For whatever my opinion is worth (which probably isn’t much), I think this year has been quite an incredible one for heavy music. Some long-awaited returns, some exceptional grind, some progressive masterpieces, and some pretty substantial EPs, to say the least. Here are my top 20 picks for the best releases of 2016.
As with every other music blog or publication, we at Svbterranean are obligated to give you our silly opinions on what were the top albums of the year. I could list every single release I enjoyed this year, but I am limited on patience and writing ability. So, I was able to narrow it down to a modest 30. These are records that, not limited to just metal and hardcore either, that stuck with me long after the initial listen. Feel free to peruse the list below and tell me how my opinion is bullshit, because I will probably agree with you.
Avant-garde metal trio Brain Tentacles (Yakuza, et al) have premiered a new track from their upcoming self-titled album at Stereogum. The newest tune from the group is titled “Hand of God” and it lurches along with grumbling bass lines, eccentric saxophone leads and steady drumming that often gives way to bursts of percussive splendor. Check out the tune here.
Brain Tentacles will be released on September 30 via Relapse Records. Pre-order here.
The band will be on tour with Gorguts and Intronaut beginning in October. Those dates can be found below.
Experimental metal trio Brain Tentacles – which comprises Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Bloodiest, etc), Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Discordance Axis, etc) and Aaron Dallison (Keelhaul) – have announced the release of their self-titled debut album. The record, which was produced by Sanford Parker, will be released on September 30 via Relapse Records. The record features 11 erratic and eclectic tracks full of seizure-inducing rhythms, complex bass and drum work, and a myriad of dizzying brass work. The record also features a special guest appearance from Oxbow frontman Eugene S. Robinson. The album’s artwork and track listing can be seen after the break.
Two tracks from the record, “Kingda Ka” and “The Sadist”, were recently premiered by Decibel. Those tracks can also be found after the break.
The band will also be embarking on tour supporting Gorguts and Intronaut this fall. Those dates can be seen below.
Pre-orders for the record can be found here.
Kansas-based death metallers Unmerciful (ex-Origin, ex-Gorguts, etc) have premiered a new track from their forthcoming album, Ravenous Impulse, at Decibel. The blistering eponymous new jam features a dizzying array of flesh-ripping death metal that is equal parts technical and straightforward and vicious. Check out the track after the break.
Ravenous Impulse will be released on July 22 via Unique Leader Records. Pre-order here.
Atlanta-based death metal outfit Withered (Primitive Man, Krallice, etc) have premiered their forthcoming album, Grief Relic, over at Terrorizer. The album will officially be released Friday, May 27, via Season of Mist. Pre-orders can be placed here. If you like your death metal extremely dark, dissonant and with an eye towards complex arrangements, then drop what you are doing and check out Withered. Stream the album after the break.
Philadelphia’s Starkweather have put up a pre-production version of a new track titled “Cold White Light” for a limited time. The 17-minute long track will appear on an upcoming release paired with the nearly 30-minute behemoth, “Divided by Zero”, which the band teases briefly earlier this year. This new track features contributions from Bill Molch and Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, etc) as well. The track will be available for streaming for this weekend only, according to the band. Check it out here.
Tech metal giants Gorguts have premiered their highly-anticipated new EP, Pleiades’ Dust, over at Decibel. The mammoth single song release will officially be released May 13 via Season of Mist. Pre-orders can still be found here. Check out the 33-minute opus after the break along with a word from guitarist/vocalist Luc Lemay.
If there’s a faster way to get me to not care about a record than to describe it as “technical death metal”, I haven’t found it yet. Frantic riffing, sweep picking, constant blast beats, and other hallmarks of the genre tend to do nothing for me. However, like everything in life, there’s always an exception. For me, Gorguts is that exception.
Quebec’s technical death metal legends Gorguts have teamed up with Guitar World to premiere a new excerpt from their upcoming EP, Pleiades’ Dust, which is comprised of several movements in a single 33-minute track. The new seven-minute excerpt, titled “Besieged,” features crushing grooves and layers of Gorguts‘ complex, exceptionally brilliant guitar wizardry. Continue Reading