With the dawn of the THKD YouTube channel, I decided to do something a little different this year. I’ve split my year end top 20 metal albums list in two; half of them can be found below, the other half on YouTube. So, once you’re done reading this list, head on over to THKD TV and check out the rest of the list… if you don’t mind watching a semi-drunken nerd rant and rave about heavy metal for thirty minutes. But enough of my rambling; as I’ve been saying for almost a decade now, long-winded intros are bullshit. Let’s get on with it.
THKD’s year end extravaganza will be published on Monday, December 17th at midnight both here and over at the THKD YouTube channel. But as a prelude to the madness that’s about to be unleashed, I’ve decided to list out five noteworthy albums that were just a hair shy of making the cut. So without further ado and in no particular order…
It’s hard to believe that Marduk have been at it for close to thirty years now, harder still to believe that the Swedish black metal stalwarts have maintained such a consistent level of quality over the years with regard to their recorded output. Case in point, Viktoria is the band’s fourteenth album and it picks up right where 2015’s excellent Frontschwein left off, pulverizing listeners with yet another blasphemous blitzkrieg of World War II-themed black metal.
When Watain dropped the The Wild Hunt back in 2013, I initially praised the band for their willingness to take chances with their sound. But truth be told, I haven’t felt much of an urge to revisit the album since that time, opting instead to reach for their more immediate, visceral works, such as Casus Luciferi and Sworn to the Dark. In retrospect, The Wild Hunt was a good album and an interesting change of pace, but it lacked the sense of urgency and hunger that characterized the band’s finest work, ultimately making it the weakest entry in their storied catalog.
Back in 2014, Body Count emerged from eight years in the shadows with all guns blazing in the form of Manslaughter; one of the year’s best metal albums, not to mention one of the year’s biggest surprises. It was a bludgeoning yet precise aural assault that deftly mixed mosh-ready riffage with lyrics that were by turns over-the-top violent, darkly humorous and delightfully un-PC.
Long-winded intros are for jabronis, so without further ado and in no particular order, THKD nails the lid shut on 2016 with a list of ten metal albums that grabbed a hold of my crank and kept on yankin.’
My listening relationship with Belgium’s Aborted can best be categorized as “on again, off again.” While I consider the band’s 2003 album Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done to be a stone cold classic of the brutal death metal genre, I’ve found myself rather indifferent towards much of what they’ve released since. Sure, 2012’s Global Flatline was something of a return to form, but 2014 follow-up The Necrotic Manifesto came off as rather flat and generic.