Continuing Rock Sins’ highlights of last year in our end of year awards series, it’s the turn of longtime contributor Will Stevenson. Here are Will’s picks of the great, the good and the somewhat disappointing from 2016.
Album of the year: Full of Hell / The Body – One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache
The Body and Full of Hell combine forces to record an incredibly heavy, gut wrenching slab of doomy, noise infused death metal. From the opening, unnerving drum blasts of the title track to the pure grindcore intensity of the fourty second “World of Hope and No Pain” these two bands work together to put on a phenomenally heavy display.
Pity Sex – White Hot Moon
Touché Amoré – Stage Four
NAILS – You Will Never Be One Of Us
Alcest – Kodama
Radiohead – Moon Shaped Pool
Oathbreaker – Rheia
Joyce Manor – Cody
Song of the year: Joyce Manor – Cody
Joyce Manor put out a phenomenal album in the shape of Cody and it’s standout track is undoubtly “Eighteen” an ode to a nostalgic, summer of teenage misadventures. It’s a fantastic song from its crashing power chords to its whistful vocals.
Music video of the year: A Day to Remember – Naivety
As usual, A Day To Rememmber deliver a hilarious, well shot video courtesy of director Darren Doane. The video features the band in spectacularly done old-age makeup, especially considering the budget.
Gig of the year: Enter Shikari at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
Enter Shikari topped off their incredible Mindsweep era with a run of their biggest dates so far, including a stop at London’s Alexandra Palace. With support from The King Blues and the Wonder Years, the entire evening was an amazing and eclectic display of what the modern rock scene has to offer. Enter Shikari were not to be out performed by their support acts though, putting on one of their best shows to date. Rou Reynolds and co were on top form, blasting through their set with trademark passion and intensity.
Bullet For My Valentine / Killswitch Engage @ Manchester Academy
Steel Panther / Bowling For Soup @ Manchester Arena
You Me At Six @ Liverpool Guild Of Students
Creeper @ Liverpool
Most disappointing gig of the year: Escape the Fate @ Manchester Academy
When you’ve followed a band for years, even if you’re no longer a fan, it’s a shame to see them disappoint live. Escape the Fate did just that, with backing tracks playing the vocal line, misogynistic stage presence and lacklustre energy, Escape the Fate played the worst gig of the year.
Festival performance of the year: Deafheaven @ Cosmosis Festival Manchester
Experimental black metal band Deafheaven were the standout heavy band on the Cosmosis festival bill. Playing the smaller second stage in front of a dedicated crowd of less than a hundred their set consisted of howling vocals and destructive blast beats interwoven with beautiful, shimmering guitar melodies. It’s an almost 1:1 reproduction of the sound found on their breakthrough records Sunbather and New Burmuda and gets the crowd going wild.
Hatebreed @ Impericon Festival
Sleaford Mods @Cosmosis Festival
Most disappointing album of the year: Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
When Meshuggah first arrived on the heavy metal scene, their sound was something new, visceral and pummelling. With their trademark complex, downtuned guitar riffs being hijacked by a whole host of bands in the “djent” scene they birthed, it’s becoming less and less noteworthy. Unfortunately, the Violent Sleep of Reason does nothing new with Meshuggah’s sound and manages to make the once refreshing sound boring.
Festival Of The Year: Impericon Festival Manchester
A one dayer, Impericon Festival took over Manchester’s Academy 1 to display the very best of hardcore, metalcore and deathcore form around the world with standout sets from headliners Hatebreed, fan favourites Despised Icon and more.
Band of the year: Creeper
Since the end of 2015, Creeper have gone from supporting Frank Carter in Manchester’s tiny 200 cap Star and Garter pub to being set to play the 900 capacity Academy 2 solo this coming March. They’ve supported Neck Deep, Pierce The Veil and more whilst ever improving their live act. On top of that, they’ve released another standout EP featuring some of the best rock songs released all year. With an album slated for March, 2017 is sure to be another standout year for the goth punks.
Many of the other members of the Rock Sins team have also compiled their end of year awards, so please check out their selections below:
Jamie’s 2016 End Of Year Awards
Sam’s 2016 End Of Year Awards
Fran’s 2016 End Of Year Awards
James W’s 2016 End Of Year Awards
James H’s 2016 End Of Year Awards
Charlie’s 2016 End Of Year Awards
Rachael’s 2016 End Of Year Awards
Connor’s 2016 End Of Year Awards