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Invisible Oranges Staff Top Albums of 2016

blood incantation

We don’t usually do a staff-wide end of the year list. In fact I didn’t ask anyone to participate in one anyway.

That said, Invisible Oranges staff picked so many diverse choices in 2016 that I figured I’d do some tabulating on my own to see if there was any consensus. There was. So much so that I decided to publish those results.

These scores were obtained by going through each each staff member’s top 10 records and assigning each record a score from one to 10, so that a tenth place album would receive a one, a ninth place album would receive a two, and so on. Honorable mentions were not counted since not all staffers chose any.

The Invisible Oranges staff’s top ten albums of 2016 are as follows, including their vote totals.

10) Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones / 40 Watt Sun – Wider Than The Sky (15 points, tie)

09) Neurosis – Fires Within Fires / Sumac – What One Becomes (16 points, tie)

08) Ghoul – Dungeon Bastards (18 points)

07) Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä / Kvelertak – Nattesferd (19 points, tie)

06) SubRosa – For This We Fought the Battle of Ages (20 points)

05) Vektor – Terminal Redux (21 points)

04) Abbath – Abbath (22 points)

03) Cobalt – Slow Forever (26 points)

02) The Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution / Oathbreaker – Rheia (27 points, tie)

01) Blood Incantation – Starspawn (31 points)

Consensus means grouping, and those groupings are professional archer-tight. for the most part, each album only bested the next lowest album by a single point, or one ranking on a single list (cantankerous Vektor fans, consider this comeuppance). A few high-ranking minority votes netted Ghoul a very unexpected placement. Multiple ties yield strange and oddly poetic pairings: Sumac’s sound would not exist without the groundwork laid by Neurosis, both Oranssi Pazuzu and Kvelertak meld 90’s black metal with popular music from the 70’s, and both Oathbreaker and The Hammers of Misfortune employ progressive tendencies and melodic clean vocals at least some of the time.

But the real takeaway is that Blood Incantation’s Starspawn gets the rookie of the year award. With 31 votes, they command an impressive lead.

If we tabulate choices by a few IO alumni, such as the Black Market crew at Stereogum and Fred Pessaro at Clairvoyant (his unranked list nets every choice an even 5 points), the results change a little: cobalt takes the silver medal and Inter Arma ties Abbath for fourth, but Blood Incantation’s lead only widens.

I’ll calculate reader-submitted favorite albums over the break. Please leave your top album of 2016 selection in the comment thread below


Invisible Oranges will take a break next week and will resume normal operations in January.

Stay safe, and happy holidays from all of us.

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