Best Albums of 2016:
Everything in Slow Motion – Laid Low
This is my DEFINITE pick for best release of 2016. Yes, it is only an EP but every single song on the EP is amazing. It gave me the vibe of Thrice and since they are my favorite band, this release translated so well with me. It has hard rock and hardcore elements but it all vibes together so well. It’s a shame more people haven’t listened to it since it was released on a more independent label in Facedown Records. But this is a release you MUST listen to.
Beartooth – Aggressive
Aggressive is the perfect title for this release from Beartooth because they bring just that on this entire album from start to finish. It reaches deep down and will relate to those angsty teens who want to get their aggression out and just rock out. Caleb Shomo’s voice is the perfect ingredient to the loud guitars, drums and bass. “Hated”, “Rock is Dead” and “King of Anything” are some of my favorites off the record.
Failure Anthem – First World Problems
This album caught me by surprise when I first heard it. This band may be under many people’s radars but they need to be on them because from start to finish this is a great first album from a great hard rock band. Clean, clear and catchy vocals alongside sick riffs make this album a must have for the year. There’s too many great songs to pick just a few you should listen to to get hooked. Just listen to the whole thing and you’ll thank me later.
Bad Seed Rising – Awake in Color
This is another new band I just got into this year but when I first heard the single “I Can Feel You” I was amazed that I had not listened to them before. Just listen to that song and you’ll be in awe just like I was. And from beginning to end this album was nothing short of amazing. “Spirits” and “Horizon” are two more standouts for me but each song is wonderfully designed and being such a young band these guys (and girl) really honed their sound and are here to stay for awhile.
Night Argent – Night Argent EP
This is a band you NEED to listen to. When I first heard the song “Widowmaker” I was blown away and this rarely happens with newer artists because I listen to so much music. I couldn’t believe how amazing this band sounded all around. Lead singer Chase Manhattan’s voice is one of the best reasons to listen to this release. His voice sounds very similar to that of Onerepublic’s lead singer. Since it is just an EP you can listen to the whole thing in under 30 minutes but it will be some of the best moments listening to a band all year. The one gripe I have with release is that it is only an EP so I am highly anticipating their full length.
Best New Artist / Best First Album:
Bad Omens – Bad Omens
The first album from Bad Omens really surprised me. I had only first heard of them when I saw they played with some other bands I like. I listened to the release once through and was immediately a fan. They rock hard but not too hard where it turns me off. They bring their A game. The genre of post hardcore and metalcore is getting so diluted with the same kinds of bands sounding the exact same with nothing really speaking being brought to the table and Bad Omens takes that usual sound and makes it their own. They may not do anything too crazy to the genre, but that’s okay because they make it work and work well.
From Ashes to New – Day One
Ever since I first listened to these guys in 2015 I was hooked and was highly anticipating this release. It did not disappoint. It has so much variety in terms of sound. Rock, hard rock, nu metal, metalcore, hardcore, rap, electronic and more are all mixed within this album and it goes together so well. And with not one, but two singers with very similar but very different sounds, it all fits well within the catchy sounds they bring to the table. It all rocks hard and kicks ass. It’s a fantastic full length for those who have a very diverse sound in music.
Against the Current – In Our Bones
It took me awhile to finally listen to these guys and they blew me away when I got around to listen to In Our Bones. Chrissy Costanza’s voice is so catchy and easy to listen to and all these songs mesh well together on this release. Yeah, it’s very poppy and not like what I usually listen to but I don’t care because this album got me hooked the first time I listened to it. “Runaway” and “Brighter” are two of my favorites on the album and I can’t wait until I hear more new music from them in the future.
Thrice – To be Everywhere is to be Nowhere
Being my favorite band for more than 10 years of course I could not wait for this album. Like a fine wine, it gets better with age and the more you listen, the more you’ll enjoy it. “Black Honey” is one of my favorite songs of the year and I can listen to that song all damn day without skipping it. These guys will never, EVER disappoint.
Wasn’t a Fan but Now I am:
Tonight Alive – Limitless
I have never taken the time to listen to Tonight Alive until this year and I am so glad I finally did. People say they didn’t care for this album because they steered away from their pop punk roots and went for more of a pop sound with this album but since it is my first listen to a whole album from them, I absolutely loved it. I can listen to it from front to back without skipping a single track and I cannot wait to see them play some of these songs live when I do see them in concert.
A Day to Remember – Bad Vibrations
Being a huge ADTR fan, I had high expectations for this album. With the release of their first single “Paranoia”, I think that everyone was anticipating big things from the whole album but I feel as though it was the best song off the album and suffered the same fate as Common Courtesy in that the band released the best song to get people hooked and get the album but the whole album was very alternative and not very good at all. A very disappointing release from the hard rock band.
Post and interview by Corey Kleinsasser
What are your thoughts on these albums? Comment below.
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