This is the concluding part to my Best Albums of 2016 list; you can read Part I (#10 – #6) here
Again, this list is to celebrate the most fantastic albums from 2016, and I highly urge you to check them out if you haven’t done so already – you may end up loving these as much as I do!
#5 – Vektor – Terminal Redux (Thrash Metal / Progressive Metal)
Thrash metal isn’t exactly a prosperous genre nowadays; whilst ‘The Big Four’ are still alive and kicking (albeit frailly), their latest efforts have fallen short of their former glory. At least that’s the general consensus, but I’ve never been a thrash fan to begin with and I never thought any album could turn me round.
Cue Terminal Redux, and the explosive intro to ‘Charging the Void’; painting the cosmic canvas of an album that’s set to hyper speed from the word ‘go’. Vektor’s third album is a seamless trail of memorable, heavy riffs for well over 70 minutes of constant high energy; even the relatively gentle closers, ‘Collapse’ and ‘Recharging the Void’, ooze with gravity with the gravelly choruses or wailing female vocals. Like Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas’ Mariner, Terminal Redux is the soundtrack to an immense space-faring journey; one a little more exciting than No Man’s Sky (though the soundtrack for that is superb, too).
I’d wish for an extra pair of arms just so I could simultaneously play air guitar and air drums along to all of Terminal Redux; it’s grossly enjoyable and, dare I say, fun? Even the guitar tapping solo in ‘LCD [Liquid Crystal Disease]’ sounds like spaceship lasers flying across the galaxy. It’s a shame that most of Vektor left the band towards the end of 2016, but frontman David DiSanto is confident that Vektor will continue going on strong; and given how sound Vektor’s track record is, I have no doubt about that.
Though 2016 is long, long gone, there are a large number of albums which still resonate strongly with me from last year that I couldn’t not write about, even if I am unforgivably late. Like my most disappointing albums of 2016 list, I’ve had to cut my ‘Album of the Year’ list into two parts because I’ve had so much to say about them!
Please note: there are a lot of albums which I still haven’t heard or ranked from 2016, either out of negligence or, well there really is no other excuse – if there’s an album you love that hasn’t made this list, there’s a chance I haven’t listened to it as of writing this article. Then again, there’s a higher chance that these albums succeeded it, in my opinion.
As ever, feel free to leave a comment below if you want to share your thoughts on these albums or whether you think they don’t belong here. But without further ado, here are my top albums from 2016:
The Tangent is one of my favourite progressive rock groups, or, in this case, supergroup. Admittedly, their delivery is far from being consistent, and ranges from the tremendous Not as Good as the Book (2008) and Le sacre du travail (2013) to the very lacklustre Comm (2011) and A Spark in the Aether (2015). So, it’s always a case of cautious excitement whenever Andy Tillison’s Canterbury-inspired prog rock outfit announces something new. Here comes ‘A Few Steps down the Wrong Road’, a 19-minute epic that was released in August of last year, in anticipation of the band’s upcoming album, The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery. Continue reading
After I completely shat over all that you love, I think it’s time to counterbalance with something more positive. No, 2016 wasn’t only shit, and yes, I do love well-executed progressive music. Maybe the bigger names did disappoint, but many smaller ones surprised, or, at least, met the expectations. So, without further ado, here’s a short, unranked list of the great things the year had to offer. Continue reading