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2016: A year in metal

As the world freaked out over celebrity deaths and political fallouts, metal faced its own controversies and surprising stories. And Hammer turned 30! Raise a glass to a crazy 12 months...


We should have realised this was going to be a weird year when January went a bit peculiar. As the world mourned Lemmy’s passing and witnessed his genuinely moving public wake, metal’s mood swiftly soured due to Philip Anselmo’s decision to drunkenly bellow, ‘White power!’ onstage during a Dimebag tribute show. Most fans were appalled, including Machine Head’s Robb Flynn, who posted a passionate video expressing his disgust. Phil eventually apologised, but the impact of such a needless and nasty act on his career has yet to be quantified. It wasn’t all doom and gloom in January, however, as Chthonic frontman Freddy Lim was elected an MP in Taiwan, and controversial bruisers King 810 released a poignant new song, We Gotta Help Ourselves, to draw attention to the poisoned water crisis in their native city of Flint, Michigan. An admirable effort.

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