The 25 Most Anticipated Albums of 2016

Major heavyweights return to the scene in 2016, and a number of sophomore releases rightly have listeners' hopes high. We're already a month into the new year and have seen strong new albums from Showbread, Megadeth and Lecrae, but the best is yet to come.

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Photo by Jonathan Kemp

25. Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything

Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes

Due: March 4

The sexually frustrated teenagers from the ’80s are back with their first album in 15 years. The unmistakable voice from Gordon Gano is as enjoyable as ever on the latest single, but what really shines is how much the band has matured over time. We can hope for another punk-flavored country gospel album in less than two months.

 


 

24. Anchor & Braille – Songs for the Late Night Drive Home

Stephen Christian

Anchor

Due: Feb. 16

Those that miss hearing new material from Anberlin’s Stephen Christian can rejoice at the release of his third solo album under the name Anchor & Braille. The first song is already available as a lyric video. Fair warning: the song WILL get stuck in your head.

 


 

23. House of HeroesColors

House of Heroes

Due: Unknown

Expect new music from one of Ohio’s most underrated rock bands early in the year. According to their Facebook page, the new album is written and currently being mastered.

 


 

22. KoRn – Untitled

Photo by Julie Worsham

Due: Fall

Album number two since the return of guitarist Brian “Head” Welch won’t drop until the third-quarter of the year, but the band promises a heavier, more guitar-focused sound. Sounds good to us.

 


 

21. Hope for the Dying Legacy

Hope for the Dying

Hope for the Dying - Legacy

Due: March 4

The band that describes itself as the “progressive death metal soundtrack to Braveheart” is set to release their fourth album through Facedown Records this Spring. Hope for the Dying has always shown influence from European bands such as Opeth and Children of Bodom, but judging by the teaser for Legacy, 2016 might have them adding some folk into their progressive realm. If that’s the case, we’re eager to hear how their American-style vocals will fit with the rest of the vibe.

 


 

20. Skillet – Untitled

Photo by Brooke Long Photography

Due: Summer

Skillet frontman John Cooper stated in an interview with The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the band has written 53 potential tracks for their upcoming 2016 release. At least of dozen of those have to be good, right? Here’s hoping they pick the right 12.

 


 

19. He is Legend – Untitled

Dec. 10, 2015 from Facebook

Due: Unknown

Heavy Fruit marked the end of He is Legend’s contract with Tragic Hero Records. After plenty of thought and consideration, the band decided to do what so many bands are doing today: release an album independently with crowdfunding. They reached their goal with time to spare, which means we can expect a new album in the near future.

 


 

18. War of Ages – Untitled

war-of-ages

Due: Unknown

It’s been ten years since War of Ages joined the Facedown Records family (11 if you count their Strike First debut). They’ve gone from being a new face during the heyday of metalcore in 2005 to one of the longest lasting names in the metal genre. What’s more impressive is that, after six albums, the band continues to mature rather than deteriorate. We have no doubt that album number seven will be yet another triumph in their career.

 


 

17. Crimson Moonlight – Divine Darkness

Crimson Moonlight

Crimson Moonlight

Due: Feb. 26

Sweden’s finest black metal band announced their first album in eight years back in November 2014, along with a brutal first single and sick album artwork. If that single give us a glimpse of the rest of the album, we can expect the band’s best album since The Covenant Progress this February.

 


 

16. Slechtvalk – Where Wandering Shadows and Mists Collide

Slechtvalk

Due: Unknown

With new albums from both Slechtvalk and Crimson Moonlight, 2016 might be the year that symphonic unblack metal gets put back on top of the secular metal realm. No album artwork is available yet, but given the band’s previous album covers, expect something epic.

 


 

15. Killswitch EngageIncarnate

Killswitch Engage 2016

Kilswitch Engage - Incarnate

Due: March 11

Get ready for round two of Jesse Leach’s return to Killswitch Engage. If 2013’s Disarm the Descent was the original vocalist’s comeback album, we can only expect Incarnate to showcase stronger chemistry from the band. Their latest single, the second one released so far, is called “Hate By Design.” Leach told Blabbermouth writing for this record led him…

“…to a point where this album literally drove me crazy. My wife can attest to that. There were a good couple of weeks where I wasn’t myself. I just got lost in the process, because I wanted this record to be everything it could be.”

So far, it sounds like it all has been worth it.

 


 

14. Starflyer 59 – Untitled

Starflyer

Due: Unknown

A new Starflyer album was first brought to our attention when NPR name dropped the band during a review of the critically acclaimed new album from Deafheaven. Starflyer’s brainchild, Jason Martin, took that opportunity to announce the band’s 14th LP. The details following the announcement are few and far between, but we certainly hope to hear more new music from them in 2016.

 


 

13. Fit for a King – Untitled

Fit for a King

Due: Unknown

If you’re a few years behind in metalcore, this is the band you need to watch. Their previous album, Slave to Nothingpeaked at an impressive No. 49 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Last week, the band gave us a preview of the album from their Facebook page, highlighting a track where frontman Ryan Kirby drops some cleans instead of his usual growl.

We told Ryan Joseph to sing on a track. So he did. Show your friends.Last sneak peak of the album.

