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A Year In Metal - 2016: Highlights Through The Eyes Of The MS Staff, Elites & Official Contributors

Written by: Darkside Momo
Published: 29.01.2017

Yeah, it's that time of the year, when the Metal Storm Awards are looming closer on the horizon! But before we let you have all the fun in voting for your favorite artists for this 2016 edition, we took the time to jot down what tickled our fancy last year. As always, some albums do have a general consensus going for them, as you'll see.

Anyway, off with the rambling, and feel free to comment on our obvious superior tastes - or lack thereof! :lP



Favorite Album: Wormrot - Voices, Clouds - Departe
Best Home-Country Album: /
Most Played Song: Clutch - "Son Of Virginia"
Most Promising Band: Départe
Best Concert: Magrudergrind, Clutch
Biggest Disappointment: /
Metal Moment Of 2016: Seeing Black Sabbath live on their last run.
And 2017?: As always, hoping to catch some great live action, maybe attending one or two festivals...


Favorite Album: No single album ever gets all the love. Shout outs to efforts from Skáphe, Oranssi Pazuzu, Virus, Death Grips, Youth Code, Alone In The Hollow Garden, The Body, Howls Of Ebb, Horseback, Aluk Todolo... yeah, let's stop this train before it crashes.
Best Home-Country Album: Skáphe's - Skáphe², with Aporia:Kāla:Ananta from Wolvserpent as a close runner up.
Most Played Song: Probably Oranssi Pazuzu - Vasemman Käden Hierarkia
Most Promising Band: Pylar. Holy #*&!, keep your eye on this band if you're a drone fan.
Best Concert: Dark Buddha Rising at Roadburn 2016. Simply magnificent.
Biggest Disappointment: Bølzer - Hero.
Metal Moment Of 2016: Chilling with and interviewing Jun-His and Ontto of Oranssi Pazuzu at Roadburn. Thanks again guys, 'twas awesome.
And 2017?: Onwards with the History degree, maybe a personal blog, some music in the works, shows, and the usual MS ruckus of course!.


Favorite Album: 40 Watt Sun - Wider Than The Sky - Metal? Ortega - Sacred States.
Best Home-Country Album: US: flip a coin. Khemmis - Hunted or Wo Fat - Midnight Cometh
Most Played Song:Droids Attack - The New Plague
Most Promising Band: Dawn On Sedna
Best Concert: Gama Bomb and friends blowing up Asuncion.
Biggest Disappointment: Cthulhu not being elected US President. Consider me on board for Cthulu 2020 (and this would have been my response had the other horrible candidate won as well...)
Metal Moment Of 2016: Drinking 72,405 Baltikas and taking to the pit with Thrashatello while watching Gama Bomb.
And 2017?: Moving somewhere else in South America, meeting up to try and kill Mr. Doctor with completos, cervezas and pisco sours, Altar Of Betelgeuze, Paraguay's Aggressive Squad releasing an album.


Favorite Album: Emma Ruth Rundle - Marked For Death, Witherscape - The Northern Sanctuary, Dark Tranquillity - Atoma
Best Home-Country Album: Névoa - Re Un
Most Played Song: Emma Ruth Rundle's "Real Big Sky"; Devin Townsend's "Secret Sciences"; Dark Tranquillity's "Force Of Hand"; Agent Fresco's "Howls"
Most Promising Band: Sunburst, Southern Empire
Best Concert: Katatonia + Agent Fresco + Vola, The Cure (both in Lisbon)
Biggest Disappointment: Not being able to attend Be Prog! My Friend... in Barcelona as I had planned, nor VOA Fest 2016.
Metal Moment Of 2016: Facing all the shit thrown at me and never giving up
And 2017?: Seeing Moonspell playing Wolfheart and Irreligious in full and seeing Emma Ruth Rundle play in Lisbon for the first time. Also, all those great albums I'll hopefully discover.

D.T. Metal

Favorite Album: Insomnium - Winter's Gate and Rotting Christ - Rituals
Best Home-Country Album: Primal Fear - Rulebreaker
Most Played Song: Korn's "Rotting In Vain" and 5FDP's "Wash It All Away"
Most Promising Band: Nervosa and Dust Bolt
Best Concert: Since I am a 'professional concert goer', I attended way too many shows last year. But with this being said, Mgła once again blew me away during their tour with Behemoth and to be honest, gave their countrymen a run for their money.
Biggest Disappointment: The turmoil around the US Election
Metal Moment Of 2016: Watching Master play in a local brewery/bar right in front of barrels of beer was rad. Running into three Belphegor drummers (past and present) at a Dark Funeral show.
And 2017?: Metaldays maybe?

