This is my list of albums that came out in the year 2016; comprised of my personal favorites ordered by release date. A list full of variety with old artists making a comeback or brand new bands trying to make a name for themselves in the music world. There’s no way I could rank all these albums so I figured by release date would be a fair way to sort them. I hope you enjoy the list and hopefully agree with many choices and maybe you’ll find something you haven’t heard of!
Megadeth – Dystopia
Alright let’s just start off with how incredible boring and slow the previous album was, Super Collider. Now we’ve gotten that put of the way. Fast forward three years and Megadeth comes back with a new guitarist and new drummer. When you think Megadeth you think incomprehensible super fast guitar work with vocals blabbering about politics and war soaring over everything moving at lightening speeds. And Dave Mustaine delivers once more! This album surprised me so hard! Obviously the first album I bought this year and it blew me away. I don’t think I’ve been able to listen to a whole Megadeth record and really enjoy it since Countdown to Extinction. There’s a few tracks that stand out towards the others but overall the whole album just flows. Dystopia definitely should be more talked about and more listened to.
Favorite Tracks: The Threat is Real, Bullet to the Brain, Poisonous Shadows
Lacey Sturm – Life Screams
Lacey Sturm and I are married in a different dimension. I love her so much. Just the person she is and the music she creates. Of course I’m referring to her time in Flyleaf, more specifically the teenager in me reflecting on their perfect, spiritual, face-punching, kickass debut album. She left the band a few years back to become a full time mother and wife. She’s a proclaimed Christian living her life for Jesus Christ which is a huge influence on me and millions of others. But now she’s back! And in my opinion this is her best work since the Flyleaf debut. Regardless of your faith, this album will blow your mind. She can sing. She can scream. She’s just so real and I love raw emotion in singers. Also a thrilling, hair tingling live rendition of the Police’s Roxanne. And if you’re a reader, you should pick up her book “The Reason” and her recent publication “The Mystery.”
Favorite Tracks: The Impossible, The Soldier, I’m Not Laughing, Rot, Life Screams
Wolfmother – Victorious
We all loved their first album. It was an instant classic. But trail of success became pretty narrow for Wolfmother soon after. I gotta say they were pretty much done in my playlist. But fast forward to 2016. Ten years later they finally get back on the rock n roll horse and blow my mind again. Thank God am I right? The whole thing flows and there isn’t much filler here. All good retro rock n roll. Rockers, stoners, ballads.
Favorite Tracks: Victorious, Pretty Peggy, Gypsy Caravan
Heron Oblivion – Self-Titled
I don’t recall how I came across this one. I think I was just googling 2016 albums months ago and this is the only one that stood at to me. Not entirely sure of there background but I believe they are all seasoned players. Decided to join forces and create this random folk n roll album. Her beautiful delicate voice just soars over the genius guitar work. If you’re a fan of folky, bluesy, psychedelic rock then you’ve stopped on the right album. Just take my word for it on this one. Seven unbelievable tracks you don’t want to miss and find it out about next year after all your friends already know what it is.
Favorite Tracks: Definitely just listen to the whole thing for the full beautiful experience.
The Struts – Everybody Wants (U.S. Release)
So I Know this album isn’t new to the world in 2016. But it was finally rereleased in the United States. So it deserves a spot on the list for me lol. I was totally blown away by the first music video I saw for the song “Could Have Been Me.” Can’t decide on whether they will be as amazing on their next album. Its cool to have that retro Queen and Rolling Stones similarities. But it sort of reminds me of Infant Sorrow from the movie Get Him to the Greek. Which I love! But this is real life and I don’t want to see this talented band to become a novelty or something typical and lame. I love the album! It’s great to rock flying down the highway.
Favorite Tracks: Could Have Been Me, Kiss This, Mary Go Round
Killswitch Engage – Incarnate
Like many of you, I was totally excited to have Jesse back. Don’t get me wrong I loved Howard, but I didn’t want some random dude to take over. Jesse coming back was great. Their first album back with Jesse (Disarm the Decent) in my opinion did not wow me like I was hoping it would have. I hate to say it but I was a little disappointed. Everything about it was kinda boring. The singing and the song structures. So here we are again in 2016. I think some of the chemistry is back but this album is freakin amazing! Jesse’s singing and screaming feels more comfortable this time around. And the catchy old school Killswitch song patterns are back as well. I love it when they have their usual catchy tunes followed by a good jam. One of my favorite bands growing up. So happy to see they are still going strong.
