THE HYST LIST // Hysteria’s Best Albums of 2016 – So Far

2016 is only six months old and has grown into a full belter for great heavy albums.

We’ve unearthed gems across every imaginable sub-genre and niche style—and some albums on this list defy categorisation. With the back half of the year to go, we ask—can it even go up from here? The Goon Squad presents 25 of the best albums from 2016’s morningrise as noon hovers above us. Did your favourite make the cut?

Listen to Hysteria’s Choice Cuts Playlist!


The Black Queen – Fever Daydream


Who can blame Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato for wanting to work on a musical project where he didn’t feel compelled to climb the walls and punch himself in the face? The Black Queen is the downtempo electorate soundtrack to your dreams, and don’t worry – nobody will think you are less tough for listening to it.—Sophie Benjamin

Brian Fallon – Painkillers


This debut solo record is a return to form for The Gaslight Anthem front-man, with Fallon’s love for all things Springsteen & Americana brought to the fore on this collection of alt-country anthems. Sporting his signature pack-a-day vocals, jangly guitars and stomping hand-clap beats, Painkillers is nothing but back-to-back ballads for all the broken hearts out there. Side note: chicks named Maria are stoked.—Owen Morawitz

Hatebreed – The Concrete Confessional


After some middle of the road releases, Hatebreed finally have their bite back on The Concrete Confessional. The riffs worship assiduously at Slayer’s altar, the beat-downs detonate across each track without mercy, and Jasta still sounds like the most genuinely pissed off motivational speaker that ever walked this miserable, godforsaken earth. This is easily the best Hatebreed record in a decade, and should not be missed.—Owen Morawitz

Killswitch Engage – Incarnate


Incarnate shows a side of Killswitch that is so. damn. Positive. Jesse Leach is back on the mic, everyone’s in a good mood and the result is half an hour of riffs and upbeat lyrics, perfect for the gym and general psyching up. Strength of the miiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnd!—Sophie Benjamin

Kvelertak – Nattesferd


Norway’s favourite sons embrace the gift of change, returning with their third studio record and a newfound sense of confidence. This release combines the frenetic brutality of their stellar self-titled debut, with the proggier and psychedelic moments of Meir. The end result is a veritable, heavy metal sci-fi romp that carries the listener along with rhythmic grooves, harmonic guitars and larynx-shredding vocals. Plus, they also have a song about bumping uglies with a giant, Norse world tree. Niiiiiice.—Owen Morawitz

Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost


Pulling themselves back from the brink of personal struggles (in some cases, quite literally), affable indie-punks Modern Baseball knocked shit out of the park on Holy Ghost. When they crank the pop elements right up, you can almost hear splashes of The Killers rattling around inside, and while it might be a short and sweet affair, it delivers every hit with a punch to the gut and a big cheeky grin.—Owen Morawitz

Vektor – Terminal Redux


This space thrash masterpiece had me convinced the late great Chuck Schuldiner was back from beyond. Yes: his boundless riffing talent and haunting shrieks both. Terminal Redux is a Voivod-grade sci-fi metal journey into universes unknown and back. “Out of this world” doesn’t even begin to cover it.—Tom Valcanis

Violent Soho – WACO


Go to Ric’s bar in Violent Soho’s hometown of Brisbane at 4am and play a song, any song, from WACO and you’ll see why the record is a goddamn classic. A WACO joint hits the stereo and everyone… the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads… is on the dancefloor screaming along. And the world needs more shit that can bring us together right now.—Tom MF Hersey

Rotting Christ – Rituals


The Greek lords of mystical black metal return with an even bloodthirstier offering, upping their Godlessness to unheard of heights. There’s nothing in the extreme metal scene that can top them in craft and brutality, and that’s how we like it. Fire this shit up and invite the dark side in.—Tom Valcanis

Deftones – Gore



Like city streets after rain, Gore is the light reflected from cold urban ground. It’s the sound of a heart full of winter, yearning to escape yet revelling in darkness in equal measure. Chino’s pained screams as towers of riffs topple around him haunt our very being. —Tom Valcanis

Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us


Not content with matching the jaw-dropping Lost Forever//Lost Together, the Brighton boys went ahead and blew their own efforts out of the water. At their best when they’re incredibly pissed off, AOGHAU is an assault on everything we’ve fucked up recently. Don’t make another mistake and miss this one. —Jonty Simmons

Luca Brasi – If This Is All We’re Going To Be


The Tassie punk quartet have armed themselves with their most heartfelt and mature record yet. If This Is All We’re Going To Be has scooped up several accolades and awards, including a spot as Triple J Feature Album this year, and a #18 ranking on The ARIA Album Chart.—Mark Acheson

Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us


Who loves a bit of the ol’ ultraviolence? Everyone! Cos Nails new record weighing in at 22 mins packs more in than most prog rock bands do in an entire career. It’s hard, it’s brutal, it’s relentless. It’s on your stereo, blowing your ears up. Get on it, lad.—Tom Valcanis

Anthrax – For All Kings


Who knew Anthrax’ best days were in front of them? It’s like these Noo Yawkers are 17 and hungry again, ready to thrash like they won’t need hip replacements in a couple years. Fired up thrashers nestle between stadium-rattling epics and we’re shouting for more.—Tom Valcanis

letlive. – If I’m The Devil…


More refined but still the outspoken Letlive. fans would die for. Their latest has singer Jason Aalon Butler finally accepting the mess he is, and the band are all the better for it. Finally one of their records you can throw on during a road trip and even the Triple J fanatics won’t reject it.—Jonty Simmons

Driven Fear – Freethinker


Genres? Where we’re going we don’t need genres. Metal, punk, ‘core – it’s all here and it’s all spectacular. From earwormy Crisis and rabble-rousing Hold On You this album is one of the sleeper hits of ‘16 by a future Aussie heavy household name. Watch this space.—Tom Valcanis

Beartooth – Aggressive


Beartooth mastermind Caleb Shomo decided to throw his self-hatred out onto the world on Aggressive. In return for his honesty, the universe threw a catchy record right on back. Scream-till-it-hurts choruses and guilty pleasure riffs aplenty, push it loud and be a part of the aggressive youth.—Jonty Simmons

White Lung – Paradise


Do you like Alexisonfire and Garbage? Well, Paradise is the album of 2016 you didn’t know you needed. Three albums deep into their career, the Canadian trio have finally figured out a way to move past their trashy punk roots into something shinier and — let’s face it — better.—Sophie Benjamin

Caliban – Gravity


Caliban have an energy that is not found very often in heavy metal. Even though they’re a few albums down, they still manage to choke a hold on the subtleties of this often maligned art. No, it’s not just angry music for angry people after all!—Jane Sheridan

PUP – The Dream Is Over


“The Dream Is Over is the vomit covered welcome mat before entering a dingy basement filled with expired beer, ear-splitting feedback, and the best mates in the world.”—Jonty Simmons

Fallujah – Dreamless


Death metal that’s like, yanno, mellow? Is that even allowed? YES BOZO, it is. Dreamless is Fallujah’s hypnotic suggestion that whacked-out proggery and death-bellows can not only coexist, but get it on. Grrr baby, very grrr. —Tom Valcanis

Landscapes – Modern Earth


“Here’s hoping after an incredibly pleasing effort that Landscapes manage to make their way out of the UK, as this album clearly shows that it’s time to finally stop them from being criminally underrated.”—Jonty Simmons

Pierce The Veil – Misadventures


“Even if hardcore fans will love Misadventures regardless of any critical opinion, there’s more than enough accessible material on their latest addition to their burgeoning catalogue to bring new fans into the PTV cult.”—Jonty Simmons

Basement – Promise Everything


“The songs on the record sound fresh. Fresh in a way that makes you think ‘gee, wouldn’t it be good if more bands broke up?’. Basement have 100 per cent delivered on their promise with album number three.”—Tom MF Hersey

Saosin – Along The Shadow


All hail Anthony Green. The original Saosin front-man has made a triumphant return to the band, and Along The Shadow shows exactly why Green and members made such an impression in their earlier years. The new album is progressive, containing pop laden choruses, but still retains a 2006 authentic self-titled album sound.—Mark Acheson

Did your favourite make the list? Got one of your own? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook!


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