Admittedly, I haven’t heard as many albums from this year as I would’ve liked, a simple factor of my free time being viciously curtailed by ridiculous shit like “life.” Nevertheless, as we approach the millennium’s ascent to legal drinking age (in the UK anyways), here’s my top ten for 2017 with my full disclosure that this would probably change significantly if you asked me again halfway through 2018 once I’ve gotten my sorry ass caught up and finally listened to albums like the new Vesicant, Triumvir Foul, Necrovorous, Gorephilia, Suffering Hour, Vampire, Malokarpatan and many others. Hell, depending on my mood, this could probably change tomorrow morning, so the order is kinda nebulous, but you get the fucking idea. Let’s get on with it.
10: Extremity – Extremely Fucking Dead
A rollicking, shambling death metal album in the Swedish vein, this catchy slab is quick, dirty and satisfying. I wrote a review over here so why don’t you go read it.
9: Temple of Void – Lords of Death
Temple of Void’s heavy-as-balls second album might’ve landed itself higher on my list if I had a chance to spend more time with it, but landing in ninth in a year of so many good releases is nothing to sneeze at. Hooded Menace should be worried about these guys stealing their thunder.
8: Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape
The boys in Phrenelith were busy this year, dropping an EP as well as this absolute barnburner of an album. An embodiment of all things rotting and vile, their vicious debut rips out your jugular and enjoys every second of it.
7: Undergang – Misantropologi
These Danish boys’ fourth album marks their first album following their monstrous døden trilogy, they streamlined their sound and turned up the grime to absurd levels. Check out my interview with David Torturdød regarding all things Undergang here.
6: Obskuritatem – U Kraljevstvu Mrtvih…
Fantastic black metal incorporating all the best influences from the Black Legions, this Bosnian band’s sophomore scratched all the right spots for this genre. Give it a listen, this album sounds like it was exhumed right out of the ancients’ grave dirt.
5: Question – Gnosis Primordial
Mexican death metal band Question’s follow-up EP to their debut “Doomed Passages” was not a letdown. Rather than prattling on about this now, read my review here. It even makes sense in a few bits.
4: Tomb Mold – Primordial Malignity
This might be death metal from my neck of the Canadian woods, but these frisky boys sound like a cross between the classic Finnish and US bands with a twangy, sometimes chunky sound that hearkens right back to the halcyon days of the 90s.
3: Bestia Arcana – Holókauston
One of the most harrowing things I’ve listened to all year. Bestia Arcana released an album of unescapable claustrophobia and terror that was truly unparalleled. Has to be heard to be believed.
2: Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
The debut album a lot of people were waiting for this year, Spectral Voice certainly delivered with this slab of crushing death doom. Necrotic to the core and evocative of a drift through the hallways of postmortem, the way it should be.
1: Clandestine Blaze – City of Slaughter
Probably an unassuming pick for number one, Clandestine Blaze’s ninth album is a culmination of all of the best aspects of Mikko Aspa’s project, and is a formidable statement for Northern Heritage Records’ 100th release. At first it might seem like standard black metal, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong; but the songs are expertly crafted and are a paragon of the genre. This is unrepentant black metal with no frills at its absolute finest, and I’ve kept going back to it since it was released.
With all that out of the way, here comes the obligatory…
Ascended Dead – Abhorrent Manifestation
Goatmoon – Stella Polaris
Helheim – LandawarijaR
Impetuous Ritual – Blight Upon Martyred Sentience
Nihil Invocation – Chthonic Twilight Ritual
Perturbator – New Model
Wolfnacht – Ypervoreia
So there you have it. 2017 was a busy and productive year for a lot of bands, and some good shit came out. Some clunkers too, but we’re not gonna waste time on those. Check these albums out if you haven’t, and if you have, you already know why I’m right about these. Good stuff. See ya next year.
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