20 Best Metal Albums of 2016

Vintage thrashers, modern mathletes and more: The year in heavy

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Abbath, 'Abbath'

13. Abbath, 'Abbath'

After splitting with black metal pro-wrestler lookalikes Immortal and losing the rights to the band name, badger-painted son of northern darkness Abbath followed in Ozzy and Diamond Dave's footsteps by making a solo album that proves frontmen aren't just there to look pretty. The singer's self-titled debut offers a cooked-down combination of Immortal's patented buzzsaw sound and that of Abbath's icy thrash side-project I, replacing Norwegian hellfire with straightforward razor-edged heaviness that draws in new fans while pleasing those klassic kvltists who still love old-school riffs. Though the album provides uncompromising listeners with plenty of blastbeats on cuts like "Fenrir Hunts" and "Eternal," it's dynamic tracks like "Winter Bane" and "Ocean of Wounds" that could make Abbath a player in less extreme circles. C.K.

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