Top Ten Records of 2017

  • Alluvial – The Deep Longing for Annihilation This collaboration of Keith Merrow and Wes Hauch and album seemingly came out of nowhere and maybe that’s why it struck such a nerve with me. Creative riffing, heavy as hell, and emotionally varied, vocals be damned, this album crushes. I had it on endless rotation from the day it came out until I saw them open for Animals as Leaders. I certainly hope this wasn’t a one-and-done collab.
  • Caligula’s Horse – In Contact I too shall sing the praises of this wonderful record. It really is the perfect blend of accessible alternative rock and progressive metal. The balance between both styles is truly the highlight of the record, at once heavy and catchy as well as emotionally varied & deep. I’ll be jamming this 2018 still, guaranteed.
  • Decapitated – Anticult Despite the controversy surrounding the band at this point in time, I feel like this record has been written off. After revisiting it for this end of the year roundup, this album still kicks ass. Vogg is one of my favorite guitarists and Anticult is no slouch of a record. 10/10 still would recommend.
  • The Faceless – In Becoming a Ghost – Fantastic comeback record from these LA based tech death champions. Both refining and expanding on the sound from Monotheist, IBAG is the singular and most true vision of Michael Keene. While he has always been The Faceless to me, this album he has really come into his own as an artist.
  • Leprous – Malina – Although a bit more straightforward and decidedly less “metal” than previous releases, I really enjoyed what this record had to offer.
  • Mastodon – Emperor of Sand Everybody’s favorite band are back with their finest offering since Crack the Skye. The more rock like direction they took for this album was greatly appreciated. Amazingly infectious songwriting, crushing heaviness at just the right moments, and still keeping their prog elements alive EOS was some of the most fun I’ve had listening to music in 2017.
  • Pain of Salvation – In the Passing Light of Day Daniel Gildenlow is finally back and what an album this is. Finally adding some heavy elements back into the mix to better offset the more roots-rock vibe from the previous few albums. A rewarding cathartic emotional experience like only Gildenlow can deliver.
  • Archspire – Relentless Mutation The Canadian purveyors of Tech Death return with a record that most certainly lives up to their motto of “Stay Tech.” Equal parts ridiculous and refined, these guys have elevated their sound tenfold. While the songs are Tech as all hell, there is a musicality, catchiness, and dare I say tasteful writing style that underlies the entire album.
  • Akercocke- Renaissance in Extremis While this is in no way my favorite release from the British gentlemen, I was just elated to have a new Akercocke record to listen to! There are some missteps and parts I could do without on this album, but overall I found it more enjoyable than not.
  • Abhorrent Decimation – This album came to me at just the right time. Its straight to the point, non-stop barrage of heaviness, and uneasy atmosphere was my go to when I needed to left off some steam and fast.

Honorable Mention: Broken Hope – Mutilated and Assimilated


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