20 Best Metal Albums of 2016

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

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Virus, 'Memento Collider'
20
18/20

18. Virus, 'Memento Collider'

There are moments on Memento Collider, the fourth full-length from Norwegian avant-garde weirdos Virus, where it sounds as if each of the band's three members are bearing down on three different songs. It's to the trio's credit that the music never spirals out of control, instead weaving a tightly coiled web of frenetic, jazzy drumming, darting bass lines and clanging guitar dissonance into a spiraling, propulsive whole. The musical touchstones here are varied – Voivod's apocalyptic oppressiveness, Talking Heads' stabbing angularity, Neu!'s motorik drum thrust – and it's all topped by leader Carl-Michael Eide's impressionistic, half-spoken lyrics, which occasionally come off like the rantings of a slightly unhinged poetry-slammer. R.B.

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