Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks for 2016


Well, here we are at the start of a fresh new year. And while New Years is usually a time for bright-eyed, wishful optimism and wistful reminiscence, the global political and social climates have the world at unease. Yet despite a near blastbeat-pace of bummers and deaths, 2016 gave us another year of stellar extreme music.

Teethofthedivine soldiered on in 2016 as well, with some new faces on the team (though our distaste for digital promos hasn’t changed a bit). We also experienced a growth spurt on social media, so if you’re not following us yet, why the hell not? ‘Cause while other sites seem content to feed you with celebrity blogs, lists of ‘top 10 albums from 1993 which which had llamas on the cover’ or so-called humor pieces, TOTD just did what we do best: reviews, reviews, and reviews. One review every week day for the whole year. That’s 300+ reviews, folks.

We hope to add more interviews, features, and contests in 2017, and we do it all for you guys – our loyal readers, sharers, likers, and listeners. So keep on keeping it real in 2017, as it might be the last year the earth continues to spin. We’ll do our part to make sure metal stays as relevant in 2017 as it has been in the decades before.

So with much ado, here are the hand-picked releases that the TOTD staff enjoyed in 2016. Given the thousands of releases that assaulted our collective senses last year, hopefully we’ll introduce you to a few new favorites. And as always, stay tuned for our Fillings and Cavities feature, where we’ll shovel even more death, destruction, blackened weirdness, and melodic wonders into your willing ears.

by Staff

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CHRIS SESSIONS

 

Good gowad, it has been a hell of a year for this reviewer. My personal life has been all over the place, from losing jobs to getting new jobs, from teaching science to at risk kids to teaching everything to hopefully not at risk kids. I gained a new gig writing reviews for another metal site, meaning I have had to juggle a shit-ton of writing, and I got to publish a scientific paper on the foraging habits of Double Crested Cormorants. I had a class in organic chemistry and one in grant writing. And I lost my mother.

You do not and should not care too much about any of that, but everything has to be considered when I write a review, because where my head is at can color how I feel about a record. And the best records make me feel a lot, so there is energy burning on anything I do for this site. I want you, the reader, to feel like I am adding to your knowledge and complimenting your decision making process, apart from my own, more selfish reasons to for writing reviews. If I recommend something I want, by the end of the article, for you to feel persuaded to give it a shot, and vice versa.

But it is very hard for anyone to remove themselves from their observations. That’s why we invented science: we are really shitty at objectivity. And I am rarely objective by my measure when it comes to death and grind records, especially. So I hope I have found a way to make your reading of these articles both enjoyable and useful, to somehow distill down my own preferences enough to give YOUR preferences room to breathe. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you should know how my eye sees the world.

That said, this year has been a monster for metal. Not so much perhaps in units sold, but in units released, it is amazing. And the death and grind genres have been overwhelming, as has the burgeoning sci-fi-thrash movement. I am not a believing man, but I have a fantasy that Piggy is drinking and smiling at all he has wrought as he sits in Valhalla. In the midst of the new forms there are also fantastic pieces by folks who have been trading ideas with past masters and even other rock genres.

And behind it all is you. The readers, listeners and concert goers. You keep us, meaning the bands, labels, distros, promoters and writers, floating in a sea of molten steel. Thanks for that, and thanks to all those bands, labels, promoters and distros. Defenders of the Faith indeed.

My List (By necessity, ranked; by enjoyment, equal):

Honorable Mentions:

Xoth, Nails, Asphyx, Blood Incantation,  Chthe’ilist.

 

15- Deceptionist, Initializing Irreversible Process

A furious sci-fi deather.

14- Murder Made God, Enslaved

Death metal with the right frills.

13- Seputus, Man Does Not Give

The terror of empty spaces and cold.

12- Hemotoxin, Biological Enslavement

The year’s sci-fi motif continues, this with some chunk.

11- Katatonia, The Fall Of Hearts

Just when you think you are getting syruped, they cut you.

10- Hammers of Misfortune, Dead Revolution

Perfect blend of rock and metal.

9- Insomnium, Winter’s Gate

Never faltering epic single.

8- Meshuggah, The Violent Sleep Of Reason

Dependable never sounded so difficult

7- Gorguts, Pleiades’ Dust

What stars are these? what movements?

6- CB Murdoc, Here Be Dragons

Hard core meets the dark North, majestically.

5- Mithras, On Strange Loops

You describe it; I just want to be destroyed by it.

4- Inter Arma , Paradise Gallows

The operative word is GRAND.

3- Wormed, Krighsu

Wormed finds their moment and crushes it like a singularity.

2- Vector, Terminal Redux

The sound you hear when the lasers start searing off your skin.

1- SubRosa, For This We Fought the Battle of Ages

Painting flowers in blood, while you watch.

 

EPs of the Year:

Pyrrhon: Running Out Of Skin

What this band does to music is sort of what 2016 has done to my faith in humanity.

Necrosic, Putrid Decimation

An absolute ripper EP, harkening back to, without retreading, that old-school death magic.

(Note: While you might say Gorguts was the EP of the year, I feel like if Insomnium and Gorguts both release one song records, and the difference is mainly song length, then they deserve to be in the same category.)

Songs of the Year:

Sometimes a record is not all there, but at least one track blows your socks off. These are tracks that I cannot deny.

Stench Price: “Pressure”

Brain Tentacles: “Cosmic Warrior’s Girth Curse”

Defeated Sanity: “Generosity of the Deceased”

Obviously, there is an ocean of songs and records that could go on this list. But the above are my go-to listens as of today.

Disappointment of the Year:

Metallica…fans and detractors. Look, I have a real beef with what this band did after And Justice… and I always will. In fact, they were the worst band of the 90’s, hands down, because of what they were in the 80’s. But their latest record, while not award winning, was also not deplorable (teehee). And the amount of time and energy given to either loving or hating it is ridiculous given the amount of time since they have mattered, and the generally hit or miss nature of the piece. If it bugs you that they are all over the media, that’s your problem. Get off the media. But the band-as-band? They are just doing what they do now. And it’s OK.

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Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Jordan, I was literally just listening to that Perturbator record. so good.


  2. Commented by: TowardsTheHum

    Dead Register! Might be my fave album of 2016.


  3. Commented by: speedrider

    Hail Humiliation!!!


  4. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    The Metallica doesn’t have a decent melody or vocal delivery anywhere. It sounds like Hetfield shouting atonally over some mediocre thrash and Hamster sprayed Wah-Wah nonsense. Weak.


  5. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Yeah that Dead Register disc made my list too.


  6. Commented by: bast

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