The Top 10 Albums of 2016

10. Magma, Gojira
This French heavy-metal act has consistently released some of the best works in the metal scene, however, their 2016 release, Magma, had ground-breaking guitar riffs and featured depressive singing that enthralled metal fans.

9.Life of Pablo, Kanye West
Aside from its looming controversy, Kanye West has created his best album since Graduation – perhaps one of the best rap albums of the year. Consisting of gospel-influenced lyrics, choir-driven segments, and heaven-like orchestration, Kanye West dives deeper into his divinity possessive act, while offending as many people as he can with his ego-sphere that draws so many.

8. A Sailor’s Guide to the Earth, Sturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson reinvents the country sound as he includes psychedelic instrumentation along with his engaging narrative. Accompanied by an array of stringed instruments, Simpson haunts us with a melody about a Sailor’s journey across Earth. This was one of the most surprising releases of the year, and will surely attract those who even do not care for the country genre.

7. The Boy Who Died Wolf, Highly Suspect
The hard workers over at the Highly Suspect camp proved many critics wrong about them being a one-hit-wonder. Recorded in Columbia, South America, The Boy Who Died Wolf captures many types of rock music and even throws in some politically charged anthems. Although this was not as good as Mister Asylum, Highly Suspect still create an album that will be on repeat for many avid rock listeners.

6. Bobby Tarantino, Logic
Released as mixtape in the summer to hold fans until his next album. Logic gifts us with an album that was virtually ignored in the rap community. Bobby Tarantino consists of classic beats and Logics insane lyrics and fast bars that will rattle anyone’s mind, and will even have you catch yourself singing to the lyrics that you can keep up with.

5.Chromaparagon, Moon Tooth
Another album that was left under the radar was Chromaparagon by progressive rock band, Moon Tooth. Recorded with the no studio or producer help, Chromaparagon is heavy-hitting and has some of the best lyrics I’ve seen this year. The vocalist, John Carbone, can reach soaring notes while guitarist, Nick Lee, can shred his instrument with incredible attitude. This was one of my most listened albums of the year.

4.Honest Life, Courtney Marie Andrews
Again, another ignored album was Honest Life by singer/songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews. There is nothing particularly special about this release, but Andrews draws in an audience with her simple songwriting and soothing voice. Taking two years to write, Andrews pushed forward her most personal album, and, after guest-singing for pop-punk band Jimmy Eat World, Courtney Marie Andrews creates a well deserved spotlight as a solo artist, where she belongs.

3.Bad Vibrations, A Day to Remember
A Day to Remember has never failed to impress me, but I was blown away from their newest and most versatile album. When people thought Jeremy McKinnons voice was gone, he hits us with his best screams and highest notes than before; when critics say that A Day To Remember’s guitar work is subpar, we are given great solos and lead guitar playing; when everyone thought the whole band was done for, A Day To Remember proves to the world that they the kings of the pop-punk/post-hardcore genre.

2. Lemonade, Beyonce
When I think of Beyonce, I usually think dismal lyrics, autotuned voices, and synthetic pop beats. However, Beyonce is stripped down to her most vulnerable form as she goes through the process of grief when she finds out that her husband has cheated on her. Lyrically, Beyonce is able to portray her sadness quite well and even creates words of poetry that shall give women, and men, all across the globe sadness with the emotive words sung by “Queen B.” Beyonce pushes past her typical singing voice, and experiments with different singing styles that create the perfect atmosphere.

1. Illuminance, Virvum
Five years in the making, Virvum pushes all boundaries of Technical Death Metal with Illuminance. Although you have your typical fast-paced drums (blast beats), and fast guitar playing, Virvum redefines the genre with their song structuring and transcending notes. The vocalists of Virvum does not belch out his crisp screams all too much as the instruments take us on a journey through space and time, and the pristine production characterizes the guitars and drums so well that the story is told by the resonating sounds Virvum produces.

– Colt Pierce

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