Favorite Tracks: Alone I Stand, Hate By Design, Embrace the Journey….Upraised
The Word Alive – Dark Matter
I’ve been a fan since day one. I remember hearing Empire for the first time and just going “holy crap these guys are heavy.” Fast forward about 7 years or so and here we are. The Word Alive is still going strong, going into their forth full length release. I gotta admit I’m not a super fan, but I do enjoy most of their songs and they are really killer live. Dark Matter is well…….dark. And if your into that stuff then you’ve come to the right album. Catchy choruses and hooky guitar riffs are in surplus as usual with these guys. Always fun to sing along with them at the top of your lungs. And I always respect a band trying to change things up or try new things with every album. And they have done a pretty good job throughout the years. “We’re all insane in a beautiful way.”
Favorite Tracks: Trapped, Sellout, Insane, Made This Way
Asking Alexandria – The Black
Ok. I’m just gonna get this out of the way. As I’m in the process of writing this, like most of you who are interested, I just found out that the new singer Dennis “just stopped all contact with band” and now old singer Danny is back in the band. Before the news broke out, I really had high hopes for Dennis with AA. I was skeptical leading up to the release of this album. But I bought it anyways. And I gotta say, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it. It is way heavy, catchy, and the new vocals are definitely different but it still works. Danny was more rock n roll and Dennis in my opinion is more dark and serious. The themes here do not fall short of the album title. I loved every song on the album. It sounded so fresh and exciting for them. No matter who’s the frontman this band has always gotten hate. I’m proud to say I’ve been a fan for many years and I don’t care what y’all think. Although its sad to see the quick demise of Dennis in AA, it will be exciting to have Danny back. Only if he gets his life together and remembers that theres beloved fans out there that want to see him perform and not stumble around on stage already wasted. If they can pull it off, they will be bigger than ever. Good luck to the boys in Asking Alexandria.
Fair warning: This is a great album but it may have a bitter taste now.
Favorite Tracks: Let It Sleep, The Black, Here I Am, Gone, Undivided
The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come to Expect
I myself is an Arctic Monkeys fan. Alex Turner teams up with Miles Kane once again. They’re collab was back in 2008. They released album number two under The Last Shadow Puppets eight years later. I got to catch one TLSP a couple months ago and it was the craziest show I’ve ever been to. I felt like I was at the Beatles in 1965 with millions of ear piercing screams from a room full of lady fans. Alex was up there shakin’ his booty just inches from his beloved female fans. It was quite comical but at the same time I witnessed something so rare these days. People actually being passionate about something in music. His cool smooth vocals match his stage moves up there. He knows how to please his fans. The album starts off on a stroll on horse back though Egypt. Its hard to describe whats going on in the album. If you’re a fan of Alex and the Arctic Monkeys, you just gotta listen to it. Plain and simple.
Favorite Tracks: Aviation, Miracle Aligner, Dracula Teeth, The Dream Synopsis
Deftness – Gore
I swear Deftones almost get better with every album. How is that possible? If you follow Chino then you must know about Crosses. I think some of that element has seeped over onto this Deftones album. A lot more calmer moments in this album then the last two releases. But still emotionally moving as always. Everyone knows Chino’s vocals are unique and belong in its own genre. Gore is another solid performance by a band stuck in a genre label that seems to have been dying out but in recent years had a resurgence. Slipknot, Korn, Deftones, Coal Chamber, and other Nu Metal bands fro the early 2000s. Its kind of nice to see my favorite bands as a kid still releasing new music.
Favorite Tracks: Prayers/Triangles, Geometric Headdress, Phantom Bride
PVRIS – White Noise (Deluxe Reissue)
I am completely in love with this band, the album, and the singer. This is by far my most listened to album this year. Ok now I got that out of the way. I know this album originally came out in 2014, but the deluxe album including two fresh songs “You and I” and “Empty” are featured with this release. So in my book this counts on my albums of 2016 because I love it so much. The singer, Lyndsey, is so amazing and just plain cool. Not a lot of singer are just cool without having to try too hard. I had the privilege of seeing them on my birthday. They played the whole album! Songs full of pure emotion. Full of sadness, dark times, and longing for something to make your life a little bit better. Things we’ve all gone through which makes this so pure and enjoyable. Definitely my new favorite band in the past couple years. I tell everyone about them. Can’t wait to see what’s next!
Favorite Songs: I honestly have to say the whole album just flows perfectly. Just give the whole thing listen from beginning to end.
Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
I was really surprised with this. Rob Zombie is always good. But this has got to be his best work since Hellbilly Deluxe 1. It’s just so heavy yet at the same so musically diverse. From the usual catchy choruses to the random instrumental. I really enjoyed this album and it gave me a long overdue renewal liking of his work. I’m disappointed I didn’t get a chance to see him this past summer. But seriously check out this record; especially if you aren’t a big fan of his. You won’t be disappointed.
Favorite Songs: In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High, The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God, A Hearse that Overturns the Coffin Bursting Open
Electric Citizen – Higher Time
Old School Black Sabbath Stoner Metal Style Riffs with an amazing female singer. Does anymore need to be said? That’s what I thought.
Favorite Songs: Evil, Social Phobia, Misery Keeper
Black Pistol Fire – Don’t Wake the Riot
I instantly fell in love with the sound. Garage rock n roll bluesy amazingness. Rock your socks and packs a punch. Amazing almost zeppelin like guitar work. And very well done bluesy vocals. It’s rare to have such an outfit where everything just works. The songs are tightly written and performed. Great to just go for a cruise around the town and sing along as loud as you can with everyone staring at you at the red light. For sure makes you wanna use the steering wheel as the drum kit.
Favorite Songs: Storm Cussin, Bad Blood, Blue Blazes
Beartooth – Aggressive
I fell in love with Beartooth as soon as Caleb left Attack Attack, started this project, and released the first EP for free on the website. I’ve seen them a few times and they are amazing live. Full of energy and emotion the entire time. I’ve met Caleb a couple times and he’s just and amazing guy to talk to. I love the metalcore-esque yet almost old school Nu-metalness mixed in. Way better than Attack Attack (sorry you old AA fans out there but its true). This second effort is coming straight from where they left off from the debut. Fast, aggressive (pun intended), and some more beautiful raw emotion coming out the speakers. Caleb never fails to release something so heartfelt and true. Keep it coming Beartooth!
Favorite Songs: Aggressive, Hated, Rock is Dead, King of Anything
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway
Chili Peppers will always have special place in my heart. One of my first bands I fell in love with. My very first concert ever (ten years ago actually). I loved this album from top to bottom. The fresh guitars are well…..fresh. Josh is amazing and totally brings in some unique ideas to a lot of these songs. Anthony’s lyrics and vocals are spot on as always. Flea and Chad are highlighted with their percussion bass duo throughout the record. Obviously not as heavy funky as the old Peppers. People need to get over that. There are so many hidden beautiful gems on this record. Just gotta give it a chance. It’s really hard to just pick a couple songs. But I guess I should try. But seriously, maybe I’m just biased cuz I’m from southern california or something, but the whole thing is amazing.
Favorite Songs: The Getaway, Dark Necessities, Goodbye Angels, Sick Love, Go Robot, The Hunter
Blink 182 – California
I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about this release. No Tom. But once they released Bored to Death, I could NOT wait to listen to the rest of the album. The whole record is packed with old school Blinkish tones, energy, and harmonies. Not one ounce of awkwardness with Matt Skiba’s presence. This album should NOT be overlooked. They did an amazing job and this definitely deserves to be a Blink album. I don’t care what you say. Bored to Death sounds like it was written 15 years ago; perfect Blink song for people who loved them then and still love them now.
Favorite Songs: Bored to Death, She’s Out of Her Mind, Los Angeles, Sober, Kings of the Weekend, Teenage Satellites, Left Alone
Skillet – Unleashed
I never was really a fan of Skillet. Until my best friend found them out and she fell in love with them. So gave them a chance and I gotta admit they are pretty catchy. I’m not a biggest fan because I still feel a lot of their material is repetitive. But every album does have a great handful of tracks. I’m not bashing on the band. They are very talented and spread the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to huge part of the secular world. But I’m just not a huge fan of the whole “every song on the album had to be an anthem” type of thing. But I’m glad they finally came out with a new album for their fans. Plus I have a soft spot for the drummer/singer. She’s just way too cool. Lol.
Favorite “Anthems”: Feel Invincible, I Want to Live, The Resistance
Knocked Loose – Laugh Tracks
Holy Crap. I saw these guys open up for Stick to Your Guns a few weeks ago. The second only time I’ve ever went into a concert not knowing certain bands and walking away with the desire to go listen to them. The response from the crowd was so alive. People screaming and singing along with these heavy groovy songs that I’ve never heard before. I was so intrigued. I didn’t even care about Stick to Your Guns; I just wanted to go back to the car and check this record out. Now I’m not the biggest fan of straight up hardcore. Mostly because of the vocals. I need a mixture of screaming and singing. Not just straight screaming. That’s I love me some old school orange county metalcore. But I can’t emphasize enough how much they blew me away live. I think the record doesn’t do them justice. If you’re a fan of hardcore, you need to listen to this and learn the lyrics and then go see them live and scream your lungs out. You will have so much fun; and isn’t that what the whole point is? Oh yeah the first song totally sounds like a Slayer riff. But its not cheesy at all. Totally kicks butt.
