Take a look at some of our favorite new acts from 2016.Read More
2016 is off to an extremely strong start. Here’s just a list of all of the new albums I’ve listened to from January to March and links to reviews, if applicable.
Doing it a bit different this time, doing it by rating, from greatest to worst. Alphabetical just seemed trivial.
5-Star Albums (8.5 - 10)
- AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend: 10
- Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor: 9.5
- Deftones - Gore: 9.5
- Dream Theater - The Astonishing: 9
- Foxes - All I Need: 9
- Daughter - Not To Disappear: 9
- Lacey Sturm - Life Screams: 8.5
- HÆLOS - Full Circle: 8.5
- Weezer - Weezer (White Album): 8.5
- LIGHTS - Midnight Machines: 8.5
- The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come To Expect: 8.5
4-Star Albums (6.5 - 8)
- David Bowie - ★: 8
- BANNERS - BANNERS: 8
- Savages - Adore Life: 8
- Kanye West - The Life Of Pablo: 8
- Jack Garratt - Phase: 8
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - This Unruly Mess I've Made: 8
- Sia - This Is Acting: 7.5
- Grizfolk - Waking Up The Giants: 7.5
- The Drones - Feelin Kinda Free: 7.5
- Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye: 7.5
- Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.: 7.5
- Textures - Phenotype: 7.5
- Rihanna - ANTI: 7
- Megadeth - Dystopia: 7
- Hands Like Houses - Dissonants: 7
- Miike Snow - iii: 7
- BABYMETAL - Metal Resistance: 7
- The Jezabels - Synthia: 7
- Amy Lee - Recover, Vol. 1: 7
- Steven Wilson - 4 ½: 6.5
- Chairlift - Moth: 6.5
- Porches - Pool: 6.5
- Polyphia - Renaissance: 6.5
3-Star Albums (4.5 - 6)
- ZAYN - Mind Of Mine: 6
- Mogwai - Atomic: 6
- Låpsley - Long Way Home: 6
- Baauer - Aa: 5.5
- Asking Alexandria - The Black: 5.5
- The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It: 5
- Explosions In The Sky - The Wilderness: 5
- School Of Seven Bells - SVIIB: 5
- Krallice - Hyperion: 4.5
- Future - EVOL: 4.5
- Anderson .Paak - Malibu: 4.5
- Wiz Khalifa - Khalifa: 4.5
2-Star Albums (2.5 - 4)
- Killswitch Engage - Incarnate: 4
- Cozz - Nothin Personal: 3.5
1-Star Albums (0 - 2)
- None! :D
Top Albums Of 2016 (so far)
- AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend
- Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor
- Deftones - Gore
- Dream Theater - The Astonishing
- Foxes - All I Need
- Daughter - Not To Disappear
- Lacey Sturm - Life Screams
- HÆLOS - Full Circle
- Weezer - Weezer (White Album)
- LIGHTS - Midnight Machines
Top Songs Of 2016 (so far)
- AURORA - 'Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) (Acoustic)'
- Panic! At The Disco - 'Emperor's New Clothes'
- Deftones - 'Hearts/Wires'
- Foxes - 'Better Love'
- Lacey Sturm - 'Rot'
- AURORA - 'Through The Eyes Of A Child'
- Deftones - 'Phantom Bride'
- Dream Theater - 'Moment Of Betrayal'
- Daughter - 'New Ways'
- Jack Garratt - 'My House Is Your Home'
Ever wanted to travel into a black hole? Not like, a deadly, heavy black hole, but one that’s scenic and calm... almost empty, in a sense. If the answer is yes, then the debut album from HÆLOS, Full Circle. With everything from crushing atmospheric synths to crystalline vocals, this album will give you everything you need for a beautiful sonic experience.
The absolute monster this album is can be foreshadowed by the introductory track, ‘Spectrum’, featuring a thick atmosphere and a heavy spoken word sample before kicking into the banger ‘Pray’, which begins dark and explodes into a groovy vibe that plays off the darkness. The next track, ‘Dust’, plays off of the synths by being building a wall of noise with layers of vocals and transcendental synths. Part of what makes this album so fantastic is that it’s so cohesive even while ever song is fundamentally different. After ‘Dust’ comes ‘Full Circle’, the title track; a monster track with a plethora of layers to explore and dive into. Midway through the album is the most breathtaking track on it, ‘Earth Not Above’ that redefines everything you know about atmosphere. With a stunningly beautiful piano melody only making the fantastic instrumental that much more powerful and the haunting harmonies that make up the track, it’s nothing short of a masterpiece. The beauty continues with ‘Oracle’, a beautiful track that feels so pure and crystalline, it’s like you can feel it’s smoothness while you drown in its buildup of epic proportions.
The album takes a poppy turn to conclude it, the trend beginning with ‘Separate Lives’, and becomes even bigger in the following track, ‘Sacred’. ‘Cloud Nine’ follows suit in a different way, the London trio giving minimalism a spin and this time making the vocals a more prominent part of the song - in some brilliant way, the vocals are just so much more powerful in this track, and heartbreakingly so, with the reverberating, “Why did you leave me?” repeating over somber piano chords and percussion. The album ends just as powerfully as it begun, though with a stronger disposition with ‘Pale’, which, with it’s haunting lyrics and harmonies, ends the album on a very complete way, packed with synths and a confident beat. The album ends like it’s title implies; it comes full circle within it’s unforgettable music.
HÆLOS’ debut is an enigma. It’s so beautiful and fine that you just need to keep listening again and again before you can truly say you understand it, and even without being able to fully comprehend its power, it’ll leave a lasting mark. It draws you in and leaves you wanting more, though we’ll have to wait until this trio goes back to London for their follow up. Until then, this album won’t be growing old any time soon.
Favorite Tracks: Earth Not Above, Oracle, Cloud Nine
Least Favorite Tracks: Separate Lives