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    Posted: 01 Feb 2017 at 5:10am
Metal Music Archives Collaborator's Top Albums of 2016

#50 - #26

#49 (39 points)

#49 (39 points)

#47 (40 points)

#47 (40 points)

#46 (41 points)


Suicidal Tendencies – World Gone Mad

(Crossover Thrash)


Defiled – Towards Inevitable Ruin

(Death Metal)


Helstar - Vampiro

(US Power Metal)


Dark Forest – Beyond the Veil

(Heavy Metal)


Noveria - Forsaken

(Progressive Metal)

#43 (42 points)

#43 (42 points)

#43 (42 points)

#42 (43 points)

#39 (44points)


Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience

(Technical Death Metal)


Uada – Devoid of Light

(Melodic Black Metal)


Gojira - Magma

(Progressive Metal)


Amon Amarth - Jomsviking

(Melodic Death Metal)


Metal Church - XI

(Heavy Metal)

#39 (44 points)

#39 (44 points)

#37 (46 points)

#37 (46 points)

#35 (47 points)


Serenity - Codex Atlanticus

(Power Metal)


Fleshgod Apocalypse - King

(Death Metal)


Virus – Memento Collider

(Avant-Garde Metal)


Despised Icon - Beast

(Deathcore)


Sabaton – The Last Stand

(Power Metal)

#35 (47 points)

#33 (49 points)

#33 (49 points)

#31 (50 points)

#31 (50 points)


Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts

(Alternative Metal)


Mortillery - Shapeshifter

(Thrash Metal)


Headspace – All That You Fear is Gone

(Progressive Metal)


Sojourner – Empires of Ash

(Atmospheric Black Metal)


Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas - Mariner

(Atmospheric Sludge Metal)

#30 (51 points)

#29 (52 points)

#28 (53 points)

#27 (54 points)

#26 (56 points)


Theocracy – Ghost Ship

(Power Metal)


Giraffe Tongue Orchestra - Broken Lines

(Alternative Metal)


Evergrey – The Storm Within

(Progressive Metal)


Fallujah - Dreamless

(Technical Death Metal)


Vredehammer - Violator

(Death Metal)


#25 (57 points)

Winterhorde - Maestro
Melodic Black Metal

Six years and quite a few line-up changes have meant that a lot has happened for the Israeli progressive black metallers Winterhorde since the release of their previous album Underwatermoon (2010), but if there's a way to make it up to your fans for taking so long in style then Maestro is it. A stunning release that features some atypical instrumentation, including the use of a theremin, but let's hope we'll get to hear a follow-up before 2022.



#24 (59 points)

Anthrax - For All Kings
Thrash Metal

One of thrash metal's Big Four, Anthrax is another of those band's who took a long break between studio albums, the way most of the biggest metal bands seem to. Now seemingly back on track with their second album this decade For All Kings, a follow-up to comeback album Worship Music (2011), they're just as popular as ever, making a respectable 24th place.


#23 (64 points)

Vektor - Terminal Redux
Thrash Metal

Hailed as one of if not the most technically proficient thrash metal acts to have ever existed, US blackened thrashers Vektor produced a truly mammoth album as a follow-up to Outer Isolation (2011), expanding their sound in some unusual ways along the way, including the use of some soulful backing vocals, and has been released to such critical acclaim that it's already well on the way to classic status.



#21 (65 points)

Oathbreaker - Rheia
Atmospheric Black Metal

Prior to Rheia, Belgians Oathbreaker played a metal influenced form of hardcore/crust punk. Now shifted to a atmospheric black/sludge metal based sound, with plenty of post-rock influences thrown in for good measure, their first full-on metal album proves itself a winner with vocalist Caro Tanghe showing herself to be a real rising star with her effortless shifts between clean and often quirky singing and ferocious, hysterical growling.



#21 (65 points)

Artillery - Penalty by Perception
Thrash Metal

Danish thrashers Artillery were never as productive as some of the American bands that their early mid-eighties work was contemporary to, so 2016 finds them only on their eighth album, Penalty by Perception. A combination of thrashy riffs and a melodic power metal sensibility, the are on fine form producing what can only be described as a classy brand of thrash metal.



