Metal Mofos’ Isaac Sauers gives us a list of his favorite albums released in 2017.
2017 was a great year for metal although you may not have heard of many of the great albums that were released this year. None of the big bands like Slayer, Metallica, or Poison gave us new music this year, but it was a pretty solid year for new music in the underground. Check out the list of albums below (listed in no particular order) and be sure to listen to some of my favorite songs from these albums in the official Apple Music Playlist, HERE.
- Black Anvil – As Was – Released January 13 on Relapse Records: I first heard about this band when I saw they were opening up for Mayhem on their US tour this year so I looked them up. They had just come out with their latest album, As Was. It’s some great sounding melodic black metal. I recommend this album to metal fans everywhere. The clean vocals offer some great harmonies to go along with the standard screamed black metal vocals.
2. KXM – Scatterbrain – Released March 17 on Rat Pak Records: KXM is a hard rock supergroup consisting of Doug Pinnick from King’s X on bass and vocals, George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob on guitar, and Ray Luzier of Korn on drums. With a lineup of great musicians like that you know their album has to be good. Doug Pinnick turned 67 years old this year and is still rocking hard. This is a really fun record to listen to while cruising down the highway.
3. Night Demon – Darkness Remains – released April 21 on Steamhammer Records: Night Demon are a real throwback band to the sounds of NWOBHM bands like Diamond Head and Saxon. This is a metal album for fans both young and old. You get a power trio banging out riff laden songs with excellently delivered vocals. Night Demon put on a heck of a live performance too! I consider them to be an important part of the future of heavy metal.
4. Dimmu Borgir – Forces of the Northern Night – released April 28 Nuclear Blast: Black metal legends Dimmu Borgir released a live album and film this year which gave us a recording of their music performed with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra & Choir. I love the sound of live orchestra to accompany Dimmu Borgir’s music. A must see and hear for fans of their music.
5. Warrant – Louder Harder Faster – released May 12 on Frontiers Records: Glam metal favorites Warrant gave us a brand new rockin album this year, their second with singer Robert Mason. This album features a more raw, dirty sound than heard on previous Warrant albums. I love the guitar sound here, and Robert Mason is fantastic vocalist.
6. Demoniciduth – Enemy of Satan – released July 15 on Vision of God Records: This was certainly my most anticipated album of the year. I did an interview with vocalist/bassist Taanak in late 2016 where we talked about the new record. The release was delayed due to perfecting the layout of the images and lyrics inside the album. This album has definitely fulfilled my anticipation and is phenomenal. The band features some excellent black/death metal with great production. Look for it to be issued on vinyl in 2018.
7. A Hill to Die Upon – Via Artis Via Mortis – released September 15 on Luxor Records: One of the best blackened death metal bands around, A Hill to Die Upon’s fourth album lives up to expectations of its predecessors and delivers high quality music any fan of extreme metal will enjoy.
8. Satyricon – Deep Calleth Upon Deep – released September 22 on Napalm Records: Norwegian metal icons Satyricon bring us their newest album which continues on with their black n roll style of music which I personally really enjoy. The title track has the kind of guitar riff that makes me want to pick up my guitar and play it. Fans of their older black metal style will really enjoy the song “Black Wings and Withering Gloom” which has fantastic black metal style guitar riff.
9. Enslaved – E – released October 13 on Nuclear Blast: Enslaved keep getting more progressive in their music with each new release. Is it safe to call them the Rush or Dream Theater of extreme metal?
10. Kreator – Gods of Violence – released January 27 on Ward Records: German thrash metal giants return with another superb release. Their formula hasn’t changed much since their beginnings, and it still works. Super heavy thrash that makes you just want to bang your head. Horns up!
11. Myrkur – Mareidt – released September 15 on Relapse Records: The voice of angel and demon coming from the same person? Not possible you say? Well, you obviously haven’t heard Myrukur. This Danish woman offers a mix of black metal, folk metal, and traditional European songs that’s simply just music to my ears. I can literally sit and just chill to her music. The album really mixes it up with the harshness of black metal and her offerings of soft cleanly sung songs. A must hear.
12. Hellripper – Coagulating Darkness – released April 14 on Granite Factory Records: Here’s something for the old school extreme metal lovers. Hellripper hails from Scotland and offers a style of music in line with early Venom and Bathory. It’s a great mix of thrash and black metal. Founder James McBain shows us some very talented guitar parts.
13. Elgibbor – Resist Him – released June 30 on Vision of God Records: Another great raw black metal album from Elgibbor. This one man band offers a superb release of ferocious black metal with hail Jesus lyrics as opposed to hail Satan. Some great guitar solos on this album too!
I was hesitant to include these albums in my list as they are both re-issues/remastered versions of releases from previous years, but these artists are just too good not to mention.
Cerimonial Sacred – Christ Worshipers – released January 27 on Vision of God Records: Symphonic black metal in the vein of Dimmu Borgir done well and right up there in terms of quality. These brothers make some superb music that I hope everyone can enjoy.
Imperial Dusk – Long Live the King of Winter (Thunder Lord) – released December 21 on Christian Metal Underground Records: This label also re-issued four other albums from this band in 2017, and I enjoy them all. I had not heard this artist before this year, and they have become one of my favorites. Black Metal/Viking Metal from Brazil, not anywhere in Europe! It’s hard to pick a favorite amongst the four albums, but I will choose this one as it definitely wins for Best Cover Art of 2017.
In This Moment – Ritual – released July 21 on Atlantic Records: I used to really love this band, but they have gotten progressively worse the past few years. There’s album is much more pop than I would like to hear. Their past two releases were too electronic/industrial for my taste. This band hit their peak with their 2010 album A Star Crossed Wasteland. Listen to that album then listen to Ritual. I bet your opinion will match mine. Not even the great Rob Halford can save this album.
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