Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top 10 Metal Albums of 2017... so Far

Where has 2017 gone? It seems like the year has passed us by in a cloud of internet hatred and bickering. So with that comes the need for heavy music. Black Metal, Doom, Death Metal and Thrash are all represented to some extent. The number one slot was determined by what Last Fm said I listened to the most. If you want to check out more on any of the following bands just use the link to the review. At the end of the day we shall see how these albums hold up over the next six months. So far only the top five still maintain their spots in my Ipod, though that is not to say I won't go back and give the others another listen.

10- Ever Circling Wolves -"Of Woe, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gloom"

This band from Finland is certainly worth championing due to their originality. This doesn't mean they have forsaken key components for metal and twisted them into something no recognizable to the average metal head in a Morbid Angel t-shirt. After a three minute introductory instrumental that throw some melodic death metal at you that is mid to doom paced. The organic guitar tones allow the riffs to breathe and the notes to remain distinguishable. This album's production certainly lends it self to supporting their adventurous style of songwriting.


9-Emptiness-"For Music"

Wow! these guys are so different from anything out there the newness is easy to get immersed in. To the point the first song just sounded awesome because it didn't sound like anything in recent memory so it won me over without me ever stopping to ask is this song good. There is more groove to "It Might Be". Twiggy Ramirez produced this and I am not sure why Marilyn Manson hasn't been letting him handled everything .


8- Ragana -You Take Nothing"

This two piece out of Oakland has returned with a moodier yet more feral vision of black metal mixed with crust. "To Leave" places more emphasis on atmosphere and ringing guitar melodies than the more deliberate opener. They do blast off towards the end of the second song. One thing they have going for them is their songs are very concise and streamlined never feeling like bloated drones. The two longest songs are six and a half minutes.These gals prove they are capable of hitting you with varied colors and tempos.


7-Volur -"Ancestors"

The Canadian doom project features the Bass player from Blood Ceremony. Germanic chants coast over very melodic bass playing  drivings the song. It takes a minute to realize that the Guitar is not sitting back it's actual the violin occupying the space a guitar would sit order to create the atmosphere. They have a very unique sound that drones ,but is so pleasing to the ears that it doesn't bore you.


6- Samsara - "When the Soul Leaves the Body"

Slovakian metal is gaining ground now when it comes to doom. The proof lies in this band Samsara who has a big majestic sound, when they pick up the pace into a chug the results are without a doubt powerful. This is poised to be be one of the best doom albums of the year.


5-Bathsheba- "Servus"

Here is the doom I have been looking for. These are the thoughts inspired by the weighty riffs that opens the new album from this Belgian band. The fact the clean vocals are so dominate works for me  she can pull out some more snarled harsher vocals , which are effectively used. The pace picks up out of the realms of doom into something more blast beaten  when it slows down into a more deliberate and powerful drive it should make you  believer.


4-Pallbearer -"Heartless".

So things continue to change The vocals are even more upfront in the mix on this one. As they should be as the vocals are really killing it, though the guitar is taking a back seat that makes me think this album might be heavier if they were pushed forward or maybe I am not listening to it loud enough yet. "Thorns' is a logical step from where they were on "Foundations of Burden". There are plenty of those angular riffs snaking themselves around the songs .



3-Loss- Horizonless

So here is everything you liked about “Despond” , but made heavier by fuller production. The guttural gurgle of vocals remains, but over the course of the album more vocal colors have been added. There is a  more scathing higher pitched black metal like snarl that explodes out of " the Joy of All Who Sorrow". They even give me the creepy  lower  baritone that I grew up loving as a poor goth child. This album is a triumph by the band and everything I can want out of this brand of doom.



 2 - Tombs -"The Grand Annihilation"

 I think it's obvious that this is the soundtrack the world needs right now. The album is almost split into two parts on the front end If you thought the more post-punk elements were diluting the more metallic properties then make most mistake this part of the  album is up in you as metal as it gets. Then if your tastes fall more on the dark side as mine do than you have to hang on and your get that too.


1- Goatwhore-"Vengeful Ascension"

 They continue to kill it on their 7th album.>Sure there is not a wild deviation from their sound, but the song writing is more focused and highlights the band's strength and energy. This might also be one of the band's most melodic albums. It seems like they have more readily embraced their death metal side. So in the swirl of hybrid sub-genres that make this band up death metal is the predominant ingredient this go around. The second song "Under the Flesh, Into the Soul" finds more of the blackened thrash like sound that has colored the past two albums. There are some pretty hooky riffs, and it would make you think that my rule of "cool riffs alone , don't make a good song" would hit a band like this hard. This is not the case as a key component to their song writing is having every thing is the perfect place.


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