Katatonia - The Fall Of Hearts 2-LP (Black vinyl)
This is my favorite album of 2016. Not just in metal, but in all of music. Katatonia's long-awaited album The Fall of Hearts completely trumped (heh) all expectations and exceeded in every way possible. Every emotion is heightened, every note accented with glory, every vocal line rich with the sombre yet subtly diverse emotional capability of Jonas Renkse...it's an utter masterpiece with no counterpart in its release year and few if any in the last decade. After 2012's Dead End Kings was met with good but far-from-great reception (it's still full of good work but also kind of by-the-numbers as well), Katatonia took four years to really re-invent themselves. Band members left and were replaced, acoustic reworkings and semi-unplugged tours helped explore new sounds, and eventually the band returned with their best album in a decade, maybe more.