If you wanna read more about the idea and thought with this article series, read the first post HERE. Just to clarify – the order of the albums is not a toplist but instead ordered from A to Z.
1996 was once again a year that offered fantastic albums, but also some major disappointments, the biggest of them all being Metallica‘s “Load” album. The Metallica that once was truly died here. Another band that released a really mediocre album was Sepultura with their “Roots” album. But besides these two mentioned albums 1996 was indeed brilliant with such fantastic albums as: “For Snow Covered the Northland”, “Vile”, “Ravedusk in My Heart”, “A Bloodred Path”, “The Dark Saga”, “Latex Cult”, “The Jester Race”, “Brave Murder Day”, “Louder Than Hell”, “Heaven Shall Burn… When We Are Gathered”, “Irreligious”, “Like Gods of the Sun”, “The Closing Chronicles”, “Morningrise”, “The Great Southern Trendkill”, “Down”, “Nord”, “Skogsgriftens Rike”, “Velvet Darkness They Fear” and “October Rust”. But as always everything can be found in Spotify playlist that goes with the article.
Some bands formed in 1996:
- Arch Enemy
- Control Denied
- Sonata Arctica
- The Haunted
- Within Temptation
Some events during 1996:
- Alice in Chains plays their last ever concert with Layne Staley on July 23, 1996. They later go on hiatus until April 20, 2002 in which Staley is found dead in his apartment after overdosing on a Speedball.
- The original line-up of KISS (Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, Paul Stanley) come back together.
- Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens fills the void left by Rob Halford in 1993 as lead singer of Judas Priest.
MY TOP 10 FOR 1996:
BATHORY – ”BLOOD ON ICE”
Black Mark Production
1996 [May 27]
After the 1995 disaster that was spelled “Octagon” it truly came as a blessing to once again hear Quorthon (R.I.P.) back in form. It’s once again epic and big! This is my favourite of the “after 1991”-era Bathory.
BEWITCHED – ”DIABOLICAL DESECRATION”
1996 [August 12]
Retro-thrash with a splash of black became the thing of 1996 with bands such as Nocturnal Breed, Infernö, Aura Noir and of course my favourites, Bewitched. It’s simple and straight forward heavy metallish thrashy blackness with lyrics to match the attitude.
DARK FUNERAL – ”THE SECRETS OF THE BLACK ARTS”
No Fashion Records
1996 [January 28]
Even though I can’t say that the re-recordings of the tracks found on the bands debut-EP are better, “The Secrets of the Black Arts” is an album that continued redefining what black metal could sound like. I’m actually more of a fan of the original recording of this album done over at Dan Swanö’s Unisound Studios.
EDGE OF SANITY – ”CRIMSON”
Black Mark Production
1996 [April 2]
A 40 minute long death metal song, can it really work? Well the answer is Yes! This is a brilliant EoS album from start to finish and also the last album from the band before it sort of split up in a Dan Swanö’s EoS and Not-Dan Swanö’s EoS.
HYPOCRISY – ”ABDUCTED”
1996 [February 13]
The break-through album of Hypocrisy as well as the album that cemented the sound that the band is still pretty much using on album after album. And with tracks such as “Roswell 47” and “The Arrival of the Demons (Part 2)” it’s no wonder this became a hit.
KING DIAMOND – ”THE GRAVEYARD”
1996 [October 1]
This is the album that sealed the deal when it comes to declaring KD as the true KING! Strangely a lot of people see this as one of KD’s weakest works. Well, a lot of people are simply wrong. Also managed to caught KD on tour this year, with none other than MF as “opening act”.
MERCYFUL FATE– ”INTO THE UNKNOWN”
Metal Blade Records
1996 [August 20]
Not only did 1996 bring us a new KD album, we were also spoiled with a new Mercyful Fate album. An album that grew to be one of my absolute favourites from MF. “You would not know of me…we never met before. The name is Damian and I used to live in this house”…….
SACRILEGE – ”LOST IN THE BEAUTY YOU SLAY”
Black Sun Records
Such an underrated album. Problem is that it was released during the most hectic period of new melodic death metal being released (in a time before todays so-called “melodic death metal” bands emerged with their clean vocals and whatnots)….This is the GBG-sound at its finest!
SAMAEL – ”PASSAGE”
1996 [August 19]
Samael really found their sound with “Passage” (even though “Ceremony of Opposites” drew towards this sound). A great album indeed!!
1996 [August 9]
Listening to “Theli” now compared to back when it was initially released is two quit different things. Back in 1996 this album was really groundbreaking and majestic and therefor deserves a spot in this list.