So 2016’s been a bit weird. The Misfits reformed, a reality star is set to be president of the US and loads of people got robbed playing Pokémon. I cut out dairy and egg and started shitting everywhere, I worked with children for a month and I thought moving all my belongings from Zone 6 to Zone 2 in London, on the tube, was a great idea. It wasn’t. But some brilliant albums came out and I saw some of the best live shows ever. So here you go.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
Dillinger are going out on top, aren’t they? Jesus Christ. Literally not a second wasted here, the final two songs being the most surprising moments of this band’s entire career. See them live before it’s too late.
The Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
Just Devin being Devin, innit? Grandiose, overblown and yet another slew of songs that’ll fit perfectly in the multi-instrumentalist’s setlist.
Gojira – Magma
A stylistic shift had Gojira turning up the groove and phasing out the speed. There’s still traces of death metal, it’s still the heaviest matter in the universe and now it’s ready for big stages.
Milk Teeth – Vile Child
The best 90s rock album that wasn’t released in the 90s. As if this is their debut.
Perturbator – The Uncanny Valley
Dance music for people who want to just hail Satan.
Venom Prison – Animus
An actual deathcore album – death metal mixed with hardcore, properly. The most pissed-off thing in 2016 apart from post-Trump Twitter.
Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor
Frank Sinatra channelling Queen through a synthesiser and doing a premeditated backflip. Probably Panic!’s finest moment and, let’s face it, they’re gonna be dragging this through UK arenas soon.
Ihsahn – Arktis.
Brain-bending post-black metal with pop-ready melodies stapling it to the ears. Not as good as ‘After’ but still rather good.
Weezer – Weezer (The White Album)
Happiness wrapped up in ten songs. Best Weezer record since The Green Album.
Rotting Christ – Rituals
Got that one wrong, didn’t I? Gave it three stars first time round. That was foolish. This is fully ferocious.
letlive. – Underworld, London
Haven’t seen letlive. since Download Festival 2011. This was even better. Jason Butler’s a beast and this generation’s greatest frontman; a ridiculous stage presence with something to actually say.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Old Blue Last, London
Gojira – O2 Arena, London
Made Volbeat and Alter Bridge look like damp snot-rags. The best live band in metal.
Architects – Brixton Academy, London
Possibly the most powerful show Brixton Academy’s ever witnessed. A special moment for a special band.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Ricoh Arena, Coventry
First time seeing the Boss; he did Save My Love and it was beautiful. Saw him two days later and he was just as perfect but, y’know, first time and everything.
Everyone dying, Kings Of Leon releasing an album and not having enough money to see the reformed Misfits.