Kates Top 10 Albums of 2016

Earthbound – Bury Tomorrow Earthbound demonstrates how mature Bury Tomorrow’s sound has gotten over recent years, and how tight the metal-core band are currently. The album still features sickeningly catchy choruses, and huge mosh-pit worthy breakdowns. But, Earthbound stands out for being that bit more aggressive, and compelling when compared to Bury Tomorrow’s previous albums- it also sounds absolutely massive live.

Stand outs; Last Light, 301 and Cemetery

Hardwired… To Self-Destruct – Metallica

As far as Metallica go, this personally is no Ride the Lightning (but then again it is also no St. Anger). With that being said, the album does contain some real stand-outs, with Spit out the Bone being one of the best Metallica songs in the last twenty or so years. Furthermore, musically the riffs on this album are mega, and live this album will be absolutely huge.

Stand outs; Spit out the Bone, Moth to the Flame

Painkillers – Brian Fallon With the Gaslight Anthem on hiatus currently Brian Fallon’s solo album Painkillers shows off his songwriting skills and well as Springsteen style musicality. The album is great for long-drives (excuse the pun) and chilled out evenings. Definitely listen to this if you are already a Gaslight Anthem fan…

Stand outs; Painkillers, Honey Magnolia

Opera Oblivia – Hellions

Australian hardcore-punk band Hellions are only just starting to make waves in the UK, but makes it clear to see why the band are one to keep on the radar. is not a stereotypical ‘hardcore’ album, featuring complex guitar harmonies, and lending itself closely to letlive.’s ‘soul-punk’ vibe.

Stand outs; Nightliner Rhapsody, Thresher and Quality of Life.

Love is Not Enough – Casey

Love is Not Enough exceeds all expectations as a debut full-length release, standing as the under-dog album of the year. Love is Not Enough stands in juxtaposition to itself - both dark and brooding in depression, but beautiful and somewhat tranquil. There are plenty of albums that talk about the ‘highs’ in life, but melodic-hardcore outfit Casey are successful here at focusing around the ‘lows’.

Stand outs; Darling, Ceremony and Bloom.

Shape Shift With Me – Against Me!

On the surface, Shape Shift With Me may seem like an album that broadly covers the themes of relationships and breakups. However, digging below the surface, the album symbolically speaks to the notions of re-birth, self-expression and pain. Documenting Laura Jane Grace’s personal experiences, the album is so memorable because it is simply so relatable. Musically, the album is signature in Against Me! style, with a powerful punch of angsty punk-rock and catchy choruses.

Stand outs; Norse Truth, Rebecca and Delicate, Petite & Other Things I’ll Never Be.

All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us – Architects Released in May, AOGHAU is an absolutely huge release, Musically, the album is massive, with a mix of ambience, metal and sing-along choruses. But personally, it is the lyrics that make this album stand out as a key release of 2016. The clear-cut critique of modern-day global issues is evident throughout the album, and is brutally honest. Although the lyrics of Tom Searle may now seem extremely foreboding and haunting, his legacy will live on in such a colossal album. Stand outs; Nihilist, Gone With the Wind and Phantom Fear Death of a Bachelor – Panic! at the Disco Panic! have seen their fair share of lineup changes since their origins in 2004. Nonetheless, the creative flair and genius of Brendon Urie has remained and is more than evident in Death of a Bachelor. The album is a roller-coaster of anthemic songs which can quite simply be labeled as ‘2016 pop-rock meets Frank Sinatra with falsetto’. If you’re after a feel-good album that makes you want to dance like nobody is watching, then this is for you. Stand outs; Golden Days, Emperors New Clothes and Hallelujah

If I’m the Devil… - letlive. On first listen, it was evident If I’m the Devil had taken a turn into unfamiliar territory when compared to the band’s previous releases. Nonetheless, If I’m the Devil is incredibly creative, intricate and honest but still manages to stay true to the band’s signature energy and prowess. This album sounds absolutely huge live too… but what do you expect from a band who are notorious for their onstage antics?

Stand outs; Reluctantly Dead, Another Offensive Song and Copper Coloured Quiet. Low Teens – Every Time I Die. Without any shadow of a doubt this takes the top spot for me. Low Teens is an absolute belter of an album and offers angst, energy, and everything you’d expect from ETID in one 49-minute blast. I would go as far to say this is the strongest and most hard-hitting release in ETID’s discography – and yes, Brendon Urie does make a guest appearance (and it works!). Stand outs: Glitches, It Remembers and 1977.