With another year down, we celebrate the best heavy metal had to offer in 2016! Some of metal's longest enduring acts continued to extend their respective legacies with some of the finest music they've made in their careers while other relative newcomers are a sterling indicator that we'll have another crop of bands to look forward to over the ensuing years.

Of course, metal's diverse and rich sounds are all represented here, be it thrash, death metal, prog, traditional metal, black metal, sludge or anything else in between and on the outside. This wide spectrum of sonic heaviness is what keeps the genre pushing forward each year, offering something for any fan to find favor with.

One thing to note: While new albums from Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold arrived too late to earn nominations for the 6th Annual Loudwire Music Awards, they were eligible for inclusion on this list.

Click through the gallery above to see our picks for the 20 Best Metal Albums of 2016!

Also See Our 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016 Below:

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