So it’s that time of the year where everyone does lists of their favourite releases of 2016. We’ve compiled a list of our top albums based on the ratings from our writers. While not everyone will agree on what should be placed where on this list, even our own team would debate heavily on what should go top spot, below is our list of top 40 releases of 2016 with links to each album review.

1.) Ghost – Popestar

Release Date: 16th September 2016
Loma Vista Recordings

Rating: 10/10

Reviewer JOSH EMERY said: “They keep their Satanic viewpoints, fused with classic rock, hard rock and lightweight metal music – think Blue Oyster Cult meets Type O Negative. With this EP it’s amazing to see how Ghost can break genre’s and show their followers and fans what music has influenced them over the years.”


2.) Avantasia – Ghostlights


Release Date: 29th January 2016
Nuclear Blast Records

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewer PAUL SIMPSON says: “I have not been carried away by an album, like this, ever. I cannot in all seriousness remember a time when music has captured my imagination like this and it is a bizarre, intoxicating experience. If I ever write a fantasy epic, you had better play this album in the room while you read, because that is how I will have written it.”


3,) Alter Bridge – The Last Hero

Release Date: 7th October 2016
Napalm Records

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer NOAH MORALIS said: “It’s an ambitious record and rightfully so, every song is strong in it’s own right. Although it does lean into the heavy territory that the band have stepped into over recent years, there is something for fans of rock, hard rock and heavy metal alike.”


4.) Blink 182 – California

Blink 182 California artwork

Release Date: 1st July 2016

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer MAKKY HALL said: As a long-term fan, I am more than happy with this release. Quite frankly I’m blown away by how much it has impressed me. There is an equal sense of nostalgia and progress.  I was certainly expecting something better than the last couple of albums. But, to expect ‘California’ to full on make up for the disappointment that was ‘Neighbourhoods’ wasn’t originally on the cards. It feels safe to say the real Blink 182 has returned.”


5.) Hands Like Houses – Dissonants


Release Date: 26th February 2016
Rise Records

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer KATIE ASHTON says: “Whilst I initially had my reservations about how these tracks would fit into the flow of the album, the synthy pop-rock is highly pleasing to listen to, and it’s bound to get a festival crowd on their feet. The ‘Degrees of Separation‘ structure is reminiscent of You Me At Six‘s ‘Fresh Start Fever’.


6.) Creeper – The Stranger


Release Date: 19th February 2016
Roadrunner Records

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer MADDY HOWELL says: “It’s straight to the point, it’s made for rooms full of people to shout back in unison, it’s everything that made this band so brilliant before and more. If you thought 2015 EP ‘The Callous Heart’ was Creeper at the top of their game, think again.”


7.) Faintest Idea – Increasing The Minimum Rage

Release date: 1st April 2016
TNS Records

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer MAKKY HALL says: “For a ska-punk fan, ‘Increasing The Minimum Rage’ is an essential release and working with notable ska-punk producer Hieronymus Melchers has had a major influence on the progression of Faintest Idea’s songwriting as they unveil so far the best ska-punk album of the year.”


8.) Hacktivist – Over-Throne


Release Date: 9th December 2016

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer DANIEL STEWART  says: “Hacktivist are unlike any other band on the metal scene right now, their unique mix of Djent and Grime has given them a sound that makes them stand out like a sore thumb yet somehow, it works damn well. This is only a short EP, but it perfectly captures what Hacktivist are capable of as musicians.”


9.) Treason Kings – Vale EP

Treason Kings

Release Date: 28th October 2016

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer LIZZIE SMITH says: “The Leeds lads have blown this debut out of the water; a promising start from a young and exciting rock quartet. Easing effortlessly from track to track the short, but sweet, record draws you in with the fervent guitars and punchy vocals”


10.) Periphery – Periphery III: Select Difficulty


Release Date: 22nd July 2016
Sumerian Records

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer DANIEL STEWART says: Periphery burst onto the metal scene with their blistering self-titled Periphery‘ and have since then changed what it means to be a member of the Djent scene. Their latest effort ‘Periphery III: Select Difficulty‘ shows that the band still have plenty to offer and they’re not done yet.”


11.) Brutal Youth – Sanguine

12.) Bury Tomorrow – Earthbound

13.) Direct Hit! – Wasted Mind

14.) The Hostiles – Last Call

15.) Lamb of God – The Duke

16.) Root Kargeras – Return From Oblivion

17.) Stick To Your Guns – Better Ash Than Dust EP

18.) Witchery – In His Infernal Majesty’s Service

19.) Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

20.) A Day To Remember – Bad Vibrations

21.) Asteroid – Asteroid III

22.) Boy Jumps Ship – Wake Up

23.) Broncho – Double Vanity

24.) Can’t Swim – Death Deserves A Name

25.) Tremonti – Dust

26.) Metallica – Hardwired To Self Destruct

27.) The Qemists – Warrior Sound

28.) Duel – Fears of the Dead

29.) Faultlines – All We’ve Ever Known

30.) For I Am King – Daemons

31.) Ion Dissonance – Cast The First Stone

32.) Dropthis – Culture to Criticise

33.) Rough Hands – Let Me Win You Hearts and Minds

34.) Monomyth – Exo

35.) ROAM – Backbone

36.) Sanity Check – Slaves To A System

37.) William Control – The Pale EP

38.) Zakk Wylde – Book of Shadows II

39.) Heaven Shall Burn – Wanderer

40.) Zoax – Zoax


So what do you think we’ve missed out? What have been your top rated releases of 2016? Tell us in the comments below.