Much metal has passed between these ears in 2017. The metal genre continues to push boundaries and take risks. Old heads like Metallica continue to slay live, as do Iron Maiden. Rock behemoths Mastodon released the excellent Emperor of Sand and although the band continues to divide listeners I really dig this album. I’ve found it gets better with repeated listens and I’ve seen it pop up on a few lists already. A couple of bands appeared on my radar this year, two of these come from my home country of Australia. As Paradise Falls crushed with their album Digital Ritual as did Thy Art Is Murder with Dear Desolation. Both these bands went straight for the jugular. Their albums are uncompromising but memorable, well produced and mixed. Check them out if you get the chance.
For me, Bell Witch owned 2017. Mirror Reaper is a single track weighing in at well over one hour in length. It truly is a special album consisting of top quality funeral doom, passages of crushing heaviness and subtle melody. A masterpiece in every sense of the word. Check out the incredible cover art, too!
Iceland’s Solstafir also came up trumps with Berdreyminn. The band has a unique sound that incorporates folk, metal, prog rock and numerous other genres of music. This album is stunning to listen to. The melodies, the atmosphere, the performances are all top draw. I’m a newcomer to these guys but I’m well on-board the Solstafir train now.
The Enslaved juggernaut keeps on rolling and E proves the band isn’t running out of ideas. This album is essential listening. Every song is a winner and the amount of glowing reviews suggests this might just be the bands best album yet. Haunting, melodic, powerful, hypnotic, proggy…this album has everything. There’s even a saxophone solo!
Grave Pleasures came alive this year with their album Motherblood. A punk rock swagger, expert songwriting and more tunes than you can swing a guitar at, Motherblood is just the sort of album to put on before a big night out. A rock and roll monster, no doubt!
Threshold is a band that has been around for a long time. 2017 saw the prog rock masters release a double album of melodic pomp delights called Legends of the Shires. And what an album it is! Packed with punchy guitar-driven anthems and epic narrative-style prog epics, this record has everything. A fine vocal performance from the returning Glynn Morgan is the glue that holds it all together. A must listen.
So, there you have it. Here are my top albums of 2017. What about you? Let me know in the comments what moved you in 2017 if you wish. I’m always on the lookout for recommendations. Thanks!