Favorite Songs: Oblivions Peak, Deadringer, Last Words
Green Day – Revolution Radio
If you’ve read my older blogs then you know my best friend passed away earlier this year. Blink 182 and Green Day were just a couple of our favorite bands together. We got to see Blink 5 years ago but never got a chance to see Green Day. So when they both came out with amazing albums this year, it was bitter sweet for me. This album is so amazing. But I will give you a fair warning; maybe its just because of my particular circumstance is the reason I love it so much. Every song is a Green Day instant classic but I want to emphasize one song in particular. Still Breathing hits my heart every time I listen to it. If you can guess for obvious reasons. But I don’t want to rant about that. I’m sure you don’t want to hear that right now. So if you are a fan but being skeptical for whatever reason, please give this a listen. Like a said, its and instant classic. Oh and check out Billie Joe’s first film “Ordinary World.”
Favorite Songs: Somewhere Now, Bang Bang, Revolution Radio, Say Goodbye, Still Breathing, Ordinary World
Norah Jones – Day Breaks
I’ll be honest with you guys. I’ve only fallen in love with her the past couple years so I won’t claim to be a lifelong fan. But I do love all her songs. I’ve bought all her albums while leading up to the release of Day Breaks. I think on this record she goes back to the more piano-driven style like on her first record. Which I totally love! Any fan of hers with tell you any and every song is amazing. Her voice is so beautiful. Simple as that. I had the privilege in seeing her recently at the Greek Theater and I gotta say she was totally amazing live. And I don’t always say this but she was even more amazing live! I couldn’t believe it. I was out of my comfort zone because I don’t normally go to shows where you’re required to sit. LOL. I never paid attention to a concert more than that one. It was so mesmerizing and such a beautiful experience. Anyways, this album is another masterpiece in her catalogue. Need I say more?
Favorite Songs: Burn, Tragedy, Flipside, Don’t Be Denied, Carry On
The Devil Wears Prada – Transit Blues
I’ve loved TDWP since high school. Something about them makes them different from the rest. Each album is somewhat different than the previous. And if done successfully I think thats the key for a band being successful throughout their career. I think this album is much more progressiveness. Kind of like the way the singer in Silent Planet just goes off preaching and stuff. Which is really cool in my opinion. For me this band never disappoints. Always melodic and always heavy.
Favorite Tracks: Daughter, To the Key of Evergreen, Home for Grave pt2,
Korn – Serenity of Suffering
Korn was one of the first bands I fell in love with as a kid. They will always have a special place in my heart and playlist. Like many I was super excited to have Head back in the band on the last record. I had high hopes for this one now that a lot of the chemistry has had some time to get back together. This album is definitely heavier than the Paradigm Shift. Jonathan’s singing is always heartfelt and fierce and doesn’t disappoint this time around. And there’s a nice the little treat for all Nu metal fans with Corey Taylor featuring on A Different World. Another classic for any Korn fan.
Favorite Songs: Insane, Rotting In Vain, A Different World
Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
AVENGED SEVENFOLD IS MY FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME. Ok, just had to get that out of the way. I mean, there isn’t really much to say here. I’m just gonna love it no matter what it is. Matt vocals are so raw and I believe they said there isn’t any effects done to his performance on the record. The new drummer Brooks is just amazing. I feel like he brings back the punk influence into the band. How about that 15 minute epic about the Big Bang? Also with a little cameo from Neil Degrasse Tyson. For any of you space nerds out there. Anyone that knows about the album already has listened to it. Even fan of theirs are crazy for them, like me. So if you aren’t a fan then I suggest you go and convert right now and listen to every single song by them. It will change your life.
Favorite Songs: EVERY SONG I LOVE.
Sleigh Bells – Jessica Rabbit
My good buddy showed me Sleigh Bells three years ago. I immediately felt some sort of attraction to them. I wasn’t sure about it though. And if you’re a fan or have listened to them before you know what I’m talking about. But that attraction grew to love pretty quickly. We actually just got to see them finally the other night and it was hands my second favorite concert this year. The night this album came out we literally sat there and just listened to the whole thing play through. Alison’s vocals are just beautifully soulful in this record. But at the same time still has all the raw energy that we love so much from her. This album is definitely one of the best this year.
