It’s very easy to just let music happen to you a lot of the time. It’s times like these, a round up of the year’s music, when you think “actually this kinda sucked”. Unfortunately I did not have that issue which made this article all the more difficult to write!
Best new album/EP In no particular order;
Airbourne – Breaking Outta Hell
This is quite a controversial choice I think because this kind of music doesn’t really do much in the sense that it’s not a significant release except to those who follow the band. I picked this up just as I started my new job and I totally connected with it instantly. Shoving this on walking out of work just works so well and countless interviews reveal that is its true purpose.
Testament – Brotherhood Of The Snake
I’m a sucker for concept albums. This release, with an interesting concept and great musicianship behind it, hit my musical G-spot. There is some cracking stuff on here!
Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
The same applies here, except this feels massive. A big deal and a very definitive moment for OC metallers which I’m sure will be a landmark album in retrospect and a sensational follow up to Hail To The King. Needless to say this January tour is going to be huge!
Ghost – Popestar
Whilst it only has one original on there (“Square Hammer”) it absolutely slays. It is perhaps my favourite work by Ghost to date, and features my favourite chorus of the year which I’m sure will stay in their live set for eons to come. “Bible” and “Missionary Man” also kick some mean ass but “Square Hammer” takes the cake and makes the record here.
Negative Measures – Demotivational Speeches
Having been to the EP release and played a battle of the bands with them, I’ve gotta give these guys some love. Relentless crunchy, punky goodness with an awesome live energy that led to a support slot with While She Sleeps graces the disc and takes some strength to put down!
Best new band I discovered:
This has got to go to Stray From The Path. They stole the show for me at the Roundhouse with The Amity Affliction. When they hit the stage it was pure rebellion and “The House Always Wins”, whilst a bit RATM-esque, brought the house down. That show was fucking brilliant which I’ll talk about later. They were all I listened to for weeks after. Not too shabby.
Best live show:
I’m very tempted to say Stray From The Path again especially with Sam Carter of Architects joining them onstage for “First World Problem Child”. That was gracious.
There were some great performances at Stone Free Festival in June, two standouts being Alice Cooper (although when is he going to do anything bad live?) and The Virginmarys on the second stage who seem to be going from strength to strength at the moment. Crossfaith are very high up there too, having seen them on tour back in March. The circle pits were real!
One last late addition I want to make is Every Time I Die, although I actually wasn’t there… does it count? I’ve seen footage so for it to even be considered, it must’ve been pretty good right?
Best thing that happened:
I don’t want to be that guy but the fact that neither Metallica nor Maiden have been announced as a UK festival headliner (so far) is interesting, I heard somewhere that this hasn’t happened in over a decade so that’s gotta be good news.
The Bloodstock lineup so far. Holy. Balls. That is looking like something that no one who is anyone will miss. I mean COME ON.
A new System Of A Down album confirmation for 2017 has turned a lot of heads. I imagine there will be a single by the time they do Download, however when the full thing arrives I’m sure it’s going to be splendid, let’s not forget they have a lot to take inspiration from.
Finally the progression from the headliners of tomorrow over the past couple of years has got me filled with hope. I’m looking at Gojira, Ghost, Avenged Sevenfold and disregarding their latest album; Bring Me The Horizon. I went there! Although that may have just cost me my position… oops.
Worst thing that happened:
I don’t think Lemmy should be ignored from this, although it was technically last year, the shadow it has cast is massive.
The slow disintegration of my favourite band of all time, AC/DC, has been painful to watch, what with Malcolm, then Phil and Brian out, and now Cliff. It was cool what Axl did but Brian Johnson’s voice just has a place in my heart ever since a 10 year old me got shredded by the first scream on Fly On The Wall. This certainly isn’t to say that I wouldn’t see the schoolboys’ final fling.
Hearing about the Team Rock writers has really gotten me down, I genuinely adore a lot of the work they have done so I hope they stick to what they do best.
The amount of farewell tours is getting to me but that’s really it within music.
Overall opinion of 2016:
I’ve already talked about the music, good, bad and ugly. This year has been a massive step for the site and everyday it seems to be getting more exciting! 2016 has been a good one for me but as always onwards and upwards!
The compulsory “thank you”‘s:
Thanks to all the people in the industry who’ve been looking out for us. You know who you are! Big thanks to the Crew, love you dudes. And obviously Iain for keeping everything going… Oh and thanks Mrs Mosh too!