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The Best Metal Albums Of 2016
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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The Best Metal Albums of 2016

Wow! What a suck-fest 2016 was, huh? Lemmy goes and dies in the waning moments of 2015 and it’s all gone to hell since then. Bowie, Brexit, Prince, Trump, Mohammad Ali, ISIS, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Frye, Harambe, Keith Emerson AND Greg Lake, Standing Rock… the list of death, destruction, and atrocities goes on. Hell, The Cubs even won the World Series, so you know the end must be near! Thankfully though, we metalheads had a treasure-trove of great new music in which to drown our sorrows. There were so many great albums released that it was more difficult than ever for me to work up my year-end best-of list! Who would’ve though that Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Darkthrone would all drop their greatest albums in decades? Perhaps another seal of the apocalypse breaking? I’ll let you decide that one for yourself. And as for the younger bands, there seem to be great ones crawling out of the woodwork everywhere.

So, without further ado, I present to you my favorite metal albums of 2016 from across all of the myriad subgenres. Keep in mind please, that this is exactly that… my favorite albums of the year. Yours are undoubtedly different. You probably even strongly disagree with some or all of my selections. Which is perfectly fine. Go write your own damn column!

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Album Review: Killswitch Engage “Incarnate”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Killswitch Engage Incarnate

Killswitch Engage
Incarnate
CD | MP3
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release date: March 11, 2016

Killswith Engage‘s last album, Disarm The Descent, was a ripping return to form for a band that many had written off as being past their prime. The return of original vocalist Jesse Leach after a nine-year absence was just the injection of new lifeblood that the Massachusetts metalcore pioneers had been in desperate need of. Disarm The Descent was an absolute master class in modern metal that kicked the listener’s ass up one side and down the other. I gave the album a perfect 10 out of 10 and would ultimately go on to name it my favorite album of the year for 2013. The lead single “In Due Time” earned Killswitch a Grammy nomination for “Best Hard Rock or Metal Performance.”

Now, after three years KSE is back with their seventh studio album Incarnate. The question on everyone’s mind is, “How do you follow up a nearly perfect record?” The answer… by somehow ramping up the quality of songwriting and a heavier than ever delivery!

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Watch Now: Killswitch Engage “Hate By Design”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Killswitch Engage Band Photo

Incarnate is the name of the upcoming album from Massachusetts metalcore mavens Killswitch Engage. It will be available March 11, 2016 via Roadrunner Records. The record will be the band’s seventh full-length album and the second since the return of original singer Jesse Leach in 2013. Leach’s first album after rejoining, 2013’s excellent Disarm The Descent garnered the band the highest praise of their career and it’s lead single “In Due Time” was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Metal Performance” category.

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Watch Now: Killswitch Engage “Strength of Mind”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Killswitch Engage Band Photo

Killswitch Engage never disappoint. The Massachusetts metalcore pioneers are set to release their seventh album next Spring and they have gifted us with a sneak peek in the form of the album’s first single, the ripping “Strength of Mind.” Fans of the band may recognize the song, as they have been playing it on recent tour dates, but now we are getting to hear the final album version. The official video for the song has just been released and it is sure to please any hardcore KsE fan.

Check out the official video for “Strength of Mind” here below.

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‘Catch The Throne’: Anthrax Teases ‘Game Of Thrones’ Mixtape Song (Video)
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Anthrax Game Of Thrones Catch The Throne mixtape interview

At the end of last year, we learned that metal titans Anthrax would be contributing a song to Catch the Throne: The Mixtape Vol. II, the official Game Of Thrones album featuring music inspired by the events of Season 4 of the popular HBO series. The New York thrash band had been in the studio working on their follow-up to 2011’s Worship Music, their first album with lead singer Joey Belladonna since 1990’s Persistence Of Time, when they posted studio photos to their social media accounts that were captioned #‎CatchTheThrone‬. The hashtag was an obvious Game Of Thrones reference, as that was the title of the first mixtape compilation featuring songs inspired by Seasons 1-3.

Now, Anthrax and HBO have released a quick teaser video that contains interviews with several members of the band talking about the television series, intercut with footage of them in the studio, so we get to hear a snippet of the song, which is about the Lannister family.

Check out the teaser video here below, which features guitarist Scott Ian — who just appeared as the Steel Pole Walker on last Sunday’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead — bassist Frank Bello, and drummer Charlie Benante.

