Nick Palmisano Top Albums of 2016

It is the season to give thanks, so I want to acknowledge all the gifted folks who dare to share their talents with us. Although this past year was a phenomenal time period of musical output, only those albums I had the privilege to hear can instruct my faithful review. A list should not interfere with one’s own personal choice, so understand that these particular ends justified my particular means. I never wish to sound profane in editing a surplus of art or subjugate any particular musician belonging to any fine band, but I feel these chosen albums represent the most current wealth in my available treasure.


These elected records offer a multitude of sound, including filthy clamor, ion beam sonic glow, the doom stench of carrion, audible utterances of man-things, atmospheric psychedelia in orchestration, distortion of the senses, variations of stoner rock, music for castle folk and veterans striding along their skull topped classic library, yet still offering newborn mysteries. The choices were hard, but these are my top 20 albums for this year, in no definite order.


Witchcraft – Nucleus. This album is a daring flight towards new and darker horizons showcasing sounds of suffering, mental breakdown, black malady, seductive witches, neurotic poetry and the possible questions of being reborn with the knowledge that you may be sane in a world full of crazies.


Elephant Tree- Elephant Tree. This record is a verdant forest trance of enchantment in fuzz.


Haast’s Eagled – II:For Mankind . This release contains a heavy bipolar song architecture that is perfect for the rage and ache as you contemplate the words for the inscription on your tombstone.


40 Watt Sun – Wider Than The Sky . The album’s melodious shades streak to evoke emotion so often trapped within our commonplace intellectualism, constituted by a band as unique as a lonely road in an odd season.


Subrosa – For This We Fight The Battle Of Ages . You will need to set aside some “mind time” for this huge, dark and vibrant compositional endeavour…a true intellectual beauty.


Sumac – What One Becomes . This heavy album is sheer permafrost; a musical score of primal resources attracting morose interests.


Cough – Still They Pray . This album is unpleasant and difficult, with no real comparisons; it is like an arrest warrant for your soul with bail to be set by a superior court judge presiding in hell.


Sahg – Momento Mori . A display of metallic-progressive music, constructed in great songwriting with a hint of past hero influence as a tribute, resulting in the reason why people own every Sahg album.


Anciients – Voice of the Void . These skilled songwriters have invented their own distorted formula of potent craftsmanship in metal hooks.


Khemmis – Hunted . A pure slab of majestic doom…sharpen your blade, polish your shield, fasten your helmet and prepare to decorate them all in the blood of the enemy.



Neurosis – Fires Within Fires. Neurosis are the Chessmen in a world of checkers; they never disappoint, buy the album.


Conan – Revengeance. Heavy riffs of density; by Crom, they’ve done it again!


Slomatics – Future Echo Returns. These guys are the purveyors of factory immense sludge.


Wo Fat – Midnight Cometh. This outing is a prodigious stoner rock album that furrows along with riffage and jams.


Domkraft -The End Of Electricity. This is a record of space doom hypnosis projected with heavy psych all within a room full of haze; get lost in the rift.


Opeth – Sorceress . This album drips with the hot wax stamp of progressive excellence, a proof of sonic hard rock experience, the promise of musicianship, and the orchestration of yet another magnum opus.


Nails -You Will Never Be One Of Us . This short stint sounds like a distorted, jackhammer wielding primate busting out of the zoo; its time to confess to the electric metal ape.


Whores – Gold . This record is slanted with rebellion and sounds like it was recorded in Fort Knox; the embodiment of blistering punk attitude, covered in a solid gold knuckle sandwich.


Graves At Sea – The Curse That Is . This album brought back memories of the first time I spun what is now considered old death metal, with all the clamoring instruments offering their collisions of distortion, feedback and chaotic time punctuation as well as groveling soiled vocals and accompanying morose lyrics, culminating in the overall grittiness of a desolate masterpiece of sonic achievement.


Clutch – Psychic Warfare . This is a band whom exhibit generations of hard rock excellence and rare lyrical genius put to continuously spinning wax; A classic act of purity and a definite library mainstay.

Words Nick Palmisano

Source: Outlaws of the Sun