Bryan’s Best of 2016

2016 has been a pretty horrible year: terrorism, deaths of way too many musical heroes, the recent loss of Prog magazine and the total screwing of all Team Rock employees, personal inability to find a job… Yeah, this year has sucked.

Thankfully, despite these trials, progressive rock has continued to be the most creative and innovative genre in the music business. I always enjoy writing a “best of” list, mainly because it gives me a chance to look over the best music of the year. We prog fans really are spoiled.

Like last year, my 2016 list will be pretty big, and the order is completely arbitrary. I have a numbered top 4, but my top 3 picks for this year are essentially tied for first place. Without further ado, my favorite albums of 2016:

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Chevelle Release Another Winner: The North Corridor

Chevelle, The North Corridor2016 (Epic Records)

Door to Door Cannibals (4:36), Enemies (3:29), Joyride (Omen) (3:37), Rivers (3:59), Last Days (4:12), Young Wicked (3:06), Warhol’s Showbiz (4:30), Punchline (5:11), Got Burned (3:39), Shot From a Cannon (8:12), A Miracle (CD only bonus track) (5:32)

chevellethenorthI’ve been a fan of Chevelle since I was in 7th grade (2007 or so), and while they aren’t prog, neither are they your typical mainstream rock or metal band. They are often compared to Tool, who are often lumped under the wide prog banner, but I can’t really comment on that since I am unfamiliar with Tool. All I know is, Chevelle has been consistently making very interesting and compelling rock music since 1999.

I absolutely loved their last album, 2014’s La Gárgola. It had such an awesome horror and heavy feel to it. In my review of that album, I said that it was the band’s best album since 2002’s Wonder What’s Next. Well, The North Corridor is a more than worthy successor to La Gárgola. It is heavy, but not in the same way as the last album. The guitar and vocals are distinctly heavier, while the last album had a thematic heaviness. There is a clear distinction between the two styles, yet the music is still familiar.

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