Best of 2016, Q2: Josh Thieler’s List


2016 has been an incredible year for music. So much came out in the first quarter that I never could narrow it down enough to name any favorites. For this second quarter, I was determined to compile this list if it killed me. There probably would be more on this list, but a lot of records came out in the final week of June that I will probably sneak into my Q3 list. Through much internal wrestling, tears, and over 1,000 hours of listening to new records, I have finally been able to come up with my list of favorites for 2nd quarter 2016.

Cough – Still They Pray

cough still they pray

This is blistering doom that makes your speakers sweat. Still They Pray was produced by Jus Oborn of Electric Wizard. This is the first Cough release in six years, and you can tell that they took their time on this beautifully crafted record. While this definitely sounds like Cough, the tone and production is Electric Wizard. I loved 2010’s Ritual Abuse but I think Cough leveled-up with Still They Pray. I could almost guarantee that this will be my favorite doom record of the year.

[Full Review]

Cult of Luna/Julie Christmas – Mariner


This record is perfect. Julie Christmas is my queen. Everything she touches is magic. Cult of Luna are always solid, but Julie Christmas takes it from “good sludge” to a near perfect record. Nothing I could say matters, listen to this record.

[Full Review]

Gevurah – Hallelujah!


With this record, Gevurah have propelled themselves into my list of black metal greats. This record, in my shitty opinion, belongs up there with anything from Emperor, Inquisition, 1349, or Watain. I know, I can’t say things like that because “Burzum this”, “Marduk that”. I don’t care. There are a ton of great pillars of black metal, and Gevurah is not one of those that laid the foundation. They may not be blazing any new paths, but they are carrying the flame forward.

[Full Review]

Imperial Triumphant – Inceste


Imperial Triumphant had one of my favorite 2 records last year with Abyssal Gods, and this EP is right up there with that record. Imperial Triumphant excel in making some of the most chaotic and terrifying black metal that I have ever heard. Clocking in at only 21 minutes, Imperial Triumphant manage to dish out more in that 21 minutes than most bands would offer in a double LP, but they do it without making it seem forced or rushed. I want more.

Lord Mantis – Nice Teeth Whore

lord mantis ntw ep

Lord Mantis rules. I already said what I needed to say about this release. Check it out here:

[Full Review]

Tombs – All Empires Fall


This EP is Tombs featuring a new lineup. It takes some of the goth influence in 2011’s Path of Totality and expands on it, featuring vocals and noise from Fade Kainer (Batillus, Hull, Missing) that brings all new depth as compared to Tombs’ previous catalogue. It may be 5 songs, but these 5 songs are flawless and prophesy of new untold gloom that Tombs will bring upon us in the future.

[Full Review]

Zhrine – Unortheta


Zhrine are becoming known for magnificently melodic and layered black metal. When I refer to this record as “melodic” I don’t want to give the impression that this record is “pretty”; except possibly in the same way that a murderer would find beauty in blood glistening at the end of his/her knife. I never listened to Zhrine until this release came out, and Unortheta completely blew me away.

Honorable Mentions:

Arête – Demo EP

Bardus – Stella Porta

Black Fucking Cancer – Black Fucking Cancer

This would be more than an honorable mention, but I can’t find this album anywhere. Even though it was supposedly released already.

Blut Aus Nord/Ævangelist – Codex Obscura Nomina

Geryon – The Wound and the Bow

[Full Review]

Sumac – What One Becomes

[Full Review]

Sylvaine – Wistful

[Full Review]

Withered – Grief Relic

[Full Review]

– Josh Thieler

3 thoughts on “Best of 2016, Q2: Josh Thieler’s List

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