2016 was one of those oddball year for me. After listening to new material from hundreds of bands, I found myself liking a huge portion of what I heard, but I only fell in love with a tiny handful of albums. With that in mind, here are my Top 5 Albums of 2016!

As each year begins, I’m hoping that someone will come out of left field and completely blow my mind. I love finding a new band and becoming hopeless addicted to their music, but not just for a few songs at a time, an entire album front-to-back on frantic repeat. In 2016, Astronoid was the only band to hook me in that way. A tiny act from Boston, Astronoid’s Air album is a perfectly executed vision of metal and rock with pop-punk catchiness. Filled with soaring vocals, huge blast beats and etherial tremolo picking, I can’t recommend this album enough.

Meshuggah gave me a vicious beating this year with The Violent Sleep of Reason. I’ll admit I didn’t “get” Meshuggah for a while, though I’d often throw on obZen and break furniture. The djent legends’ eighth album converted me as soon as I heard “Clockworks” and The Violent Sleep of Reason grew on me like a fungus for the remainder of 2016.

See which other albums made my personal Top 5 of 2016 by checking out the clip above!

20 Best Metal Albums of 2016

20 Best Rock Albums of 2016