Abbath unleashes the fury of a Nordic blizzard at full force with his crushing debut album. The heavy metal icon and former Immortal frontman returns with a self-titled album (featuring King on bass and Creature on drums) packed with his signature razor-sharp riffs and black metal anthems. Stellar cuts “Winter Bane,” “Ashes of the Damned,” “To War,” “Fenrir Hunts” and more are nothing short of true heavy metal thunder. Abbath is the black metal album of 2016, and returns this Norwegian legend to his rightful place as the face of the genre.

Photo: Ester SegARRA

Universally recognized as one of the most potent acts in music today, High on Fire creates molten heavy metal that merges primal fury and aggression, blackened bombast and hall of fame heaviness. The group’s new studio album, Luminiferous, is a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume, delivering calculated catharsis as a volcano of revolving riffs and hailstorm of thundering drums combine to beam a blazing spotlight towards the future of modern metal. After nearly two decades of trailblazing new passageways to heaviness, High on Fire’s strong, stunning archetype continues to both sharpen and evolve.

Photo: Jimmy Hubbard

Like Satan himself set loose in the hallowed halls of heavy metal, these Athens, Ohio-based headbangers careen wildly through the music’s history, gleefully destroying and setting flame to every genre along the way, only stopping at the forefront of today’s metal scene to look back and watch it burn—and then piss on the flames. No other band has tapped into the fire, fury and frost of all things metal like Skeletonwitch. Their discography is a testament to their refined craft, honed through years of hard work and relentless touring.

Photo: Josh Sisk

Tribulation formed in 2004 in the west of Sweden and quickly gained underground reputation with their first demo and the Putrid Rebirth EP in 2006. The first album, The Horror (2009), was followed by various tours and festivals across Europe. After the release of The Formulas of Death (2013), the band played even more festivals and completed their first U.S. tour with Watain and In Solitude. Latest album The Children of the Night is their best-received effort to date, placing high on Decibel’s Top 40 Albums of 2015 list.

Photo: Linda Åkerberg