My top 20 albums of 2016, in no particular order, are:
- Winter’s Gate by Insomnium
- Air by Astronoid — This album blew my mind. I’ve literally never heard anything like Astronoid before. Their combination of blast beats + crazy guitar shredding + clean vocals is quite awesome.
- Mariner by Cult of Luna — Julie Christmas’ vocals compliment Cult of Luna’s sound perfectly.
- Your Wilderness by The Pineapple Thief — I probably listened to In Exile 2923492384 times in a row after this album came out.
- The Madness of Many by Animals as Leaders
- Errai by TesseracT — a fresh take on one of my favorite albums from 2015.
- Teens of Denial by Car Seat Headrest — 2016 was the year I discovered this amazing band.
- Dreamless by Fallujah
- A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead
- 4 1/2 by Steven Wilson
- Disassociation by Dillinger Escape Plan — a perfect swan song.
- Doom (Original Game Soundtrack) by Mick Gordon
- Sonderlust by Kishi Bashi
- Handmade Cities by Plini
- Magma by Gojira
- All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us by Architects
- Periphery III: Select Difficulty by Periphery
- The Fall of Hearts by Katatonia
- Gore by Deftones — the only word that accurately describes this album is “beautiful”.
- Epoch by Tycho — my favorite instrumental album of 2016.
If I had to pick one album as “Karan’s Album of the Year” for 2016 I would say that would have to be Magma by Gojira.
When Gojira announced that they were releasing a new album in 2016 the Internet was abuzz with excitement. Me? Not so much; at that point in time I liked maybe 1-2 Gojira songs. However, given the excitement I sensed online I decided to give Gojira (just like I’d given Deafheaven) another chance.
I’m so glad I did.
Gojira’s music blew my mind. The guitar and bass riffs were groovy, dark, and crushing. Joe’s vocals were perfect for the tone of the music. Mario quickly became one of my favorite drummers. The musical atmosphere they created with each album was unparalleled.
In the months leading up to Magma‘s release I listened to Gojira almost every other day.
When Magma finally came out I listened to it on repeat for several days. I fell in love with this record. It was very different from Gojira’s previous releases — it was less heavy, featured clean(er) vocals, and was shorter and more straightforward (in terms of musical composition). But it was still a fantastic, beautiful record. It dealt with love and loss in a way only Gojira could. The picture it painted with its music was sublime. Each song is powerful and evocative on its own, and together they mesh together to create a aural masterpiece.