The Best Post-Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2016





Since the band's inception in 2005, fans of UK post-metal act Bossk have been craving their first LP. Audio Noir fulfills those wishes. Starting off with one of the most angelic album openers for any post-metal release this year, "The Reverie" is an indicator for what Audio Noir entails. Heavy sludge plays nice with post-rock aesthetics. Build-ups and crescendos start and stop but never disrupt the ebb and flow. Minimalist scream-style vocals create just the right amount of energy. Audio Noir is a perfect balancing act of bliss and anguish.

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They once feared it could have been their Lulu; they made the collaboration album of the year. Mariner is classical Cult Of Luna musical groundwork - another way to say "awesome", right? - but only enhanced by the ethereal, haunted, screamed, murmured vocals of Julie Christmas. So come on, let's get down where we can see them all run, while we enjoy this journey to Cygnus and its fantastic climax!

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Our Sky Has Changed is a post-metal Italian feast. Like components of a top-notch meal, each element of post-metal one might enjoy is present and pairs excellently with the others. While the meal comes out one course at a time, Dawn On Sedna does a great job navigating these sonic flavors, weaving them up and down, in and out throughout the songs and record. It's not just the standard melody build-up to melody (now with distortion pedal!), the music varies as it goes. Magnifico!

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Building off an empowered and timeless-sounding melodic black metal skeleton, Atrophy rolls through six deeply-textured tracks with passion and violence measured out equally. The atmosphere is tense and fraught with the potential for chaos and despair, but there is a serene beauty in all the whirling strands of melody that resound through the chasms of Downfall Of Gaia's nesting place. Atrophy is a little raw and a little bleak, full of dark secrets and the same expansive atmosphere we always love to hear in our post-metal.

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Traditional Korean post-metal. Interested yet? If you love the roaring thud and endless riff-forests that post-metal provides but also want to hear the tangy twang and auspicious plink of Korean folk instrumentation, Jambinai is the band for you. A Hermitage blends a variety of moods and textures to create an absorbing mesh that won't let you go even when the all-too-short 47 minutes are up. Jambinai is likely one of the most unique bands you'll find out in that big, wide world, but there's a hell of a lot more than uniqueness that this group has to offer.

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Using only one word to describe Old Sunlight, "dense" might be the popular choice. The sound Latitudes employs here is unabashedly filled to the brim with strumming and razor-sharp riffing, to the point where they can give many death metal bands a lesson or two. On paper it may sound suffocating and claustrophobic, while in reality, the band delivers an expansive musical experience that is further enhanced by the contrasting mellifluous clean vocals and clever injections of minimal electronics.

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Path Of Eight is a bit of a landmark album for Mouth Of The Architect because they've strayed away from their usual sound and now have created a sublime listening experience with wah-drenched guitar leads, dreamy psychedelia, distant-sounding vocals and a good sense of ritualistic melody. Of course, the band still knows how to get back to their heavier roots and can still drop a tonne of bricks every now and again.

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Nearly three years after their mighty release Void Mother, Poland's Obscure Sphinx are back stronger than ever with another dosage of quintessential post- and atmospheric sludge metal. Epitaphs harnesses raw aptitude by virtue of some of the best female fronted vocals in the business, layered, down-tuned guitars and majestic bass guitar and drums. The nuance of subtle post-rock elements adds calm and tranquilizing ambiance, polarizing the oppressing aura surrounding the music. Obscure Sphinx now lay firmly high atop the post-metal landscape.

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What I admire in Russian Circles's music are the creativity that rarely subsides and the musical knowledge of the band that never tends to disappoint. Guidance prolongs their superiority in writing exceptional, freelance instrumental post-rock/post-metal, which instantly obsesses you with its unpredictability, spontaneity, and a range from gentle ambient drifts to explosive bursts that will lift you up from your dreamy state.

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Spaceking's Piper At The Gates Of Stoned is instrumental stoner-post with psychedelic/trippy effects tossed in for fun. Spaceking are possibly best enjoyed with Spacegrass, whenever it feels right. With that description and an obvious (Pink) Floydian-slip of an album title, how can you not check this album out?

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