2017 was, for better or worse, an interesting year on a number of levels. However, a few things are certain – the music was amazing! …and plentiful! …and full of surprises! So, naturally, it took awhile to boil it all down into any sort of numbers. Ultimately, I came to a list of ~85 superb releases which took even longer to attempt drawing out a Top 25 albums and Top 15 EPs from – even purely on terms of personal enjoyment.
So, without further adieu, these are the metal music releases that I personally enjoyed the most in 2017 served up in buffet form – albums, EPs, and runner ups. Hopefully, you all find some new music to enjoy from this exercise!
Top 25 Albums
25. Intervals – The Way Forward
If one could eat music, The Way Forward would surely be tasty.
24. Khazaddum – Plagues Upon Arda
Lord of the Rings meets Technical Death Metal. What’s not to love?
23. Myrkur – Mareridt
Black Metal elitism be damned! I enjoy the work of Myrkur quite a lot.
22. Full Of Hell – Trumpeting Ectasy
Incredibly dark, distorted, and devastating listening experience. If you’re looking for some raw to the bone music, look no further.
21. The Faceless – In Becoming A Ghost
This long awaited return was pretty damn enjoyable.
20. Kartikeya – Samudra
After years worth of anticipation leading up to this record, it did not disappoint!
19. Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
Elder don’t craft music. They craft ear adventures.
18. Oblivion – The Path Towards…
Metallic titans collide across the board once again. Easily among the best Death Metal releases 2017 had to offer. (Rumor has it, there’s more on the way!)
17. In Reverence – The Selected Breed
As soon as I heard the first In Reverence singles, I knew the metal world was in for a new heavyweight. Seriously, give these guys a listen!
16. Enfold Darkness – Adversary Omnipotent
After 8 years, Enfold Darkness have returned strong as ever. R.I.P. Todd Honeycutt
15. Code Orange – Forever
Give me some distortion. Give me some anger. Give me some greatness.
14. Igorrr – Savage Sinusoid
Pure, unfiltered, enjoyable insanity. Igorrr never fail to serve up quite the genre bending experience.
13. Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
It’s not every year the universe blesses us with an 83 minute track.
12. Tchornobog – Self-Titled
Arguably the most exciting avant-garde release of the year.
11. Hideous Divinity – Adveniens
Incredibly dark and violent Death Metal. Masterfully executed “must listen” for fans of the sub-genre.
10. Ne Obliviscaris – Urn
Prognificent. This band knows no bounds.
9. Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon
Artificial Brain is one of those bands that helped break me into the more experimental realms of Death Metal. This LP took a slightly new but ever so satisfying direction that kept it on consistent rotation.
8. The Contortionist – Clairvoyant
This is what relaxation sounds like. Though divisive on their continued foray into lighter music, the songwriting and sheer talent here is undeniable.
7. August Burns Red – Phantom Anthem
Our local heroes are going strong as ever. It’s been nothing short of amazing watching their progress for over a decade and counting.
6. Veil Of Maya – False Idol
Arguably the most fun record of the year. My friends and I certainly kept this one in rotation.
5. David Maxim Micic – Who Bit the Moon
One of my all-time favorite solo artists warming up this cold plane of existence.
4. Uneven Structure – La Partition
The highly anticipated return of Uneven Structure did not let down. 2011’s “Februus” is easily an all time favorite that left me on the side of a cliff waiting for “La Partition”. 6 years later and they came through with a massive, multi-dimensional record.
3. Dodecahedron – kwintessens
One of my regrets of 2017 in regards to The Circle Pit is not giving this album the coverage it deserved. I was late to the game but damn! Calculated chaos at its finest. A very impressive, intelligent, and ever so slightly horrifying release akin to fire falling from the skies. It occupied a great deal of my attention in the year’s final weeks.
2. Archspire – Relentless Mutation
Just absolute madness mixed with pure talent. I came back to record frequently whenever my brain craved some sensory overload or working music. There has to be something in that Canadian water.
1. Redshift Pilots – Moonlight Synthesis
This band’s debut was one of my favorites last year and I somehow missed this new album for months. Needless to say, my ears were beyond happy to catch up and witness their evolution. This is a perfect mix of relaxing and extreme music with a layer of youthful exuberance to boot. I hadn’t initially planned to give them the top spot or even the top 3 for that matter, instead duking it out between Archspire, Uneven Structure, and Dodecahedron in my mind. However, they kept creeping up the list and ultimately it just felt right. It might not be everyone’s cuppa but I enjoy the ever living piss out of this LP! It’s the kind of music that makes you feel alive.
