2016 has been a pretty great year, music-wise. I've put together a playlist of songs from my favourite albums, which (I think) works pretty well as a stand-alone entity as well as giving a taste of the albums.
Oathbreaker - 10:56/Second Son of R.
Oathbreaker are on Deathwish Inc, the label run by Converge's Jacob Bannon. On Instagram, he mentioned something about their intensity. I checked out their latest album, Rheia, and my God, it's wonderful. The mix of haunting clean vocals and primal, animalistic screaming might have been a bit too 'emo' with a male vocalist, but Caro Tanghe nails it. Not really in sound, but in feel, Rheia reminds me a lot of Converge's Jane Doe.
Gojira - Silvera
Gojira are one of those bands that I like whenever I hear them, but never really give any time to. I'm guilty of that with thier latest album, Magma, too, though I'm starting to recitfy that.
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Wanting Not so Much as To
This is TDEP's last album, and they're kicking off a huge final tour which hopefully will see them back in Aus. They're one of my favourite bands, and this is a pretty solid way to end things. As with all Dillinger albums, it'll take me another 100 listens to start to fully get it, of course.
Devin Townsend Project - Secret Sciences
Devy is awesome, and DTP are such a weirdly joyous prog metal band. The new album, Transcendence, is a whole lot of fun and still heavy AF. Secret Sciences isn't my favourite song, but it's so damn catchy.
Plini - Inhale
I saw Plini support Ne Obliviscaris last year. I smiled throught he whole set. Technically amazing and joyful, yet like DTP still heavy AF, Plini's one of the few prog/dgent instrumentalists that I've really gotten into.
The Black Queen - Secret Screen
Because being one of the best frontmen in metal isn't enough, Dillinger's Greg Puciato has a few side projects. One of them, and my favourite, is The Black Queen. Think Nine Inch Nails cross Depeche Mode and you'll be in the right ballpark. This whole album is so good, it's close to the my top pick of the year.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Girl in Amber
Always haunting, Nick Cave is just devastating on this album.
It Seemed the Better Way - Leonard Cohen
In high school, a friend played Leonard Cohen's Greatest Hits for me, and I've loved it, and him, ever since. It was weirdly early in his career for a Hits record, but every song on that album is a killer. Possibly because I think almost every song he ever wrote was. This new album, where he's clearly preparing for his death, is wonderful.
Cloud Cult - Time Machine Invention
Cloud Cult are a left-field new discovery for me. I guess they're alt-folk, or something. But they're so, so good. Listening to their Light Chasers album is pretty much like mediation for me. I haven't put a lot of time into their latest album, but it's got some great stuff on it, like Time Machine Invention, which is fun and poignant.
David Bowie - Lazarus
Bowie, man. If I'm honest, Leonard Cohen making a 'death' album isn't that surprising - he seemed like the sort of guy who'd get a kick of it. But I didn't expect it from Bowie. Black Star is an excellent album, and Lazarus is my favourite track off it.