#20 (66 points)

Obscura - Akróasis
Technical Death Metal

Five years and a new line-up around him hasn't affected Obscura's Steffen Kummerer's vision of progressive/technical death metal one bit. Now on their fourth full-length release, the German band are rightly considered a field leader in the modern tech death scene. 



#19 (67 points)

Watchtower - Concepts of Math: Book One
Progressive Metal

An early entry in the canon of progressive metal, US band Watchtower released their last and only second studio album back in 1989. This EP release, Concepts of Math: Book One, represents their first major studio release since then and it's very much welcome back. They've been missed.


#18 (68 points)

Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake
Thrash Metal

A stalwart of US thrash metal that perhaps unjustly never got counted in the Big Four, Testament had a lengthy break between albums after First Strike Still Deadly (2001) but starting with The Formation of Damnation (2008) they've been steadily and consistently turning out strong thrash metal releases ever few years that have stayed truer to the genre than most of Big Four have, with the exception of Slayer. 


#16 (71 points)

Insomnium - Winter's Gate
Melodic Death Metal

No doubt with a bit of influence from Swedish band Edge of Sanity's Crimson (1996), Finland's progressive melodic death metallers Insomnium decided to make their seventh album consist of just a single song. Albeit a single song that lasts for forty minutes. Some versions break the track up into two or even seven parts, but the true album is one continuous track.

(We could not find even a proper snippet of this album on YouTube, so we used this clip about the album instead. Stream it on Spotify here)


#16 (71 points)

Haken - Affinity
Progressive Metal

Making a big name for themselves with their debut album Aquarius (2010), the UK progressive metal/rock act Haken have managed to keep producing excellent records since, each with its own unique feel. On Affinity, their fourth studio album, they turned their inspiration to the eighties and came up with an album that at different times sounds both retro and yet very modern.



#15 (73 points)

Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason
Progressive Metal

The Godfathers of the current wave of djent bands, the one time thrash metal act Meshuggah continues to produce technical, quality progressive metal on their latest release The Violent Sleep of Reason. A band that around here at MMA Towers we've had many debates over what genre they're best placed in, showing that they are one of the most unique acts of the modern metal scene. 


#14 (80 points)

Mare Cognitum - Luminiferous Aether
Atmospheric Black Metal

Pushing the atmospheric black metal genre to its most aggressive regions, cosmic black metal one man band Mare Cognitum dazzles on fourth full-length Luminiferous Aether. Where another bands in the genre may take their listeners on an almost soothing journey, lone musician Jacob Buczarski plays like his life depends on it, producing an album that sounds like it has the power a supernova behind it. 



#13 (87 points)

Eternity's End - The Fire Within
Power Metal

Ever wondered what you get when you take a few musicians known for playing death metal and put them in a power metal band? Well you're in luck, because that's exactly what you get with Eternity's End, featuring Obscura alumni Christian Münzner, Hannes Grossmann and Linus Klausenitzer and then topped with the powerful voice of Ian Parry, The Fire Within is an exercise in power metal done right.



#12 (89 points)

Myrath - Legacy
Folk Metal

Always with a toe in the camp of oriental folk metal, Tunisia's Myrath really brought those elements to the fore on their fourth album Legacy, making it markedly different to their previous, more progressive metal based work, while still sounding very much like a Myrath album. 



#11 (91 points)

Lascaille's Shroud - The Roads Leading North
Progressive Metal

A one man project playing progressive death metal by US musician Brett Windnagle, sci-fi themed Lascaille's Shroud produced its most ambitious release yet with The Roads Leading North. An immense double disc concept album where prog and death metal blend with electronic influences and even a bit of power metal, it's as professional as any label backed band and a lot more exciting.

 


#10 (92 points)

Nervosa - Agony
Thrash Metal

All female thrashers from Brazil, Nervosa have received critical acclaim dating all the way back to their demo. With second album Agony the girls produce a furious assault of thrash metal, also drawing on some old school death metal elements. If you ever thought that maybe thrash metal was quite a tame genre by modern metal standards, this trio is here to remind all that thrash metal falls under the extreme metal spectrum. 



