Just a little late to the party, but the early part of 2018 has been a busy (and productive!) time for me. All the better, because now I know which albums stand the test of time and were not mere flashes in the pan. Overall, 2017 was an outstanding year for metal in my books - easily surpassing 2016 in terms of quality, and helping me weather last year as well as this year's early storm of bustling activity. The downside was that picking only a select few albums was difficult! Hence, as opposed to last year's 15, here is a list of my twenty top records from last year, ranked in order of enjoyment (from "most enjoyable" at 20 and "incredibly-super-duper enjoyable" at 1). As always, click on the album covers for links to songs:
- Blut Aus Nord - Deus Salutis Meæ: Another fine addition to Vindsval's impressive outpouring of ambient horror black metal.
- Squalus - The Great Fish: A progressive/sludge concept album about Jaws.
- Black Sites - In Monochrome: An impressive debut mixing Mastodon, Voivod, Pantera, and everything good about those bands.
- Mastodon - Emperor of Sand: Still not Crack the Skye; However, still catchy, still relevant, still groovy.
- Godflesh - Post-Self: Dirty, glitchy, and droning, a huge improvement from 2014's comeback album.
- Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained: Talk about coming back to life...
- Iron Monkey - 9-13: Their first full-length in 19 years! As raw, crunchy, and punky as ever.
- Pain of Salvation - In the Passing Light of Day: A matured, travelled band returns to progressive metal - awesome stuff.
- The Great Old Ones - EOD: Lovecraftian atmospheric death metal has never been done this genuinely.
- John Frum - A Stirring in the Noos: Technical death metal with all its structure and fury made "light" with post-metal and jazz passages.
- Fleurety - The White Death: Dissonant, artsy, theatrical, nostalgic, quirky, and belligerent black metal.
- Hellripper - Conjuring Darkness: Infectious black/thrash that injects new fuel to the field with riffs that would make Aura Noir and Venom proud!
- Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven: The black metal soundtrack for Game of Thrones. Or it could be.
- Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper: One one-hour long song of intricate funeral doom; exhausting and expansive.