Ok, before the vein in your neck starts pulsating and you mash the keyboard with your angry fists of warrior fury, know this:
Lists are subjective, you will NEVER find a list that perfectly suits your taste, and THAT’S the point of music. It’s highly personal. However, I’ve been asked to put together the 10 Best metal Albums Of 2017, which, to be frank, is an impossible task.
So what I will do, is list 10 albums here which I think are a great testament to the band, that also happen to be kick arse albums I’ve listened to this year. (I haven’t heard EVERY metal album released this year, sorry). I go into this fully expecting anger and differing opinions. That’s what the comments section is for.
Obituary – Obituary
They nailed it. Simple as that. They have been killing it in the death metal scene for some 25 years and have stayed true to the format on this one. They’re kinda like an old pair of jeans that you just can’t throw out. You buy new ones thinking they’ll be just as good, but the old ones feel better. From the very opening of ‘Brave’ you are thrown back in your seat, so strap in and feel the G’s.
Body Count – Bloodlust
This album is awesome. Probably the most confrontational metal album this year, Ice-T, Ernie C and Body Count didn’t pull any punches tackling the political landscape and issue facing them in the US today. And they do it in traditional Body Count style. I know they’re not for everyone, but I absolutely still rip this one often.
Toehider – Good
People who know me, know how much I like Toehider and it’s creator, Mike Mills. The worlds he creates with illustrator Andrew Saltmarsh are just fantastic. Mike’s storytelling can extremely personal, or just plain silly, but all the whole there’s the utmost respect for the music. The endless layers and perfectionist nature of what Mike builds during recordings makes Toehider albums so incredible to listen to. With every listen, you hear something new, a different technique employed, a different instrument. I cannot recommend Toehider enough. Listen to his lyrics, try to hear everything going on in the music. This is awesome
Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence
This was a balls-out return to fury for Trivium. Matt Heafy seemingly flows effortlessly from guttural to clean vocals (although the gutturals were done well after the cleans to preserve the voice), the riffs well thought out and the sequencing of the album makes for a fantastic voyage. This is a stand out for them.
King Parrot – Ugly Produce
This is their third full-length album, and yet again proves that there is no room for ballads on a metal album. You open the driver's door of your XYGT, plant your foot to the floor, turn the key, and let the 351 eat! That’s King Parrot. No apologies, no beg ya pardons, if you can’t handle the gimp, get the hell out of the bushes.
Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand
THIS DAMN ALBUM IS SO GOOD IT HURTS! I’m totally in love with what Mastodon does, the wall of sound they create can be so majestic and then so dark and twisted it makes for really interesting listening. Having 3 singers in the band also delivers a dynamic that no one else can match. But the songs.. oh man, the songs are just lumps of soaring goodness you can completely lose yourself in. VERY hard to pick a favourite from the album because they all work as one. Love it.
Voyager – Ghost Mile
I’ve been a fan of Voyager for a long time. If I try and put a point on what it is that I like about them, it’s very difficult, I mean why do we like bands at all? Because they make us feel something, it’s inside us, and what tickles my undercarriage may not necessarily tickle yours. So, with that out of the way, Voyager create soaring melodies that intertwine all the instruments effortlessly and each serving the song. You’ll hear mind-bending musicianship, but it never enters the ‘over the top’ of the ‘for the sake of it’ zone. The songs are crafted beautifully, and I dig it a lot.
Bare Bones – Bad Habits
This was one of the best surprises of 2017 for mine. My friend Janine was raving about it to the point of it becoming annoying, but once I wrapped my ears around it, her ranting made sense. Ferociously awesome riffs and slamming grooves combine with vocals laced with gravel, broken glass and whiskey to provide an album that left me wanting more. So I listened to it again, and again. And to see them live with Stone Sour earlier this year proved they can back it up live. Such a great album and I can’t wait for the world to embrace them like they deserve.
Caligula’s Horse – In Contact
Yep, another Australian band, and if I’m honest, my top ten absolute favourite albums this year have been Aussie bands, but we’re talking metal here. Jim’s voice is easily one of the best in the country, like he’s top bloody rung, and as I was speaking of mind-bending musicianship in Voyager, well Caligula’s Horse back that sentiment up on In Contact. No disrespect to their earlier work, but this is their best album. I thought it was In Bloom was their best, but this topped it. ABSOLUTELY one of my favourite metal albums of 2017.
sleepmakeswaves – Made Of Breath Only
Seriously hard to decide between this and Caligula’s Horse as my favourite of the year. One is instrumental, one isn’t, so they have that point of difference, but they move me in exactly the same way, they have that ethereal vibe in parts that intertwine and complement each other, in my mind, so perfectly. Again, this is about getting lost in the music due to musicianship, it’s fucking glorious from start to finish.
There you have it, 10 metal albums that have left an indelible mark on my soul in 2017. Sure there are more, but there are the ones that I keep going back to. If I go for a walk, if I’m in the car, sitting at my computer writing, these are the albums that get played from this year the most. What've been your favourites?