Features

Top 25 Albums Of The Year

2016 has a been a year of transition for music, and also for It Djents. Our coverage of forward-thinking music has expanded, just as djent has become more and more interpolated into the fabric of metal itself. Each album below displays the progressive philosophy that birthed what we know as ‘djent’ today. However, because artists as diverse and incomparable in nature as The Dear Hunter and Car Bomb fill this list, it seemed like an exercise in futility to rank these records against each other. Hence, please find It Djents’s Top 25 Records of The Year below, in alphabetical order:

 

Alcest – Kodama

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While some of us were disappointed that we didn’t get more straight shoegaze/dream pop from Alcest, Kodama is still a fantastically dark, ominous and refreshing blend of the style found on Shelter and Alcest’s black metal-sensibilities.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Astronoid – Air

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Astronoid’s Air is the sound of getting pummeled to death by cirrocumulus clouds. It’s heavy, dreamy and experimental, all rolled up into what may be the best début record of 2016.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Black Crown Initiate – Selves We Cannot Forgive

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The dreaded sophomore slump cowered in fear before the mighty Black Crown Initiate this year! Selves We Cannot Forgive is a muscular and intelligent beast of an album and cements their status as true heirs to the prog-death metal throne.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Car Bomb – Meta

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Even if we would look at this album just from a heavy perspective, it would be on this list, but Car Bomb added an amazing lyrical concept, a great balance between noisy and melodic elements and incredible compositional skills to their recipe. I’ve never thought that they could top w^w^^w^w, but they did!

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Cult Of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner

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A passionate, pounding meditation on space travel, post-metal’s Cult of Luna’s collaboration with Julie Christmas was one of the rawest, emotive metal releases of the year.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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The Dear Hunter – Act V: Hymns With The Devil In Confessional

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One of the most densely orchestrated, conceptually complex releases of the year, The Dear Hunter manage to be both beautifully brilliant and wholly human on this new record.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Départe – Failure, Subside

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Australian death metal newcomers Départe realized their own addicting version of atmospheric death metal with Failure, Subside in a glorious way and I can’t wait to hear more of them in the future.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Destrage – A Means To No End

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Frenetic and forward-thinking, Destrage create progressive metal devoid of pretence and full of energy on A Means To No End.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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The Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence

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Devin Townsend has more than proven himself as a master of progressive metal and rock over his lengthy career. However, Transcendence may be his most cohesive, emotional metal release yet, with some of the most stellar production we’ve heard this year.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Farfetch’d – Southern Skies Motel

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The biggest musical surprises are those which come out of nowhere. This album stunned our whole team with its amazing feeling and mixture of acoustic fingerstyle guitar, ambient, post-rock and fusion. Southern Skies Motel is a journey of beautiful sounds and mesmerizing songwriting.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Gojira – Magma

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Magma defines the sound of Gojira totally new. Straying away from being a death metal band, this record is full of progression. It is catchy, proggy as well as hard at some points, but overall creates a feeling of a band that evolved to something they really wanted to do.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Haken – Affinity

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After The Mountain, this band was poised to become one of the biggest within the modern prog scene. Affinity might be the best example for what modern prog can be: catchy, proggy, but also back to the roots with a reminiscent 80’s vibe. They also included dubstep-ish influences! A true piece of art.

Check our review here and listen to more here!

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Hypno5e – Shores Of The Abstract Line

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This band is probably the most unique post/prog metal output within Europe. After their masterpiece Acid Mist Tomorrow, the band released a worthy follow up which is magnificent in its own right. Heavy, calm, progressive and authentic overall. They are way too underrated and deserve your attention!

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Ihsahn – Arktis.

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Ihsahn can’t do any wrong. He creates something in between prog, classic rock and his black metal influence, whilst still being innovative. Listen to “Celestial Violence” (which features Einar Solberg of Leprous) and you will know how passionate Ihsahn’s Arktis. is!

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Jyocho – A Prayer In Vain

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The new project by former Uchu Conbini guitarist Daijiro Nakagawa came along with intriguing tapping, frantic but smooth drums, wonderful flute sounds and beautiful vocals. Wabi-sabi on every note and beat.

Listen to more here!

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Latitudes – Old Sunlight

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Just listen to “Body Within A Body” to experience the true beauty of Old Sunlight. This is the best proper post-metal had to offer this year, no doubt about it.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Little Tybee – Little Tybee

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Without any over-exaggeration, this was one of the most surprising records this year. I expected nothing more than a typical folk record, but Little Tybee took us all on a beautiful, creative journey to the fringes of imagination.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Mandroid Echostar – Coral Throne

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After their ingenious second EP Citadels, Mandroid Echostar definitely had to live up to some high expectations. Luckily, Coral Throne is just all full of guitar wizardry, emotive vocals and stellar songwriting, making for a truly progressive record.

You can find our review here and listen to more here!

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Oathbreaker – Rheia

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Finally Caro Tanghe uses more of her beautiful clean voice, which is truly sparkling of passion and emotion. Rheia might be the best example how to do a honest record that deserves to be named as one of the albums of the year.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Oceans Of Slumber – Winter

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I don’t know how you can’t love this record. Oceans Of Slumber created one of the most stellar, interesting and captivating metal albums in 2016.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Periphery – Periphery III: Select Difficulty

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At or near the forefront of modern progressive metal, Periphery have crafted what seems to be their strongest, most cohesive and energetic release yet, while expanding into new sonic territory.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Textures – Phenotype

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The first part of a two-record series intrigues with an outstanding production, keen piano-passages and emotional clean singing. And yeah, Textures are true masters of polyrhythm for sure, so grab your calculator!

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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Thank You Scientist – Stranger Heads Prevail

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Technical, theatrical and uniquely ambitious with diverse instrumentation, Thank You Scientist’s sophomore record is a distinct contribution to the fabric of progressive music.

Check out our review here and listen to more here!

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tfvsjs – 在 zoi 

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This is a criminally underrated math rock masterpiece from this Hong Kong based band. Open up for the energy of hauntingly beautiful soundscapes and two amazing drummers and help this group get the attention they deserve.

Listen to more here!

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Vektor – Terminal Redux

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The experience of Vektor’s newest conceptual masterpiece is long and can be arduous, but it’s worth the time. This is one of the most rewarding and prolific records of 2016.

Listen to more here!

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Thanks for taking your time. We at the It Djents team had a wonderful year with a wonderful community. Keep your eyes open for more and tell us about your favorite records in the comments!

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