2016 has been an interesting year for metal music. There haven't been a lot of releases by marquee names of the genre, but that doesnt mean there aren't some phenomenal tracks released regardless.
Granted, some big name acts have re-emerged with the likes of Megadeth, Deftones, and Killswitch Engage all bringing new material to the metal gods, giving some of the more recently formed groups a run for their money, and if anything, this year has further emphasised the global reach that the metal genre has, with artists on this list alone hailing from Norway, Sweden, United States, France, Germany, Canada and Japan.
Whether you're a casual fan of the genre or a more devout follower, 2016 hasn't disappointed so far in catering to both sides.
Crank up your speakers and brace yourself for the 15 best heavy metal songs of 2016 so far...
German sludge metal duo Mantar are one of the most promising metal acts to emerge in the last couple of years. Following up on their 2014 debut album Death By Burning, the two-piece just released their second effort in April, the skull-crushing Ode To The Flame.
Lead single 'Cross The Cross' is a shining example of the the group's penchant for slow, deliberate head banging and powerful guitar riffage, a refreshingly simple and effective concoction for current day metal music.
The vocals on the other hand are a take no prisoners exercise in throat tearing velocity, managing to perfectly compliment the crisply produced but ferociously played instrumentation.
A fine return for these dark metal weavers, 'Cross The Cross' contains some of the most satisfying metal moments of the year to date.