December 31, 2017

Connor’s Top 10 Metal Albums from 2017

Elder - Reflections of a Floating World
I know everyone is all pissed off at everything this year, and we'll get to that, but in the meantime, Elder released another stunning, epic, monster of an album. Nick DiSalvo is one of the best guitar players on the planet right now, and you should be listening to this, even if you ignore the rest of my list (yeah, it's all metal again, duh).

Heretoir - The Circle         
This album is perfectly composed from start to finish, with lavish production, plenty of spiraling, shimmering guitar tones, and sweeping soundscapes. Leaning more into the post-rock/shoegaze side of the black metal influenced scene. I fucking love this album.

Power Trip - Nightmare Logic    
Are you super mad at the world right now? I mean, who isn't? Power Trip's latest LP is the album for you! This Texas-based band has perfected the crossover sound of 80s thrash, hardcore, punk, etc. etc. This is a fist-pumping, circle-pitting, beer-shotgunning, hard-partying, blow out your speakers kind of good time. They put on an unmatched live show as well...

Vvilderness - Devour the Sun      
This album is incredible, with some of the best moments of any album in 2017. Another one-man post-rock/atmospheric black metal/ambient band, this album is also available in instrumental form, if you're not a fan of metal vocals. The intro track Starless Dark is hugely epic, with a theme that the album revisits several times, the title track is full of great guitar leads, and New Earth mixes in bagpipes over rolling drums and a big, emotional guitar section. I'm not sure why I have this at number four.

Body Count - Bloodlust     
Are you still super mad at the world, and ready to do something about it? Ice-T and Body Count have dropped another pissed off, super political, heavy as fuck album. Remember the uproar over Cop Killer? That was 25 years ago. Ice-T has never been one to hold back, this album is the real deal.

Celephaïs - Monad  
This is a fully instrumental atmospheric black metal album, and it's really, really good. If you're at all interested in what this black metal stuff is, but you can't deal with the harsh vocals, this is the album to check out. The best review I've seen for this, was a simple one liner: "THIS ALBUM MOVES MOUNTAINS."

Sorrow Plagues - Homecoming  
When Atmospheric Black Metal steps into the light...a mix of post-rock, ambient, layered over traditional black metal tremolo riffs and blast beats. A surprisingly warm album full of great moments, all written and recorded by a one man band. He even manages to pull off a saxophone on one track.

A Pale December - The Shrine of Primal Fire  
Italian project with influences from Agalloch to In Flames, and everything from folky acoustic interludes to Cascadian Black Metal. Lots of layers to dig into, this album is definitely a grower.

Enisum - Seasons of Desolation  
Another Italian band, probably the most traditional sounding black metal band on my list this year, but they do mix in some other sounds and influences. Enisum has released three really solid albums since 2014, these guys know what they're doing.

Air Raid - Across the Line
Awesome full-on commitment to the best of the 80s, with plenty of dueling guitar solos, leather jackets and high tops. Hold the Flame was also released alongside the best music video of 2017.


awmercy said...

I love that there is a shoegaze side to black metal. But listening to the album I get it.

It's becoming a tradition that I buy my one or two metal albums for the year after reading your list.

That works for me.