#9 (100 points)

Enthean - Priests of Annihilation
Technical Death Metal

The only debut album in this year's MMA top 10, US technical death metallers Enthean almost seem as if they came out of nowhere. Three years on from a lone demo, they've impressed many with first album Priests of Annihilation and its tech death sound that includes elements of black metal, symphonic metal and progressive metal. It's criminal that these guys aren't signed yet, as this album certainly deserves a wider physical release.



#8 (107 points)

Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä
Black Metal

An almost atmospheric black metal album from Finland's spacey masters Oranssi Pazuzu and a very different beast to their prior release Valonielu (2013), Värähtelijä isn't an album for everyone, but for those looking for some hypnotic and unique to lose themselves in for seventy minutes will likely find no better album. 



#7 (113 points)

Megadeth - Dystopia
Thrash Metal


A follow-up to the not so well received Super Collider (2013), an album almost as disliked as their earlier infamous Risk (1999), it made sense for Big Four thrashers Megadeth to return to what they do best and what their fans no doubt wanted on Dystopia, their fifteenth album: thrash metal. 



#6 (114 points)

Blood Ceremony - Lord of Misrule
Hard Rock
 


The only album to not be placed in one of MMA's metal sub-genre's to make the top 50 of the 2016 list, Canadian's Blood Ceremony at one point played doom metal, but these days perform heavy psych and are actually often considered to be all the better for it even by metalheads. With their retro sound like they could easily be mistaken for a forgotten proto-metal act whose music is only just seeing the light of day and are perhaps proof that hard rock and heavy metal is timeless.



#5 (116 points)

Metallica - Hardwired... To Self-Destruct
Heavy Metal


Metallica fans can typically be split into two camps. There are the ones who won't listen to anything after ...And Justice for All (1988) and those who accept the changes in sound that the band has had since. While early hints of Hardwired... To Self-Destruct being their most thrash metal based album since the eighties turned out to be unfounded, it's still been commonly called their best album since the self-titled Black Album (1991) and serves well as redemption for the much derided collaborative album Lulu (2011) that preceded it. 



#4 (134 points)

Hail Spirit Noir - Mayhem in Blue
Black Metal


There are many types of black metal sub-genre. Atmospheric. Melodic. Symphonic. Depressive. Pagan. War. Greek act Hail Spirit Noir are none of these. They play psychedelic black metal, a tiny niche sub-genre that few other bands have explored to this kind of extent (in fact the only other artist who may truly be able to say that they have is Oranssi Pazuzu, placed at #8 on this list), but is made clear from albums like Mayhem in Blue that it has a lot to offer the world metal. 



#3 (142 points)

Dream Theater - The Astonishing
Progressive Metal


Hated by some, yet evidently loved by many among the MMA collaborator teams, is Dream Theater's double disc concept album The Astonishing. No doubt the most divisive album from a band who have produced both much loved genre classics like Images and Words (1992) to albums of a more lukewarm reception like Falling Into Infinity (1997), it's probably going to be down to time to tell how any of us are going to feel about this one a few years down the line. 




#2 (170 points)

Epica - The Holographic Principle
Symphonic Metal


Existing in a genre where Nightwish has long been the benchmark band to beat, Dutch band Epica may just have taken the crown from their Finnish counterparts with latest release The Holographic Principle and that's only if they hadn't already convinced you with prior excellent releases. They are a band who really puts the metal back into symphonic metal. 


#1 (179 points)

Fates Warning - Theories of Flight
Progressive Metal


After taking a near decade long break between the albums FWX (2004) and Darkness in a Different Light (2013), US progressive metallers Fates Warning wasted little time in coming up with Theories of Flight, their twelfth studio album. A band who has many highly regarded albums including two cornerstones of US Power Metal before they turned to progressive metal full-time, Theories of Flight has widely been hailed as the best Fates Warning album in years. 


