2016 In Review: The Chancellor’s (Late) AOTY List

Well, it’s that time of the year. Or rather, it was, a few weeks ago, which was when this post really should have been written. But this post isn’t the only one I’ve been putting off. I’ve also been procrastinating with the New Releases series, with my Global Doom series, and with my upcoming Best of Québec post–all of which have yet to be written. Of course, it’s hard to manage my writing while not being in the country and also coping with all sorts of school-related work, but now it seems I finally have some free time to post again.

This isn’t going to be a very wordy post, mainly because I have other posts that are a higher priority for me at the moment. I’ll keep this as concise as I’m able to. Anyways, here we go.

#20: Chthe’ilist- Le dernier crépuscule/Blood Incantation- Starspawn

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Ever since these two came out, I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to decide which I like better. I still can’t decide, really. So these two will have to tie for #20.

#19: Nebulae Come Sweet- It Is Not the Night that Covers You

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Easily one of my favourite post-metal albums of the year. Considering 2016 was a great year for post-metal, that’s saying something.

#18: Bossk- Audio Noir

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I love this almost as much as I love that sneaky Star Wars reference in their name.

#17: Wendess- MMXXIII

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Were it not for Cantique Lépreux and Forteresse, this would have been my Québécois album of the year.

#16: Naðra- Allir vegir til glötunar

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This album was released nearly a full year ago (January 17th), but it’s something that has stayed with me since the first listen.

#15: Forteresse- Thèmes pour la rébellion

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Forteresse are QCBM royalty, and their latest work only reinforces that status.

#14: Mizmor- Yodh

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This album is still absolutely chilling to me.

#13: Cantique Lépreux- Cendres Célestes

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This album sort of came out of nowhere, and I initially went into this without knowing anything about it. But hell, it’s brilliant, and I’m glad I found it.

#12: Bethlehem- Bethlehem

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This may well have been my most-anticipated album of 2016. I must have listened to it about four or five times on the day of its release, and goddamn, it was worth the wait.

#11: Black Funeral- Ankou and the Death Fire

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This was initially a bit lower down on my list, but it grew on me considerably over time. There was a point where I was caught between this album or Cendres Célestes, and this one inevitably won me over.

#10: Deadlife- Porphyria

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In a way it kind of sucks that Psychonaut 4 released Neurasthenia in 2016. If it weren’t for that, Deadlife would easily have had DSBM AOTY with this one.

#9: Drukner- Drukner

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I really wasn’t expecting this album to be as good as it was. If you like stoner doom, you’ll love this. I know I’ve posted about this before, but I don’t think I’ve quite said enough about it.

#8: Cough- Still They Pray

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I don’t think this album really needs an introduction here. Clearly, this is more than capable of speaking for itself.

#7: Quercus- Heart with Bread

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Funeral doom and the pipe organ are truly soulmates.

#6: Suffer Yourself- Ectoplasm

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Just when I thought the year’s funeral doom releases weren’t going to get any better than Quercus, this came out and ruined all my plans. Fuck.

#5: Vermin Womb- DECLINE

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We’re down to the top five now, and this album is more than worthy of being ranked this high. It’s been one of my absolute favourites of the year, and I’ve revisited this a considerable number of times, and it’s still not lost anything on me.

#4: Rust- Raw Shredding Death

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If nothing else, this album is a sharp reminder of how carefully we have to search through the underground if we want to truly find great music. This is my favourite black metal release of the year, and I almost completely missed it. Thank god it turned up before I got around to writing this post.

#3: Inverloch- Distance | Collapsed

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This is my doom album of the year. But what else is to be expected from half of diSEMBOWELMENT?

#2: Magrudergrind- II

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I’ve heard various things being said about this album, but  to me, this is gold. This has to be one of, if not my second most revisited album of the year, and it’s definitely great enough to earn the #2 spot on my list here.

#1: Psychonaut 4- Neurasthenia

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I’ve written about this album before in a few of my posts. This is kind of something that’s been really important to me over the past few months for reasons going beyond just the musical aspect, which I won’t get into here. But when I was trying to make this list, I really couldn’t think of any other album that deserved the 1st place spot. I admire this album on a different level than anything else I’ve written about. It almost doesn’t seem fair of me to even include this album on the list at all; it just seems to have such importance to me that part of me wants to make it ineligible in order to give other albums a chance. But here I am, at the end of 2016, writing about it anyways. I can say with certainty that it will be quite some time before I ever hear another album quite like this.

• • •

Honourable Mentions

These three albums were things that I would love to have added to my list, but that I didn’t quite have room for.

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Non-Metal AOTY

My non-metal album of the year was quite an easy decision. I do in fact listen to a lot of music outside of the metal genre, because metal is not the only kind of music out there. (I’m actually a classical musician. Surprise.) My non-metal AOTY for 2016 goes to Crobot’s Welcome to Fat City.

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