Top 15 albums of 2016

Another year, another pleasing look back at the great music released but also the agonizing choices about which songs should make the year’s end list.

Sadly this year we managed to only see 5 of our Top 15 bands live, here’s hoping next year the touring schedules are better again ūüôā

15

King Buffalo debuted with Orion, a very cohesive album much more mature than most first. Keeps your attention from beginning to end.

14

Another debut,  Wretch delivers a Traditional Doom powerhouse to announce their emergence at the scene.

13

Their opening slot for Sleep in London this year was definitely the best support we’ve seen this year.¬†Revengeance¬†is a testament to the great place Conan is now.

  12

Black Rainbow’s Stellar Prophecy¬†is one of the Stoner highlights of the year. These guys can play, and theirs is a journey I love to go for a ride on.

11

Youngblood Supercult delivered an absolute masterpiece with High Plains. Their bluesy psych is just what the (witch)doctor ordered.

10

Rise of the Dawncrusher by Slabdragger was years in the making and this massive album crushes the Sludge competition.

9

I might have shaved off my beard years ago but I am still a proud Beardo and Crobot’s¬†Welcome To Fat City was always going to be one of my highlights of the year.

8

Druid has been going from strength to strength and this year’s¬†Odysseus¬†shows them in absolute top form. They are keeping it real and producing awesome music in the process.

7

Psych Stoner masters Wo Fat cement their place at the top of the genre with Midnight Commeth, their finest so far.

6

A new Moss Generator is always something to look out for and Abyssinia showcases the talents of the new lineup perfectly. In my opinion Tony Reed does not always get enough credit for the amazing musician and champion of heavy music he is.

5

Salem’s Bend¬†self titled debut makes no secrets about their influences, and delivers an album that is without fault. Can’t wait to see where these guy go next!

4

Another debut, what a year for new music. Vokonis burst on the scene with Old One Ascending. An album that keeps impressing with every spin. Also the best small venue show I’ve been to this year, hope to see them again soon.

3

Yet another debut, Geezer’s anciously awaited first fulfills their promise, and then some. Accomplished songcrafting and musicianship lifts this album to a modern classic. Hangnail Crisis especially is a magnificent song.

2

It is seldom an album has so many rock songs of this quality as Fatso Jetson managed to fit on Idle Hands. Apart from Earworm of the year winner Royal Family¬†there’s amazing songs like¬†Nervous Eater, Than and Now and¬†48 Hours.¬†Still going strong after all these years.

1

Traditional Metal has had its up and downs over the years/decades and can sound tired at times. But Spell comes along and unleashed For One and All¬†on the world this year, proving that when it’s done well there really is quite nothing like it. Album opener Madame Psychosis¬†is an amazing track in its own right but sets up our Song of the Year Whipping Sigils, an awe-inspiring tour de force of virtuoso playing, brilliant songwriting and perfect vocals. The rest of the album keeps up the high quality and atmosphere throughout.

Tomorrow’s Dream Top 15 albums of 2016:

1 Spell – For None and All
2 Fatso Jetson – Idle Hands
3 Geezer – Geezer
4 Vokonis – Old One Ascending
5 Salem’s Bend – Salem’s Bend
6 Moss Generator – Abyssinia
7 Wo Fat – Midnight Commeth
8 Druid – Odysseus
9 Crobot ‚Äď Welcome To Fat City
10 Slabdragger – Rise of the Dawncrusher
11 Youngblood Supercult – High Plains
12 Black Rainbows – Stellar Prophecy
13 Conan – Revengeance
14 Wretch – Wretch
15 King Buffalo – Orion

Song of the Year

The site has been on hiatus for the largest part of the year but we have been listening to music and visiting concerts as usual. Tomorrow we will publish our album best of list of the year but today we want to shine the spotlight on a few songs that we really liked a lot.

Earworm of the year

Fatso Jetson – Royal Family

There’s a lot of brilliant rock music on “Idle Hands” with no shortage of hooks but this song has several of the best musical and melodic hooks of the year. If I play this song only once it keeps echoing and returning to my head for one or two days after, sign of some very insidious musical craftsmanship indeed.

Song of the Year

Spell – Whipping Sigils

The first time I played Spell’s latest album “For None and All” this song made me pay attention as it ticked all my musical boxes. From the energetic intro through the verse’s classic Metal vocals with guitars chasing the melody through to the hauntingly beautiful chorus.

The vocals are very fitting with some nice melodic finds, the guitar work is exemplary, the rhythm is excellent. I¬†need to specifically mention the bass player’s work on this track who brilliantly evokes¬†John Entwistle’s playing style and is an essential part in lifting this song from the very good to the brilliant. Having his running bass lines over those guitars and harmonies is pure bliss.

This was a band I was not aware of until this year but I am now awaiting what they’ll do next with bated breath.