Darkside Momo

Favorite Album: Without doubts Dark Tranquillity - Atoma, and then Circle Of Dust - Machines Of Our Disgrace
Best Home-Country Album: The Algorithm - Brute Force
Most Played Song: Songs from the albums above, obviously (respectively "Encircled", "Forward Momentum", "Force Of Hand"; "Alt_Human", "Neophyte"; "Userspace", "Shellcode") but also Obsidian Kingdom - "The Kandinsky Group" and Cult Of Luna and Julie Christmas - "Cygnus"
Most Promising Band: none, as usual.
Best Concert: Jambinai, Moonsorrow and Ludwig Von 88 at Hellfest, Minsk in Toulouse, and Shining (NOR) + Obsidian Kingdom in Paris
Biggest Disappointment: apart from the lame 2017 Hellfest announcement, nothing, really. Note that I didn't even bother listening to The Astonishing and I expected In Flames to suck.
Metal Moment Of 2016: Not sure I had one, really.
And 2017?: Dark Tranquillity back in Toulouse!! After that, we'll see, but we're bound to have some great stuff coming our way.

Dream Taster

Favorite Album: Obscura - Akróasis and Thy Catafalque - Meta
Best Home-Country Album: Kataklysm - Of Ghosts And Gods
Most Played Song: In Mourning - Fire And Ocean
Most Promising Band: Sunburst
Best Concert: Steven Wilson - Hand.Cannot.Erase.North American Tour 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada [Theatre Saint-Denis]
Biggest Disappointment: Dream Theater - The Astonishing
Metal Moment Of 2016: Standing next to Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott statue after paying hommage to another legend at Rory Gallagher Corner in Dublin, Ireland.
And 2017?: More of the same!


Favorite Album: no single one but these impressed me the most: Oceans Of Slumber Winter, Black Mountain IV, Vôdûn Possession, Bent Knee Say So, Iamthemorning Lighthouse, The SLoT Septima
Best Home-Country Album: X-Panda Reflections
Most Played Song: maybe not the most played one but definitely the most memorable one was Oceans Of Slumber's cover of the Moody Blues's classic "Nights in White Satin;" also "Туда, где небо..." by The SLoT
Most Promising Band: Sva Da Ra
Best Concert: Jess And The Ancient Ones in Lahti, Steven Wilson at Be Prog! My Friend festival
Biggest Disappointment: unsurprisingly the astonishing cheesefest that was the Dream Theater's The Astonishing
Metal Moment Of 2016: pfft...
And 2017?: would love to see more bands that I like come to Estonia instead of me going abroad - need more good shows!

Jason W.

Favorite Album: Universe217 - Change, Trees Of Eternity - Hour Of The Nightingale, Epica - The Holographic Principle
Best Home-Country Album: Eight Bells - Landless, Second Grave - Blacken The Sky
Most Played Song: Universe217 - "Call," Kratos - "Fishing," Trees Of Eternity - "Broken Mirror," Throes Of Dawn - "Our Voices Shall Remain"
Most Promising Band: Ignea, Eleine
Best Concert: RPM Fest right in my hometown
Biggest Disappointment: The passing of Aleah of Trees Of Eternity
Metal Moment Of 2016: Taking out a deer with my car in November and leaving some of the remains stuck in the car as drove around for a few weeks before the repairs
And 2017?: Refusing to become a cynic and continuing personal growth, now as my 40th birthday approaches

Marcel Hubregtse

Favorite Album: 40 Watt Sun - Wider Than The Sky. Favourite metal album: Blood Incantation - Starspwan
Best Home-Country Album: Ortega - Sacred States
Most Played Song: Crows by Ortega
Most Promising Band: Ggu:ll. And bands that already released some albums: Zeal And Ardor and especially Emptiness will certainly be making waves this year and moving into a higher class.
Best Concert: Ggu:ll at Dutch Doom Days
Biggest Disappointment: Riti Occulti at Dutch Doom Days and on the album front Bölzer - Hero
Metal Moment Of 2016:
And 2017?: Meeting Nefarious for the first time irl.


