2016 is the greatest year for music. Ever. Not our words, but those of comedian James Acaster who made it his mission to collect and consume hundreds of albums from 2016, spanning all genres and styles.
Following a breakup and subsequent breakdown, James found himself adrift in 2017, seeking comfort in discovering and listening to music from the previous year, a time when he was truly happy. This obsession soon became a full-on work project and the topic of his book Perfect Sound Whatever, which tells the story of James’ rollercoaster year through the lens of different 2016 albums.
From Bowie to Beyonce, Kanye to Radiohead, 2016 was full of huge artists releasing landmark albums, hundreds of which are examined throughout the pages of James’ book, but he only had room to deep dive into two metal albums. So we’ve given him the chance to speak at length about the 10 metal albums he deems the best of 2016 (aka the best year for music).
James first discovered metal through Kerrang! magazine at the age of 13, reading his friend’s copy in a caravan while on a rugby tour.
“It was something like the Top 100 Albums Of All Time, and I loved lists like that,” he remembers today. “I didn’t get into metal straight away from that issue, but shortly after that I bought Kerrang! and it was the age of nu-metal, so I was buying stuff like Soulfly, Korn and bands like that.”