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25 Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2016

Metallica, Deftones, Gojira and more of the heaviest sounds to come

metal preview 2016

Illustration by Ryan Casey

Will Metallica and Tool finally drop new albums in 2016? That's the big question for metalheads looking ahead to yet another year of mosh pits and whiplash. But even if those high-volume riff dealers once again don't deliver, there is still plenty of heavy music to get excited about. Here are the 25 records we most want to hear come stomping out of rock's darkest corner.

Nails; Metal Albums 2016

Nails

Over the last few years and a sprawl of full-lengths, EPs, splits and singles, hardcore outfit Nails have established themselves to many as the prevailing sonic definition of pissed the fuck off. There's no question that the band has done everything it can to live up to that billing with its latest LP, You Will Never Be One Of Us, which was recorded with Converge guitarist and noted heavy-music producer Kurt Ballou at his Godcity Studio, and will be the group's first for label Nuclear Blast. "You Will Never Be One Of Us is for us, for our fans, and for anybody else who feels disgusted and fed-up with social-climbing impostors, trying to leech off of anything they've ever dedicated themselves to," main man Todd Jones said in a statement. "I can say with 110 percent certainty: We will not let you down." 

Ace Frehle; metal albums; 2016

Ace Frehley

Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley knows his way around a good cover song (see his version of Russ Ballard's "New York Groove"). Fittingly, his upcoming solo effort will be an all-covers affair, with the Spaceman reportedly tackling tunes from influences like the Beatles, the Stones and the Who, as well as Kiss cuts originally penned – but not sung – by Frehley, like "Cold Gin" and "Parasite." Expect a slew of guest musicians as well, with Slash already confirmed on a yet-to-be-named Thin Lizzy song. Also allegedly on Ace's list of hopefuls? Kiss bassist and Frehley frenemy Gene Simmons.

Red Fang; Metal albums; 2016

Red Fang "Whales and Leeches" press photos 2013

James Rexroad

Red Fang

The Portland stoner rockers are gearing up to record their fourth album – their first since 2013's acclaimed Whales and Leeches, which made it to Number 66 on the Billboard 200 – and it doesn't sound like writer's block is going to pose a problem. "Sometimes I get overwhelmed because I open up our recordings in the computer I'll be weeding through at least 100 songs ideas," singer-guitarist Bryan Giles told an interviewer in October. "We're at a point now where we probably have enough raw material for three new albums, so it's just a matter of picking the ones we like and really focusing in on them." The band will enter the studio in February with a somewhat surprising producer, Ross Robinson, best known for his work with many of nu-metal biggest acts, but Red Fang are looking forward to the experience. "The opportunity to work with Ross Robinson is so crazy," enthuses drummer John Sherman. "I've got goose bumps just talking about it!"

Crowbar; Metal Albums; 2016

Zach Smith

Crowbar

In fall 2013 Crowbar riff lord Kirk Windstein bid farewell to Phil Anselmo-fronted Nola sludge-metal supergroup Down to focus on his long-running main band. The result, Symmetry in Black, was the best Crowbar albums in over a decade and one of the finest metal records of 2014. The group has been hard at work writing a follow-up, which will assuredly be anguished and heavyweight. "Our achievement this year is making the best Crowbar album ever for our fans!" the band posted on their Facebook on New Year's Day. "GET READY!!!"

tombs

Tombs

Every album by Brooklyn psychedelic sludge act Tombs has been progressively more breathtaking, right up to 2014's Savage Gold, a record so damn dark and satisfying that it spawned its own namesake brand of coffee. The band spent the summer of 2015 at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, New York, recording their new EP with black-metal musician/producer extraordinaire Sanford Parker, known for his work in Twilight and Nachtmystium. Parker's involvement, and the recording videos on drummer Charlie Schmid’s Instagram page (@wolvesinthephoneroom, if you like insider metal puns), suggest the new material – an EP titled All Empires Fall, due for release this spring – will be a disharmonious ride worthy of its predecessor.

Magrudergrind

Josh Sisk

Magrudergrind

Recently signed to Relapse, D.C.-spawned, Brooklyn-based grindcore trio Magrudergrind are preparing to unleash II, their first full-length studio effort since 2009, on February 12th. Produced by Converge's Kurt Ballou, II's savage standouts include "Relentless Hatred," "War For Resources" and "Incarceration State," though every one of the album's 15 spleen-venting tracks seem designed for maximum aural punishment.

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