Favorite Album: 40 Watt Sun - Wider Than The Sky, favourite metal albums were Ortega - Sacred States & Clouds - Departe
Best Home-Country Album: 40 Watt Sun - Wider Than The Sky
Most Played Song: Asteroid - Last Days & Vanhelgd - Allt Hopp Är Förbi
Most Promising Band: Départe
Best Concert: Insomnium, Carach Angren (both in Dubai)
Biggest Disappointment: Swallow The Sun's gig in Dubai being cancelled due to 'someone' calling the police & complaining
Metal Moment Of 2016: Hanging out with the guys from Insomnium & showing them around Dubai before squeezing them all into my car & driving them to the show!
And 2017?: Attending Roadburn for the first time!


Favorite Album: Mortichnia - Heir To Scoria And Ash
Best Home-Country Album: Entropia (POL) - Ufonaut
Most Played Song: "Above The Stars Of God" by Schammasch
Most Promising Band: Départe
Best Concert: Perturbator + GosT + Dan Terminus / 19.III.2016 / Hydrozagadka, Warsaw; Superb atmosphere and people! Here's a little preview.
Biggest Disappointment: Bølzer - Hero; The Synarchy Of Molten Bones and Ascension weren't great either.
Metal Moment Of 2016: I got scarification during Bloodshed Rituals European Tour 2016.
And 2017?: Hopefully, I'll be able to see Zeal And Ardor.


Favorite Album: Sabaton - The Last Stand (warm felicitations to The SLoT, Jambinai, Babymetal, and Devy)
Best Home-Country Album: Death Angel - The Evil Divide and Zeal And Ardor - Devil Is Fine
Most Played Song: Sabaton - "The Last Stand"; Babymetal - "Karate"; The SLoT - "Русская Душа"; Devin Townsend - "Stormbending"; Avantasia - "Let The Storm Descend Upon You"
Most Promising Band: E-an-na and Départe
Best Concert: Megadeth/Suicidal Tendencies/Children Of Bodom/Havok; Devin Townsend/Between The Buried And Me/Fallujah
Biggest Disappointment: Amon Amarth - Jomsviking; Rob Zombie - The Electric Wizard Space Monkey Bebop Rancid Soviet Hullabaloo
Metal Moment Of 2016: becoming gainfully employed; seeing Weedeater, Today Is The Day, and Author & Punisher mere hours before graduating college; meeting Yako from Melt-Banana
And 2017?: still gainfully employed, I hope


Favorite Album: SubRosa - For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages
Best Home-Country Album: After SubRosa of course, Theocracy, Sumerlands, and Mouth Of The Architect kicked much ass.
Most Played Song: We Are The Catalyst - "Askja" (followed by all other songs on this superb record)
Most Promising Band: Emphasis, prog/symph band from Estonia
Best Concert: Tengger Cavalry in San Francisco
Biggest Disappointment: Chariots Of The Gods wtf....
Metal Moment Of 2016: Fun time interviewing Revocation at the Summer Slaughter tour. Cool dudes.
And 2017?: Be awesome. And go to more shows.

Elites and Official Contributors

Ag Fox

Favorite Album: Throes Of Dawn - Our Voices Shall Remain
Best Home-Country Album: Hi, I live in Hong Kong
Most Played Song: Evergrey - Passing Through
Most Promising Band: Schammasch
Best Concert: Nightwish actually came to Hong Kong!!!!
Biggest Disappointment: Textures - Phenotype
Metal Moment Of 2016: 2016 was pretty lousy for me in real life, so perhaps how I got through in one piece is quite metal.
And 2017?: Definitely need more time to listen to more new music as I felt like I've missed out on too many in 2016


Favorite Album: Gorguts - Pleiades' Dust
Best Home-Country Album: Nails - You Will Never Be One Of Us
Most Played Song: Haken - 1985
Most Promising Band: Astronoid
Best Concert: Ghost (That Nag Champa really sets the mood)
Biggest Disappointment: Animals As Leaders, Opeth (Not terrible, but not great either)
Metal Moment Of 2016: Bought a bunch of new band tees (lame, I know)
And 2017?: Pallbearer, Mastodon, Ayreon, Tool? (yeah right...)