How many of these have you heard? Try our our list challenge featuring this top 50 and the rest of the top 100 (101 albums due to a tie): http://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-collaborators-top-albums2016

Honourable Mentions 

These albums did not make the MMA Top 50 for the year, but there were the favourite of a partiuclar collaborator who took part in the voting. We present them here now with some words from those who voted for them. 

Freedom Call - Master of Light
Power Metal


Top Album of DippoMagoo

German band Freedom Call has earned a reputation as being the kings of happy metal over the years, and while some of their later albums showed them experimenting a bit, their previous release Beyond (2014), showed the band fully returning to their classic days of fun, cheesy power metal at its finest, and Master of Light continues this trend in full, delivering the kind of happy, insanely catchy power metal the band is known for.



Chevelle - The North Corridor
Alternative Metal


Top Album of Unitron

While usually remaining largely unnoticed, Chevelle has continued developing their own sound from album to album. I thought 2014's La Gárgola was their best yet, and it showed the band sounding very comfortable in their own unique sound that infuses haunting alternative metal with a healthy dose of sludge. The North Corridor takes that sound even further, the band delivering underground-sounding sludgy alternative metal with great conviction. Not only do I think this beats La Gárgola as their best album, but this is one of the heaviest and finest albums of 2016 and one of the best I've ever heard.



The Dillinger Escape Plan - Dissociation
Mathcore


Top Album of Bosh66

All good things end and the news that Dillinger Escape Plan is after 20 years bowing out while at the top of their game was met by sadness and surprise from many metal and hardcore fans worldwide. Never a mainstream act, DEP’s music runs the gauntlet between beauty and brutality, melody and discordant mathcore madness. And the final opus from the band delivers perfectly. Dissociation keeps the more melodic elements that came to the fore in the previous two releases while rejoicing in the pounding extremes of their earlier releases. Never more experimental, this is superb.



Wormrot - Voices
Grindcore


Top Album of Vim Fuego

As one of grindcore’s shining lights, Wormrot had been surprisingly quiet for the past four years, but Voices saw the Singaporean trio blast its way back into the wider metal consciousness. Voices perfectly blends a social conscience, a sense of humour, and uncompromising, razor-sharp musicianship. Combine that with almost unfathomable intensity and extremity, and you have one of the most exhilarating albums of 2016.



Tiles - Pretending 2 Run
Hard Rock


Top Album of rushfan4

Pretending 2 Run is US heavy proggers, Tiles, sixth studio album and it is a "a song cycle about a man blindsided and disillusioned by betrayal - and his journey through adversity as he escapes from the dark corners of seclusion on a faltering search for redemption." It features many guest appearances, including Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Mike and Matt Portnoy, and Matthew Parmenter of Discipline. They exhibit a sound that exists in that area where Rush meets Dream Theater.




Edited by adg211288 - 02 Nov 2018 at 9:56am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2017 at 5:10am
Once again you've done a great job Adam. The lay out looks great! As usual, a few there for me to check out that have so far eluded me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2017 at 8:42am
Great job Adam!  I have posted a link on PA for the proggers to come and check it out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheHeavyMetalCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2017 at 9:15am
I'm in shook over Dream Theater getting so high but pretty good list overall. My #1 got to 4th place which is pretty good considering its surrounded by much more well known bands. Nice to see Enthean made it so high too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2017 at 1:50pm
Good work compiling the list, although I can't say I'm very happy with the results if I'm being honest. I just feel like it kills the site's credibility to have an album with 2.31 as #3. At least a good amount of my favorites got in, I'm glad to see Nervosa (my 3rd favorite) at #10 and Helstar (My 4th favorite) on the list.

Chevelle and Red Wizard (My two favorites) didn't get on there because I'm the only one who seems to care about Chevelle and stoner metal on this site. Cry


Edited by Unitron - 02 Feb 2017 at 1:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DippoMagoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2017 at 2:09pm
Honestly, the thing is with an album like The Astonishing, because Dream Theater is such a well known band, a metal site like this is obviously going to attract both people like their music and hate their music, and because they're so famous, their albums will get far more attention than lesser known bands, and so that's why even if the average rating is low, there's still so many people here who voted the album up.