Top 15 EPs
15. Dream Void – Sanctimonious
Has there ever been a more natural match than the game Diablo and metal music?
14. The Arbitrary – Identity
Much love for these riff meisters. It’s been a pleasure working with them and watching them grow as artists. “Identity” is a solid record.
13. The Forbidden Ritual – Tearfrost
Easily my favorite release from India in 2017. Fantastic EP well deserving of a listen.
12. Incipience – Bloom
You can compare this band with Animals As Leaders. That in itself says a lot. Thoroughly enjoyable release. Very interested to see their next move.
11. Blasteroid – Universal Knowledge
Now this is a damn debut! Lot’s of fun and very impressive.
10. Trove – EP
I was a huge Means End fan. So, naturally, I’m a fan of where Rasmus Hemse picked things up.
9. Druids – Spirit Compass
A journey for the ears from beginning to end.
8. Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxulum – W2246-0526
The band with the longest name strikes with their shortest release to date! It’s excellent!
7. END – From the Unforgiving Arms of God
Pure energy. One hell of a super group making some heavy, pissed off Hardcore music.
6. Engulf – Subsumed Atrocities
One of 2017’s most exciting, new Death Metal proposals.
5. Reg3n – Scattering EP & Untitled EP
4. Sleep Token – Two
Are they a cult? Are they a band? I don’t care. The music is a batch of ear worms.
3. Dora The Destroyer – Dependent Secondary
Arguably one of the best guitar players out of the Progressive Metal underground. Unbelievably good.
Technically speaking, this was a demo. I don’t care. It’s an incredible effort that I enjoyed greatly.
1. Kardashev – The Almanac
This band is really onto something. Watching their evolution over the years has been a treat but they just set the bar very damn high with this offering. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
Runner Up Albums (In No Particular Order)
[LISTEN HERE] Converge – The Dusk In Us
[LISTEN HERE] Entheos – Dark Future
[LISTEN HERE] Soften The Glare – Making Faces
[LISTEN HERE] Divitius – The Arcadian Parallel
[LISTEN HERE] Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi
[LISTEN HERE] Between The Planets – Of Inner Sight
[LISTEN HERE] For Giants – Big Sky
[LISTEN HERE] Sonic Fable – Envision
[LISTEN HERE] Desolate Shrine – Deliverance from the Godless Void
[LISTEN HERE] Berried Alive – Fools Gold
[LISTEN HERE] Cold Insight – Further Nowhere
[LISTEN HERE] Second To Sun – The First Chapter (Vocal Edition)
[LISTEN HERE] Ezerath – Overture: the Heir Apparent
[LISTEN HERE] Virulent Depravity – Fruit of the Poisoned Tree
[LISTEN HERE] Inanimate Existence – Underneath a Melting Sky
[LISTEN HERE] Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves
[LISTEN HERE] Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
[LISTEN HERE] Suffocation – …Of the Dark Light
[LISTEN HERE] Profanity – The Art of Sickness
[LISTEN HERE] SepticFlesh – Codex Omega
[LISTEN HERE] SikTh – The Future in Whose Eyes?
[LISTEN HERE] NYN – Entropy: Of Chaos and Salt
[LISTEN HERE] Pallbearer – Heartless
[LISTEN HERE] Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar
[LISTEN HERE] Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
[LISTEN HERE] Arkaik – Nemethia
[LISTEN HERE] Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With
[LISTEN HERE] Origin – Unparalleled Universe
[LISTEN HERE] Havok – Conformicide
[LISTEN HERE] Dyscarnate – With All Their Might
[LISTEN HERE] Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer
[LISTEN HERE] Aegri Somnia – Ad Augusta Per Angusta
[LISTEN HERE] ZETA – Self-Titled
[LISTEN HERE] Fit For An Autopsy – The Great Collapse
[LISTEN HERE] Arch Echo – Self-Titled
Runner Up EPs (In No Particular Order)
[LISTEN HERE] I Dwell Beneath – Self-Titled
[LISTEN HERE] Groke’s Clan – Vicious Circles
[LISTEN HERE] Foresthall – Self-Titled
[LISTEN HERE] Skognatt – Ancient Wisdom
[LISTEN HERE] Raining Animals – Self-Titled
[LISTEN HERE] Gorod – Kiss The Freak
[LISTEN HERE] Mastodon – Cold Dark Place
[LISTEN HERE] The Wraith Path – The Ghost That Never Was / Self-Titled
[LISTEN HERE] Enko – Self-Titled
[LISTEN HERE] Woundvac – Infamy
[LISTEN HERE] Gruesome – Fragments of Psyche