Continuing on from our Top 50 Albums of 2016 list, here's an in-depth look at out Top 10 Albums of 2016. Make sure you check out the Top 50 list, and click the links to read the full reviews!
10. Thrice - To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere
Thrice is a band the exudes goodness. After going on hiatus after 2011's Major/Minor, they returned in a huge way this year with To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere. Track after track, Thrice whipped out huge tunes that challenged all other alternative rock albums of the year. Raspy vocals paired with immense choruses backed by pounding drums and thrilling guitars set the tone for this record, earning it the opening spot of our Top 10 List.
Abandoning the dark, doom-esque metal soundscapes of their former tracks, Gojira took a more melodic and personal route on Magma. The band's power certainly did not get replaced, however, as Magma stands up there as one of the group's strongest records yet. Heartfelt, emotional lyrics and recollections replace the call-to-arms messages the band was constantly putting forth, while more approachable alternative metal vibes took over the progressive nature of the band. Everything that made Gojira what they are is still present, but there's a new side to the band here that makes Magma all the better.
Daughter took a simple yet effective approach to Not To Disappear. Classic indie tones surround the record while a mysterious, somber message stays hidden under each track. There's a constantly shifting mood from song to song while still maintaining integrity and a perfect balance. Not To Disappear stood up against hundreds of other indie records this year by simply staying true to itself. Its purity gave it a very timeless feel, as well, tackling only what the band knew they could handle. That principle may seem intrinsic for any record, but that's what made Not To Disappear so effective.
Iceland is a very desolate place. Emptiness is its main attraction, and it's what makes the country so ethereal. Sin Fang embodied Iceland's very essence perfectly in Spaceland, taking its emptiness and combining it with wonder. The purity of each track is almost unfathomable, and while each track can be defined as minimalistic, its the slow build and subtle energy each exudes that made this album so perfect.
All I Need is the best record to bring to someone you love. Foxes' pure voice sounds smooth above the fantastically composed instrumentals, bringing forth both somber, heartbroken tracks and adventurous, optimistic ones. All I Need is an album all about love and everything about it. The most perfect love songs can be found on this record. You'll fall in love and have your heart broken all over again several times listening to this album.
There are few things more epic than a rock opera. That's exactly what The Astonishing is. Dream Theater take you to a post-apocalyptic world filled with robots and tyranny, telling a dramatic story through their signature progressive rock tone. There's not much you can say about this record that will do it justice, but even though its two hours long you'll want to go back and relive the story again. You get invested in the storyline as if it was a book, and each guitar chord is another piece of the scenery added. This is a novel put to music.
Everyone loves Panic! At The Disco. While the band is basically just Brendon Urie now, they still sound just as powerful as ever. If anything, Death Of A Bachelor is one of the most liberating sounding records in their entire discography. There's much more of a pop-rock vibe on this record than previous records, but at the same time it feels like the right direction for the band. Emotional, suave ballads like 'Death Of A Bachelor' and 'Impossible Year' are the pretexts to the energetic monsters like 'Victorious' and 'Emperor's New Clothes.' This album has everything you need for a good (and sensual) time
There's no other band like Deftones. Their blend of art rock and alternative metal reach a perfect marriage on Gore, blending surreal soundscapes with brutal guitars and shrill vocals delivered by Chino Moreno. From the mysterious, descending guitars in the verses of 'Prayers/Triangles' to the crushing energy of 'Gore,' this album has nearly everything you could ask for from a rock and metal record. Softer moments come in the form of 'Hearts/Wires,' while darker themes play their roles in 'L(MIRL)' and 'Pittura Infamante.' There's so much power and artistry on this record, you simply cannot forget it.
Aurora is a true oddball. But she's a lovable oddball. Her debut record All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend is everything we could have hoped for. Her dreamy song textures come together with truly ethereal lyrics that make them all the more mysterious. Her love of nature and all things weird comes out in this record, and rather than leaving you asking "how is she this weird," you'll be wanting to join her in a run through a snow covered forest and a pack of wolves. From the childish love-themes of the energetic 'Conqueror' to the absolutely crushing melody of 'Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1),' Aurora lets you take a look inside of her crazy mind and gives you the gift of wonder.
Who else could top this list other than Radiohead? A Moon Shaped Pool is one of the most eclectic records 2016 saw. From the dramatic, symphonic opener of 'Burn The Witch' to the minimalist electronic beeps of 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief,' this album really captured all of what made modern-day Radiohead... Radiohead. It's upfront, its mysterious, its subtle, it's everything you could want from the band. Not only is it such a great concept from the outside; to a fan, its a goldmine. Studio recordings of long-awaited songs like 'Burn The Witch,' 'Ful Stop,' and the 20-year old 'True Love Waits' found their way onto this record. From every end, this record is perfect. It's chaos is something you cannot confine, so you have no choice but to let it explode and take over like a monster. There's no other album this year that can do that.
Thanks for sticking with Immortal Reviews in 2016. This is the first year we really tried to get our message out there, and we hope that we can continue doing just that in 2017. Stay tuned this week for more of our favorites and least favorites of the year, and we hope you have a happy new year!