10. Dividing Eden – Giants

Gotta add in a little bit of local flair! These guys from up here in Minnesota have quickly earned a spot of mine for favorite local bands. “Shakedown” and “Forever” were the first songs I heard by them months ago and was blown away, keeping close tabs ever since. Their album release show last month went really well and I am completely on board with seeing every show of theirs possible in the future. Also, can we talk a little bit about how good the art is for this album? Seriously my favorite of any others. I really want it blown up to hang as a poster.

9. Rivals – Damned Soul

One of my favorite new bands. Damned Soul is an incredibly solid and well rounded first full length album. Songs like “Low,” “Moonlit,” and “Gunslinger” have stuck with me all year round ever since I first heard them way back in February. Rivals have created a unique sound and are one of the bands I’m most excited to get the chance to finally see live.

8. Good Tiger – We Will All Be Gone

I was a bit disappointed in this album. I don’t think it’s as good as their first album, but I’ve been a huge fan of this band ever since I first saw them in 2015, and any new Good Tiger is good Good Tiger.

7. Underoath – Erase Me

This has got to be the album that shot up my list the fastest. I only started listening to it the week I was going to see them live, and after their amazing show I listened to Erase Me constantly. Spencer’s vocals on this album hit a perfect balance of screaming and singing, and his emphasis on certain words being screamed versus sung is something key that pushes the band from being better than others trying to make the same kind of sound. “Ihateit” and “In Motion” have a power to them that is hard to match.

6. Tremonti – A Dying Machine

I’ve been a huge fan of Mark’s ever since his Creed days. A Dying Machine is probably my favorite piece of work of his that he’s ever done, including Alter Bridge. It blows my mind how he can write songs that will be really heavy then super melodic and catchy at the same time. “The First The Last” is one of my favorite songs of the year. I’m still super disappointed I didn’t pick up a copy of the novel based on this album when I saw him live in October.

5. Ghost – Prequelle

Six months ago I had this album pegged for best album of the year. I still think it’s a great album and I love their sound and their whole satanic, theatrical kind of gimmick they’ve got going. But I just haven’t been going back to this album as much as I have others. The ending riff to Rats is still the best of the entire year, though.

4. Beartooth – Disease

This Beartooth is so much better than older Beartooth, in like every way. The mixing and production sounds so much better than on the albums before it. I’m so upset I had to miss their show here because I would have loved to see each and every song off this record played live. It takes a great band to be able to make a record like that. These guys are going to get huge too.

3. Between the Buried and Me – Automata I + II

First double album for Between the Buried and Me and I think it really paid off for the band. The music these guys put out almost always takes a good amount of time and listens to digest and splitting an album up into two releases really helped in digesting the whole thing and appreciate each song more than if all of the songs were released at once. Automata is the perfect mix of old and new, feeling like a Frankenstein’s monster of parts from Coma Ecliptic, Great Misdirect and the Parallax albums. “Voice of Trespass” gets my vote as the best song of the year.

2. Architects – Holy Hell

Architects have been a band that has always been on my radar and I’ve had good times the two times I’ve seen them live, but they just never clicked for me where I’d be at the point of loving an entire album. Holy Hell is the first to change that, where if I can’t say that this is their best album yet, I can definitely say it’s my most favorite. The songwriting and structure seem to be most improved upon by leaps and bounds, and vocalist Sam Carter proves yet again why he’s one of the best in the genre. In a genre fill with bands drastically changing their sounds to the softer side (*cough* Bring Me The Horizon *cough*), Holy Hell proves that you can absolutely stick to your roots and still evolve and progress.

1. Ice Nine Kills – The Silver Scream

This is my absolute favorite album of the year, and it’s not even a close contest. It’s also the album with one of the biggest turnover of opinion too. I first didn’t want to buy into the hype and thought the people that were singing the band’s praises were just on a bandwagon, but boy was I wrong. This whole album is just wonderfully done metalcore with some of the heaviest breakdowns I’ve heard in a long while, some of the best choruses, and it all flows together so well. Add in the fact that each song is based off different horror movies, and you have one of the most clever records made. So excited to see these guys live and see what they come up with in the future. These guys are going to get huge.

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