that "precious" I'd been looking for!
Here's a sampler of the Cyborg Octopus album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZMl_kOcw5c
So what are your favorite albums of 2016?