Basically: A more well known album is going to get lots of attention, so it just makes sense that even out of a group where the overall consensus isn't positive, there will be enough fans in there to help propel it towards the top. Same goes for new Metallica, though in that case the overall consensus was more neutral than anything. At the end of the day, because this is a metal site, it wouldn't make any sense at all to disqualify albums from big name bands like that, so it's just a kinda tricky situation, I guess.

I'm perfectly happy with the list overall, and I got 42% on the list challenge (same score as Adam, lol!)


Edited by DippoMagoo - 02 Feb 2017 at 2:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bosh66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2017 at 3:14pm
Superb job, Adam! My number one favourite release bombed though - little love for DEP here :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2017 at 3:17pm
Yeah a lot of people's top album got left out due to them being the only one that voted for it.

Perhaps we should extend the presentation a little with the individual number one's that didn't make it. 

Also maybe next year we'll come up with a new scoring system that rewards winners more, like they did in Formula One when they changed the winner's points from 10 to 25. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jbird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2017 at 7:19pm
Great job!

I'm surprised that Vektor album didn't place higher. Not my cup of tea, but I know it's generally well regarded on just about every metal site I visit, including this one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 5:30am
Yeah, great job, Adam! Clap Love the layout. One little mistake. You have two 47's and 49's instead of 48 and 50 :)

I'm  more surprised about Metallica myself. I'm thoroughly bored by their new album and doesn't even make my top 100 :P

Overall great list though. Excellent choices
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 5:31am
It's not a mistake. Those positions are tied. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 5:52am
^ ah, never mind me. i just woke up. I completely forgot about that interesting feature
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 12:47pm
Comparing 2016 to 2015 it seems that 2015's top list was more in keeping with my own choices. when I added it up however I had 10 from the top 35 in 2015 and 11 from the top 50 in 2016 so pretty close really. I did have more of my choices higher up on the list last time though.

I think the top 50 format is a good choice over last years top 35 by the way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 1:26pm
^ I usually base the write-up number on how neatly it works out. This year 50 worked out nicely as there were exactly 50 albums with no ties on the 50th place. Last year that wasn't true so a 35 write-up was neater. 

Watch the presentation though everyone even if you've already viewed, there's some extra content coming. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 3:31pm
Looks really good! Interesting results, but then 2016 was a year for those, if the US elections and Brexit vote were anything to go by.LOL It's good having the YouTube vids there so we can actually check out the names we've heard so much about.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 3:38pm
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

I just feel like it kills the site's credibility to have an album with 2.31 as #3.


Disagree entirely. I love anomalies. It shows the people have spoken, and stops things being too predictable. It would be a lot worse if this site manipulated the results. Perhaps it just means the reviewers are out of touch with metal fans in general? Or perhaps said album was a  love-it-or-hate-it release with little middle ground?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 3:45pm
Originally posted by Vim Fuego Vim Fuego wrote:

Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

I just feel like it kills the site's credibility to have an album with 2.31 as #3.


Disagree entirely. I love anomalies. It shows the people have spoken, and stops things being too predictable. It would be a lot worse if this site manipulated the results. Perhaps it just means the reviewers are out of touch with metal fans in general? Or perhaps said album was a love-it-or-hate-it release with little middle ground?
Save

Yes, it would be much, much worse if the results were manipulated. It does seem to mostly be a love/hate album, but it's mostly on the hate side I've seen from metal fans. 


Edited by Unitron - 03 Feb 2017 at 7:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 4:26pm
There is now a Spotify playlist containing a track from almost all the top 50 albums, bar two whose music was absent from the site: Lascaille's Shroud and Mare Cognitum. 

https://play.spotify.com/user/adg211288/playlist/3vIQWskTOmmfTbqWxLQ0KX
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bosh66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2017 at 4:52pm
Bloody great idea. Good stuff!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vixen Erotica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2017 at 4:06pm
Well, I can't think of a good album of 2016 ATM, but, I can think of one that really stunk...It was Devilment's last album...I am still a Dani Filth fan, but, this album I am speaking of just was not very good in my eyes...I give it a raspberry!!! 8-]] 
moody metal maiden
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