Our Picks For The Best Albums Of 2016

A few humble writers’ opinions on the best sounds and compositions of the year. 

BEST HARDCORE ALBUM OF 2016

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Laugh Tracks by Knocked Loose
Knocked Loose is one of the fastest growing bands in the scene this year, and this album really solidified their place in the hardcore genre. Each and every song on the record is so full and dynamic and this album shows how much KL has improved as a band. The production quality is extremely notable as well, which a lot of people don’t really take into account. – Sophia Zucker

Laugh Tracks brings an element to hardcore that the genre has been missing severely over the past decade: FUN. Full of memorable and downright iconic moments, Laugh Tracks is the essential hardcore record of 2016. – Mike McNamara 

From now on, if anyone ever asks you what hardcore is, point them to this record. As a genre, hardcore has a few different variations, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find something more unruly and deadly than Knocked Loose. Laugh Tracks is not only devastating, but it’s intelligently crafted. – Taylor Markarian

Turncoat
Turncoat’s self-titled release is relevant now more than ever. It’s a call to do the right thing and stand up for yourself and your community. Not only is the message important given our current political climate, but the album is also a musical powerhouse. – David Marulanda 

BEST METALCORE ALBUM OF 2016

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All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us by Architects 
After the passing of guitarist Tom Searle, it became clear that All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us was a much more meanful record than originally implied. AOGHAU is the farewell that Tom deserved and one of the best metalcore records of all time. – Mike McNamara 

Headspace by Issues
While Headspace proved to be pretty fluid in terms of genre, Issues put out a record that can be experimental while also sticking to their metalcore roots. No matter what song off the record you listen to, you’ll find yourself bopping your head to the beat. Tyler Carter delivers such emotional vocals and that paired with Michael Bohn made such a perfect match for this album especially. – Sophia Zucker

Polar Similar by Norma Jean
The almighty Norma Jean’s Polar Similar is a rabid attack on your senses. “1,000,000 Watts” and “Synthetic Suns” are reasons alone for Norma Jean to be held in high regard, but the rest of the album is equally deserving. – David Marulanda 

Transit Blues by The Devil Wears Prada – Taylor Markarian
I will never not put The Devil Wears Prada on a “best of” list when they come out with something new. This band has grown tremendously since their inception and they are one of the most sophisticated metal/metalcore bands currently out there. Transit Blues is yet another touching installment to their saga. – Taylor Markarian

BEST PUNK ALBUM OF 2016

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Shape Shift With Me by Against Me!
Against Me! Is one of the most iconic modern punk bands and their latest album, Shape Shift With Me, is definitely one of their most well-rounded releases yet. Laura Jane Grace hits hard in terms of songwriting and lyrically I think it’s some of her best work. Each song is so raw and organic that it gives you faith in the modern punk scene. – Sophia Zucker

Aren’t You Glad? by The White Noise
The White Noise have a lovable record that really makes you want to punch all the things holding you back right in their stupid faces. Aren’t You Glad? is melodic, catchy, and did I mention you might want to get up and punch something? – David Marulanda 

Parachutes by Frank Iero and the Patience – Taylor Markarian
Not enough attention or credit is given to Frank Iero’s music post-MCR. Parachutes, along with his previous record Stomachaches (which made our “Best Of 2015” list), brings basement noise punk back into our hearts. Each song stands out amongst the others and shows the genuine brilliance of Frank Iero as a songwriter. – Taylor Markarian 

Weezer (White Album) 
Weezer returns to form on The White Album and as a lifelong, diehard fan of the nerd-punk quartet, this is the record I’ve been waiting my whole life for. Shoutout to Weezer for crafting THE perfect summer record. – Mike McNamara 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

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The Brighter View by To The Wind
This is one of those records that manages to seemingly incorporate it all. It’s got hardcore, post-hardcore, emo and straight up rock. Not only is it exceedingly well-written, but it is as catchy and inspiring as it is humble. The Brighter View is an album you should not overlook by a long shot. – Taylor Markarian

Nexus by Dayshell
When I listened to Nexus all the way through for the first time, I knew immediately that it was going to be one of my all-time favorite records. Dayshell is a band like no other, and even though Nexus is only their second release, they have grown immensely from their first album musically. I can’t say enough amazing things about Nexus, and if you haven’t heard of that or anything that Dayshell has put out, I encourage you to give them a listen.– Sophia Zucker

Laugh Tracks by Knocked Loose
Without regard to genre or anything else but the pure pleasure of listening to an album and enjoying it 100% in its entirety, Knocked Loose have achieved greatness with Laugh Tracks. Every single track is amazing. – David Marulanda 

One word… BARK! – Mike McNamara 

BEST TOUR OF 2016

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STYG, Stray, Expire, Knocked Loose 
My neck still hurts thinking about this tour. – Mike McNamara 

Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice & Men North American Tour
I had to give the best tour to Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, and Of Mice & Men. I got to see their Holmdel, New Jersey show and I was completely blown away by every band’s performance. I was especially excited to see Marilyn Manson and while he wasn’t as energetic as he used to be when he was younger, he still put on one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Slipknot’s setup was astounding as well, and Corey Taylor hit it out of the park vocal-wise. – Sophia Zucker

All Hell Tour
Vanna is always astounding live, and the All Hell Tour was no exception. The tour featured two of my candidates for album of the year (Vanna, To The Wind) With the lineup of Vanna, To The Wind, Capsize, and Ghost Key how can you exceed that level of electricity? – David Marulanda 

The Aggressive Tour (Beartooth, Every Time I Die, Fit For A King, Old Wounds)
This was a tour that absolutely stood by it’s name. Each band really had a reason to be there, as they repped their newest records with immense passion and soul. – Taylor Markarian

Don’t Call It A Sum-Back Tour 
The stellar and inspiring resurgence of Sum 41 after frontman Deryck Whibley’s long, difficult battle for his life cannot be overlooked. This was a truly grand and emotional performance from some punk professionals. With support from Senses Fail, this tour showed that punk rock and heavy bands from over ten years ago still actively shape the scene today. – Taylor Markarian 

 

Honorable Mentions:
Dance Gavin Dance
Every Time I Die
Killswitch Engage
Fit For A King
Vanna
Jimmy Eat World
Capsize
Hesitation Wounds
Landscapes
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