It’s that time of year again where the Rock Sins staff get to pick the great, the good and the less than stellar from the rock and metal world of 2016 in our end of year awards. Our features editor Jamie is kicking things off again this year, so expect to see multiple mentions of a certain thrash band from California amongst the winners….
Album Of The Year – Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Was it ever really going to be anything else? Having had literally everything crossed for months that this album would be as good as it should’ve been after an eight year wait, I wasn’t disappointed. The first half of the album in particular absolutely slays. Without wanting to repeat my review of the album too much (that you can read here if you wish to do so), it’s an absolutely fantastic album that has produced in my opinion one of the best Metallica songs ever, which leads nicely onto…
Bury Tomorrow – Earthbound
Megadeth – Dystopia
Bowling For Soup – Drunk Dynasty
Erik Chandler – The Truth
Song Of The Year – Metallica – Moth Into Flame
I could literally go on about this song all day. From the first time I saw and heard the video for the song I knew that the Metallica I’ve loved for so many years were still fully capable of putting out blinding tracks. Moth Into Flame has all the elements one could want from a modern Metallica song; Riffs? Check. Great solo? Check. Hetfield’s vocals on fire? Check and check again. In a year where there has been SO much high quality music of all kinds, Moth Into Flame is the song I will go back to time after time.
Bowling For Soup – Don’t Be A Dick
As Sirens Fall – State Of The Artist
Megadeth – The Threat Is Real
The Lounge Kittens – Love Is Only A Feeling
Memoreve – These Reflections
Festival Performance Of The Year – Amon Amarth – Download 2016
Dragons, fire, massive horns and 40 minutes of the best metal heard anywhere in 2016 meant that when it came to the best festival performance, for me Amon Amarth took home the crown. There were many great bands at my only festival of the year (Download) but none of them quite hit the highlights of Johan and co. Any set that can finish with Twilight Of The Thunder God is always going to be something special. They’ll be amazing headlining Bloodstock in 2017.
Ashestoangels (all Download 2016)
Gig Of The Year – Bowling For Soup / The Dollyrots / Lacey – Camden Roundhouse, London
I haven’t actually been to that many gigs this year, particularly ones where I was attending as a reviewer or punter as opposed to working but I still managed to see some great stuff. But top of the pile in 2016 was Bowling For Soup’s sold out show at the Roundhouse in Camden back in February, a show made all the more special by the fact I have the privilege of working with both BFS and The Dollyrots. All the bands were on great form, the audience was amazing, and we even had a guest appearance from The Lounge Kittens on 1985. A brilliant night in every way possible.
Dream Theater – The Astonishing In Full, London Palladium
Alter Bridge / Volbeat / Gojira – O2 Arena, London
Steel Panther / Bowling For Soup / Buckcherry – Wembley Arena, London
Most Disappointing Album Of The Year – Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep Of Reason
Whilst always appreciating Meshuggah’s undoubted technical brilliance (Thomas Haake in particular), their records have sometimes left me cold. But none more so than The Violent Sleep Of Reason, which just lacks the power and force of the band’s other releases. “Meshuggah by the numbers” is how one friend of mine described it, and I feel that is spot on. A band who are capable of doing much, much more than this.
Opeth – Sorceress
In Flames – Battles
Music Video Of The Year – Heel – Nothing New
There have been some great music videos this year. But nothing has worked for me quite as well as London rockers Heel’s awesome, firmly tongue-in-cheek video for Nothing New, which takes an enormous pop at trend culture. It’s not just me either, our readers voted it video of the week back in May too. Now, go and watch it, and then watch it again. The song’s pretty damn good too, and so they are worthy winners of this award!
Metallica – Murder One
KoRn – Rotting In Vain
Alter Bridge – Show Me A Leader
Vola – Gutter Moon
As Sirens Fall – Where We Are
Band Of The Year – Architects
Contrary to fashionable opinion, I don’t like Architects musical output that much (though I’ll flip tables to Naysayer anyday). But with the way the band have handled everything that has been thrown at them this year means there was no other choice for this award in my mind. Recording what has been deemed by many to be the album of their career, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, whilst dealing with Tom Searle’s illness growing ever more serious was impressive. The way they have conducted themselves since his passing and the outpouring of goodwill towards the band both before and during their recent tour has put the band on a level that I don’t doubt they would have reached anyway, but this has possibly increased the speed of their ascent. Getting Sylosis’ Josh Middleton in as their live guitarist for the moment was an inspired choice and whilst more new music from Architects is currently uncertain, in person they’re seemingly in the form of their lives. Tom would have been so proud of them.
Bowling For Soup
Hero Of The Year – Dan Searle – Architects
Much in keeping with Architects’ band of the year award above, architects co-founder and drummer Dan has been a true credit to the metal community, and above all to his family and friends this year. Losing a band member, someone you are on the road with for months at a time, to illness is a truly horrible situation, but when that band member is also your brother is something few of us can imagine the full pain of. The way Dan (in particular, all of Architects deserve tremendous credit) has handled the last six months is a shining example of how to handle grief in the public eye. For all the enormous pain we know he has endured, I know I couldn’t have been one tenth as composed and articulate as he has been in his circumstances. One of the true heroes of 2016.
The rest of Architects
And so ends Jamie’s end of year awards for another year. Please keep checking back regularly as the rest of the staff will be offering up their opinions and winners (and losers) for the year as we get closer to Christmas.