Ten of the Best Metal Bands in Denver in 2016

The metal scene in Denver has been raging for decades, but in recent years, some of the Mile High City's heaviest acts have been making an impact outside of Colorado, bringing national attention to the local scene. Below, listed alphabetically, are ten of the best bands that shaped Denver metal in 2016.
click to enlarge Blood Incantation - MARIA DISTEFANO
Blood Incantation
Maria DiStefano
1. Blood Incantation
2016 Album: Starspawn

In 2016, Dark Descent Records in Colorado Springs released Starspawn, the latest offering of necrotic death doom from Denver's Blood Incantation. With a name evoking horror author H.P. Lovecraft's work, Blood Incantation combines heaviness with intricate melodies and a soaring, expansive dynamic to create music you might expect to be playing as Lovecraft's Great Old Ones devour the universe.

click to enlarge Call of the Void - BRENT BOUTTE
Call of the Void
Brent Boutte
2. Call of the Void
2016 EP: AYFKM

Call of the Void has caught the attention of an international audience for years for its masterful synthesis of grindcore and heavy progressive metal. AYFKM (short for “Are You Fucking Kidding Me”), the band's 2016 EP, is its strongest offering to date, with its musical brutality in sharp focus. It's not like Call of the Void was lacking in the sonic outrage department before, but with this EP, the band retooled its vocabulary to go heavier and deeper.
click to enlarge Cult of the Lost Cause - TOM MURPHY
Cult of the Lost Cause
Tom Murphy
3. Cult of the Lost Cause
2016 Album: Contritions

The instrumental metal band Cult of the Lost Cause has always showcased diverse musical roots from both inside and outside metal, which is one reason that its music conveys such a broad emotional range. With 2016's Contritions, Cult of the Lost Cause tightened its songwriting and perfectly combined its keen sense of atmosphere and rhythm with a knack for finely nuanced, heavy riffs.

click to enlarge Dreadnought - BOUTTE PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN
Boutte Photography and Design
4. Dreadnought
2015 Album: Bridging Realms

Folk metal, transcendental metal — whatever label one might drop on Dreadnought, its imaginative music is a combination of doom and progressive rock's proclivity for storytelling. In 2017, Dreadnought will be working with Andy Patterson in Salt Lake City, whose recording talents have helped SubRosa, Call of the Void and Abrams bring power to their own records. Expect Dreadnought's album, as of now untitled, to drop in early summer.
click to enlarge Khemmis - JORDAN HYDE
Jordan Hyde
5. Khemmis
2016 Album: Hunted

The first Khemmis record, 2015's Absolution, was already surprisingly refined and sophisticated for a debut effort. For 2016's Hunted, Khemmis stretched its gift for melodic doom songwriting to epic proportions with a set of five songs that evoke the experience of riding with Norse heroes into battle against evil forces. It's that capacity to stir the imagination with indisputably tasteful heavy songcraft that has garnered Khemmis great critical acclaim outside Colorado.

Keep reading for more of 2016's best Denver metal bands.