Posted by Fit For A King on Friday, January 29, 2016

 

Given the band’s tour schedule over on the last two years (including a slot on the Warped Tour), whatever they give us in 2016 will be even bigger.

 


 

12. Tourniquet/Ted Kirkpatrick – Black Sabbath tribute album

Ted Kirkpatrick

Tourniquet

It will be a busy year for Tourniquet mastermind Ted Kirkpatrick. After parting ways with vocalist Luke Easter, the band will welcome their first new singer in 22 years. Those concerned with the change of an irreplaceable frontman ought to remember that Tourniquet was in the same position when Guy Ritter stepped down in 1993. We have full confidence that whatever comes next in Tourniquet’s career will be of the highest caliber.

While waiting for the new album, listeners can catch Kirkpatrick’s latest project: a Black Sabbath tribute album featuring an insane range of musicians from Living Colour vocalist Corey Glover to Thousand Foot Krutch’s Trevor McNevan, not to mention members of Fozzy, Nile, Skid Row and King’s X.

 


 

11. Memphis May Fire – Untitled

Photo by Julie Worsham

Due: Late Summer / Early Fall

Memphis May Fire is kicking off the year with another a tour supporting Killswitch Engage and 36 Crazyfists. According to their label, Rise Records, we can expect  a new album later in the year.

 


 

10. Norma Jean – Untitled

Photo by Derek Key

Due: Unknown

The Almighty Norma Jean started recording their seventh album on Jan. 7. Given how good their last record, Wrongdoers, was, we have high hopes for what’s to come. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook or keep up with the hashtag #‎recordnumber7‬ for more info as it comes.

 


 

9. Maylene & the Sons of Disaster – V

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster

Due: Unknown

The boys that built their sound as a mix of Killswitch Engage and sweet tea are back for round five. The album title isn’t officially released yet, but we have a hunch it’ll be called V. We’ll have to wait until later this year to find out if the band continues down the road of radio rock from IV or returns to the Southern metal hybrid of their self-titled release.

 


 

8. Lacey SturmLife Screams

lacey-sturm

Lacey Strum life

Due: Feb. 12

We have nothing at all against Flyleaf’s new vocalist, Kristen May. She’s a great fit for the new direction of Flyleaf. Nonetheless, we’re anxious to hear what ex-vocalist Lacey Sturm has to offer in her return to hard rock.

 


 

7. The Devil Wears Prada – Untitled

Photo by David Stagg

Due: Winter 2016

Rise Records broke the news of a new The Devil Wears Prada album this last December. All other details are obscured, but the thought of new music from Prada is good enough to keep us eager.

 


 

6. My Epic – Untitled

My Epic

Due: Spring

If you want a a worship album that uses more than four chords, My Epic has got you covered. Their newest release is is currently in the studio and set for a spring release.  They are one of the few bands that has yet to disappoint fans with an album. We already know the newest will be a welcome edition to the band’s catalog.

 


 

5. Oh, SleeperBloodied/Unbowed

Photo by Funto Olukoju

Due: Summer

“Songs now contain 30% more moshing. Album contains 100% chance of double bass.”

The band needn’t say anything else about Bloodied/Unbowed. Catch them on tour in February to get the first taste of new music.

 


 

4. Beartooth – Untitled

Beartooth

Due: Unknown

Caleb Shomo’s new effort, started in 2014, has only grown stronger in the year following their debut album. They’re no longer recognized as “the band with the guy from Attack! Attack!” — they’re out and out Beartooth, and they’re one of the most important bands in the scene today. Their career will only go up with the release of their sophomore album later in the year.

 


 

3. Zao – Untitled

Zao

Zao

Due: Summer

If last year’s two new tracks are anything like the rest of Zao’s upcoming album, then we’re in for one of their best releases. This is a band that has only gotten stronger with age, and, after claiming the new album will is filled with “dark sadness and confusion wrapped in anger, frustration and brutality,” what more could you ask for?

 


 

2. Silent Planet – Untitled

Photo by Jonathan Kemp

Photo by Jonathan Kemp

Due: Unknown

This is the band you pull up on Spotify when someone complains about the lack of lyrical depth in metal. In the past, they’ve written narratives from the perspectives of sex trafficking victims, Native Americans during the 1830s and the loss faced by the Soviet Union during WWII. Producing a sophomore album that comes close to the lyrical and musical depth of their debut would be a challenge most bands can’t accomplish. Luckily for us, Silent Planet isn’t most bands.

 


 

1. Thrice – Untitled

Thrice

Due: Unknown

It’s hard to believe it’s only been three years since Thrice called a hiatus. The break many believed could be the end of Thrice was called off on Nov. 26 with the news of a new album in 2016 with all original members. Most of the members have spent their hiatus working on different projects — Riley Breckenridge joined Angels & Airwaves, Eddie Breckendridge formed baseball-themed grindcore band Puig Destroyer and Dustin Kensrue continued his solo career writing worship music. Now they’re all back and set to give us the most anticipated release of 2016.

The 25 Most Anticipated Albums of 2016 was posted on February 1, 2016 for HM Magazine and authored by .