The Very Best Of 2016 (21-30)

21. Radiohead - Moon Shaped Pool

This was truly a phenomenal album. Why it didn't land higher is a testament to how effective and unique those release were amongst the year's best. Yorke and his league of minions reinvent themselves once again, this time with great depth and artistry, as if they've never held their own. The soundscapes and vast scope this album covers is truly beyond words, and it's no surprise that Radiohead will go down in history as one of the greatest bands of our time.

22. Aborted - Retrogore

This one goes neck and neck with Rotten Sound's release but is slightly less animated, and is more straight forward blast and grind. The band's sound has become much more accessible over the years since they came out of the gates and Retrogore finds Aborted almost suitable for those who dig Suicide Silence and Thy Art Is Murder. Hopefully those acts get their heads out of their asses and do what Fit For An Autopsy did, and join these guys on tour for some much deserved exposure.

23. The Black Queen - Fever Daydream

With Dillinger disbanding, it seems as if the guys have plenty of projects to keep them busy without a shortage of creative outlets. Greg delivers an incredible vocal performance, honing in on elements that were slightly brushed on in his wide palette in TDEP, alongside an awesome electronic effort that is suitable for any engagement. With a unique sound all of their own, The Black Queen should have an incredible reaction if interpreted effectively in a live environment.

24. Tonight Alive - Limitless 

These Australians deliver an explosive release, loaded with hooks and infectious ballads that have landed them on tour with A Day To Remember and Issues. "To Be Free," "Oxygen," and "I Defy" are incredible tracks sandwiched in a short album that leaves you humming the tracks for days. They should be way above Pvris, but I'll never understand what attracts kids to what these days.

25. Architects - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

Another unfortunate set of circumstances plagued yet another spectacular act with Tom passing earlier this year and crippling the band's creative efforts instantly. "Gone With The Wind" is obviously the standout and many reviews agree, but the album certainly stands out amongst the band's catalogue, which in my opinion needed a revival since Hollow Crown dropped many moons ago. Blessings to these guys are they try to bounce back from a challenging year and kudos to them for staying on track with their touring efforts even though them cancelling their appearance at Download 2016 totally broke my heart.

26. Textures - Phenotype

They'll never bounce back from Silhouettes, but finally they have something that stands side by side with the quality of that release. At times it even feels like a part 2 of sorts, with comparable drumming and riffage, but this one's all original and it's great to see the band getting on a few decent tours. Still surprised with how little exposure this band is getting after so many years at the wheel of reinvention. This is the best in progressive metal, and no matter how many tracks Dream Theater will slap on a release, they'll never get to the quality that Textures have brushed to a fine point after this one.

27. Fallujah - Dreamless

It was hard to place Fallujah, Rotten Sound and Aborted in the same list, and deciding who went where was a true challenge. Fallujah are The Faceless if Keene didn't endlessly kick everyone out of the band, but the technical prowess captured here  only comes from a group that's been working together in a professional regard for years on end. Fallujah's brand of technical brutal death metal is the best in the genre, and it's going to take a lot in 2017 to go above and beyond this release. 

28. Revocation - Great Is Our Sin

There's a tie here towards the end and this could have very well been Entheos' spot, but Revocation proves once again that they are the true riff beasts in the scene. Their brand of metal is so brash, but still so colorfully punctual, that it's surprising this album didn't make the cut on many more year end lists. Sucks for them because Revocation was once inaccessible to the novice listener, but on Great Is Our Sin there's a little bit of something for everyone. 

29. Expire - With Regret

Another band calling it a day on the verge of greatness. While With Regret is certainly not Expire's ultimate accomplishment to date, their approach to a classic sound was too memorable to be forgotten with a lousy goodbye. The playback efforts on their catalogue is endless and this one finds solid footing amidst an already incredible catalogue. Not sure how I've missed these guys EVERY TIME they came to town.

30. Ion Dissonance - Cast The First Stone

Rounding out the year's best is one last contender. While Ion Dissonance may or may not be a full time act is still to be determined but on their latest batch it's as close as we get to Minus The Herd as we'll ever get. While Cursed was a super sloppy mess, Cast... finds the band reenergized kicking ass where they belong.

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