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Killswitch Engage’s Adam D. Wins Big On ‘The Price is Right’
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Killswitch Engage Adam D. Wins On The Price is Right

Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz won big this week on the TV game show The Price Is Right.

Dutkiewicz was selected to “come on down” as a contestant on an episode of the show that aired on CBS on February 10, 2015, where he just squeezed into the last price bid to make it into the pricing gameplay. Clad all in black in long shorts, hoodie, and baseball cap, the bespectacled metal guitarist enthusiastically made his way up onto the stage, jumping up and down next to host Drew Carrey, apologizing for possibly breaking his mic. The musician went on to guess the right price from the game wall to win a yellow Honda. He later spun the big wheel getting just the right amount to made it into the big Showcase Showdown, where he won a new black Nissan Frontier truck, a trip to Borrego Springs, CA, and a Little Guy Mypod Trailer, walking away in the end with more than $50,000 in prizes.

Check out the photos and videos here below that were posted out to social media by the band and the show, as well as other viewers who snapped moments and footage from the episode.

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Massive Metal Monday: Killswitch Engage “Fixation On The Darkness”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Killswitch Engage Band Photo

Every 5 to 10 years there is a band whose arrival signals a sea change in the heavy metal landscape, be it Black Sabbath’s invention of the form, Iron Maiden’s punk/speed metal hybrid, Metallica’s time signature shifting thrash, or Pantera’s grungy southern sludge groove. Killswitch Engage is one of those bands. While their lowbrow nu metal contemporaries were unsuccessfully attempting to bastardize rap and doing it all for the nookie, Killswitch melded the aesthetics of hardcore to melodic, radio-friendly metal hooks to popularize a genre that would come to be known as metalcore.

There would be a million bands that would attempt to emulate Killswitch’s unique brand of beauty and ferocity. Most of them would only succeed in sounding like pale imitations. To this day the band stand as one of the most vital in the genre and their live shows continue to amaze.

From the band’s second album, Alive Or Just Breathing, the Massive Metal Monday track for this week is “Fixation On The Darkness.” Interestingly, the album features the vocals of original singer Jesse Leach who would leave the band before the video for the song was shot. This video features his replacement, Howard Jones, and was shot live to introduce the world to the new singer and his skills.

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Reflections On A Father/Son Weekend At Knotfest (Continued: Day 2 and Wrap-Up)
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Jesse Bergen And Slipknot Megafans

When we left off with Part 1 of my Knotfest coverage, my 11 year-old son Jesse and I were crashed at the local Days Inn, worn out by a jam-packed day of killer heavy metal featuring stellar performances by Carcass, Hatebreed, Anthrax, Danzig, and live debut of the new lineup from Slipknot themselves.

Day two commenced around 11:00AM with a quick swing through the Taco Bell next door for some much-needed (and way cheaper than venue prices) grub to fuel the first part of the day. Then we were off to the ten minute drive to the parking lot and a reprise of the 20 minute climb to the actual venue itself. Conspicuously absent were the “salvation by any means necessary” religious protestors from day one. It was Sunday, after all. Or maybe they just heard all of the killer metal wafting out on day one and saw the light, threw down their signs and came to the dark side. I’m choosing to believe the latter.

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Killswitch Engage Bring The Heavy For Intimate Club Set At This Is Hardcore Festival
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Killswitch Engage Band Photo

What happens when you stick one of the world’s biggest mainstream metal bands in a small club, down a guitar player (to a family emergency) and have them play for a bunch of aggro hardcore fans? Well, if it’s Killswitch Engage, they bring out the very heaviest of their material, invite the crowd to get go as crazy with the moshing and stage diving as they want to and proceed to win the whole place over with a set full of passion and brutality.

Watch Kilswitch Engage’s full This Is Hardcore set from Philadelphia’s legendary Electric Factory here below.

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Slipknot Announces Dates and Lineup For U.S. Version Of Knotfest
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Slipknot

Maggots rejoice: Slipknot has just announced that they will be bringing their massive Knotfest back to America. The 3-day event will take place at San Manuel Amphitheater (formerly known as Glen Helen Pavilion) in San Bernadino, CA this year on October 24, 25 and 26.

In addition to Slipknot headlining both Saturday and Sunday nights, the festival will feature over 60 bands including a “who’s who” of metal. Some of the acts scheduled to appear include: Danzig, Anthrax, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, Killswitch Engage, Testament, Black Label Society, and many more. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 11, 2014 with pre-sale being offered from 8-10am on Monday, July 7, 2014.

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