Somehow Brian made it this far into the year without rating an album with a ‘1’. If you’ve been listening, you know there have been plenty of albums he did not enjoy, but he found something redeeming enough to warrant a ‘2’. Well – spoiler alert – that streak ends this week. Which album gets the low score? Listen and find out…
The Faceless – In Becoming a Ghost (Sumerian)
Glassjaw – Material Control (Century Media)
MouthBreather – Pig EP
The Faceless – In Becoming A Ghost
Here are my top 10 albums of 2017, plus a bonus 11th pick.
1. Pallbearer – Heartless
Everything I’d want from a doom prog album. I didn’t invite myself on to the podcast to review just any old album. Heartless by Pallbearer is something special.
2. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
I’ll admit that this isn’t quite as good as Mastodon’s previous album Once More Round The Sun (which was my number 1 album of 2014). However, Emperor of Sand is still a great collection of Mastodon songs that I enjoy a lot. Mastodon continues their streak of never having made a bad album.
3. Cytotoxin – Gammageddon
Cytotoxin may be the most underrated tech death band out there today. They mix in the right amount of groove and hooks with the crazy technicality to make this stand out.
4. Mutoid Man – War Moans
I had high expectations for this album after loving their last album Bleeder. War Moans met those high expectations. How are these guys not bigger than they are? They seem to have potential to be a “crossover” band with punk or hard rock circles but have yet to break out of the metal community.
5. Royal Thunder – Wick
Wick is Royal Thunder’s best yet. Mlny Parsons is a star. Just listen to the song “Plans” which has minimal accompaniment to her stunning vocal performance.
6. Rings of Saturn – Ulta Ulla
There are some times that I just want to listen to music that sounds like it’s from outer space. Rings of Saturn and their “aliencore” fits that bill.
7. Ne Obliviscaris – Urn
Portal of I was my number 7 album of 2012. Citadel was my number 7 album of 2014. So Urn has to be my number 7 album of 2017. Urn isn’t quite as good as their previous 2 albums, but 2017 isn’t as good a year for metal albums as previous years.
8. Dark Matter Secret – Perfect World Creation
Who would think that instrumental technical death metal could be so good?
9. Marty Friedman – Wall of Sound
I listened to a lot of shred guitar in 2017 and this album is the cream of the crop. It’s also the least shred-y of any of the guitar instrumental albums I listened to this year, as it instead focuses on lyrical melodies and songwriting because Marty Friedman no longer needs to prove to anyone that he can shred.
10. Archspire – Relentless Mutation
After making this list, I realized that 4 of my top 10 albums would be considered “technical” (including Rings of Saturn counting as technical deathcore). Relentless Mutation by Archspire stands out because of a vocal performance that is as equally impressive as the technical guitar work.
11. Lör – In Forgotten Sleep
Progressive power folk metal – from Philadelphia. This is my bandcamp pick of the year. There’s a lot to like here: epic melodies, hints of black metal and death metal, occasional acoustic guitars, soaring keyboards, all without ever being cheesy or over the top. It all adds up to a mighty impressive debut.
Fantastic list dude! I don’t know yet how Brian and my lists will mash together, but I can tell you that we have a fair amount of overlap on our lists.
Two thoughts: I need to spend more time with Wick. I liked it, but was overall disappointed compared to Crooked Doors. Nothing was quite as immediate for me.
Second: I will add Dark Matter Secret to my growing list of “shit we missed” to check out. Sounds like it should have some appeal to me!