X-Ray Rod

Favorite Album: Zeal And Ardor - Devil Is Fine
Best Home-Country Album: I've done some pretty terrible music research this year. From Sweden I can say Bastard Grave's debut What Lies Beyond is some sweet old and crusty death metal debut. From a more mature band, Terra Tenebrosa brought the nightmares once again. I was even worse on my research on my dear Chile even though I'm aware the extreme metal underground scene is alive and kicking.
Most Played Song: Zeal And Ardor: "Come On Down", "Blood In The River" and also his older material, namely "A Spiritual" which at the moment of this writing, is on continous repeat.
Most Promising Band: I hate to repeat myself but seriously, Zeal And Ardor is onto something big if he continues to keep his ideas fresh.
Best Concert: I didn't do that mane concerts this year besides Roadburn which gave me plenty of highlights like Cult Of Luna, Converge, Skepticism, Amenra, Neurosis (Wow!) and Diamanda fucking Galas. Outside of the festival I managed to caught Mono on their shared tour with Alcest. The Japanese post-rock band compltely destroyed their French tour pals and a good number of manly tears were shed during their extremely emotional set.
Biggest Disappointment: Definitely not being able to keep up with new music (metal or not) this year and hence not being able to help my colleagues with the Metalstorm Awards.. Graduating, working and trying to find a schedule that matches my work and hobbies has been challenging but also a fun part of being adult I guess! Oh... and Bølzer, what the fuck guys?
Metal Moment Of 2016: I graduated and I'm getting paid for taking brutal x-rays and CT scans of the sick and injured... What's more metal than that? Besides that, getting to meet good old people at Roadburn and I also met Craig (BitterCOld for the n00bs) in my own turf, Chile, while I was having my vacations there. Oh, and I got inked for the first time. I guess that's pretty metal too.
And 2017?: Definitely looking forward to yet another amazing line-up brought up by Roadburn.


Favorite Album: Devin Townsend - Transcendence
Best Home-Country Album: my country is not so much metal so I can't pick any album because there isn't any metal band
Most Played Song: "Square Hammer" by Ghost
Most Promising Band: I must go with Sinsaenum, a new black metal band. Their first album is amazing. I can't wait for new music by these guys
Best Concert: Iron Maiden in Split, Croatia
Biggest Disappointment: In Flames - Battles. God help me!
Metal Moment Of 2016: Bruce Dickinson's speech before they started to play "Blood Brothers". He talked about the situation in the Balkans, I was crying like a baby. God bless Bruce.
And 2017?: I will repeat the 2016 sentence. Please God, don't take us anymore rock and metal heroes. Let them live a little bit longer. 2016 sucks!!!


Favorite Album: Mouth Of The Architect - Path Of Eight
Best Home-Country Album: Fates Warning - Theories Of Flight
Most Played Song: Disillusion - "ALEA"
Most Promising Band: Départe
Best Concert: Rosetta
Biggest Disappointment: I didn't think the change of vocalist in Blindead would make that much of a difference. Was I wrong.
Metal Moment Of 2016: Amazingly some of my favorite releases came from bands putting out new music in quite some time: Klimt 1918,
In The Woods..., Witchery, Bossk and Novembre
And 2017?: Looking forward to new albums from: Fen, Coroner, Enochian Theory, Amia Venera Landscape and Amenra


Favorite Album: Zeal And Ardor - Devil Is Fine, followed by Moonsorrow and Dark Tranquillity.
Best Home-Country Album: That must've slipped my mind...
Most Played Song: On CD: Zeal And Ardor - "Come On Down". On guitar: Darkthrone - "Arctic Thunder"
Most Promising Band: Zeal And Ardor
Best Concert: The Cure (why is there no matching band profile??) in Frankfurt. More intense that anything else I ever attended.
Biggest Disappointment: Not really bad actually, but I guess the hopes for ColdWorld were just a bit too high... and being the only guy with a horn on an Amon Amarth concert.
Metal Moment Of 2016: Receiving twisted knees and ankles with Amon Amarth and Ensiferum.
And 2017?: Depeche Mode concert, festivals, getting back to songwriting and to my fellow Stormers here. Cheers!

Written on 29.01.2017 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 32   Visited by: 501 users
20.02.2017 - 17:50
Au Pays Natal
Written by Doge of Venice on 13.02.2017 at 02:55

Circus Maximus. Awful.

I actually think that album isn't horrible. Has its moments.
20.02.2017 - 19:25
Doge of Venice

Written by tea[m]ster on 20.02.2017 at 17:50

Written by Doge of Venice on 13.02.2017 at 02:55

Circus Maximus. Awful.

I actually think that album isn't horrible. Has its moments.

I don't recall a single song from it, and I gave it a few listens back when it was released. I don't remember it being a truly awful album (I gave it a 6, just checked) but it was one of the bigger disappointments for me.

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