For what is often mistakenly accused of being a pretty insular style of music, with the fans to boot, Metal has remained one of the most innovative and ever changing beasts in music. Bands shift and change between styles and often welcome influences from outside the typical sphere. 2016 has already been particularly creative in metal/heavy music, so below is a pick of the bunch so far:
Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
This album proves that you can’t hold a good Black Metal band down. Moving between Krautrock-tinged Psych, Stoner Rock and into Swans-esque dirges, it will be pretty hard to top this as the most interesting Metal release of the year.
Deftones – Gore
It’s OK gang, those of us who survived the Nu-Metal years can now rest assured that Deftones have well and truly moved to the status of a classic, and most importantly, consistent band. Gore is a majestic take on everything they do best.
The Body/Full Of Hell – One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache
This is possibly the most brutal piece of frothing at the mouth, completely unhinged music released this year. It’s like Free Jazz meets Grindcore. So utterly batshit insane that it is kind of beautiful. (Notable mention to The Body for also releasing No One Deserves Happiness this year.)
Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us
Core this, core that. Nails are everything you love about metal, all presented in a 21 minute package. If only we could travel back in time and present this to Slayer as they were laying down Undisputed Attitude.
Cobalt – Slow Forever
I don’t where to start with this one, beyond it being a masterpiece. Like Oranssi Pazuzu above, it’s a former Black Metal band opening themselves up to new avenues and blowing everyone’s minds in the process.
Weekend Nachos – Apology
If Nails somehow play it too straight for you, then maybe Weekend Nachos have the Powerviolence fix that you’ve been after all this time. Plus, I mean, they called themselves Weekend Nachos.
Death – Scream Bloody Gore
Not that this 1987 album responsible for kicking off Death Metal requires any sort of second wind to remind fans of it’s importance, but celebrating it with a range of coloured vinyl and a commemorative bobblehead is a pretty awesome way of doing it.