Hello altrocklifers! Today marks the last blog post I will be writing in 2016, and I thought the best way to conclude the year would be to round up the best albums released over the past twelve months. Going back over my posts written throughout this year, as well as trawling my iTunes library to keep track of all the albums I’ve purchased, gave me a real nostalgia trip. This year has been brilliant for rock and alternative music, and with new music from You Me At Six, Mallory Knox, Lower Than Atlantis, Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes and more planned for release next year, I can’t wait to see how 2017 will be even better. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the best albums of 2016.
The Stage – Avenged Sevenfold
Without doubt, The Stage is the album that had the biggest impact of 2016. It was released as a surprise with very little promotion or marketing, and it did a great job of shaking up the world of rock and metal music. As I said in my review of the album, anyone who was expecting a sequel to Hail To The King was proven wrong, as Avenged Sevenfold’s latest record harked back to their City Of Evil days and showed that the Californian band are anything but predictable. Hopefully this record influences other bands to produce the music they love, without pandering to the mainstream audience and without giving a thought to what their fans or critics might think.
Bad Vibrations – A Day To Remember
When I originally reviewed this album back in September, I wrote that Bad Vibrations was going to be a competitor for my favourite album of the year. Three months later, that assertion still stands true. It’s not often that I can write an album review without any negative feedback, but A Day To Remember’s sixth full length album was one of the minority I listen to that get a 100% approval rating. I’m constantly listening to this record: whether I’m doing my hair and make-up, or if I’m chilling in my bedroom, or I’m in my car head banging on the go. I genuinely think this is one of the best records released all year, and I really hope I can see the band perform some of these tracks live next year.
Take Control – Slaves
When Slaves found mainstream success with the release of their first album, I was worried that the band would fade into obscurity or change their sound. Thankfully their second record, Take Control, is just as fun and aggressively punk as its predecessor. You can tell from the band’s music videos, such as the one above, that the Kent duo are having a brilliant time making music, and I’m having just as much fun listening to them.
If I’m The Devil… – Letlive.
I was the first to admit when reviewing this record that I’ve not listened to a lot of music by letlive. I’d heard a few singles, sure but I had no idea what it would be like listening to one of their records from beginning to end. If I’m The Devil… is an album bursting at the seams with anger and passion, but with a sound evolved enough from previous releases to demonstrate their progression as a band. In my opinion, letlive. are one of the most underrated bands out there at the moment, and if you’ve not listened to their music extensively, then I’m sure that their latest album will have you hooked from first listen.
Death Of A Bachelor – Panic! At The Disco
This record was released in January 2016, and to me it seems like it’s managed to stick around and remain popular and in the public eye all year. Even though Panic! At The Disco have abandoned their emo roots and become a one man pop band, I think Death Of A Bachelor‘s jazzy sound and vintage 1950s aesthetic has a mass appeal which seems to have won over even old school fans.