Favorite Songs: Its Just Us Now, I can Only Stare, Throw Me Down the Stairs, Rule Number One
Metallica – Hardwired…to Self-Destruct
Metallica is back!!! YAYY!! Finally someone who knows how to make a metal record. I was a little disappointed when the singles came out like Hardwired and Moth into Flame. The riffs were good but the lyrics were a little boring to me. Hardwired sounds like a 17 year band wrote it. So I was a little hesitant to listen tot he album when it finally came out. Two weeks later I gave it a try and was totally blown away. Why in the heck did they release the boring songs as singles. In my opinion, literally every other song on the album is way better. My favorite song right now is Dream No More. Totally groovin’ and don’t get me started on the rise of Ktulu!!! Yes, Metallica has had some uneasy releases before, but you won’t be disappointed with this one. Just go for a drive and blast this from beginning to end. Makes the other “boring” songs better. Plan out the drive because it might be a long one. LOL
Favorite Songs: Dream No More, Halo of Fire, Murder One
The Rolling Stones – Blue and Lonesome
Now I love old school Rolling Stones as much as the next classic rock loving guy. And I know buying a brand new Stones record might seem arbitrary. But when I heard this whole album is old blues covers I had to give it a listen. And its exactly what it sounds. Old dudes playing old heartfelt songs. I LOVE the blues, so this was a nice little treat for the end of the year.
Favorite Songs: Just Your Fool, Ride ‘Em on Down, Hate to See You Go
Here are some honorable mentions. Maybe some albums that I haven’t listen to enough but I enjoyed them. Or maybe some albums I feel like there was some potential but just didn’t spark something in me to listen to it over and over again. But if you’re an avid music listener/researcher and love finding new music to listen to. Then please take the time to look up these albums. Lots of these artists have been around in other bands or are a few albums in. You won’t regret taking the time!
Blaqk Audio – Material
Electronic rock side project of members from AFI.
The Black Queen – Fever Daydream
Electronic Rock n Roll. For fans of Nine Inch Nails or Depeche Mode
Silent Planet – Everything Was Sound
Progressive Metalcore. For fans of The Devil Wears Prada and Wolves at the Gate
Against the Current – In Our Bones
Singer sounds amazing. I liked their demos and older songs before this debut came out. I think they went commercial way too fast. But still worth a listen.
The Growlers – City Club
Beach Goth!! Just saw them live at the Wiltern. No opener. Just them for like 2 hours. Amazing show.
Wolves at the Gate – Types and Shadows
For fans of The Devil Wears Prada and Silent Planet
Portest the Hero – Pacific Myth
Fresh EP from the veteran progressive rockers.
Wovenwar – Honor is Dead
Second album of the ex-members of As I Lay Dying with the singer from Oh, Sleeper.
The Avalanches – Wildflower
Super funky and cool. Check out the songs Because of Me, Frankie Sinatra, The Wozard of Iz.
Bread Over Bombs – Bread Over Bombs
Totally sounds like a long lost Bowie record. I believe profits of buying this record goes to help feeding the homeless.
Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions – Until the Hunter
Also singer of 90s band Mazzy Star. Super chill record as usual from this amazing singer.
Gojira – Magma
Another amazing heavy record from the veteran Frenchmen.
The Dirty Heads – The Dirty Heads
White boy hip hop reggae from Huntington Beach CA.
Lady Gaga – Joanne
Say what you want about Gaga. I’ve never really been a fan but I’ve been waiting for this album to come out ever since she blew me away with that tribute performance she did for Bowie earlier this year. And this album is amazing. Totally blew me away.
Random (but pretty awesome) record of the year alert!!!!
Rock Sound presents The Black Parade. All star tribute to the album. Various artists.
- The End by One OK Rock
- Dead! by Escape the Fate
- This IS How I Disappear by Creeper
- The Sharpest Lives by State Champs
- Welcome to the Black Parade by Crown the Empire
- I Don’t Love You by Moose Blood
- House of Wolves by Palisades
- Cancer by Twenty One Pilots
- Mama by Ghost Town
- Sleep by New Years Day
- Teenagers by Against the Current
- Disenchanted by Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!
- Famous Last Words by Asking Alexandria
I hope you found the list somewhat intriguing and that you found something new and amazing to listen to. I don’t do this to look cool and show off all the different bands I listen to. I do this for the love of music and to share with other music lovers like you. Thank you for checking this out. Now I start making my 2017 list. I already know of a few of albums I’m buying in January!!