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Avenged Sevenfold lead Metal Hammer's special end-of-year issue

Avenged Sevenfold, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon and more in the new issue of Metal Hammer

2016 is drawing to a close and we think it's fair to say that it's been a rollercoaster year. Our heroes have been falling all around us, Britain voted to leave the EU, the USA elected Donald Trump, and Metallica released a new album! It's been a weird one... but it's also been one of the best 12-months for heavy music in AGES! There's been kickass new music from the biggest bands in our world, as well as some of the best debut albums ever heard – not to mention the hundreds of gigs that have blown our mind! To celebrate what a batshit awesome the year has been for metal, we introduce the bumper end-of-year issue of Metal Hammer!


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And as the year is drawing to a close, we thought it was right to give you lovely lot a bunch of free gifts! Not only are we giving away some exclusive heavy metal wrapping paper to annoy your nan, we've got a killer Best Of 2016 CD featuring Gojira, Architects, Meshuggah, Babymetal, Opeth, Neurosis and more!

Oh, and a very special 2017 calendar with 12 exclusive photos of your favourite metal bands!

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If one band personifies what a bonkers year 2016 has been it's Avenged Sevenfold, which is precisely why they're on our special end-of-year cover. Returning with a cosmic explosion in October with the surprise release of The Stage, the band left their traditional heavy metal roots behind and are heading out on a voyage of discovery. Here, we head to Los Angeles as the band troll the world with their latest album to find out why it happened this way, what it means for the future, and why they're going to break the music industry.

In our special Big Review of 2016, we go through all the biggest and baddest stories that changed heavy music over the past year. From Phil Anselmo's 'white power' outburst in January, to Guns N' Roses' reformation in April to the release of Metallica's tenth album in November – it's fair to say that rock and metal won't be the same again.

Of course, we could yabber on for hundreds of pages about what happened, but we're bringing you the voices and opinions of the people that really matter – the bands themselves. In our giant retrospective we talk to everyone that mattered in 2016, from Joey Jordison and Iron Maiden to Lamb Of God and Metallica, it's all here!

Oh, and we reveal our TOP 50 ALBUMS OF 2016!

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Looking forward to 2017, one of the albums we're most looking forward to is the new 'un from System Of A Down! But how did four misfits with a passion for the weirder side of life become global megastars? We investigate the rise and revolution of metal's favourite oddballs.

But that's not all! We've also got LOADS more from Dark Moon, Black Veil Brides, Trivium, Okkultokrati and Nightwish!

And did we mention the free gifts? We're going to mention the gifts again. There's a Best Of 2016 CD, a Metal Hammer 2017 calendar and heavy metal wrapping paper. Look!

Our end-of-year issue is in stores NOW! And is available to order online right this second!

You can also instantly read the articles from issue 291 of Metal Hammer and dive into the back issues right now on TeamRock+. And experience the interactive digital edition for your iPhone and iPad or Android device.

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